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Old 10-23-2016, 12:27 PM   #1
abranz
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Chevy 250 swap into 53 pickup

Hello, I've had my 53 for nearly 40yrs and the 235 has cracked. Engine shops in Spokane are not very interested in it and the prices they quote me ($3000)make me shy away also. I've looked for used, running 235's but they range from 700-1200 with zero documentation on miles, maintenance, or rebuild histories. Basically buying a core for that amount doesn't do much for me either. They could be cracked also for all I know or have other issues.
I have a 69 1/2 ton with a 250, manual 4 speed that's complete. I am interested in having the 250 rebuilt for my 53 but I've read for days that it may be too long and I will need custom engine side and transmission mounts. How hard of a swap is this? I can't see how I can move my radiator any further forward with the latch cowling there.
I've obviously enjoyed the truck and would like to put my efforts toward a reliable engine I can get parts for easily without costing a body part. Any help or suggestions very appreciated. Anthony
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Old 10-23-2016, 02:20 PM   #2
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Re: Chevy 250 swap into 53 pickup

read the last part of this first.
if you have a donor truck, complete, then the list below would be where I would start before committing to anything. it has been awhile since I have worked on an AD truck but just keep in mind that you would need to check if the stock 235 trans will fit onto your newer 250's bell housing and be able to work with the clutch disc and pilot bearing etc from the 250. otherwise you would need to use the trans from the 250, which opens a whole new can of worms and may require that you do a rear end swap (so brake issues etc) and go with an open dive line (so new drive shaft as well) because the AD trucks had a torque tube drive line. the newer truck has an open drive line,correct? the 235 bell housing will not fit on the 250, as far as I know, because they bolt up completely different. that said, there may be an adapter made somewhere to convert over so the 235 bell housing can be used on the 250. the other item of interest is the trans mount on the 235. the 235 has 2 hockey puck style trans mounts, 1 per side, that attach to the bell housing, correct? the 250 has a single trans mount located at the rear of the trans, correct? not that this would be a stop to the project, just a bunch more work to consider.
here is the list to start with. not a complete list, just things that I can think of off the top of my head right now
.
-measure the length of the engines, front of fan blades to rear of engine at the bell housing to transmission joint, and compare to see if the 250 will fit, physically in size, without hitting the rad

-do a check to see about the trans/bell housing issue. if the trans from the 235 will fit on the 250 bell housing and work with the clutch parts then a new method of installing a trans mount would need to be thought up unless you can source a bellhousing from a school bus, or the like, that used a bell housing style mount similar to the 235 system

if you think it will fit, physically, then check these other items of interest

-what would you need to do for engine mounts to use the stock 250 mounts or can you fab up a front mounting system like the 235 has? maybe, again, find a front engine mount bracket from a 250 in, say, a school bus scenario?

-will the steering box and shaft be in the way of the 250 engine accy or exhaust?

- will the oil pan fit around the straight axle and steering linkage-clutch linkage. park brake linkage, anything else that looks like it may be in the way under there?

-will the exhaust manifold from the stock 250 exit at a spot in order to work in the old truck? a bit of exhaust work would need to be budgeted for likely

-what would clutch linkage look like? would you rather go with an automatic trans?-that would mean a different shifter set up as well. still not a stop order though, just gotta source ashifter you like, probably a floor style shifter

-do the cooling (rad) hoses on the 250 come out in the right spot to work with the stock rad in the old truck. if not, can the housings be sourced to exit correctly-different water pump and t-stat housing? how much to rework the rad to have the hose connections placed in the correct location? will the heater hose connections work?

-can you make the throttle and choke linkage from the AD truck work with the 250 carb?

-will the 235 guage senders fit into the 250?

-can you make the stock 235 generator mount work on the 250? can you get a belt to fit the different style of pulleys or change the pulley on the generator to work with the 250 pulley style, etc? would you convert the truck to 12v at the same time as the engine swap, then, instead of messing with pulleys and mounts and the issue with sourcing a 6 volt starter for a 250 engine? does the 250 have a points style distributor? if so you would need to update that to comply with 6 volts if not converting to 12 volts

-you would also need to install a different ign switch or possibly just a starter button because the foot starter would be history

thats all I can think of right now. just wait though, surely somebody here has done this swap before.

look up a thread on here today from a member called FAKKY who has a 235 engine for sale. cheap compared to this swap I am thinking.his thread is just 2 below yours. he is in reddington beach somewhere from his profile.
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Old 10-23-2016, 04:18 PM   #3
PDW HOTRODS
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Re: Chevy 250 swap into 53 pickup

You will need side engine mounts. Engine will fit fine. If you don't want to change trans mount you could use a bell housing from a 55-59 truck, they have the side mounts. You could make a front engine mount for the 250 if you want. When I did mine I used a 1979 250, and 1957 truck bell housing, trans and rear, open drive line. Worked good until I went to a 350 then I updated everything.
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Old 10-23-2016, 07:48 PM   #4
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Re: Chevy 250 swap into 53 pickup

I did the same thing as PWD hotrods said on mine. I made side mounts because I was in a big hurry at the time and they are too ugly to show photos of but there are ready made side mounts available for the swap. I shortened the shaft on my water pump and used a shorter pulley to clear the radiator but my fan is a rather flat blade flex fan that doesn't work all that well.
This is a photo that I nabbed off the net for my files that shows a nifty side mount for a 23, 250,292


You have to use a bit of imagination to figure where the radiator would be but it does show the shortened pump and my inadequate fan.




