View Full Version : New to Forum with many questions

Mike Wallace
09-11-2007, 10:25 AM

My name is Mike Wallace and I live in Mound, MN (western suburb of Twin Cities). I have inherited my grandfather's 1953 2R5 that has been stored inside for the last 30 years in his garage in Iowa. I remember as a little kid riding "hump" in the same truck and having to deal with the flesh burning seats and not step through the hole under the drivers feet back that was there in the mid '70's.

As I begin the journey of returning the truck to the road, I am finding out that I wish I would have taken auto shop instead of drafting in high school. I get the basics, but there are so many little things that I don't get.

I have a VIN (2R-99314) and a GVW (4600), but that is all I can read on the plate on the drivers side seat.

I have been told that the original engine got about 60 MPG...for oil consumption (cracked somewhere) and that the motor in it now is not the original. In my research before posting, it seems imperative to know what year my motor is to correctly replace parts. There is one stamped label on the engine block on the drivers side that says - 8 E 22 - but I can't find anything that corresponds to that number.

How do I tell if it is a Champion 6 or a Commander 6? Does that really matter? The motor isn't seized, has some compression in all cylinders. Next step check the fuel system?

I am looking forward to this project. It is a part of my family and my grandfather wouldn't let me have it until I was old enough not to "hot rod" the truck. When I was old enough not to hot rod it, I didn't want it. Now that I am even older, I am excited to have it and to let my kids ride in it someday.

Thanks in advance for all the help.


09-11-2007, 10:38 AM
Hi Mike!

Good to have you here. I can't tell you much about your truck, but a lot of guys here can. I CAN tell you that it matters a lot whether you have a Champion or Commander engine as they are very different.

I live in Hutchinson, MN and we have a pretty active club in the metro area. Mike Rassett lives in Montrose and has several cars and a couple later trucks. I'm sure he could help you figure some stuff out if you need a person locally to help you. If you want contact information for him just email me.

09-11-2007, 10:39 AM
Mike, let me be among the first to welcome you to the forum! The experts are here - I'm not one of them. It's great you want to save Grandpa's pickup and I know what you mean about having to reach a certain age before sentiment (or dementia, my wife might argue) kicks in and the ol' truck begins to mean more than basic transportation.
Welcome, from a transplanted midwesterner!

Western Washington, USA

09-11-2007, 10:41 AM
Hi Mike... welcome to the forum!:) You will find lots of good folks and advice here. I strongly recommend that you join the SDC, which will definitely enhance your ownership of a Studebaker vehicle. Here is the link: http://www.studebakerdriversclub.com/aboutsdc.asp

What will get you the most and best help quickly is for you to post some pictures of your truck and motor. This will allow the folsk here to provide the most accurate advice. Good Luck with tyour project.[8D]

'57 Transtar
3E-6/7-122 </h5>

Dwain G.
09-11-2007, 12:24 PM
The Commander six is physically larger than the Champion six. The quickest way to tell them apart is to look at the exhaust manifold. On the 'big' six it curls up and over the intake manifold. I like to call them 'elkhorn headers'. A 2R5 is a 1/2 ton pickup and originally would only have been available with the 170 cid Champion engine.
The 8E22 label doesn't seem to belong there. Is this a separate label attached to the block? The actual engine number should be stamped in a smooth flat area at the top, front, left side of the engine block.
Have you visited the Studebaker Truck Talk Forum:

Dwain G.

09-11-2007, 12:42 PM
Here are a couple of charts that might help. According to the chart, the 2R5 has a Champion engine.



Leonard Shepherd


Mike Wallace
09-11-2007, 01:00 PM
Thanks for the welcome's. I have already checked into the SDC membership. I have to be careful though, the warden already thinks I belong to too many things. Actually, it's on the list of things to do with the truck.

Mike Wallace
09-11-2007, 01:09 PM
Dwain, thanks for the forum address. In my internet travels I have visited that forum and have it bookmarked. There isn't anything on the top, front, left side of the engine. That tag/label is attached to the block around the engine midpoint on the driver's side.

Leonard, yes those charts help. I also know that it is a 112" wheelbase but couldn't decipher the champion part. Thank you.

Thanks again for the info and welcome. My wife was already unhappy with the amount of time I spend on muskie fishing forums, I wonder how long I can hide this one


09-11-2007, 03:15 PM
quote:Leonard, yes those charts help. I also know that it is a 112" wheelbase but couldn't decipher the champion part. Thank you.

The Champion engine is the 169.6 cu.in. engine. The Commander six is the 245.6 cu.in.

The 232 and 259 cu.in. engines are V8s.

Leonard Shepherd


Mike Wallace
09-11-2007, 05:39 PM
Dwain G.,

After you hit me over the head (literally, of course) with where that engine number should be I went back and check again and I think I found it: IRII8336

Can I assume that the I's are really 1's? If so, what is the code for figuring out the motor year?


09-11-2007, 08:03 PM
Howdy Mike from nearby Delano.Do you go to hot rod night at the drive in on Thursdays?
I'll be there this week.

09-11-2007, 08:44 PM
I'm not a truck or engine expert, but since no one else has answered the question, I will venture a guess looking at the chart I posted.

The beginning engine number for a 49 R5 is 1R-001

The beginning engine number for a 54 R5 is 1R-149,001

so I would assume that yours is a 53 Champion (169.6 cu.in.)engine

Leonard Shepherd


09-11-2007, 09:20 PM
quote:Can I assume that the I's are really 1's?
Yes. On engines and serial plates, Studebaker stamped an I, always interpreted as a 1.

Brad Johnson
Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
http://www.4wheelz.net/virtual/images/rockne/1928_rockne03_f820_th.jpg'33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight, '53 Commander Starlight

Mike Wallace
09-12-2007, 09:12 AM
Thanks to all,

Leonard, your post gave me the "ahhh, now I get it." I hadn't figured out that the numbers went from 001 to 149,001 in 53. that makes sense.

Bob40, I drive by it all the time but have never stopped. Cars don't do it for me (yet), but I understand the obsession and comraderie.