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New owner. 62 Gran Turismo with issues ( my wife says I am the one with the issues)

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  • New owner. 62 Gran Turismo with issues ( my wife says I am the one with the issues)

    Just joined the other day. Looking forward to having you guys help me enjoy my Turismo ownership.

    I bought a 62 Gran Turismo in April. After a couple of months of trying to work with our closed DMV. I am finally ready to drive it. I am rather embarrassed to say that until 6 months ago I did not even know that the "Hawks" existed. I saw a you tube video on Scotty Kilmers channel about a young man with one and thought it was one of the best looking cars that I had ever seen. My search started and in April I purchased one.

    If I could, I would like to solicit some advice. I have spent a lot of time researching, but I know if I put this out there, I will probably get some help with my thinking.

    The car runs great and is very powerful. It has the 289 with a 4bbl. It has 107,000 miles on it. The issue is a rod knock in the #5 cylinder. I only hear it at operating temperature but it is pretty severe. I have 6 other "pre 75's" that I drive and am 63 years old. I doubt if I will put 15,000 miles on it before I give up the ghost. That being said, I would like to avoid dropping a ton of money on it. The following is my thought process so far.

    1. I know the best thing to do would be to pull the engine and ship it up to Jack Vines as he still builds these engines right and at a reasonable cost. I know that if I do that however, It will probably be at least a year before I am able to drive it.

    2. I did call Studebaker shop in Orange County ( 50 miles away) and was quoted between $10,000 and $12,000. I am not doing that.

    3. A local shop in Hesperia Ca. that has done a few of these engines quoted $7200 if they remove and reinstall the engine and should take about 4 to 6 weeks. $4900 if I pull and reinstall. I am capable of pulling and re- installing the engine but, I really do not want to. $2000 seems like a lot to pull and re- install an engine though.

    4. I have thought about pulling the pan and inspecting the # 5 cylinder rod and bearings before I go any further . I was informed last night at the local "Hot Rod Hangout" by several local Studebaker owners on the hardness and durability of the Studebaker crankshafts. I was informed and there might be a possibility that very little or no damage has been done to the crank. Have any of you pulled the rod bearings from underneath and replaced them with any success? If some damage to the crank has happened, maybe I will pull the engine and have the damage repaired and throw in a new rod and bearings. Remember, the engine seems to be otherwise healthy. Oil pressure seems to run at about 30lbs at operating temp.

    So, anyway... Any advice would be appreciated. I know the best thing would to have the engine rebuilt completely but it is a lot of money to drop if I am not going to drive it more than 15,000 miles before my demise.


    Jamie Waggoner
    Phelan CA

  • #2
    Hi Jamie, I too have a '62 GT . I had a serious oil leak at the rear of the engine, from recomendations here I decieded to pull the engine to remove the pan. It took me an hour to remove and another to replace it by myself. It would probably have taken four times that with help. I did pull the trans from below first though. I replaced it with a GM4L60. Anyway; the pan gasket is a PITA to deal with even with the engine out and upside down. I'm glad I removed the engine. It also gave me the opportunity to remove the core plugs to clean out the water jackets (very recommended), replace them with brass plugs, paint the engine and paint engine compartment. Under the hood was the worst looking part of the car, now its the best, and for very little cost.

    I'd pull the engine, remove the pan and inspect the crank, at the very least replace the bearings, straighten and reinforce the pan flange (almost always needed), clean out water jackets, (small block Ford plugs are cheap and fit) and paint stuff. It shouldn't take more than a few days, the hardest part is getting the pan gasket to cooperate. Oh yea, I'm 61.

    That young man in the video was probably Jake , green '62? He's Stude Shoo-wop! here. A great writer and self promoter; one to keep an eye on, he should go far.
    Last edited by bensherb; 07-18-2020, 01:00 AM.


    • #3
      Here's a question for you: how did you know it is #5, did you do the "pull the plug wires trick" or something else?

      The only reason I ask is, that if your diagnosis is wrong, it COULD be the Flex plate if it's an Automatic Transmission.
      With good Oil Pressure, it's more likely.
      Second Generation Stude Driver,
      Proud '54 Starliner Owner


      • #4
        This is the kind of stuff I appreciate hearing. Thank you.

        1. Yes, I pulled the #5 plug wire and the sound immediately went away.

        2. Yes, it does look like it was Stude Shoo- wop and his car was the video I saw. I hope he reads this. If not for him, I would not be an owner of my Hawk. Also, because you are from Tracy, you might be familiar with the car I bought. I bought from an older guy (older than me anyway) up in Stockton.

        3. You really were able to pull the engine in about an hour? I am impressed! That gives me some hope! It would still take me at least a half day because I am the "least efficient" person I have ever met, but if you can do it an hour, it does give me great confidence.


