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mjeansonne
01-02-2005, 08:12 PM
Disaster has struck!!!!

I was driving my 1963 Champ on the interstate the other day, when
suddenly, I noticed the power starting to diminish. As I slowed down, I heard a "tic - ticcing" and the power started to really diminish! I pulled off the road and, being unable to use my prosthetic leg very well in the emergency situation to depress the clutch, I reached down and turned the ignition off. The truck jerked to a stop. Unfortunately, I can no longer turn the engine over, either using the starter or by hand. Now you know my problem with the engine! I have no idea to what degree the engine is damaged.

I was involved in an accident 3 years ago that left me with an amputation of my left leg below the knee (the reason for not being able to operate the clutch well. My plans had originally called for changing just the transmission by intalling a GM 700R4, using one of the adapters available as well as adding a Fatman Fabrications front end.

Because of other constraints beyond my control, I have decided to go with a modern G.M. engine rather than repair the Stude engine at this time. I wanted to do some other creative work to the Stude engine, so will now do it at my leisure, but continue to use the truck.

My question is: What is the weight of the 259 c.i.d. V-8 Studebaker engine, back to and including the bell housing with torque converter and flywheel? This information is necessary so as to determine what G.M. engine use in the interim so that the weight will not be different from that of the Stude engine.

I really love my truck, I've had it for almost 20 years! There have been many times that it was the only vehicle my family had to rely on... everything else was broken even though they were fine modern vehicles! It has always been dependable, so I do hate to put a G.M. engine in it and do so only after much thought, consideration and soul searching!! Of course the Stude engine will go back eventually.

Thanks for any information you can provide.

whacker
01-02-2005, 08:56 PM
mjeansonne, I have heard the weight of the V8 is 670 lbs complete. I do not know the weight of the bellhousing, but I can lift it pretty easily - maybe 30 lbs? The flywheel I'm not sure of, but I'd estimate 40-45 lbs - I carried one half a mile once. If you don't already have a spare brand x engine in stock, why not replace the Studebaker V8 with a Studebaker V8? I see them come up for sale on ebay pretty often, the largest expense might be shipping. They really don't cost any more than a brand X and the engineering has been done. You would be surprised at how nicely the car engine will fit in that truck! If you buy a rusted out Lark with an automatic, you could part out the Lark to cover your expenses, and fitting the transmission won't be any harder than fabricating mounts for the 700R4. Put an aftermarket floor shift conversion on the transmission so you don't have to find truck linkage parts, and your good to go! Your truck, your choice, but please consider your alternatives!

Roscomacaw
01-02-2005, 09:05 PM
I'm with Whacker on this one. OF course - it IS your truck and some brandX engine can propell it down the road, no doubt. But as whacker says, with the studee engine, the engineering's mostly done for you.
Where are you located? I mean, what general area? That might facilitate finding you a replacement engine that won't kill you with freight charges.

Actualy, I didn't see where you'd said just what engine your Champ has right now. I might ASSUME it's a V8 but you didn't make that clear. MAn, there's no other small block out there that weighs as much as the Stude V8. That heft is part of what makes it such a great powerplant.[^]

Miscreant at large.

mjeansonne
01-02-2005, 09:37 PM
Thanks for the replies.

Sorry, I thought I had noted that the engine in the truck is a 259 c.i.d. V-8. As I noted too, in my mind the Stude engine is far superior to anything else on the market today. During the time I have had my truck, I have also owned Mercedes, Lexus and Cadillac. When they were broke down, the only thing we had to drive was the Studebaker Champ... repeat the Studebaker Champ! Don't worry, there is no need to sell me on the reliability of the Studebaker engines!! I live in Louisiana and until 2 weeks ago, I would have driven my truck to Spokane, Washington without hesitation! If anyone has a short or long block 259 I could pickup reasonably, please, please, please let me know!

HOWEVER, as I turn my attention to the Studebaker automatic transmissions, that it is another question. I had one in a 1954 Champion and presently have one in my wife's 1962 Hawk w/289 V-8... I ain't crazy about them!!!!!! I won't change to a modern transmission in the Hawk, but I wouldn't want to convert a standard to a Studebaker automatic!!!

Still, as I rattle on... If anyone has a T-Cab with a Studebaker automatic in it that they would consider trading, I would be interested! No, I wouldn't convert it to a 700R4... no need to do that (see my prior paragraph) Also, have a Stutz camper for the Champ that I have no need for.

whacker
01-02-2005, 10:11 PM
I have never done an engine swap myself, but I have helped others to do a few. Every one I have been involved in has cost twice as much and taken three times as long (minimum) as the original estimate. Many of them have never been finished. My experience has been that it is not the big things that stop you, it is the little stuff. The motor mounts and the frame crossmember mods are easy. Things like the throttle linkage and routing the exhaust past the steering box and being sure the steering bellcrank has full travel, and where does the fuel get routed and how do we change over the wiring? Not to mention the transmission linkage and the driveshaft and universal joints. I know of several engine swaps that ended up destroying two good cars. I know a couple that have sat now for over two years, the engine and transmission in the car, but it can't be driven. You don't just pull the old engine out and snap the new one in on a weekend. The engineering of a Studebaker engine with an automatic into a Studebaker that used to have a stick would be trivial in comparison. I can understand not liking the 1954 transmission, but the 1955 transmission is a work of art! Or, if you really want a GM tramsmission, get one of Dave Levesque's adapter kits and put in a 700R4. The engineering will still be a lot less than doing the whole job. I see Wisconsin Studebaker (dolsr on ebay) is advertising a 298 long block on ebay right now - may have just ended with no bidders - give him a call.

mjeansonne
01-02-2005, 10:51 PM
I appreciate your thoughts... I've considered those points too! I probably won't do anything real soon... but I continue to think what to do!

