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Engine Identification

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  • Engine: Engine Identification

    This is my first time posting a thread on any website so please bare with me. I recently purchased three Studes that have been sitting for 30 plus years. I am restoring the 63 Avanti R2 and have learned that the block is cracked. The other two vehicles are a 1963 Daytona Wagon with what I am told is an Avanti motor (it has all the same chrome on the engine as the Avanti that I have. It also has a four speed on the column, front disc brakes and third row seat. The other is a 1962 Hawk GT with 289 and 4spd on the floor. All cars are very complete with little or no body damage. With the exception of the Hawk which has some rust in the trunk and damage to the drivers door. My questions are this; 1) What are the differences between a regular 289, an Avanti 289 and the R2. Are there any external visable differences (the wagon motor has chrome valve covers and valley pan and stainless plug wire covers at the block). The wagon has plug wire covers at the sides of the heads only and the Avanti has them at the back of the heads and up and over the distributor only. Are these correct or are they missing pieces. Are the blocks inter-changable and finally should I sacrafice the Hawk or the wagon for the block. Which one is worth more complete. I know it"s alot of questions but I am new at this so thanks. Anyone is welcome to call me as well. Stuart 866-333-2184

  • #2
    You have a lot on your plate, best of luck with all of it. You may want to look at this web page: regarding engine identification. You should consider joining the SDC and getting the Body, Chassis, and Service manuals from one of the Studebaker vendors. Another web site you may find interesting is: . There should be much more help coming soon with regard to your question; welcome aboard.


    • #3
      Thank you very much for your reply.


      • #4
        Welcome to the Studebaker Drivers Club and the SDC Forum!

        You have some great models of Studebaker there, good find!

        The Engine Numbers which are always STAMPED into the cast iron, NOT raised from the casting process, will tell the story as to if the wagon's Engine would be a good swap into a more expensive Avanti or not.

        From what you say about the plug wire shielding, this may very well be another Avanti Engine which may or may not be THE factory installed one for the Avanti, but also could be a good replacement.

        A better way to quickly I.D. a Jet Thrust (from a Lark or Hawk) Engine, or an Avanti Engine other than the Serial Number is to check for the large crankcase breather pipe in the right center of the Oil Pan coming up to two hoses for the PCV system.

        Did you mean to say that the Wagon has a 4 Speed on the floor, or a 3 Speed on the Column? It cannot be both.

        There are many "Performance" items on the R1/R2 Engines, #1 would be the high compression Pistons R1 =10.25 to 1, R2 =9.5 to 1. Then there is the High RPM Camshaft, Dual Ignition Points, windage trays in the special Oil Pan mentioned above, H.D. Aluminum Cam Gear, they came with H.D. Tri-metal Rod & Main Brgs. (if still original) H.D. Stelite tipped Valves, and a Carter AFB 4 Barrel Carb. The rated H.P. is 240. The Chrome is just the icing on the cake.

        The R2 is just the (290 H.P. option) Paxton Supercharged version of the R1 with slight changes.

        Also keep in mind that if the Avanti's Engine is original, it has a better value with it.
        These are very tough Engines and can be sucessfully cast iron welded in most cases.

        Glad to have you here Stuart.
        Last edited by StudeRich; 03-22-2012, 04:28 PM.
        Second Generation Stude Driver,
        Proud '54 Starliner Owner


        • #5
          I will check on the engine numbers. The lady that I got them from said that her husband bought the wagon because it had an Avanti engine but I don"t know how that engine differs from the regular 289. I will look at the breather from the pan. It has chrome Air cleaner, valley pan, valve covers, Power steering reservoir and those plug wire covers unlike the Hawk which has non of these. I read that there was a 4sp on the column that was optional and it appears to have that, although I have never seen one on the column before. It seams as though this a rare wagon, thus the dillema as to take the motor for the block or use the one from the Hawk. Whats your opinion? You are welcome to call if you like. 866-333-2184


          • #6
            All the cylinder blocks from '55 on started out the same. The only difference is the serial number. On a concours restoration, the car will sell easier, maybe for a bit more money with the original block. On a typical driver restoration, it won't make a dollar's worth of difference in the final value of the car if you document the replacement block has the R1 internals and externals.

            Maybe, you're correct and the Daytona does have an R1 Jet Thrust engine. However, there is an argument against devaluing that car by removing the rare optional engine. The value loss will be more than the value gained by putting it in the Avanti.

