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View Full Version : A Happy New Year to fellow Stude nuts!



Mr.Biggs
01-01-2005, 05:11 PM
Here it is, January First again! If Ted Harbit could go as fast as the years do, well, NO ONE could even give him a challenge!
I'm hoping this year affords me the time and incentive to finish a few of my Stude projects. Primarily my 53 Commander and the '57 President 2-door. So much else of higher priority keeps stepping to the head of the line that the project cars feel neglected.:(
My projects aside tho, I hope to see this forum grow in importance and participation as more and more Stude people become aware that it's here.
There ARE other forums. They have a loyal following and there's some great Studebaker minds in attendance of them. I hope some of them eventually start to chime in here as well.
Sonny & Jeff R. & Transtar60 along with others and myself are here to answer questions and offer advice with regards to Studebakers. Some of us (like myself) prefer to keep the breed as pure as is practical. For myself, a Studebaker has to have Studebaker power to be a real representation of the marque. My contention is that their engines were as much a part of a Studebaker as was the standout styling that makes them much more appealing than the ubiquitous '57 Impala or such. That Stude-powered cars are STILL setting records is vindication for the persistence of those who feel like I do.
That said, I realize there's a segment of the Stude world that consider alternative powerplants to be the ideal way to put a "Stude" back on the road. This segment has it's justifications for going that route and yet I just keep driving my Studebakers with Stude engines and not worrying about the trouble that supposedly awaits me. I might add that I've been doing so for 30+ years now. I can look you straight in the eye and relate that I've NEVER been stranded by a Studebaker or had a breakdown that had me stopped for more than 30 minutes.[^]
That last paragraph isn't a slam to cusstomizing your Studebaker. It's only to point up that I personally can't offer advice about embracing a GM 350 or a Fatman clip because I've never done such and don't forsee me doing such in this lifetime. There are others who can tho. And I hope they volunteer to provide answers when such questions arise here.[:I]
Let's dive in to the new year with gusto and see how much entusiasim we Stude types can stir up! We West Coasters have the International meet on OUR truf this year (Spokane Wash in August) Let's make the most of it! Amongst the independent makes, Studebaker is FAR AND AWAY the one with the most life and activity left to it. I could go on as to the reasons for this, but that this forum and others related to Studebakers are thriving tells the story well enough.
There's still plenty of Studes for entry level inductees to play with. Even here in California - every time I think the last of the undiscoverd Studebakers has turned up - bang! - another one presents itself. This was the case with the 53 Commander that laid itself in my lap last May! In fact, I just got word of two more Studes that have come out of hiding recently - one's a 61 V8 hardtop and the other's a 63 Cruiser. I've yet to go look at them but I plan to. If anyone's interested in them, drop me a line. I should be getting up to look at them in the next couple weeks.
Anyway - Happy New Year to you all and Happy Studebakering as well! :D

StudeBob, [}:)]

Miscreant at large.

johnesmonde
01-01-2005, 09:18 PM
I'm new to the forum (mid Dec.)and follow it daily. I have a 1930 Chev which I rebuilt to stock over a period of 10 years. Though this is a beautiful car, I always wanted a Studebaker Hawk because of its remarkable styling and found a 62 in excellent condition. It was a California car that had been brought to Windsor, Ontario. Needless to say, the '30 Chev has been very lonely for the 2 years I've had the Hawk. I really appreciate your comments about keeping a Stude a Stude. That's the way I felt about the Chev and also my Hawk.
I rub shoulders with a car club called 'The Rusty Nuts'.They are Chevy hot rod guys and don't take the Hawk seriously. Your coments about Stude engines has made me realize with a little work and some modifications I can keep the car basically stock yet really make them sit up and take notice.
I plan to do a disc brake upgrade with a Turner brake kit (great advice from my previous post). The engine is a 289 with a 4bbl. Any suggestions?
John

'62 Hawk
'30 Chev Coach

Sonny
01-01-2005, 11:45 PM
WELCOME John! Glad to hear that we have another Studebaker man up in Canada. There's a couple of very active Stude clubs in Hamilton and Ontario, a GREAT bunch, with some damn fine Studebakers.

