50: 216 / 235 / 261 Engines: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Recently, things got pretty interesting. It's been a roller-coaster ride. 

We made the decision to pull the old 216 straight-6 engine and set it aside. 

The Good:
Next we found and purchased a 235 straight-6 out of state. It had already been rebuilt, so we made the plans and GREAT effort to get it shipped out to us. Exciting!

Receiving the Crated Engine

The Bad:
It had not been rebuilt, and people are dishonest. 
(TD had a beer and I had a White Russian)

The Ugly:
...and, though the guy thought he had a 235 it was not
(Then we opened the wine)

More of The Good:
The engine was a 261!  

Let's Recap: 
Abbey's old engine was a 216
Abbey's new engine was supposed to be a 235
Abbey's ACTUAL new engine is a 261 

What are all these numbers and what do they mean you ask, and why was there any confusion in the first place? Ahhh, identifying the differences between engines is key and this little article from Stovebolt Tech Tips explains it all. Truly. Normally I'd take the time to explain the differences but Stovebolt did it best.  

Even More Good: 
The overall condition of the 261 was actually in much better shape than the old 216, and though a rebuild is definitely happening, it is still a lesser task than getting Abbey's old engine up to speed. (Pun intended) 

So long story short, we thought we were getting a 235 but got a 261 =  Great
We thought it was rebuilt but it wasn't = Bad
It will be overhauled and painted = Great!

Side Note: 
Not all people will take you in, just do your best when purchasing. In case you wonder, we did get photos, and we did have conversations prior to purchasing. I won't say the "spidey sense" didn't tingle once or twice, but overall, we put our trust out there and this time it went sour. Bad things happen, move on. Just don't be afraid to take a leap once in a while. 

Also: As always I have to reiterate, Abbey will still retain her vintage good looks, but her engine will be more suited to our current driving needs. (She's not pulling stumps any more!)


49: Wiring Harness and Dashboard

Abbey came to us with a new wiring harness in a box. Now that the engine is out and TD is painting the engine compartment he also decided it is a good time to set that wiring harness into play. The harness looks confusing, and the mass of spliced wires inside the truck cab looks even harder to decipher, but with the proper reference guides it is not all that difficult. 

Note: TD found some of the old wiring in the engine area spliced and held together with duct tape. Don't do that.

Spaghetti Junction
With the dash off, it is also a good time to replace those old heater hoses because....

...I don't think they provided much heat. 

Turn signals will work again, as will parking lights, tail lights, headlamps and all things dashboard related. Yay!

This may also be a good time to clean up the dash and possibly repaint it. *gasp* The dash paint is worn through in a few spots and the fronts of the glove box, center speaker grille and ashtray cover look very tired. Some of what you see below is dust, some is wear, and some is plain old oxidation. 

Dash Before

Dash During...
Repainting is scary. Where to start, where to stop, how much do you want to do, how much will you HAVE to do. Honestly, if we were not doing all the wiring and hadn't taken the dash apart we'd probably leave it as-is and just give it a good compound rub and and live with the worn areas, but staring at gaping holes and knowing this is the perfect time to attack such a thing makes beginning the task much easier. 



48: Happy Birthday Abbey

This month Abbey is 65 years old!

Like many of her human friends the same age, Abbey is experiencing things like low pressure and clogged arteries. 

Fortunately for her, our gift is: The Gift of Life.

We found a considerable amount of sludge and rust that held us hostage inside her lines, block, and head and if you read the previous posts you will understand the measures TD is taking to correct all of it.

There will be no major face lift, we like her natural good looks. 

When he is through, Abbey will run great...and TD will need a new project car

...and a bigger garage.

Happy Birthday Old Gal - 65 years young!


47: Abbey's Engine Updates

With the '49 engine yanked out and on the stand, TD has been busy with disassembly. He found rocks in places there should be no rocks, and gunk in places you'd expect for a car that will soon celebrate it's 65th birthday. The Assessment? The valve guides are worn, there are bent push rods, the rocker arms are worn out, as are the rings, the cylinders need to be bored, the crank needs to be ground... and this is where TD stopped and we deliberated. 

Meanwhile for the new transmission:

First we drove out to St. Louis to pick up one from an S10 truck that would work, only to find out it was labeled wrong by the company selling it and it would definitely NOT work so we left empty handed. 

(It's best to consider these disappointing road trips as sightseeing outings.)

Then it was off to Indianapolis where a correct transmission waited for us.

Back home TD again took stock of Abbey's engine condition and how much everything was going to cost once completed and weighed that against how we want her to drive...so he got on Ad Hunt'r (again) and found a completely rebuilt (and even painted) '62 Chevy 235 engine. Though it is located in Idaho, it will still be cheaper (even with shipping costs) than rebuilding the current one -- and -- it's all d-o-n-e, not to mention more reliable. 

FYI: You can just Google "Search all of Craigslist" and get the link to search ALL territories/states for Craigslist - or - you can use Ad Hunt'r and it will pull in not only Craigslist, but Backpage, Kijiji, eBay Classifieds, Gumtree, and Oodle in one spot. Neat!

It has been a busy automotive period.

We're pretty stinkin' excited about this new engine. The owner had yanked it from a  family owned vintage truck and had it rebuilt by an engine company. The idea was to stick it back in but the family decided to beef up the power on their old ride (no big surprise) to a V8 in instead. The rebuilt beauty needed to be sold and was even still on the skid - literally waiting for us to pick it up. 

TD found a great company to pick up and crate the engine and have it shipped to us. (No road trip to Idaho.) 

Take a look at their website and give them a call to help YOU! 
From custom packing, custom crating, vacuum sealing, to you name it...

"From priceless artwork to grandpa’s favorite chair, CW Products can crate your personal or business items, coordinate with interstate or international shippers and ensure your items show up at their destination working and in one piece."
CW Products
(They're good people!)