View Full Version : "Blue Flame 140" 235ci 3.9L I6
57 Chevy Low n Slow
04-02-2006, 05:15 PM
Hi, this might sound a lil strange, but I bought a running driving 57 chevy belair 4dr. post with lil rust for $600. It had sat for 5 yrs. next to an abandoned trailer, all tires held air fine, the spare still had 25psi in it, the rear tires were the old coop mud tires, it has the I6 in it, clean engine, 3spd on column, engine has 76,*** original miles and burns no oil, nor does it leak anything, 1 valve is burnt a lil, and it has a lil valvetrain chatter. I wanted to know, seriously, if there is anyone that has 'soup'd up' one of these engines, if so, I would like some pointers as to wut they did, the car is gonna get the old lowered look, but not the "lowrider" or "pimped out" look, just where back end is lowered 3 inches along with the front, with the fender skirts and original wheels with either center moon caps and trim rings or full wheel moons. Any help would be appreciated, not lookin to go with air bags or anything of that sort, but aftermarket engine goodies would not be bad, nor would the setup like the corvette 6's of the day, like the Blue Flame Special. haha, anyways, any help is better than what i've gotten so far from these idiots at this resto shop down here, they just buy 'em throw cheap v8's and auto- trannys in, and send 'em out front to sell. they didn't even know that a 57 chevy came with a 6 cyl., engines already taken out by the time they get 'em. Thanx a lot, Mike.
04-02-2006, 05:22 PM
There are lots of hop up parts for the stovebolt sixes. Heres one supplier.
57 Chevy Low n Slow
04-02-2006, 05:39 PM
ok, thx a lot man, you're a big help. Mike.
04-09-2006, 07:56 PM
Talk with Tom Langdon at:
take a peek at the posts on:
or email me at:
57 Chevy Low n Slow
04-10-2006, 10:42 PM
Nice setup man, by the way, what is setup (item) number for that intake and carbs, and air cleaners? and are the carbs webers, or what?
04-11-2006, 12:15 AM
Thanks Slow 'n Low,
They are carter webers 2 barrels. They have electric chokes and were only $80 a piece, new out of the box. I got the carbs, the 1 to 2 adapters, and air cleaners from Tom Langdon (see link above). I got the offy dual carb manifold from patrick's antique cars. I purchased a pertronix ignitor online (can't remember where).
The engine has "60 over" forged aluminum pistons, a mild hyrdaulic cam, shaved head, and alloy timing gears. Everything is new or rebuilt. She's runs better than I anticipated!! The cast iron 'glide is a bit of an anchor. I'm thinking of installing a T-5 tranny and more appropriate rear gears. I could have built a kick a$$ small block for the coin I've deposited in this six shooter, but I really enjoy the "cool" factor, not to mention the fuel economy. My gas mileage is way better than it was with the old rochestor carb (I was told that over 30% of the fuel introduced into it's oversized venturi was wasted).
57 Chevy Low n Slow
04-11-2006, 08:16 PM
Thanx so much for the info, but I wish you hadn't told me what else you had in engine like pistons etc., because now I'm gonna have to ask you how much it costs you to build engine, please only parts costs not labor, I've gotta have a good figure to brag about, lol. Thanx a lot man, and good luck with it. Also need front drivers fender in straight shape, rust is ok, just not crumpled, I've already got crumpled fender, dont need another, thanx, Mike.
04-12-2006, 12:59 AM
You can find "solid" fenders that only need the lower rear patched fairly easy. As far as totally rot free fenders go, well, how much do you want to pay? I went with the repops for my 4dr. They aren't exactly the same as oem, but they're darn nice. I plan on patching the oem fenders for a future project.
Price? Man that' something I don't like to talk about... :D
I have about $350 in machine work (head shaved, bored out, piston rods reconditioned etc) and about $500 for pistons, cam, bearings, oil pump, waterpump, alloy timing gears, gaskets and etc. (I got the forged pistons and rings from vintage parts for about $150) I rebuilt the distributor and outfitted it with pertroniz ignitor for around $75. The generator was rebuilt for $40. Oh well, it should last for quite a while. It's hard to kill these old 'bolts. :D
05-31-2006, 01:18 PM
I have a 56 w/235. The engine had 69K on it. Had it rebuilt, bored .030 over, new pistons, rings, bearings (mains, rods, and cam), cam gear, and valves: $913.00, new/rebuilt rocker arm assy with chrome shaft: $130.00. The engine had a new water pump installed just before I bought it. Rebuilt oil pump: $25.00, Gasket set: $58.00, I put on a HEI dist. From Langdons, for I think about $160.00 with coil. I would have gone the Pertonix route except original distributor was not in the best of shape. I also installed a Offy dual intake and Carter/Weber carbs with adapters. I have had the engine running on an engine test stand. Starts quickly and easily, idles well, and doesn't fall on its face when WOT is reached quikly. Truthfully I could have put a small block V8 in for the same or less money. The biggest expense and engineering hassle has been changing from the Powerglide to a 200R4. Since you have a stick you will not have that issue.
