Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Avanti R6 Engine with Transmission

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Avanti R6 Engine with Transmission

    I have acquired an "AVANTI R6" (stamped onto the build ID pad) engine with transmission. I believe this is a 327 GM manufactured engine with 4-barrel intake. Block casting code could be 3782870, date code B763, intake casting code appears to be 3844459, date code K234. I have not sourced the tranny numbers at this time. Any thoughts on these casting/build numbers? What years did Avanti use the 327? 1965 to perhaps 1969? How can I determine what year Avanti II this R6 engine goes into? How common are these? I cannot imagine too many of these just sitting around.
    I bought this for spares - as a 1959 Studebaker V8 - now I am not too sure I want to part it out!

    FYI - The intake, valve covers, are painted Chevrolet Orange, the heads appear to be black; guess what? The block is painted GOLD. Thanks!
    Last edited by carussell; 11-15-2011, 09:03 PM.

  • #2
    There's no such thing as an Avanti R6 engine...someone must have stamped that into the block for show or bragging rights. The Avanti used the 327 small block Chevy from 1965 until late 1969 or early 1970 when they transitioned to the 350. As far as I know, all RQA Avanti's would have been equipped with the 327...350's would have been installed in the RQB cars, with the possible exception of some very early RQB's.

    The engine you have (from the numbers you provided) is a 327 engine built from 1962-1965...yours was cast in February 1963...long before Studebaker stopped building engines and over two years before the first Avanti II. This block was used in cars and trucks.

    That 327 cast was used for engines rated from 250-375 horsepower. The only way to tell what car or truck...Corvette, Nova, Impala or truck...is to get more numbers from the block. If it was a crate engine, it won't have all the numbers to determine what car or truck.

    The intake would have been cast in November of 1964. The casting number identifies it as a cast-iron unit for a 300 hp 327 engine...service replacement part. That number was cast during 1963-1965.

    If you take off the valve covers and get the casting numbers from the heads, we should be able to identify them.

    It's just a standard small block Chevy assembled with parts from the same time period but before it would ever have been installed in an Avanti. Original (Corvette) engines in 327 Avantis would have been painted Chevy Orange but with chrome valve covers.

    I say go ahead and use it as a spare like you intended. If you want to call it an Avanti R6, that's up to you.
    Poet...Mystic...Soldier of Fortune. As always...self-absorbed, adversarial, cocky and in general a malcontent.

    Comment


    • #3
      More numbers off this AVANTI R6 stamped Chevrolet 327 and transmission. It appears the engine is a 327 and the transmission is a TH400. The build pad on the block is stamped, "AVANTI R6" and the block casting number is "3782870", date code "B763"; the transmission is stamped with a partial VIN, "10L159380" (images below) "CF" coded on bell-housing, with casting number, "8623462", tail-piece "8624486". The transmission partial VIN 10L159380 indicates Chevrolet with a 1970 build date. Los Angeles plant.

      As stated before, I responded to a gentleman who told me he had a 1959 Studebaker V8 and transmission for sale; when I arrived to buy, I immediately saw it was a 327 GM motor with TH400 transmission. I did not look at the partial VIN/ID pad at that time. I acquired it anyway. Once home, when I arrived back at the shop and unloaded it, I discovered the "AVANTI R6" on the pad (during further investigation).
      Attached Files
      Last edited by carussell; 11-16-2011, 12:11 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        The following casting/date code numbers on these "double-hump" heads are - 3782461/K135 and 3782461/I25. The stampings on their build pads are as follows - right bank - 1727 (rear), S?XG / 12 13 83 (front); left bank 1727 (front), SAXG / 12 13 83 (rear). I presume these were "re-built" December 13, 1983 (although the casting numbers indicate 1965 core manufacture)? Any thoughts on these numbers and do they have Avanti II affiliation? Thanks again!

        p.s. - the exhaust manifold casting numbers are as follows - 3749965 (left) and 3750556 (right). This configuration was used on 1958-1963 Corvette V8s 250-300 horsepower. I am not sure what all I have here (or if this discussion even fits the Studebaker forum, except for the AVANTI R6 mystery).
        Attached Files
        Last edited by carussell; 11-16-2011, 11:57 AM.

        Comment


        • #5
          The best I can come up with is those cylinder heads were made from 1961-1970 and used on engines rated from 250hp through 375hp. They had 64cc chambers. Outside of that I can't say when they were made or what some of the other numbers mean. The heads may be original to the engine but at this point, it matters little.

          It sounds like you have an engine made up of various parts that MAY have been installed in an Avanti at some point. Avanti Motors installed new crate engines and transmissions...327's from '65-'69 or very early 1970. They installed Borg Warner T10 manual or Power Shift automatic transmissions until late 1970 or early '71 before being replaced by the GM Hydramatic in automatic equipped cars.

          If that engine was actually installed new in Avanti production, it would have had to have sat around for some time before being sold to Avanti Motors. That's possible I guess. I don't know if Avanti Motors purchased engines direct from GM or through local dealers...maybe both depending on need and availability.

