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1963 Chevy II 100 series 4 door sedan "Betty". 194 I6. CPP mini subframe and 1" front sway bar.
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everybody, so the engine died cruising along the highway, I pulled the valve cover off and none of the valves move at all when spinning the engine over. I'm thinking something like the camshaft broke. I did a partial rebuild of the engine before this happened so it sucks but I was wondering what cheap way to get this back on the road with still good gas mileage I was thinking of other engine options but I don't really care about performance. I've got the 4 lug drum brakes and don't care about V8s so more like swapping to another I6 maybe or another engine if something's available. I have the 3 on a tree and I like that and don't want a floor shifter. If there are any other engines that bolt up to my current transmission like the 250 would or engine/trans combos that are somewhat simple to put in that could get great mileage that's an option too. Thanks for any input!
 

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You ask a common question. Sounds like you have a '62 or '63. I'm in the minority as you are, liking the 3 speed on the column, so that does limit your possibilities with the engine. That said, the most economical and least hassle replacement at an upgrade would be a 230 or 250 I6, both good engines. An avid group here on SNS not only run those engines, but have a bunch of upgrades that can wring some more power out of it, depending on what you want. The 230 or 250 will be common to locate for cores or even as a drop-in running engine. Good luck with the repair.
 

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Have you removed the timing chain cover on the 194 it almost sounds the sprocket bolt may have come loose somehow or you have a timing chain issue. If your cam broke in half, the valves before the break would still move. The other issue, did the pistons hit any of the valves. I am truly not an expert but 75 % close, My dad was an expert so learned a lot from him. There are some amazing experts on this website though that could chime in.
 

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No timing chain on the Chevy straight 6. It uses gears. However, I agree that it would be good to diagnose what broke to determine whether the existing engine could be salvaged rather than replaced.

Like the OP, I also like the straight 6 and 3 on the tree. Contrary to what you now see in the Nova world, most Chevy IIs and Novas were not sold as muscle cars, but cheap basic transportation in the same class as Ford Falcons & Plymouth Valiants. This is by no means a knock on muscle cars. Enjoy what you drive!
 

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1969 Nova . . 2dr . . Chino Valley,Az USA
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.............................

............................................

..........................................................

find a 250ci L 6 ........................................ and , never look back !
 

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when I bought my 63, 5 years ago I knew it wasn't running, had stock 194
but it was turning over and almost kind of firing, so thought maybe I could get it running

I could get it kind of running by rev'ing and putting timing at what should have been way off, so clearly something was off

found keyway on cam gear broken and cam could rotate back and forth about 20 deg without crank moving, so with crank turning cam was about 20 deg retarded

if your valves are not moving when engine turned over, don't waste a second more of you time
about the only things off your 194 that have any value is oil pan and head, the rest is junk

now your options are many depending what direction you want to go with the car, what suspension work you have or want to do and what $/effort you want to get into

just reread your original post
250 is a direct bolt in change

on my 194 mention above I pulled it and rebuilt a 250, there are options for a bit more power from a 250....these can always be put in a 194 also

you can rebuild the 194 or a 250, they will cost a bit more than rebuilding a mild small block or LS but you will save a ton by not needing to change a million other things
 

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It more then likely had the stock fiber cam gear and that is what broke. replace it to a alum gear But be SURE that the gear is Heated before installing it. Or step up to a 250.
 

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Agreed, I've had a fiber gear fail while driving on the highway.

Thanks
Randy

It more then likely had the stock fiber cam gear and that is what broke. replace it to a alum gear But be SURE that the gear is Heated before installing it. Or step up to a 250.
 

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1963 Chevy II 100 series 4 door sedan "Betty". 194 I6. CPP mini subframe and 1" front sway bar.
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9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks everybody for all the replies! I think it must definitely be the fiber gear. When I get a chance I'll pull the cover off and see. Is it possible to replace that gear with the engine in the car?
 

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Yes, it can be done with the Engine in the car.

It's not an easy job for the inexperienced.

