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Installing a Packard V8 in a 1961 Studebaker Champ

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  • Other: Installing a Packard V8 in a 1961 Studebaker Champ

    I plan on putting a 1956 Packard V8 with the Packard automatic in my 1961 Studebaker Champ. I will very much appreciate suggestions and guidance. If anyone has put the Packard V8 into a Lark or Champ photos of key areas will be very much appreciated.
    Ralph

  • #2
    I think you should get some information from 1956 Golden Hawk owners since that was a Studebaker engineered car from the start. I do know that my 56 front tires would do a little squeal at speeds of 40 mph on slight curves in town driving do to the nature of the weight/suspension combination. Other have put 392 Hemi's in there C and K coupes. The Chrysler Hemi is probably the only engine as heavy if not more so than the Packard V8.

    Bob Miles
    Tucson AZ

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    • #3
      Jack Vines (he's a member here) has a '55 pickup with a 374 in it. The chassis is almost identical to the one under your Champ. Hopefully he'll chime in soon.

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      • #4
        I long wondered how the 352 would have been used had SP continued production of it. It seems logical that it would have ended up in trucks sooner or later. I'm very interested in seeing how it turns out. Ralph, what prompted you to do it?
        Mike Davis
        Regional Manager, North Carolina
        1964 Champ 8E7-122 "Stuey"

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Ralph Hart View Post
          I plan on putting a 1956 Packard V8 with the Packard automatic in my 1961 Studebaker Champ. I will very much appreciate suggestions and guidance. If anyone has put the Packard V8 into a Lark or Champ photos of key areas will be very much appreciated.
          Ralph
          Packard V8 + the Twin Ultramatic in a '61 Champ?????......You're kidding right?

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          • #6
            You should look at rear axle ratios. The ratios for an automatic are taller (lower numerically) than ratios for a stick and especially for a stuck with overdrive.
            Last edited by RadioRoy; 09-23-2015, 09:17 PM.
            RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

            17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
            10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
            10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
            4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
            5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
            56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
            60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

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            • #7
              Interesting project, although the T85 manual would probably be a far more 'truck like' transmission choice.

              Chris.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by StudeNewby View Post
                I long wondered how the 352 would have been used had SP continued production of it. It seems logical that it would have ended up in trucks sooner or later. I'm very interested in seeing how it turns out. Ralph, what prompted you to do it?
                That thought has come up in discussions at some time in the past. It was thought that the big block Packard V8 would have been ideal in the one ton and larger trucks. At the time in 1956 when the Studebaker Packard Corporation was fighting for survival, all forward thinking was probably passed over and survival took all attention. At that time, decisions were made and Packard was considered expendable and not necessary to the survival of the corporation. Just like in 1966, autos were not necessary for the diversified Studebaker Corporation.

                Bob Miles
                Tucson Az

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                • #9
                  Here's a few pic's I took of a nice one from the Lancaster IM a few years ago...









                  HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)

                  Jeff


                  Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain



                  Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)

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                  • #10
                    WOW I would imagine that it would be hard to keep a decent set of rear tires on that car. I would hope there is a stout Dana 44 in the back with a decent ratio. I hope the owner chimes in on drivability.

                    It sure is a clean transplant. It looks like it should belong there. Hats off to the craftsmanship.

                    Bob Miles
                    Tucson AZ

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                    • #11
                      Re: Jeff's photos........... I wonder why Studebaker didn't think of this?

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                      • #12
                        FWIW, the Packrd V8 is only a few pounds heavier than the Studebaker V8. The major difference is it's four inches longer. This necessitates moving the radiator in front of the core support. The remainder is just basic engine swapping 101. I used the T85 with a second brake master cylinder bolted beside the brake and a hydraulic throw out bearing on a diaphragm pressure plate.

                        The power and torque are what Studes have always needed. I switched over to an early '56 Dana 60 4.10 with TwinTraction and added a second pair of rear shocks.

                        Jack Vines
                        PackardV8

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by PackardV8 View Post
                          FWIW, the Packrd V8 is only a few pounds heavier than the Studebaker V8. The major difference is it's four inches longer.

                          Jack Vines
                          The old Commander 6 made it's last appearance in the '60 Champ. How much longer it it than the Stude V8?
                          1963 Champ "Stu Bludebaker"- sometimes driver
                          1957 Silver Hawk "Josie"- picking up the pieces after an unreliable body man let it rot for 11 years from an almost driver to a basket case
                          1951 Land Cruiser "Bunnie Ketcher" only 47M miles!
                          1951 Commander Starlight "Dale"- basket case
                          1947 Champion "Sally"- basket case
                          1941 Commander Land Cruiser "Ursula"- basket case

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by DougHolverson View Post
                            The old Commander 6 made it's last appearance in the '60 Champ. How much longer it it than the Stude V8?
                            Barely any longer. That installation took a special water pump but fit otherwise.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by PackardV8 View Post
                              FWIW, the Packrd V8 is only a few pounds heavier than the Studebaker V8. The major difference is it's four inches longer. This necessitates moving the radiator in front of the core support. The remainder is just basic engine swapping 101. I used the T85 with a second brake master cylinder bolted beside the brake and a hydraulic throw out bearing on a diaphragm pressure plate.

                              The power and torque are what Studes have always needed. I switched over to an early '56 Dana 60 4.10 with TwinTraction and added a second pair of rear shocks.

                              Jack Vines
                              Looks like it uses the 1965-66 type upper air deflector panel and radiator support assy (also used on R3 cars). Very nicely done!

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