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232/259 engine

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  • Engine: 232/259 engine

    Trying to restore a ’51 232 engine I found that replacement pistons are just not available. I did go through 2 sets .040 over but both sets were so far out of tolerance that they could not be uses. So switching to 259 might be an option. I had one I thought might be a 259 and it was without heads so I measured the bore: 3.60” And the pistons were market .040. That matched a 259. However, it is always an however, the serial number on it matched a ’53 (V-246937). Could somebody actually have bored a 232 not only to a 259 but also .040 over? That is a total of 0.2275 oversized. Is there possible to tell a 232 block from a 259 block? Do they have different casting numbers. (mine is 527644). If it really is a 232 block I think I would be afraid to use it. Any thoughts?

  • #2
    I rebuilt a 54 232 a while back. Bought .oo1 over 259 pistons from SI. No trouble with the block. Left the early heads on it with the small ports and valves. Engine was in a Land Cruiser with a auto trans. Ran good and was peppy.


    • #3
      We found 232 pistons several years ago and were told they may have been the last set out there.
      Tim-'53 Starlight Commander Custom in Yuma, AZ


      • #4
        If a 232" block were bored .2275" oversize, I also would be afraid to use it. It would be interesting to sonic test that one just to see how thin it is possible to run a Stude block.

        As to the safety of boring a 232" to 259", some have done it successfully. However, this is rusty old junk we're discussing. Who knows what has been going on in the coolant passages; we were boring a 289" .060" over and hit a hole which had rusted internally. My guess is there was a piece of slag or a core problem which enabled the usual Stude internal rust to get a running start. The good news is we found the hole. What gives nightmares to builders of obsolete engines is the worry that hole is hiding only .010" under the shiny surface we see after honing.

        jack vines


        • #5
          I will be boring my '54 232 to a 259. The block looks good, but it's off to be dunked, fluxed and gone over closely before we try. The complete rebuild kit for a 259, and NOS later heads are available from S.I. Good luck.
          Dave Warren (Perry Mason by day, Perry Como by night)