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Joined: Sep 2022
Posts: 23
So its time to see if Eleanor (1940 KC) can climb the hill to Idyllwild Ca. Her down the hill garage is at 1,500 ft, and our home on the hill is at 5,500 ft. That 4,000 ft. gain happens in about 20 miles. She has a 1959 261 cid with dual carbs, but otherwise her drivetrain seems to be original, so 83 yrs old. To all of you veterans, what do I need to be cautious of, to check, to fill and service, for her to have a decent chance of making this run in such a way that she does not end up on a flat bed tow truck? Is vapor lock an issue? I have tried out her 3 speed on some hills around here, and 2nd pulls great but slow, 3rd pulls if the revs are high enough. I am going to use turn outs to prevent the sedans and modern pickups from hating me as I "CHUG" up this hill. I welcome your wisdom, experience and guidance ! Assume that I am new to this and need all the salient points that you may know!

Last edited by Peggy M; Wed May 10 2023 10:09 PM.

1940 KC 1/2-ton -- "Eleanor"
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Posts: 16,156
Ed, welcome to Stovebolt. My opinion is you have a darn good engine in that 261. It should do the job and leave you smiling. Check the tires, top off the coolant and go for it.

Last edited by Achipmunk; Wed May 10 2023 02:56 AM. Reason: Spelling

1937 Chevy Pickup
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1952 Chevy Panel
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1950 Chevy Coupe
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I'd rather walk and carry a Chevy hub cap than ride in a Ferd.
I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you smile
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Gearhead, Moderator for The Swap Meet and General Truck Talk

Just a suggestion, but it would be great if you would start a new conversation with your "pre-drive" questions in the General Truck Talk forum for folks to be able to provide useful feedback on getting the '40 on the road.

You can also start more specific conversations on any of the main Tech related stuff (engine, driveline, etc.) if you want to get the best on-topic replies to your questions.

You have graduated from the "Welcome Centre". wink

Time to move into the "getting going" forums my friend. thumbs_up


Last edited by Gdads51; Wed May 10 2023 02:57 PM.


1951 Chevy 3 window 3100 (My Grandpa's hunting truck)
1966 Chevelle (Wife's Hot Rod)
2013 Chevy Silverado (Current daily driver)
US Army MSG Retired (1977-1998)
Com Fac Maint Lead Tech Retired (1998-2021)

Finally time to get to work on my Grandpa's (now mine) truck!
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Moved Ed's post here (in GTT) as Dan's suggested.

Bring on the "wisdom" ... grin

Peggy M
“After all, tomorrow is another day!”—Margaret Mitchell, Gone with the Wind
Share knowledge and communicate it effectively. ~ Elihu
Joined: Oct 2015
Posts: 408
I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at the 261's performance.
When you hit the grades keep the rpm up from my experience at about 2500 or higher depending of course what gears your running and what speeds that will get you
Report back.


good planning is no substitute for dumb luck
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 6,208
Your 261 was only offered new in the big trucks and they all had governors set at 4000 rpm, so don't be afraid to wind her up...get the rpm's up and keep the up and you'll do fine!

Let us know how it goes,

Mike B smile

Mike Boteler

1956 Chevy 3100 Resto Rod []
1956 8400 Wrecker w/Holmes 525 []
1956 9200 Tractor w/Allison Automatic []
1952 Willys M38 Army Jeep
1953 Willys M38A1 Fire Jeep
1978 CJ-5 Navy Jeep
Hughesville, MD
Joined: Sep 2022
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Thank you for putting this post where it is supposed to be, appreciate the navigation, as this site is pretty daunting for a newbie. I understand the revs and have found that at 2500 rpm's there is tons of torque. I feel that making the climb up (all 2 lane, 40mph for normal folks) should be fine if she holds together. The next step is getting her back down after the July 4th Parade. Her drum brakes will be inspected before I leave, and I will be checking fluid levels again before I come back down. For the Parade, she came equipped with an aftermarket electric radiator fan that I hope will keep her cool at low speed. The parade is down hill, so we got that working for us. I did a check of the radiator this morning and its filled with clear fresh antifreeze, with no sign of rust. Would love to hear from others about their first drives with their bolts.

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Last edited by Blue 40 Half Ton; Thu May 11 2023 01:52 AM. Reason: Adding a pic

1940 KC 1/2-ton -- "Eleanor"
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Have fun! It should be quite an experience.

Another quality post.
Real Trucks Rattle
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Joined: Oct 2021
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I don't know anything about your dual carb setup, but all things being equal, I wouldn't worry about it at all.

All I drive and all I've ever driven my entire life are old cars. By "old", I mean pre 1972 cars and pre 1980 trucks. I used to worry like you about their capabilities but no more. Our motoring forefathers and automotive designers weren't as primitive as many people think.

I've driven my vehicles thousands of miles (actually hundreds of thousands of miles combined) all over the country in all kinds of conditions , including mountainous regions with large changes in elevation. I've never had a problem with a vehicle's factory drum brakes, carburetion, or anything else you might worry about.

Your 1959 261 is "modern" enough engine that there shouldn't be any problems at all climbing the mountains.

1939 Packard Standard Eight Coupe (The Phantom)
1950 Chevrolet 3100 (Ol' Roy)
1956 Cadillac Coupe de Ville (The Bismarck)
1956 Cadillac Sixty Special Fleetwood (The Godfather)
1966 Oldsmobile Toronado (The Purple Knif)
1966 Ford Mustang (Little Red)
1964 Ford Galaxie 500 coupe
1979 Ford F-100
1976 Ford F-150 (Big Red)
1995 Ford F-150 (Newt)
Joined: Dec 2020
Posts: 754
In a downhill parade , you need great brakes.


1958 3100 Apache Step side 1/2 ton 327 engine
1958 3100 Apache Panel 1/2 ton 235 engine
1959 3100 Apache Panel 1/2 ton 327 engine
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