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  • shaving a stude head

    ive heard you can cut some meat off of a stude flat 6 to up the compression

    how much can you cut and what does that bring the compression ratio up to

    oh yeah and whats the compression ratio on a stock flat 6

  • #2
    There is a book available on eBay (usually) that answers questions about shaving the head. My own engine will soon be replaced by another flathead six that is being "hot rodded" for me by an expert machine shop in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Therefore, I won't need my copy of the "Studebaker Extreme Duty Engine Book" anymore, and I will be glad to send it to you on loan for a while, until you decide what to do. The first half of the book is about V-8s, but the second half includes a September 1955 article from "Rod and Custom" magazine, entitled, "Hopping Up the Studebaker 6". Here are some quotes from that article:

    "Compression is a mild 7 to 1 in the later models (55 and later, I presume, when they went to 185.6 and less in the earlier units. Carburetion and manifolding is definitely nothing to shout about. On the credit side of the ledger, though, is a block construction that would put a tractor engine to shame.... The stock head will take a milling job of .070" to produce a comp. ratio of 7.8 to 1 on an unrelieved block". The article goes on to name some custom aluminum heads available in the 50's that would get the compression up to 8.5 to 1. I think your only source for such a head nowadays is Bill Cathcart

    How much did it cost in 1955 to hot rod a Champion six? The article said they bought a Morgan aluminum head, a Morgan "log-type dual manifold, two matched and reworked carburetors, a cam (hi-lift, I suppose), a set of matched and lightened valves with springs and a set of special pistons. Total cost of these items came to a shade over $200 for the whole works"

    1955 1/2 Ton Pickup

    Paul Simpson

    1955 1/2 Ton Pickup
    The Red-Headed Amazon
    Deep in the heart of Texas


    • #3

      There are several people selling aluminum heads for the Champ six.
      Dual carb intake manifolds...
      Some cool stuff..
      Cathcart sells the speed stuff for this engine..

      Before I'd go about spending money to fix up an engine like this, I'd go to school on Stude engines first.
      It is amazing to see what can be tweaked out of a stock Stude engine by putting a great tuneup on it. Knowing how to diagnose and repair a Stude engine should be the FIRST thing a Stude owner should bone up on.
      Yanking a Stude engine and stuffing in any other engine without knowing everything about the Stude engine is real short sighted.
      Not saying that is the case here, but it seems to be a fairly common thread amongst newer Stude owners (and new 'old car' owners in general. I think that this area is a good one to expand on, here on this forum, and on a Stude website...

      Studebaker Engines 101 - Things EVERY Stude owner should know about their Studebaker engine.

      And we are so lucky. We only have to deal with a half dozen or so engine styles over the sixty some years of Studebaker engines. Breaking an info website down by model would not be too awful bad...
      Just thinking out loud...

      quote:Originally posted by gotti210

      ive heard you can cut some meat off of a stude flat 6 to up the compression

      how much can you cut and what does that bring the compression ratio up to

      oh yeah and whats the compression ratio on a stock flat 6
      DEEPNHOCK at
      '37 Coupe Express
      '37 Coupe Express Trailer
      '61 Hawk
      HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)


      Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain

      Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)


      • #4
        There is another way: order cylinder head 1549218 from SASCO at $71.40. See

        These are NOS 1960 Lark heads, 8.0:1 compression, set up for electric temp sensor (not bulb and capillary). The one I got needed a skim cut to get it really flat, as it was off .005-.010, though it probably wouldn't have made a difference. I think the machine shop probably took off .030" in order to cut the iron at all, so maybe it's 8.2:1 now. If you have an old car with bulb-type sensor, a machine shop can bore and re-tap the sensor hole for a bulb adaptor. The 1960 engine was rated at 90 hp vs. the 1955's 80 hp. Bill Cathcart can supply the big valves, high lift cam, Pertronix ignition, and dual carb set-up to put you all the way up to 110-120 hp. Not neck-snapping, but better.

        Gary Ash
        Dartmouth, MA
        '48 M5
        '65 Wagonaire Commander
        '63 Wagonaire Standard
        Gary Ash
        Dartmouth, Mass.

        '32 Indy car replica (in progress)
        ’41 Commander Land Cruiser
        '48 M5
        '65 Wagonaire Commander
        '63 Wagonaire Standard
        web site at


        • #5
          BTW, if you're not following the adventures of this intrepid group of Stude 6 fanatics, you're missing out on a good thing!

          Miscreant at large.

          1957 Transtar 1/2ton
          1960 Larkvertible V8
          1958 Provincial wagon
          1953 Commander coupe
          1957 President 2-dr
          1955 President State
          1951 Champion Biz cpe
          1963 Daytona project FS
          No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.