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Another mystery stovebolt #848615 Thu May 03 2012 03:02 PM
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 5
R
Rustyfifty Offline OP
New Guy
I have a odd engine, hope someone has an answer-this engine has two bolts through the valve cover, high water pump, head casting number 3701887, can not find a casting number where the normal 235 numbers are, no numbers ahead of the distributer, the number above the starter is LAQ479604, narrow belts.
All I have been able to come up with is maybe a 53 235 w/powerglide, but the valve cover has me scratching my head
Thanks

Re: Another mystery stovebolt [Re: Rustyfifty] #848621 Thu May 03 2012 03:34 PM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 847
K
Kurt_51carryall Offline
Shop Shark
The '53 powerglide engine did have the two bolt valve cover. It also has the "captains bars" on the block just above the starter, as does the '54 powerglide.

Should still have the number stamped by the the distributer, however, unless it was a replacement block from the factory.

Finally, it is easy to convert a head to a two bolt cover by installing two longer studs for two of the rocker arm bolts. You can tell by removing the cover and looking to see if there are tapped holes for the four bolt cover.

P.S. I have a '53 235 powerglide head on the shelf, and the casting number is 3701887 - same as yours.

Kurt

Last edited by Kurt_51carryall; Thu May 03 2012 03:37 PM. Reason: Added head casting number
Re: Another mystery stovebolt [Re: Kurt_51carryall] #848628 Thu May 03 2012 03:54 PM
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 5
R
Rustyfifty Offline OP
New Guy
Thanks, I guess all the searching I did wasn't for nothing, but are all the internal parts the same as the later 235's for ordering parts, is the block the same, the water pump the only thing "old"?
I bought a chrome valve cover and side cover, will they fit if I can find the tapped holes, or drill and tap mine, or is the head gasket area differant.
Is this a desireable engine or should I just find a newer 235 or 261
Sorry for all the questions, but I've never had an engine older than a 58-62-3764476 casting
Thanks again

Re: Another mystery stovebolt [Re: Rustyfifty] #848638 Thu May 03 2012 05:05 PM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 847
K
Kurt_51carryall Offline
Shop Shark
The '53 powerglide engine is a great engine, however it is something of an oddball. It was the first 235 engine with high pressure lubrication, and insert bearings, and hydraulic lifters. The cam is unique to that engine, (maybe also early '54?) it is a forged cam, has the smaller bearing journals like the earlier engines, but has the hydraulic lifter grind. The oil pump may also be different. As far as I know, all the parts are available except maybe the cam. That being said, there should be no problem in getting your cam reground or getting a new cam ground to spec from a blank.

The side cover should fit if it is for a 235, and I would think you could drill and tap the holes for the valve cover, but I never looked at doing that. Alternatively you could get a different head.

I think it is a cool and unique engine, and I would not hesitate to use it. I have run mine for almost 40 years and two rebuilds.

this link may be of interest to you:
1953 engine codes

Kurt

Last edited by Kurt_51carryall; Thu May 03 2012 06:39 PM. Reason: added engine code link
Re: Another mystery stovebolt [Re: Kurt_51carryall] #848651 Thu May 03 2012 07:05 PM
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 5
R
Rustyfifty Offline OP
New Guy
I guess I'll tear it down and check everything, as I don't know the history.
in case someone else is working on this year engine, here is some pertanant info-I did locate the captains bars, I thought I had read that they were 261 id's, and I located the block castings, they are just above the oil pan flange, quite a bit lower than the older 235's, and covered with years of grease. Also the date code was behind the starter, had to take the starter off to see it, H253 means built Feb.1953 I take it.
I'm a little concerned about hydraulic lifters, that technology was pretty new back then
Thanks again for the help

Re: Another mystery stovebolt [Re: Rustyfifty] #848653 Thu May 03 2012 07:23 PM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 847
K
Kurt_51carryall Offline
Shop Shark
Yeah, the captains bars were also used on the 261 engine. I have had more than one person accuse me of having a 261 LOL. The same lifters were used for all the hydraulic lifter 235 engines, I think, but not dead nuts certain about that. Pre68dave will know for sure, and you might want to speak to him about how to setup your lifters. Mine have worked very well except for one that I stupidly misassembled.

Be sure to keep the lifters in order if you intend to reuse the cam and lifters.

Kurt

Re: Another mystery stovebolt [Re: Kurt_51carryall] #848738 Fri May 04 2012 02:27 AM
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 28,452
tclederman Offline
Boltergeist

Hydraulic lifters were used from 1950 onwards on 235 engines (in the USA). I recall recently seeing at least three styles/design of hydraulic lifers for 235 engines (but, I cannot remember where I saw the photo).

As Kurt posted, Pre68dave will most likely know the correct details.


Tim
1954Advance-Design.com
1954 3106 Carryall Suburban - part of the family for 48 years
1954 3104 5-window pickup w/Hydra-Matic - part of the family for 14 years
Z-series (54/55) GMC 350 (2-ton) COE - now part of Dave's family
- 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 engine are not "splash oilers" - this is a splash oiler.
Re: Another mystery stovebolt [Re: Kurt_51carryall] #848740 Fri May 04 2012 02:31 AM
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 459
4
40casey Offline
Shop Shark
Kurt is right on about putting the lifters back on the same cam lobe they were on. These parts are wear mated once broken in, and if you mix them up, they can quickly fail.


A day without sunshine is like, well, ..... dark!

1940 Chevy 1/2 ton pickup "KC"
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Re: Another mystery stovebolt [Re: 40casey] #849083 Sat May 05 2012 06:00 PM
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 4,830
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Pre '68 Dave Offline
Shop Shark
All 235 hydraulic lifters are the same physical size. 1950 through early 54 235s had steel cams and the lifters appear to be made of a slightly different material than the later ones for cast cams.
From late 1954 to 62 all will interchange although Chev made minor changes through the years.
Aftermarket lifters are listed to fit 1950-62.


See the USA in your vintage Chevrolet!
My Blog
Re: Another mystery stovebolt [Re: Kurt_51carryall] #849089 Sat May 05 2012 06:48 PM
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Posts: 4,830
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Pre '68 Dave Offline
Shop Shark
Originally Posted by Kurt_51carryall
The '53 powerglide engine did have the two bolt valve cover. It also has the "captains bars" on the block just above the starter, as does the '54 powerglide.Kurt

Kurt, it is true the 53 PG engine had "Captains bars", but a 54 with them would be a 261.


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