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If i still have my car in a few months I’m going to start a major build of the entire car and for the time being I want to keep the straight 6 until I figure out what motor I want to run later on. The stock motor in my 63 is absolutely gutless,doesn’t smoke or use oil. After a complete rebuild will there be a noticeable difference or are these 194s just slugs? I had a 64 years ago that had a worn out 230 and it seemed to have enough power to get out of the way.
 

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Don't expect too much from rebuilding a 194 inline 6 as they were only factory rated at 130 HP.

I have the same style engine but the 250 c.i. version. It was factory rated at 155 HP and I have added components to improve on that. Even with that - its still a compromise between economy and performance.

Check engine stats on this link: NovaResource - Nova Engine Statistics
 

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I have a stock one in my convertible. 194, original carb, a '63 spec motor in a '62 with 3-speed and 3.08 gears. I have also had most '62-'67 Novas in between, including 230's, a 250, several 283s and 4 327 cars. The 194 isn't fast and never will be, nor does it accelerate quickly. But I can more than get out of my own way, keep up in L.A. traffic, and just went over Topanga Canyon to PCH, through downtown and back to the San Gabriel Valley with 0 issues in keeping up. No line behind me. Now, if compression is low or the car isn't running just right, you'll suffer. Also, the P.G. will sap a lot, in my opinion. The only time I have felt it isn't enough, and it was 2nd gear time, was on Angeles Crest Highway with a good sized passenger.

All that said, if you are going to run something else later on, why not do it now? A 194 will cost more than a 350 to rebuild, and if it's power you want, you're barking up the wrong tree. Now a 230 or a 250, especially with the head porting and lump tricks, a 194 head, exhaust and intake manifolds and some other goodies will get you down the road with more than enough power if you want to stay with a 6. I think guys can regularly make 160-180 safe and sane HP with these engines on pump gas and that would be a 35-50% increase in HP. But a stock 194, even in top condition and rebuilt, is no speed merchant.
 

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I agree with AllyMcReal My 250 has dual exhaust, 4bbl carb, Offenhauser intake and electronic distributer. I am close to 200 hp, and wishful thinking, maybe a tad more.
 

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I had a daily driver 1965 SS many years ago when I lived in L.A. It had a rebuilt 250, HEI, quality exhaust and a TH-350. It did awesome around town and fine on the freeway up to about 75MPH. Car had 3:08 gears. I want to say it got 18 - 19 MPG.

I have been told putting the 194 head on a 250 is a trick to boost compression. Never tried it.
 
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1969 Nova . . 2dr . . Chino Valley,Az USA
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Ok , . . . . . I'll jump in here - - - I agree with 'onecarnut - Lou' . . . . . and, even thought that
'AllyMcReal - Frank' was making a slight mistake ; when keeping his 'stock 194' . Not Now - - -
since I have seen Frank's Chev II . . . . very Nice convert. and "keeping it Stock" .

But, for "almost any 194 ci motor" . . . . . I would DUMP - that engine . . . . . and, go with the 250ci motor .
Same - - - easy swap - - - bolts right in.
THX138 . . you could even dress out your (newer 250 motor) , and make it look just like a stock '194
engine' . Everything . . . fits either engine . . . as for as looking like a stock motor (but, with Better Power) .
Now, you have the " " oil pan - front sump - vs - the 250 rear sump oil pan " " question .
NO PROBLEM - - - (IF you do not have 'power steering' the 250 motor - rear sump pan - WILL Fit
Right - In ) . You may need too "Dimple in your oil pan (the 250 rear sump pan) , TOO Clear your
steering linkage - - - - but not much (just depends- - each car is different).

note : If you have power steering . . . (and keep it = then , you would need too "swap - out - oil pans" .
. . . . . . then, you = have the "wrong oil dip - stick - location - issue" ) .

Would all this make "sense" …

If you are KEEPING the six motor - - - cost for re-building a 194 - or - a 250 , should be very
close . . . (for stock rebuilds) . . . for me = = = = 250 engine .

If you need a 250 engine . . . . . . . . you would be good too find a motor of years - - - -
like from the 67 - 70 yr. I have a 73 4dr Nova with a 250 & 'smog pumped' . . . . =
' 250 ci rated @ 100hp' …………………… where as my 69 - 250ci motor is : 250ci rated @ 155hp .
(some 69 motors had - smog pumps (if a standard trans) . . . . some 69 motors had NO - smog
pumps (if came stock with an automatic trans). . . . . just FYI .

If . . . . . . you wish for a V-8 . . . . go for it . . . . and, skip the " 6 " .

just my 2cents . . . . . SIX in - A - ROW , Makes 'Em GO ! . . . . . jim

good 250 Six build thread here :


 
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years back an i mean years i had a 66 2-dr sedan with a 194 an a converted hearst shifter on the floor with the old 3 speed manual an had a 4.11 in the back. sure was fun around town but sure did tack out quick on the highway. sold that one when i got drafted.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks to all for the input here. I’m not looking for any power up grades out of this six,just stock until I figure out what motor will go in the car. What this all comes down to is will I be able to live with this fir awhile and based on some of the responses here it looks like I can. My personal opinion here,if you want more power go with a V8.
 

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1969 Nova . . 2dr . . Chino Valley,Az USA
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Hey . . . . just keep your car on th' road . . . . . but, keep looking for a 250 engine . I was buying them
(when I was still working - - I have 6 - 250 complete motors - - and, one 292 1 ton truck ).
They show up for sale . . . . . more often , when guys change over from their 6 motors too up-grade to
the V 8 motors . . . . . you never know . . . . . just keep shopping . (We just had a 230 engine on our
CraigList last month ) .
Even finding a " used 230 or 250 engine " might run better than u'r 194 . . . . . and , just a
'week-end swap' . . . . . EASY Change - Over ; everything swaps over on these 3 engines .
jim
 

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I'll add one caveat. Getting a higher horsepower V-8 into a convertible might really change the way it drives, and not necessarily for the better. There's added weight, and convertibles have inherently more flex than a hard top or sedan, so things might start to move a little. The rustier the convertible, the bigger the issue, so you might look into some other suspension/bracing mods to help manage more power.
 

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Many years ago I put a 327 in my 63 SS convertible. It handled that stock engine ok.

I think it was dealer install option for that year.
 
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