If I had do overs with that engine I would have used an electric fan on the top half of the radiator. When I put the 292 in I'll have to solve the fan issue one way or the other.

When I bought the truck in 1973 it came with a 192 six out of a Chevy II hooked to a V8 bellhousing with the stock 48 transmission and closed driveshaft behind it. It had been run that way for a long time and I drove it that way for about three months. Trans jumped out of second all the time though. I swapped in a late 50's trans and 61 Impala rear axle that we had torched all the brackets off and drove it to the Street Rod Nationals in Tulsa from Waco tx that year.
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Old 10-24-2016, 10:42 AM   #5
abranz
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Re: Chevy 250 swap into 53 pickup

Will a 250 bolt to my 53 bell housing? If not do I then use the bell from the 70 donor? I don't the 70 bell will mount to my x-member
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Old 10-24-2016, 01:43 PM   #6
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Re: Chevy 250 swap into 53 pickup

No the 250 won't bolt to the early bellhousing.

I've got photos of each of the bellhousings on my photobucket but Photobucket is down for maintenance right now.

I can't remember if the 70 bellhousing we had had mounts under it or used a trans mount when my son had the 70 longbed with a 250 in it. We swapped a smallblock into that one and didn't pull trans or bellhousing when we did it.

When running a manual trans I'd rather keep the crossmember and use one of the bellhousings that will bolt to it as cutting out the crossember weakens the frame and most often the weight of the cab pushes the cab mount brackets down until the front of the cab is sitting flat on the frame.
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If you can't fix it with a hammer, you have an electrical problem.

My ongoing truck projects:
48 Chev 3100 that will run a 292 Six.
71 GMC 2500 that is getting a Cad 500 transplant.
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Old 10-25-2016, 06:02 PM   #7
abranz
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Re: Chevy 250 swap into 53 pickup

When everyone is referring to a 55-59 bellhousing is it the v8 one I'm looking for? I mean if a 1956 bell was attached to a 235 how would it be different than what I have in the 53 now? thanks
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Old 10-25-2016, 07:49 PM   #8
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Re: Chevy 250 swap into 53 pickup

The front side that mates to the block of a 216, 235 or 261 bellhousing looks like this 51 bellhousing that I have.


The cast iron truck bellhousing that will bolt to the mounts on the crossmember and bolt to the back of a V8 or 194, 230, 250 or 292 engine or the Chevy II four banger looks like this


As I said earlier my 48 originally came to me with a 194 in it with one of these bellhousings between it and the stock 48 column shift 3 speed In a one night swap (I was a lot younger then) I pulled the stock rear axle and trans out and bolted the later open drive 3 speed and 61 Impala trans in, hooked it up and drove it to work on swing shift the next afternoon. Sure couldn't do it that fast now though
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71 GMC 2500 that is getting a Cad 500 transplant.
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Old 10-25-2016, 10:33 PM   #9
abranz
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Re: Chevy 250 swap into 53 pickup

I sure appreciate the help. I will go searching wrecking yards this weekend
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Old 10-26-2016, 04:54 PM   #10
abranz
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Re: Chevy 250 swap into 53 pickup

Does the bellhousing crossmember need to be moved? Thanks
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Old 10-26-2016, 06:55 PM   #11
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Re: Chevy 250 swap into 53 pickup

http://www.chevytalk.org/fusionbb/sh...hp?tid/222096/


try looking up this site for some more info on bellhousings. pics and everything.
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Old 10-26-2016, 10:05 PM   #12
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Re: Chevy 250 swap into 53 pickup

i would have to say no moving of the cross member by looking at the pics. if the cross member has to move then the trans would also move so then the drive line length would change. right? maybe a good idea to read that link about bellhousings. the angle of the mount is different on some bell housings.
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Old 10-26-2016, 10:31 PM   #13
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Re: Chevy 250 swap into 53 pickup

Quote:
Originally Posted by abranz View Post
Hello, I've had my 53 for nearly 40yrs and the 235 has cracked. Engine shops in Spokane are not very interested in it and the prices they quote me ($3000)make me shy away also. I've looked for used, running 235's but they range from 700-1200 with zero documentation on miles, maintenance, or rebuild histories. Basically buying a core for that amount doesn't do much for me either. They could be cracked also for all I know or have other issues.
I have a 69 1/2 ton with a 250, manual 4 speed that's complete. I am interested in having the 250 rebuilt for my 53 but I've read for days that it may be too long and I will need custom engine side and transmission mounts. How hard of a swap is this? I can't see how I can move my radiator any further forward with the latch cowling there.
I've obviously enjoyed the truck and would like to put my efforts toward a reliable engine I can get parts for easily without costing a body part. Any help or suggestions very appreciated. Anthony

Having done this swap with a 292, the difference in 292 and 250 is the deck height and motor mount placement

You will need to make side mounts and they are available aftermarket and they need to be 230 or 250 mounts, 292 has different mounting pads.

