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Has anyone put a Stude V8 in a 49 Champion before?

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  • Has anyone put a Stude V8 in a 49 Champion before?

    I have a 1949 Champion in pretty nice shape but the engine is seized, tried for 6 months to get it loose with no luck. Recently got a Studey 2 ton truck with a nice running V8. Wondering if the V8 will fit to the Champions 3 speed w/overdrive. Anybody tried this before?

  • #2
    You might be able to cram a V8 in there; not sure if the sump will clear the Planar suspension. But the T96 transmission will not hold up to the torque of the V8, and there is no ready way to mate the two up, anyway. V8 swaps into pre-'51 cars are pretty scarce. Best one I know of is Frank Van Doorn's '41.
    Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

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    • #3
      Normally it is not a recommended thing to put a V8 in a pre '51 that was not built to handle it.

      The truck Clutch Housing will be way wrong for a Car, and you will need a V8 Trans. like a Borg Warner T-86 Overdrive or a H.D. T-85 and the proper Car Clutch Housing dial indicated to the centerline of the Crankshaft.
      StudeRich
      Second Generation Stude Driver,
      Proud '54 Starliner Owner



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      • #4
        There isn't a lot of room under the Champion hood. Couldn't imagine a v8 under the hood of the 47 Champion I owned. Also as mentioned before the Planar suspension would be an obstacle on lower side.
        Trade the V8 for a nice running six.
        sigpic1957 Packard Clipper Country Sedan

        "There's nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer"
        Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle
        "I have a great memory for forgetting things" Number 1 son, Lee Chan

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        • #5
          I think you'll find that firewall modification will be necessary as it was in my '41. I had to modify the firewall to give me about 6 inches more room.
          Originally posted by gordr View Post
          You might be able to cram a V8 in there; not sure if the sump will clear the Planar suspension. But the T96 transmission will not hold up to the torque of the V8, and there is no ready way to mate the two up, anyway. V8 swaps into pre-'51 cars are pretty scarce. Best one I know of is Frank Van Doorn's '41.
          Frank van Doorn
          Omaha, Ne.
          1962 GT Hawk 289 4 speed
          1941 Champion streetrod, R-2 Powered, GM 200-4R trans.
          1952 V-8 232 Commander State "Starliner" hardtop OD

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          • #6
            Originally posted by 41 Frank View Post
            I think you'll find that firewall modification will be necessary as it was in my '41. I had to modify the firewall to give me about 6 inches more room.
            Was your '41 a Champion, Commander, or President?
            1963 Champ "Stu Bludebaker"- sometimes driver
            1957 Silver Hawk "Josie"- picking up the pieces after an unreliable body man let it rot for 11 years from an almost driver to a basket case
            1951 Land Cruiser "Bunnie Ketcher" only 47M miles!
            1951 Commander Starlight "Dale"- basket case
            1947 Champion "Sally"- basket case
            1941 Commander Land Cruiser "Ursula"- basket case

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            • #7
              Do you have the head off? I bought a 1950 Champion about 30 years ago that was also stuck. After soaking for a couple years by me and the seller I finally removed the head. The cylinders all looked perfect, and the only rust was a very small amount of light surface rust on the cylinder that had an open exhaust valve. I still haven't got back on it, but it was sure hard to believe the engine was stuck by the looks of the cylinders.

              To unstick Model A engines I made up a tool that bolts in place of the starter. It's a starter end plate with part of the ear broken off one of the three mounting holes, then I used the pinion from a broken Bendix. I welded the pinion to a 5/8" bolt, so I can use a large wrench on the hex head and put a lot of torque to the flywheel ring gear. I've only used it twice so far, but it got the job done.

              Six cylinder Champion engines shouldn't be to hard to find, if your's is too far gone. I've picked up two 1951 engines from guys hot rodding the cars.

