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Stock 289 cyl head rebuilding

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  • Stock 289 cyl head rebuilding

    I'd like to get a pair of rebuilt stock heads for my '60 289. I know I need guides and a valve grind at least so I'm thinking I might get a fresh pair done while I continue to forge on with the tired but working ones on the motor.

    I did some forum searching and read number of thoughts on this, including that most any competent cylinder head service should be up to the task. So, today I spoke with a fellow highly recommended to me as having 40 years of head-building experience...

    Me: "I need a set of Studebaker 289 heads rebuilt. I can provide the heads and all the parts (from our trusted Stude vendors) if you can do the labor. Can do?"

    Him: "Uh, sure that wouldn't be a problem."

    Me: "Any ballpark on cost, figuring a total rebuild?"

    Him: "Well, I dunno..maybe $450-$500"

    Me: "Okay, that gives me something to think about..."

    He interrupts me: "That 289 motor is just a Chevy motor isn't it?"

    No need to relate the rest of the conversation.

    So, now what I'm thinking is that if I get a new set of heads done, I'd feel a lot more comfortable working with someone who really does Studebaker heads. Again, need just a stock rebuild, not high-performance.

    Any suggestions? Or email me off-forum.

    BShaw, Webmaster
    Woodbury, Minnesota
    Bob Shaw
    Rush City, Minnesota
    1960 Hawk -
    "The farther I go, the behinder I get."

  • #2
    "That 289 motor is just a Chevy motor isn't it?"
    I would have at least given him some credit if thought the 289 was a FORD engine.

    Mike Jones
    Pembroke Pines, FL

    Mike - Assistant Editor, Turning Wheels
    Fort Worth, TX


    • #3
      Bob -

      You don't need to hunt someone down who does "Studebaker" heads.

      You just need to find a "competent" machine shop!

      The shop I'm working with now, on moving the intake valves (see the Racing site) over and doing a LOT of experimental work on....they've never done anything to any Studebaker engine!
      Am I not at all. An engine is an engine to someone that has some "good" experience and common sense.

      If you have someone close that "knows" Stude's...fine. But don't worry about it, just find a shop that the guy you speak with...DOESN'T sound like the guy you just talked to...!!!
      There's no magic..other than the one pipe plug buried under the dist. housing. Even the shop I WAS using (till he had to close), knew enough to check ALL areas for things like that...he also had never done anything to a Stude engine.

      Try more race oriented shops in your area. Your valve grind and guides might end up a little better too, with this kind of shop..



      • #4
        Hi, Bob,

        FWIW, I work closely with a machine shop who does the best head work I have ever seen in all my years of engine building. The heads look like jewelry when he finishes them and his charges are very reasonable.

        Discuss it with me off-forum and you'll be glad you did. The only choices you have to make are which valves, springs and guides you prefer. I'd be glad to give you my thoughts on some options.

        thnx, jack vines



        • #5
          $450 to $500 is insanium in the cranium dude! You're supplying the parts, right? Are you going for hardened seats and new guides and new valves? (especially exhaust).


          • #6
            quote:Originally posted by buddymander

            $450 to $500 is insanium in the cranium dude!
            I agree! In my neighborhood $350.00 will get Valve Grind, Guides, Hardened Seats installed and tank heads.
            Second Generation Stude Driver,
            Proud '54 Starliner Owner
            SDC Member Since 1967


            • #7
              quote:Originally posted by StudeRich

              I agree! In my neighborhood $350.00 will get valve grind, guides, hardened seats installed and tank heads.
              That last set did turn out pretty good, right [?] [?] [?]
              They are going on my 289 after all!!!
              (I think...[:0])

              That shop will get more work one day very soon...

              StudeDave '57 [8D]

              StudeDave '57
              US Navy (retired)

              3rd Generation Stude owner/driver
              SDC Member since 1985

              past President
              Whatcom County Chapter SDC
              San Diego Chapter SDC

              past Vice President
              San Diego Chapter SDC
              North Florida Chapter SDC


              • #8
                I believe Phil Harris (Fairborn Studebaker) has heads listed in his price list -available in both stock and performance versions...