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Thread: 1958 President with wrong engine?

  1. #1
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    Question 1958 President with wrong engine?

    My grandson and I are looking for a project and came across a 1958 President with 76K on the odo for sale from the collection of a deceased Studebaker enthusiast. While we liked the idea of a studebaker, we went little cold on the deal when a friend of the family who is helping with liquidation told me the car had a 259 cubic inch engine instead of the 289. The engine turns free. My questions are these
    1. In what years were the 259 made
    2. Is it more or less durable or reliable than the 289
    3. in a president what is the discernable difference in power?
    4. What year is the most desirable 289 made? Is there such a thing?
    5. Are parts like rockers, fenders, floors and quarters readily available for this car?
    6. this car needs both rockers, rear of front fenders, lower section of right 1/4 and right trunk floor
    7. the interior looks intact
    8. I am hoping to keep the grandson involved by getting it fired up and usable without a full restore before plotting a restore together potentially with the 289. How amenable is the 259 / 289 engine to pulling the gear off the distributor shaft and using a drill to get oil moving in the engine before firing it up. I have done this on SBC....can this be done on stud?
    9. If I can get this car for a grand, is that fair? It is all there except headlight rings, a tail light and bezel and this engine thing.
    10. Is there some kind of magic for an auto transmission that has been sitting? what are the chances it will move?

  2. #2
    Golden Hawk Member
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    The 259 was for model years 1955 through 1964. The 289 was for model years 1956 through 1964. Of course there were differences in both through the years. 1962.5 - 1964 would be considered to be the best. What is the engine number? That would tell you what the block started out as, not what it is now if work has been done on it. In normal driving, you probably wouldn't notice a difference. What body style is the President?
    Gary L.
    Wappinger, NY

    SDC member since 1968
    Studebaker enthusiast much longer

  3. #3
    President Member thunderations's Avatar
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    Welcome,
    If you like the car, don't let the wrong engine stop you from getting it. The value of the car has little to do with having a correct engine. The 259 and 289 share the same block and most internal and external parts which are pretty available The 259 crank is different having less stroke. Both engines are nearly bullet proof.
    The most desirable engines are the later models that have full flow oil system. You can spot them pretty easy because they have the screw on oil filter on the side of the block.
    Sheet metal pars are reproduced or many patch panels are available. You noted some of the usual rust areas and those parts are pretty common.
    Studebaker Flight-O-Matic's are pretty tough and just changing the fluids and a normal servicing is probably in order.
    You can prime the oil just like you did the SBC.
    Will it move? How big of a truck do you have to pull it with? Brakes could be seized. How long has it been sitting and where?
    Value wise, What is a grandsons partnership worth, tinkering with an old car?
    There are many Studebaker part venders that you can access through this web site to check on parts and prices. There are also many here that have used parts if you ask. Do a little homework and see if the task is worth the time, effort and money.
    Studebakers have quite a following and getting a younger member is always exciting.
    Make sure you join the National Studebaker Drivers Club and your local Studebaker club. Lots of knowledge available and also a source for parts.
    Good luck on the purchase and keep us informed.
    1966 Daytona (The First One)
    1950 Champion Convertible
    1950 Champion 4Dr
    1955 President 2 Dr Hardtop
    1957 Thunderbird

  4. #4
    President Member StudeNewby's Avatar
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    Let me also welcome you to the Forum. From your description, I'd say a thousand is a fair price, but don't necessarily expect it to be an "investment" . But that doesn't seem to be your motivation anyway.

    Regarding the engine, there are no visible differences between the 259 and 289. However, if you have the engine number you can check it here to determine what it is and when it was made: http://www.studebakerdriversclub.com/V8EngineID.asp
    Of if you prefer, just post the number here and one of us will confirm it for you.
    The engine number is stamped on the left front corner (driver's side) of the engine.I
    Good luck!
    Last edited by StudeNewby; 06-30-2018 at 08:53 PM. Reason: Fixed typo
    Mike Davis
    Regional Manager, North Carolina
    1964 Champ 8E7-122 "Stuey"

  5. #5
    Golden Hawk Member StudeRich's Avatar
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    Hi Sean, I also Welcome you to the SDC and to the SDC Forum!

    I would not be concerned about the 259/289 thing, there are ONLY TWO Parts on that whole 259 engine that are different: The Crankshaft and the Pistons!

    That is correct, depending of course on other options like 4 Brl. Carb. Dual Exhausts etc. from the Carb. to Heads, Block, Rods, Manifolds, ALL of it is the same.

    170 H.P. '56 Commander 259 2 Brl. > 195 H.P. '56 President 289 2 brl.
    185 H.P. '56 Commander 259 4 Brl. > 210 H.P. '56 President 289 4 Brl. (Carter WCFB square bore)

    Check that Engine Number for a "V" or a "P" prefix.