You do not move the bell cross member but will need to modify it to accept 55-59 truck rear mounts.

It will work with a 4 spd from the donor truck

Original clutch pedal can be made to work

You will need a driveshaft and different rear or use the original trans and torque tube

The new bell needs to be out of a truck not a car,
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Old 10-27-2016, 01:20 AM   #14
abranz
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Re: Chevy 250 swap into 53 pickup

Again thanks for the help. I've read for weeks on this and missed the thread regarding bells.
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Old 10-27-2016, 01:26 AM   #15
abranz
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Re: Chevy 250 swap into 53 pickup

Again thanks for the help. I've read for weeks on this and missed the thread regarding bells.
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Old 10-27-2016, 12:27 PM   #16
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Re: Chevy 250 swap into 53 pickup

If you can find a crossmember from a 54 it will fit the frame & accept the 55 up v-8 truck mounts.
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Old 10-27-2016, 01:11 PM   #17
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Re: Chevy 250 swap into 53 pickup

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrenchbender Ret View Post
If you can find a crossmember from a 54 it will fit the frame & accept the 55 up v-8 truck mounts.
I have a 54 frame under my 48 and that did make it a bolt in swap.

The 48 did have the stock frame and crossmember with the 194 and cast iron V8 truck bellhousing when I bought it but I don't remember if they had modified it. I don't think the mods are all that hard to do though to make it work.
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My ongoing truck projects:
48 Chev 3100 that will run a 292 Six.
71 GMC 2500 that is getting a Cad 500 transplant.
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Old 10-27-2016, 01:36 PM   #18
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Re: Chevy 250 swap into 53 pickup

As a side note this is a front on shot of a 54 frame with a good view of the crossmember that I borrowed from a thread on the HAMB.



I think the crossmember on my GMC longbed 1/2 ton frame is the same as the 53 crossmember but could be wrong about that. I couldn't find a photo of a 53 frame with the crossmember intact in the time I have before heading to work.
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48 Chev 3100 that will run a 292 Six.
71 GMC 2500 that is getting a Cad 500 transplant.
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Old 10-27-2016, 03:45 PM   #19
abranz
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Re: Chevy 250 swap into 53 pickup

The second picture of the 53 gmc has the same crossmember I have. The bell mounts flat horizontally to the flat parts of the x-member with one bolt on each side through the holes visible on your pic. There is no angle to the mount pads on my 53 like I see the 55 on v8 bells have.
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Old 10-28-2016, 11:20 AM   #20
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Re: Chevy 250 swap into 53 pickup

If you are looking for a chevy 250, Im tryin to sell mine. Good motor with brand new head rebuild with about 1-200 miles on it. I just wanted to put the period correct 235 in. I also have the 4spd to go with. It's an sm465 granny low. Just wanted to throw that out there just in case. It does have the bellhousing mounts. Everything is there. Thanks

Nate
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Old 10-29-2016, 09:47 PM   #21
abranz
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Re: Chevy 250 swap into 53 pickup

Picked up a 54 crossmember today. Will see how it all goes.
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Old 11-23-2016, 12:21 AM   #22
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Re: Chevy 250 swap into 53 pickup

Pm sent.. have a good one!
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Old 11-07-2017, 02:30 PM   #23
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Re: Chevy 250 swap into 53 pickup

Hi abranz,
I've got a 250 in my '50 pickup with a four speed manual 'box. I didn't do it, it was how I bought it. How are you getting along with your conversion?
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Old 11-07-2017, 02:48 PM   #24
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Re: Chevy 250 swap into 53 pickup

Hi Abrams,
I've got a 250 in my '50 pickup with a four speed manual 'box. I didn't do it, it was how I bought it. How are you getting along with your conversion?
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Old 11-07-2017, 05:02 PM   #25
abranz
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Re: Chevy 250 swap into 53 pickup

The swap went well. Fits great between fenders and fine front to rear. I had a radiator made from superior radiator in MI which allowed use of the 250 fan blade. Used a Weber 2bbl carb from stove bolt. Side mounts from chassis engineering. Runs better than ever and Iíve got no regrets. Other than HEi and a oil filter it looks pretty original. Heck it originally had a 216 that failed on me 30 yrs ago so it hasnít been original for a long time anyway.
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