          That "AVANTI R6" stamping doesn't look like any factory marking...too uneven. It was probably stamped by someone for whatever reason.
          Poet...Mystic...Soldier of Fortune. As always...self-absorbed, adversarial, cocky and in general a malcontent.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Gunslinger View Post
            ...That "AVANTI R6" stamping doesn't look like any factory marking...too uneven. It was probably stamped by someone for whatever reason.
            The "A" in "AVANTI" on the block pad and the "A" in the "SAXG" on the two head pads are the same. It is my guess they were all stamped at the same time (whenever that was). I am curious to know if anyone else has encountered early 60s casting codes on GM 327 engines in their Avanti IIs; also, how early were the GM TH400 transmissions used in the Avanti IIs? Indications are this build is from 1970. The 327 was used in Chevrolet cars until at least 1969, so it is possible these could have been used in a 1970 Avanti II. I see no reason to stamp the block "AVANTI R6" if this was intended to go in a Corvette or other '60s/'70s GM muscle car.
            Last edited by carussell; 11-16-2011, 01:36 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              OH...a little time...a little mischief...a hammer...a set of metal stamping letters...proof that grown men are little boys with bigger toys!
              John Clary
              Greer, SC

              SDC member since 1975

              Comment


              • #8
                The TH400 was used from 1964-1990...primarily used on large displacement, high torque engines and engines with towing packages. It was generally found in Chevy and GM trucks, Cadillacs and large displacement engined, full size GM rear wheel drive cars. Outside of that, GM was still using Powerglides until the TH350 in 1969.

                I doubt that the transmission had been a factory installation in an Avanti...it has a VIN that doesn't match any Avanti VIN from that time period. Even then, Avanti Motors didn't start installing TH400's until 1971 and stopped installing 327's after 1969 or extremely early 1970. I know never say never...strange things have happened and not all have been documented or no documentation has been found on some items. Avanti Motors supposedly bought six month supplies of engines (and maybe trannies) to get a bulk discount, so it's quite likely the engine and tranny combination in any car could well have been six months or more old before installation. My own '70 Avanti came with the external voltage regulator/alternator that GM quit using after the '68 model year on most production.

                I still see no reason why anyone but an Avanti person would have stamped "AVANTI R6" on the pad. If Avanti Motors did that, it's never popped up before. Re-stamping engine pads is not a new or unusual thing...lots of engines that have been decked are re-stamped and many engines that have been passed off as "numbers matching" in a Corvette, Chevelle or Camaro have been re-stamped to make them appear original.

                A 1964 manufacture engine with a possible 1970 build transmission in a vehicle that stopped installing 327's after 1969 and didn't start installing that transmission until 1971...just doesn't sound very likely.
                Poet...Mystic...Soldier of Fortune. As always...self-absorbed, adversarial, cocky and in general a malcontent.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Gunslinger View Post
                  A 1964 manufacture engine with a possible 1970 build transmission in a vehicle that stopped installing 327's after 1969 and didn't start installing that transmission until 1971...just doesn't sound very likely.
                  I agree. The only real mystery is where the "AVANTI R6" comes from. If you're a Corvette person, that is not something you would stamp on a Vette motor; if you're a Studebaker/Avanti person, why stamp AVANTI R6 on a GM motor knowing there was no such production designation? We know that Studebaker built five 289 Avanti engines designated R1 thru R5 (the R5 being experimental), so isn't it possible there was a R6 - perhaps experimental - based on the GM 327? The production year on this engine is correct for 1964/1965 and that would be about right for the end of production in 1966 for the Studebaker Avanti, and beginning of the Avanti II. Anything could have happened.
                  Admittedly, the 1970 build date on the tranny is a bit confusing, but it could have been added at any time after 1970 to this particular engine. So I disregard that for now as it just muddies the waters.
                  Could the SAXG stamped on the heads mean something like "Studebaker / Avanti / X (a common abbreviation for experimental) / G?" or something like that? I know I am really stretching things here, but it is possible. I simply do not want to part-out a piece of history if such is the case.

                  There is an interesting article at the following url: http://studebaker-info.org/text3/studenghist.txt in regard to Studebaker experimenting with Chevy small-block engines - and others - as early as 1963.
                  Last edited by carussell; 11-16-2011, 06:14 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    It appears that one cylinder head was cast on Nov. 13, 1965 and the other on Sept. 2, 1965.

                    I'm making a guess that the SAXG and the 12 13 83 under it may be a rebuilder's mark and when he did the work. The "AVANTI R6" may have been stamped on at the same time. Maybe the engine was rebuilt to a higher state of tune and installed in an Avanti at that time? We'll probably never know without finding the person who either did the work or had it done.

