Discussion in '1947-1954' started by roberji, Aug 19, 2022.
Looking for a 235 engine - rebuilt or a rebuilder to do mine. 1954 3100.
found a 235 from a 1958 Apache. Will this fit the '54 3100? e.g. engine mount location, etc.
I did this. I put the exact same engine in my '55 first series so...
I found the engine as a takeout for a guy doing a V8 swap. It sat in his garage covered for several years as nobody wanted it. He got tired of tripping over it and just gave it to me. After sitting for several years, it started right up and still runs great.
You will have to drill the bottom of the front plate that's on the '58 engine so you can use bolts to attach to the front cross member. If memory serves correctly, it will be a 7/16" bolt but check the size of the holes in the front cross member or the studs on your existing front cover when you pull the engine. The '54 engine front engine plate has studs that point downward to mate with the front mount and cross member. The '58 engine does not have the studs on the plate. Fairly easy to measure up and do this. Use the mount on your existing engine to take the measurements for positioning. Instead of the studs pointing down from your original plate, you will have to use bolts from the bottom pointing up towards the '58 front plate because there is no way to put the bolts in from the top. They will be too long to clear for install from above. I used nylock nuts on top of the front plate for the install.
Or...more time consuming and a PIA, you can swap out the front plates on the engines. However, that's opening a can of worms and you know how hard it can be getting those worms back into the can. Otherwise a relatively easy swap. You will need a short shaft water pump as the snout on the pump on the '58 engine is longer and will not fit behind the radiator. DO NOT CUT THE RADIATOR CORE SUPPORT TO MOVE THE RADIATOR FORWARD. Doing so will compromise the structural integrity of the front clip and make aligning the front sheet metal even harder than it already is. Short shaft pump is readily available from our host, OR you can use an adapter plate (also widely available) and use a water pump for a 216 engine which will put the fan lower and in the correct position on the radiator for better cooling. I used the adapter plate and stainless bolts because two of the bolts will be in the water passage. I had some problems with getting the 216 water pump/adapter plate to seal but finally got that to work by using "The Right Stuff" gasket sealer. Also had to fab up a thin 1/4" or 3/16" spacer (don't remember exactly the size) between the pump pulley and fan so the fan would clear the lower engine pulley. I pulled the grill and radiator core support to do the swap as it made it much easier. Honestly, it was the hardest engine swap I ever did due to the unbalanced nature of the engine when lifting it. Coilover on this site has a nifty lifting adapter he uses for this. If you remove the rocker box cover and rocker assembly and mount your lift to the bolt holes on the head where the rocker assembly mounts it will lift the engine better without it rotating to the side of the manifolds. You should adjust the valve lash anyway (using Nate's procedure outlined on Deve's website 216/235/261 Valve Adjustment Procedures). I don't think you can pull the engine and trans together. I have an SM420 four speed in mine and the trans would not clear the transmission cross member. Maybe the three speed will but I'm not sure of that.
Very doable and hasn't given me a lick of trouble in close to 15 years. I actually have a very nice 283 V8 tucked away in my garage for when the 235 gives up the ghost but that is not likely to happen in my lifetime. The 235's are great engines and seemingly last forever if taken care of properly. Hope this helps.
Thank you, Andy, for your very helpful response.
WELCOME roberji ! .
It helps when you put your location (state) .......
I'm in Wyoming.
My original reply has been edited due to remembering another detail. See bold type for the revision.
By the way, I presume you adopted the 12v system of the '58. Anything special there?
Fuel gage head needs to be changed or a voltage dropper from Randy Rundle or similar .
The Ammeter horn and starter don't care .
Sorry I'm late to the party responding to your 12V question. See Nate's reply above. That's the great thing about a '58 engine. It has a 12 volt generator! You will need to also get a 12V voltage regulator. They make two different ones for the truck as I recall. I don't remember the part numbers but I think it's Standard Motor Products VR22. Regardless of the part number, it's the less expensive one and I got it at Napa. Change out ALL the light bulbs; headlights, dash lights, dome light, tail lights for 12V versions. Also change out the heater motor for a 12V motor or use a HEAVY DUTY voltage reducer on the 6V version. Standard reducers can't handle the amperage that the heater motor draws.
Andy, I'm finally getting this swap done, but I'm struggling a bit with the 6v to 12v and the + ground to negative. There's a fairly heavy duty wire that runs from the + connection on the starter into the dash area. I believe this powers all the non-engine stuff (lights, horn, guages, etc.). Can't I just install a voltage drop for this wire and leave everything connected to it at 6 volt.
Your '54 Chevy would already be negative ground, so there is nothing to worry about there.
Yes you could install a "voltage drop", but it would have to handle a lot of current. It probably wouldn't be an "off the shelf" item. The ignition switch would have to control both the 6 and 12 volt supplies, so it would need to have a relay connected to control one of them. Sounds like more work than swapping the lights to 12v , swapping in a 12v heater fan motor if you have a heater and putting a voltage dropper (Runtz) on the gas gauge.
Nate: Starter does care because it is from a '58.
Okay Okay - thought I found a way to save some work.
The '54 235 was negative ground.
The 58 came with a starter, coil, dizzy, etc.
I'm changing the voltage regulator to 12v.
Thanks for the quick help.
I hate to show my ignorance but here goes. I'm down to installing the voltage dropper on the gas gauge. There are 2 connections on the back of the gas gauge. Which one do I connect the dropper to and how do I identify it?
When it left the factory there was a red label connected to the stud nearest the EMPTY end of the gauge. That is where the voltage wire goes. The stud on the FULL end of the gauge connects to the sending unit.
What Bill said .
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