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              • #8
                There isn't a lot of room under the Champion hood.
                Not a lot of room? You could almost throw a party under that hood.
                The only difference between death and taxes is that death does not grow worse every time Congress convenes. - Will Rogers

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                • #9
                  It IS a 1941 Champion Club Sedan Doug.
                  Originally posted by DougHolverson View Post
                  Was your '41 a Champion, Commander, or President?
                  Frank van Doorn
                  Omaha, Ne.
                  1962 GT Hawk 289 4 speed
                  1941 Champion streetrod, R-2 Powered, GM 200-4R trans.
                  1952 V-8 232 Commander State "Starliner" hardtop OD

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Oil pan mods are not impossible. Perhaps that V8 could find a home under that hood? I would start with stripping out the engine and trans out of that 49 and start taking some measurements. Find out where the motor mounts are going to have to be and reverse engineer it from there. I think if you keep the rear of the V8 very near the firewall, you may see enough space up front to make the needed changes. Now you have to ask yourself if you're OK with using a torch and sawzall on that car? You may need to.
                    sigpicsals54

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                    • #11
                      I have heard of different ways to modify the firewall to accommodate a V8 engine, Studebaker or any others. The favorite seems to be the use of a wheel barrow cut to fit and welded in place. The ones I've seen done almost look like they belong there.
                      sigpic1966 Daytona (The First One)
                      1950 Champion Convertible
                      1950 Champion 4Dr
                      1955 President 2 Dr Hardtop
                      1957 Thunderbird

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by sals54 View Post
                        Oil pan mods are not impossible. Perhaps that V8 could find a home under that hood? I would start with stripping out the engine and trans out of that 49 and start taking some measurements. Find out where the motor mounts are going to have to be and reverse engineer it from there. I think if you keep the rear of the V8 very near the firewall, you may see enough space up front to make the needed changes. Now you have to ask yourself if you're OK with using a torch and sawzall on that car? You may need to.
                        Well...You can probably do it...depending on your motivation. Regardless, once done, you will have a "modified" car. Rather than limit your efforts, why not explore your choices rather than limit yourself to the heavy V8. Think "global." Just as the SBC seems to be the "standard" power plant for modifieds...the chassis that comes to mind is the Chevy S-10. (Or it's components) However, I'd suggest looking for the best fit. There are still a few vehicles out there with frames. It would be (to me) a worthwhile exercise to explore what's available to transplant the entire car body on a modern chassis, complete, with it's entire drive-train, fuel injection, on board computer and all the sensors. I'm sure there would be some creative modifications, like placement of body mount/support brackets, and even shortening or lengthening the frame.

                        Of course, any suggestion I have must be taken with a grain of salt. It has been over four decades since I have built a modified vehicle. I'm kinda set in my ways, comfortable with "old cast iron technology," and old enough to realize the value "others" should put on my opinions. (Meaning, talk is cheap.) There are lighter, more dependable, more efficient power to weight ratio, engines available. From four to eight cylinder engines, there are many "out there."

                        It would be interesting to see someone research the subject to the point of mating our old Stude bodies to a modern (say no older than ten year old) complete chassis. I believe there is something akin to this being done in this thread... http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.c...highlight=1948

                        I have not followed this very technical build close enough to understand all it's nuances. I'm not familiar with the particular Nissan chassis/drive train.Now that I'm retired, I no longer have the ability expand my income for such a project, nor the energy, and probably not enough life left in this old body.

                        My main point is to not limit your options to "old cast iron." I'm considering a "cast iron" project myself, 'cause that's where I'm most comfortable. Anyway, what ever you do, I hope it works out to a very enjoyable experience.
                        John Clary
                        Greer, SC

                        SDC member since 1975

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                        • #13
                          Thanks for all the input. I went out and did some quick measuring today and found the V8 is too long for the stock compartment and the oil pan would definitely hit the steering. So that kills that idea. I do know of another running 6 cylinder, just takes money. Already have 5 other projects with major modifications, just want one simple one for a change. Thanks everyone.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by thunderations View Post
                            I have heard of different ways to modify the firewall to accommodate a V8 engine, Studebaker or any others. The favorite seems to be the use of a wheel barrow cut to fit and welded in place. The ones I've seen done almost look like they belong there.
                            That is interesting as the first Studebakers were wheel barrows.

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                            • #15
                              Even if this were possible, would the front suspension take the additional weight of a V8? If its weight flattened the Planar front spring any, your front alignment would be badly out of adjustment. I like the idea of swapping/selling the V8, and getting an original-type 6 --- then you just drop it in and don't worry about modifying the car. But then, I'm a "purist" as far as my '47 Champion goes.
                              Last edited by Greenstude; 10-21-2015, 10:31 AM.
                              Bill Jarvis

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