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My '64 Daytona convertible - opinions please

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  • My '64 Daytona convertible - opinions please

    Unfortunately, I learned last week that my '64 Daytona convertible needs an entire engine rebuild. When I bought the car I was told the Studebaker 289 in it had been bored 30 over and fit with an R2 cam. It was running poorly (loss of power and exhaust backfire) so I took it in to a Studebaker specialist in Plaistow, NH (Jim Riddle - Timberlane Automotive). It has since been determined that the valves are shot, lifters are worn and that the car was never bored 30 over because it still has the original 289 pistons. It turns out that all that was done was an engine "honing" with over-sized rings installed.

    I have put a lot of money into this car since buying it. New exhaust, new tires, new brakes, rear differential work, transmission work, electronic distributor, new front arm bushings, new rear leaf springs, dual master brake cylinder.....the list goes on. Also recently switched from an old Carter 2 bbl WCFB to a rebuilt Carter 4 bbl AFB (Dave Thibeault) with new intake manifold.

    As you might guess, a complete engine rebuild won't be cheap. But....for those of you that have followed the threads on '64 Daytona convertibles....mine is the "Granatelli car," some I'm guessing I'm better off doing it right than just patching it up and selling it on.


    My question for you all is....since I'm doing the entire rebuild anyway....should I just rebuild it to standard 289 specs or does it make more sense (for the nominal additional cost) to bring it up to R1 specs? Obviously, the car was not originally an R1 so I suppose to take it to R1 might detract from its originality. However...it was "originally" an automatic that is now fitted with a 4-speed with Hurst shifter and the 289 in it is not the 289 it was born with. So....in my view...since its already pretty well removed from "original"....bringing it to R1 isn't as much of a big deal.

    Any advice or opinions greatly appreciated.

    David Daoust
    Stratham, NH
    Attached Files
    Last edited by David Daoust; 09-14-2015, 09:47 AM. Reason: typo
    David Daoust
    Stratham, NH
    '64 Daytona convertible

  • #2
    It's your car...what do you want out of it? Let that be your guide rather than opinions of others who might have a different vision of what your car should be.

    Saying that...you could always bring it up to R1 specs and leave all the non-R visual parts off of it and no one would be the wiser what's inside the engine outside of the 4-barrel carb and intake. Just a suggestion and my opinion of what you might do.

    Besides...a Hurst 4-speed without an engine to match just doesn't seem right!
    Poet...Mystic...Soldier of Fortune. As always...self-absorbed, adversarial, cocky and in general a malcontent.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Gunslinger View Post
      It's your car...what do you want out of it? Let that be your guide rather than opinions of others who might have a different vision of what your car should be.

      Saying that...you could always bring it up to R1 specs and leave all the non-R visual parts off of it and no one would be the wiser what's inside the engine outside of the 4-barrel carb and intake. Just a suggestion and my opinion of what you might do.

      Besides...a Hurst 4-speed without an engine to match just doesn't seem right!

      To be clear....I would never badge it as an "R1"....that would be wrong in my opinion. The upgrade would be strictly for performance purposes.
      David Daoust
      Stratham, NH
      '64 Daytona convertible

      Comment


      • #4
        If you are unable to evaluate the condition of the motor yourself, I would have another trusted mechanic do that before I considered rebuilding the motor. A compression check and leak down check would tell you a lot.

        What does the mechanic mean by "the valves are shot"? If it just needs a valve job, that is far less costly than a complete rebuild.

        How does the mechanic know they are "the original 289 pistons"? Without tearing the engine down and measuring the bore or finding markings on the piston faces that is impossible to tell.

        How does he know the "lifters are worn"? That can only be determined by tearing down the engine and removing them.

        Loss of power and backfiring does not indicate that it is time for a rebuild. That could be anything from ignition problems, to carb and fuel delivery issues, to vacuum leaks.

