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  • Engine: oil leak

    New Member here ! Just purchased a 55 Champion 4 door sedan . I have been trying to research as much as I can about the car since this is my first Studebaker . I am almost sure the engine is the 183 C.I. 101 H.P. Please correct me if I am wrong . My problem is an oil leak that seems to be coming from the oil pan at the front of the engine . Front seal I guess you could call it . More than likely cork . Is this available at my local parts store? If not where do you guys get the needed parts ? Other than the oil leak the car is road ready now . Any help will be welcome .

  • #2
    How much is it leaking?? It may not be worth the time and trouble to fix it if its not really bad. Most of us live with some kind of oil leak or the other and Studebakers or kind of like British motorcycles.... you know its out of oil when it stops leaking.

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    • #3
      If it is like a V-8, it could be the cork fillet in the front of the oil pan. Usually a Studebaker just marks its territory!

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      • #4
        If you determine it is indeed the cork end piece leaking, cleaning it and putting a coat of RTV on it usually stops the leak.
        Frank van Doorn
        Omaha, Ne.
        1962 GT Hawk 289 4 speed
        1941 Champion streetrod, R-2 Powered, GM 200-4R trans.
        1952 V-8 232 Commander State "Starliner" hardtop OD

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        • #5
          It is a pretty good drip as far as I can see . Maybe its just gathering on the cross member and dumping more than its really is. Any ideas as to where I could purchase a complete pan gasket set ? That way if I decide to fix it I'll have everything I need.

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          • #6
            Studebaker Parts

            To answer one of your questions;
            Quote: "Is this available at my local parts store? If not where do you guys get the needed parts ?"

            Fewer and fewer Classic Car Parts and especially "Orphan Car" Parts are being carried nowadays in "Regular" Parts Stores.

            Something as simple as a Fel-Pro Pan Gasket set can still be ordered at most Stores like NAPA however.

            But very fortunately for us, Studebaker rarely salvaged anything from the '50's and '60's and we have a HUGE source in South Bend, IN of the original Factory NOS parts supply.

            In addition to that, The SDC advertisers in our Monthly Magazine "Turning Wheels" and on the internet under: studebakervendors.com have most anything you will ever need.

            You can Join SDC at the top of these pages at a first time discount, to get Turning Wheels and stay current on Stude, affairs.

            By the way you have the 185 cid Champion "L" Head 6 Engine used in that version from 1955 to 1958.

            Last edited by StudeRich; 08-09-2013, 06:20 PM.
            StudeRich
            Second Generation Stude Driver,
            Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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            • #7
              Thanks StudeRich .

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              • #8
                ....and just for a laugh, and not to hijack this thread, I just resealed the lower end of my 289 that leaked like a sieve.....at the front cork pan seal talked about here, there was a 1/2 inch section blown out of the gasket when I got the car. A real mosquito killer on the highway. Installed a wedge of cedar shingle w/ RTV that held up for 2+ years under near daily driving conditions......My purpose was to confirm the engine's performance for a future swap......not my CASO recommendation....:-)

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                • #9
                  Aside from the oil pan gasket, it is not unusual for the felt seal in the timing cover, behind the crank shaft pulley, to leak oil. The pivot pin on your fuel pump often will leak a small amount of oil. In addition, there is a bolt on your motor mount bracket that goes into the oil gallery.(I think it is the mount near the fuel pump) Make sure that the mount bolts are sufficiently tight.
                  John Clary
                  Greer, SC

                  SDC member since 1975

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                  • #10
                    I guess I will need to look a little harder and longer to see where the problem lies now that you guys have given me so many possibilities . I just put it up on the rack and the oil around the front of the pan was the first thing I saw and said to myself well there it is ! maybe not !

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                    • #11
                      I guess you can do what the radial engine guys do to find a leak. Wash the engine, when it is cold, don't get the distributor wet, put it on a lift and see where it is coming from. Easier to spot on a clean engine.

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                      • #12
                        Hi. I just went through that job this spring. I did a complete rebuild on my 56 Champion 185 engine 2 winters ago. Was very careful to get all my gasket on the pan properly in place. Then I pulled the body off and started a frame off restoration. Once the chassis was ready I installed the engine and hooked it up enough to run it. It only ran for a few minutes when the oil started dripping at the rear of the engine. So pulled the engine back out a set it back on the stand and pulled the pan. What I found was that the cork across the back had shrunk in length from each end by about 1/8 inch and the oil was just pouring out through the corner. I got a pan set and just replaced the side gasket only as they got damaged when I removed the pan. I cleaned the end corks and put a liberal amount of aviation gasket cement in the corners where it leaked and a smear on the rest of the surface and the long side gaskets and no more leaks. I always use weather strip adhesive to hold the end corks to the pan so they can't crepe out under pressure when tightening it down. It sure was a disappointment to see that leak after having been so careful. The reason for not replacing the end corks was, these have already shrunk and won't be shrinking anymore where new ones would be likely to shrink again. That was my solution.
                        Nick

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                        • #13
                          Thanks all ! I will keep you posted on the results of my first Studebaker invasion .

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                          • #14
                            Empty your crossmember oil drip channel. It may be full. cheers jimmijim
                            sigpicAnything worth doing deserves your best shot. Do it right the first time. When you're done you will know it. { I'm just the guy who thinks he knows everything, my buddy is the guy who knows everything.} cheers jimmijim*****SDC***** member

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                            • #15
                              Well I guess I am gonna bite the bullet and pull the pan and replace the gasket ! Wish me luck !

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