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  • Rebuilt 289 engine costs

    I'm considering buying a rebuilt engine for my Wagonaire and I'm wondering if those of you who have recently done this might share some idea of what I should be looking at in terms of cost. I'm just trying to get some general idea of what I might expect to spend since my pockets aren't all that deep.

    What "extras" would you suggest if I can order one from one of our vendors. I'm sure hard valve seats and balance the engine are pretty much standard now, but what other extras should I consider? This is a 1964 Wagonaire driver not a racer or a trailer queen. I just want a good, reliable car that I am comfortable in taking on a long trip without any worries of a major breakdown.

    Thanks for any info you are willing to offer!
    Nick

  • #2
    Number one suggestion: go to a Minor Studebaker Vendor and get USA or North American Manufactured Cam, Main and Rod Bearings.

    After that, it is the normal:
    Exhaust Valve Seats
    Valve Guides
    H.D. Stainless Steel unleaded fuel Valves
    Valve lifters
    Reground Camshaft
    Reground Crankshaft
    Pistons (made in USA)
    Rings (normally, New bores get Chrome Top Rings like factory), overhauls get Iron
    Oil Pump Kit
    Aluminum Cam Gear
    Full Gasket Set with Main Seal
    Small Parts Kit (core plugs etc.)

    A GUESS, In the neighborhood of $2200.00 +.
    At least $1000.00 assembly and machine work, without Mods.

    Your experience/choices and location MAY make a difference.
    StudeRich
    Second Generation Stude Driver,
    Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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    • #3
      I would first question why your engine needs a full rebuild. Usually, a few things like a valve job with new stem seals, a complete tune-up and replacement of normal wear items like water pump and fuel pump will get most 289s into reliable running condition.

      With many brand X engines, a full rebuild is the way to go because they need it and the price is low for a rebuild or replacement.

      If you do buy a rebuild or have yours rebuilt, go with someone that has a lot of experience with Studebaker V8s.
      Gary L.
      Wappinger, NY

      SDC member since 1968
      Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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      • #4
        Having a Studebaker engine rebuilt is certainly something I have thought from time to time. Who does everybody recommend? Thanks...Mike
        Mike
        Fort Worth, TX


        1964 Avanti R2 #R-4986

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        • #5
          If you were closer to NY I would recommend Ted Jensen he does a lot of stude rebuilds.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by studegary View Post
            I would first question why your engine needs a full rebuild. Usually, a few things like a valve job with new stem seals, a complete tune-up and replacement of normal wear items like water pump and fuel pump will get most 289s into reliable running condition.

            With many brand X engines, a full rebuild is the way to go because they need it and the price is low for a rebuild or replacement.

            If you do buy a rebuild or have yours rebuilt, go with someone that has a lot of experience with Studebaker V8s.
            I guess I'm old school, but I certainly agree with Gary. Studebaker V8s that have had reasonable care typically just don't need major rebuilds. Some years ago I bought a 289 out of a '64 Cruiser with 90,000 miles on it to put in my '64 Champ. I assumed that it would need oversized parts. With the pistons out there was almost no cylinder ridge. A light honing took care of that. Then, even though the crankshaft was smooth and clean, I assumed that it needed .001 bearings so I installed a set. I decided to plastigage them. The plastigage was squeezed almost completely around the crankshaft. So, I installed standard bearings and plastigaged them. They measured out showing the standard replacement bearings were at the tight end of standard. I had the valves ground with new valve stem seals and the "rebuild" was complete. I drove the truck for a number of years until it was totaled in an accident. I bought the wreck from the insurance company and a friend bought the 289 from me. He is still running that engine in a '63 Cruiser.
            Paul Johnson, Wild and Wonderful West Virginia.
            '64 Daytona Wagonaire, '64 Avanti R-1, Museum R-4 engine, '72 Gravely Model 430 with Onan engine

            Comment


            • #7
              Post #3 and 4 are spot on, I agree with that totally.
              Many Stude. V8 Engines that have been at least close to properly maintained depending on mileage, definitely do NOT need the whole enchilada as I noted.

