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Thread: Champion-powered TROG racer build

  1. #1
    Champion Member
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    Cool Champion-powered TROG racer build

    Well since the TROG Rail Class car I discussed garnered a little interest, I figured I would start a build thread here for anyone who cares to follow along.

    At at this point we have completely broken down the Model A chassis, drilled and modified the rails to sit completely parallel the entire length (similar to a Model T), then narrowed it 8 inches to keep it as skinny as possible. This will be a single seat, center-steer setup.

    The Champion six will be a perfect fit, and isn’t physically much larger than the Ford 4 cylinder. It will be sitting just ahead of the chassis centerline to keep the weight distributed as evenly as possible. This should help with traction on the loose sand with skinny tires.

    So here’s our mock-up with the engine/trans in the chassis. Lots of work to go, but so far we’re having a blast!

    71111334-3115-4BDA-83F9-00FC773D8DAA.jpg

  2. #2
    Golden Hawk Member Dick Steinkamp's Avatar
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    Great start! Keep the progress reports coming. I assume you are doing New Jersey and not Santa Barbara?

    You are probably deep into this already, but if not, there was a 185 CID version of this engine. Lots of speed parts available (new and used). Bill Cathcart is (was?) the guru on building these engines for performance... http://www.studebaker-info.org/Cathcart/bc.html
    Dick Steinkamp
    Bellingham, WA

  3. #3
    Golden Hawk Member BobPalma's Avatar
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    Sadly, Bill Cathcart passed away almost a year ago:

    http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.c...light=cathcart

    He was indeed "the man" on those engines.

    Best wishes on the TROG project; 'way cool! BP
    We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

    Ayn Rand:
    "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

    G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dick Steinkamp View Post
    Lots of speed parts available (new and used).
    Dick, we agree on most things Studebaker, but in my experience, Champion speed parts were and are hen's teeth. The only new part I'm aware of still produced is the Offenhauser intake manifold. The last two used aluminum heads brought to me were so corroded they couldn't be cost-effectively saved. Even necessary rebuild parts, such as .005" oversize lifters are NLA. We still do the occasional hot rod Champion build, but they're always a challenge.

    If any here know of lots of new and used Champion speed parts, I'll buy some.

    jack vines
    PackardV8

  5. #5
    Golden Hawk Member Dick Steinkamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PackardV8 View Post
    Dick, we agree on most things Studebaker, but in my experience, Champion speed parts were and are hen's teeth. The only new part I'm aware of still produced is the Offenhauser intake manifold. The last two used aluminum heads brought to me were so corroded they couldn't be cost-effectively saved. Even necessary rebuild parts, such as .005" oversize lifters are NLA. We still do the occasional hot rod Champion build, but they're always a challenge.

    If any here know of lots of new and used Champion speed parts, I'll buy some.

    jack vines
    Jack,
    I am likely living in the past (again )
    Dick Steinkamp
    Bellingham, WA

  6. #6
    Silver Hawk Member Chris Pile's Avatar
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    Stude power at TROG! That's awesome. Keep us informed, I think your car will fit right in.
    The only difference between death and taxes is that death does not grow worse every time Congress convenes. - Will Rogers

  7. #7
    President Member (S)'s Avatar
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    Jack, can you just drop in oversized ones or is machining required?. I was thinking if you can't find + .010 maybe a +005 or .003 would be better than a 'smoker'?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by (S) View Post
    Jack, can you just drop in oversized ones or is machining required?. I was thinking if you can't find + .010 maybe a +005 or .003 would be better than a 'smoker'?
    From the 1940s on, Studebaker Engineering was aware the Champion lifter bore wear was a problem. Instead of fixing the problem, they just had the Parts Department stock .001" and .005" oversize valve lifters. The .001"s would usually drop in at the first rebuild. By the time .005" are needed, the bores are hourglass shaped. This requires a special reamer and then honing to final fit.

    We bought the tooling and got pretty good at using the .005", about the time the supply of NOS was used up.

    We're looking at two options; one is hard chroming and centerless grinding used lifters .005" oversize and the other option is to make special tooling to oversize the lifter bores to take bronze bushings to use new standard lifters.

    jack vines
    PackardV8

  9. #9
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    Yes please keep us informed! If you go to Jersey I would love to be part of your pit crew lol

  10. #10
    Speedster Member Pancho's Avatar
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    Good luck on your build. Mel is a nice guy. I’m sure you’ll have a good time. I made it to the one and only event at Pismo Beach in the rain. Look forward to following your progress.

