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Classic Truck Discussion Board

Re: 261 VS. 283 Chevy Engine

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Posted by Out Back Dave on June 05, 2004 at 23:50:17 from (

In Reply to: 261 VS. 283 Chevy Engine posted by Pat Bryant on June 05, 2004 at 20:06:37:

If I recall, the 265 was the predicessor to the 283 small block V-8, and the 261 was the truck version of a 6 cyl inline. The truck engines were quit sturdy 6 cyl with good low end torque...some folks called them "bench engines" because they also had many applications that were in fixed locations.
I have done a number of engine swaps, and invarriably found a whole pile of things that didn't work out well, needed to be changed,or needed some sort of addapter.
I had a '51 2dr. 6cyl. that was the hottest in it's class, and a '58 1/2 ton PU 265 that I replaced with a hopped up 283. It was a screamer, but I kept twisting con-rods off, and eventually sold it because I couldn't afford to go thru it again.
I think the 283 engine block for cars had two bolt main bearing caps, and those for trucks had 4 bolt mains. The truck version 4 bolt made them popular with raceing builders. If your 283 is from a car, I would not put it in use in a truck.
If your conversion is from a six to an eight, there will be quite a few modifications to be made as well. The trans, clutch (if any), and all linkage compatability will need to be examined. Electrical wireing for changes in starter and alternater positions need to be concidered too.
If this swap is beginning to sound like quite a project... it is, but not beyond reason.
If you do this swap, you'll have a lot of fun with it, but be ready to accept more chalenge than a simple R&R.
It's been 25 years since I got deeply into engine swaps, and I may not have all the numbers right, but I do remember the all-nighters under my rig... on my back trying to get something to work. When you finally get it all together though, you will definitly know your truck better, and will have earned your "braging rights".
Keep us posted. I'd like to hear how you decide to go!


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