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Can Someone Explain This?

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  • Can Someone Explain This?

    Hi - I have owned a 1957 Silver Hawk with 185 cubic inch 6 and manual transmission for about 3 years now. I believe the engine and trans are original and not rebuilt. The odometer shows less than 82,000 miles. Ever since I have had it, it has blown a fair amount of smoke from the tailpipe all the time yet the engine seems strong and easily cruises 60 mph. I was told that since the car sat for 10 years, the rings may have been stuck. Well I tried all sorts of additives that said they would free sticky rings and valves, but nothing worked. Last week I tried a product called No Leak Engine Oil Treatment which says it stops smoke and leaks by safely swelling the seals and gaskets. Now there is almost no smoke coming from the tailpipe. It has been this way the last 3 times I have taken the car out.

    Could the rings have finally been freed up? Could it be this stuff really works? Is it just a temporary fix? Can it hurt the engine? Any ideas are appreciated

  • #2
    Seems unusual that they'd suddenly free up after 3 years, just due to this new stuff. Probably be a thought to pull the head off and have a look to see the real cause - also prevent/repair any damage.

    John Clements
    Avantilover, your South Australian Studebaker lover!!!
    Lockleys South Australia
    John Clements
    Christchurch, New Zealand


    • #3
      Had a car that smoked like crazy, when it stopped I knew I was out of oil


      • #4
        I have heard that a common cause of smoking and oil consumption on an otherwise good running Champion engine is worn lifter bores and valve guides; I believe that there were oil diverters available from the aftermarket to keep this oil down in the crankcase where it belonged, might want to look into that if the engine doesn't seem to warrant a teardown.


        55 Commander Starlight
        55 Commander Starlight


        • #5
          It's probably not the cause in your case, but if your road draft tube is plugged or mangled, it could be causing back pressure in the crankcase, which could also cause oil to get past the rings.
          " the exception in individuals, but the rule in groups" - Nietzsche.


          • #6
            Depending on just what those "diverters" N8N mentions are, I think, they may be an actual Studebaker item. At least I got mine from a former Studebaker vendor, Special Interest Autos in St. Louis..

            I'm thinking of a piece of tin bent at 45 degrees, that sits just inside each tappet cover on a Commander flathead. They have cutouts on the lower side that ride against the lifter castings, and two notchs on the top that fit under the cover screws.

            At least on Commander 6's they came on 245's, and can be used on the earlier 226's, as well. That's what I used when my recently rebuilt 226 was using a bit of oil. Worked great.

            I also think this is the kind of thing that was often omited over the years during valve adjustments. Any chance they were also used/available on flathead Champions?


            • #7
              The champion ones were not so much oil diverters as oil flow restricters. They were a short piece of spring steel with a small leather disc on one end. They were installed in the oil gallery that feeds the lifters because with some wear in the lifter bores there was too much oil pressure at that point resulting in a lot of spray in the crankcase and oil consumption. To the best of my knowledge these were an after market fix, not something Studebaker offered.

              27 Dictator Custom sedan
              54 Commander Starliner


              • #8
                Lets hear it for the good old parts book!

                There are items like I was trying to remember at lunch today, listed in the 1959-64 automobile parts book as being for 1959-60 Champion flatheads. They are called Valve Chamber Oil Baffles, 2 per engine, part number 525265, illustration number 0103-27.

                57slvrhwk6, I don't have a parts book old enough to determine if these were original to your 1957 engine, but if your engine does not have these in place, you might want to try them?