  11. #11
    President Member tsenecal's Avatar
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    I really enjoy TROG, and it will be great to see a team with Stude power. Good luck with your build, and also out there on the sand. It's on my bucket list to go and see a live race.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pancho View Post
    Good luck on your build. Mel is a nice guy. I’m sure you’ll have a good time. I made it to the one and only event at Pismo Beach in the rain. Look forward to following your progress.
    Thank you! I had my first conversation with Mel on Saturday and yes, he was very nice to some stranger calling him from Ohio with intentions of running this weird Studebaker engine. He was actually pretty pumped about it, so that's a good start. I am sure it'll be a hoot! I have two friends who ran at Pismo. What a time that was! Haha.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by PackardV8 View Post
    Dick, we agree on most things Studebaker, but in my experience, Champion speed parts were and are hen's teeth. The only new part I'm aware of still produced is the Offenhauser intake manifold. The last two used aluminum heads brought to me were so corroded they couldn't be cost-effectively saved. Even necessary rebuild parts, such as .005" oversize lifters are NLA. We still do the occasional hot rod Champion build, but they're always a challenge.
    Thank you for the Reply Jack. I can see me having some questions for you in the future! Haha.

    And yes, we would LOVE to find an aluminum head for this engine, but I know of the scarcity. I actually had a friend from CA send me a Edmunds finned head in good condition, but it turned out to be for the bigger Stude six. Pretty disappointing, but what can ya do?

  14. #14
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    Jack
    Do you know a Mike Forrest , who rebuilds Studebaker engines in the state of Washington?
    Is he connected with your engine shop?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by rkapteyn View Post
    Jack
    Do you know a Mike Forrest , who rebuilds Studebaker engines in the state of Washington?
    Is he connected with your engine shop?
    Hi, Bob,

    No, we're not acquainted with Mr. Forrest. Where is he located?

    jack
    PackardV8

  16. #16
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    Not being acquainted with the meaning of the TROG acronym, and not wanting to put my ignorance on display here, I did a google search. Here's what I came up with: "Acronym. Definition. TROG. Tasman Radiation Oncology Group". I doubt that a Stude powered cancer treatment device is being built so, OK, clue me in.

    bhapner

  17. #17
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    The Race of Gentlemen.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skip Lackie View Post
    The Race of Gentlemen.
    Thanks, but dang, that leaves me out.

    bhapner

  19. #19
    Silver Hawk Member JRoberts's Avatar
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    I have always been intrigued by the TROG and wondered if a Champion engine would qualify. I am certainly glad to hear that it does. One of these days I will have to make it up to New Jersey to watch this event. I wish you much luck, and loads of fun.
    Joe Roberts
    '61 R1 Champ
    '65 Cruiser
    Eastern North Carolina Chapter

  20. #20
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    I think there's a TROG happening this March here in Cali and again this October in Pismo Beach. I'm hoping to have my 37 Coupe ready for the October event. I won't be able to compete, but it looks like a blast to attend.
    sals54

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by PackardV8 View Post
    Hi, Bob,

    No, we're not acquainted with Mr. Forrest. Where is he located?

    jack
    One of my customers in Michigan is restoring a 1928 Dictator and send the engine and a lot of money to this individual.
    I can not find any information on this guy and it could be a scam!
    Anyone else ever heard of him?
    He maybe totally legit but the huge amount of money does not sound right.
    Please PM me with any information.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by sals54 View Post
    I think there's a TROG happening this March here in Cali and again this October in Pismo Beach. I'm hoping to have my 37 Coupe ready for the October event. I won't be able to compete, but it looks like a blast to attend.
    October is the main event in Wildwood, New Jersey. Last year's Pismo Beach TROG was ill-fated from the start and will not likely happen again. The Santa Barbara Drags is currently the only west coast event scheduled.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthBendShaker View Post
    October is the main event in Wildwood, New Jersey. Last year's Pismo Beach TROG was ill-fated from the start and will not likely happen again. The Santa Barbara Drags is currently the only west coast event scheduled.
    Thats a bummer. What happened at Pismo Beach? I was so looking forward to it.
    sals54

  24. #24
    President Member Dwain G.'s Avatar
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    There is a nice 6 page history of the TROG with lots of photos in the current issue of Hot Rod Magazine (April 2019)

  25. #25
    President Member ddub's Avatar
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    Don Wilson, Centralia, WA

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