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Toyota engines in Studebakers

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  • Toyota engines in Studebakers

    I was reading a 1989 Turning Wheels (January I think) and There was a small article about Studebakers being fitted with 4 cylinder Toyota engines and transmissions. I have thought about a 4 cylinder in my 66 cruiser just so I could drive it more, but I enjoy the 283 with the cam a lot, just not the mpgs. Anyone ever put a 4 cylinder in a Studebaker?

  • #2
    That reminds me,

    In 1991 in Germany I took my platoon to the Black Forest on a five day land navigation exercise. On the second day we overnighted in a commercial camping place and the owner invited me up to his house to look at his "spielzeugen" (toys). Turns out he had a vault-like room under his gasthaus full from top to bottom with a weapons collection worthy of most museums. Then he took me out to his shed to show me a WWII Jeep so fresh looking that it looked like the cosmolene had just been wiped off the parts. He lifted the hood to show me a 4-cylinder Mercedes engine. At first I was upset. "What the heck have you done?" I asked him. He just smiled and motioned me over to one side and lifted a tarp. Underneath was that pristine jeep engine on a custom-made stand complete with radiator, muffler push button starter and gauges and it's transmission with transfer case. He reached over, closed a knife switch, pushed that starter button and she started right up and sat there purring like a happy tom cat. He shut her down and explained that he occasionally took the jeep out for a drive and would also drive it in local parades and such. He didn't want to take a chance on losing the engine and transmission so he'd replaced them with the Mercedes gear. He had the whole things set up so that he could convert it seamlessly from engine to engine if need be.

    The Toyota 20R 4-cyl engine would probably work fine in a Stude or even a 4M six if you can find one that's been pulled out of a Supra. The 4M was the newer version of the 2M used in the Crowns before Toyota stopped importing them. The frame dimensions and layout up front in the Crown is very similar to the Stude space and the 3-speed Toyoglide is up to the task. The Aussies and Kiwi's routinely drop V8's into old crowns and there's plenty of room under the hood. The Crown was heavy - nearly 3,000 lbs. The third series - the S50 models - were the second series imported to the US from 1967 to mid 1971 (Mine was a mid-71 with a SOHC 2M engine) and the engine was plenty strong. When I first went into the Army I couldn't afford to hire a Uhaul so I built a huge 4 by 8ft. roof rack so we could haul all our crap from station to station. That car would cruise all day on the interstate at 80 mph with that huge rack loaded down with 600lbs of household goods without overheating and still get about 24 mpg. If you wanted to spare your Stude motor, rigging up a seamless swap like that fellow in Germany had could be one way of doing it.
    Mike O'Handley, Cat Herder Third Class
    Kenmore, Washington
    hausdok@msn.com

    '58 Packard Hawk
    '05 Subaru Baja Turbo
    '71 Toyota Crown Coupe
    '69 Pontiac Firebird
    (What is it with me and discontinued/orphan cars?)

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    • #3
      Originally posted by K-Hawk View Post
      Anyone ever put a 4 cylinder in a Studebaker?
      Studebaker did up into the 1920's...
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      • #4
        In '96 or '97 I saw an ad in Old Cars Weekly for a '54 Champion Coupe with a "4 cyl. engine". It was near Newark NJ and I happened to be visiting my brother and his family elsewhere in NJ that week so while visiting them I rode over to take a look at what this thing was. Sure enough, it was a black '54 C-body with a Pontiac 151 "Iron Duke" 4 cylinder in it. It also had an automatic in it. The car was fairly rough and I didn't really like it. But it was fully drivable and it shows that anything is possible. He kept the original rear end in the car, I do recall that. He allowed that driving it at higher road speed made it sound a little "busy". I imagine that little 4 was really screaming away at the higher road speeds with the low '54 gearing. I didn't drive it.

