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  • 232 versus 259 versus 289

    Rather than hijack the tread on the nos 232, I thought I would start a new thread. I have owned over the years all three Studebaker V8's with Automatic and Three Speed Overdrives and a 4 speed.

    In my 1952 Commander 4 door with overdrive, the car ran great and I got good mileage. The only time it got a little out of breath was the mountain climb on the way to San Diego from El Centro. I had to go from overdrive to direct drive on a few of the stretches climbing the uphill pass. One of our chapter members also mentioned putting later heads and using a R1 Cam really made for lively driving.

    My first 259 was when I was 16(!) with overdrive in a Vernon Built 55 speedster. That was a great running car but would have valve float after 4,500 rpm. It would do an honest 120 in overdrive @ 3,800 rpm. Since the statue of limitations has pasted, I did that on Black Canyon Highway (1-17 now) past Bell road, because at that time there was nothing there and usually the Highway Patrol did not check that stretch of road.

    I also had at one time a 1962 Gran Turismo with a 289/2bbl and a 4 speed. It was ok but it did not seem to have the flexibility of square 259 and seemed to be a little doggy on take off. Others have told me that there is little difference between the 259 and 289 unless you are driving flat out. I don't have that opportunity so I have to just base things on regular driving.

    IMHO, I prefer a 259 or even a 232 in the right car verses a 289. my 1956 President Classic with a early first gear start Flightomatic again was an ok driving car but did not seem to have the same driving feeling as the 259 or 232.

    Ok guys weigh in

    Bob Miles
    Tucson AZ
    Last edited by 6hk71400; 05-23-2015, 12:54 PM. Reason: correction

  • #2
    I hear what you are saying about the over square 289, but the facts are that 305 Ft. Lbs. of Torque and 225 H.P. has just GOT to beat the 259 for Low and High RPM Performance.

    Could you "Hop up" a 259 to beat a 289 sure, but the 289 will probably respond even better to the same Overbore, Porting, Big Valves, Cam, Carb. change etc., etc.

    However for Durability I don't think you can beat the under square, short stroke 259.

    As far as Valve Float, both Engines will do that at below their capability of Max H.P. due to the weak 110 Lb. Valve Springs, but the Avanti 155 Lb. Springs will fix that in a hurry.

    As far as the 232 is concerned, no contest there, why do you think Ted "moved up" to the 289?

    All in my humble OPINION of course.
    Last edited by StudeRich; 05-23-2015, 01:40 PM.
    StudeRich
    Second Generation Stude Driver,
    Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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    • #3
      I have owned several Studebakers with engines in each size and worked on/drove many others.
      When considering stock configuration, not modified, for regular driving I prefer a 259. To me the 259 seems to be quicker reving than a 289.
      I would only keep a 232 if you want to keep a car stock. I prefer the 224 to the 232.
      Gary L.
      Wappinger, NY

      SDC member since 1968
      Studebaker enthusiast much longer

      Comment


      • #4
        I had a 289 in a 1954 Land cruiser it had the 54 2 bbl manifold to look stock, that thing seamed to have a ton of torque. I would bet it would beat my 259 4 bbl 64 Lark in a drag race. 3:31 gears in the 54 and 3:73 in the Lark.
        The 54 was the one Johnny Wiffer had.

        101st Airborne Div. 326 Engineers Ft Campbell Ky.

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        • #5
          David Vizard, one of the top Chevy performance builders and authors, in an argument on a particular modification for building racing engines, someone said to him, "In my opinion . . . " Vizard replied, "You have opinions, but I have a dyno."

          The horsepower ratings Studebaker published are from dynometer readings and verified by drag strip speeds, have proven to be accurate. The Studebaker bean counters and engineers wouldn't have spent the money on the 289" crank forging die and piston molds if it didn't make more horsepower and more torque.

          What those without dynos but with opinions are most likely feeling is the smoothness of the shorter stroke 232"/259" It definitely feels smoother pulling up through the Rs than does the longer stroke 289". The even shorter stroke and low compression 224" is by far the smoothest of all the Studebaker V8s, but it is just a humming little anvil, no horsepower being developed to make anything shake.

          Bottom line - believe the dyno.

