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Thinking again ...
We are still asking:
What did you
get done on
your Bolt today

The question, initially posted May 23, 2005, was:
"Whatcha do on your Bolt
this weekend?"

After 51,906,997 views, 7378 replies over 185 pages, this thread in General Truck Talk is a happening! And it's not just weekends anymore.

Now with pictures
and No BOTS.

So ...

What did you get done on your Bolt today????

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T5 behind a 216?
#690796 Mon Nov 01 2010 12:22 AM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 39
ia49 Offline OP
Wrench Fetcher
Is it reasonalble to put a T5 and open running gear, better gear ratio behind a 216 CI. The engine runs good, good compresion, etc. Would the change out be worth it? It is in a '49 AD with a fair trans (3 on the tree) and oringinal rear end but I'm looking for better manners and a little more speed. Your thoughts please. THX

Re: T5 behind a 216?
ia49 #690887 Mon Nov 01 2010 05:04 AM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,899
Shop Shark
Well, I don't have any experience with a 216, a t5, or a 49 chevy, so don't take my opinion as fact. I believe t5s have been placed behind 216 motors. I would not think a transmission and rear end swap would give you a whole lot with a 216 power plant. However if you were to change the 216 to a 235 or even better 261 at the same time, I believe the swap would be much more worthwhile. I would continue driving the truck like it is and start gathering pieces.

Re: T5 behind a 216?
bigbadswingdaddy #690892 Mon Nov 01 2010 05:17 AM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 4,802
I think a T5 would do more for bragging rights behind a 216 than for performance. If you are going to an open drive shaft, find a 1955 and up which is 3.90. I think that's about a fast a gear as a 216 will pull and still have anything in high gear.

Re: T5 behind a 216?
ia49 #690898 Mon Nov 01 2010 05:32 AM
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 87
Ia49, I've been trying to make the same decision for over a year now and for me I am down to two choices. 1) go with a car 3 speed to keep the 3 on the tree, and a 3.73 rear. I do most of my driveing around town so I like a slow 1st & reverse and I can be happy with 55 or so top speed. 2) If you don't care about the shifter go with a t 5, much more versitale, I still think the 3.73 is about right.
Power wise with the 216 I would not go any lower than 3.50 range with the rear.

1949 3100
Re: T5 behind a 216?
TRUCKBIZ #690903 Mon Nov 01 2010 05:48 AM
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 5,200
Because there is less of a RPM drop between the 5 gears, than a 3 speed, the T5 will make a 216 preform much better. I would recommend it. I have done this swap for a few customers and they have been happy.

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Re: T5 behind a 216?
Pre '68 Dave #691043 Mon Nov 01 2010 08:36 PM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 8,530
I think it would work well behind a 216. Some of the T-5's from the 4 cyl. engines had a .86 o-drive. That would be just right for the 216.

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Re: T5 behind a 216?
Wrenchbender Ret. #691048 Mon Nov 01 2010 08:44 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 2,607
When I was in the process of building my 261 for my truck.I was also converting to open drive line with a t-5.I still had the original 216 engine in the truck and mated everything up to it.I put a t-5 and a 1967 Camaro rearend with 3:73 ring and pinion.The truck was really fun to drive while building the 261 for it.The combination woke the truck up.


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Re: T5 behind a 216?
bowtietim #691157 Tue Nov 02 2010 02:37 AM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 2,658
Shop Shark
Just think about being able to stop it and steer it safely if you going to make it faster.

Re: T5 behind a 216?
don stocker #691189 Tue Nov 02 2010 04:05 AM
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 1,827
Shop Shark
My history with this type of set up went like this. I had a 216 with a stock three speed behind it in my 37 pick-up. I changed the 4:11 out to a 49-54 car 3:54 rear axle. Next I rebuilt the stock transmission with all new 54-55 gears. It helped allot and put me on the freeway at 55 to 65 mph with out too much trouble. I then put in a 55 front truck axle, totally rebuilt with modern tie rod ends on the tie rod and the drag link. Steered great! Then I went with a 56 261. Even better! Next I moved up to a T-5, a 55 Chev car 3:54 rear axle (open drive line), five lugs all the way around and a dual master cylinder. Now I'm in a nice spot. I can cruise (and stop) on the freeways or around the neighborhood with no problems! And the truck looks stock!

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Re: T5 behind a 216?
6cylindersovertexas #691237 Tue Nov 02 2010 12:33 PM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 39
ia49 Offline OP
Wrench Fetcher
THX for the replies and ideas. I've got the stopping fixed with disc brakes up front but part of the deal would be better brakes in back and an E-brake. I'm looking for better driving around town and 55 on the highway. I just hate to throw a good engine away. Maybe later go to a 235/261 or V8. Thx again.

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