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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi... I have decided on a motor for an old 1928 Chevy truck out of a 1980 Chevy Camaro. It is a rebuilt Chevy 231 V6 with a TH350 tranny married to it and I will look at it on Monday. I can't go with traditional motor mounts (steering sector is in the way), so I have to use the standard front mount tubular system. I have seen this on many SBC motors, and I think it will work here, but now I am having second thoughts, and maybe I am out thinking myself, but the distributor is located in the front of the this motor, and on most all SBC motors the distributor is in the back. So, is the front block casting of this motor the same as all other Chevy blocks so the tubular cross member will mount to this motor? (PS... yes, I installed a different rear end too.... 1949 Ford with 3.73 gears; perches were the correct distance and it was in good shape). Please advise if you know anything about the 231 casting if you would. And thanks.
 

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Home School Valedictorian
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That 231 may have come out of a Chevy, but it is a Buick 231/3.8 with it's front mounted distributor. The front timing cover on those are aluminum.
 

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Old(s) Fart
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Is this engine a Buick-built 231 or a Chevy-built 229? Both are 3.8 liter engines. 231 has front distributor, 229 has rear distributor.
 

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Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
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In 80 there wasn't even a "Chevy" V6 from what I remember. Weren't all the GM divisions still using the Buick?

Anyway you look at it the 231 Buick was without a doubt the best V6 GM ever produced and put in a more cars at that time than the SMC I would think. It was THE motor of the future for GM.

Brian
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Buick or Chevy 231

http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/csw/pts/2162566470.html

and as you can see, the distributor is in the front of the motor. I did do the research on this and this motor was used in a 1980 Camaro so I am fairly confident that this was the original motor even though it may be a Buick designed motor. I did run across a few others that said the Chevy and Buick 231 motors were NOT the same in many respects. I have no clue if they know what they are talking about.... All I need to know, because I cannot use the standard motor mounts (conflict with steering), that I wanted to know if anyone had ever installed a Speedway Motors front tubular mount system on this motor and if the bolt holes are in the same location IF it is a Buick design. I have a friend with this system installed and tomorrow I am going over to measure everything, but I will be driving over 150 miles to look at this motor and don't want to do that if someone says the casting of this block is completely different than a SBC... please advise if you have installed one this way... and as always... thanks
 

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Professor , they are 2 different engines built by 2 different car companies headed up by general motors, the have very few similaritys. they are what they are.I had pontiacs with chevy engines , chevys with oldsmobile engines, buicks with oldsmobile engines. all from the factory that way.Even cadillac put chevy engines in some cads and olds engines also.I could go on for days.
 

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they did put chevy v 6 engine in the year camaro you have . They called it a 3.8 also. It was 229 cubic inch. the buick was 231 cubic inch. The bell housing bolt pattern is different on the buick from the chevy.as well as the exhaust,radiator ,motor mounts, etc ... I could go on for days.
I would also like to add that NEITHER ONE was any kind of performance motor. They ran the car up and down the road thats about all I can say.
You would be much better off starting with a chevysmall block and if you wanted a vintage look find an original motor mfor it.Good luck :D
 

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WFO
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professor229 said:
I did run across a few others that said the Chevy and Buick 231 motors were NOT the same in many respects. I have no clue if they know what they are talking about.... All I need to know, because I cannot use the standard motor mounts (conflict with steering), that I wanted to know if anyone had ever installed a Speedway Motors front tubular mount system on this motor and if the bolt holes are in the same location IF it is a Buick design. I have a friend with this system installed and tomorrow I am going over to measure everything, but I will be driving over 150 miles to look at this motor and don't want to do that if someone says the casting of this block is completely different than a SBC... please advise if you have installed one this way... and as always... thanks
The front motor mount set-up as used on SBC and 90 degree Chevy V6's (200 cid, 229 cid and 4.3L) will NOT work on a Buick 231 cid/3.8L V6.

The engines (229 Chevy V6 and 231 Buick V6) are entirely different entities, they share virtually nothing parts-wise and castings are totally different. About all they DO share is a 3.8L designation.

The Chevy 229 is 3/4 of a SBC 305, and is a dead end, performance-wise.

The 3.8L Buick was still being made in different permutations until recently- if not still.

The 3.8L Buick can be made into a high performance engine, but it costs money.
 