        Dave Bonn
        '54 Champion Starliner

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        • #5
          At a Zone Meet in Gering, Nebraska about 10 years I saw a bulletnose with a 4 cylinder Toyota truck engine under the hood. The owner said he drove it everywhere with no problems at all. It even had the A/C unit hooked up.
          The only difference between death and taxes is that death does not grow worse every time Congress convenes. - Will Rogers

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          • #6
            A few years back my cousin bought a 41 Champion coupe with a Toyota 4 banger in it. He drove it from Utah to Oregon and pulled the engine and put in a Chevy V8. The 41 also had Toyota front clip and rear end, it was all well done and drove great. I've thought of doing the same engine swap in our 40 Champion some day when the 170 finally craps out.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Blue 15G View Post
              In '96 or '97 I saw an ad in Old Cars Weekly for a '54 Champion Coupe with a "4 cyl. engine". It was near Newark NJ and I happened to be visiting my brother and his family elsewhere in NJ that week so while visiting them I rode over to take a look at what this thing was. Sure enough, it was a black '54 C-body with a Pontiac 151 "Iron Duke" 4 cylinder in it. It also had an automatic in it. The car was fairly rough and I didn't really like it. But it was fully drivable and it shows that anything is possible. He kept the original rear end in the car, I do recall that. He allowed that driving it at higher road speed made it sound a little "busy". I imagine that little 4 was really screaming away at the higher road speeds with the low '54 gearing. I didn't drive it.

              Dave Bonn
              '54 Champion Starliner
              Ten or so years ago I saw a nice looking '48 Champion Starlight coupe sitting in a driveway with a For Sale sign. I stopped to look and found that the owner had removed the running Champion engine and overdrive tranny and replaced them with a four-cylinder Chevrolet engine and four speed manual tranny.
              sigpic
              Paul Johnson, Wild and Wonderful West Virginia.
              '64 Daytona Wagonaire, '64 Avanti R-1, Museum R-4 engine, '72 Gravely Model 430 with Onan engine

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              • #8
                I can't understand why anyone would want to replace a good Studebaker engine/trans. with a brand X powertrain. I can understand it of the original engine was deemed unusable and a good replacement was impossible to find. I guess I'm just a purist. I prefer to keep my Studebaker all Studebaker.
                A little sidelight: My younger son, who is 31 would love to own my '59 Lark Hardtop some day. He told me that the 6 cyl. engine will come out and be replaced by a V-8. I told him that, once it's his car, he can do whatever he wants to do. I did ask him to consider replacing the 6 with a Stude V-8. To that, he agreed.
                Rog
                '59 Lark VI Regal Hardtop
                Smithtown,NY
                Recording Secretary, Long Island Studebaker Club

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                • #9
                  There should be a law against this !!!

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                  • #10
                    I remember seeing a nice C-cab pickup in Montana that had been placed on a Toyota 4X4 pickup chassis, with the complete Toyota drive train in it. Was a nice-looking rig.
                    Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

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                    • #11
                      It might become like a 4 year old pushing an adult in a shopping cart. On level ground, at a speed under the point where wind resistance becomes a real issue, it might be doable. However, a car needs a certain amount of torque to move it. Larger engines generally provide that at a lower RPM. At some point there will become a crossover point where you are pushing the 4 cylinder too hard to reap the mileage increase you want. A Turbo motor would somewhat negate that. I had a '88 T-Bird Ford Turbo Coupe. It probably weighed as much if not more that the Studebaker. My general average mileage was about 19-21 MPG with a maximum of 28 MPG going 55 MPH.

                      Tom
                      '64 Lark Type, powered by '85 Corvette L-98 (carburetor), 700R4, - CASO to the Max.

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                      • #12
                        This thread/topic reminds me of the Kvanti that I saw in Las Vegas. I believe that it was from California. It was an Avanti with a Chrysler front drive, four cylinder powertrain.
                        Last edited by studegary; 08-17-2012, 01:43 PM. Reason: corrected name
                        Gary L.
                        Wappinger, NY

                        SDC member since 1968
                        Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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                        • #13
                          I'd love to do a 2R5 or similar with a total electric drivetrain. Lotsa room UNDER the bed for batteries. Sure wish I'da kept in touch with the guy in SOCAL that was doing just that. I sold him a hood and some trim for his project.
                          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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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by studegary View Post
                            This thread/topic reminds me of the Corvanti that I saw in Las Vegas. I believe that it was from California. It was an Avanti with a Chrysler front drive, four cylinder powertrain.
                            wouldn't that be a "Chryvanti"?
                            Kerry. SDC Member #A012596W. ENCSDC member.

                            '51 Champion Business Coupe - (Tom's Car). Purchased 11/2012.

                            '40 Champion. sold 10/11. '63 Avanti R-1384. sold 12/10.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Corvanti View Post
                              wouldn't that be a "Chryvanti"?
                              No, but now I remember the correct name - Kvanti.
                              Gary L.
                              Wappinger, NY

                              SDC member since 1968
                              Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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