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View Full Version : Was Larger V-8 in the Cards?



Devan
08-31-2018, 07:15 PM
I've had some time on my hands lately so I've been trolling past posts. I've run across a few mentions of a 327 and 340 V-8 for the post 1964 Studebaker. I've never read about this before now and was wondering if this was general knowledge or just wishful thinking. Could these sizes be achieved reasonably safe with the present block? I was only aware of the 304 and thought I read that it was a bit of a stretch. If this was considered, do we know of any R&D prototypes and how these increases were to be achieved; bored, stroked, both. How about horsepower/torque results? I'm aware of many hot rod Stude engines but don't know if some are enlarged and how far it can be stretched. Just one more thing Studebaker needed to stay competitive.

RadioRoy
08-31-2018, 07:25 PM
Here's the story I heard:

Back when the engine was designed, there was talk of new higher octane super fuels in the future. The Studebaker designers built the engine so that compression could be significantly increased to take advantage of the new fuels. That's one reason the bottom end of the engine is so strong. Sadly, the super high octane fuels never materialized, and now we have super crappy fuels.

Other companies designed their V-8 engines so that displacement could be increased, but sadly, not our favorite company.

PackardV8
08-31-2018, 10:45 PM
Short answer is yes. There were a few prototype 3.875" bore blocks cast which gave 340" and the R3 heads were reportedly designed for that block. One of our members has a cast iron R3 intake manifold he theorized was a production prototype.

The Studebaker V8 block has slightly more bore center-to-center distance than the small block Chevrolet, which was ultimately enlarged to 4.125" bore and 3.75" stroke for 400". The Studebaker block is an inch taller than the SBC, so it has room for a 4" stroke, thus could theoretically have gone to 427".

jack vines

Warren Webb
08-31-2018, 11:06 PM
From what I see the position of where the head bolts to the block would be the main restriction of the bore. As Jack said the Chevy block has a bore center of 4.38 whereas the Studebaker carried a 4.5 bore center. Anything would have been possible but the bolt position & the heads would have required a major redesign, most likely eliminating the 6 bolt per cylinder to the industry common 5.

Mike Van Veghten
09-01-2018, 01:27 AM
And for what it's worth, despite what's said above, like Stude head material being really tough (it's not !), the bottom end of a Stude block really isn't a big deal either. Just like most of the other manufacturers, they all used steel crankshafts in their early engines. Some had more material in the main webs than the Stude block. For as beefy as the overall Stude block is, the main web ares are a little lacking for higher horsepower strength.

My opinion, like the standard crop of heads vs. cubic inch displacement, the R3 heads would JUST feed a 340 in. engine...for much more than daily driving. Like all the rest, a deft hand and some carbide cutters would be required for more...spirited driving. Though the R3 head is a maybe little better than the early very Chevy, Ford and Chrysler head, intake port flow wise.

Mike

sals54
09-01-2018, 07:41 AM
From what I see the position of where the head bolts to the block would be the main restriction of the bore. As Jack said the Chevy block has a bore center of 4.38 whereas the Studebaker carried a 4.5 bore center. Anything would have been possible but the bolt position & the heads would have required a major redesign, most likely eliminating the 6 bolt per cylinder to the industry common 5.

Or the Ford 289s which only had 4 bolts around each cylinder.

Devan
09-01-2018, 11:29 AM
Thanks for the informative comments. I don't know why I never thought to question this before. And thanks, Jack, for the spot on answer I was looking for. Kind of helps to feed the imagination of what ifs and what could have been. Good to know Studebaker engineers were aware of and working on engine growth needs to stay competitive. Superchargers were great but at he time cubic inches were king.