                    I think it's unlikely it has anything to do with Studebaker. After Studebaker stopped production in South Bend and purchased engines from MacKinnon in Canada until all production was closed out, they were looking for a way out of the car business altogether and the engineering people were all let go or retired. There's no reason to believe they would begin an engineering effort on a high performance Chevy engine when anyone could just go to a Chevy dealer and buy one...especially for the Avanti which ended production in Dec. 1963.
                    Poet...Mystic...Soldier of Fortune. As always...self-absorbed, adversarial, cocky and in general a malcontent.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Gunslinger View Post
                      That "AVANTI R6" stamping doesn't look like any factory marking...too uneven. It was probably stamped by someone for whatever reason.
                      Just thought I would show that "even" stampings are not always an indicator on engine blocks. Below is an image of my original 1952 Chevy 3/4 ton pickup's 216cid engine block. Not very straight!
                      Attached Files

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by jclary View Post
                        OH...a little time...a little mischief...a hammer...a set of metal stamping letters...proof that grown men are little boys with bigger toys!
                        I agree and I have seen such shenanigans! However, usually there is an alterior motive such as turning a common item into an uncommon item for the purpose of creating desirability and inflating price. In other words, engaging in willfully fraudulent enterprises for personal gain. On the other hand, there is the person that enjoys a good joke on his peers, such as with the Piltdown Man hoax in 1912 England.
                        In any event, usually, the end result is either financial gain or recognition. The gentleman I acquired this from desired neither. He responded to my advertisement for 1957 Studebaker Hawk parts wanted. He told me it had been left abandoned in his garage nine years ago when he bought the property where it was being stored. He had been told it was for a 1959 Studebaker and only wanted $200 for it. I took it even though it was not a 1959 Studebaker engine and transmission (I can always use a good small-block-Chevy engine and TH400 transmission). In short, I see no evidence for mischief or fraud based upon the circumstances at acquisition.
                        Last edited by carussell; 11-16-2011, 06:06 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Another interesting article was found at http://www.avantisource.com/history.html in which is discussed Avanti II 327 engines, "Since the supply of Studebaker engines was not assured, a substitute would have to be found that would provide the necessary level of performance, and yet be easily adapted to the existing body. Hardig's choice was the 327 cubic inch engine used in the Chevrolet Corvette. The first of four engineering prototypes, serial number one, was fitted with a 327 block obtained from a Chicago salvage yard." This shows that GM casting dates may have had little to do with Avanti II production years, certainly on experimental - or perhaps early production - 327 engines used in some Avanti IIs.
                          Last edited by carussell; 11-16-2011, 06:51 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I'd say it's a moot point - there are many experts here in Studebaker lore, and Avanti lore in particular - I think it's pretty safe to say that no such thing ever existed and what you have is someone's idea of a joke. Considering that all the R-series (or JTS) were high performance limited production powertrains, the notion that a garden variety 327 would be designated 'R-6' is kinda out there. Consider the progression: 289 4V - 289 4V Supercharged - 304 4V Supercharged - 304 dual 4V - 304 dual 4V supercharged - 327 Chevy O_o

                            Of course, I could be wrong, maybe this is the long lost prototype Nate Altman was going to use for the next generation - throw it on eBay or put an ad in Hemmings and maybe you can retire on the proceeds

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              It's not about the money; it's about preserving something of automotive history. I think of all the "experts" that have gotten it wrong over the years and have written so many error-filled books; there are enough to fill a New York city phone book.
                              R1, R2, and R3 engines were far from high performance. The compression ratios were unimpressive and the boost came via superchargers (on the R2 and R3). The R4 was not supercharged but had two-fours and compression ratio of 12:1 (now that's getting there). Who knows on the R5, but perhaps 12:1 with two-fours, both Paxton supercharged (if the pistons could take it). But I think you are missing the point entirely and assuming a progression of increased performance by each step in R(n). We are talking about a production change and transition from a Studebaker-based 289 engine to a Chevrolet-based 327 engine for a non-Studebaker built car.

                              Also, quite often it's the perception or implication of perfomance in a name that sells, such as GT or GTO or SS, etc. Heck, then there's the opposite effect; in the option sheets for the 1969 L88 Corvette, those engines were simply called 427 Heavy Duty; however those cars had no heater, radio, etc. Subtle, but to the point; strictly performance. Imagine the shock after Hertz Rent-a-Car ordered a few Heavy-Duty Corvettes!

                              My point with this is simply that the R designation applies to the series of engines installed in the Studebaker Avanti from 1963 to 1964. Most of the engines were of the R1 type, next being the R2. It's easy to see that most of the buyers preferred the R1 which was basically the same specs as a Chevrolet 327cid 300hp. Why not stick with tradition on the Avanti II and call the new 327 engine an R6 in the prototype stages? That was very obviously the next generation of Avanti engine.
                              The R1 was far from limited production as it was the workhorse of the Avanti; why not an R6 as the workhorse of the Avanti II?

                              In any event, I will just set it back until more is known. Perhaps my children will learn what it is at some point in the future (or maybe not).
                              Last edited by carussell; 11-16-2011, 10:15 PM.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X