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Re: 216 Chevy taken out to 235 difference
Aussie Truck #598297 Fri Dec 04 2009 11:10 PM
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 222
Shop Shark
Right off the bat your first problem is that the steering wheel is on the wrong side of the truck.

But seriously Michael, there is no simple way to make a 216 into a 235. Off the top of my head, I do not know the bore (diameter of cylinder where the piston travels) and stroke (the distance of up and down travel of the piston) of either engine, but the only way to effect cubic inch displacement "CID" (i.e. 216CID to 235 CID) is to increase the bore by machining the block or increase the stroke by changing the crankshaft. If the stroke length is the only difference then maybe a crankshaft swap may work but I do not believe they are interchanagable in these engines. Maybe an old babbit bearing 235, but not a more modern, (after '53) 235. And in my opinion it would not be worth it to attempt to upgrade to a babbit engine 235 even if you could find a crankshaft. You need to be instead looking for a 54 or newer 235 or 261 to swap into this truck if you are looking for more horsepower with an engine similar to the original.

The biggest problem you will have regarding going faster is the gearing in this truck. The easiest fix for this is changing the rear differential or swapping in a overdrive transmission or overdrive unit between the transmission and rearend. But as others have pointed out, you will want to upgrade the braking system if you are driving at modern highway speeds, especially if you have a load in the truck.

Finally, but should be first thought, do you want to restore this truck or upgrade it? If you want to restore it recognize you are dealing with 70 year old technology that will not perform to modern standards. If you upgrade it you will lose orignality. Its your truck and you should do what you want but I will say that that truck looks very original and in great shape for its age. It may even have its original engine in it which is extremely rare. If you want to do significant upgrades, you may consider finding a different truck to do so with and save this truck for a correct restoration.
Just my $.02, good luck,

1950 Chevy 3100
261, 4 speed
Purchased 1977

1964 Pontiac Lemans Convert
Re: 216 Chevy taken out to 235 difference
Aussie Truck #598409 Sat Dec 05 2009 05:01 AM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 20,344
The 216 engine has a bore (piston) size of 3 1/2 inches, and a crankshaft stroke of 3 3/4 inches. The 235 has a bigger bore (3 9/16") and a stroke of 3 15/16". It might be possible to install the 235 crankshaft in a 216 block, and bore the cylinders out .0625" to fit the 235 pistons, but it would be simpler to locate a 1940-53 235 engine from a medium-duty truck and swap it out. Better still, find a 1954-62 235 engine with the full-pressure oiling system, and upgrade to a more reliable engine with more available repair parts. While there's nothing terribly wrong with running the splash-oil engine, reconditioned connecting rods with the proper undersize babbit bearings integral with the rod are getting a little hard to find.

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: 216 Chevy taken out to 235 difference
Hotrod Lincoln #598423 Sat Dec 05 2009 06:46 AM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 19
New Guy
Thankyou guys, awesome advice, with a limit to my budget, I think I will pull down the current engine and go through and put new engine seals, crankshaft bearings and piston rings.

I want to make it reliable as it can be, any advice on anything else I should do when I have the engine out ?

I will cope with the lower highway speed it's only 2-3 trips a week, cars will have to just pass me - in awe I hope.

It is the original engine, most things on it are original, so if I keep it that way it also save money on the brake upgrade and I will reco the drums. I have a post about transmission, and power steering, air con (very hot here) but will search before posting.

I'd like to thank everyone as you helped me make the correct decision, now just to make it LHD ha ha.

Re: 216 Chevy taken out to 235 difference
Aussie Truck #598553 Sat Dec 05 2009 09:01 PM
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 8,997
Master Gabster
That is a really cool looking truck and the video is awesome! I think you have a great project on your hands.

1951 GMC 1 Ton Flatbed -- It is finally on the road and what a great time I have driving it!
1951 1 Ton Completed

My Chevy Master 4 Door is on the Road!
Re: 216 Chevy taken out to 235 difference
truckernix #598592 Sun Dec 06 2009 12:32 AM
Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,718
Shop Shark
Hello Michael,

That old truck is awesome, and will be great for advertising your business. thumbs_up thumbs_up thumbs_up

Welcome to the "Bolt"


Last edited by J Lucas; Sun Dec 06 2009 12:33 AM.

J Lucas

1941 Chevy 1/2-Ton
1942 Chevy 1.5-Ton SWB
1959 Chevy Apache 31 Fleetside
1959 Chevy Apache 32 Fleetside
1959 Chevy Viking 40

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