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Test fit in the Boat!!!!

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  • Engine: Test fit in the Boat!!!!

    Hi guys,

    After all these months of putting the Champion Engine together and trying to explain some it's unique features, I thought I would post this for everyone to get a vision of what I was trying to say.

    I have to fabricate the batter cables, wire up the ignition and ground the alternator, and it is 1000 times better to do that all with the engine installed and to remove the wiring with the engine when I put it back on the sled for pre-oiling, compression testing, and test start up. I need to use the starter to turn over the engine for all three of those. So, I have to have the engine wiring and battery cables installed. I'll take those back out with the engine for testing. No sense in doing it twice. Once I know the engine runs right, I'll put it back in the boat permanently.

    I did get the starter rebuilt and converted to 12V. It was the only electrical component I didn't either buy new 12V or convert. So, I decided to have it done (weakest link kind of thing). It was just $200 and the for the rebuild and conversion which entailed replacing the field coils.

    I really appreciate all the input and help I received and honestly feel much more comfortable with the Champion now that I have worked on it. I was a little intimidated at the start. But it's been really pretty easy to play with!

    And yes, I will wedge that carb once the engine is permanently installed. And when I have the dual carb manifold made will have those 15 degrees incorporated in the uptakes!

    The last photo is of the Buick V-6 that I took out of it. You can see the difference in profile and fit. The V-6 replaced the original Champion in the boat about 1978. Nice to be getting back to original!

  • #2
    Very nice. Much better fit than the Buick engine.

    Mark

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    • #3
      You don't need to be the Fastest Boat in the water, but you will have one of the Most dependable and economical inboard Boats around! Not to mention "Different by Design".

      Very Nice Job!
      StudeRich
      Second Generation Stude Driver,
      Proud '54 Starliner Owner
      SDC Member Since 1967

      Comment


      • #4
        Very nice Dan!

        I am surprised to see how much of an angle the engine is tilted downward in the front (ie, the water pump end). When the boat is under acceleration with the bow up, it seems like the oil pump suction strainer could become uncovered.
        Paul
        Winston-Salem, NC
        Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at: www.studebakerskytop.com

        Comment


        • #5
          It looks good , But you will need a wedge under the carb so the float is level and are water cooled exhaust manifolds available for the Champion ?, Mercruiser Bravo 3 water pumps might be a good choice to supply water to the cooling system , Ed

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          • #6
            That's cool! I look forward to seeing its maiden voyage! Now I know nothing about putting an engine in a boat and there must be pictures of the original setup, but when the bow comes up, isn't that going to push all the oil to the front of the motor (away from the sump)?

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks Mark! I agree. That's the reason I went back to the Original Champion Engine. Getting around the Buick was a real nightmare.

              My Dad started the conversion to the Buick because it offered 50-60 more horsepower. When he built the boat, I wasn't born yet, he was only 23 - and a thin 160 lbs, and my brother was 3. So, no problems pulling light skiers. But by 1975 (22 years later) My dad, my brother, and I were all 10 lb +/- 200 pounds and the 95 horses of the Champion wouldn't pull us out of the water if we had two skiers and one fell in deep water. Thus, the Buick. It became even more cumbersome (and less aesthetic) with the water cooled Osco exhaust manifolds.

              I'm not planning on doing any water skiing behind it now, just putting around. And I can live with 95 horses!

              Thanks also, Rich. Back in the 1950s and early 1960s - before the real advent of outboard motors, most of the speed boats in the water like this were Chris Craft or Garwood boats - and they had their own (inboard) engines (still do). Notwithstanding having no gearbox, this installation looks VERY similar to a Chris Craft Model "K" series. (Picture posted).

              HI Paul, I was a little surprised at the angle too. I don't remember it being that much (but the last time I saw a Champion in this boat was about 1970 (I was 15). But the prop shaft sits at a 15-degree angle out of the bottom of the boat, so the engine has too as well. The original Champion was also mounted at this angle and performed very well (minus low horsepower later) for 20X years and the oil in the pan angle wasn't a problem. I worry more about the oil level getting close to the crankshaft at No. 1 (with splashing) and the condition of that front (rear in the boat) seal leaking and the balance dampener slinging oil all over.

              Interesting question Ed! I'll have to make a wedge to support the single carb until I go Dual Carb and have the angle incorporated into the new manifold I'll have made. The problem with the wedge is the mounting bolts come in at different angles and interfere with each other if the wedge is not "tall" enough. On the Original engine - which had a Morgan Dual Intake Manifold, I remember there being wedges made of Phenolic Composit, but I don't remember how they were bolted. I'll have to engineer something - just not quite there yet as I needed to test install to verify the angles.

              As far as water cooled exhaust manifolds are concerned, yes, Studebaker DID make a few, but are (like the Morgan intake manifolds) impossible to find. I can have one made for $1000 out of stainless steel by a guy in Australia! But the original Champion had a cut down (to support the Morgan Intake Manifold) stock exhaust manifold and the engine cooling water exited the boat via a "Y" tube on the exhaust pipe just below the flange. A lot of places are frowning on pumping water from lake or bay, through an engine then back out to "sea," so I am also going to have a closed cooling system with a heat exchanger that will mount above the water pump pulley. And that receives input from ram effect of a drop tube behind the prop. I'll install an electric water boost pump for idle periods (Another engineering design challenge). I think I have a picture of those Studebaker Marine Engines - if so, I'll post it too.

              Thanks for all the great comments, everyone!
              Last edited by Big Dan; 07-11-2022, 01:24 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                That V6 looks like one of the early Buick 'shakers'.
                D 'N Q RACE ENGINES

                Comment


                • #9
                  It was a 1964 Buick 225 V-6 "Fireball" first year of production for the 225. Yep, they were known by American Motors as "the shakers!" I had a young Serviceman who had one in the Jeep he had restored and wanted a "spare" engine. So, he bought it. Apparently, there was something odd about the first couple of years of 225s that made them better and stronger (odd fire/even fire?). And they were Standard in mid-sixties Jeeps!