I just got off EBay and didn't see anything about an engine advertised... other than some bearings. I must be looking in the wrong place.

whacker
01-02-2005, 10:59 PM
I think you are looking in the right place, I think that auction ended yesterday with no bidders. Try Wisconson Studebakers, the phone number should be in the want ads here or in Turning Wheels. He is the guy with NOS 259 cranks and NOS 1965 fenders and stuff like that. I'm pretty sure he still has at least one NOS 289 long block around. I don't think shipping would be too bad if you could have it shipped to a comercial loading dock. Shipping heavy things for home delivery is unreasonable, but if you have access to a loading dock, the price can be very attractive.

whacker
01-02-2005, 11:07 PM
Look at ebay item 4515426648 - ended today earlier

Transtar60
01-03-2005, 07:26 AM
Here is a donor Lark Viii

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=6466&item=4516588715&rd=1

Sonny
01-03-2005, 02:44 PM
I looked at both of those ebay items fellas, and I have to say that, yes, it's possible that they're worth what the sellers are asking, but I've seen parts cars, (hell, I've bought 'em), a LOT cheaper. I dunno what your situation and capability is Mike, (as far as that bad leg), making it difficult to "part out" a donor car. Where are you located Mike? Are you in the local Stude club? Somebody around you MUST have a spare 259 engine sitting around. If it's just a short block that you need, shipping shouldn't be too much.

As far as the automatic, I'm thinkin' that you can't ignore your bad leg Mike. I like to keep it as much Stude as a fella can, but in your situation, putting a Stude automatic in may not do it for ya. That 3 speed stick with OD is the best way to go for a pickup. Normally the pickups have a 4.something rear end, and putting the Stude auto in would probably make you decide to change the rear end to lower gears too. If you had something like a 3.54 in it, OK, but 3.73 up is just too low for daily, highway driving. Thinking about your special situation, I don't think you should rule out the GM auto tranny with OD, if you want to keep the same driving characteristics as you're enjoying now, unless you want to change the rear end.

I'm wondering what the heck happened to your present engine.... Mebbe not catastrophic, and parts are a lot easier/cheaper to ship. Can you afford to let it get a little rest while you rebuild the engine? Just trying to think of things to help in your situation. I HATE to hear that a daily driven Studebaker quit, it's unbelievable!!! ;)


Sonny
http://RacingStudebakers.com

mjeansonne
01-03-2005, 04:34 PM
Thanks fellas for all the info. Having sat around today and thought about it, I am more inclined to repair what I have. Back in 1978 I found a NOS Stude shortblock 6 cyl. built July 11, 1963 and still in its crate. I got the engine to put in a 1950 Champion. Eventually I did, but had to change several things to do it, including modifying the engine to transmission plate. Didn't dial it in, but that didn't bother it! Ran great. I still (out of an abundance of precaution) had the machine shop go through it to make sure the bearing surfaces weren' corroded. Sorry to say, and with all due respect, but that would always be one of my concerns on any NOS short block, particularly running around the last 40+ years outside its crate!!!

As far as a parts car (and I do appreciate the leads), I would hate myself to tear up such a good car for what I want. My 1950 was in worse shape than the car in North Carolina! If my 13 year old daughter would settle for a sedan instead of a convertible, I would buy it!

Also, because of my prosthesis on my left leg, loss of feeling in my left hand, combined with 3 plates in my right ankle, its hard for me to just look under a car. I have to get on the ground to do it. I know lots of people missing a leg that probably don't have that problem, but its been only 3 years since my accident I had a young lady broadside me while I was on my Harley!!

Sonny, you're right on the money as far as the 700R4 overdrive automatic. My rear end is a 4.09 and the overdrive would work perfect and make it more road worthy. I've thought about converting for years, but now its a necessity!! I'm in Louisiana, working in Shreveport 5 days a week and make my home in Alexandria on weekends. I've contacted the State SDC club to send out an APB, but haven't heard anything yet. Since I'm close to Texas too, I may check with one of their clubs.

Appreciate everyone's input and gladly wait to hear any additional input that may be forthcoming.

BeeJay
01-04-2005, 04:16 PM
Don't think you would have to worry about weight. The Chev 350 weighs less that the Stude V-8. The OD is the way to go with an Automatic. My Stude turns just 2000 RPM @ 70 MPH with a 3:54 rear gear. If you are not terribly set on a later engine, I have a 232.6 from my '53 complete with Stude's automatic setting on the warehouse floor. The engine was running and driving when removed from the car about three or four years ago. People I bought the car from claimed that the trans had recently been rebuilt. Was not a concern for me as I didn't intend to use it anyway.
BJ

Own '53 Commander Starliner. Red w/beige top. 350 Chev/700R4. Tilt,cruise,A/C.