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  • 350 in a 59 lark

    I am kinda new to studebaker so please bear with me.I know that the commander came with a small block chevy(more or less),what I need to know is what type of modifications am I going to have to make to fit a 350 in my 59 lark wagon.will standard chevy motor mounts work or is there a conversion kit.I wouldn't be switching but the original block is shot. Thanks for any help you can give

  • #2
    First the 59 Lark did not come with a Chevy small block, more or less, it came with either a Studebaker inline 6 or a V8! It would be far easier to find a used or rebuilt (or rebuild the V8 that is in there) Studebaker V8 than doing a Chevy V8 conversion. There is nothing at all wrong with a Stude V8, you can build them up with speed goodies if power is what you are after, cams, 4bbl manifolds, blowers, etc. are readily available. Besides the Stude V8 has forged rods and crank and can take more punishment than your garden variety SBC Perhaps you should read Ted Harbit's article in the Turning Wheels last year (can't remember the month someone else here might) about blindly doing the SBC thing in a Studebaker. FYI a Studebaker has been blowing the doors off of some pretty big block stuff at the Pure Muscle Car Drags in MI over the last few years, that includes SBC, BBC, Pontiacs, Hemi's, etc.

    Yes you can do the conversion but it will cost you probably less to put in another Stude V8. Besides it is far more interesting at a car show to have something unique in your ride than a SBC which everyone seems to have these days. Do a little reading before you make this plunge. Enough of my sermon.

    Dan White
    64 R1 GT
    64 R2 GT
    Dan White
    64 R1 GT
    64 R2 GT
    58 C Cab
    57 Broadmoor (Marvin)

    Comment


    • #3
      Dan is right, it is a lot easier and cheaper to replace your Studebaker engine with a rebuilt Studebaker engine. If you insist on putting one of those off-brand 350 engines in, the easy way is to get a bellhousing from a 65 or 66 Studebaker, the 2 years that Studebaker used the other brand engine. You would also need the front motor mounts from a 65 or 66, but those are available as a repop. You then need to fabricate the fuel runs, figure out a way to get the exhaust past the steering system, and make up some sort of throttle linkage. Something needs to be done about the radiator plumbing as well, unless you are happy with flex hose. All in all, a lot harder than it looks.

      Comment


      • #4
        Dan & whacker & me are singing in harmony. While you can indeed put a SBC motor in your '59, you really shouldn't. A crate or reCrate 350 is tempting because of the fact that you can buy a fresh one for under a grand. But then you have to adapt it to the 59. And while there are front motor mount brackets to do this, the rears are gonna be up to you to devise. Not to mention whatever linkages you'll have to come up with to make your conversion work. That and a driveshaft to fit and you'll have another (yawn) 350 to show off, like everyone else.[V]
        I think it's much cooler to be different outside AND inside. Besides, the Stude smallblock V8 is much more engine than a 350 could ever dream of being without alot of internal enhancements. Just my TWO cents worth.
        BTW, you don't say whether or not your 59 has a 6 or an 8 in it already.[?]

        Miscreant at large.
        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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        • #5
          Some day you may decide to sell the car.It will be worth much more with the stude engine than any 'brand-x' engine.I once put a sbc in a ranger pickup,easy swap. The ford people didn't want it,chevy people wouldn't even look at it. So not that i'm against engine swapping,but...

          not golden hawk,not silver hawk,just hawk.
          Oglesby,Il.

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          • #6
            [:I]It is illegal to put SBC's in Studebakers. Violaters will be hunted down and incarcerated.

            steve blake
            steve blake...roaming the Texas Panhandle in my trusty Champ pickup
            http://tinyurl.com/kr3gt

            Comment


            • #7

              Welcome to the Stude world!
              There are those that will belittle any attempt to swap anything but a Stude into a Stude, so hold on to your hat with your first post..
              But, think clearly about what it is exactly you want to do with your Stude. Now that you have joined the SDC, and discovered this forum (and a few others), you will find out that there are a ton of parts available for Stude engines. Rebuilding one isn't as cheap as a Chevy would be, but you also wouldn't have the hassles and costs attributed to swapping an engine combo either. An SBC in a Stude can be a bolt in situation, as they actually used the Chevy engine in '65 and '66. You could find a donor car to give you all the brackets and pieces, or get a parts book and look up the numbers and start buying parts.
              I'd offer the opinion that after all the dust settled, you could buy a similar Stude engine that matches the one puked in your rig and rebuild it and install it for about the same money you could do a swap for. And there would be no fabrication, and re-engineering stuff...
              One thing though... There is a lot of talent, and decades of experience here. Ask away! Good questions are welcomed. Just be prepared for some smartaleck replies when it comes to 'brand X' swaps. Some can't handle that very well[B)]
              Jeff[8D]




