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1963 Studebaker Lark

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  • Engine: 1963 Studebaker Lark

    I am looking to swap engine in my 1963 Studebaker Lark. Im not sure what would quite work, so i'm reaching out for help. If you know any engine compatible and/or available please let me know. It's a 6 cylinder, 3 speed auto trans. Thank you for your time.

  • #2
    Originally posted by aidanaguirre View Post
    I am looking to swap engine in my 1963 Studebaker Lark. Im not sure what would quite work, so i'm reaching out for help. If you know any engine compatible and/or available please let me know. It's a 6 cylinder, 3 speed auto trans. Thank you for your time.
    Why do you want to swap? Is your engine missing or in need of major repairs or do you simply want more power. Another Studebaker engine, 6 or V8, would be the easiest swap. With the Studebaker V8, or any more powerful engine, you should plan on upgrading the brakes, differential and suspension.

    EDIT: If the six is not enough for you, you would be ahead if you simply sold this car and bought a V8 (discounting things like in the family since new).
    Gary L.
    Wappinger, NY

    SDC member since 1968
    Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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    • #3
      Agree with Gary. Don't go to the considerable trouble of swapping engines if the original engine is sound. If the engine is simply tired, it would likely be cheaper to have it overhauled than to pay to have a swap done. Six cylinder cars used smaller brakes than V8's, and usually a lighter rear axle, too. To do an engine swap right, you have to swap much more than the engine. The tranny would have to go, too. The only truly "bolt-in" swap would be a Studebaker V8 from '58 to '64, along with its transmission, and the brakes from the donor car. But these days, it's going to be hard to find a decrepit donor car with good engine and running gear.

      Easiest non-Studebaker engine to swap in would be a small-block Chevy V8, or inline six, or 4.3 liter V6, up into the mid-90's, at least, along with its transmission. Since 1965-'66 Studebakers did come fitted with GM engines (but with Studebaker's own transmissions), parts like motor mount brackets, and exhaust header pipes do exist. And countless people have done Chevy engine swaps, so there is plenty of knowledge out there. But nobody, to my knowledge, sells a complete kit to do the swap. You will be obliged to chase parts.
      Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

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      • #4
        I don't know what the brakes have to do with a bigger engine the friction factor is between the tires and the road. The engine may be 200 lbs heavier but that is no different than a 200 lb passenger. You could carry 1, 2, or 3 passengers plus a trunk full of cargo and the brakes are not an issue, why is there an issue with a larger engine? You don't have to drive at 100 mph just because you can and the stopping distance is the same with 85 HP or 125 HP.

        Side note: unrelated but related I had owned a 6 cylinder factory car that I re-engined with a V8 the braking system was remained as factory. Because I was young at the time I was stopped by the police and he tested the hand brake by applying the hand brake and accelerating the engine in low gear until the vehicle moved about 3 feet under great stress. This was sufficient for the constable to charge me with an inadequate hand brake. I challenged the charge as the Motor Vehicle Act says the hand brake shall be designed to stop and hold the motor vehicle. My argument was that it was not designed to hold the engine, only the vehicle. The hand braking system would adequately hold the vehicle on a steep grade, however the applied increased power would over come the system. The case was stood down in court.

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