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Username Post: 235 6cyl or 261 6 cyl        (Topic#348110)
hotball 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 14

Reg: 12-10-15
11-07-17 07:45 PM - Post#2713624    

I have a 261 6 cyl that needs rebuilt and a 235 that's ready to go. Just wondering if the 261 would be the way to go. I've heard so much about the 261 being the best all around engine to put in my 51 coupe.



 

Bel Air kiwi 
"2nd Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 3577
Bel Air kiwi
Loc: New Zealand
Reg: 04-24-14
11-08-17 12:11 AM - Post#2713632    
    In response to hotball

Hi Hotball, Welcome. It depends what condition the 235 is in. Is it a fresh build, or just a good runner?

Also it depends on what year the intended vehicle is vs the motor. The 52-4 had a quite unusual side mount. However the differences are well known and only minor so the forum would be able to guide you through the process. Most are simple to convert to 51 style mounts when the engine is out.

The 261 will produce more torque than a similar spec 235, and will respond to similar modifications in the same way as a 235.

The latter model any given 235 or 261 is the better base it makes for a more driveable ride in modern conditions. The oiling, filtration, pistons and valve gear was all upgraded over time. So check the casting numbers on both blocks to see what you have.

Cheers Kiwi

48 3100 RHD, 51 Deluxe 4DR RHD, 51 Bel Air parts car, 52 Bel Air P-Glide LHD. Others 23T, 32 Tudor, 58 Edsel pacer 4DR HDT, 79 F250 351C RHD. 69,70,82 Capri. No mobile, no TV, and no Jap cars.

And when it was laid to waste, they called it peace.


Edited by Bel Air kiwi on 11-08-17 12:14 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
raycow 
Honored Member
Posts: 26835
raycow
Loc: San Francisco, CA
Reg: 11-26-02
11-08-17 12:57 AM - Post#2713634    
    In response to hotball

Install the 235 and get the car on the road. This will give you time to build the 261 on a schedule that suits you. You will have the best of both worlds.

Ray

Those who choose an automatic transmission want transportation. Those who choose a manual transmission want to drive.


 
2blu52 
"16th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 18134
2blu52
Age: 84
Loc: Montana
Reg: 03-12-02
11-08-17 05:16 AM - Post#2713640    
    In response to raycow

  • raycow Said:
Install the 235 and get the car on the road. This will give you time to build the 261 on a schedule that suits you. You will have the best of both worlds.

Ray


Works for me!


"PEACE IS THAT GLORIUS MOMENT IN HISTORY WHEN EVERY ONE STANDS AROUND RELOADING"

THOMAS JEFFERSON


 
DZAUTO 
Senior Member
Posts: 8378

Loc: Mustang, OK, USA
Reg: 12-25-99
11-08-17 05:46 AM - Post#2713645    
    In response to raycow

  • raycow Said:
Install the 235 and get the car on the road. This will give you time to build the 261 on a schedule that suits you. You will have the best of both worlds.

Ray



I'm in 100% agreement!
Get it running and on the road while the 261 is being built for the future.
A couple of things. First, 1951 was the LAST year that engine mounts were on the front cover, 52 went to side mounts. If you have the front cover from the original 51 engine, it can be swapped over to the 235/261. OR, you can drill holes in the bottom of the 235-261 covers --------------- your call.
The 235 DID NOT have a full flow oil filter, so you can leave it off or install it on the 235. BUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUT, there was an early and a late 261. The oiling of the early 261 is like that of the 235, and the late 261 REQUIRES EITHER an oil filter or a bypass hose installed. THIS IS MANDATORY ON THE LATE 261 ENGINES!!!! The reason is because the oil galley on late 261 blocks does not run the length of the block as it does on 216/235 blocks. Therefore, it is necessary to have an oil passage from the front to the rear of late 261 blocks, or you will get NO oil to the full length of the engine. I THINK the split between early/late 261 blocks is 58-59.

Now, with that said, which engine is best? HANDS DOWN, THE 261!!!!!! Before I switched to V8 engines in the 51 (hindsight tells me that was a BIG mistake!) I built a strong 261 with dual exhaust and 3 carbs. That was a strong torque engine! But, until I got rid of the enclosed drive line rear and the old 3sp, I kept braking 2nd gear and axle shafts. A Muncie and 57 axle housing and 3.36 posi cured that (although, I started out with a 58-62 style 3sp). The 51 now has a healthy 383, Muncie and the 3.36 posi has been replaced with a 3.08 posi from a 63 Chevy.
Also, I changed the 51 to 12volts AND added air cond. The 261 pulled everything just fine.



 
cbmkr56 
Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 933
cbmkr56
Age: 61
Loc: Basehor Ks
Reg: 02-11-13
11-08-17 06:26 AM - Post#2713648    
    In response to hotball

I am with everyone else on the engines , Install the 235 and build the 261 to suit your needs. What year is the 235 and what year is the 261 you could install the correct engine mounts to make the future switch over easier.



 
hotball 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 14

Reg: 12-10-15
11-12-17 10:00 AM - Post#2714142    
    In response to Bel Air kiwi

My 235 is a 1960 engine. Not rebuilt, but a good runner. The 261 is a 1962 but needs rebuilt. I thought about putting the 235 in and drive it while rebuilding the 261. thanks for the info



 
hotball 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 14

Reg: 12-10-15
11-12-17 10:01 AM - Post#2714143    
    In response to raycow

Thanks Ray, I think you're right.




 
hotball 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 14

Reg: 12-10-15
11-12-17 10:29 AM - Post#2714144    
    In response to DZAUTO

Very interesting!! I want to use a 1962 261 with dual carbs and split manifold. I have a 3spd with overdrive from a 55 chevy I would like to keep shifter on column. I have a rear end from a 1967 firebird. I don't know if the rear end will work. I've been told it's same as nova. Can someone tell me if it will work? Thanks so much for the info.



