The Stovebolt.com Forums Home | FAQ | Forum | Swap Meet | Gallery | Tech Tips | Events | Features | Search | Hoo-Ya Shop
Big Thanks!

Big THANKS to

MONGO
for hosting
the weekend event.



Read all about it.


Stovebolt Site Search
'
Oh Lord, I just gotta find it....

A pdf guide to help you search the Site


Old Truck Calendars
Months of truck photos!
Nothing like an old truck calendar

Stovebolt Calendars

Check for details!


Who's Online Now
8 members (Cosmo, Flatblu4748, DES57, Bill Trotter, D B Cooper, Napco Man), 90 guests, and 3 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Statistics
Forums60
Topics124,660
Posts1,006,226
Members44,993
Most Online1,229
Jan 21st, 2020
Image Posting Policy
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2
Is a 261 worth the trouble?
#1416875 Tue Jul 13 2021 07:35 PM
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 1,623
J
JW51 Offline OP
'Bolter
I have a line on a 261 core that I can probably get for very little money. Of course, rebuilding an engine....be it a 235 or a 261....will cost several dollars.

Wondering if those who have run both the 235 and 261 could weigh in with an opinion. From a “seat of the pants” perspective....is the extra displacement of the 261 noticeable on the road? I’m talking about mixed town and highway driving of a 1/2 or 3/4 ton pickup. Not hauling a load of grain to the elevator in your 2 ton.

Here’s my working hypothesis: The road-drivability difference of 235/261 is negligible, perhaps limited by the antiquated transmissions and high numerical rear ends. If a guy wants to rebuild a stovebolt, the extra headache/cost of sourcing some of the 261 specific parts isn’t worth it.

I have little to back that up. Just hunches. Happy to be proven wrong by someone with real-world experience.

Re: Is a 261 worth the trouble?
JW51 #1416884 Tue Jul 13 2021 08:42 PM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 2,476
J
'Bolter
I think the answer will lie in what you put behind the 235 (or 261). If you have a stock transmission and rear end, the 261 will give you more torque but for mixed town and highway driving I'm not sure the difference will be that great. Costly, yes. More noticeable the more weight you're dealing with I'd say. If you have a rear end with a ratio like 3.08, then yes...any extra bit of torque will be your buddy.

But you know in 1959 Chevrolet changed the cam in the 235 to improve torque output at lower rpm, yes? 217 at 2000 rpm as I recall. 261 of same date would have produced 235 at 2000 as I recall, so sort of pricey for the bit extra after the cost of rebuild.


Jon

1952 1/2 ton with 1959 235
T5 with 3.07 rear end
Re: Is a 261 worth the trouble?
JW51 #1416885 Tue Jul 13 2021 08:47 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,004
H
'Bolter
The only real difference in a 235 and a 261 is the bore size. All the other 235 parts will fit- - - -crankshaft, rod and main bearings, cylinder head, etc. are the same as a 235. Pistons and connecting rods are different, but the rods can be reconditioned and reused. Getting 30 cubic inches more in a drop-in fit package is always a good thing, just from a torque standpoint. That was the reason the engine was designed for medium duty and big trucks, and there will be an even more noticeable difference when that engine goes into a pickup.

If you decide not to pull the trigger on it, I'm interested- - - -I've only got three of them stockpiled so far!
Jerry


The murder victim was drowned in a bathtub full of Rice Krispies and milk.
The coroner blamed the crime on a cereal killer!

Cringe and wail in fear, Eloi- - - - -we Morlocks are on the hunt!
Re: Is a 261 worth the trouble?
JW51 #1416893 Wed Jul 14 2021 12:00 AM
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 1,623
J
JW51 Offline OP
'Bolter
This one is rough. One cylinder took on water. Looks to me like a significant overbore, perhaps even a sleeve.

Re: Is a 261 worth the trouble?
JW51 #1416898 Wed Jul 14 2021 12:18 AM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,004
H
'Bolter
Sleeves are no big deal when one has a boring bar stashed away. Do you have an idea of the current bore- - - -standard or oversize?
Jerry


The murder victim was drowned in a bathtub full of Rice Krispies and milk.
The coroner blamed the crime on a cereal killer!

Cringe and wail in fear, Eloi- - - - -we Morlocks are on the hunt!
Re: Is a 261 worth the trouble?
JW51 #1416908 Wed Jul 14 2021 01:37 AM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 356
G
'Bolter
I went from a 216/3-speed to a 261/4-speed in my 1953 3100, with big thanks to Hotrod Lincoln!

Bottom line: It's still an old truck constrained by a 4:11 rear and stock suspension and drives largely the same.

Going from 92 hp to 140 hp, yes you definitely notice a difference throughout the RPM band, however it's not an incredible difference. It pulls harder at wide open throttle in all gears, and can easily pull a hill at 20mph in 4th gear given the extra torque.

I'm certainly no expert, but I have driven a few of these trucks in stock configuration, 1/2 tons and 3/4 tons. From a driving standpoint, I just didn't see a huge difference between a 235 and a 261.

If you're in Kansas City any time, hit me up and come drive mine.


-Patrick
1953 Chevrolet 3100
261 / 4-speed / 4:11 / Commercial Red

Re: Is a 261 worth the trouble?
JW51 #1416910 Wed Jul 14 2021 02:03 AM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 9,765
5
'Bolter
I would sooner go with a good condition 216 with a T5 transmission and a more modern axle than to swap a 261 in place of a 235 with the original transmission and torque tube.
Why?
Because even with the 261, it will be screaming in third gear at 55 MPH.
There is so much more to gain in regards to performance with a T5 swap than from selecting a different Stovebolt engine.
Every time you shift gears, you find yourself in the optimal power range of whatever Stovebolt engine which you have. No more lugging along until it screams, then shift, then lug, wash, repeat.

Re: Is a 261 worth the trouble?
JW51 #1416913 Wed Jul 14 2021 02:29 AM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,004
H
'Bolter
With a fair amount of tinkering, a 261 can become a 290-something cubic inch engine. That's somewhat better than a 258 CID "216" or a 270 CID "235" if you believe in the old adage "There's no substitute for cubic inches!"
Jerry


The murder victim was drowned in a bathtub full of Rice Krispies and milk.
The coroner blamed the crime on a cereal killer!

Cringe and wail in fear, Eloi- - - - -we Morlocks are on the hunt!
Re: Is a 261 worth the trouble?
JW51 #1416916 Wed Jul 14 2021 02:38 AM
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 972
D
'Bolter
I have run them both. The 261 is worth the trouble. More torque, more power. Better drivability getting around town, on a highway. The extra 30 cubes makes a difference.


Mike
Re: Is a 261 worth the trouble?
Hotrod Lincoln #1416919 Wed Jul 14 2021 03:18 AM
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 1,623
J
JW51 Offline OP
'Bolter
Originally Posted by Hotrod Lincoln
Sleeves are no big deal when one has a boring bar stashed away. Do you have an idea of the current bore- - - -standard or oversize?
Jerry

Haven’t seen it in person. Only pictures. Buddy of mine has it.

Page 1 of 2 1 2

Moderated by  Woogeroo 

Link Copied to Clipboard
Home | FAQ | Forum | Swap Meet | Gallery | Tech Tips | Events | Features | Search | Hoo-Ya Shop
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.4