Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Big Six vs Commander Six, identification cues; a primer.

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Big Six vs Commander Six, identification cues; a primer.

    We often see posts or inquiries referencing Studebakers with the "Big Six" engine, when the inquirer actually means a Commander Six. Perfectly understandable, as the "Big Six" hasn't been installed in vehicles for almost a century.
    Still, in the interest of clarity, it's good to understand what we've got and correctly identify it in our inquiries and discussions.

    I believe this is a "BIG SIX" Studebaker engine. (Better authorities can correct me.) I believe Studebaker stopped using it in 1926.
    Click image for larger version

Name:	Big Sixb.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	177.8 KB
ID:	1758225 Click image for larger version

Name:	Big Six.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	171.9 KB
ID:	1758226 Not to be confused with the "Light Six" or "Special Six" of the same vintage.

    This is NOT a "Big Six". It is a "Commander Six", developed from the "Rockne Six" of 1932, and used in automobiles through 1950 and in some trucks in to 1961.
    Click image for larger version

Name:	Commandersix.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	128.0 KB
ID:	1758227 And still altogether different from the "Champion Six" introduced in 1939.Click image for larger version

Name:	Commandersixb.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	128.0 KB
ID:	1758228 Click image for larger version

Name:	engine-e1496699307679-630x394.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	53.1 KB
ID:	1758229
    Last edited by rockne10; 07-18-2018, 11:18 AM.
    "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

    Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
    Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
    sigpic'33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight, '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée"

  • #2
    Please note for clarity that Picture #4 is a Champion 169/170 Six like Pic #5.

    Note the "Humped up" Exhaust Manifold on 226 & 245 Commanders.

    The 245 was used up until Only 1960, in only these Trucks:

    5E6 1/2 Ton Champ
    5E11 3/4 Ton Champ
    5E14 1 Ton Transtar
    5E16 1 1/2 Ton Transtar

    These trucks have a higher Load Capacity than their V8 counterparts.

    UPDATE: Thanks Guido, corrected typo on E16 & 226 was 223.
    Last edited by StudeRich; 07-19-2018, 01:48 PM. Reason: Corrected Typo on 5E16 was a 5E15 &226 was 223
    StudeRich
    Second Generation Stude Driver,
    Proud '54 Starliner Owner

    Comment


    • #3
      The "big" six description probably came in general usage referring to Studebakers in the era when there were both Commanders (the "big") versus Champions (the "small") six. Think of a used car dealer telling his customer "I've got good used Studebakers, both the big six and those small ones, both easy on gas".

      The Big Six model of the teens and twenties wasn't likely to be confused since none of their sixes was very small at the time: 242, 288 and 354. Small sixes then were usually under 200ci.

      Comment


      • #4
        I agree with Rich that picture # 4 is a Champion Six. When I see an under-hood picture of an older 6 cylinder Studebaker for sale, I look at the exhaust manifold and if it has the hump, I figure it must be a Commander Six instead of a Champion.

        Another way to find out: I think the Commander Six has more head bolts than the Champion, but I don't remember how many and it's a lot easier to look at the exhaust manifold than to try to count head bolts!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by StudeRich View Post
          Please note for clarity that Picture #4 is a Champion 169/170 Six like Pic #5.

          Note the "Humped up" Exhaust Manifold on 223 & 245 Commanders.

          The 245 was used up until Only 1960, in only these Trucks:

          5E6 1/2 Ton Champ
          5E11 3/4 Ton Champ
          5E14 1 Ton Transtar
          5E15 1 1/2 Ton Transtar

          These trucks have a higher Load Capacity than their V8 counterparts.
          Two comments:

          * The earlier Commander 6 was 226 CID, Ford had an inline OHV 223 CID engine.

          * A 1960 one ton truck with the Commander 6 would be designated a 5E-14, the 15 designation was for 1 ton trucks with the Champion engine. A 1.5 ton truck produced in 1960 with the Commander 6 was designated as a 5E-16 (following the scheme in the M and 2R trucks).
          Join me in removing narcissists, trolls, self annoited "experts" and general idiots via the Ignore button.

          The official SDC Forum heel nipper ���

          �Middle age is when your broad mind and narrow waist begin to change places.� E. Joseph Cossman

          For every mile of road, there are 2 miles of ditch. ���

          "All lies matter - fight the kleptocracy"

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by rockne10 View Post

            [ATTACH=CONFIG]73897[/ATTACH]
            I am surprised no one noted the lack of a battery hold down...
            Join me in removing narcissists, trolls, self annoited "experts" and general idiots via the Ignore button.

            The official SDC Forum heel nipper ���

            �Middle age is when your broad mind and narrow waist begin to change places.� E. Joseph Cossman

            For every mile of road, there are 2 miles of ditch. ���

            "All lies matter - fight the kleptocracy"

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by StudeRich View Post
              Please note for clarity that Picture #4 is a Champion 169/170 Six like Pic #5.
              Photo position corrected. Thanks, Rich.
              "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

              Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
              Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
              sigpic'33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight, '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée"

              Comment


              • #8
                Commander & Champion have different configuration water inlets also.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Learned some interesting FACTS from both the Truck Parts Catalogs and Shop Manuals:

                  (1) The Parts Catalogs do not show the Weight Capacities 1 Ton, 1 1/2 Ton etc. Most Shop Manuals do.
                  (2) On "M" Trucks, no Engine size is shown, only Bore size, Weight Sizes are not shown in either Book.

                  It turns out they made some Odd changes through the years regarding the availability of these Commander Sixes:


                  ..........................E ('55)..........2E ('56)..........3E ('57/'58)...........4E ('59).........5E ('60)..........
                  ______________________________________________________________________________

                  3 (1/2 Ton)............................................................................ .Yes...................................

                  6 (1/2 Ton)............Yes...............Yes.................Yes....................NO. ..............Yes...............

                  11 (3/4 Ton) .........Yes...............Yes.................Yes....................Yes....... ........Yes................
                  .
                  14 (1 Ton).............Yes...............Yes.................Yes....................Ye s...............Yes................

                  16 (1 1/2 Ton).......Yes...............NO..................Yes....................Yes..... ..........Yes................

                  17 (2 Ton).............Yes...............NO..................Yes....................NO ...............NO.................
                  Last edited by StudeRich; 07-19-2018, 04:05 PM.
                  StudeRich
                  Second Generation Stude Driver,
                  Proud '54 Starliner Owner

                  Comment

                  Working...
                  X