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My 1st Studebaker lark

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  • My 1st Studebaker lark

    Hello all I recently traded some items for a 1961 Studebaker lark v8 259 3 od with a lot of problems the car was sitting for almost 30 years but is all original with minor rust I'm new to the world of studebaker but would like to redo this old machine .

    The motor is seized from sitting without proper care . I've soaked the motor in all kinds of solutions to break it free with out success. I'm not in a hurry to distroy this engine so I've been rocking it back and forth trying to free it I was told to hook a strap to it put the car in third gear and pop the clutch I'm just worried about breaking and bending rods or worse .

    my goal is to get the car running and driving to enjoy it for the studebaker she really is I don't want a belly button in my studebaker

    I've been reading a lot on these forums but this is my first time posting thank you in advance
    "trying to save them from the crusher one at a time"

  • #2
    Do not do that!

    Sure fire way to break something. Ask me how I know!

    Pull the heads and see what's going on. Usually there is only one or two stuck. Also check the bell housing. I had a mouse nest in one once that was so jammed in that it seemed the engine was "stuck"
    1962 Champ

    51 Commander 4 door


    • #3
      My 259 was run dry of oil, stuck solid, then frozen. Once out and taken apart, we had the block tanked and fluxed. It passed inspection, I bought a complete rebuild kit and it's been fine for the last 5000 miles. Good luck.
      Dave Warren (Perry Mason by day, Perry Como by night)


      • #4
        Welcome to the forum.

        I've been around Studebakers off and on for 40 years. Its been a love/hate/Love/tolerate/love kind of thing..

        Any pictures yet? 2/4 door?

        As for your dilemma, its hard to say why the engine froze in the first place. Could be rusty cylinder walls. cracked block, bad bearings.. etc..

        This engine had been sitting since 1980.. in 2010, I got in and it fired up to drive on the trailer. Of course that is sunny AZ, AND I knew why it was sitting there so long..

        In any case, the engine you have probably does not have an oil filter on the lower right of the engine. Nor does the one in the above pic. That oil filter on top only filters some of the oil and way after it sends curd to your crankshaft. (Crazy... I know).

        What ever crud/rust you are shaving off the cylinders is getting into the oil pan.. If you just try to start it right away, and not drain and flush the oil pan, that crud will go straight to the crank..

        The crud is on the top of the pistons as well.. It will sit in there and may scar up the cylinder walls until it decides to go out the exhaust ports.

        Its tough to think of just pulling the engine and doing a rebuild, (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED) but the more you mess up, the more it costs to fix.
        Last edited by SScopelli; 09-08-2014, 09:45 AM.


        • #5
          Although I would not rule out rusted Piston Rings to the Cylinder walls, often times it is just the Valves stuck to the Valve Guides that is holding it. It just depends on HOW much moisture got into it, Air Cleaner on or off, stored outside, etc.

          I would put at least a Half Cup of Acetone and ATF 50/50 in the Cylinders aiming for the inboard side and remove Valve Covers and attempt to soak the Valve Stems, lift the Valve Seals with a screwdriver. It may require removing the Rocker Arms.
          Second Generation Stude Driver,
          Proud '54 Starliner Owner


          • #6
            Thanks for the reply's And encouraging words. #1 and #8 cylinder seem to be my problem children. The rest of the motor is super clean it's going to need a new distributor and starter as well as the tail lights the previous owner didn't have them.

            while going through the car I found some old turning wheels magazines from someone who owned the car in the 2000's

            I would really like to get the car running once I source the parts to do so

            I checked the bell housing and it's clear of derby
            I guess it's time to pull the heads
            Does this car take any special gaskets or can I just go to autozone and get the head gasket kit from them

            Felpro head gasket set

            Part Number: HS7669S-2
            Alternate Part Number: CHS7669S-2
            Warranty: 1 YR
            "trying to save them from the crusher one at a time"


            • #7
              There are many part sources, NAPA seems to be the best for local parts, but, Studebaker International is you best bet for what you will need.



              • #8
                The air breeder was off and the car spent most of its time outside I'm assuming because I picked it up out of this kids back yard who thought it was made by chevy
                "trying to save them from the crusher one at a time"


                • #9
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                  This is her no motor pics as of yet but it has a top mount oil filter it looks like the original air breather and generator most of the car looks like nothing was don't with it when it was parked then someone came along to savage parts from her
                  "trying to save them from the crusher one at a time"


                  • #10
                    Get in touch with members of your local chapter of the Studebaker Drivers Club. They've been where you're at.
                    "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

                    Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
                    Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
                    '33 Rockne 10,
                    '51 Commander Starlight,
                    '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée",
                    '56 Sky Hawk


                    • #11
                      I'm planning on joining my local chapter as soon as I get the money as well as the studebaker drivers club to gain more insight on what I'm getting myself into as this is my first studebaker and not having any back ground with these cars I'm going to need all the guidance I can get
                      "trying to save them from the crusher one at a time"


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Restobaker View Post
                        This is her no motor pics as of yet but it has a top mount oil filter it looks like the original air breather and generator most of the car looks like nothing was don't with it when it was parked then someone came along to savage parts from her
                        Nice looking car.. Looks to be complete.. Minus the missing air breather..

                        Sent you a PM..


                        • #13
                          Aside from a few key parts it's complete I'm looking at getting some keys made up for it the pervious owner didn't have any.
                          So right now everything is on hold until I figure out this motor I've never rebuilt one just replaced head gaskets and such basic mechanics so I'm going to have a machine shop check it out before I find a reputable builder who Is familiar with studebaker.

                          Im im going to check out the brakes this weekend and see if I can bleed them and then replace all worn parts

                          after a good wash I'll post more pictures I'm sure the paint will suite me fine it don't look to bad from ten feet

                          The carburetor is trashed seized up good and the water pump is stuck real good after taking all the belts off the motor I realized it's really seized

                          even after soaking the motor in oil, ATF, and various other anti seize methods it's stuck hoping I can un seize the motor after I pull the heads

                          do I need new head bolts when I replace the heads ?
                          "trying to save them from the crusher one at a time"


                          • #14
                            .....I would now suggest rebuilding your engine , or finding another Stude V8 (259/289) that you hear and see running, and drop that in. Even if you could get the present engine turning and running any kind of decent, it would still be a parade or local show only. Check the head bolts for bad threads or chips.....replace. I've never had problems using a tap and die (careful w/ tap).....Also..... I didn't see it mentioned: buy a Shop and Parts' manual(s) for you car...... best buy....GL


                            • #15
                              Welcome! here's some more vendors for parts, etc. -

                              Definitely pick up the manuals mentioned above, join the SDC and follow the advice listed in the above posts, and other experts on the forum!

                              EDIT: i am not an "expert", but i wouldn't try to turn your engine over again until the heads are off ( i think you did that), and dropping the oil pan to see what's going on - plus what metallic chunks, etc. are in the pan...
                              Last edited by Corvanti; 09-08-2014, 01:52 PM.
                              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.