                  Another "door stop" no longer littering my barn! What a mess in the boat! You can see in the picture how far it intruded into the "passageway" on the boat compared to the Champion! The big, water-cooled manifolds only made that worse!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Your dad sure did a nice job engineering that boat, and you are doing a nice job restoring it.

                    I have a 1965 Buick V-6 engine from a Buick Special. The engine has low miles ~ 60K as I recall, but cannot prove, as the car is gone. If anyone needs one, let me know.

                    I was saving it to go into my 51 Champion, but do not have the engineering expertise to do it.
                    RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.


                    10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
                    4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
                    5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thanks Roy,

                      It's a BEAUTIFUL little speedboat. My dad was only 23 when he started it. He had been working at CONVAIR for about 4 years. Before that he was an outstanding "body and fender" and engine mechanic. He had supported himself with that since being about 15 (after running away from home). A VERY smart and good man! He retired from CONVAIR in 1989 as a VP and still did not have a college degree!!! (Interestingly enough he was in charge of the Tomahawk Cruise Missile Guidance Program at the time - a far stretch from the old "POGO" days)

                      I've been working on this daily for about 13 months now and didn't realize it was going to be such an investment (in both time and money) but it's an "heirloom," so I feel compelled to do it - and do it to the best of my ability. Plus, I'm the only person left in the family who has the knowledge/experience to do it. And even I'm having to "reinvent the wheel" quite a bit. But I'm finding that I MUST be doing exactly what he did because after looking at stuff and figuring out what needs to be done, it turns out to be exactly as I recall it was on the original. I think I'm getting a lot of "guidance" on it! It's been a very rewarding project thus far.

                      While I'd never worked on a Studebaker Champion engine before (and doing tidbits on the original engine at age 5 doesn't count) I've found this engine to be an absolute pleasure and simple to work on. I've "seen the light!"

                      One of the frustrations I have at this point is that you can't find anyone who actually MAKES or REPAIRS things anymore - even simple things. Yesterday I had an appointment (had to make an appointment) with a guy in a machine shop to try and get the Carb angle adaptors made. Should be simple right - an angled tube with a flange on each end. You would have thought I needed a fuel turbopump off the Space Shuttle! Oddly people can't seem to fathom SIMPLE/mechanical things in this day and age. Oh well gripe gripe gripe!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I love old wooden boats (A hole in the water you throw money into ). Here on Saginaw Bay and the surrounding Great Lakes there are many of them and a fair number of gatherings where they can be viewed in the water.

                        Putting the 170 back in yours is exactly what it needs. Please keep posting pictures of your progress.

                        And thanks again, Bob

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Cool project. It is nice to see a Champion engine getting some use.
                          "In the heart of Arkansas."
                          Searcy, Arkansas
                          1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
                          1952 2R pickup

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Big Dan View Post
                            HI Paul, I was a little surprised at the angle too. I don't remember it being that much (but the last time I saw a Champion in this boat was about 1970 (I was 15). But the prop shaft sits at a 15-degree angle out of the bottom of the boat, so the engine has too as well. The original Champion was also mounted at this angle and performed very well (minus low horsepower later) for 20X years and the oil in the pan angle wasn't a problem. I worry more about the oil level getting close to the crankshaft at bearing 1 (with splashing) and the condition of that front (rear in the boat) seal leaking and the balance dampener slinging oil all over.
                            Well, sure can't argue with past success!

                            Read your post about having a hard time finding someone to make the carb spacer. If you can use a simple CAD program, there are quite a number of companies online that will machine items from a CAD drawing. You send it to them, they quote it, and if you like the price they machine it.

                            Paul
                            Winston-Salem, NC
                            Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at: www.studebakerskytop.com

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Thanks guys,

                              I'll keep everyone up to speed on the progress. As you may have noticed, I take TONs of pictures and am happy to post them. The digital camera is a GREAT invention!

                              If my younger sister and her idiot husband weren't the two people who wrecked the boat in the first place, I'd probably go over to her house and look through the old Family photo albums for more historical pictures. But at the moment considering the shape I came home to find it in, I'd rather stick needles in my eyes than do that! (I'm just "a little" put out with her over it. What an old crab!) But I digress!

                              I'm very pleased with the results thus far! As soon as I get the engine running and all the accessories/gauges wired, I'll have to shift gears back to wood working - railings and decks, to finish it up!!

                              I found a machine shop owner this morning who said he could make those carb adaptors for me. So, I took the carb off, grabbed a spare carb gasket and ran them up to him. He restores 40-50 vintage MGs, so he could think "outside the box" nicely. I wanted to stick with someone local so if there were any obstacles, I could run up to talk with them. Most of my online efforts work out great but every now and then you order a widget and get back a thingamabob! And these are going to be a little too expensive to do it "through the mail!"

                              At this point it's just like everything else I have to have made, I've gone too far to stop now, and as long as my fingers will make the pen write plenty of ZEROs on the checks, I'm sure everything will be fine. I only have one more thing I need to have made and that's the heat exchanger. Originally the boat sucked up outside water, forced it through the engine with ram effect, and dumped it overboard via the exhaust pipe. Weren't the 1950 wonderful. But today different states are restricting that and require closed cooling systems (it's ok to run ambient water from the outside through a heat exchanger and then overboard, just not the engine. And it will be better for the engine to keep coolant in it anyway when not in use). So that will be one last challenge to deal with. If I had a little more confidence in my welding ability (which right now is somewhere between "eh" and "sucks") I'd just make it myself!

                              Charge!

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