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170 OHV engine power

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  • 170 OHV engine power

    I have a 1963 Studebaker 170 OHV engine. I rebuilt it totally, including a .060 over bore, all new valves and seats, fixed head cracks....etc....

    Anyway, I still don't have the power I desire. I have tuned my carb. to near perfect by using a oxygen sensor. I have installed pertronix ignition. I have a new distributor with timing set correctly and vacuum advance working(although I can't tell any power difference with vacuum advance hooked up or detached.) Valves adjusted properly.

    With that being said where is my next biggest gain? I read an article about cutting the exhaust header into two halfs and building dual exhausts. I'm not sure in the real world how much power this would produce, however the stock heat riser setup does look restrictive. I would like to know someone who has done this mod. to see if it actually made a noticable horsepower increase?

    The only other area I see for improvement may be a different carb.. Does anyone have a non-Studebaker original equipment carb. that performs better than stockers? I have used both a Carter AS and a RBS with the AS being better, but maybe there's still something better?

    Thanks,

    Randy


  • #2
    quote:Originally posted by rwirtzfeld1

    I have a 1963 Studebaker 170 OHV engine. I rebuilt it totally, including a .060 over bore, all new valves and seats, fixed head cracks....etc....

    Anyway, I still don't have the power I desire. I have tuned my carb. to near perfect by using a oxygen sensor. I have installed pertronix ignition. I have a new distributor with timing set correctly and vacuum advance working(although I can't tell any power difference with vacuum advance hooked up or detached.) Valves adjusted properly.

    With that being said where is my next biggest gain? I read an article about cutting the exhaust header into two halfs and building dual exhausts. I'm not sure in the real world how much power this would produce, however the stock heat riser setup does look restrictive. I would like to know someone who has done this mod. to see if it actually made a noticable horsepower increase?

    The only other area I see for improvement may be a different carb.. Does anyone have a non-Studebaker original equipment carb. that performs better than stockers? I have used both a Carter AS and a RBS with the AS being better, but maybe there's still something better?

    Thanks,

    Randy

    Randy,
    You may never get the power out of that OHV 6 that you "want". They really wern't known for their quarter mile times .

    I'm wondering if the aftermarket exhaust and intake systems for a Champion 6 will work on an OHV 6. Anybody know if the port spacing and bolt holes are the same?

    One other thought is compression ratio. Increasing this by shaving the head might give the biggest improvement. I don't know, however, when you will get in to interference problems by so doing.



    Dick Steinkamp
    Bellingham, WA

    Comment


    • #3
      "Anybody know if the port spacing and bolt holes are the same?"

      Not even CLOSE!


      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.

      Comment


      • #4
        Well, you could go back in time just a few years to when the first Larks used the flathead Champion six. Get one of those (someone will probably give you one) and have Bill Cathcart in Connecticutt hop it up for you (or GPO Automotive in Cheyenne, WY who is in the process of doing mine). I have not seen the dyno results yet, but I'm told it was 195 hp while still using a single carburetor. Add another 10-15 hp with the Offy dual intake and Cathcart's hand modified exhaust headers, and you'll be a throwback.

        Here's the Cathcart site. The Champion engine looks good in red with black and chrome:
        www.cathcartsstudebaker.com


        [img=left]http://rocketdillo.com/studebaker/misc/images/Current_Avacar.gif[/img=left] - DilloCrafter


        1955 1/2 Ton Pickup
        The Red-Headed Amazon

        Paul Simpson
        "DilloCrafter"

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

        Comment


        • #5
          quote:Originally posted by rwirtzfeld1

          I have a 1963 Studebaker 170 OHV engine. I rebuilt it totally, including a .060 over bore, all new valves and seats, fixed head cracks....etc....

          Anyway, I still don't have the power I desire. I have tuned my carb. to near perfect by using a oxygen sensor. I have installed pertronix ignition. I have a new distributor with timing set correctly and vacuum advance working(although I can't tell any power difference with vacuum advance hooked up or detached.) Valves adjusted properly.
          Thanks,
          Randy
          Randy,

          How many miles do you have on the rebuild? The reason I asked, when I put pistons/rings (0.020" over) in my '64 Commander 4-door with OHV engine, it took some miles before it really broke in and freed up.