              I ASSUMED the Engine in question had been given a compression test, Cylinder leak-down test, vacuum check and it's owner having some idea of it's Oil usage, performance and history and determined to be "Due".
              StudeRich
              Second Generation Stude Driver,
              Proud '54 Starliner Owner

              Comment


              • #8
                Be careful to buy from a reputable supplier. I bought a 259 for $3500 in '03 from someone with a supposedly good reputation and it was supposed to be a "sweet engine!" It wasn't. When the mechanic put oil in it and test ran the motor the oil came back black. Supposedly the engine had been "thoroughly gone through." Apparently not. So be careful. The fellows in Redwood City, Ca. do a good job. Studebakers West, I think it's called. Their website is studebakerswest.net. I believe these fellows are also contributors to the Co-Operator in TW.
                Home of the famous Mr. Ed!
                K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
                Ron Smith
                Where the heck is Fawn Lodge, CA?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Since we've got more business than we can handle, I'm certainly not trying to drum up more, but my experience is that good used engines are few and far between. Most I see definitely need a rebuild. That's not to say they can't be patched up, if time is more available than money. Just be aware pulling an engine, cleaning, doing the patch work, reassembling and reinstalling takes the same amount of labor as does a complete rebuild.

                  FWIW, I'd agree with Rich's $3200 estimate to do a Studebaker V8 correctly.

                  Number one suggestion: go to a Minor Studebaker Vendor and get USA or North American Manufactured Cam, Main and Rod Bearings.
                  Since Clevite dropped Stude from their catalog, who's got USA/NA mains and rods these days? Most new stock I'm seeing is white box offshore. The offshore bearings work just fine, but I used my last set of Clevites a while back.

                  I've heard piston production moved to Mexico some time back, but that is technically North America.

                  jack vines
                  PackardV8

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The only thing I have not seen mentioned is to change the front timing seal on the cover to neoprene. It says a lot of oil leakage of the front and as long as you. Are redoing anyway, I think it is a good idea. Opinions may very.....

                    Mark

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                    • #11
                      My Sky Hawk had sat in a Shop for 44 years. Even thought the car only had 17,000 miles on it, the engine was stuck solid. I had to drive the pistons out. I took the bare block to Jim Thomas in Lyncourt, NY, and here is what he did...
                      Degrease and Magnaflux block.......$95
                      Bore and hone cylinders/final bore to pistons...$160
                      Square block.....$80
                      Install Cam bearings/expansion plugs/oil plugs $45
                      Degrease and polish crankshaft....$45
                      .30 over pistons from Studebaker International....8/$259
                      Cam Bearings from Fairborn....$57
                      also had to purchase rings, rod/Main bearings, Gasket set, etc. Heads and valve train were like new. I did all my own engine assembly. Engine runs like a watch...FWIW.

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                      • #12
                        Many thanks for all the information & suggestions. I have two Wagonaires, the driver and one from out of a field with a frozen motor. My thinking was to purchase a rebuilt engine for the driver and move the engine from it into the field Wagonaire.
                        Thanks again for all the information, looks like I could afford to make the swap if I find a good rebuild.

                        FWIW: I had a new Studebaker owner comment to me that he had never come across any group of people so willing to share information and even parts as the folks who own Studebakers. I couldn't agree more. The Forurn is a perfect example of that!
                        Nick

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                        • #13
                          when I Bought 63r-3623 it had a rebuilt engine in it. aprox 500 miles on it .It had a really bad rear main seal leak. I tore the engine out and decided to replace the rear main, When I removed the pan I found part of a piston Skirt, From a cinch bolt that was not properly installed, and the rear main seal was installed backwards. The engine is every bit a rebuilt engine , with a R2+ cam and .030 silvolite pistons. new bearings and rings , good cross hatch and no cylinder damage. I am now rebuilding a rebuilt engine over. correct this time with help from all the pros on here.

                          Good advise from everyone is make sure you get a good known rebuilder.
                          1 Family owned 63 Studebaker Avanti 63r-1705 White with Orange interior , R2 4 speed.
                          Just purchased 63r-3623 R2 was a auto now dressed to a R3 with a4speed.

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                          • #14
                            There is rebuild, and then there's overhaul. Overhaul is to disassemble, clean up, replace all the usual wear components, then reassemble. Rebuild is to make it new again, and in some cases with our Stude motors, rebuild is to make it better than new, which is preferable to me. If I lived within reasonable driving distance from Jack V., I would have him do any future Stude motor rebuilds, then plug & play, with confidence

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