As mentioned, the new gear will need to be heated to install.

Thanks
Randy
 

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1969 Nova . . 2dr . . Chino Valley,Az USA
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Hi cvold ........................ just - - where in the " Northeast " , are you located ....... ? city & state .

As I said in post # 5 .................. look around for a 250ci L 6 motor . There were only a few (million) , made .
Look at the top section of this page (or any page) ..... look @ : the "Search Community" box ................
it does work very good . There are many post about 'changing out your L 6 motor ......
or ......
up-grading from the 194 too the 250 motors (some post have very good info (some post may even have some pictures) .

So , are we talking about your '63 Nova 4dr car . . . ?
Why do I ask - - - - - because - - - - - I need too ask , does your car Have
Power Steering . . . ?
yes ------------ or ------------ no .... ?

Changing out u'r Six Engine ; and still using u'r 3-speed trans , and almost everything WILL swap over ,
and bolt - up too / on either engine ( the 194 ; 230 ; 250 ci motors) . . . (they are the " Low Deck engines " ) .
Here's the (basic difference , between the 194 . . . . . and the 230 / 250 ) .......... almost ....... because , the 230 engine did use Both 'styles of oil pans :
( the "front sump oil pan & the rear sump oil pan ) .......................................
where as the 250 motors used the "rear sump oil pans" .

then , what does this mean : 'choose your type engine ' ............. ( I still vote for the
250 motor ) ...........
Using a 250 engine in a 1st or 2nd gen Chevy II ........... you can make it VERY EASY ..........
by installing the complete 250 motor - - AS IS - - using everything (for the 250) ; including the "rear sump oil pan" .............
IF Your Car DOES NOT HAVE POWER STEERING
.............

But , before installing that 250 motor ...... you will need too " Bend - in your (rear sump)
oil pan " .
The rear sump pan ............ Will Rub on your "steering linkage" ............. (thus - when you bend - in the (rear sump) oil pan ............... it will give you the "clearance , between the steering linkage & your oil pan " ).


note : this is where you can 'search post - for that info' ............ I think it's the
" Best Way " to do this install into a 1st gen type car .
Just "dent - in u'r oil pan" .............. OR ................ "notch u'r oil pan" ..................... either way ; that will clear u'r steering linkage ..........................................................
............. = Done .


# 1. - - notching a rear sump oil pan .........................

Hood Motor vehicle Automotive design Automotive lighting Bumper


# 2. - - notch is done . . . . .

Motor vehicle Orange Hood Wood Automotive exterior


# 3. - - done & painted . . . . . . .

Motor vehicle Orange Bumper Automotive exterior Red


(not my pictures .............. I just found them , on the 'web' ) .

. . . later , jim

note :
this picture IS just an example . . . . showing the 'notch' .
your notch , may not need too be this large .
 

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1963 Chevy II 100 series 4 door sedan "Betty". 194 I6. CPP mini subframe and 1" front sway bar.
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I live on Cape Cod and luckily my car doesn't have power steering so in case it isn't just that fiber gear then, the 250 is probably the route I'll take. Thank you for sending those pictures about notching the pan!
 

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1969 Nova . . 2dr . . Chino Valley,Az USA
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cvold .................. your very welcome ........... just something to Really consider - using the 250 motor .
maybe even start looking / checking on C/L or some FB sites .

So , if you choose the 250 ............... I'm just saying that you can "install & still use the Rear sump pan" .....
PLUS , by doing that - - - - you still use the "Matching oil Dip Stick = (which is correct)" .

....... all sorts of info : swapping oil pans (and , matching front sump - oil pumps , oil pick-up screens , ect. ) .......
....... ( ( that issue - - sometimes , means = that everything works & fits ; but , can mean ,
that your "oil DIP Stick" = doesn't match : ( front sump pan - with a rear oil dip - stick) . ) ) .

