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V8 cam information

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  • V8 cam information

    What cams wil interchange in V8 studes, and will the 304.5 manifolds fit 259 and 289 engines. Where is the best source for performance parts, and who "wrote the book" on studebaker performance. I am starting a new project on 1953 C coupe. I want all all studebaker.

    Tex E. Grier

  • #2
    Intake manifolds for R3 and R4 engines have very large ports and only fit the mostly unobtainable, priceless 304.5 c.i. R3 & R4 heads.

    We have a poster here who is going to make some new cast iron heads, plan on spending some serious bucks buying R3 and 4 parts. Building a warmed up 289 or 299 R1 or R2 is way more affordable.

    The old school performance tips book was written by Dick Dotson in the 1970's, a lot of things have changed since, but others are still doable.

    All '55-'64 Exhaust ports are the same size so R3 Exhaust manifolds fit them all.

    There are NO cam interchanges to a Stude. engine.
    There were only the stock cam, the R1-R2 Cam, and 2 grinds of R3, R4 Cam available for V-8's from the factory.

    Welcome to the forum and SDC Tex!

    There are lots of Studebaker Parts Vendors, some have performance parts, at

    Studebakers Northwest
    Ferndale, WA
    Second Generation Stude Driver,
    Proud '54 Starliner Owner


    • #3
      Thanks very much for the welcome and the information. Maybe I need to say a little more about what I am doing. First of all, I am not building a drag car. Performance is not to be all out. I am building a old school car. I am starting out with a 53 Commander Regal Starlight. It had no engine and drive train. The engine I am using is a 259 power pack, from 55. I want a cam that will give me a little rough idle. I think the R-1 and R-2 fit. Will the other R-3's and such that are factory stude cams fit? I am going to run 3 speed over drive, 4:10 or 4:56 gears This car has never been butchered and it is not going to be. It is too good to ruin. I am planning to use all stude parts with the exception of Mallory dist., aluminum valve covers, home brew air cleaner and maybe a coffee can cool can. I am using all original guages, radio and the 6 Volt system, including generator. I am 63 years old and am not new to this. I have restored and modified cars all my life including seven studebakers. This is the second starlight coupe. But, the first was when I was 16, and it was a original champion. I have come full circle and graduated from brand X's. Any advise and information will be appreciated.

      Tex E. Grier


      • #4
        You can do a search here on the forum and find more info on cams. Also try the Studebaker racing forum from the 'other forums' link on the start page. Lots of good info here from guys who have the experience. Also lots of differing opinions so you get to pick your favorite![8D]

        1952 Champion Starlight, 1962 Daytona, 1947 M5. Searcy,Arkansas
        "In the heart of Arkansas."
        Searcy, Arkansas
        1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
        1952 2R pickup


        • #5
          Flash -
          As 52-fan noted..over on the "Studebaker racing" site, there are a good hand full of people that have a good knowledge of your questions.

          That said...the site is down for problems while switching to a new server.

          Get a hold of Lionel Stone. He has an R3/R4 dual quad manifold that will work with the normal Stude heads. As was stated, the R3 heads have a taller port than the more stock heads. Which includes the R-1 and R-2 heads.

          Phil at "Fairborn Studebaker" has the few performance cams that are commonly available. The R-2 or R-2+ cam should give you what you want, sound wise. Though without some healthy compression, ported heads and low gears in the back, the combination might be a bit slugish at low speeds.

          Have fun with your project.



          • #6
            So what about a 54, How much of a grind can you get out of a stock cam. i have heard there is not alot of meat on them from the factory?



            • #7
              True, the OEM Studebaker cam does not have much stock for a race re-grind. The good news is the small valves and ports of a '54 232" V8 can't take advantage of much more cam timing anyway. The R2+ re-grind, only $114 out the door from Fairborn Studebaker, is all that engine can handle. It will also work even better if you step up to a later 259" or 289".

              thnx, jack vines