        If it does need a rebuild, I would not take it to R1 specs. Those engines had an 11/1 compression ratio and do not run well on the octane rating of fuel you can buy at gas stations today.
        Dick Steinkamp
        Bellingham, WA

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Dick Steinkamp View Post
          If you are unable to evaluate the condition of the motor yourself, I would have another trusted mechanic do that before I considered rebuilding the motor. A compression check and leak down check would tell you a lot.

          What does the mechanic mean by "the valves are shot"? If it just needs a valve job, that is far less costly than a complete rebuild.

          How does the mechanic know they are "the original 289 pistons"? Without tearing the engine down and measuring the bore or finding markings on the piston faces that is impossible to tell.

          How does he know the "lifters are worn"? That can only be determined by tearing down the engine and removing them.

          Loss of power and backfiring does not indicate that it is time for a rebuild. That could be anything from ignition problems, to carb and fuel delivery issues, to vacuum leaks.

          If it does need a rebuild, I would not take it to R1 specs. Those engines had an 11/1 compression ratio and do not run well on the octane rating of fuel you can buy at gas stations today.

          He did do a wet comprression test and there was no temporary compression gain...leading to the valves conclusion. He subsequntly took the heads off, measured the bore, saw the honing marks and looked at the worn lifters. Also, valves were never done because seats are not hardened. But you're right....I could probably just do the valve job and get away with it. But it seems to me if I'm going to do it...I'd rather do it right and go the whole nine yards.

          I appreciate the input on the R1 conversion and the need for higher octane fuel than is readily available. I will talk to my mechanic about that. I do always run 93 octanre in it. What are other R1/R2 folks running for gasoline? Are they routinely having issues?

          Thank you.
          David Daoust
          Stratham, NH
          '64 Daytona convertible

          Comment


          • #6
            I would never install valve seats unless it was necessary to repair cracks or badly recessed valve seats.
            Street cars don't work hard enough nor get hot enough to need special hardened seats, and there are people installing seats that don't always do it correctly, and the seats fall out and cause more damage.

            Comment


            • #7
              If I understand correctly this car now has a '62 engine. I would think the best thing to do with this car would be to put it back to the way it was when Dolly Granatelli drove it.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Gunslinger View Post
                It's your car...what do you want out of it? Let that be your guide rather than opinions of others who might have a different vision of what your car should be.

                Saying that...you could always bring it up to R1 specs and leave all the non-R visual parts off of it and no one would be the wiser what's inside the engine outside of the 4-barrel carb and intake. Just a suggestion and my opinion of what you might do.

                Besides...a Hurst 4-speed without an engine to match just doesn't seem right!
                With all due respect, Gunslinger, if someone asks for an opinion, that tells me he's not sure in his own mind what he wants. Sometimes asking for an opinion is not a sin. I agree with your opinion on the engine, though.
                "Madness...is the exception in individuals, but the rule in groups" - Nietzsche.

                Comment


                • #9
                  David,
                  That is a nice looking 64. If you have to rebuild the motor, why not go with the R 1 specs, but with pistons or heads, lower the compression ratio from the R 1's 10.5 to a little lower in the 9's.
                  sigpic[SIGPIC]

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by plwindish View Post
                    David,
                    That is a nice looking 64. If you have to rebuild the motor, why not go with the R 1 specs, but with pistons or heads, lower the compression ratio from the R 1's 10.5 to a little lower in the 9's.
                    I agree. The higher compression will not help the drivability of the car with todays gasoline. A modest increase in compression with the aid of the R1 cam will give you a nice performance bump which you will feel and enjoy. Go for it.
                    sals54

