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Old 07-13-2005, 09:47 PM
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53 studebaker..tossing inline 6 for 350?

A buddy of mine recently bought a 53 studebaker. It is completely stock and has been sitting garaged since 1970. My friend wants to turn this into a nice street machine and actually drive it to show and not trailer it, it will see the streets on a regular basis as well. Keep in mind this person has never ever taken on this kind of project before and believes friends are going to step in and help all along the way, im not saying people wont but not to the extent my buddy is thinking. My buddy aproached me about what to do with the engine. I mean after all its been sitting still for an extremely long time. The engine bay is completely stock and comes with an inline 6 and 3 speed tranny. Im not exactly sure what the gas mileage on it is but im guessing around 8-10mpg if that?

I suggested to my friend to get a really mild 350 backed with a 700r4. I said it would get about 16-18mpg. I explained to my buddy how outdated the engine was, and sure it can be made to run right but you want to actual drive this car and the gas milage and power will be horrible. My friend pretty much told me im full of crap and says the stock engine will get better mileage than my 350 4speed idea. So im here asking for you helping word. Please post your thoughts on my idea compared to keeping the inline 6 with 3speed. For actual everyday driving duties which will be better?

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Old 07-13-2005, 10:09 PM
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Id get an already working sbc and tranny, pull the (probably seized up) Inline 6 and tranny and clean up the engine bay and swap em out.
Smaller motors dont always equal better gas mileage.
Sometimes it takes more fuel to get the smaller engine to pull the weight of a big car more than it does to have the bigger engine unstrugglingly pulling the bigger cars weight.
Go bigger! Hg
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Old 07-13-2005, 11:15 PM
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I'd drive it like it is for a while just to sort things out before doing any major surgery. Don't be surprised if it gets pretty decent gas mileage. My dad drove Studebaker Champions (6-cyl., 3-speed w/OD) from before I was born until they quit making them, and his last one was a '53. He did a lot of highway driving for work, and if they had gotten bad mileage, I suspect he'd have driven something else. I'll ask him next time I talk to him.
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Old 07-14-2005, 04:58 AM
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NO - NO - NO! '53 Stude's MUST have a Cadillac motor. Ain't you never heard of a Studillac? Any Cadillac V-8 from a '53 through an '05 Northstar (except the 4100HT ) would be totally acceptable. Seriously, I'm a Chevy guy and I like 350's but please put ANYTHING but a SBC in it. Even I'm getting bored with 350's in non-Chevy's.
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Old 07-14-2005, 08:29 AM
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Whatever happened to Dragenwagon (or something like that)?
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Old 07-14-2005, 09:34 AM
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Ok 2 decent post so far...anyone else wanna say what they think the best option would be? My buddy wants to daily drive this thing from what I can gather.
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Old 07-14-2005, 10:13 AM
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Weelll

Anumber of years ago I swapped a SBC into a 53 Stude sport coupe..Couple of things I found one is that thing needs a serious upgrade on brakes as the stock brakes on those are not much better than dragging your foot..

The Stude rearend was fine with the 6 but with the SBC it shelled the teeth..I changed several of those out..

As for mileage the 6 beat the SBC by a bunch but then the SBC was way more fun..

At the time I was young and had not much more than shadetree stuff to work with..

Would I do it again..yeah but I would take advantage of what we know now to make it a good car..

OMT
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Old 07-14-2005, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 383MontecarloSS
Ok 2 decent post so far...anyone else wanna say what they think the best option would be? My buddy wants to daily drive this thing from what I can gather.
Oh and a Cadillac motor is "indecent"? J/K

305, 200-4R and a 3.42/3.73 rear end. It will have some get up and go and should squueze out 20-22 MPG. A friend pulled 20+ out of a '63 Bel Air with a mild 305, 200-4R and a 3.08 rear. It would have done better on mileage but the engine was lugging in OD, it needed lower gears out back.
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Old 07-14-2005, 11:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 383MontecarloSS
Ok 2 decent post so far...anyone else wanna say what they think the best option would be? My buddy wants to daily drive this thing from what I can gather.
I would really consider keeping the original engine in it. Once you put in a different engine the value of the car will be diminished as well as it's uniqueness. Kanter and Egge both have parts to rebuild the original six. There would be a lot less messing around and he would have a far more unique ride.

tom

Here is a place to help determine the value of his vehicle:
http://www.vmrintl.com/Default.htm

Last edited by machine shop tom; 07-14-2005 at 01:23 PM.
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Old 07-14-2005, 12:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 383MontecarloSS
Ok 2 decent post so far...anyone else wanna say what they think the best option would be? My buddy wants to daily drive this thing from what I can gather.
Well since there were only 3 posts total....I have to wonder if my post was one of the decent ones or not???? HG
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Old 07-14-2005, 12:45 PM
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Hemmie yours was one of the good ones LOL...

Im glad im getting better repsonses...I gave my buddy the link to this thread so they can look at it and get and idea of what to do.

THANKS GUYS!
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Old 07-14-2005, 01:22 PM
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Well, I guess it's all really about drivability. Your friend wants to get decent fuel economy, and have a driveable vehicle. The six will almost certainly deliver better fuel economy driving around town than the 350 will. But the 350 won't be all that bad. On the other hand . . . . . if your friend drives out of town, and runs the six down the freeway at 80 MPH, he may find that the life expectancy of the Stude six makes it a very expensive motor. Stude's were great cars. And the engines as I recall were pretty solid. But 80 MPH, without benefit of an overdrive, could lead to an early death. If your buddy is planning to stay in town, and drive from stop light to stoplight, the six may be the way to go. As it might if he wants to retain value for a future sale. But if he wants to travel (not just drive) I have to think the 350 with OD automatic is the most effective solution.

Pat
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Old 07-14-2005, 02:08 PM
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Also keep in mind this car is not staying original to its roots. A 20 yr old mini trucker bought it. My buddy plans on taking this on actual road trips. We are from bakersfield, CA and im more than sure my buddy will be taking it to many beach trips...pismo, long beach and so on.

My buddy is already talking about doing an insane paint job and maybe even an air ride system along with custom interior. I should have cleared this up earlier, but I thought you would have understood me when I said it "Street rod" you would know where it was going.
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Old 07-14-2005, 02:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 383MontecarloSS
Also keep in mind this car is not staying original to its roots. A 20 yr old mini trucker bought it. My buddy plans on taking this on actual road trips. We are from bakersfield, CA and im more than sure my buddy will be taking it to many beach trips...pismo, long beach and so on.

My buddy is already talking about doing an insane paint job and maybe even an air ride system along with custom interior. I should have cleared this up earlier, but I thought you would have understood me when I said it "Street rod" you would know where it was going.
Big difference between "street rod" and "cobble job".




tom
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Old 07-14-2005, 05:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by machine shop tom
Big difference between "street rod" and "cobble job".




tom
HAHA its my buddies choice. I wouldnt ever do a weird paint job or an air ride suspension. Thats why I labled my buddy "minitrucker".
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