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51 champion motor swap

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  • Engine: 51 champion motor swap

    Ok new guy here , and you probably have seen this before but I can't seem to find a answer to match my problem . First has anyone on here swapped a SBC 350 into a 51 Champion ? and if so what mounts did you use, It's looking to me like the new motor will sit very high and the tunnel will have to be severely chopped up . the wheel wells look like they will be mostly removed also . What can you tell me about your solutions to the obvious problems ?
    Last edited by jonesy53; 09-26-2020, 09:47 AM.

  • #2
    Welcome, Bob.
    The geometry of the '51 chassis, with regard to engine mounting, was pretty much unchanged through the end of production in 1966.
    And GM McKinnon engines were installed in 1965 and 1966 Studebakers.
    Installing a SBC in these has obviously been often done.
    While I haven't done it myself, you've come to the right place for sound advice; expect much forthcoming.

    There was a Studebaker model called a "Champ"; but it was a pickup truck. Yours is obviously a Champion.

    "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

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    • #3
      Ha didn't know about the Champ , Yes mine is a Champion . Looking forward for the input , I have found a engine cradle by Speedway that looks promising for the front mount I'll have to do some more measuring tho before I order one . Thanks for your input.

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      • #4
        I don't know if the mounts for the '65-'66 V-8 engines, part # 1564698, might be all you would need, rather than going for a whole cradle. They are less than $20 each; but there may be additional brackets required as well; part #s 1563714 and 1563715.

        Click image for larger version

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        Hope more knowledgeable folks chime in.
        Last edited by rockne10; 09-26-2020, 02:26 PM.
        "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

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by jonesy53 View Post
          Ha didn't know about the Champ , Yes mine is a Champion . Looking forward for the input , I have found a engine cradle by Speedway that looks promising for the front mount I'll have to do some more measuring tho before I order one . Thanks for your input.
          A 1963 Champ V8 Pickup, THE First Pickup to have a Factory Sliding Rear Window, built from 1960 Year model to 1964!
          Click image for larger version

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          StudeRich
          Second Generation Stude Driver,
          Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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          • #6
            I sent you a PM. A fellow who has done this before said you could call him and he would tell you all about it.

            You do not have to chop and whack the whole thing up. It can be done cleanly with the late model parts, as in response #4.
            Last edited by RadioRoy; 09-26-2020, 06:40 PM.
            RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

            17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
            10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
            10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
            4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
            5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
            56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
            60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

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            • #7
              Thanks for the info I'll follow up on your advise .

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              • #8
                The Speedway mount that bolts to the front of the 350 is too wide, they are universal, which means that they were built for 32-48 Ford flat heads. at 20 1/2". You need a mount that has 15.25" centre to centre bolt spacing.
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                The 350 will sit on the front holes of the frame brackets.
                Last edited by Alan; 09-29-2020, 12:03 PM. Reason: Getting old, got to go out and measure.

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                • #9
                  Are you planning swap the rear end as well? The Champion has a lighter duty Dana 27 differential which may not handle the power of the 350. The 51 Commander used a Dana 44 to suit the new V8 introduced that year.
                  \"Ahh, a bear in his natural habitat...a Studebaker!\"

                  51 Land Cruiser (Elsie)
                  Jim Mann
                  Victoria, B.C.
                  Canada

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                  • #10
                    Yes sir I have a Ford 8 inch ready to go in will be heavy enough for the power my 350 will be putting out.

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                    • #11
                      Well I'm in the process of power washing the motor compartment ( yup 60+ yrs of grease ) and found a wire sticking out the bottom end of the steering box ,anyone know what that is for ?

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                      • #12
                        I have a 350 block I will use for mock up will attach the bell-housing and tranny ( saganaw 4 speed) to it and see how everything is going to fit only concern for now is how will the headers and clutch arm fit with the steering box where it is located looking like it might be just above and behind what i need to do . Going to fudge the motor as far forward as i can even to the point of using electric fans to give me the extra few inches . But we will see.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by jonesy53 View Post
                          Well I'm in the process of power washing the motor compartment ( yup 60+ yrs of grease ) and found a wire sticking out the bottom end of the steering box ,anyone know what that is for ?
                          That goes up the steering column to the horn button.
                          Last edited by RadioRoy; 10-01-2020, 12:17 PM.
                          RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

                          17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
                          10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
                          10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
                          4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
                          5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
                          56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
                          60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            jonsey, Usually when you see that wire dangling and disconnected, it has shorted out up the column somewhere and when you put power to it the horn will blow.

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                            • #15
                              Alan thanks I'll meter it and see if it's shorted or not , Thanks couldn't for the life of me figure out what the heck it was for.lol

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