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v6 versus v8 when towing

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  • v6 versus v8 when towing

    By some of you recommended a v8 to tow a canned ham .back in the day what cars engine power tow them the little canned hams. Mine is a v6 could easily put in a v8 I guess.I was born in 1958 so I'm wondering if some of you did pull a trailer with a lark my 90 chrysler lebaron convertible is nothing compared to the larks engine I prefer my stude to the chrysler. The lark runs strong and mechanics are great. It doesn't run sluggish. Being a lady why is a v8 prefered. Just wondered.do any cars that are v6 pull trailers today. I'm not experienced with trailers. I just think theyree cute. Would only take it to a couple cruise ins per year and rest just park it in the yard. I don't even like camping. Just like the way they look. I don't really see people pulling trailers around here.do just trucks pull them.nowadays. what kind of cars pulled trailers back in the late fifties.I just want t o seee if I can get answers from those who did it. Some of you say a v8. Why's that. Just wondered. If that's so id put a different ejjngine in it next yr.

  • #2
    A lot depends on the weight of the trailer and the terrain you plan on traveling. If you are staying on level ground with a relatively light trailer, say 1500 pounds or so I think a Studebaker 6 would be able to tow it, but not very fast. You would want the manual transmission, and you would not be able to use overdrive, if you had it. Just as a matter of clarification, Studebaker never had a V6 engine, only in-line 6 cylinder engines. A V8 would enable you to pull a heavier trailer and also merge into traffic better and climb hills better. Certainly back in the 50s, people towed trailers with 6 cylinder motors, in fact many trucks only had 6 cylinders. But driving was different then, there were far fewer freeways, traffic moved a lot slower and there were not as many cars on the road. Personally I have towed boats with a 90s era pick up with a 6 cylinder and it did fine. But it was a truck that was set up for towing. Hope that helps.
    Pat Dilling
    Olivehurst, CA
    Custom '53 Starlight aka STU COOL


    LS1 Engine Swap Journal: http://www.hotrodders.com/forum/jour...ournalid=33611

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    • #3
      thank you it does help me. we live in western ny and its relatively flat. the only distance would be a 30 mile round trip maybe three times a year on flat land,no hills, if all goes well am paying for a 66 scotty sero thursday. its relatively a small camper, like a canned type. its not very big the way i wanted it. the trailer is lightweight and the terrain is level where we would be taking it. id take it to cruise ins around six miles round trip and thirty miles round trip. nothing strenuous or very long distance. it would only be towed three times a year. i love the red car , very pretty. and wagon looks like it will a nice car too. dont look that bad now in fact. my husband likes starlights, he always wanted one. sorry for the incorrect grammar in first thread post. i was on an android tablet and im not used to the tablets yet.

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      • #4
        Mrs. Joe; it is really about the Horse Power, nowadays there are New SUV's with V-6 Engines that put out way more than 225 H.P. and have the proper gears, usually in Trucks only, to Tow quite a bit.

        BUT, we are talking about almost 60 year old Studebakers here. To compare, a '59-'60 Lark Flathead Six has 90 H.P. on a good day!

        The problem with that is todays driving as Pat said is NOT what it used to be, he forgot to mention the fools going 70 to 85 Miles per hour that will plow into the rear of your 55 MPH Studebaker in a heartbeat!

        I have had them pass me PULLING a TRAILER with a late model Pickup going over 75 in a 55 or 60 for trucks and trailers, speed zone!

        I do not know which year and model of in line 6 Cyl. you have, but a car with a 259 or 289 V8 would be much better and way Safer. It is also not a easy or cheap thing to change the whole drive train and Brakes on a 6 to a V8 either.
        Last edited by StudeRich; 02-05-2013, 02:41 PM.
        StudeRich
        Second Generation Stude Driver,
        Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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        • #5
          Please remember that it's not how fast you can go, it's how fast can you stop. The little trailer you are buying will tow behind your Studebaker OK. I'm guessing the trailer is somewhere around 1500 pounds. That's half the weight of the car and will increase the stopping distances greatly, plus it will put a lot of strain on the Studes little brakes. Small trailers of that era probably don't have brakes, but a complete electric brake set up for the trailer would be a great improvement and a real insurance policy. You can buy the backing plates and hubs in a variety of lug patterns, either matching the trailer now or your Studebaker so that you could run matching wheels. A brake controller is only about $50 and the electric brake parts are probably around $400 or less. It's an easy job to install and would make your experience much safer. I'd like your towing to be pleasant rather then stressful. I tow about 12,000 lbs around behind my truck and stopping in an emergency is critical. People like to pass and cut in front of you because you were holding them up. It's stupid, but they do it. Good luck and happy towing.
          sigpic1966 Daytona (The First One)
          1950 Champion Convertible
          1950 Champion 4Dr
          1955 President 2 Dr Hardtop
          1957 Thunderbird

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          • #6
            I am impressed with your enthusiasm. I wouldn't want to discourage you, but the advice offered by others is very good. You may be too young to remember the old potato chip commercial where the slogan was, "betcha can't have just one!" That pretty much sums up what I think of the Studebaker hobby. With that in mind, I say GO FOR IT! If it don't work out as you expect...have plan B in place. Plan B would be to get you a nice little aluminum runabout boat of the 60's era and pull it behind the little six cylinder Lark. It would be just as cool and in your area, people appreciate cool little boats as much as cool vintage cars.

            Then...(Here comes the cool part)...you can pull your cool little Scotty camper behind your next Studebaker! You know...Betcha can't have just one! Make sure it is a V8 car or truck. Just because you are female don't mean you have to be mature and level headed all your life.
            John Clary
            Greer, SC

            SDC member since 1975

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            • #7
              If the trailer doesn't already have electric brakes, have them added. The car brakes should stop the car...the trailer brakes should stop the trailer. A trailer with no brakes adds additional stress on the car's brakes and could possibly overtax them.
              Poet...Mystic...Soldier of Fortune. As always...self-absorbed, adversarial, cocky and in general a malcontent.

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              • #8
                It just occurred to me as I was out working on my wagon this afternoon. It has a trailer hitch on it and the associated wires for trailer lighting. When I got it, it had the little 170 Cu in flat head six cylinder with 3 speed & overdrive transmission. So at some time in its life it did some towing so there is some testimony that it can be done, but I can't say how well it did it.

                I just did a little web research and saw some of the little trailers that weigh 1000 pounds or a little less. If you don't load it up with a lot of stuff I would think you would be OK to tow with your Lark for the purposes you stated. Just don't be in a hurry and drive defensively.
                Pat Dilling
                Olivehurst, CA
                Custom '53 Starlight aka STU COOL


                LS1 Engine Swap Journal: http://www.hotrodders.com/forum/jour...ournalid=33611

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                • #9
                  The ability to stop is always more critical than the ability to go. Six cylinder Studebakers can be easily upgraded to larger brakes. Trailers under 1000 lb should be no issue. Rental trailers, such as U-Haul, have surge brakes. These are adequate for their purpose. Most high-powered Studebakers would prefer to be pulling trailers with electric brakes. If the tow-car gets over enthusiastic, the trailer can be utilized as a restraining system.
                  Brad Johnson,
                  SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
                  Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
                  '33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight. '53 Commander Starlight
                  '56 Sky Hawk in process

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                  • #10
                    And do keep us posted when you do any of the upgrades to your trailer and trailering rig. Partly to keep you honest with the folks who know better and can offer suggestions, as well as you being an inspiration to others reading as to what they can do with their Studes.

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