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Joined: Feb 2000
Posts: 4,729
My uncle drove his 1911 Stanley Steamer up Pikes Peak and back down with only brakes on the rear axle and using the steam engine in reverse to help keep the speed down, your 261 should have no issues climbing the hill.

Joined: Sep 2022
Posts: 23
Thanks for the encouragement! Your work on your '37 is inspiring, to have it that functional, with a 6, but capable and useful as a driver. I read that the suspension is pretty basic, did you add shocks to the front or rear, to help the leaf springs, or do you just really have a keen eye for pot holes?

1940 KC 1/2-ton -- "Eleanor"
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Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 4,977
Great brakes that are good for one application are required. Control speed with proper gearing. Riding brakes going downhill is a recipe for disaster, that is what all those runaway truck ramps are for. If one does not know what gear to use, start with lower gear ‘til certain have speed under control, then OK to shift up a gear ‘til speed is under control again, etc.


'37 GMC T-18 w/ DD 4-53T, RTO-610, 6231 aux., '95 GMC running gear, full disc brakes, power steering, 22.5 wheels and tires.
'47 GMC 1 ton w/ 302, NP-540, 4wd, full width Blazer front axle.
'54 GMC 630 w/ 503 gasser, 5 speed, ex fire truck, shortened WB 4', install 8' bed.
'55 GMC 370 w/270, 420 4 speed, grain, dump bed truck from ND. Works OK.
Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 180
The thought that circulates in the antique truck world is that you use the same gear going down a hill as you used to go up it.

For old trucks like mine, I sometimes have to get into first gear for some hills so it's a slow 10mph grind. I'll go a little faster downhill, but I need to keep it slow to preserve the brakes and keep them working.

For parades, the granny first gear in Lurch's transmission is perfect. I let him idle in first gear and we're keeping pace with the folks that are walking in the parade. ;-)


Dean 'Rustoholic' Meltz
Lurch: 1927 1-Ton Chevy Cattle Truck
Old and ugly is beautiful! -- The Saga []
Lurch's Gallery
Justin: 1928 Chevrolet AB Canopy Express
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Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 5,162
Leo Offline
When I first put a 261 in my 1953 half ton, the first thing that impressed me was how good it was at climbing big hills. Probably not a big factor, but you will lose 3% power per 1000 feet of elevation.

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 1,250
Leo - does that mean my 1950 suburban won’t make it to 33,000 feet elevation with a 261? I may have to adjust my travel plans now.

Last edited by tom moore; Sun May 14 2023 05:19 PM.
Joined: Jan 2022
Posts: 1,015
Assuming 3% horsepower loss per 1000 feet of elevation change is linear and that your 261 has 170 HP at sea level, it'd still have 62.21802 horsepower if you can find a road that goes to 33,000 feet Tom. But you'd probably have to change carb jets a few times on the way up. wink

'57 GMC 102, Original 347 V8, HydraMatic, 3.08 rear gear, added A/C, disk front brakes, HEI, AFB carb, '98 Honda Black Currant paint. T-boned and totaled 10/13
'52 GMC 152 Stake Bed, Original 228, SM420, added A/C, disk front brakes, '67 Chev 3.55 rear gear. Gets used as a real truck.
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 8,121
Housekeeping (Moderator) Making a Stovebolt Bed & Paint and Body Shop Forums
Originally Posted by Bill Hanlon
...if you can find a road that goes to 33,000 feet Tom..... wink
Anyone planning a Stovebolt Road Trip to the summit of Mt. Everest? grin

Newest Project - 51 Chevy 3100 work truck. Photos []
#2 - '29 Ford pickup restored from the ground up.
First car '29 Ford Special Coupe
Busting rust since the mid-60's
If you're smart enough to take it apart, you darn well better be smart enough to put it back together.
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 5,646
Authorized Pest
Originally Posted by klhansen
Anyone planning a Stovebolt Road Trip to the summit of Mt. Everest? grin

We will personally supply a video crew for that one! pix

Peggy M
“After all, tomorrow is another day!”—Margaret Mitchell, Gone with the Wind
Share knowledge and communicate it effectively. ~ Elihu
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 1,890
We had our '51 Deluxe Chevy car with 216 when we lived in Laramie, Wyoming which is at 7200 ft. We took it once to the top of the Snowy Range pass which is just under 11,000 ft. It was gutless but we made it up and back.

There is more about the car in my signature link.

Last edited by Wally / Montana; Sun May 14 2023 11:00 PM.

1948 3/4-Ton 5-Window Flatbed Chevrolet []

31 Years of Daily Driving. With a '61 261, 848 head, Rochester Monojet carb, SM420 4-speed, 4.10 rear, dual reservoir MC, Bendix up front, 235/85R16 tires, 12-volt w/alternator, electric wipers and a modern radio in the glove box.
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