About the oil pan - - - ' Notch ' - - - that picture was 'just that' ....... a picture showing that someone had
Notched their pan ........................................... your car could be different (thus , maybe a smaller Notch ;
(or smaller "dent" in that area) .
Then = 194 to 250 swap . . . . . everything fits (swap's over ; just bolting things up . . . . .

you can "Search Community" ........... for more info .

jim
 

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1963 Nova w/ Pontiac OHC6
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The engine I pulled out of my '63 (before installing the Pontiac OHC 6) was a 250 that was swapped into the car back in 1975. My dad re-used the 194 oil pan so the dipstick ended up hitting the shallow part of the pan. As long as there was some on the end of the stick it had enough in it... Not the most scientific way to measure the oil level, but it worked!
 

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1963 Chevy II 100 series 4 door sedan "Betty". 194 I6. CPP mini subframe and 1" front sway bar.
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9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The engine I pulled out of my '63 (before installing the Pontiac OHC 6) was a 250 that was swapped into the car back in 1975. My dad re-used the 194 oil pan so the dipstick ended up hitting the shallow part of the pan. As long as there was some on the end of the stick it had enough in it... Not the most scientific way to measure the oil level, but it worked!
Good to know, thanks!
 

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1969 Nova . . 2dr . . Chino Valley,Az USA
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cvold .............. here is a post = talking about his engine . Then , he has a 65 Chevy II that somebody
had installed a "later Nova L 6 '250ci motor' into his car .
Towards the end of this post .............. we talk about his motor = "having TWO Oil Dip Sticks" .................

The 1971 - 250 motor , uses a rear sump oil pan ................ his 65 car uses a front sump oil pan . . . .
so, whoever had done his swap (before he bought his car) .............. used the Front Sump Pan = on a
Rear Sump Type Motor . BUT , that person DID - - - Drill Out for that Front Dip Stick Location .

Does that make sense . This is a good "example" about my post above . = (read this post several times
and look at his pictures .

Identifying casting number/ engine numbers | Chevy Nova Forum (stevesnovasite.com)

also , exactly what 63 bomb was saying , above .

. . . . later , jim
 

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Good to know, thanks!
I found a 78 250 when my 194 blew up. It only had 35K on it. I took the head off my 194, had it rebuilt and it runs great. You have to keep the 63 oil pan and redrill a new dipstick hole. Also I had the same thing happen to my 63 that you had and it was the timing gear. Simple fix but if you dont have the tools have a shop do it.
 

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Hey everybody, so the engine died cruising along the highway, I pulled the valve cover off and none of the valves move at all when spinning the engine over. I'm thinking something like the camshaft broke. I did a partial rebuild of the engine before this happened so it sucks but I was wondering what cheap way to get this back on the road with still good gas mileage I was thinking of other engine options but I don't really care about performance. I've got the 4 lug drum brakes and don't care about V8s so more like swapping to another I6 maybe or another engine if something's available. I have the 3 on a tree and I like that and don't want a floor shifter. If there are any other engines that bolt up to my current transmission like the 250 would or engine/trans combos that are somewhat simple to put in that could get great mileage that's an option too. Thanks for any input!
I put a 250 in a ‘63 I had and she flew compared the 194.
 

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Hey everybody, so the engine died cruising along the highway, I pulled the valve cover off and none of the valves move at all when spinning the engine over. I'm thinking something like the camshaft broke. I did a partial rebuild of the engine before this happened so it sucks but I was wondering what cheap way to get this back on the road with still good gas mileage I was thinking of other engine options but I don't really care about performance. I've got the 4 lug drum brakes and don't care about V8s so more like swapping to another I6 maybe or another engine if something's available. I have the 3 on a tree and I like that and don't want a floor shifter. If there are any other engines that bolt up to my current transmission like the 250 would or engine/trans combos that are somewhat simple to put in that could get great mileage that's an option too. Thanks for any input!
prolly broken timing chain or it it has the plastic center top gear it may have broke
 

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prolly broken timing chain or it it has the plastic center top gear it may have broke

There is NO chain in our chevy L6s they are gear to gear drive, factory stock gear most of the time were a fiber cam gear to a steel crank gear.
 
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