I have a few suggestions for lighting the fire under that Hawk. You didn't say how bad that you want to whup those Chevies, but put the R3 valves and heavier valve springs in it, steel head gaskets, a Ted Harbit cam, an Edelbrock 4 barrel, Pertronix ignition, a little port matching and you ought to be able to keep those Chevy fellas pretty busy.

There's more upgrades that would make it even more capable, but that means new heads, a punch, a better intake manifold, mebbe even a set of R3 exhaust manifolds, and some kind of supercharger/turbo setup. Things are getting better for the high performance side of our house. In fact, (here's a shameless plug [:I]), you can keep up with it at http://RacingStudebakers.com. Keep us updated on the progress will ya John?

Once again, welcome home, glad we got to meet ya, good luck with that Hawk!

Sonny
http://RacingStudebakers.com

Roscomacaw
01-02-2005, 01:00 PM
John,
Glad to have a new fellow Stude nut in our midst. Sonny's said it as far as specifics go. In a nutshell - enhanced breathing. That's what wakes up a Stude V8. The bottom end is strong enough without ANY upgrading at all. There's just too many hot Stude engines out there now that prove that point to where it can be ignored.
Studes ALL came with a forged crankshaft and the meat in the main bearing cradles is terrifically strong. That's part of the reason this engine is so heavy! Carillo rods and special bolts need not even be thought about until you REALLY start shoving some air down it's throat. Even then - it's not more than insurance - not absolute necessity.
There's expert opinion and proof that the lesser stroke Studes can spin up tremedously so long as the valve train can be made to play along. The 259 incantation of a Stude V8 seems willing to go to 7K while the lesser known 224cu.in. edition might go as high as 9K. Might I repeat - this is IF you can keep the valves from floating in those stratospheric realms of RPMs. ;)
As Sonny intimates, there's lots of life to be woke up before you graduate to a blower or a turbo. LOTS!:D Enhance your Hawk's breathing and make the bow-tie bunch nervous. [}:)]

Miscreant at large.

johnesmonde
01-02-2005, 02:06 PM
Thanks for the response Sonny and Jeff! Your tips help me plan where to go next. Will the 2-speed automatic take the extra power? The car is currently great on the highway and seems powerful once rolling along, but it's a real dog out of the hole.Should some rear end work be considered? I've simply enjoyed driving the car for two years and haven't had to do too much work on it. Right now I couldn't tell you the type of carb,rear end ratio etc. but I'm about to find out. I had put the cars in storage for the winter but brought the Hawk back to the garage yesterday to begin work on it. I like the positiveness on the forum and plan to lean on you guys for help as I'm a bit rusty. I believe in not being too proud and asking. Just a note to Sonny. I've tried sending you e-mail through the forum as I realize this is not a chat line but can't get it to work -says it's sent but was not - tested by sending to myself, but no go. Is there a trick I'm missing? Perhaps you could try e-mailing me as I have some questions regarding Racing Studebakers.
John.

'62 Hawk
'30 Chev Coach

Sonny
01-02-2005, 02:35 PM
Sorry that you had problems with the email system, mebbe Bob can take a look at it for us. My direct email address is 50starlite@adelphia.net. Please feel free to email me anytime.

As for your "two speed" transmission, surprise!, it's a three speed John! ;) Yep, you'll get a whole different start off the line if you put it in "L" before you take off! Studebakers, for the most part, have always started in second gear if you simply leave the gear selector in "D". A good way to shift it for whupin' a brand-x is, start in "L", after you take off and just near valve float, shift into "D", (it'll shift into second), then pull it right back down into "L", (it'll hold second gear), leave in "L" until just before valve float in second then shift it up into "D". That'll surprise 'em! ;)

