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Dreaded crack!

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  • Dreaded crack!

    Hello everyone!

    Not a good day here in Camden, Ohio. I pulled the head off my champion 6--185 and the cylinder closest to the front of the car appears to have a crack down in the cylinder wall. Maybe about and inch long. It's kinda strange looking--it almost looks more like a scratch than a crack. When I get the engine out, I should be able to tell more( I guess I'll have the block magnafluxed & checked out more closely. If it's not a crack, I will have to bore the cylinders out to .060 over to clean them up good. The suspect cylinder is at .036 over now so I doubt it will clean up at .040. I was hoping I would not have to take the engine all the way out to .060. I assume it can never be rebuilt again, after that. The first stupid question is this: Is there any other piston that would work in this motor other than Studebaker that would allow you to bore even bigger?
    Second question----I may need another engine--anyone know of a champion 6 185 floating around somewhere in Studedom? And finially, since I may need another engine, what about a 259 or 289. Would these weigh too much for the car. I know the frame and suspension is a little lighter---I'm not sure how much heavier the stude v8 is. As always-----Thanks----Dan Ward

  • #2
    If it actually is a crack, in a worst case scenario the block could be heated and the crack welded, then bored out although that kind of work is very expensive. It would probabably be cheaper to find another Stude engine. I will say the 259 is much more powerful than the OHV 169 I had and is much more enjoyable to drive. On the bright side, that crack may not be much more than surface deep and will clean up.

    I might ask, why did you have the head off in the first place? Was that cylinder low on compression and giving problems to begin with? Did you pull it for other reasons and just happened to find that or you were just bored and it was either mow the yeard or pull the head?


    • #3
      Thanks John--Two of the cylinders were a little low in compression and the car would not idle to suit me. In my opinion, the oil pressure could be better as well (about 10 lbs at idle). I took the head off to get a better idea of the condition of the engine---and to see if it could even be rebuilt check the bores. Also, when I was replacing one of the linkage bellcranks, water poured out the head bolt hole that it was attached to. I don't know if that bellcrank is suppose to be attached with a headbolt, but it was. It's, a bad way to do it in my opinion. You should not have loosen the headbolt to work on the linkage. I plan on making a bracket that will eliminate that pain. I had hoped I could clean things up & install a new head gasket, but I think I'll just go ahead rebuild the engine. It does not look the greatest anyway. There are many fluid leaks too. I will take it apart and see what she needs. Maybe I'll get lucky and the "scratch or crack" will disappear, when it is bored. When I find out I will post again. Thanks again---Dan


      • #4
        Dan, that crack might be a scratch resulting from a broken ring; which would explain your low compression, too.

        Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands
        Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands


        • #5
          Another possible repair is to have bad cylinder (If its to bad to rebore) sleeved just had 245 Commander six truck with broken ring damage on one cylinder sleeved in work to reinstall in truck soon waitingfor some small parts to complete. Have had good results with this type of repair in the past.


          • #6
            I bought a 50 champion with a 6 and it had a cracked cly on number 2. the crack came from the thermostat bolt. You could trace it from the bolt threads down the cyl. wall about 3 in. the cyl.wall was realy ate out bad.I replaced the engine, but some said I could have had the cyl. replaced. I chose not to.

            1950 Champion business coupe


            • #7
              Even if you take it out to .060, it CAN be rebuilt again by having it "sleeved".
              As Gord says, it may just be a scratch! Is it fairly straight? If so, it's likely a scratch. If it wanders it's way down the wall, then there's a chance it's a crack. Unlikely, in my opinion tho.

              10lbs at idle is good oil pressure.

              Miscreant adrift in
              the BerStuda Triangle

              1957 Transtar 1/2ton
              1960 Larkvertible V8
              1958 Provincial wagon
              1953 Commander coupe

              No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.


              • #8
                Is it straight up and down instead of crooked like a crack might, and is it close to the fore-and-aft center line?

                Dwain G.