View Full Version : Engine ID and a few other questions

Troy S
07-15-2015, 04:22 PM
Hey all,
New to the forum so I thought I would say hello, ask about an engine ID and get any thoughts / advise you guys may have on the project. I have a chance to buy what I've been told is a 1950 1/2 ton pickup for $2500. The guy who owns it bought it back from the north west somewhere, it had set for years behind the previous owners barn, but he's out of town so I can't get anymore details for the time being. He says he has everything for it, but the cab floors, supports, corners and door bottoms are bad so the interior is stripped out so the serial number plates have been taken off. I've been doing a ton of reading about pretty much everything I can learn so I know what I am up against to try to get it on the road and update things down the line.

This will be my first attempt at fixing up a non running vehicle, so I'm hoping I'm up for the task lol. The motor has the pullys and carb pulled off but has some stuff still hooked up so I'm not sure if it's the original motor or not but the engine ID number is 4r31460. From what I've seen looking at the engine ID lists it comes up as late 40's early 50's 2r commercial 245ci. Just want to make sure I'm reading it right, if so would that mean it's a commander engine? And if so, if it's the original motor does that mean the truck will be a 2R6?

The truck has a solid body and frame other then the cab, it has a 3 speed with overdrive, and will need a driver side windshield and both side windows. He also has a 3/4 ton cab with fenders and hood but no glass ( great floors and doors) and a 2R16a with complete running gear, 4 speed tranny and 2 speed rear but the floor is starting to go and the bottom of the doors are bad. It looks like the engine would be easy to get running as it's all complete, he had bought it originally for the cab and spare parts but unfortunately it has set to long, it's interior is gone. I can buy them for parts for $500 each, so that seems like a pretty good deal since I can sell the left over parts when I'm done.

From what I've read the 2r16a would also have a commander motor, so then would I just be able to swap it over, and if so should I be better off staying with the 3 speed with overdrive or bringing over the 4 speed with it?

Sorry about the long winded not so focused post but my mind has been kinda overloaded since I started researching everything Studebaker????. Down the line my plans would be to convert the front end to disk brakes and drop it some, I really like the look of Sdude's with the new front suspension.

Thanks, Troy

Skip Lackie
07-15-2015, 05:17 PM
Yes, the 4R engine number means it's a 245 Commander 6. It it were the original engine in a 2R6, the prefix would have been 6R -- so it appear that the engine was originally installed in a 2R16A or 2R17A. If your plan is to put the best parts on the 2R6, then I would stick with the 3-speed/OD. It will give you a 27% overdrive that the 4-speed will not have.

07-15-2015, 05:26 PM
I agree with Skip concerning the transmission. The 3sp/OD tranny is a good one.

07-15-2015, 05:29 PM
Do these trucks come with titles? The absence of titles with matching serial number plates would be a deal killer for me. Before starting on any project make sure the paperwork is in order and that you are registered as the legal owner.

Troy S
07-15-2015, 06:33 PM
Thanks guys, I will definitely make sure on the title and serial number plates. I was told the 1/2 ton has a good title, most likely he hasn't registered it himself since it came from out of state and he wouldn't want to pay the fees on a vehicle that wasn't drivable. He told me he was planning on rebuilding the truck for himself so I wouldn't think he would buy it without one. It does make me nervous reading that some older vehicles were registered by the engine ID and not the serial numbers, I will feel much better about it when I see some matching plates and paperwork, that would definitely be a deal breaker.

I would imagine that since the plates are removed so easily that they would just be moved over in the case of a cab swap from a different model. The entire body has matching paint so unless it has been rebuilt in the past I should hopefully be looking at an original body and frame.

Not being familiar with a trucks of this age in this condition, do the prices seem to be in the right range? I've done a lot of searching for others around the same price but most have no drive train or the body is in really bad shape, or both lol.

Mrs K Corbin
07-16-2015, 07:50 AM
post some pics maybe we can get a look. My 2r5 is registered using just the engine number, as that's how Oklahoma did it at the time...
I've since bought a blank serial plate, and will eventually stamp the number there.

Skip Lackie
07-16-2015, 08:00 AM
Prices are highly personal and subjective, but I think $2500 for a non-running 2R6 with a rusty cab is too much. I understand that you could use the cab from the 3/4-ton and a (presumably) good engine from the 2R16A -- but those are $500 more apiece. I would want to look at them at all and their paperwork and verify that at least one (and hopefully all) of them have clear titles. Also:
1. What assurance do you have that one of the Commander 6 engines will run and is sound?
2. 2R16A trucks are BIG. Do you have room to store it while you part it out? And how about time? It will take years to get your money out of those parts trucks.
3. What else beside glass is missing? Even though all the glass is flat and can be sourced locally, you need to start calculating the total investment required just to get one drive-able 2R6.

07-16-2015, 08:05 AM
:!: What Gary said in Post #4.

It is becoming increasingly difficult (and expensive) to secure good titles for vehicles bought and sold without them, so forewarned is forearmed. If someone is trying to sell a vehicle without good, legitimate paperwork, it doesn't mean they are a crook, but it does mean that THEY (not you) need to straighten out the mess before trying to convey "ownership."

Yes, some states do not issue titles for vehicles over a certain age, so one must inform oneself as to what will be needed to secure good paperwork in your state. :cool: BP

Troy S
07-16-2015, 08:52 AM
I'll get some pictures this weekend, the seller keeps some of his stuff at my buddy's place that has a lot of room. He is retired and loves projects so he has offered to let me rebuild it there. I'll do some calling around and find out just what I will need to get it registered down here and then wait until I can see the plates and paper work. The cab only has none but the big truck is suppose to have a title and has its plates still on. He did say that if I buy that one he wants to keep the title and plates for the future since I'm going to use it just for parts.

07-16-2015, 09:14 AM
I'd for a Studebaker truck: Go to Craig's list and started scrolling through all trucks For Sale beginning Texas and searching the SW. I found I nice 2R6 in the high country south-central CA. I got lucky with the sale being a timely family time, and did have it checked out by a Stude member. All was blessed and I shipped it to Mass for $1100. The cabs can be a dealbreaker unless you're a bodyman or wanna-be. That part of the country tends to have well papered/tagged trucks given climate, and rust savings = cost savings. GL- be patient.

07-16-2015, 11:52 AM
What Skip and jackb said. Too much money for what is on offer. $500 for the non-running pickup, and about $200 each for the parts trucks is more reasonable if the guy wants to see them gone. I myself sold a running, driving 2R6 for less than that a year or so ago, here in Canada.

Troy S
07-16-2015, 02:22 PM
Wow really appreciate the advise guys, I think I will start looking around then. Funny, the trucks have been sitting there on the property for a few years and I never thought twice about them. Then a couple of the guys I fly RC with started picking up some older Ford cars and trucks, mainly from the late 20's early 30's, then last week one of them picked up a Vicky. So I figured I always wanted an older truck so maybe I would be next. I spent a few days looking up all different years and makes and the 49 to 53ish just really talk to me. Just love the look of the rear fenders and how they look like they wrap around the wheels. A little bit of a drop and they look nothing like what I was seeing sitting there. Now I got myself hooked lol.

this isn't the best pic, but I took it when I first started thinking about it.