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bringing a resting 289 back to life

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  • Engine: bringing a resting 289 back to life

    Just bought a 63 cruiser that has been sitting on a gravel lot since 1997. It was a nice running driving car and was jus parked. Odometer shows 45k. The 289 is not stuck so it should start up fairly easy. I usually just file the points and pour a little gas in the carb and see if it will start. But this one has been sitting longer with out being cranked over than other engines I have messed with. I was thinking about pulling the distributor and making a rod to attach to my drill to run the oil pump to lube everything before I crank it over. Any suggestions?

    Thanks Click image for larger version

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    Last edited by jwitt; 03-28-2019, 06:10 PM.

  • #2
    Priming the oiling system is a good idea. Make sure you flush the fuel system and put in fresh gas. I would disconnect the fuel line from the pump and run a hose from the pump to a can of fresh gas for the initial start up, so you don't suck crud from the line and tank into the pump and carb. Give the oiling cups on the distributor and generator a couple of drops of oil.
    Dwight 54 Commander hardtop


    • #3
      Other than a little front fender rust, it looks like a nice and complete car, even including the correct wheelcovers in good condition.
      Gary L.
      Wappinger, NY

      SDC member since 1968
      Studebaker enthusiast much longer


      • #4
        Yes it's a surprising solid car for being in Virginia sitting outside the last 22 years. The interior is very badly sun damaged. Dash is toast. I bought it for the engine and the factory ac set up but it's still too nice to part out. Floors are remarkably solid still. Drivers door had some body work in the past and is coming back out
        I have a couple 64 cruiser doors to replace it with though.

        Click image for larger version

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        • #5
          The most likely serious problem in an east coast car would be stuck valves. I'd remove both rocker covers, remove the rocker arms and with a brass hammer, whack each valve directly on the tip of the valve stem. Those that are loose will be obvious when they move down. If any are stuck, the feel and the sound will also be obvious. Penetrating oil, such as Kroil and tap them every day. Most eventually loosen.

          jack vines


          • #6
            Thanks for the tips! I'll unhook the fuel line and check the valves tomorrow hopefully.


            • #7
              You might want to change the oil too. Something I usually forget to do, but it's much, much drier here, so not much condensation.


              • #8
                Things To Do After You Bought That Studebaker

                By: Ingvar Vik, with a foreword and updates by Herb Phillips

                "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

                Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
                Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
                '33 Rockne 10,
                '51 Commander Starlight,
                '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée",
                '56 Sky Hawk


                • #9
                  It's alive! After checking the valves and flushing the fuel system. Runs pretty well on old plugs and wires. Which is my next step. Poured brake fluid in the master and the brakes pumped up. Trans was 3 quarts low. Filled it up and out the test track I went. Not ready for the highway yet but it's closer than its been in a while.


                  • #10
                    Congrats on a job well done!!! Luck Doofus


                    • #11
                      I would seriously consider rebuilding the brake system as soon as practical......
                      Remember that the rear drums use a special puller, don't use anything else.


                      • #12
                        Thanks! I know all about the drum puller. Had one for many years. Not my fist studebaker. The cruiser is #15 in the current collection. I agree the brake system needs to be gone through before it's road worthy. I still undecided whether to keep it or pass it on. I bought it for the drive train but it's too nice to part out.