Safe Highway Speed

Discussion in '1947-1954' started by my54, Oct 28, 2009.

  1. my54

    my54 Member

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    What is a safe speed for my "54" when running on the highway, without having a tach I am not sure what the old 235 is doing? The motor starts without hesitaion and runs great there are a few oil leaks when I stop it but I have not had a chance to look into this yet. My first goal is to get into the front end and work on the brakes (pull badly to the right) and than start rebuilding the front end as needed. I intend to keep this truck original as possible down to the nicked up paint. I have included a couple more pics.

    103.jpg

    193.jpg

    43.jpg
     
  2. GrandpaGlenn0

    GrandpaGlenn0 Member

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    Hi, Great looking truck! Don't mean to sound like a smarta$$ but there isn't a safe speed until you get the brakes fixed. Safe speed for your engine depends upon several factors-- 1. looks like a car engine so it isn't original??? Torque tube? if so, rear is a 4.10. Tires are probably 25 inches in diameter-- stock would be almost 29 inches-- has speedo been corrected? Original configuration of truck would have the engine turning at about 3000 rpms at 60 mph-- more than that for extended periods would be very hard on this engine unless it is in very good shape.
    I'm sure others here can give better info-- these are rough estimates.
    Congratulations on getting the truck-- enjoy it.
    Glenn
     
  3. my54

    my54 Member

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    Glen no need to apologize it does make sense that I should address the brakes before I worry about the speed (but I have been known to do things bassackwards) I am going to ask so many stupid questions before I am done that you could probaly just cut and paste that comment on all my threads!! At the risk of sounding like a smart #$% (here we go) what makes you think the motor is a car motor and the gears are different? From what I can tell there has been nothing done to the rear end and the numbers all match up on the motor. This is my first truck rebuild so it will be a learning curve for sure.
    Mike
     
  4. vwnate1

    vwnate1 Member

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    '54

    Well ;

    That engine was made after 1954 , it is a full pressure oiling 235 and those became available in 1955 . the rockerbox appears to be a passenger car one .

    You should get a dwell / tachometer from a yard sale or something as it's very useful in both tuning and diagnostics , you can run two wires to it from the engine and then figure out how fast is safe to drive it as each combination of gears , engine and tire diameter makes it different but you _don't_ want to exceed 3,200 RPM's unless you're accelerating through the gears...

    I think you've gotten a really nice truck there .
     
  5. my54

    my54 Member

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    Thanks for the response when I bought the truck the guy made it a point to show that the Vin number on the motor and on the title match which is the way they titled the trucks back then because the motor was the most valuable part. Jim Carters catalog also states that the 235 high pressure motor was first introduced in 1954 "1954-Chevrolet has the newly introduced cross type grille plus the new high pressure 235 cubic inch insert bearing engine on pickups and 261 cubic inch six cylinder on large trucks." Am I missing something here?
     
  6. ol' chebby

    ol' chebby Member

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    I always though the oil fill in the front ws a truck valve cover, and the middle was for a car. That is what is drawn in the assembly manual for 54.
     
  7. willardgreen

    willardgreen Member

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    3200-rpm

    3200-RPM is as fast as I want to spin a 235. The stroke is a little long on this model and being very antique, Nate said they were designed before WWII and and did not show up untill after. I had a friend who raced these dirt track 40-yrs ago. His were balanced and at 5600-5800-RPM was known to sling apart. Mine just let go at 55-mph I think 4000-rpm was as fast as it was ever turned under my ownership and a total of ~6,000-mi. sence rebuild. The guy that rebuild engins all day everday have a big advantage on us that rebuild 1 ever 4 or 5 years. I took mine to the rebuilder today they could balance the crank flywheel & harmonic balance for 150 extra and put in a new 261 GMC camshaft. I thought the trucks oil fill was at the front to keep out water from the vent drain hose
    Willard
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2009
  8. vwnate1

    vwnate1 Member

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    You're Right !

    OOPs ~ I've been looking at too many old Stovebolt engines lately I guess :rolleyes:

    Passenger rockerbox has the central oil filler .

