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  • Engine swap considered

    Guys, My '58 Scotsman is beyond embarrassing when it comes to climbing hills, and I have one on my street. It's first gear, hold your breath and pray no one is behind you. It's gotten progressively worse the more I drive it and I'm beginning to think maybe I should drop a Thunderbolt 283 (on an engine stand in my garage) I rebuilt, in it. I know it looses it's authenticity if I do that, but rebuilding my 185 six would be at least 2K with machining and parts. I do have a pair of GM engine-to-Studebaker-frame mounts in a parts box, but no transmission.
    What kind of manual tranny did Studebaker use with that engine, and are they common enough to find? Buying one along with a bell housing and the cost of making the driveline fit would still be cheaper than a rebuild and I'd have a car that could fly up that hill! My Scotty already has a Dana 44 rear end.
    Dang thing is, I just installed a new clutch and the OD works great. Waah! Any thoughts?

  • #2
    As far as I know, Studebaker used their Borg-Warner transmissions all the way to the end.

    So you could get the proper bell housing (I think Studebaker bought them from Checker) and put in a nice T-86 with overdrive.

    Do you know the ratio of the rear axle?
    RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

    17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
    10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
    10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
    4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
    5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
    56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
    60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

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    • #3
      Might also want to consider you probably will need to replace front springs, brakes, and other things to keep up with a V8. The original ratio in the rear was probably a 4.56 or 4.27 - newer rear might be too tall to climb that hill...

      Comment


      • #4
        The Scotsman trucks are more tolerant of engine swaps than those wimpy six cylinder cars, The SBC weighs a hundred pounds more than the Champion, but that's minor.

        It's the easiest swap around, but there will be a dozen minor changes which will drive you nuts. Find a '65-'66 T86 overdrive transmission, bellhousing, clutch, flywheel, throwout bearing. Dial indicate the bell housing and you're good to go.

        jack vines
        PackardV8

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        • #5
          The more common T-86 Borg Warner Overdrive from a Studebaker Engine will not work, it takes as Jack said, a '65 or '66 V8 Clutch Housing and Trans.
          But I did learn from experience that the '66 GM 230 c.i.d. 6 Cyl.Engine with Overdrive uses the Same Clutch Housing and Trans. as the V8's.

          To each his own Tom, but if it were me which it is NOT, I would list that Purple People Eater on eBay and buy a V8 Car.
          If you found a '65 or '66 with a missing or bad Engine, that would allow the use of your existing one.
          Last edited by StudeRich; 05-14-2020, 05:32 PM.
          StudeRich
          Second Generation Stude Driver,
          Proud '54 Starliner Owner

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by tomnoller View Post
            Guys, My '58 Scotsman is beyond embarrassing when it comes to climbing hills, and I have one on my street. It's first gear, hold your breath and pray no one is behind you. It's gotten progressively worse the more I drive it and I'm beginning to think maybe I should drop a Thunderbolt 283 (on an engine stand in my garage) I rebuilt, in it. I know it looses it's authenticity if I do that, but rebuilding my 185 six would be at least 2K with machining and parts. I do have a pair of GM engine-to-Studebaker-frame mounts in a parts box, but no transmission.
            What kind of manual tranny did Studebaker use with that engine, and are they common enough to find? Buying one along with a bell housing and the cost of making the driveline fit would still be cheaper than a rebuild and I'd have a car that could fly up that hill! My Scotty already has a Dana 44 rear end.
            Dang thing is, I just installed a new clutch and the OD works great. Waah! Any thoughts?
            My thoughts...How long since you have checked the setting of the points in your distributor? IF the rub block has worn and the points closed up the dwell gets off and the engine will certainly be down on power. I'm past due on one of mine so I'm telling you something to check that I need to do myself. It is one of the easiest and cheapest things you can do to one of our old conventional ignition engines to restore power.