        • #5
          Welcome, Jamie. You are in good company here.
          I too have a GT Hawk, a '63 and am in the process of replacing my motor for the second time in 52 years. For the record, there was nothing wrong with the motor either time, it was a performance upgrade but that is a story for another day. Jake Kaywell is our most promising upstart and has successfully promoted our brand in ways and media we had never envisioned before. In fact I believe he received a request to enter his Gran Turismo in the Amelia Island Concours next year. I believe that will be a first.
          Rick's (bensherb) suggestions sound like the way to go and probably will be the most reasonable cost wise.
          Good luck with your problem solving.
          Cheers, Bill


          • #6
            This is a stab in the dark, especially since you say it runs good, but make sure that the spark plug wires are oriented correctly (the #1 distributor terminal to the #1 spark plug, and so forth).
            See proper firing order here:
            In the middle of MinneSTUDEa.


            • #7
              Thanks for the suggestion. I went out and checked just to be sure. Plug wires are where they are supposed to be.


              • #8
                I've only run into single rod knocks on Studebakers twice and the cause of both were spun bearings.

                The first, a '59 V8 was on #5 cylinder but on further examination, the previous owner did a quick fix by "tightening" the rod by removal of some material from the rod and cap. Since 259 cranks are cheap and available, I simply replaced the bad one, had all of the rods "trued" and since it was low mileage engine, I installed my last set of JC Whitney chrome rings, slapped it all back together and drove it at least 60K before selling the car.

                The second was my infamous '64 Tab long bed. I installed a 289/PowerShift out of a wrecked '64 GT Hawk. That too had a rod knock and 289 cranks are lot more scarce to acquire. However, I had a good one that was out of a '63 Cruiser and I slapped that into the 289 truck motor, installed new rings and did a quick (lap) valve job and it ran OK but not as good as in the Lark (above) simply because there was more cylinder wear with less than ideal ring gaps.

                Studebaker V8 engines are easy to work on due to their simplicity. If you have mechanical experience, a good shop manual etc. do not become intimidated...


                • #9
                  I bit the bullet and had the engine rebuilt. I was going to pull the engine myself but when I crawled under it to take a good look, I had a change of mind. I am used to working on my 57 fords from underneath where there is plenty of room. Everything is pretty tight under there in these Studebakers.
                  Anyway, I picked up the car yesterday and drove it home. As far as the rebuild goes, the components were in pretty good shape. Someone over the years had put high performance pistons in and they were not exactly put in right. It looks like that was probably a big part of the crank wear that was causing the knocking. Just the one journal had scoring and it was not too deep, so I was able to have the crank serviced and put back in. Total cost was about $8,000.
                  Looking forward to driving it. Just have to put the "Old Guys Rule" license plate frame on, and I will be rolling in style!


                  • #10
                    Wow $8000.00 ! And most of us here Groaned at hearing that the "average" Rebuild (not full on Race built) is $2000.00 Parts, Plus Machine Shop Labor $1000.00, of course "most" R & R it themselves.

                    I would bet they STILL did not; Align Bore the Cylinders, Align Machine/Hone the Main Bearing Journals, Resurface the Block and Heads and Balance it!
                    Second Generation Stude Driver,
                    Proud '54 Starliner Owner


                    • #11
                      Each to his own but that was a steep price to pay for the rebuild. Those engines are so easy to work on. If they did a first class job and you are happy with the outcome then that is all that counts.


                      • #12
                        You guys are right, it was a steep price. The part that hurt the most was the $2000.00 to pull and reinstall the engine. I decided to go that way anyway for three reasons:

                        1. If I decided to do it myself, who knows when it would have gotten completed? I have a 57 ford that sat in the garage for two years before I finally got around to changing the rear main seal that I decided to change before I drove it again. I also have a rebuilt engine sitting in my garage ready to go in a 64 Rambler wagon that has been on blocks in the yard for 3 years. See what I mean?

                        2. Crawling underneath and saying to myself " I am too old for this ****".

                        3. Knowing that if they screwed something up, they would have to pull the engine and fix it. I do have experience in this area. I had to pull and reinstall an engine previously because the shop ( not this one) put in the wrong main bearings.

                        I guess I should have been more specific about the charges. The actual parts and labor for the actual rebuild was about $5,000. The other money was for removing , reinstalling, two new exhaust manifolds, powder coating the fan shroud, fluids and a couple of other odds and ends.


                        • #13
                          Also, $338.00 in taxes. Welcome to California!


                          • #14
                            SHEEEIT! For that kind of money, there should have been some out of work guy to pull it for $500 provided you rode shotgun.