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Engine swap

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  • Engine: Engine swap

    Will a 1962 170 cu in six swap into a 1960 Lark without modifications? Can the original bell housing be used? (standard shift).

  • #2
    It can be done but does require some modification. Too many decades have passed for me to remember the details.
    Gary L.
    Wappinger, NY

    SDC member since 1968
    Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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    • #3
      Thank you!!

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      • #4
        The real question is... why would you want to? The 62 engine is prone to head cracks and warping. Are you sure its in good running condition? If not, a Stude V8 swap is not terribly difficult, and there are lots of sources in the New England area.
        sals54

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        • #5
          For a friend who purchased this 62 engine as a "rebuilt".

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          • #6
            many early heads were prone to cracking, but as someone once told me, (YMMV) if it hasn't cracked by now, it probably won't. I've not done the swap myself, but if I remember correctly, the main modification was dimpling the firewall to clear the valve cover. The rest should be plug and play. I Like my OHV 6's, I've had three, all trouble free, even the modified one in my Champ. The OHV is an upgrade to the flattie, but even my souped up 185 OHV has the power of a worn 259.

            Now don't forget about the bellhousing: if you are using the one with that engine you will likely be OK, but even so and especially if you used a different bellhousing to that engine, you must dial indicate it.
            Ron Dame
            '63 Champ

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            • #7
              Well, the flatheads crack , too. Keep it cool. DO NOT FORGET TO DIAL INDICATE BELLHOUSING TO NEW BLOCK

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              • #8
                Pilot bearing for std. trans, goes in end of crank.

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                • #9
                  I did this successfully back in the 1980s. Had a 1960 Lark 6cyl. One of the pistons broke in half and beat a hole in the head. I also had a donated 1961 with a good OHV 6 and a not so good body. Was cheaper to refresh the OHV than to repair the flat head. Swap was easy. I do remember that front mounts are different but since I had a donor car that was not an issue. I also used bell housing from the '61 so no need to dial indicate. I first mounted engine (less head) in car. No problem. Then placed head on engine and faced the only minor issue. Rear cylinder head bolt would not clear firewall. Since car was a daily driver and far, far from a show vehicle I used my air chisel and cut a flap in the firewall installed bolt and bent flap back in place. Problem solved. If I had it to do over I'd install engine with head already attached. There is no need to dimple firewall. Valve cover is close but it fits. There is a service letter that addresses bolt issue in the Champs. Service Letter (now adays called Technical Service Bulletins) T-14 dated April 3, 1962 indicates that bolt will clear if entire rocker arm assembly is removed as an assembly. To remove bolt easier Service Letter instructs how to cut a 1-1/4" hole in firewall and then gives part numbers for Cover and Screws to cover hole.
                  Increase in performance is well worth the effort. 110 HP doesn't sound like much but it a 22% increase over the 90HP flathead.

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