          1954 Commander V8 3 3/8 x 3 1/4 232" 7.50 127hp @ 4000 202 @ 2000

          1955 Commander V8 Early - 3 9/16 x 2 13/16 224" 7.50 140hp @ 4500 202 @ 2800

          1955 Commander V8 Late 3 9/16 x 3 1/4 259" 7.50 162hp @ 4500 250 @ 2800

          1956 Commander V8 3 9/16 x 3 1/4 259" 7.80 170hp @ 4500 260 @ 2800

          1956 President V8 3 9/16 x 3 5/8 289" 7.80 195hp @ 4500 286 @ 2800

          1956 Golden Hawk V8 4 x 3 1/2 352 9.50 275hp @ 4600 380 @ 2800

          1958 Silver Hawk 3 9/16 x 3 5/8 289" 8.3 210hp @ 4500 300 @ 2800

          1959 Hawk V8 3 9/16 x 3 1/4 259" 8.8 180hp @ 4500 260 @ 2800

          1964
          V8-259 2 Barrel 3.5625 x 3.25 259 8.5 180 @ 4500 260 @ 2800
          V8-259 4 Barrel 3.5625 x 3.25 259 8.5 195 @ 3000 265 @ 3000
          V8-289 2 Barrel 3.5625 x 3.625 289 8.5 200 @ 4500 295 @ 2800
          V8-289 2 Barrel 3.5625 x 3.625 289 8.5 210 @ 4500 300 @ 2800
          V8-289 4 Barrel 3.5625 x 3.625 289 8.8 225 @ 4500 305 @ 3000
          V8-289 4 Barrel 3.5625 x 3.625 289 10.25 240 @ 4500 305 @ 3000

          jack vines
          Last edited by PackardV8; 05-23-2015, 05:15 PM.
          PackardV8

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          • #6
            Originally posted by PackardV8 View Post
            David Vizard, one of the top Chevy performance builders and authors, in an argument on a particular modification for building racing engines, someone said to him, "In my opinion . . . " Vizard replied, "You have opinions, but I have a dyno."

            The horsepower ratings Studebaker published are from dynometer readings and verified by drag strip speeds, have proven to be accurate. The Studebaker bean counters and engineers wouldn't have spent the money on the 289" crank forging die and piston molds if it didn't make more horsepower and more torque.

            What those without dynos but with opinions are most likely feeling is the smoothness of the shorter stroke 232"/259" It definitely feels smoother pulling up through the Rs than does the longer stroke 289". The even shorter stroke and low compression 224" is by far the smoothest of all the Studebaker V8s, but it is just a humming little anvil, no horsepower being developed to make anything shake.

            Bottom line - believe the dyno.

            1954 Commander V8 3 3/8 x 3 1/4 232" 7.50 127hp @ 4000 202 @ 2000

            1955 Commander V8 Early - 3 9/16 x 2 13/16 224" 7.50 140hp @ 4500 202 @ 2800

            1955 Commander V8 Late 3 9/16 x 3 1/4 259" 7.50 162hp @ 4500 250 @ 2800

            1956 Commander V8 3 9/16 x 3 1/4 259" 7.80 170hp @ 4500 260 @ 2800

            1956 President V8 3 9/16 x 3 5/8 289" 7.80 195hp @ 4500 286 @ 2800

            1956 Golden Hawk V8 4 x 3 1/2 352 9.50 275hp @ 4600 380 @ 2800

            1958 Silver Hawk 3 9/16 x 3 5/8 289" 8.3 210hp @ 4500 300 @ 2800

            1959 Hawk V8 3 9/16 x 3 1/4 259" 8.8 180hp @ 4500 260 @ 2800

            1964
            V8-259 2 Barrel 3.5625 x 3.25 259 8.5 180 @ 4500 260 @ 2800
            V8-259 4 Barrel 3.5625 x 3.25 259 8.5 195 @ 3000 265 @ 3000
            V8-289 2 Barrel 3.5625 x 3.625 289 8.5 200 @ 4500 295 @ 2800
            V8-289 2 Barrel 3.5625 x 3.625 289 8.5 210 @ 4500 300 @ 2800
            V8-289 4 Barrel 3.5625 x 3.625 289 8.8 225 @ 4500 305 @ 3000
            V8-289 4 Barrel 3.5625 x 3.625 289 10.25 240 @ 4500 305 @ 3000

            jack vines
            Jack, you hit the nail on the head. The slightly oversquare 259 does feel smooth and seems to rev up faster yet makes less horsepower. Horsepower was king in the 50's and 60's; yet when it comes down to it, how the car feels and drives are what most of us look at when we drive our car.

