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1953 to 1962 Corvette Service Repair Manual

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1953-1962 Corvette Shop Service Repair Manual

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05: 1956-1957 Corvette Engine


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The 265 cubic inch V-8 engine, modified for increased horsepower, replaces the six-cylinder engine as regular equipment on the Corvette for 1956. A higher compression ratio, optional dual four barrel carburetors and 'new exhaust manifolds result in a gross output of 225 horsepower . With single four-barrel carburetor, the horsepower is 210.


New cylinder heads with a redesigned combustion chamber provide a compression ratio of 9.25-to-1 as compared to the previous 8-to-1. Attractive new rocker covers are die-cast aluminum.


Exhaust valves are made of 21-4N high alloy steel replacing the Silchrome XCR steel valves formerly used. The new material will greatly reduce the possibility of breakage and distortion. Valve faces are aldipped to minimize burning.


Two four barrel carburetors, connected by delayed action linkage, are provided as regular equipment for the more powerful engine. Two buffed aluminum air cleaners, of the oil-wetted type, are used with the carburetors, and intake manifolds are redesigned, having two carburetor mounting pads arranged in tandem.


Entirely redesigned, new exhaust manifolds have larger gas passages and a take-down at the center rather than at the end. These changes result in reduced back pressure and improved engine breathing.


A full-flow lubricating oil filter is provided as standard equipment. The cylinder block casting is revised to provide a mounting pad for the filter at the rear, left side. The filter element is of the replaceable type and permits rapid passage of oil with minimum drop in pressure.


To permit mounting of the full-flow oil filter unit, the crankcase ventilator road draft tube is relocated to the engine exterior. The tube attaches to the top of the block, at the rear, jointing the internal ventilator tube, and passes down along the right hand side of the flywheel housing. A new oil filler cap, argent in color, restricts air flow to prevent oil loss through the ventilator tube at high engine speeds.


A new two-breaker distributor is introduced permitting more stable operating at high engine speeds. New spark plugs, with ribbed insulators, increase resistance to flash-over approximately 20 per cent. Silicon nipples protect the plugs.


New bright metal shielding encases the distributor, coil, ignition cables and spark plugs.


To reduce noise and vibration, a new generator mounting is introduced, having a rubber bushing pressed into the generator end frame. A spacer, through which the generator attaching bolt passes, allows secure attachment without extreme compression of the rubber bushing.


A new clutch of coil spring design is provided for use with the standard three speed transmission, replacing the former diaphragm spring type.


Continued without change for 1956 are the engine mounts, high-lift camshaft, mechanical type valve tappets, valve springs and dampers, and 12-volt electrical system.





Cylinder heads have redesigned combustion chambers which increase the compression ratio to 9.25-to-1 over the former 8-to-1.


Although the spark plug position remains unchanged, the combustion chamber wall on the plug side is altered, reducing volume. The new contour provides a recessed area around the spark plug electrode.


The new heads in combination with the dual four-barrel carburetors and new exhaust manifolds boost gross power output to 225 horsepower at 5200 rpm, as compared with the previous 195 at 5000. Maximum gross torque is increased to 270 foot pounds at 3600 rpm, from the 260 foot pounds at 3000 rpm for 1955.




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