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55 Commander Original Engine?

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  • 55 Commander Original Engine?

    Recently purchased a 1955 Studebaker Commander Conestoga Wagon. VIN 8844126, engine compartment stamp 16G8 D4 324

    Head #535976
    Engine #VL 1151

    We are at least the third owner of this vehicle and have been told that the engine has been rebuilt. The original engine should be a 224 V8. The previous owner told us that it had the original 259 Bearcat. Head number, engine number and service manual don't seem to match up. Has my engine been swapped?

  • #2
    Early 1955 model year production Commanders were 224s and late 1955 model year production Commanders were 259s (all Presidents in 1955 were 259s).

    Gary L.
    Wappinger, NY

    1959 DeLuxe pickup (restomod)
    Gary L.
    Wappinger, NY

    SDC member since 1968
    Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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    • #3
      quote:Originally posted by sparemetenpin

      Recently purchased a 1955 Studebaker Commander Conestoga Wagon. VIN 8844126, engine compartment stamp 16G8 D4 324

      Head #535976
      Engine #VL 1151

      We are at least the third owner of this vehicle and have been told that the engine has been rebuilt. The original engine should be a 224 V8. The previous owner told us that it had the original 259 Bearcat. Head number, engine number and service manual don't seem to match up. Has my engine been swapped?
      Looks like a 1955 Canadian built 259.

      http://www.studebakerdriversclub.com/tech_v8data.asp

      Why do you believe it should be a 224?

      You can get the original production order here. It will list the SN of the engine the car was built with...

      http://www.studebakermuseum.org/



      Dick Steinkamp
      Bellingham, WA

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      • #4
        Everything is probably just as it came from the factory. The D4 identifies it as the mid-year 'Ultra Vista' model. The serial number range makes it Los Angeles production, the engine number is a Los Angeles number, the cylinder head casting numbers are correct, and it is a 259.
        No, the numbers in the 1955 Shop Manual won't match up. You need Supplement No. 1 to go with the main manual.

        [img] http://home.comcast.net/~jdwain/53C.jpg [/img]
        Dwain G.

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        • #5
          And to elaborate on the "Body Tag" a bit....

          16G8 is the designator for a '55 Commander.
          D says it's a 2-door wagon.
          4 indicates it's level of trim (WOULD HAVE been a "3" if it had been of the earlier-in-the-year, flat windshield variety).
          324 indicates the 324th 16G8-D4 BODY TUB to be welded together - not necessarily the 324th 16G8-D4 wagon built as body numbers didn't tend to run sequentially as the cars were assembled.

          Miscreant adrift in
          the BerStuda Triangle!!

          1957 Transtar 1/2ton
          1960 Larkvertible V8
          1958 Provincial wagon
          1953 Commander coupe
          No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

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