            Your other options are:

            1. Repair the original block
            2. Find another Jet Thrust serial number block
            3. Find a garden-variety 259" block for cheap and have it built for the Avanti

            jack vines


            • #7
              Welcome to the site. Glad to have you here. You have found the right place for your questions here.
              Start with that engine ID guide fatboylust posted the link to. That will tell you what you have and will help you make the next step decisions. I would say, just my opinion here, that if the Daytona wagon has an Avanti motor in it and it is not the original motor {transplanted} I would pull that and use it in the Avanti. Finding a good used 259 or 289 to use in the Daytona is pretty easy and rebuilding them is fairly affordable.

              But these are all your choices. Ask all the questions you want, post all of the pics you want. We love them here.


              • #8
                The original block is unrepairable as it has two cracks, one is all the way through and into the lifter bore. I checked the numbers on the wagon motor. They are RK325. I have not seen any reference to an RK number so I looked very carefully and it does seem to be an RK. Does this number ring a bell?


                • #9
                  Stuart; The Wagonaire's Engine has to be a Oct. 25, 1963 R1 Avanti 289 Engine from a 1964 Avanti.

                  Woohoo! Not a great candidate for a numbers matching R2 Avanti, but makes a super sweet Wagonaire!

                  So that you can verify what I am saying, you have to scan all the way down to the bottom of that V-8 Engine I.D. chart to the date coded 1964 Engines, then to the "R" prefix.
                  Last edited by StudeRich; 03-22-2012, 08:41 PM.
                  Second Generation Stude Driver,
                  Proud '54 Starliner Owner


                  • #10
                    Does not ring a bell to me, but I am newer at this as well.

                    Did you go to the link in fbl's post? The number is the stamped on the front, drivers side corner of the block. If it is an Avanti motor it would usually start with JT, JTS, JTS, JTSC or R1, R2, R3, R4. or RS

                    If the Daytona has a Lark motor in it then it would be a P-
                    Each of these are usually followed by at least 4 or more digits.


                    • #11
                      Ok.. here is what I see. the J stands for "Jet Thrust". What Avanti engines were called. The K is for the month= october. the 3 following is the year = 1963. The 25 is the day of the month it was built=25th. So its an R-1 engine built on October 25, 1963. If the wagon engine was original, then it wouldn't have the stainless steel plug wire covers on it. Those came on Avanit's only due to the fiberglass body not shielding ignition noise.

                      Its too bad the engine in the Avanti isnt repairable. What year is the Avanti? If its a 63 then the engine number would be in sequence rather than just the date as found on 1964 models. The condition of the cars would depend on what would be the best to do. Being that the wagon engine isnt the original anyway would be an easy swap into the Avanti. Make sure whoever does it though follows every proceedure outlined in the Shop manual, especially "dialing in" the bell housing. The shop manual is available on cd rom- alot less expensive than the printed editions & doesnt get greasy when you use it....LOL
                      59 Lark wagon, now V-8, H.D. auto!
                      60 Lark convertible V-8 auto
                      61 Champ 1/2 ton 4 speed
                      62 Champ 3/4 ton 5 speed o/drive
                      62 Champ 3/4 ton auto
                      62 Daytona convertible V-8 4 speed & 62 Cruiser, auto.
                      63 G.T. Hawk R-2,4 speed
                      63 Avanti (2) R-1 auto
                      64 Zip Van
                      66 Daytona Sport Sedan(327)V-8 4 speed
                      66 Cruiser V-8 auto


                      • #12
                        Thanks for the input. I will take a wire brush to it tomorrow and take a closer look.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by kmac530 View Post
                          /Cut/If it is an Avanti motor it would usually start with JT, JTS, JTS, JTSC or R1, R2, R3, R4. or RS
                          Kelly (kmac530), just for your info and so as not to confuse anyone, some of this is not true. There are no R1, or R2 Engine Numbers, and you left out "R" which just happens to be what Stuart has.
                          Second Generation Stude Driver,
                          Proud '54 Starliner Owner


                          • #14
                            The Avanti is a 63 with frame number R3808 and engine number RS2182. I believe the wagon engine to be original but have not confirmed it yet. This is such a great site. Thank you all for your wonderful input.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by 1stuhess View Post
                              The Avanti is a 63 with frame number R3808 and engine number RS2182. I believe the wagon engine to be original but have not confirmed it yet. This is such a great site. Thank you all for your wonderful input.
                              Stu, please see my #9 post, at 8:15 PM the mystery was SOLVED!
                              Second Generation Stude Driver,
                              Proud '54 Starliner Owner