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Posted By: Possum 1955 Chevy 6500 - Wed Apr 21 2021 06:51 PM
My 2nd Big Bolt! grin

I've known about this truck for the past few years, but I could only see the back of the cab. Didn't know what year it was, what model, or if was either a Chevy or GMC. I would occasionally drive by the property it sat on on my way home from work, slowing down in hopes I'd see someone there. Well finally earlier in March of this year I saw a guy on the place and stopped to chat with him. He was planning to sell the property and wanted it all cleaned up, so I asked him about the truck and he said that it had sat there since the '80s and will sell it to me....for $200! Well needless to say I bought it from him, and later that week me and my dad went to cut down the growth around it and remove the tree limb off the hood to get a better look at the poor ol truck. We peeled the hood up to reveal a 261 missing its valve cover cap and air cleaner, thankfully the choke was closed. Tried to see if the 261 was free by moving the fan, but the fan just slipped on the dry-rotted belt.

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Posted By: Possum Re: 1955 Chevy 6500 - Wed Apr 21 2021 06:55 PM
Well fast forward a week and a half, got a friend with a rollback to haul the truck a few miles down the road to the my house, unloaded it and drug it around to the back of the shed to clean out the cab and start tinkering on it! I removed the spark plugs, seized carb, and valve cover to get a better look, other than some acorns and stuff, the rockers were really clean! Shot some PB Blaster down the cylinders and was able to rotate the crank with a strap wrench! I think we got us a possible runner grin If the engine is in good running order, it may just find its way into my '58 3800!

Though there is one thing I noticed on this 261 engine, it has been rebuild. The head is from '55 (date code B-11-5) but the block is from '59 (D-29-9). Block casting # is 3759365, the prefix is difficult to make out but I can see an "L" on the end (6000 series truck engine). And also see a tag (most likely from the rebuilder) thats been riveted into the front of the block, but its halfway covered by the water pump.

As for the truck itself, I originally bought it just to save it from getting scraped and would use it as a parts truck. But after thinking about it, the truck might end up becoming another project. Repair the fixable rust, different engine, swap axles/wheels, and building a flatbed might be in store for the ol 6500! smile

Oh and here's a shameless plug to my YT vid of this truck wink grin https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EMp_c6VIvo4

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Posted By: Rich'sToys Re: 1955 Chevy 6500 - Thu Apr 22 2021 03:46 AM
Looks like you got yourself a project! Congratulations!
That's a looooong frame on that baby! Wonder what kind of bed used to be on it?
Posted By: Mike B Re: 1955 Chevy 6500 - Thu Apr 22 2021 02:31 PM
Originally Posted by Rich'sToys
Wonder what kind of bed used to be on it?

In the video he says it had a box on the back that was removed to use as a storage building.

I think it would be neat to put the box back on it! You never see old box van trucks anymore...

Mike B smile
Posted By: 69Cuda Re: 1955 Chevy 6500 - Thu Apr 22 2021 03:20 PM
that is a sweet find, and a steal at 200$! If you swap axles, there may be someone that wants parts off the old ones.
Posted By: Possum Re: 1955 Chevy 6500 - Thu Apr 22 2021 06:41 PM
Originally Posted by Mike B
I think it would be neat to put the box back on it! You never see old box van trucks anymore...

Mike B smile
It would be neat to have the box back on, though the box might be too far gone considering it was on the ground last time I saw it. I'll drive by the property within the next few days to even see if its still there, might have already been hauled off.

Originally Posted by 69Cuda
that is a sweet find, and a steal at 200$! If you swap axles, there may be someone that wants parts off the old ones.
I'll definitely hang on to them, looks like everything for the 2-speed axle is all there as well.

Aren't there some motorhomes that run the 10-7.25 bolt pattern? Could pull the rear end out of one.
Or I could just go with a 14 bolt swap.
Posted By: J Lucas Re: 1955 Chevy 6500 - Sat Apr 24 2021 03:39 AM
Your '55 looks to be in pretty good shape.

Good score. thumbs_up

John
Posted By: Possum Re: 1955 Chevy 6500 - Mon Apr 26 2021 06:08 PM
Originally Posted by J Lucas
Your '55 looks to be in pretty good shape.

