View Full Version : 57 Silver Hawk Engine Problems

11-05-2005, 03:18 PM
Hello, I'm new to Studebakers and recently acquired a 57 Silver Hawk, 6-cyl, manual with no overdrive. The engine runs pretty well but seems a little tired, leaks oil and kicks out a continuous trail of gray smoke even when warm.

I've been thinking about pulling the 6-cyl and replacing it with an 8-cyl (259 or 289, either would be fine) with auto trans or manual with overdrive if I can find a donor car with good engine & trans. Since finding another 57 Silver Hawk donor car with a good engine and trans is limiting, I was wondering if anyone has any other suggestions as to models to look for that would be a good candidate for the swap (I understand there may be issues with the 57 drive shaft and rear seat floor pans). I'd like to drive the car at least a couple of times a week, with some freeway driving. Any feedback at all about this is welcomed.

11-05-2005, 04:18 PM
Any V8 donar car will give you most of what you need.(many 4 doors Larks have given their life for that purpose.):) You can run a one piece driveshaft without a lot of work.

Studebaker On The Net http://stude.com
64 GT Hawk
64 R2 4 speed Challenger
63 R2 4 speed GT Hawk
53 Street rod

11-05-2005, 06:32 PM
My first Studebaker 15+ years ago was a 1957 silver hawk with the 6 cylinder and an automatic transmission. Talk about little pep. But, one thing you can do is get a higher compression flat head for it. I did that and I could definitely feel the difference. I can't remember if that was before or after I had the engine rebuilt.

If yours is wedgewood blue I sure would be interested if you want to sell. Right now I have a 1962 GT hawk that has cost me a ton and I still have a way to go. My family thinks, as I do, that I really belong in a finned hawk! I like the GT and the v8 is OK, but really, with speed equipment available from Cathcart and others you can make your car into a machine that can run proudly with any regular V8 hawk and you'll have something pretty unique, too! It would probably cost less than going through the hassle of fitting a V8 in there. DON'T forget, if you put a V8 in there you'll have to upgrade the brakes to brakes meant for hawks with V8 engines, as they are different than the ones on the sixes. Also, you'll probably want to add the front anti-sway or torsion bar. I put one of those on my 6 cyl. hawk, and with the lighter front end (because it had the flathead engine) the front end handling was simply great.

11-06-2005, 08:51 AM
I believe 1957 V-8s still used the two piece driveshaft, yes? So to convert to a V-8 you would need any Stude V-8, and any Stude V-8 transmission with the short tailshaft, and the appropriate driveshaft assembly for a C or K body. Also would probably want an early Dana 44 rear end. If you change from stick to automatic, you will also need the appropriate steering column jacket and associated shifter parts. If you stay with a stickshift, you will probably need the shift rods and maybe some pieces of the clutch linkage; might want to spend some quality time with the parts books to see what is different between "S" and "V" versions of your car.

A single piece driveshaft will work, if you simply cut out the crossmember that mounts the carrier bearing. I have heard that there's a possible floor pan interference problem with doing this, but I sure can't see it. (my '55 coupe is running a single-piece shaft with a late FOM tranny and '63 full flow V-8.) It appears that I would have to get seriously airborne and come down hard to hit anything. What you may have an issue with is the pinion angle of the rear end. I am running R3 motor mounts on my car (thinking towards the possible future install of A/C) and the change in the mounting angle of the engine seems to have corrected the driveshaft angles without shims. When the chassis was changed in '58, not only did they change the driveshaft but the rear springs were changed as well to asymmetric leaves and apparently the spring pads were rotated slightly on the axle housing to nose the rear end down a little bit. How much exactly I do not know; nor can I tell you whether this actually changed the pinion angle when installed in the car (as the springs are different.) Basically this bit is trial and error; use an angle gauge to see where you need to go if you get a driveshaft vibration.

Buying an exhaust is easy, *if* you keep in mind what exactly you are doing. In my case I have a '55 exhaust on the driver's side; the passenger side is GT Hawk from the manifold to the muffler and '55 from there back. (the '55 pass. side head pipe doesn't hit, but is close to the full flow oil filter; the '55 pass. side main exhaust pipe will not fit at all with the under-hood transmission dipstick tube. However, the '55 driver's side head pipe provides significantly more starter clearance as apparently the 6V starter was larger, making removing the 12V starter with the engine hot possible, which is nice if you're flushing the cooling system. It does not interfere at all with the Saginaw power steering.) You will need to use early tailpipes; I'd suggest getting ones for a '55 as they are slightly larger diameter than 56-57. The driver's side tailpipe hanger is a bit contrived; there's some pics on my web site of the one that I made for my '55 to try to duplicate the factory setup. (the location of the early, pre-58 gas tank was locked in before anyone ever considered the possibility of using a dual exhaust.) Much thanks to Don Simmons of Silvertone for explaining all the differences to me and working with me to get the right exhaust setup for my particular combination. If you are converting from a six, you will not have the driver's side exhaust pipe bracket bolted to the frame rail, but no fear, Myer's sells the bracket you need (I imagine Silvertone probably has them as well.) You will also need a 55-57 rear splash pan with two cutouts for the tailpipes. A 58-up unit will not work without custom tailpipes. I don't see a big problem leaving it off until you can locate one however, it appears to be solely cosmetic, and likely nobody will notice it's missing unless you bring it to their attention.

Since I ASSume you will be swapping the rear end, that takes care of the rear brakes. Just make sure you don't get a rear with the 11" Avanti style brakes; they are not self energizing and will bias the car toward the front brakes. This is not as big a safety concern as rear-bias, but is not conducive to ultimate stopping power. You want to get a set of the regular 10" dru

11-06-2005, 08:54 AM
Almost forgot to mention. JDP's suggestion about using a donor drivetrain from a Lark is a viable option; however, you need to get the throttle linkage and transmission throttle pressure rod from a C-K body with the same engine combination, otherwise the gas pedal rod will not come through the hole in the floor at the correct angle. Someone apparently did this to my '55 but instead of finding the correct linkage, they cut the hole in the floor larger with a dull muffler chisel. (OUCH!) Yeah, I'm fixing that.


55 Commander Starlight
62 Daytona hardtop

11-06-2005, 09:12 AM
One more thought. The Dana 27 rear end used different diameter axle tubes than the Dana 44 so when you go to install the 44 you will need new rear spring plates and U-bolts. To keep your stock shocks you will need Dana 44 spring plates for a 62 or earlier car. I would try to find ones with the tabs for the rear sway bar if you can. Alternately I think late spring plates will work but you will need shocks for a 63-66 car then. The U-bolts are no big deal, your FLAPS should have them.

good luck,


55 Commander Starlight
62 Daytona hardtop

11-06-2005, 03:38 PM
N8; International Harvester P/N 412423C11 are cheep and easy to find. U bolts.