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When was the last time you saw a good running Studebaker engine for sale?

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  • When was the last time you saw a good running Studebaker engine for sale?

    We rebuild engines and so get a lot of inquiries about anything and everything engine related. Regularly, we get asked, "My Stude isn't worth putting one of your $3,500 - 4,000 rebuilt engines in it. How much for just a good running used engine?"

    Maybe they exist back east in higher concentrations of Studebakers, but out here we haven't seen or been offered a "good running, ready to install" engine in the past twenty years. In fact, the last one was the 224" V8 I removed from my '55 E12 and it needed a valve job; it did run OK, but I wouldn't have wanted to install it without the heads being rebuilt.

    What are your 2020 experiences as to good used engines? Do any exist anywhere these days?

    jack vines

    PackardV8

  • #2
    I don't know,but possible something some rodder removed from a good car to stick a crate motor in it instead.
    Ron Dame
    '63 Champ

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    • #3
      If you find a good running Studebaker engine for sale, it probably comes with a complete car attached to it!
      sigpic
      In the middle of MinneSTUDEa.

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      • #4
        The only “good used” engines around anymore are the ones in low mileage cars. Everything else has either been rebuilt, or needs to be to some extent.

        Finding a perfect running 289 in a Lark four door parts car just isn’t going to happen these days.

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        • #5
          Just by coincidence I am working on the R1 engine in my parts 64 Hawk, getting it running properly in order to sell it (the engine & 4-spd trans. as a unit, that is). It is a 72k-mile car with a complete known history. I am having the carb, fuel pump, & heads rebuilt. Everything else will be examined by us. It is a fun, learning project for three of us in the Greater Virginia Chapter. I would anticipate spring before the engine & trans are ready for sale.

          We are lucky in having an excellent, one-man engine builder/machine shop who also rebuilds carburetors. This makes it possible for us to do this engine.
          --Dwight

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          • #6
            They ARE out there, we have 3 or 4 in the Pole Building like that right now, but the problem is, by the time you do all the right things, clean it up, flush the Block, replace the Core Plugs, Fill the Cooling System, Change the Oil and Filter, Replace all the Exterior Parts, Water Pump, Fuel Pump, Belts, Hoses, Service Dist., Tune Up, Service Carb, do you REALLY Know you have a Long Term, trouble Free Engine that you would trust to go Coast to Coast?

            You probably still need a Main Seal and Pan Gasket due to Leaks, and it may smoke a little and need Valve Seals.
            Then, if you do that, you are going to want to Pull the Engine and then, what about the Bearings? it Never ends.

            So that would be why, I have heard you (Jack V), say before: "no point in doing it Half Way"!
            One of the reasons for that is, it's not the MILES that cause this, it's the YEARS!
            StudeRich
            Second Generation Stude Driver,
            Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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            • #7
              Maybe there is room for what we used to call overhaul. Hone cylinders, grind valves, polish crank, replace rings, bearings, and gaskets. Could be done for a lot less money than full rebuild. Would likely last longer than most would drive
              78 Avanti RQB 2792
              64 Avanti R1 R5408
              63 Avanti R1 R4551
              63 Avanti R1 R2281
              62 GT Hawk V15949
              56 GH 6032504
              56 GH 6032588
              55 Speedster 7160047
              55 Speedster 7165279

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              • #8
                I have a good running 259 for sale. I have plastic gage the bearings at.0015. Cleaned the oil pump pick up screen. checked tolerances on the oil pump. removed the rocker shafts, push rods, lifters, and cam. remove the oil galley plugs. Clean the galleys. replace plugs. Remove the rocker shaft plugs and clean the sludge out. Install a aluminum timing gear. New rear main seal and a neopine front seal in place of the felt. Valve guide seals replaced when previous owner did a valve job. Remove freeze. Pressure wash block. Has 60 psi oil pressure on start up. Engine is set up and running. Out of a 63. Full flow. Short crank bolts. $1650.00

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                • #9
                  Yes, Jim and Rich, you're recommending doing everything right to install a used engine; at $1650 we're halfway into the parts and labor for a rebuild.

                  BTW, we're not trying to drum up rebuild business. We're a year out on anything which comes in today.

                  jack vines
                  PackardV8

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                  • #10
                    We used to just pull good running V8s from rusted out hulks, but those days are long gone. The best chance to get a running V8 now is from a car being turned into a restomod.
                    Gary L.
                    Wappinger, NY

                    SDC member since 1968
                    Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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                    • #11
                      I guess it would have been almost ten years ago. Time really flies! The estate of an old friend and Studebaker collector had about sixty cars that were going to scrap. Five of us were allowed to scavenge parts, from the cars as they were being hauled off. The cars on the ground made up just a portion of the cars that the gentleman once had, and had parted out. In one shed he had eight or ten engines-all complete. His son had no information on any of the engines, and made it clear no access would be allowed to check them out-it would be a grab bag. I would have been in the market, but I was afraid of grabbing one that later would turn out to be just another core. I presume that all eventually went to scrap.

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                      • #12
                        Within the last year, I bought a running 259 with short shaft overdrive, for $350.00. It was already out of the car so no way to trace on the past usage. Due to life, the car it was intended to be used was sold and the buyer went and picked the engine and had it in the car running the next day. No smoke, usual oil drips but otherwise runs and pulls good. Depending on how the new buyer treats the car, it should provide enjoyment for years to come.

                        For everyone on of these experiences, most everyone can relate to other not so nice things buying blind.

                        Bob Miles

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                        • #13
                          I hope I have many good engines. The cars they are in are typically low mileage (~50K), but are beyond economic restoration due to body rust.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by 55s View Post
                            I hope I have many good engines. The cars they are in are typically low mileage (~50K), but are beyond economic restoration due to body rust.
                            If you pulled the Engines and put them in the Barn within a Year, there is a 50/50 chance they are still good.
                            If they are still in the "Field" in the Canadian Rain and Snow, probably not.
                            StudeRich
                            Second Generation Stude Driver,
                            Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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                            • #15
                              If long turn storage of a running engine is happing, pickle it. That is while running, bring rpm up to 1000. now start slow pouring atf in carb keeping engine running. After pouring about half quart, return to idle and shut off. Valves, pistons, rings and cylinders are well lubed.

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