Thanks for the book! I thought I’d share my impressions.
Deve’s website is an amazing source of information, images, and videos on Chevy inline-6 engines so I’m glad to see some of the content made available in book form.
The book is divided up with engine identification, teardown, machine shop prep, and projects to do while the block and head are at the machine shop. The assembly portion of the book is especially helpful (I’m really good at taking things apart but I welcome the guidance on re-assembly). There is a good level of detail with clear steps and I really appreciated the pro tips such as: how to mark the flywheel for easier valve adjustment and how to make a custom dipstick tube. While the engine in the book is a later 1950s 261 Jobmaster, the book would apply to 216 and 235 Thriftmaster engines and this should apply for cars as well as trucks.
Most of the book covers a stock restoration but there are some really cool home-brew upgrades like converting from the stinky road draft tube to a PCV valve; how to upgrade to ignition to HEI; electronic fuel delivery; and full-flow oil conversion. One great thing about the author’s website site is all the upgrade plans are available for free or the author will build and sell these modifications as kits.
I enjoyed how the book was divided into smaller projects that someone like me could tackle on a weekend. Distributor rebuild, carb rebuild, or some info on prepping and painting all the tins… all things that could be done while the block and head are at the machine shop.
The format of the book is a good mix of clear photos, callouts with extra info (pro tips, special tools, etc), and informative sidebars. My favorites where the sidebars that discussed piston ring tolerances, torque specs, and valve lash specs. I have this info spread across a few books and manuals so it’s nice to have it consolidated.
Readers should note that the book covers rebuilding and modifying Stovebolts for more reliability and efficiency–it’s not a book about hot rodding for high performance (I think there’s room for another book covering Stovebolt hop ups including: intake swaps, carb swaps, how to tune multiple carbs, exhaust options, and different cams.).
I think the book could have also benefited readers with additional sections for engine troubleshooting, evaluating whether or not an engine needs to be rebuilt, and details on how to start old engines that have sat for a while. Also, I had hoped for more details about water pump selections (due to fitment issues that arise when swapping later Stovebolts into earlier trucks). I’m a suburban dad with my first 1950s Chevy half ton truck and my first car project in 20 years. I don’t have all the tools or the experience, but with the sage advice from other builders and books like this, hopefully I can get her 261 rebuilt and get her back on the road soon!
Mike Weksler Dec 2018