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How do Improve my 185ci 6cyl

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  • How do Improve my 185ci 6cyl

    I'm restoring a 1956 Flight Hawk that has the original 185 ci 6 cyl on board. I am at the engine rebuilding phase and I am seeking advice. Other than hardening the valve seats to accomodate unleaded fuel, is there anything else I can do while I have the engine apart to improve the engine's overall performance?
    i.e.- Improve crank case ventilation
    Kind regards,
    tdjones

  • #2
    I'm more familiar with the V-8s, but the consensus on hardened valves seats on any normally driven collector car is don't waste your money...it's not required. Russ Farris
    1963 GT Hawk R-2 4-speed
    1964 Avanti R-1 Auto

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    • #3
      quote:Originally posted by tdjones

      I'm restoring a 1956 Flight Hawk that has the original 185 ci 6 cyl on board. I am at the engine rebuilding phase and I am seeking advice. Other than hardening the valve seats to accomodate unleaded fuel, is there anything else I can do while I have the engine apart to improve the engine's overall performance?
      i.e.- Improve crank case ventilation
      Kind regards,
      tdjones
      If I was you, I would get in touch with Bill Cathcart.
      www.cathcartsstudebaker.com


      Chip
      '63 Cruiser daily driver
      '57 Packard wagon on the road!
      Chip
      '63 Cruiser
      '57 Packard wagon
      '61 Lark Regal 4 dr wagon
      '50 Commander 4 dr sedan

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      • #4
        Cathcart is the 6 cylinder guru!

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        • #5
          I had valve seat failures in Stude engines running on unleaded gas. I had exhaust valve seat failures in the 289 that was in my Champ truck, a friend had problems in a 390 Ford in his 64 T- Bird and most recently I had to rebuild the heads in my girlfriends 63 Lark 259 because of exhaust valve recession. None of these engine were run hard and they still had valve problems. There are several upgrades that you can make to your engine, I would check with Bill Cathcart as he is the 6 cylinder guru. Bud

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          • #6
            Yes, Cathcart is the Champion go-to-guy.
            Yes, definitely go with hardened exhaust seats.
            No, there's not much which can be done without spending a few dollars. Champion horsepower is the most expensive there is.
            Maybe, just mill the head and the block .030" to be sure they are flat. The little Champion is working very hard to pull around that 3500# Flight Hawk. (It is to be hoped the car is equipped with overdrive!) After a few hundred miles, re-torque the head bolts.

            thnx, jack vines

            PackardV8
            PackardV8

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            • #7
              make sure that the lifters are tight in their bores and that the valves are tight in the guides... champions like to suck oil when they get tired and those are the usual two suspects

              I second the recommendation to talk to Bill Cathcart

              nate

              --
              55 Commander Starlight
              http://members.cox.net/njnagel
              --
              55 Commander Starlight
              http://members.cox.net/njnagel

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              • #8
                if they are avaible go with s/s valves also. i would port and polish the exhaust ports and the combustion chamber. leave the intake ports alone unless you have some serious obstructions. swirle polish the valves back sides.

                2006,f-150,2x4,v-6,5-speed manual,8ft bed, will post stude info when i get it on the road.

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                • #9
                  quote:Originally posted by Bud

                  I had valve seat failures in Stude engines running on unleaded gas. I had exhaust valve seat failures in the 289 that was in my Champ truck, a friend had problems in a 390 Ford in his 64 T- Bird and most recently I had to rebuild the heads in my girlfriends 63 Lark 259 because of exhaust valve recession. None of these engine were run hard and they still had valve problems. There are several upgrades that you can make to your engine, I would check with Bill Cathcart as he is the 6 cylinder guru. Bud
                  Amazing how experiences can vary for people; Bud has had valve problems on unleaded gas. In 75,000 miles of driving Studebaker V-8s, I haven't; go figure!

                  63 GT R-2 four speed - 25,000 miles
                  64 R-1 Avanti -30,000
                  60 259 Lark- 19,000

                  I don't drive as hard as I did 20 years ago, but they still aren't babied.

                  Those are the miles I've personally rolled up on them, all on unleaded fuel with a very occasional tank of LL 100 octane Avgas.

                  Russ Farris


                  1963 GT Hawk R-2 4-speed
                  1964 Avanti R-1 Auto

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                  • #10
                    I'd put a Hudson 308 cu.in. 6 twin H flat head in it if it would fit. Any body know the lenght. It would be a screamer and unique. Probably too long. Any body know? jimmijim

                    Stude Junkie+++++++Do it right the f$$$$ Time. Never mind. Just do it right. When youre done your done. You'll know it.
                    sigpicAnything worth doing deserves your best shot. Do it right the first time. When you're done you will know it. { I'm just the guy who thinks he knows everything, my buddy is the guy who knows everything.} cheers jimmijim*****SDC***** member

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                    • #11
                      After seeing a fair share of Stude V-8 heads and the pitting and resession of the exhaust seats...if you plan to actually drive the car..."yes" hard exhaust seats will save you money in the long run.
                      If it's a short trip or trailer queen type car, no, don't bother.

                      Max -
                      IF...you haven't hard your heads off in 75,000 miles, you don't have much a a clue what shape the seats are in!

                      As Jack states, raising the compression a bit will help, make sure there are no sharp edges in the combustion chamber (head or pistons).
                      Some porting of both the intake and exhaust will help some. Admittidly, I can't tell you exactly what to do without looking...but ANY engine up to about 2000 can benifet from at least some port work. Good valve guide clearances are a very good bet.

                      And as others have said...contact Bill Cathcart.

                      Mike

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                      • #12
                        I've never had the heads off on any of them. Being from the aircraft industry, I do leak-down compression checks using 80 psi on my Studebakers every couple of years, or less if I think about it...so I know exactly what shape my heads are in. I've never seen less than 80/70 on any of them...just lucky, I guess! Russ Farris
                        1963 GT Hawk R-2 4-speed
                        1964 Avanti R-1 Auto

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                        • #13
                          I know the common mantra is "don't install hardened valve seats, not necessary". However, several years ago, after seeing valve recession in two Stude v-8's, I now have hardened seats installed when re-building one.
                          64 Champ long bed V8
                          55/53 Studebaker President S/R
                          53 Hudson Super Wasp Coupe

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                          • #14
                            I'm now wondering if the valve seat failures that I've experienced have been caused by the blended gas that we're forced to use in California. I know that my gas mileage is down by about 2mpg in all of my cars including my 2005 Silverado since I've been using that stuff. Bud

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                            • #15
                              Thanks to all, I will heed your advice.

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