            That aside, I realize that on its best day, that little flat-six will not perform like a V8. So, if that's the way you want to go, by all means, it is your vehicle and you certainly don't need our permission to do it. My only suggestion there is to go all out, and once you commit to doing it, do it well. Be proud of it and appologize to no one.
            John Clary
            Greer, SC

            SDC member since 1975

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            • #7
              Thanks all! Our Stude pal Paul in NC recommended some engine checks including vacuum, compression, timing and valves, which I'm doing and will let you know the results.

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              • #8
                Do a compression check. See if the engine is bad. Or just needs a tune up?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by 62champ View Post
                  Might also want to consider you probably will need to replace front springs, brakes, and other things to keep up with a V8. The original ratio in the rear was probably a 4.56 or 4.27 - newer rear might be too tall to climb that hill...
                  Too tall? the dame thing will fly up the hill in 2nd or even 3rd gear, just might be rather tight on the freeway
                  Candbstudebakers
                  Castro Valley,
                  California


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                  • #10
                    Tom,
                    Before you throw in the proverbial towel on the Studebaker, I suggest you PM Doofus as he has very successfully used boneyard turbochargers on his Studebakers. It may be another option not requiring many additional changes.
                    Bill

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                    • #11
                      I took all the plugs out and checked compression on each cyl with an opened the choke plate and floored accelerator while cranking:
                      1 - 100 pounds
                      2 - 75
                      3 - 115
                      4 - 85
                      5 - 100
                      6 - 100
                      That's better than I thought I'd see. I put the vacuum meter on the manifold plug hole and got between 17 and 18 Hg and on start-up I have great oil pressure (60lbs).
                      One thing that concerns me a little was, after checking the vacuum I sprayed some carb cleaner around the base of the carb and where the manifold meets the block. On the middle two intake ports - just across from the carb - the engine stumbled a little with each squirt of cleaner, which tells me my manifold probably needs to be planed. I did use a new gasket when I had the engine out of the car while being cleaned and painted. Do you think that would be enough to make my engine that wimpy on a hill? I tightened the nuts a little more at that spot but it made no difference.
                      I've not checked the valves yet... guess if I have to take the manifold to a shop, it would be the best time to do that.

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                      • #12
                        Those compression numbers look like the ones I see whenever testing someone's Champion six. Well seasoned, but not worn out.

                        Yup, get the manifold fixed, but maybe make these extra checks before disabling the engine..

                        Check the valve clearances.

                        How did the ignition timing look? It should run OK slightly advanced from factory spec. Check the centrifugal advance as well as the vacuum advance.
                        RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

                        17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
                        10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
                        10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
                        4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
                        5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
                        56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
                        60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          My plan is to take the manifold to my machine shop and while it's out, I'll pull the valve covers off and check clearances cold. My timing mark IGN is right under the pointer and steady. Dave T-bow rebuilt my vacuum advance and I cleaned and lightly oiled the weights & springs when I had the dist out for my PerTronix installation.
                          I like your assessment of the engine being well seasoned but not worn out, Roy! It's kinda like me.

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                          • #14
                            One of the biggest advantages of a Scotsman is that no matter what you do it will never be that valuable in the collector car world, so originality/authenticity means next to nothing. Change whatever you want, and enjoy it!
                            Proud NON-CASO

                            I do not prize the word "cheap." It is not a badge of honor...it is a symbol of despair. ~ William McKinley

                            If it is decreed that I should go down, then let me go down linked with the truth - let me die in the advocacy of what is just and right.- Lincoln

                            GOD BLESS AMERICA

                            Ephesians 6:10-17
                            Romans 15:13
                            Deuteronomy 31:6
                            Proverbs 28:1

                            Illegitimi non carborundum

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                            • #15
                              Exactly, Bob!
                              I have always liked the little Champion engines for their thrifty dependability...certainly not for their power.
                              Tomorrow my project is a manifoldectomy and feeler gauges to the valves. I just want a car I can drive anywhere without worry.

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