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question from a rookie

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  • Engine: question from a rookie

    is it possible and a good idea to change a 51 starlight coupe by putting in a v-8 commander engine in it and are they available ? for i am concerned if the flathead with overdrive 6 has enough power please remember i am extremely new to this thank you in advance any and all information is appreciated

  • #2
    It's possible, but if I were going to do this, I would want a donor car. Lot to consider. What condition is your car? Do you have an attachment to it? Would you rather sell and buy another, or maybe trade? How are you going to use this car? Would you lose intrest before completing this, a good size, project?

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    • #3
      A V-8 in a '51 Champion

      This is a very important issue that Flashback mentioned: "How are you going to use this car? "

      Because, if you are not into Stoplight Gran Prix's, towing trailers, climbing Hills or doing a lot of Interstate Highway travel, the little Six will do just fine if you have Overdrive, it will help A BUNCH!

      To answer your question, there ARE Club Members here and not here, that can be reached by an ad in our Monthly Publication "Turning Wheels", that can help with finding an Engine. Even some that will "build" you a fresh 259 or 289.

      Since you have a '51 that was built for a Commander V-8, even though it is a Champion Six, you would have an easier job than with older 6 Cyl. only Cars.
      But it would still require changing the entire driveline, Radiator to Differential and the Front Springs and Brakes.
      StudeRich
      Second Generation Stude Driver,
      Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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      • #4
        StudeRich, why do you say it was built for a Commander V8? Spey doesn't say if it's a Commander or a Champion and as it has a six I'd bet it's a Champion.

        Spey, the 51 Commander V8 is pretty much the same as the V8 as Studebaker used up through 64. If the car is a Champion finding an engine would be the least of your challenges.

        If it is a Champion that little engine with overdrive will do just fine for what most of use our cars for. You won't win many drag races but it will still cruise find at 60 or so, there are even some hop up parts available.
        Jeff DeWitt
        http://carolinastudes.net

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        • #5
          Yes, you can change the drive train pretty easily (as compared to installing another brand engine). You can fit any of the Studebaker built V8 engines in there. If you stick to the T-86 short tailshaft transmission, everything will be a bolt in. I recommend you use a pre-1993 Ford Ranger rear end, as the Dana 27 that was stock was marginal at best. It would be best to have a parts car to get the parts right, but it wouldn't really be necessary. If you have the shop manual and the chassis manual, you can compare the parts. This is not a weekend job, but it can be done, is not as difficult as it looks, and will greatly improve the performance of the little Champion. Don't forget the bigger brakes and the stronger front springs while you are at it.

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          • #6
            Could be wrong but, I think Ed (speycaster) is looking to purchase a '51. See his first thread: http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.c...641#post600641
            "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

            Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
            Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
            sigpic'33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight, '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée"

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            • #7
              I was waiting on him to edit his question so that I could understand what he was asking. <G>
              Jerry Forrester
              Forrester's Chrome
              Douglasville, Georgia

              See all of Buttercup's pictures at https://imgur.com/a/tBjGzTk

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              • #8
                yes you are correct a 51 because of the suspension is better in that year from what i understand what i would like is a 51 champion inline 6 with overdrive if i can drive it around 65 mph safely i am not into drag racing just enjoying i am a real rookie and you guys are wonderful for being patient with me learning process do have a concern about power going up hills for i live in oregon i thank you all you are most kind ed

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                • #9
                  I personally think you may end up like that old TV commercial.
                  Wacking yourself on the the forehead and saying " I could of had a V8"
                  Good luck with your choice.
                  Good Roads
                  Brian
                  Brian Woods
                  woodysrods@shaw.ca
                  1946 M Series (Shop Truck)

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                  • #10
                    If you haven't bought a car yet, it's simple. "Get a V/8"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Finding a bullet-nose two door, in good condition, is becoming more difficult. A Commander coupe, two door, or convertible, even more so. (Those are the V8's or big six engines if 1950) A Champion that is in good condition, equipped with overdrive, will do fine in interstate traffic. They will cruise all day long at seventy and pull modest hills OK.

                      However, these days, I think the greatest danger is not the little vintage car moving down the highway at the speed limit....It is the inattentive driver rushing along at twenty miles an hour over the speed limit...all the while, talking on the phone with one hand holding it to his ear...a burger in the other hand...and trying to manipulate the steering wheel with his knees! (Or, God forbid...texting!) I not only fear this nightmare scene, but have witnessed it!

                      As far as the car you wish to buy, don't overlook a four door Commander or Land Cruiser. Neither will provide you with a drag strip G force thrill, but will cruise down the road effortlessly, with a great ride while keeping pace with the traffic.
                      John Clary
                      Greer, SC

                      SDC member since 1975

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by speycaster View Post
                        yes you are correct a 51 because of the suspension is better in that year from what i understand what i would like is a 51 champion inline 6 with overdrive if i can drive it around 65 mph safely i am not into drag racing just enjoying i am a real rookie and you guys are wonderful for being patient with me learning process do have a concern about power going up hills for i live in oregon i thank you all you are most kind ed
                        Not a sign of punctuation or capitalization to be seen.
                        Why don't you do away with all the spaces too (or is it 'to'?) and make it even harder for us to understand.
                        BTW, welcome to the forum.
                        Jerry Forrester
                        Forrester's Chrome
                        Douglasville, Georgia

                        See all of Buttercup's pictures at https://imgur.com/a/tBjGzTk

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          In that context Jerry it would be "too." To as in I am going to Jerry's place - if someone else was coming they'd say me too.

                          In any case, I hope someone can come up with a suitable car for the gentleman, Washington is close to Oregon so maybe the famous Gahlbeck clan have something?
                          John Clements
                          Christchurch, New Zealand

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                          • #14
                            And people give me a hard time for criticizing the misuse of the word "infamous" by a professional writer!

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