          Did you adjust the valves hot? Hot adjustment has always gotten me an improvement in idling and power over the cold method. And, it is easy on an OHV six and not messy if you cut a spare valve cover up like the shop manual shows.

          What body style is this in? (The sliding roof wagons and convertibles are heavier, so that will impact the performance.)

          Also, what transmission/rear axle ratio do you have? My '64 has a 3spd/OD with a 4.27:1 ratio rear axle. I chose this r/a ratio to get a good balance of around town and highway performance, and I have been very happy with it. (I started with a 3.73:1 ratio, which might be ok now that the engine is broken in good. Might be fun to do a quick swap to see what that r/a ratio does to the highway performance.....<G>.)

          As far as upgrades, I know that a few folks have tried using a small 2-bbl carb (usually the Holley/Weber) with good results. Email me at: r1lark@aol.com (letter 'r', numeral 'one') and I will send you the various links I have on this conversion; I am at work now and they are on my home 'puter. I am going to do this conversion, but won't get to it anytime soon. I hate those RBS carbs; even the NOS one I put on the car was only so-so.

          Hope this helps some.......

          Paul

          Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at: http://hometown.aol.com/r1skytop/myhomepage/index.html
          Paul
          Winston-Salem, NC
          Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at: www.studebakerskytop.com

          Comment


          • #6
            Have you had the distributor advance curve checked out on a proper distributor machine? Typically, the springs relax over time, so the advance curve isn't really present. When you set timing at idle under these conditions, it's really meaningless, because the distributor isn't going to advance as RPM's go up. Also, if it's a Prestodark unit, check for wear on the advance weight pivot points.

            The vacuum advance is there to retard the distributor during part throttle operation, so's to improve gas milage. Nothing to do with power.

            Frank Starr
            Seattle

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks for all the replies, I will digest the information.

              To answer a few of the questions:

              I did adjust the valves hot, however I didn't see the tip on the valve cover suggestion, that's a good one. However, I will admit I'm probably not the best at this process, but I think there close. I tryed a few different methods of setting the valves still haven't found one I adore.

              I do have just 2 thousand miles on the rebuild, so I like the suggestion that I may still get some ring break-in. My compression is 125 on all cylinders now, which could improve to 140 hopefully, which would help. However, it uses no oil and doesn't smoke.

              The distrubutor is new so I think the condition of the springs, weights, ...etc. would be good. I have not hooked it to a "machine", but I have left my timing light on it with the engine running and rev'ed to 4 thousand; mechanical advance changes the correct number of degrees(approx., I have a limited scale on the crank pulley.)Vacuum advance looks to also work. Think I'm good there.


              So I'm going to assume that's all somewhat correct, and maybe I'm just not satisfied with the engine at its best. I did mill the head slightly when I rebuilt the engine but it was only to establish head gasket surface, so it was very moderate.

              So in regards to performance mods, I think I will try the two barrel carb from stovebolt. Which one could someone recommend, looks like they have two on there website? I like the electric choke option model.Do these two carbs. flow the same and the only difference is the choke? I would call and ask but I'm working long days now, and when I get off work their are closed.

              The second mod I'm interested in, is seperating the intake/exhaust manifold and getting rid of the heat riser. Then using the remaining exhaust header to build a dual exhaust. Has anyone done this with a OHV 170, I know its done with the flatheads, but I was hoping someone did it on a OHV and could give me a real-world feel for how much it would help?

              Thanks,

              Randy

              Comment


              • #8
                quote:Originally posted by Frank Starr

                The vacuum advance is there to retard the distributor during part throttle operation, so's to improve gas milage. Nothing to do with power.
                The vacuum advance retards?

                http://www.stevesnovasite.com/forums...ad.php?t=11689





                Dick Steinkamp
                Bellingham, WA

                Comment


                • #9
                  well i can tell you from first hand experience, that about all the power your gonna get from the ohv.
                  I have a 63 lark, same sive engine as your. I put a progressive 2 bbl webber, opened the exhaust to 2" from the manifold, straight pipe all the way to the glass pack, pertronixs ignition, 120 amp alt, 5 speed froma chevy s 10.

                  All that and I probably have 15 maybe 20 horse power net gain. There are no headers for the ohv only custom made and expensive.
                  Dont get me wrong I've had alot of fun tuning, rebuilding and modifing. But I'm done. Got a 289 sbf, c-4 tranny that I'm putting into it this summer.