            The 1964 Car Life issue has the road test on the R4 Daytona. I will be posting this later on the early car performance thread. This 304.5 V8 with 2 4 bbl carbs was rated at 280 bhp with a 12:1 compression ratio and a 4 speed and rear axle of 3.54. Fuel consumption over the 2330 mile trip averaged 12.66 mpg of super premium fuel. Would I like to own such a car? You bet! Would I want to take it on the trip to St. Louis? Give me a 259 with overdrive or my 52 Commander with overdrive and I will be happy.

            Again, IMHO

            Bob Miles
            Tucson AZ

            Comment


            • #7
              I always thought my 1952 Land Cruiser had lots of power, especially considering it was a small V8, and it got 26 MPG on the highway. I would never think of replacing the 232 with any other engine. Even my 1950 Champion has enough power to get the job done, but certainly isn't the power of my 1950 Commander. The funny thing is my Commander got 28 MPG at 60 MPH on the Texas highway back in 1969-1971, and so far the best I got with my Champion is 27 MPG driving 55 MPH. Also my Commander had bias tires, and my Champion has radial tires.

              Comment


              • #8
                I'd love to put a V-8 (any, but probably a 259 or 289) to replace the very tired 170-6 Champion engine in my '51. the problem would be since she apparently has the DG-150 Auto trans and rear end, i would think i'd have to replace much more than the 6.

                right???
                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.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Brakes, Front Springs, Mounts, Radiator, Flightomatic, Matching Rear Axle, Two piece driveshaft with a one piece drive shaft that would probably be a truck drive shaft that was cut to fit, are just a few things that are off the top of my head. I guess if you got a 51 or 52 commander parts car with a DG trans, it would appear to be easy peasy swap.

                  Bob Miles
                  Tucson AZ

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks, Bob - that is what i kinda figured...

                    i'm going to try to at least get thru the summer car show season, etc. with what i've got - mainly valve issues. with $$$ being really tight, i reckon it makes sense to have a machine shop deal with that and be done.

                    but i'd sure love to have a Studebaker V-8 in her, maybe even a GM 200R4 tranny, all that would entail with the drivetrain, suspension, a Turner brake upgrade, add a A/C and more to make her a comfortable semi-daily driver if i wished to...

                    a man can dream, can't he?
                    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.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Corvanti View Post
                      a man can dream, can't he?
                      Buy MORE Lotto Tickets!
                      StudeRich
                      Second Generation Stude Driver,
                      Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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                      • #12
                        To each their own... but, obviously you haven't driven the 289s and 304s that I have!!! Or, you would feel differently, I assure you.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          As I read this, the ENTIRE comparison is basically moot.
                          Why...
                          1. The state of the basic condition of each engine.
                          2. The state of tune for each engine.
                          3. Transmission gear ratios.
                          4. Rear axle ratios.
                          5. Only one engine mentioned...two vs. four barrel carburetor.
                          6. Age difference brings a LOT of variability into the mix.
                          7. Time with each car.

                          And a whole host of other variables...

                          Yes, the smaller engines will rev. a little quicker. The larger engines will pull a little harder.

                          Funny though, in EVERY class of racing, there is a reason for maximum cubic inches (per class)..!

                          Mike

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by clonelark View Post
                            I had a 289 in a 1954 Land cruiser it had the 54 2 bbl manifold to look stock, that thing seamed to have a ton of torque. I would bet it would beat my 259 4 bbl 64 Lark in a drag race. 3:31 gears in the 54 and 3:73 in the Lark.
                            The 54 was the one Johnny Wiffer had.

                            In 2003 I sold Johnny Wiffer a black 54 Land Cruiser could this be the same car you have ?
                            Candbstudebakers
                            Castro Valley,
                            California


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                            • #15
                              What happened to John? I always enjoyed the stories that he wrote.
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