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lark engine swap

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  • Engine: lark engine swap

    I have a 1961 lark with the 259 v8/3spd od. lately I've been getting a knock from the engine, most likely a rod or main. I'm tentatively planning an engine swap rather than a rebuild. the easiest route I guess would be to swap in another studebaker v8. I would like a 289 over a 259 , but that's not too big an issue. do you guys know of any places in western Iowa that I could find an engine? what should I look for? Were certain models and years more desirable than others? I would also like a 4 speed while I'm at it, what cars did these usually come in?
    hopefully the knock is something small, but I have a bad feeling about that...

  • #2
    Isaac, don't know if it's much of a chance - but hopefully it's the fuel pump making noise
    Joseph R. Zeiger


    • #3
      Another possibility is the timing gear. I have heard of those knocking & sounding like a rod or main. Has the pressure release valve been serviced regularly? The timing gear gets lubed from that. Remove the fuel pump & fan belt & see if the knock persists.
      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


      • #4
        If you determine you do need an engine, try for a '63 or '64 full flow. I'd stay with the OD, though. If you go to a f speed, you'll thing your engine is running too fast, cruising, which it will be. When you were driving at 60, the engine probably was running about 2500, with a 4 speed it will be going 3700 unless you change rear axle ratios.


        • #5
          okay, I'll check the fuel pump and timing gear. I do like the overdrive, except the three on the tree gets kind of annoying.... is there any conversion to put it on the floor?


          • #6
            I have a very clean full flow 259. It shows minimal wear. I have checked the bearings and cylinder walls and I would not hesitate to put new gaskets in it and use It as is.

            I'll sell it very reasonably.
            Diesel loving, autocrossing, Coupe express loving, Grandpa Architect.


            • #7
              I had a V8 knocking loudly. The previous owner didn't change the flywheel bolts to the long style for a manual. They came loose. If the present engine in there came from an automatic car, that could be it.
              My 1st car. "A TRANSTAR"

              Somewhere between Culture and Agriculture
              in the Geographic center of Tennessee