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Torn...

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  • Engine: Torn...

    Hello all, I am torn between keeping the stock 259CID in '56 Power Hawk and dropping a custom built 302 SBF in her... Would like opinions, thank you

    Edit: The reason I want to do the swap is because I had found out that a rebuild kit for the 259 will cost me around $1600 - $1800, I can custom build a 302 for about $1k...
    Current projects: '56 Stude Power Hawk

    Future projects: '56 Stude Sky Hawk ; '68 Buick Electra 225 ; '53 International R-110 P/U

  • #2
    The 259 is a good engine. And I have nothing against modifying a car. But. I think you would spend more than $800 in time, parts, and engineering to get the 302 installed and sorted out.

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    • #3
      My recommendation is to rebuild the Studebaker engine. Swapping a small block Ford engine into your Power Hawk won't save you money as you have to come up with a bell housing for the trans or swap the trans, fabricate engine mounts, exhaust system, wiring etc. etc. If you want more power out of the Studebaker engine put a 289 crankshaft in it. It will give you 30 more hp and 30lb more torque. I did that to the Power Hawk that I had years ago and it makes a big difference in the car's performance. You can also use the R series flat top pistons and R1, R2 cam along with the 289 crank and that will give you a big power increase. Bud

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      • #4
        I have 3 complete 259's in my shop, I haven't the slightest clue whether or not the even need a rebuild... I just thought that I should for good measure and protection on my investment. Thanks for the input so far!!
        Current projects: '56 Stude Power Hawk

        Future projects: '56 Stude Sky Hawk ; '68 Buick Electra 225 ; '53 International R-110 P/U

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        • #5
          Of course, you could drop in the SBF complete with AOD and have the best of both worlds. Great Stude with smooth, economical modern power and no adapters to join the engine and tranny.

          Bob

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          • #6
            My plan was a 5.0 w/ EFI with a T-5 (I'm partial to manual trannies). I never intended to use the original tranny from the Stude if I did a swap...
            Current projects: '56 Stude Power Hawk

            Future projects: '56 Stude Sky Hawk ; '68 Buick Electra 225 ; '53 International R-110 P/U

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            • #7
              You may be goosing butterflies there, James, having concluded all three of the 259s you have need a rebuild.

              Certainly you have to know something about them as to condition? Why not pull the heads on what appears to be the best one and measure the ridge at the top of the cylinders? If there is little ridge, the engine probably isn't worn.

              These are incredibly tough little engines; you may just need to do a valve job with new valve seals on the best one, remove and clean the oil pan and check one or two bearings, button it up with new gaskets, and try it in the car with a 4-bbl carb and dual exhausts.

              Doing all that would involve less than $500 and you might be pleasantly surprised at what a good little performer it is. BP
              We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

              Ayn Rand:
              "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

              G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

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              • #8
                I agree on the possible quality of unrebuilt engines. I bought a used engine, 289, full flow, with the assurance that it wasn't blown up, in effect a guarantee that it was a good engine. The seller had no idea as to it's need for rebuild, though. Before I installed it, I pulled the heads. Under the valve covers and the valley cover, was a 3/4" deep grease paste. Inside the cylinders there was .001 taper and no ridge at the top of the cylinders. Stock size. I cleaned out the valley and put fresh heads on it. It runs like a scalded rabbit, has more power than I need.

                Check your engines before committing to a rebuild.

                Comment


                • #9
                  To add to what Bob suggested, it is easy to forget how few miles it takes for the little rub block on a set of points to wear and close up. That tiny little closing of the point gap will cause the engine to lose pep and become sluggish. Getting the dwell correct on these engines (6 or 8 cylinder) makes a world of difference in performance.

                  I know it is aggravating to have to pop the cap and adjust these things (and I am guilty as anyone for putting it off) but I always want to kick myself for not doing it sooner every time I perform the task.

                  On the other hand, if you are thinking about renting the car out to the county as a mosquito sprayer, or there are cracks in the valves large enough to drop tooth picks through, ...it is probably time to roll up your sleeves and get serious.
                  John Clary
                  Greer, SC

                  SDC member since 1975

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                  • #10
                    And, don''t forget the hit you'll take in value if/when you want to sell with a non-Stude engine.
                    Proud NON-CASO

                    I do not prize the word "cheap." It is not a badge of honor...it is a symbol of despair. ~ William McKinley

                    If it is decreed that I should go down, then let me go down linked with the truth - let me die in the advocacy of what is just and right.- Lincoln

                    GOD BLESS AMERICA

                    Ephesians 6:10-17
                    Romans 15:13
                    Deuteronomy 31:6
                    Proverbs 28:1

                    Illegitimi non carborundum

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                    • #11
                      Engine 1: The only thing that I've done is pulled the valve covers off and looked at the lifters and springs, stuck my finger in the oil that was there to see if there were any shavings in it. I didn't find any. My uncle claimed the engine was running 10 yrs ago...
                      Engine 2: I believe it is/was the motor that was in a '57 Sky Hawk (which is in as many pieces as possible). All I know about this motor is that the tranny is still attached to the backside, sitting on a set of railroad ties.
                      Engine 3: I'm not sure where this one came from, maybe a swap meet, my grandfather bought any and everything "Hawk" he could afford and stocked the shop with it... It's currently sitting on the floor.
                      Last edited by james.seagle; 11-07-2010, 04:58 PM.
                      Current projects: '56 Stude Power Hawk

                      Future projects: '56 Stude Sky Hawk ; '68 Buick Electra 225 ; '53 International R-110 P/U

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                      • #12
                        Just a thought, doesn't a SBF have a front sump oil pan? If so, you have to come up with a rear sump setup for the Ford engine to fit it into the engine bay on a Stude. More expense.......

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                        • #13
                          Why yes... Yes it does... Good point, I hadn't thought of that.
                          Current projects: '56 Stude Power Hawk

                          Future projects: '56 Stude Sky Hawk ; '68 Buick Electra 225 ; '53 International R-110 P/U

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                          • #14
                            Have to use the Bronco pan. Even then you might have notch it for clearance, depending on how high you want the engine sitting.
                            Last edited by Alan; 11-10-2010, 08:49 AM. Reason: spelling

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                            • #15
                              There is a rear sump oil pan available, but you will also need a new (different) oil pump, with an extension that reaches back to the rear sump. Even then, it will sit pretty high. If you are putting it in a power hawk, you better get your tape measure out first.

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