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engine installation/relocation

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  • Engine: engine installation/relocation

    moving along with my old '60 champ project, got an aerostar front end swapped in and my transmission mounts swapped to the "later" ones. Ended up moving the engine a couple inches forward and up. Here is my question: At what angle does the engine reside? I am keeping the studebaker v8. I was able to look at an old champ frame. the engine mounts on that frame are 3/4" above the top of the frame rails. . .but when i put a torpedo level on the carb pad it took about another 1-1/4" to get it level. so. . . where exactly is the engine supposed to sit? Do I put it at the 3/4", at the 2" (level at carb pad) or would it be better to split the difference? Anything is greatly appreciated, thanks in advance.
    Last edited by thehotrodder; 06-28-2020, 07:46 PM.

  • #2
    Can you adjust the height of the trans mount to adjust the angle? I've always set engines with the carb platform level, and the engine as low in the frame as possible with the vehicle at ride height on a level surface. Ride height on a level surface can make a lot of difference if the vehicle is raked or a tail dragger. You also need to watch trans ground clearance and U joint and pinion angle. In fact you might check the pinion and trans angle to determine where the engine should sit if the axle hasn't changed. You need to do it with the weight on the wheels though.

    I did a car 34 years ago, I had to drop the trans mount 10" because it was raked soo much. It had a flat frame and 33" rear tires with a 4" dropped front end and 24" tires. Even my GT has a 2 3/4" rake.


    • #3
      Studebaker Cars required a fairly steep Angle, High in the Front to keep the Driveshaft Tunnel reasonably Low.
      The reason I mention that is, the V8's in Trucks sit VERY close to Level, so the Car Intake Manifold's Carb. surface being tilted Forward to be level in a Car ended up being tilted Forward in Truck, so were NOT Level.

      Did they make Special TRUCK Intakes? Of course not, that would COST!

      Have you ever tried to find the Cast Iron Tall standoff type Engine mount Brackets that belong in a V8 Truck?
      Depending on HOW much Stude. Frame is left, and the level of the Ford Frame they MAY still work.
      Last edited by StudeRich; 06-28-2020, 08:42 PM.
      Second Generation Stude Driver,
      Proud '54 Starliner Owner


      • #4

        Thanks for the information guys. Mr benherb: I hadn’t thought about checking it with the weight on the wheels. I set the frame at the same height it was when the weight was on the wheels with the old front suspension but I have “C” notched the front frame rails around the ford crossmember 2-1/4” deep (I have read that the Aerostar swap will raise the nose 2”). All in all I am 5/8” lower in the front now. As for the driveshaft angle I am somewhere around 5-1/2 - 6 degrees and tranny clearance is not an issue. The stock fuel tank sits 4-6” lower than the transmission does.

        Mr StudeRich: your information was much appreciated. I was worried about the engines oil level and drain back more than anything. I don’t want to create an opportunity for a rear main leak or more important a false level reading on the dipstick. I Also don’t want to foam my oil up with the crankshaft. That being said it’s nice to know that these engines were designed to be ran with the carb pad level. I think I will build my motor mounts accordingly. Thanks.

        also these are the motor mounts I have now

        Last edited by thehotrodder; 06-29-2020, 03:51 AM.


        • #5
          You da hotrodder, soo forget what the factory did in this case. Just jig the engine to get the carb pad level ,or close, and then check driveshaft angles.


          • #6
            Flashback: That is exactly what I decided to do.

            by the way, your SNS looking real sharp there. Nice pictures
            Last edited by thehotrodder; 06-29-2020, 05:10 AM.


            • #7
              As has been noted, set the engine so that the carburetor is level.
              That is, "about" 7-1/2°, transmission town for reference.

              I'm modifying a Chevrolet intake manifold for my 299 Stude engine. The carburetors sit parallel to the crankshaft, which puts the carburetors at a steep, rear tilt angle. I measured a couple of engines. Luckily I found spacers that are machined at an 8° angle, so they will sit level to the ground as they should.


              P.S. - For what it may be worth.
              Moving the engine too far forward can adversely affect the handling of the car. The farther the engine is from the center of the car will slow the effective steering as the car maneuvers around corners.
              Speed and wet roads on freeway exits, or other fast corners can become dangerous.
              Last edited by Mike Van Veghten; 06-29-2020, 08:21 AM.


              • #8
                Mike Van Veghten: I thought about that too, seems like all these drag and high performance guys are moving their engines rearward to help with weight distribution and handling. I kinda chuckle to myself that I’m moving mine up and forward. But that’s where Studebaker put them. The only reason it’s moving is because it was stupid hard to work on. I could not put a finger behind the distributor cap because there was only about 1/8” clearance. Had to use a screwdriver to pop the distributor clamp off and rotating it to set timing was a pain because thevacuum advance canister really liked loving up on the firewall. The previous owner did a V8 swap but only had the c-cab tranny mounts. I found the correct mounts with Paul’s help (R1lark) thanks man!


                • #9
                  From the 1964 Truck Specifications Book, the engine-to-frame angle is 6-1/2 degrees.

                  jack vines


                  • #10
                    A question for the experts here.
                    If you have to install your engine with the carburator mounting plate level (I always do) both ways, what happens when you go up and down hills and around corners or you are on a road with a lot of camber? Does the engine somehow magically right itself in those situations? Curious minds want to know. LOL.
                    Jerry Forrester
                    Forrester's Chrome
                    Douglasville, Georgia

                    See all of Buttercup's pictures at


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Jerry Forrester View Post
                      A question for the experts here.
                      If you have to install your engine with the carburator mounting plate level (I always do) both ways, what happens when you go up and down hills and around corners or you are on a road with a lot of camber? Does the engine somehow magically right itself in those situations? Curious minds want to know. LOL.
                      No, but at least you start out at zero. Then there is always centripetal force to hypothetically keep the fuel level with relation to the float bowl.


                      • #12
                        Offenhauser lists Marine Carb spacers with angle built in, might be helpful about now! luck Doofus