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Perry jones
11-03-2009, 02:06 PM
I am new to the forum and this question may have bee asked before. I have 51 champion starlight coupe 3sp W/OD and have access to a 54 Studebaker V8. Will the V8 bolt into the 51 Starlight. I have read that a comander has the same wheel base and had the option of a V8 or a six. If this is not a bolt in what is needed to make the swap. I have done other engine swaps in the past so a little work is OK. Thanks for your help.

mapman
11-03-2009, 02:16 PM
Welcome to the forum!
The engine will fit the chassis however you will need the heavier trnsmission and rear end for the V8. The commander designation would indicate a V8 car and the champion a 6 cyl car. Others here will know better but the complete drive train should bolt in. I believe the commanders also had better brakes.
I have a '51 commander starlight and it is a fun car.
Rob

StudeRich
11-03-2009, 02:23 PM
That is correct starting in 1951, the Champion has the same body and frame as the Commander V-8, but you will need the clutch and shift linkage, engine mount brackets etc. from a '51-'52 Commander and of course the Clutch Housing and T-86 Trans. for the V-8.

None of the body to frame or power train connections from a '54 are the same as a '51, i.e. parking brake cables, speedometer cable, linkage etc.

If you can get the whole '54 car, you would have the 100% better '54 and up brakes etc.

Then of course there is the front springs, complete brake system and the Dana 44 rear axle and driveshaft that need to be from a V-8.

That should make a nice Commander when you are done, enjoy! [^]

StudeRich

tbredehoft
11-03-2009, 02:28 PM
Welcome, Perry, don't be discouraged, it really is an easy swap, compared to something such as a SBC. Everything will be bolt in, no need to fabricate anything. The engine mounts are the same.

[img=left]http://www.alink.com/personal/tbredehoft/Avatar1.jpg[/img=left]
Tom Bredehoft
'53 Commander Coupe (since 1959)
'55 President (6H Y6) State Sedan
....On the road, again....
'05 Legacy Ltd Wagon
All Indiana built cars

Roscomacaw
11-03-2009, 03:31 PM
As has been said, if you'll get the tranny also, that'll make things alot easier. 51-52 cars were identical, mechanically speaking and respective of Champion and Commander. '53 was quite quite different with respect to frame and body. One thing you WILL want to upgrade is the brakes. '54 V8 brakes were all new and will do a darn good job of hauling your car to a stop. '51-2-3 V8 brakes were dicey at best. The 6cyl brakes were scary - even with a six. There's no way you'd want to drive on them with a V[8]! [B)]

http://imagehost.vendio.com/a/30906179/aview/58_Avatar.jpg
1957 Transtar 1/2ton
1963 Cruiser
1960 Larkvertible V8
1958 Provincial wagon
1953 Commander coupe
1957 President two door

candbstudebakers
11-03-2009, 10:43 PM
Don't believe every thing you hear about an easy swap, even with a v-8 51 sitting next to a 51 champion it was a mess of a job, always something different, just when you figured it should work it doesn't, been there done that, when done a really nice car, has anyone down south seen the robin egg blue 51 business coupe owned by Dave Carter? if you do see it and can ask him what he went through putting the V-8 in the 51 champion coupe..Bob

Bob Peterson / C & B Studebakers

Castro Valley, CA
canbstudebakers-
http://i691.photobucket.com/albums/vv271/canbstudebakers/CedarRapids210.jpg

buddymander
11-04-2009, 12:29 AM
Wouldn't it be easier to just switch the bodies?

Roscomacaw
11-04-2009, 11:52 AM
Bob, Dave Carter's 51 was up for sale recently. I know there was at least a link to it here on the forums. Thing is, to compare Dave's car to doing a straight V-8 to 6 swap isn't quite fair. Dave did SO MANY things different than stock.... adding A/C, GM transmission, different carbureation, disc brakes, 12 volts and on and on. All that - as well as Dave's anal retentive approach to every little detail - would add complexity well beyond a simple drivetrain swap.;)

http://imagehost.vendio.com/a/30906179/aview/58_Avatar.jpg
1957 Transtar 1/2ton
1963 Cruiser
1960 Larkvertible V8
1958 Provincial wagon
1953 Commander coupe
1957 President two door

clonelark
11-05-2009, 07:24 AM
I had saved the last website about Dave Carter's car, in my favorites, but it just comes up yahoo now.

http://i37.tinypic.com/i1wqc9.jpg

Flashback
11-05-2009, 07:51 AM
WELCOME Perry: From past experiences, I would recommend trying to
find a 51-52 Commander donar (parts) car. This has always worked
the best for me. Then it's a matter of you have before you a picture
of what you are doing and all the "little" pieces you don't have to
hunt.

Tex E. Grier
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn320/Flashback53/DSC_0045-3.jpg

candbstudebakers
11-05-2009, 09:45 AM
Bob when Dave did his he used the T-86 3 speed trans and not a auto . and 4 bld. carb. stock manifold nothing special, air yes but that really was not a problem, I don't remember the disc brakes but that has nothing to do with the engine and trans swap, same with 12 volt system, but if people want to think it is a easy swap then have at it and good luck...Bob

Bob Peterson / C & B Studebakers

Castro Valley, CA
canbstudebakers-
http://i691.photobucket.com/albums/vv271/canbstudebakers/CedarRapids210.jpg

woodysrods
11-05-2009, 09:55 AM
I have a T 86 transmission. It has a top shift replacement cover that I believe came from a jeep? for a floor shift. Car it came out of only had 29,592 miles on it.

Brian Woods
woodysrods@shaw.ca
1946 M Series (Shop Truck)
http://i980.photobucket.com/albums/ae283/woodysrods/Concunully004.jpg

Perry jones
11-05-2009, 01:09 PM
Thanks for all the great information. It is a lot to take in. I have done swaps before and think I will go ahead and change over to a V8. Right now I have to begin gathering parts and pieces. Currently I have a 34 dodge PU with a 1954 hemi and a 34 Plymouth with a 360. Thanks again. Perry Jones

candbstudebakers
11-05-2009, 01:23 PM
Perry your my type of guy, I have a 53 short bed "C" cab with a 53 Dodge Red Ram Hemi in it and 3 speed trany. good luck on the 51...Bob

Bob Peterson / C & B Studebakers

Castro Valley, CA
canbstudebakers-
http://i691.photobucket.com/albums/vv271/canbstudebakers/CedarRapids210.jpg

Perry jones
11-05-2009, 03:18 PM
Brian Woods has a T86E 1A transmission. Will it fit the 54 V8 bell housing? Thanks Perry