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454 In 1953 Hardtop

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  • 454 In 1953 Hardtop

    This is for you that have done this what problems will we run into? I am using s 400 transmission.
    Jack White
    Charlotte,NC
    North Carolina Studebaker Drivers Club

  • #2
    Put a 396 in a 53 30 years ago for a friend. The only problem was the steering box. It is in the way.

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    • #3
      Been wanting to do the same but see to many clearance issues with a 59 Hawk. Steering box is major issue and I beleive a stock type fuel pump will also be to tall for the crossmember to not clear, I cant see a problem with it fitting between the radiator and firewall, my thinking is it has to be shorter than the inline six. Keep me informed on how it works out for you. All this is I suspect is if you are staying with the stock frame and suspension.
      Tom
      sigpic

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Alan View Post
        Put a 396 in a 53 30 years ago for a friend. The only problem was the steering box. It is in the way.
        Alan

        How did you resolve the steering box issue?

        Bob
        , ,

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        • #5
          My car has a Nova clip and though it has a BB MoPar there were Novas built with 396 engines.
          Alex Nelsen, certified Studebaker nut.
          Driving a 1954 Champion Coupe powered by a Chrysler 383.
          Lizella, GA

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          • #6
            FWIW, physically fitting the BBC in the C/K engine compartment is the least of the problems. The Studebaker V8 is so wide and heavy, and the Packard V8 even wider and heavier, so most any other OHV passenger car engine can and has been fitted. I've done, helped or seen early and late Cad V8s, Olds, Mopar hemi, BBC, SBC, SBF, BBM and a few I'm sure I've forgotten. As Alan has done about as many and as he said, if trying to keep the Stude steering box, the usual problem is finding a left side exhaust manifold with the right position outlet or building headers.

            These days, I'd go with a rack and pinion. Don't ask which one. Just do a search here and you'll have days worth of reading.

            You may have already considered the following, but for those who haven't. the problems arise with the torque and horsepower of the BBC. Literally no piece of the '53 running gear is adequate for that kind of twisting force. The '53 frame is the weakest of the C/K cars. One person can pick up one and walk away. It will require major reinforcement. (Back when, I helped a guy put a hemi in a '53 K. First time he got on it hard, the rear went sideways and the driver's door unlatched.) Then the tapered axles won't stand the strain, the '53 brakes weren't even any good for the speed of a 232" V8, some traction device, such as CalTrac is required. Plan on replacing and upgrading everything under there.

            jack vines
            PackardV8

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            • #7
              My car has had a lot of strengthening done for only 350 horsepower and 425-450 ft lbs of torque. I ripped out the 54 crossmember and welded in a triangulated crossmember/driveshaft loop and had a heavy, removeable tranny crossmember welded together and made two crossmembers for the rear. The frame still flexes a bit when I jack up one corner.
              Alex Nelsen, certified Studebaker nut.
              Driving a 1954 Champion Coupe powered by a Chrysler 383.
              Lizella, GA

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              • #8
                Jack,

                There is a guy in the NCSDC that has white with red '56 Sky Hawk with a BB Chevy in it. He would be a good person to talk to. I can't remember his name right now, but you probably will.
                Paul
                Winston-Salem, NC
                Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at: www.studebakerskytop.com

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                • #9
                  There was also a red and white '56 Golden Hawk with a BBC on the east coast for sale by a dealer posted here and on eBay several times.

                  jack vines
                  PackardV8

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                  • #10
                    I took one of the 625 GM boxes. Made a bracket. Used a Speedway Old Ford right side tie rod end that has a hole drilled for 40's style cross steer.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Alan View Post
                      I took one of the 625 GM boxes. Made a bracket. Used a Speedway Old Ford right side tie rod end that has a hole drilled for 40's style cross steer.
                      Thanks Alan

                      That was darn creative 30 years ago or even yesterday for that matter.

                      Bob
                      , ,

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Nelsen Motorsports View Post
                        My car has had a lot of strengthening done for only 350 horsepower and 425-450 ft lbs of torque. I ripped out the 54 crossmember and welded in a triangulated crossmember/driveshaft loop and had a heavy, removeable tranny crossmember welded together and made two crossmembers for the rear. The frame still flexes a bit when I jack up one corner.
                        Have you got any pics of your bracing,I'd be curious to see what you've done?

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