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Of course it's fast
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Let me tell you, you will be much happier if you use a new style engine in the truck. The ols school style may seem cool now but its not. I wish every day that i would have put and ls engine in my car instead of a small block chevy. Increases the value a lot. The cool thing is that you can use any engine you want. Just my suggestion to you. Do with it what you want.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks

Thanks to everyone for clearing all this up... I sent an email to the seller asking for a couple of pictures of the front of the motor, got them, and instantly knew it was not going to work. I am going back wikipedia and read some more about chevy blocks and V6 motors so I can select something with the correct block or ask Speedway again what to use. I grew up with SBC motors and a V8 will not work because of space issues and I am not going to move the firewall back the 6" needed for clearance. I am also not interested in performance right now; those days are gone and I have a couple other vehicles that get that rush done if I need it. I was/am looking for a V6 to get me down the road at the speed limit or a little better; and that is/was my goal for now. Next up is a 2.8 liter in Iowa.... but I need to ask a few questions here too. One thing that would be helpful. Someone posted three chevy engines that are shorter versions of the SBC motor.... one is a 4.3 and I have had several of those in other vehicles. Can anybody list out, for sure, the V6 motors that have the shortened block? Thanks again.....
 

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There's nothing wrong with the 3.8 V6. Could you use some universal joints to move the Steering shaft?
Stay away from the 2.8 V6, not good. 2.8, 3.1 & 3.4 are 60* Degree V6 engines. The 3.4 is a good engine. 90* V8 & V6 Trans don't bolt up to the 60* engines.
The 4.3 V6 is basically a 350 V8 minus 2 cylinders.
 

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Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
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How about an inline six like the truck originally had! (I believe in 28 that truck would have had a six). You should NOT have to move the fire wall, the engine compartment is a mile long.

An old 250 inch inline six from 1962 up will bolt to any "chevy" trans like a TH350 (dirt cheap) and work great.






In looking for a stock 1928 Chevy six engine photo I found that your truck may very well have had a four.



So how about a little four banger, they do propel the cars they came in over the speed limit. :D

A late model engine of course is the easiest but how about the classic and great little Ford Pinto? They are still popular in everything from dune buggies to airplanes!



The ultimate best choice in my opinion isn't going to be easy to find, but not impossible! I saw a complete running stock motor at one of the last swap meets I went to for $400 (as I remember it was $400), the "Chevy II" four cylinder. It is basically a six with two less cyl and shares many internal and valve train components with a SBC! I have an old friend (He just "friended" me on Facebook after not seeing him in about 20 years) with a Cool little chopped 34 Ford pickup with one of these motors bolted to the stock Ford drivetrain with an adapter. He drove it every day for years.



How about a pair of these little engines in a dragster! GREAT little motor, and like the later six will bolt up to any Chevy V8 trans or bell housing. (from what I remember, do your homework)



There are lots of options for you and your little Chevy truck. Is it a "little" truck or is it a big truck? Did it originally have a four or a six?

Brian
 

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well there ya go. That little 4 cylinder 153 engine looks perfect and could be "dressed" with oil bath air cleaner and stuff to give it a vintage appearance.sweet. :D best of all its a chebby goin into a chebby.
You could flip the intake upside down and use an updraft carb and such to at least make it look old timey.
 

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Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
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Yep, GREAT little motor!

Brian
 

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I wouldn't use a 153. I would use the marine version ( also far more common ) which is a 181/ 140hp stock.. among the increased displacement, the cylinder head is better.. all the same speed and dress parts fit it..

There is also the Mercruiser 3.7L 400 series. there an inline 4cyl, that use a 460 Ford cyl head.. the only 1 I know the spec on is the 488, and that is 170hp/ 4bbl carb. not so much is available but they are strong runners/ have been put in hotrods and Ford Racing sold the blocks in the 80's for retrofits. there a mercruiser design, but Ford provided the tooling
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Original

Hi guys... again, the brainstorming comments are all appreciated, and I have been down that road with several others.... The easiest solution to the whole problem is to come up with motor and automatic tranny from a Chevy V6 so I don't have to move the steering, which would be difficult if not impossible with this pickup truck. Another guy has the twin, decided to put in a 350/350 and had to move the firewall back 6". There is hardly any cab room in these trucks to begin with, so it is a mystery to me how he sits in his truck. The original motor was a four cylinder. There were supposed to be two motors stored in the abandoned farm house; I only found one, and a second head. The motor I found had been looted... literally. The pan and crank were laying next to the block, with the pistons removed as well as the carburetor. The rear end was history also, so I went with a 1949 Ford (perches match up) and decided on a modern motor. I installed a 1950 steering system since I had that in stock. The solution to the motor is a Chevy V6 with a front mount tubular system. If you care to look at the project, as with all builds we do, it is documented digitally. I have neglected updating the site recently, and installed the "box" today... If you have never used FLICKR, go to the site and find the words "slideshow" on the right hand side of the screen, in gray print, and click on it. Remember, you will be going back in time to a little over a year ago, when I picked up the pieces. The truck was donated.....