    The blue color marks it as a passenger car engine , trucks had grey engines .

    In any case that 235 is NOT a 1954 235 ! they're different , look more like the 216 engine .

    Be *very* glad it's a full pressure 235 ! few folks will ever know the difference and those who do , will heartily approve of the upgraded 235 , it's much better , goes faster and gets better economy doing so .
     
  9. vwnate1

    vwnate1 Member

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    Do it !

    Both the balancing and the 261 cam (NOT a GMC part BTW) will wake it up and make it last longer , too .

    Remember : you'll need a full set of 12 new cam followers too , the rule is : new cam , new lifters or it'll grind flat in short order .

    Old cam , old lifters back in the exact same bores or new lifters .

    NO re-ground lifters , EVER !! .

    You're right , folks used to RACE these fine engines but they only lasted a few races between catastrophic failures that usually ruined the block .

    3,200 RPM's is Max. for freeway use , short bursts up to maybe 4,000 when you're running it up through the gears , NOT O.K. to run up the freeway On Ramp with the throttle pinned @ 4,200 RPM's ! :eek:
     
  10. ccharr

    ccharr Member

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    When my truck had the 514/1 rear end 4000+ was about 40-45 mph.
     
  11. GrandpaGlenn0

    GrandpaGlenn0 Member

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    Hi Mike, See, I knew the guys who knew everything would jump in! No question is stupid--if you don't know, ask. I can't even spell truck and they put up with me. As Nate indicates, the blue engine paint is an indication of car vs. gray for trucks. T-tube rears are 4.10 gears IIRC.Radials are the clue for difference in tire diameter.
    I have a 54 that is "supposed to be original" but it has an open drive shaft- perhaps it was a late 54 and got a 55 driveline???? Yours may be the same??
    Welcome to the club, ask, these guys can be a great help.
    Glenn
     
  12. 51 papy

    51 papy Member

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    Nate
    Where can one find new lifters. I have a 235 on the stand, bought the 261 cam and now can not find lifters. I had a resto shop owner in Topeka tell me that he would regrind my old lifters as good as new????? I knew I'd never be able to log on to this site again if I went that route. I'd like to do this once and drive.

    Mike
     
  13. Flashlight

    Flashlight Member

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    Mike,

    You might try Patrick's. He sells all the engine rebuild parts, also Obsolete chevy in Georgia.

    Flashlight
     
  14. Bill Hanlon

    Bill Hanlon Member

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  15. my54

    my54 Member

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    What other markings on the motor can help to indentify it? The serial number on the motor and the title match and the past owner says it was a "54" high pressure 235 so not sure now? Thanks for the education guys I have learned more on this site than I could get anywhere else.
    Mike
     
  16. vwnate1

    vwnate1 Member

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    Lifter , Cams , Etcetera

    You showed us pix of an engine with four screws holding the rockerbox on , this means it's a '55 ~ '62 235 with full pressure oiling , order up new lifters for a '62 235 , Kanters or even Flea-Bay .

    I've had issues with re-ground lifters grinding a cam flat in 10,000 miles or less.

    Thee's a specific breakin regimine for new cams and NO ONE but me (and maybe you) EVER follows the simple instructions on the tag attached to every new camshaft , maybe that's why .
     
  17. azcarman411

    azcarman411 Member

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    All do respect Nate...The 235 full pressure engine was first available in 54 cars and trucks. The external differances from the 54-55-1st and the 55-2nd-62 is the water pump and the valve cover, The 54 valve cover has the four vents on the top. Check your casting #s below the distributer, WWW. Inliners.org Chris
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2009
  18. ol' chebby

    ol' chebby Member

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    Good call on the valve covers. Mine has the vents, but I didn't know the others didn't. The water pump looks to be the one from the 216.
     
  19. vwnate1

    vwnate1 Member

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    1954 235

    Didn't have the four screw rockerbox nor will that cylinder head fit a 1954 block .
     
  20. azcarman411

    azcarman411 Member

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    Look on the home page of CP and click on truck years. Click on the differant truck years. Cool pics and info. Chris
     

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