Good score. thumbs_up
Yeah it's in not bad of shape, which surprised me! Cab has usual rust issues, but totally fixable.
Posted By: EdPruss Re: 1955 Chevy 6500 - Mon Apr 26 2021 08:25 PM
I just replaced the stock two speed with a disc brake D-80 in mine, bolted right up. Axle tube on D is .25” smaller, made curved spacers, new U bolts, removed a few leaves, adjusted pinion shim. Used D axle shock mounts. The axle is the less desirable one to some, about 7’ wide outside of duals. Easy job. Installed one of my of my spare 5500 Brownies to give more gears.

Ed

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Posted By: Possum Re: 1955 Chevy 6500 - Thu Jun 17 2021 06:54 PM
Update! And a couple questions.


Ok so we finally decided to bear the Texas heat and start messing with this truck again. I pulled off the starter to disassemble it and freshen it up, which I'm glad I did! Found out the bearing in the starter was seized, so I ended up taking apart another starter I had to steal the bearing from it. Cleaned up the internals and greased up the bendix, reassemble, test it on a hot battery, then reinstalled!
Next was to make new battery cables. The old positive cable was completely bare and the old negative cable was just too short. We put a good battery in the truck, squirted some oil down the cylinders and hit the stomp starter, and the engine spun over the first time in who knows how long! We spun it off and on for a couple minutes to see if it would build oil pressure....but nada.
We took the pressure gauge line off the block (which ended up breaking on us) and spun the engine over a couple more times hoping oil would leak from the hole, still nothing. There's plenty of oil in the engine, is it possible it just has lost its prime after sitting for so long? We plan to pull the distributor and spin the pump with a drill.

Also while browsing the web and forums on the 261(since this is the first time I've ever messing with one) I've found out about the infamous dowel pin and the oiling line/filter situations. The pin on this engine is flush with the block, though it looks like someone had tried to drill it out. Meanwhile I noticed that both 1/2" oil holes are plugged and have no line running between them. I have no clue how many miles were put on the engine after its rebuild. I assume I should install a line before proceeding any farther?
Posted By: EdPruss Re: 1955 Chevy 6500 - Fri Jun 18 2021 03:17 AM
Might be a good idea to make sure all the valve stems are lubed to prevent bent pushrods, hopefully it isn’t too late.

Ed
Posted By: Possum Re: 1955 Chevy 6500 - Mon Nov 08 2021 08:49 PM
Originally Posted by EdPruss
Might be a good idea to make sure all the valve stems are lubed to prevent bent pushrods, hopefully it isn’t too late.
Forgot to mention, a couple valves were stuck/sticky but I oiled them and got them loose with a rubber hammer before attempting to spin the engine.


And an overdue update! (This happened a few months ago)
After spinning the oil pump with a drill and screwdriver for 3-5 miniutes, we got finally got oil pressure. Had oil up to the rockers and oil squirted out the unplugged rearmost 3/4" port (kept the front port plugged), then ran a temporary line between the two 3/4" ports. Currently the dowel pin is in the bypass filter position.
From what I've recently read in "The Venerable 261" by Deve and the Important Notes About 261 Oiling System thread, the line I have should be in the 1/8" hole and the rear 3/4" hole if the dowel is in bypass, correct? I've also read that both 3/4" ports can just be plugged with no worry. I'm confused ohwell
Posted By: fixite7 Re: 1955 Chevy 6500 - Fri Nov 12 2021 05:05 PM
Possum You'll have that running before dark,watch your valve guides for sticky soak before you crank it, listen for clashing !!
Posted By: fixite7 Re: 1955 Chevy 6500 - Sun Nov 21 2021 01:11 PM
possum Good video,you'll soon be moving that under it's own power. HHave done several that same way,however they are not near as thick as they once were. You know to soak the valve stems.Keep us posted !!
Posted By: fixite7 Re: 1955 Chevy 6500 - Sun Nov 21 2021 01:17 PM
Possum From what I read you can't plug the 2 1/2 pipe thread holes,oil has to go thru there if in full-flo mode.
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