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I used to be 'mechanically inclined'. My first car was a 1957 Chevy station wagon, a four door, with a 327/ 3 speed. My second car was a 1955 International Harvester 1/2 ton pickup, and my third was a 1962 Austin Healey Sprite. After that I quit working on cars except for a top end overhaul on a Toyota Tercel.

Now its 20 years later and I have too much time on my hands, so I'm thinking about getting back into it. My first project may be a 1951 Chevrolet 1 1/2 ton if I win it on EBay. I am afraid the my mechanical skills are not up to working on most late model stuff (post 1970), and I don't really feel bad about that.

If I win the Chevy I've been thinking about replacing the 235 with a 292 ci six. I have Leo Santucci's excellent book on General Motors sixes and I noticed that a stock Chevy truck small block I would have to go up to a 350 before I got the same torque that the 292 produces.

My main concern is with upgrading the drive train/brakes. The truck has a 3-speed and open drive shaft, but I have read that the rear-end ratio might be as high as 5.86:1. They also had dual wheel cylinders for the rear brakes and the core charge for relined shoes is really steep, which makes me think they might be hard to come by.

For right now I am interested in information on transmission and rear end swaps that would give me better cruising performance and better brakes.

Later on I plan to do some experimenting with a pre-lube/cold-start system.

Since I learning to weld all over again, I am considering building a drag only roadster with an Iron Duke engine. That may seem odd, but keep in mind that 2.5 liters was the maximum engine size for Formula 1 cars for many years and some of them were pretty fast.

Anyway, I'm glad I found this site.
 

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Welcome to the board.

The 292 is a different block design as the 235, so you are at least looking at a different bell housing....might as welll go the whole route and get rid of the tranny too.....There are many rear end that will fit your truck.

As for suspensions....Many guys are using a complete S10 frame on those trucks...Something to consider. A late 70s-early 80s Monte Carlo clip is also apparently a good fit. Mustang 11 is another way to go....

Looks like you have some planning to do....ask some questions in the various forums here.
 
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