05-31-2006, 01:46 PM
I remember drag racing a new '58 with a 348 in my dad's stock, stick six '56. This was on El Camino Real in San Mateo heading into Belmont.
We took off on the green lite and he was pulling me a bit, not much though. Then all of a sudden I heard this horrible racket and he fell way off. He had over revved it and floated the valves. Ahhh, the good old days.
Anyway, my point is those old blue flame sixes were pretty strong and reliable even stock. Good luck with your build I'm sure you'll have fun with it.
My father wants to put a set of webers on his 235 six in his 55 after seeing a picture of your setup. He's all excited. First, I told him I would try to find out the pros & cons. He's not really one to do much tinkering on engines, so I will have to be the one to tune & trouble shoot.
First of all his 235 is bone stock, 49812 miles on it according to the OD. He's already had some choke adjustment issues with the original carb (sometimes would start, sometimes wouldn't). So, here's my questions.
1. In your opinion will 2 webers be too much for a stock 235?
2. Webers have electric chokes, any problems so far?
3. Dual Offy intake, will it work with the original exhaust manifolds?
4. Any Linkage problems?
5. For some reason, he want's consecutive serial numbers. Can they accomodate that request, or would that be a stupid question?
Thanks for any help you (or anyone else) can provide.
06-08-2006, 05:51 PM
My 57 has a V-8 in it but we are planning a 4dr 57 rebuild after i finish mine and it has the original 6cyl in it and i`m thinking of keeping it. I don`t see anything wrong with running the 6cyl from my point of view. Terry.
01-28-2007, 09:14 PM
My dad has a 55 hard top with the six and powerglide, all we do to them is split the manifold, this is a cheap alternitive to buying Headers. We have had shaved cylinder heads, but patricks out of Arizona has alot of upgrades. The Inliners international is also an excellent source of info
02-16-2007, 05:36 AM
My 235 has a bad hesitation that I can't figure out. Its rebuilt and I have replaced everything. I'm thinking the car wants a V8 between the fenders.
02-17-2007, 07:43 PM
I have the hesitation too. Everything I read, it's inside the 1bbl carb, sloppy choke parts (a ball or piston inside the carb). Mine's a rebuild, and it did the same thing before I replaced the carb. I thought it might be the manifold heat riser getting stuck, but it isn't stuck. It's the choke.
Here's what I read on another forum. I am going to try it on my 235:
"I went the rebuilt way with my trusty Rochester...it leaked, hesitated...time for a rebuilt....the Champion rebuilt, right out of the blister pack on the parts house counter had excessive wear in the throttle shaft and the choke mechanism was installed incorrectly so the choke was totally inoperative. At $109. + tax it never left the counter.
I'd heard of Tom Langdon's Holley/Weber 5200 conversion and at $65. for the rebuilt carb, $15. for the adaptor/ $35. for the linkage,$12. for the 12v electric choke it sounded like a viable alternative. That's $127., no core charge and I could talk to a real live person if I encountered problems. And Tom can talk!!!!!!!
The install was rudementary...the linkage went on like the picture showed and the carb performs FLAWLESSLY. Good idle, no flat spots and I don't even miss the smell of gas fumes from my trusty old Rochester."
So hopefully this cures the hesistation, and gives a little more pep!
03-05-2007, 04:01 AM
I bought a set of gaskets off of Ebay about a month ago for my 235. Including shipping they were $41. However I don't think they were a top notch brand. I did see some ring and bearing sets on there as well.
57 sedan delivery
03-07-2007, 09:05 PM
I've run many cars with the 235 over the years and it is a great driver engine and even better to fix up a bit, the one problem area I remember is the head is prone to cracking.
03-13-2007, 08:30 AM
Sounds like a real good deal on the 57.
Here's another site I didn't see in belairbolt's page.
(Larrowe and Son's Truck Parts)
I am working on a 56 stick shift-6cyl. (4 dr) I just put a chinese split manifold and glass packs on it. Sounds good and peps it up a bit but I have created a vib prob.
Screwups U can learn from: I put heavy duty spring's on the front and it raised it 2"-the front end alignment man had a time aligning it. I'm here to tell you she's ridin high! Dim headlights are now bright headlights.
Real nice engine compartment belairbolt.
03-13-2007, 02:26 PM
My first 56 4 door sedan had one (makes me sound old, but this in 2001). The valve train made alot of racket and everywhere said that was normal. Never did like that engine and parts were harder to find then the newer 56 4 door sedan w/265 I have now.
Geez, I've had 3 '56 Bel Air 4 door sedans since 2001... at least they keep getting better :)
08-13-2007, 10:27 AM
After I had my 1 bbl rebuilt, the hesistation went away. This was after I had already obtained it as a rebuild from Carbco in the SF Bay Area, and after a friend of mine rebuilt it again. Guaranteed Carburetor did it for about $170; it looks and runs like brand new. http://www.guaranteedcarbs.com/
The Stovebolt setup I posted above will not work on a 55 or later passenger car due to the combined height of the adapter, carb, and air cleaner. There is not enough vertical clearance under the hood. Wish I could have tried it! :)
vBulletin® v3.8.7, Copyright ©2000-2013, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.