              [/b]
              quote:Originally posted by 59wagon

              I am kinda new to studebaker so please bear with me.I know that the commander came with a small block chevy(more or less),what I need to know is what type of modifications am I going to have to make to fit a 350 in my 59 lark wagon.will standard chevy motor mounts work or is there a conversion kit.I wouldn't be switching but the original block is shot. Thanks for any help you can give
              DEEPNHOCK@worldnet.att.net
              '61 Hawk
              '37 Coupe Express
              http://community.webshots.com/user/deepnhock
              HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)

              Jeff


              Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain



              Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)

              Comment


              • #8
                [:I]Truce, Keemosabe!

                steve blake
                steve blake...roaming the Texas Panhandle in my trusty Champ pickup
                http://tinyurl.com/kr3gt

                Comment


                • #9
                  My 2 cents.

                  I would advise against the SBC for one main reason. I have a friend that has a 1966 Daytona which came with the Chevybaker 283 the last 2 years were Chevy powered, it has some mechanical problems that I tried to diagnose. I found that eventhough the Chevy motor is smaller than the Stude V-8 it is all but impossible to service. You can't hardly get a timing light pick-up hooked around the #1 plug since Chevy decided the spark plug should go UNDER the exhaust manifold. It is also about impossible to check compression due to the lack of clearance. Accessories are very hard to service as well. This 283 has valve problems since it has 80K miles on it, it has typical GM burnt valves and they stick as well. You MUST pay big bucks to get a GM crate engine that will last. Those $1000 SBC's are JUNK, the $2500 ones are about equal to a stock Stude V-8, Forged crank, rods etc..

                  I was at the South Bend show and swapmeet and the only vehicles that wouldn't run were a late 60's Chevy pick-up and some street rodded Stude pick-up with a SBC. My friend asked if maybe he should convert the Chevy 283 to a Stude 289. Enough said.

                  Spend the money and rebuild the Stude V-8 right and you'll never have to do it again.

                  Restore it, don't replace it.Keep the Studebaker reproduction industry going

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Ol' Mr.Biggs has been branded "purist" for eons now. And only because I used to make my case (as I still do) for keeping a Studebaker engine in the engine compartment of your Studebaker.
                    First and formost, as 49Comm says, the Stude engines were superior in construction over brandX engines from the start.[:I] Forged cranks, solid lifters, bodaciously meaty blocks and better alloys that let you laugh at the prospect of adding hardened seats (16 extra parts) as is necessary for SBCs and other prospective, lesser, replacement motors.
                    Think Stude engines aren't capable of performing???[}] Go review the evidence at RacingStudebakers.com Sonny's put lots of argument for Stude power in one place. Stude-powered Avantis have gone over 200 at Bonneville of late - the Plain Brown Wrapper has consistently blown off the BIG-Block, "Muscle Car" challengers at the Pure Stock Muscle Car Drags in recent years - Ted Harbit's 299cu.in. wonder (The Chicken Hawk) is STILL amazing drag race attendees after 34 years of racing[:0] And when an attempt at setting a record in a Stude-powered Stude fails, it's almost always something BESIDES the engine itself that's fritzed the attempt!
                    So why aren't more folks tinkering with Stude engines to try and set records? - Look at any grocery store hot rod or CuSStom magazine. What sort of vendors do you see advertizing there? So guess what sort of articles the magazines are gonna promote???[?][:0] There's been an INCREDIBLE industry of aftermarket hop-up stuff that's developed JUST TO SERVE the GM motor offerings. And that fervor has been fertilized thru the years by GM itself thru factory sponsorships and offering "performance" parts to those that want more than stock performance from their stock engine. And alot of this "industry" has developed AFTER the demise of Studebaker.
                    The real reason that Stude engines aren't more accepted in the performance arena is that there's the stigma of "odd" or "difficult" attached to them. Besides, you can just go out and buy a hot SBC and drop it in. With the Stude engine, you'll have to use your brain a bit[:0]
                    This shouldn't deter us from embracing a Studebaker engine for simple driving OR competition. If anything, I see it as a challenge. Alot of questions about making Stude engines preform have already been answered. It's not a real big secret and in fact, those who are the keepers of the info are all too willing to share from what I've seen.
                    Another facet to ponder is the fact that the Studebaker engine is as much a part of the Studebaker legacy as the wowsie sheet metal. Studebaker designed and built their engines IN-HOUSE. They didn't farm them out. There was a time in the 20s and 30s that alot of cars were built using engines from some other manufacturer. Even the Kaiser-Frazer Co. used engines bought from Continental Motors. For that matter, Studebaker bought some diesel engines for their BIG truck offerings as did/do other truck manufacturers. It didn't make good financial sense to engineer their own diesel engines when it was a sure bet they weren't gonna be selling vast fleets of them.
                    And as to anyone that wants to holler: "But hey! They used them Chevy motors in their cars in '65 & '66!" - this was part of an exit strategy. The board of directors had been trying to get out of the auto business since the mid-fifties. Once it was evident that the '64 models weren't gonna be flying off the showroom floors, they dictated that auto production be wound down to an ultimate close. The first step was to shut down the South Bend operation while keeping the Hamilton plant going. Since ALL the engines came from the South Bend operation, a replacement source would have to be established to allow the production to continue in Canada.
                    Why bother? The main concern was that if they'd just slammed the doors shut in '64, there'd been a landslide of angry dealer's lawsuits against the company. Such wouldn't have mattered so much except that the company had diversified in recent years and to have to deal with a bunch of claims against it w
                    No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      [:I]Ditto!!