 
Bel Air kiwi 
"2nd Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 3577
Bel Air kiwi
Loc: New Zealand
Reg: 04-24-14
11-12-17 04:57 PM - Post#2714185    
    In response to hotball

Hi Hotball, that sounds like a valid combo, and I am sorry I can't advise you on shift linkages, but if you want to make it work I am sure it's doable, but could be fiddly.

These sixes love the extra gears as it allow much better driveability and lower engine revs at highway speeds.

If you don't mind a floor shift then this also opens up the option of using the small S10 5 speed. It will handle a mild six.

It's my understanding that the 55-6-7 era diffs are the right width etc. Look for someone putting a 9" in their car to get a deal.

Cheers kiwi


48 3100 RHD, 51 Deluxe 4DR RHD, 51 Bel Air parts car, 52 Bel Air P-Glide LHD. Others 23T, 32 Tudor, 58 Edsel pacer 4DR HDT, 79 F250 351C RHD. 69,70,82 Capri. No mobile, no TV, and no Jap cars.

And when it was laid to waste, they called it peace.


Edited by Bel Air kiwi on 11-12-17 04:59 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
raycow 
Honored Member
Posts: 26835
raycow
Loc: San Francisco, CA
Reg: 11-26-02
11-13-17 02:44 AM - Post#2714213    
    In response to hotball

If your Firebird rear is the same width as a 1st gen Camaro (about 60" over the drums), it should be good. The other issues to deal with will be the spring pad spacing (you want to see about 45" centers) and the parking brake cables.

You can keep your column shift linkage with the 55 transmission if you swap the cover assemblies. Keep the 55 L&R shift fork because the 55 gear is slightly wider. The trans mount will need to be relocated.

Ray

Those who choose an automatic transmission want transportation. Those who choose a manual transmission want to drive.


 
cbmkr56 
Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 933
cbmkr56
Age: 61
Loc: Basehor Ks
Reg: 02-11-13
11-13-17 10:58 AM - Post#2714254    
    In response to hotball

The Firebird rear will work, you have to change the spring perches. The 3 speed will work with a modified linkage, you might want a higher rear gear 3:42 would be nice. You can order e brake cables to fit what you need to make the original e brake setup work from control cable.



 
Snegrah 
Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 120
Snegrah
Loc: Pacifica, CA.
Reg: 04-28-04
11-14-17 10:08 AM - Post#2714354    
    In response to cbmkr56

This is a late model 261, S-10 5 Speed, 57 rear differential w/4:11. Goes down the road wonderfully. It did have a 235 (stock) from a 55 and the 261 (modified) is more aggressive.
Tom

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51 Chevy Bus. coupe 261 6cyl 5 speed
53 Chevy Bus. coupe 350/700R/AC
49 Chevy P.U. 350/700R/AC
51 Chevy sedan delivery - project


 
one4dad 
"4th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 1353
one4dad
Age: 74
Loc: Baton Rouge La
Reg: 01-17-10
11-14-17 11:04 AM - Post#2714358    
    In response to Snegrah

Sweet ride

Bill Wilson 50 styleline deluxe 2 door sold,- 51 styleline Deluxe 2 door ,'56 235 with dual carter webers on an Offenhauser intake, Fenton headers, 56 chevy rear end and 700R4 transmission.


 
Mike JW 
"5th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 1255
Mike JW
Loc: Arroyo Grande, CA
Reg: 01-19-06
11-14-17 11:15 AM - Post#2714359    
    In response to one4dad

Very Nice



 
Bel Air kiwi 
"2nd Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 3577
Bel Air kiwi
Loc: New Zealand
Reg: 04-24-14
11-14-17 05:12 PM - Post#2714388    
    In response to Mike JW

Hi Snegrah, That's a sweet ride. How do you find the 5 speed helps the 261?

Cheers Kiwi


48 3100 RHD, 51 Deluxe 4DR RHD, 51 Bel Air parts car, 52 Bel Air P-Glide LHD. Others 23T, 32 Tudor, 58 Edsel pacer 4DR HDT, 79 F250 351C RHD. 69,70,82 Capri. No mobile, no TV, and no Jap cars.

And when it was laid to waste, they called it peace.


 
4dr 57 
"9th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 4458
4dr 57
Loc: Texas Hill Country
Reg: 11-10-04
11-14-17 07:17 PM - Post#2714419    
    In response to Snegrah

Very Nice!






As for the OP I would use a 250 if I had my 'druthers

It's all good. mostly




 
Snegrah 
Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 120
Snegrah
Loc: Pacifica, CA.
Reg: 04-28-04
11-16-17 06:20 AM - Post#2714609    
    In response to 4dr 57

Thanks guys! The 5 speed is like it's made for the 261. I've not had one on a 235 but I'm sure it will work excellent. I have 411's with 235-75 in the rear and 1st gear can be steep at times but 5th gear at 2500 rpm is 65+. This thing keeps up with the best of anything on the road.

I also have a 53 150 business coupe V8, 700R, AC, etc...

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51 Chevy Bus. coupe 261 6cyl 5 speed
53 Chevy Bus. coupe 350/700R/AC
49 Chevy P.U. 350/700R/AC
51 Chevy sedan delivery - project


 
Circle.T.Farm 
"2nd Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 52
Circle.T.Farm
Loc: Arkansas
Reg: 07-13-15
11-16-17 07:00 AM - Post#2714613    
    In response to Snegrah

Beautiful Cars ! Love them.


1952 Chevy 3100, 235ci 6cyl., 12v system


 

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