    The Engine Number breakdown List is here:
    http://www.studebakerdriversclub.com/V8EngineID.asp


    Any or ALL Mechanical Parts (and More) that may be needed for the Car or Engine are in stock here:
    http://studebakervendors.com

    And as Gary said: is this a 2 Door Hardtop or 4 Door Sedan?
    Last edited by StudeRich; 07-01-2018 at 01:12 AM.
    StudeRich
    Second Generation Stude Driver,
    Proud '54 Starliner Owner




  6. #6
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    There are those among us who correctly feel saving any Studebaker is a worthwhile endeavor and good on them. The questions indicate a desire for a grandfather/grandson project rather than the idea of ever recouping any of the costs associated with it.

    JMHO, but if you were my good friend, I'd encourage you to do some more research on the various models Studebaker produced over the years. If I were the grandson, I'd beg/plead with you to choose any of them rather than the '58 sedan.
    1958 President . . . this car needs both rockers, rear of front fenders, lower section of right 1/4 and right trunk floor.
    Bottom line; parts cost the same for most any Stude, so maybe consider choosing to spend a few hundred dollars more on exactly the bones he'd most like to drive when restored.

    Your grandson, your project, your money, your decision.

    jack vines
    PackardV8

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by PackardV8 View Post
    There are those among us who correctly feel saving any Studebaker is a worthwhile endeavor and good on them. The questions indicate a desire for a grandfather/grandson project rather than the idea of ever recouping any of the costs associated with it.

    JMHO, but if you were my good friend, I'd encourage you to do some more research on the various models Studebaker produced over the years. If I were the grandson, I'd beg/plead with you to choose any of them rather than the '58 sedan.

    Bottom line; parts cost the same for most any Stude, so maybe consider choosing to spend a few hundred dollars more on exactly the bones he'd most like to drive when restored.

    Your grandson, your project, your money, your decision.

    jack vines
    Jack has great advice for you. Not knowing your age or your grandson, this is another consideration. Depending on the car and it's history it would be very easy to get involved and deeply in the restoration of any car. Is your grandson excited about doing this with you? Are there other things he may consider? (Girls, sports, higher education choices) that in a few years could distract him from this bonding project?

    Not trying to throw a wet blanket on this but over the past year, I have had to help a widow dispose of a 1958 Silver Hawk that was dismantled then slowly coming back. The owner was a retired railroad mechanic with many years of car experience. I helped mount the body on the restored chassis after it was on a rotisserie. That was the way it was when he died. Someone made and offer just recently on everything and hauled it all off.

    "It's unwise to pay too much, but it's worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money - that's all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot - it can't be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better." John Ruskin


    Best of luck to you and your grandson. My 7 year old grandson is the only one interested in Studebakers (as well as trains) and he will get my 1962 Lark when the time comes. Not really worth much but Studebaker and Papa are two things tied together.

    Bob Miles
    Different by Design
    Different by Delight!

  8. #8
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    Look at the engine serial number. If it begins with a "V" it is a 259. If sn begins with a "P" it is a 289. It maybe could be a 259 and be correct, because I don't think they made a 289 in 1959 and an end of run Pres. could have had a 259 put in it. Anyone Know?? If it were an original 259 Pres it would be great fun to try to persuade the "correct police!"

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffry Cassel View Post
    Look at the engine serial number. If it begins with a "V" it is a 259. If sn begins with a "P" it is a 289. It maybe could be a 259 and be correct, because I don't think they made a 289 in 1959 and an end of run Pres. could have had a 259 put in it. Anyone Know?? If it were an original 259 Pres it would be great fun to try to persuade the "correct police!"
    It is important to note that the V or P only indicates what the engine was when originally built.
    I do not believe that a USA 1958 President came with a 259.
    Check the engine number, it may not even be a 1958 model engine.
    Gary L.
    Wappinger, NY

    SDC member since 1968
    Studebaker enthusiast much longer

  10. #10
    President Member Jerry Forrester's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffry Cassel View Post
    Look at the engine serial number. If it begins with a "V" it is a 259. If sn begins with a "P" it is a 289.
    Wow! You mean my '55 President had a 289 in it? If I had known that, I would never have sold it, since it would have been a very very rare car.
    Jerry Forrester
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    See all of Buttercup's pictures at https://imgur.com/a/qP6MR

  11. #11
    Golden Hawk Member StudeRich's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Forrester View Post
    Wow! You mean my '55 President had a 289 in it? If I had known that, I would never have sold it, since it would have been a very very rare car.

    Good one Jerry!

    Probably Jeffry forgot to mention that only applies to all Studebakers EXCEPT those weird 1955 Models that no one wants or cares about!

  12. #12
    President Member Jerry Forrester's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by studerich View Post
    good one jerry! :d

    probably jeffry forgot to mention that only applies to all studebakers except those weird 1955 models that no one wants or cares about!
    lol lol lol
    Jerry Forrester
    Forrester's Chrome
    Douglasville, Georgia
    See all of Buttercup's pictures at https://imgur.com/a/qP6MR

  13. #13
    President Member
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    Thought we were discussing 1958???

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by StudeRich View Post
    Good one Jerry!

    Probably Jeffry forgot to mention that only applies to all Studebakers EXCEPT those weird 1955 Models that no one wants or cares about!
    Well if there is anyone that does not want or care about a 1955 President Speedster let me know and I will take it off your hands.

    Bob Miles

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