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#1426259 Fri Oct 08 2021 02:43 PM
Joined: Sep 2021
Posts: 28
R
Rizzo Offline OP
'Bolter
Just pulled the head on a 216 from my ‘53 1/2 ton.. Found blown head gasket but worse is a very worn head. Luckily have a top notch guy who is rebuilding.. I bought the truck from a broker in 2014. Receipts showed 80k restoration. Beautiful truck, very well done (except for the engine) for a fraction of the cost of the restoration.. Anyhow, while it’s cool to have the original 216, I’ve always wished it came with a 235.. It seems the original customer may have gotten the wool pulled over his eyes. This motor has a lot of miles on it. Which brings me to my dilemma. I can get her running again, the lower end is suspect. Had the thought to find a 235 and start a s!ow rebuild but seems they are scarce.. She’s been a Sunday driver but I’ve decided to use it more than that. How hard is it to find a 235 ??? Am I better off pulling the 216 and doing a first rate rebuild??? Any thoughts would be appreciated
One more bit of info. Wasn’t burning any appreciable oil, compression around 90 average. Thanks

Rizzo #1426263 Fri Oct 08 2021 03:08 PM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 2,817
AD Addict
Not that scarce. do searches on your local Craigs List and eBay. There is also a 55 235 for sale in the Truck Parts For Sale forum right now. Here is a [LINK]. Not sure if it has sold.
I would also place an ad in the Truck Parts Wanted forum.

Last edited by Phak1; Fri Oct 08 2021 03:08 PM.

Phil
Moderator, The Engine Shop & Interiors

1952 Chevrolet 3100
Project Journals
Stovebolt Gallery Forum

‘59 235 w/hydraulic lifters
“Three on the Tree” & 4:11 torque tube
12v w/ Alternator
Rizzo #1426277 Fri Oct 08 2021 05:05 PM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,496
B
Curmudgeon
I'm not trying to torpedo your post, but I just now looked at your "216 Head Removal" posting.
I hope Jerry (Hot Rod Lincoln) or one of the other more experienced guys reads this.
First thought I have, has this engine been running too lean?

Your description said, "No smoke, no overheating, no coolant loss, no milky oil".
It looks to me that the head gasket burned (material vaporized, see previous posting picture) from overheat.
You also mention, "duel zenith carbs". Interesting. I wonder if they are sized/adjusted correctly.

Maybe this is something to look at before you swap parts over to a 235.


"Adding CFM to a truck will only help at engine speeds you don't want to use."
"I found there was nothing to gain beyond 400 CFM."
buoymaker #1426284 Fri Oct 08 2021 06:16 PM
Joined: Sep 2021
Posts: 28
R
Rizzo Offline OP
'Bolter
No worries…. Trying to figure out if it was a poor engine “rebuild” or something I contributed to. A little of both I think. Didn’t realize a lean issue can take out a head gasket like that. I am going to recruit someone more knowledgeable on setting carbs,
ect. and run this engine out while I find and build a 235. She’s a keeper for sure. The body shop did a superb job, but when you farm out the engine…….not so good. Appreciate you weighing in. Just trying to head the right direction from here. Thanks

Rizzo #1426288 Fri Oct 08 2021 06:27 PM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 382
G
'Bolter
I replaced my original 216 with a late-50's 261 and it made a wonderful difference. Still runs/drives like an "old truck", but much more UMPH under the gas pedal and much smoother running. I would likely be just as happy with a 235 though.

Last edited by Green_98; Fri Oct 08 2021 06:28 PM.

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

Rizzo #1426290 Fri Oct 08 2021 06:38 PM
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 31,649
Bubba - Curmudgeon
I have run 216s, 235s, and 261s.

Each "step up" resulted (as expected) in a noticeable difference in power.

Another "swap" that results in a noticeable different in gas mileage and "smoother" running is to install the 3.55 rear-end conversion gear-set (R&P Ring&Pinion set sold my MotherTrucker). Buy and use an installation-parts kit that is available from a few old-chevy-parts vendors.


Tim
1954Advance-Design.com [1954advance-design.com]
1954 3106 Carryall Suburban [stovebolt.com] - part of the family for 49 years
1954 3104 5-window pickup w/Hydra-Matic [1954advance-design.com] - part of the family for 15 years
- If you have to stomp on your foot-pedal starter, either you, or your starter, or your engine, has a problem.
- The 216 and early 235 engines are not "splash oilers" - this is a splash oiler. [chevy.oldcarmanualproject.com]
tclederman #1426310 Fri Oct 08 2021 09:20 PM
Joined: Sep 2021
Posts: 28
R
Rizzo Offline OP
'Bolter
Thanks for the input… Will a 261 bolt right up?

Rizzo #1426317 Fri Oct 08 2021 10:38 PM
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 31,649
Bubba - Curmudgeon
Depends on what year engine is bolting up to what year/type drive train.

Most likely you will need to install this water pump relocation plate. [chev235guy.blogspot.com]

What transmission & drive-shaft & rear-end will you be using?


Tim
1954Advance-Design.com [1954advance-design.com]
1954 3106 Carryall Suburban [stovebolt.com] - part of the family for 49 years
1954 3104 5-window pickup w/Hydra-Matic [1954advance-design.com] - part of the family for 15 years
- If you have to stomp on your foot-pedal starter, either you, or your starter, or your engine, has a problem.
- The 216 and early 235 engines are not "splash oilers" - this is a splash oiler. [chevy.oldcarmanualproject.com]
tclederman #1426344 Sat Oct 09 2021 01:22 PM
Joined: Sep 2021
Posts: 28
R
Rizzo Offline OP
'Bolter
I’d like to use the 3 speed I currently have. Have already located a 235. Will have some time to sort it out as I’ll have the 216 running shortly. This is a a blessing in disguise. The truck will be much more useable as I won’t go on the freeway for fear of being run over. The suggestion to change the rear end gears is a good one too. A lot more fun to drive I think. Appreciate the input.

Rizzo #1426356 Sat Oct 09 2021 04:03 PM
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 2,223
J
'Bolter
When I picked up my '53 3600 the original 216 engine was knocking badly and since I had a rebuilt 235 on my engine stand, I went with that. This 235 has been a rock solid motor now for many years. Most use the adapter solving the low water pump issue, it's an easy swap for your 53. The perfect motor for my next build is a '55 first series 261, the very last high water pump motor and a bolt in, now just need more time and motivation.

Best of luck


It's easier to get forgiveness than permission!
1946 1/2-Ton Chevy [stovebolt.com]
1953 Chevy 3/4-ton Factory Stakebed [stovebolt.com]
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