As for the rear end ratio, looking at the "punkin" from the back of the car, down on the lower, right-hand area of the center housing, get a wire brush and clean that grease off. You'll find, (probably), the numeral "44" there. That tells you that it's a Dana model 44 rear end, stronger than lower numbered Dana rear ends. Also, look for metal tags underneath the bolts on the bottom of the rear cover. Clean em' up and they will tell you the ratio and if you have a "TT" or posi rear end. Sometimes there's even a warning tag that says, "This is a limited slip rear end, yah-ta, yah-ta", (if you're lucky :))

In any event, please feel free to email me with any question that you have. (Oh, and MR. Biggs real name is Bob. :), but you'll get to know him pretty well if ya hang out with us ;))


Sonny
http://RacingStudebakers.com

Roscomacaw
01-02-2005, 06:25 PM
John,
Sonny's on the money about your "2-speed" tranny. It's really a 3-spd automatic. The theory is that Stude made them start in 2nd gear in regular driving as an economy measure. Some say it was to afford better traction in slippery conditions. Either way, about 95% of the V8 auto trannys in Studes started in 2nd. While Sonny talks about starting in the "L" position, if the throttle pressure linkage of your car is adjusted right, it should start out in first if you romp down on the gas pedal from a standstill. It shifts to 2nd pretty quick - along about 20 to 25 MPH if you hold that pedal to the floor.
As to your question about the worth of that tranny - man, that thing can take a beating and just keep goin'!!! Our esteemed Mr. Harbit raced one of those in the legendary Chicken Hawk for a dozen years before he changed (and this is WITHOUT any rebuilds or such!). When he did go to a GM Turbo-hydro, he blew a couple of them up in quick succession before he got one to hold together behind that turbo'd Stude engine in the Chicken Hawk. Heh - he only changed trannies because the "experts" told him the old Borg-Warner wasn't up to the task.:(
Going back to the 1st gear start. There were a few early '56 Stude V8 cars that CAME with a 1st gear start version of the Flight-o-matic (hereafter reffered to as an FOM)but in mid-year, they went to 2nd gear start. Also, the 6 cylinder cars and some V8 fleet/police vehicles used the same basic tranny and they got 1st gear start - in the case of the 6s, in deference to their limited power. That said, you can't just bolt in a 6-cylinder valve body in a V8 FOM and get 1st Gear start. There ARE 1st gear start valve bodies out there that ARE bolt-in refits for the V8 FOMs - BUT, what I've heard from those that have tried them is that unless you find the right GOVERNOR unit to work in concert with the new valve body, the results are disappointing. And no one seems to have the info as to which governor is THE one to use with the replacement valve body.[?]
Maybe the thing to do would be to find an early 1st gear start FOM and try to discern just which governor IT uses as a teammate to it's valve body. BTW, the 56 & 57 FOMs had a short tailhousing and fed into a 2-piece driveshaft (It's up to the task too!) whereas the 58 and later FOMs sported a longer tailshaft and a single-piece driveshaft. There was also another, later variant called a PowerShift that allowed you to work thru the gears individually. This was usually paired with the R-series engine options and was operated via a floor-shift/console arrangement - not off the column.;)
The FOMs are ass-kick trannies that are still easily rebuilt and even cheaper than the TH 350s and such. The only thing they DON'T have to offer is an O/D variant.[:o)]
Oh yeah - as Sonny says, my name is Bob - Stude Bob to many in Stude land. Sonny and I have the two ends of the continent covered in that he's in NY state and I'm in Californee!

Miscreant at large.

johnesmonde
01-02-2005, 09:34 PM
Thanks Sonny and Bob. Sorry about missing your name Bob, I really did know it but stuck in Jeff's name absent mindedly. Your info is absolutely superb! I'm going to tryout that 3-speed thing next day it's clear with no ice, then I can start tearing it apart. Sure feels good getting such great advice. I'll check out those rear end numbers this week.
John

'62 Hawk
'30 Chev Coach

Sonny
01-02-2005, 11:13 PM
Just glad we could help John. Hey, have I mentioned that you can push-start your Studebaker, even though it has an automatic? ;)

Sonny
http://RacingStudebakers.com

Roscomacaw
01-03-2005, 11:27 PM
No offense taken, John. There's lots worse folks you could cross me up with than Jeff. [^]

Miscreant at large.