Putting the engine back in our 1950 Chevy pickup - Hagerty Media
Our Chevrolet 3600 pickup has been making steady progress, but even though it now boasts a fuel tank and a new wiring harness, the heavily-patina’d pickup stranded on the two-post lift hasn’t seen any major changes recently. That’s about to change, though, because Davin finally has enough small-scale projects done to tackle something big. Engine-installation big.
First, Davin has to wrap up one more mundane task. While this pickup doesn’t have much snow driving in its future, Davin wants to have the heater functioning for those crisp fall mornings. Even a working defroster alone makes a serious difference—just ask anyone who has logged brisk morning miles without one. With the heater bolted back under the dash, Davin turns his attention to the powertrain.
With the hood, radiator support, and front fender removed, shoving the refreshed 216-cubic-inch inline-six into place seems like a simple task. At first, Davin tries to bolt the transmission onto the engine and install both as one unit, but that plan collapses because the transmission can’t fit through the opening between the floorpan and the crossmember. Instead, Davin is forced to install the transmission and engine separately.
If you’ve ever found yourself in a similar situation, it’s a good time to remember that you’re most likely doing this installation the hard way; the factory would have installed the driveline in the chassis before fitting the body. Any other way of bolting in a powertrain fights the original design.
Even with the straight-six bolted in and looking like a diamond in a brass ring, Davin has gobs of work to do before the engine runs in the chassis. That to-do list starts with connecting the electrical and cooling systems, but it’s not long before this 3600 will be back on the road. If you want to follow along with the progress, be sure to subscribe to Hagerty’s YouTube channel to receive notifications with each update.