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Top Speed on a Flathead Champ

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  • Top Speed on a Flathead Champ

    I'll be looking at a '60 Champ with a flathead and 3 on the tree. Will this keep up with traffic on the freeway?

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Tom - Mulberry, FL

    1964 Studebaker Daytona - 289 4V, 4-Speed (Cost To Date: $2125.60)

    1964 Studebaker Commander 170-1V, 3-speed w/OD (Cost to Date: $623.67)

    Tom - Bradenton, FL

    1964 Studebaker Daytona - 289 4V, 4-Speed (Cost To Date: $2514.10)
    1964 Studebaker Commander - 170 1V, 3-Speed w/OD

  • #2
    Does it have the Champion or the Commander engine?

    Does the three speed transmission have overdrive?

    Bill

    Comment


    • #3
      Does it have overdrive? If the engine is in good shape, runs cool, and an overdrive, you should be able to run comfortably at 60-65. Since you are in Florida and mostly run barely above "Swamp level" and most hills being bridges and overpasses, you should be OK. Good wheel bearings, brakes not dragging, and proper cooling make these little engines tough as nails. You can keep a legal speed on the interstates but "Keeping up with traffic" with the texting, iPod, distracted wacko's on today's roads is entirely another matter!

      John Clary
      Greer, SC

      Life... is what happens as you are making plans.
      SDC member since 1975
      John Clary
      Greer, SC

      SDC member since 1975

      Comment


      • #4
        If you have overdrive, keeping up on the interstate should not be a problem where there are no long hills to pull. What you have to be careful of is not pulling into a flow of traffic without your speed up. It takes a while for a Champion six to get you up to speed.


        1952 Champion Starlight, 1962 Daytona, both w/overdrive.Searcy,Arkansas
        "I may be lazy, but I'm not shiftless."
        sigpic

        "In the heart of Arkansas."
        Searcy, Arkansas
        1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
        1952 2R pickup

        Comment


        • #5
          Mine will cruise all day at 65 mph on level roads. On hills it may slow down to 60 but what do you expect for 85 hp? If I could change one thing about my '50 Champion it would be to have a little more power....



          1950 Champion 2 Dr. Sedan

          1949 Studebaker 2R5 half ton pickup...

          Comment


          • #6
            Or, you can add a power enhancer such as the very rare turbo upgrade that Studebaker offered for Truck Racing crowd in 1949...... JK, I fabbed this up and installed it on a Champ engine in my 54 Coupe a few years ago. We were doing over 110 MPH with this setup. It would need at least hypereutectic pistons. We didn't realize it at the time, but blowing well over 10 pounds of boost was cooking the slugs in our stock engine. Not to mention burning up the too small clutch with the extra horsepower. It was a ton of fun while it lasted though.




            sals54
            sigpicsals54

            Comment


            • #7
              Great pics and great fabrication, Sal. Wow, talk about a rolling hand grenade! That must have been a ton of fun while it lasted.

              Caveat for those who would attempt that of the inimitable Sal. Larger clutch and there goes the T96. Add forged pistons, then the exhaust valves go. Add stainless valves and hard seats, then the head gasket goes. Running more than ten pounds of boost in a Champion six is a serious engineering challenge. To live long and prosper, any such engine would have to built from the ground up with all the good parts. Just ask salt2salt what it takes to make a turbo Champion last at 140 MPH.

              thnx, jack vines

              PackardV8
              PackardV8

              Comment


              • #8
                Is rust an issue with the truck frames?

                ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                Tom - Mulberry, FL

                1964 Studebaker Daytona - 289 4V, 4-Speed (Cost To Date: $2125.60)

                1964 Studebaker Commander 170-1V, 3-speed w/OD (Cost to Date: $623.67)

                Tom - Bradenton, FL

                1964 Studebaker Daytona - 289 4V, 4-Speed (Cost To Date: $2514.10)
                1964 Studebaker Commander - 170 1V, 3-Speed w/OD

                Comment


                • #9
                  Normally not, most damage to truck frames come from overloading tonnage wise and attaching chains etc to various crossmembers.


                  3E38
                  4E2
                  4E28
                  5E13
                  7E7
                  8E7
                  8E12
                  8E28

                  59 Lark
                  etc

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Jack, Yeah, that about sums it up for the Champ 6. It was great fun though. I was rebuilding my JT engine when I noticed that my Coupe had no engine in it, and at the same time saw my lowly little Champ 6 sitting in the corner of the garage with nothing to do. Isn't that usually how we hot rodders create this sort of trouble????

                    sals54
                    sigpicsals54

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      quote:Originally posted by Swifster

                      Is rust an issue with the truck frames?
                      As said: "normally not" it helps a lot that they have an open "C" Channel frame of heavier than a car thickness, which along with the axles and springs, increases with weight capacity: 3/4, 1 Ton, 1 1/2 Ton, 2 Ton etc.

                      StudeRich
                      StudeRich
                      Second Generation Stude Driver,
                      Proud '54 Starliner Owner



                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Now hold on a sec with the turbo!! [)]. I can't imagine Tom wanting to push the flathead truck past the century mark if he wanted to go this route!! I know from personal experience that for the 65-75 mph sprint the Champ does fine with a turbo on a stock setup. I've had mine on my truck since 04-05 without a problem. The only rule is like anything of this nature is that the engine is a sound working engine to begin with.

                        That said, I coulda swore by '60 the OHV replaced the flathead as the six cylinder powerplant. I wouldn't expect problems being able to keep pace with the OHV motor, but we all know the entertainment the OHV six cylinder guys can bring.

                        [IMG=left]http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t102/PlainBrownR2/55%20Studebaker%20Commander%20Streetrod%20Project/P1010520-1.jpg[/IMG=left]
                        [IMG=right]http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t102/PlainBrownR2/Ex%20Studebaker%20Plant%20Locomotive/P1000578-1.jpg[/IMG=right]
                        [IMG=right]http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t102/PlainBrownR2/My%201964%20Studebaker%20Commander%20R2/P1010168.jpg[/IMG=right]

                        1964 Studebaker Commander R2 clone
                        1963 Studebaker Daytona Hardtop with no engine or transmission
                        1950 Studebaker 2R5 w/170 six cylinder and 3spd OD
                        1955 Studebaker Commander Hardtop w/289 and 3spd OD and Megasquirt port fuel injection(among other things)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The worst problem I'v seen with rusty frames is when the muffler goes south and is not repaired soon enough. I have a 59 with a swiss cheese frame next to a non existant muffler. Also if the truck has been used to haul fertilizer on a farm, that could cause serious rust in the bed and frame. NT


                          Neil Thornton
                          Hazlehurst, GA
                          '57 Silver Hawk
                          '56 Sky Hawk
                          '51 2R16 dump truck
                          Many others.

                          Neil Thornton

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            One thing that I WOULD look at on a Champ, is the cab mounts on the front. The mounts rot out, and the cab ends up resting on the steering column. Just ask Paul Johnson. [xx(]

                            My '59 PU with a tired 170 flathead 6, OD trans, and 3.54 rear gears, would cruise all day at 60 MPH on a flat road. Up hill is a different story. [)]

                            Matthew Burnette
                            Hazlehurst, GA

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Both flathead engines served thru 1960. In '61, the new OHV 170 was the only 6 available for trucks.

                              1957 Transtar 1/2ton
                              1963 Cruiser
                              1960 Larkvertible V8
                              1958 Provincial wagon
                              1953 Commander coupe
                              1957 President two door

                              No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

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