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      In gemeral, Studebaker engines do not need a complete rebuild if they are still running. This complete rebuild is a common position from garages that are not familiar with Studebaker V8s or they are looking at the dollars (to them) involved.
                      It sounds like a simple valve job may give you an engine that runs well enough for normal use. I have never replaced the seats in a normal Studebaker V8 valve job.
                      I think that you need a second opinion. Your garage may work on Studebakers, but that does not mean that they are experienced in complete rebuilds of V8s. There is a Studebaker garage in NE Mass. whose name escapes me now (Dave T would know).
                      I would not build it as an R1 (due to fuel/running problems).
                      To me the simple, quick and less expensive route would be to change the engine. I believe that your engine is not original to the car so that does not matter. Find a good running but crashed or terminally rusted 1962.5 to 1964 Lark type with a 289 V8. Buy the car or the engine and make a swap and be on the road in a day.
                      If you were sold a car represented as having a rebuilt engine and it wasn't, sue the seller for the cost of the rebuild.
                      Gary L.
                      Wappinger, NY

                      SDC member since 1968
                      Studebaker enthusiast much longer

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        "If it does need a rebuild, I would not take it to R1 specs. Those engines had an 11/1 compression ratio and do not run well on the octane rating of fuel you can buy at gas stations today."

                        I am running 11/1 compression and my engine does fine on 92 octane pump gas. Don't know why yours wouldn't. All those R-1 Avanta's out there don't seem to have a problem. That being said, is the additional cost worth it?
                        Don Watson
                        61 Hawk

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by studegary View Post
                          In gemeral, Studebaker engines do not need a complete rebuild if they are still running. This complete rebuild is a common position from garages that are not familiar with Studebaker V8s or they are looking at the dollars (to them) involved.
                          It sounds like a simple valve job may give you an engine that runs well enough for normal use. I have never replaced the seats in a normal Studebaker V8 valve job.
                          I think that you need a second opinion. Your garage may work on Studebakers, but that does not mean that they are experienced in complete rebuilds of V8s. There is a Studebaker garage in NE Mass. whose name escapes me now (Dave T would know).
                          I would not build it as an R1 (due to fuel/running problems).
                          To me the simple, quick and less expensive route would be to change the engine. I believe that your engine is not original to the car so that does not matter. Find a good running but crashed or terminally rusted 1962.5 to 1964 Lark type with a 289 V8. Buy the car or the engine and make a swap and be on the road in a day.
                          If you were sold a car represented as having a rebuilt engine and it wasn't, sue the seller for the cost of the rebuild.
                          Jim Riddle (Timberlane Automotive) in Plaistow, NH has worked on Studebakers his entire career including his own Avanti R2. He knows Dave Thibeault well and he works with him on a daily basis. Many Studebaker owners rely on Jim to work on their cars. As such, I have 100% confidence in his work.

                          Thank you.
                          David Daoust
                          Stratham, NH
                          '64 Daytona convertible

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by whitehawk759 View Post
                            "If it does need a rebuild, I would not take it to R1 specs. Those engines had an 11/1 compression ratio and do not run well on the octane rating of fuel you can buy at gas stations today."

                            I am running 11/1 compression and my engine does fine on 92 octane pump gas. Don't know why yours wouldn't. All those R-1 Avanta's out there don't seem to have a problem. That being said, is the additional cost worth it?
                            My experience with the two R1's I've owned is that I could not set the timing at factory specs and not have it ping (detonate) badly. On both, I had to back off the timing quite a bit to avoid the pinging with a corresponding reduction in power.

                            Your results may be different.
                            Dick Steinkamp
                            Bellingham, WA

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by David Daoust View Post
                              Jim Riddle (Timberlane Automotive) in Plaistow, NH has worked on Studebakers his entire career including his own Avanti R2. He knows Dave Thibeault well and he works with him on a daily basis. Many Studebaker owners rely on Jim to work on their cars. As such, I have 100% confidence in his work.

                              Thank you.
                              That sounds good.
                              How about my replacement engine suggestion?

                              EDIT: Learn all that you can and run any replacement engine before buying it or a car for its engine. Perhaps your mechanic has or knows of a good engine.
                              How about sueing the seller for false advertising/representation to recoup your costs? If his written claims are factualy false and not just puffery, he is liable.
                              Last edited by studegary; 09-14-2015, 12:42 PM.
                              Gary L.
                              Wappinger, NY

                              SDC member since 1968
                              Studebaker enthusiast much longer

                              Comment

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