View Full Version : engine ID number -- Mr. Biggs??

03-31-2005, 11:09 PM
Thank you and all the other posters who answered Kevin Sheen's posting on his champ. I have asked a number of 'experts' how to tell which V8 I had.[:o)] They all said that it wasn't possible short of dismantling the motor and examining the cams etc...[xx(]

As to those engine numbers you fellas mentioned... I have one wagon that I know was assembled in Southbend. The engine number is VJ305. I scrubbed the area to a shine and that is the extent of the stamping. There isn't any mention in the resource page of that series of numbers. Any Ideas?[?]

I was delighted to find that the engine in my Canadian wagon is a pickup engine.:D

The pickup on the otherhand, has a car 289.[8D];)

This site rocks!!!:D[8D]:)

Lotsa Larks!!
Ron Smith

04-01-2005, 12:24 PM
Your engine breaks down as follows:


V--259 engine
J--September manufacture
05--5th day of the month

Hence, you engine is a 259 built Sept. 5, 1963.

All the codes can be found in the first few pages of the Chassis Parts Catalog.[:p]

04-01-2005, 01:03 PM
Yeah, this engine code is peculiar to the 1964 model cars ONLY. Whereas '63 and earlier cars each had their own, sequential engine serial#, for '64 (Remember, production of 64 models started in late summer of '63) they started numbering engines by using this date code. Consequently, however many 259s were built on a given date - they'd all have the same engine number! Same with 289s or any other variant. Same build date - same engine #. Goofy! But they must've figured that by that time, the states that were registering cars using the engine # had ceased to do so. Otherwise you'd have had a bunch of cars registered with the same identity![:0]
What's even goofier is that the truck parts book that covers the 8E models (63-64 trucks) shows the adoption of this same date code for 8E models and on the facing page, lists the starting serial #s as they'd been done before. Contradictory info from one page to the next![:I]

Miscreant at large.

04-01-2005, 02:09 PM
Mr Biggs, all the times I've looked at those two pages I never noticed that. I wonder if they never got the word on the truck engine'[|)]'
line or if somebody over there, said "the heck with that". Or maybe the order was rescinded because they couldnt afford the new stamps??

04-01-2005, 02:23 PM
What's more of a question is if any 8E engines WERE made with that code. I suppose it's possible that 64 editions of 8Es got the newer codes. It's possible I've just never seen one personally.
It would be interesting to know at what point someone stamped the engine # into the blocks. From the uneveness of these #s, it appears it was done one digit at a time. :D

Miscreant at large.

04-01-2005, 06:27 PM
Indeed, unfortunately neither of my 8E Champs have the original engine.
My "'64" 8E12 was built on 5-23-1963 and not "ordered" until 2 July '63.
Shipped to Centralia IL. Engine # 3E 21323 which I'm guessing has long since been recycled.

Have to find a Champ with a build date of later than JULY(with the original engine) since the new system was supposed to start in August 1963. With large stocks of Champs in inventory , I'd be supprised if many were built in August thru December.

04-02-2005, 11:33 PM
Thank you so much!! Each day more of the facinating history of this company is revealed to me. Or should I say the Greek comedy of Studebaker is played out.

Lotsa Larks!!
Ron Smith

04-03-2005, 11:13 AM
Ron - there's SO much to know about both the company and their products. There's guys that make me look like a "newbie" and yet there's discoveries waiting to be made! [:p]
Among the things Studebaker that I collect, one is the body tags that you find on the firewalls of Stude vehicles. We've discussed these here, many times. But having collected over 600 of them, I began to notice the subtle differences in some of them. One such difference, just this last week, I got some interesting insight to - but still not a hard answer.
As far as I know, thru the years these tags were made from a zinc alloy. But I bought one off ebay awhile back, and when it showed up here, it was obvious that it was made of steel. Never had seen such before - and it's was off a pretty rare car - a 1942 President.
I asked Richard Quinn (the fella who writes the "Almanac" column in TW and also is editor of the Antique Studebaker Review) if he had a clue. My thinking was that maybe this had been a material conservation move given WWII was in progress. He did some checking into the archives which didn't yield any definitive answer regarding the metal used to make the tag. But interestingly, it turns out the very car that that tag come from was built on Dec. 8th 1941. The very day AFTER Peral Harbor! Kinda neat to look at that tag and wonder what sort of chatter it was privy to as it progressed down the assembly line in South Bend.
Of course - as to it's metal makeup - it almost HAS to be related to the war effort. As soon as the war was over, they went back to using the zinc tags.
Anybody reading this got a '42 Stude? I'd like to know if the tag on it will attract a magnet.[:I]

Miscreant at large.

04-03-2005, 11:56 AM
They did the same with pennies and nickels of that era for the zinc and copper too, so it makes sense they would have used every resourse available including firewall tags. Kevin in the Stoogebaker

1963 Champ