http://www.flickr.com/photos/1928chevy/?saved=1

Thanks again for the suggestions. It is always fun to hear other ideas... I have even looked for an old Vega motor, and I have found two Chevette 1.6 motors, with automatics as well. Motor mount issues still make the V6 the best option....

Have a good one..
 

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Of course it's fast
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I still think a newer engine would be the best choice. Check out the engine from a supra if you want to make big power. Cams and springs alone will add 200+ hp. Volvo engine are great too, as are bmw's. Think about all the benifits of these engines: more power, reliability, gas mileage. Worth looking in to.
 

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Hi Professor229
That is a very nice truck. :cool:
I will be starting a 1917 REO Delivery this summer. I have acquired a 1992 Astro Van for cheap with low mileage. It is the last year of the 700R4/4L60 Trans before GM went to the electronic 4L60E. The engine is a CPI 4.3L with a balance shaft but the CPI injection is shot. It has the older style eyebrow heads which flow quite well. I have an Edelbrock performer manifold 2111 and a 600 Holley. I picked up a large cap even fire V6 HEI distributor with vacuum advance. This should be about 250HP when done which is good for the REO for cruising.
Anyways the GM 4.3L V6 262 Cu. in. is next generation to the Chev 229 cu. in. V6 found in the 80's Cameros. The non-balance shaft engines will take a sbc roller cam set and have a the same bore and stroke as a 350 Chev small block. The balance shaft engine has roller lifters the same as the Vortec sbc. Comp Cams have good cams for either version.
This may be a good setup for you to consider also.
 

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professor229 said:
Hi guys... again, the brainstorming comments are all appreciated, and I have been down that road with several others.... The easiest solution to the whole problem is to come up with motor and automatic tranny from a Chevy V6 so I don't have to move the steering, which would be difficult if not impossible with this pickup truck. Another guy has the twin, decided to put in a 350/350 and had to move the firewall back 6". There is hardly any cab room in these trucks to begin with, so it is a mystery to me how he sits in his truck. The original motor was a four cylinder. There were supposed to be two motors stored in the abandoned farm house; I only found one, and a second head. The motor I found had been looted... literally. The pan and crank were laying next to the block, with the pistons removed as well as the carburetor. The rear end was history also, so I went with a 1949 Ford (perches match up) and decided on a modern motor. I installed a 1950 steering system since I had that in stock. The solution to the motor is a Chevy V6 with a front mount tubular system. If you care to look at the project, as with all builds we do, it is documented digitally. I have neglected updating the site recently, and installed the "box" today... If you have never used FLICKR, go to the site and find the words "slideshow" on the right hand side of the screen, in gray print, and click on it. Remember, you will be going back in time to a little over a year ago, when I picked up the pieces. The truck was donated.....

http://www.flickr.com/photos/1928chevy/?saved=1

Thanks again for the suggestions. It is always fun to hear other ideas... I have even looked for an old Vega motor, and I have found two Chevette 1.6 motors, with automatics as well. Motor mount issues still make the V6 the best option....

Have a good one..
I don't exactly understand what your saying.. I know what the tubular mounts are from Speedway. but when you say " front tubular mount ". that is confusing, because all Chevy v6's that I know of are side mounted, and the tubular crossmembers I know of are for side mounts. the 4.3L has provisions for a true front mount, because, it's most of a 350 and 350's have that. I don't know of any of the 60* engines having that provision, and among that, the 2.8L had crankshaft issues and is a boat anchor.. I think the 151/183 can actually be front mounted, but I'm not entirely sure. being an inline, it should be narrow enough to side mount and not interfere with the steering
 

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WFO
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I agree that "tubular" is in error- at least from what I see @ Speedway.

They have a sheet steel welded up front mount for the SBC/90º V6, but the tubular motor mounts are for the side mounts. There's a side mount for the Buick 231 V6 as well. But IIRC, there's no room to use the side mount-type X-member due to steering box interference.
 
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