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Cruising down the road

Posted By: Elmo

Cruising down the road - Thu May 23 2019 12:20 AM

Driving down the road in my 53 3600 Chevy truck! Recently put a Tach in the truck! Tonight I was driving to take the truck to get the pinion seal replaced. At 50 miles an hour, the truck was pushing 2500 RPM’s. So can this truck sustain 50 miles an hour for long period of time? Or is that pushing my luck?
Posted By: cmayna

Re: Cruising down the road - Thu May 23 2019 12:46 AM

2500 at 50 mph is very possible. What are your gear ratio in back?
Posted By: tclederman

Re: Cruising down the road - Thu May 23 2019 01:01 AM

4.57 : 1
or
5.14 :1

http://chevy.oldcarmanualproject.com/chevyresto/53132.htm
Posted By: 52Carl

Re: Cruising down the road - Thu May 23 2019 01:09 AM

I don't get scared until 3,000 RPM.
2,500 RPM is right in the wheel house of the optimal power range for these inline six engines.
Posted By: Elmo

Re: Cruising down the road - Thu May 23 2019 01:52 AM

4.57:1.
Oh and by the way my truck has a 235 in it. Not a 216.
Posted By: miraclepieco

Re: Cruising down the road - Thu May 23 2019 06:28 AM

Originally Posted by Elmo
Recently put a Tach in the truck! Tonight I was driving to take the truck to get the pinion seal replaced. At 50 miles an hour, the truck was pushing 2500 RPM’s. So can this truck sustain 50 miles an hour for long period of time? Or is that pushing my luck?


So you weren't worried until you installed a tach? That's kinda like having a thermometer; you're not cold until you look at it - then Brrrrrr!
Posted By: David C.

Re: Cruising down the road - Thu May 23 2019 11:16 AM

I remember when they all used to be spooled up that high to go down the highway. Seems gasoline engine rpm has decreased a lot since the late eighties. If the engine is in good condition it should be ok.
Posted By: Green_98

Re: Cruising down the road - Thu May 23 2019 01:41 PM

There has been some discussion on this topic recently, and I too myself have been interested in learning what the "reasonable" engine speeds are for these trucks. I run my 261 (and previously a 216) at 50-55 and don't think twice. The engine does sound like it's winding up pretty good, but I know they are designed to handle these speeds given proper lubrication and cooling. My thought on this subject is these trucks were not designed for freeway speed, and I become much more concerned with safety than engine speed when speeds exceed 55mph in stock form.
Posted By: tclederman

Re: Cruising down the road - Thu May 23 2019 02:14 PM

1953 31xx truck with 4.11 rear end?

What is the rolling diameter of your tires?

1953 transmission (there was a 1:1 top gear in the original 3-speed or 4 speed)

With those data, we/you can calculate engine RPM at different speeds.

Then, we can offer opinions (and BS) on what we consider to be a safe engine speed.
Posted By: Elmo

Re: Cruising down the road - Thu May 23 2019 02:24 PM

1953.
3600
4.57 rear end gears
16 inch tires
4 speed on the floor
Posted By: Elmo

Re: Cruising down the road - Thu May 23 2019 02:32 PM

Green 98
You drove your truck with a 216 at 50-55 miles an hour?
Posted By: tclederman

Re: Cruising down the road - Thu May 23 2019 02:36 PM

What is a TIRE's rolling diameter? This what is needed to calculate RPMs.

If the tires are on the truck, just measure the outside diameter.

Nonetheless, with that rear end, I think I'll agree with Green 98's big_eek
Posted By: Elmo

Re: Cruising down the road - Thu May 23 2019 02:38 PM

Tclederman
I’ll have to get back to you on that.
Thanks
Posted By: Green_98

Re: Cruising down the road - Thu May 23 2019 03:02 PM

Yes I would run at 50mph with the 216 and 3-speed column shift. The engine sounded busy, but not overworked.

Check out this video, this truck is very similar to mine, except mine now has a 1955-1957 261 and swapped to the Muncie SM420 4-speed. I had it up to about 53mph on a 4-mile stretch of open 4-lane last weekend and it did just fine.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3DQP9hf8KM
Posted By: Green_98

Re: Cruising down the road - Thu May 23 2019 03:24 PM

Here's a couple more videos of a stock form Stovebolt at cruising speed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFg0yl8vm9I

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTg17YgQS78

Posted By: coilover

Re: Cruising down the road - Thu May 23 2019 04:28 PM

Drove my 48 Chevy coupe from Minneapolis to Dallas back before there was an I35 at 60 to 65mph. Oil pressure was zero at idle and 11psi at cruising speed. Sold it to my wife's brother who was a teenager and he drove the snot out of it for another three years---they were not that fragile.
Posted By: 52Carl

Re: Cruising down the road - Thu May 23 2019 05:36 PM

I had a bone stock 3100 with a 216 and 4.11 rear end gears and drove it 900 miles at 55 MPH the whole way. Some might find the sound alarming. Sounded like music to me.
Posted By: panel fan

Re: Cruising down the road - Thu May 23 2019 08:58 PM


I have a 62 1 ton panel , stock 235 with about 75,000 miles on it and I have run 13 hour 650 mile days at 60 mph and 3000 rpm without a hickup .
The engine noise helps cover up the rattling in back of all the spare parts I carry.
John
Posted By: Frank50

Re: Cruising down the road - Fri May 24 2019 03:01 PM

I think the louder engine noise (valve clatter, etc.) scares some of us, especially compared to a quieter "modern" vehicle. Drive it! smile
Posted By: EchoBravoSierra

Re: Cruising down the road - Fri May 24 2019 05:40 PM

Originally Posted by Elmo
Green 98
You drove your truck with a 216 at 50-55 miles an hour?


With the 216, 4.11, and 3 spd, mine seemed to have two "sweet spots" it felt best at- 45mph, and 58 mph. I've taken it on a few trips a few hours away at 58 mph all day. If I remember right, it was at around 2,800 rpm.
Posted By: Green_98

Re: Cruising down the road - Fri May 24 2019 05:50 PM

Does yours have 4:11 gears? 45 does seem like a comfortable cruising speed for these trucks, that is about how fast I typically go.
Posted By: Wally / Montana

Re: Cruising down the road - Tue May 28 2019 02:49 PM

45 MPH (radar sign)
4.10 rear end
31" tire diameter
2200 RPM

That's my most comfortable cruising speed. I'll pick it up a little if I get on I-90 (speed limit 80 MPH) but I spend most of the time looking in my rear view mirror ready to dive to the shoulder.
Posted By: Green_98

Re: Cruising down the road - Tue May 28 2019 08:13 PM

I do a lot of rear-view mirror watching as well. I'm so cautious when I go through busy intersections. I ran mine at 55 mph a lot this past weekend, does just fine.
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