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newbie member and stude owner

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  • newbie member and stude owner

    Howdy folks,

    I'm a soldier recently returned from Iraq and decided to spend some of my hard earned dinero on a 63 Lark that my buddy began resto on. Its in great shape and runs o.k. I will be finishing the trim work and all the rest of the little things needed to get it running right. I have a question about the engine if ya'll could gimme a hand. How good was the original stock V8? Was it responsive or sluggish? Should I consider a swap to a modern powerplant, tranny and rear end? Any feedback is appreciated. Glad to be here.

  • #2
    Glad you hear you served our county, and even more glad you made it back alive.
    63 Lark is a great car, the Stude V8 is an awesome motor. A stock V8 depending on size could put out between 185HP and I think around 210HP. Studebaker had two sizes in 63, 259CI and 289CI and 304CI (very very rare R3 or R4) Keep the stock engine, there are MANY vendors that sell parts, you'll be very happy with it.

    (2) 1955 Presidents


    • #3
      Keep the stock engine, you won't find a torquier, more responsive engine too many places. It's an excellent "old school" American V-8, will pull from almost off idle but still develops decent power, although the revs are a little lacking (that can be fixed however. Let us know when you get to that point...) Whether to keep the stock tranny depends on what's in there and what you intend to use the car for. They're all durable and reliable, but for instance I prefer the stickshifts as the Flightomatic has a second gear start which I'm not nuts about. For someone who just wants a cruiser and doesn't care about acceleration the FOM is fine and will last almost forever given proper maintenance and adjustment. The rear end is a Dana 44 which is also very durable, but pull the axles and repack the bearings, it probably hasn't been done in years. Get a factory shop manual before you go to far, they're inexpensive and available. You will need the special puller for the rear hubs, most other jobs can be done with basic mechanic's tools that most car guys already have.

      good luck,


      55 Commander Starlight
      62 Daytona hardtop
      55 Commander Starlight


      • #4
        Keep that Stude V8! You won't be sorry. Have a look-see at Sonny's website - That should afford you an idea of performance potential.[}]

        I'd like to add a tip of my hat with regards to your service for our country. I'm a veteran myself and I have HIGH regard for all who serve and have served our nation in it's defense.
        Tinkering with an old Studebaker has got to be WAY down the list of one's priorities as a rule. But it's the freedom that our veterans perserve that affords us the time and sense of ease to where we can dink around with a car we don't really need, but want anyway.
        Whether you agree with a given conflict or not - veterans have laid their lives on the line even if only to preserve our right to "play cars". Bless them all!

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


        • #5
          Plan on keeping the stock V-8, I have a '64 Daytona w/a 259/4speed. I rebuilt this engine this winter and it runs sweet; powerful, fast, and w/duals sounds great!
          There are a lot of vendors out there for parts, and prices are reasonable, too.