                      steve blake
                      steve blake...roaming the Texas Panhandle in my trusty Champ pickup
                      http://tinyurl.com/kr3gt

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Brian, Biggs, and AJ said it all, but remember, opinions are like arse holes, we all have one I guess.

                        quote:Originally posted by arkiejazz

                        [:I]Ditto!!

                        steve blake
                        Sam Roberts

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I'd never do a Mouse motor swap, I prefer the early Caddy. It's almost a bolt in, cheap to buy, lots of power, (up to 500 cu.in.) and not as boring as the same old Belly Button swap.
                          I have enough Studebaker V8 cores that it's unlikly that I'll do a Caddy. I'm building a 350 HP suoercharged Studebaker as we speak, but it's not cheap to do. I'd guess I'm about 3K into the engine by now, and some would prefer cheaper power.

                          64 Challenger (Green Wrapper)
                          63 R2 4 speed GT Hawk
                          55 Speedster
                          50 2R 10 truck
                          JDP Maryland

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                          • #14
                            GO BIGGS !! Whew!! Your discertation needs to be printed in TW !!!WELL SAID!!!

                            not golden hawk,not silver hawk,just hawk.
                            Oglesby,Il.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I agree with JDP, an early Caddy would do the swap job nicely and fit really well do to the similarities between the Cad and Stude engines. If I was going to go to the trouble of doing a true swap however I would probably lean towards doing a Buick GN 3.8 Turbo intercooled engine in a Stude. A few years back Trick Titanium did a '59 Hawk all black with this setup and I was impressed with that job. If you are going to really yank the Stude do something that will grab some attention, SBC is really too common.

                              We had a local guy show up at our car show last year with a nice custom '53 Commander and since I was the only Stude there he came over and struck up a conversation. Really nice guy and his car was sharp. I went over and checked it out with him and when he popped the hood there was a Chevy V8 crate motor with a Edelbrock carb, stock manifold, nothing really special (he farmed all the work out). I asked him what was wrong with the Studebaker V8 that was in it, and he said nothing was wrong it was just old and I wanted something modern. Well the SBC is about as old as it comes, especially with a simple carb, etc. setup.

                              I get a kick out of reading some of the early 60's hot rod mags where they comment about Studebaker's aging V8, then at about its 12th year of production and the SBC is now 50 years old!

                              Dan White
                              64 R1 GT
                              64 R2 GT
                              Dan White
                              64 R1 GT
                              64 R2 GT
                              58 C Cab
                              57 Broadmoor (Marvin)

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