                  I've got some pics of the carb set up and other pics. If your interested let me know.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hey Dillo, do you have a list of what they have done so far to your engine? I will be pulling the 185 out of my Champion this summer and had been looking into Cathcarts info? Just curious how they were able to get the extra 100 hp without yet adding the dual carbs and headers. Thanks.
                    1955 Champion Deluxe 2dr.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Has anyone hooked a Paxton to one of these engines?
                      Todd


                      63 Lark 2dr Sedan

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        55sedan said:
                        quote:Hey Dillo, do you have a list of what they have done so far to your engine? I will be pulling the 185 out of my Champion this summer and had been looking into Cathcarts info? Just curious how they were able to get the extra 100 hp without yet adding the dual carbs and headers.
                        Apparently Bill Cathcart doesn't dyno his engines, and he only claims to get up to 145 hp or so. But David Beedle at GPO Automotive Machine Shop did dyno my 185 cu.in. at 195 hp. I'm sure he will gladly tell you what he does to these engines. It includes an Offenhauser cam upgrade, porting and polishing, larger intake valves, and I don't know what all else. Give him a call, he's friendly: (307)638-0920

                        [img=left]http://rocketdillo.com/studebaker/misc/images/Current_Avacar.gif[/img=left] - DilloCrafter


                        1955 1/2 Ton Pickup
                        The Red-Headed Amazon

                        Paul Simpson
                        "DilloCrafter"

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

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I have a Holly Webber 5200 from Stovebold on my '60 Lark VI (170 CI flathead). I installed it in hopes of improving mileage, not power. My mileage went from 18.5 with the original rebuilt carb to 24 with the HW. I have noticed a slight drop in power, but I assume that larger jets in both primary and secondary would help with the power. I, too, have The Pertronix ignition. The above mileage was with a standard 3 spd transmission. Since then I have put in an overdrive transmission. Don't know mileage yet.

                          If you have the option, go for the electric choke, the coolant choke is a bear to plumb neatly.

                          Tom Bredehoft
                          '53 Commander Coupe
                          '60 Lark VI
                          '05 Legacy Ltd Wagon
                          All Indiana built cars

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            If you really want power, why don't you try something along these lines?

                            http://www.salt2salt.com/TurboStude/TurboStude.html

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The OHV 6 isn't ever going to do too much for you. Mine just popped the head gasket, and honestly, it wasn't much slower running on 4 cylinders! It's been a bit low on compreession as well ( under 100 psi)but again, it made little difference, than when it was not as worn. It's just under powered.

                              I have been threatening to finally build my 185 OHV 6, and this may finally convince me to start. Basicaly, it is a flat head 185 crank AND pistons in the OHV block. It's been done before, with decent results, but honestly, a good used 259 or 289 would give you better results for less money. I have the parts, and like odd stuff, so I'm doing it. I also had Ted Harbit grind a cam for a bit more mid range power, as this thing with teh big old 185 crank will never wind up well.

                              You might see if Ted will gind you a different cam and gain a few horse power.

                              quote:Originally posted by rwirtzfeld1

                              I have a 1963 Studebaker 170 OHV engine. I rebuilt it totally, including a .060 over bore, all new valves and seats, fixed head cracks....etc....

                              Anyway, I still don't have the power I desire. I have tuned my carb. to near perfect by using a oxygen sensor. I have installed pertronix ignition. I have a new distributor with timing set correctly and vacuum advance working(although I can't tell any power difference with vacuum advance hooked up or detached.) Valves adjusted properly.

                              With that being said where is my next biggest gain? I read an article about cutting the exhaust header into two halfs and building dual exhausts. I'm not sure in the real world how much power this would produce, however the stock heat riser setup does look restrictive. I would like to know someone who has done this mod. to see if it actually made a noticable horsepower increase?

                              The only other area I see for improvement may be a different carb.. Does anyone have a non-Studebaker original equipment carb. that performs better than stockers? I have used both a Carter AS and a RBS with the AS being better, but maybe there's still something better?

                              Thanks,

                              Randy

                              Ron Dame
                              '63 Champ
                              Ron Dame
                              '63 Champ

                              Comment

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