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About PackardV8

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  • My Avanti
    1963 R4370

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  1. Yes, changing the torque converter to the proper R-series unit will make a noticeable improvement. When another Avanti owner rode with me, he commented on how much more responsive mine was starting in 1st gear, but he said, "That's just too much hassle to do that back-and-forth manual shifting every time." He put a Chevy in his; problem solved. jack vines
  2. Since the torque converter was changed, we might as well ask if you know for certain your rear gear ratio? Second question; do you start in low gear, manually shift to second? Bottom line, the Studebaker 289" is a small engine in a heavy car. It needs all the help it can get to approximate the performance some take for granted with today's cars. jack vines
  3. I've done it and it's a wonderful improvement and the reduction in engine RPM/noise makes the car much more pleasant for highway driving. There will be a small improvement in MPG. Suggest investigating a GM 200-4R as an alternative. The gear ratios are much better for the Stude V8, the cost of a rebuilt unit is similar and the details of the swap are identical. Having said this, it requires someone who can follow directions and will spend the money to do it correctly. Companies such as BowTieOverdrives have the carburetor linkage, the gauge kit and instructions necessary for a successful swap. Depending upon from whom you buy your transmission, the governor which comes with it may not be correct for your rear gear ratio. GM made dozens of different governors for 4-cyl, 6-cyl and V8s; these control part of the RPM point at which the transmission upshifts. Most auto trans rebuild shops will have a bucket full of governors. Choosing the one you want is not an exact science; more of a try-it-and-see. Fortunately, they're external and easily swapped. Also, the Stude floor shift doesn't mate up well, but the U-Pik yards are full of GM 4-speed auto floor shifters for cheap. jack vines
  4. Jeremy, my memory isn't what it once was either: The first Ford automatic, Ford-O-Matic, introduced in 1951, designed by the Warner Gear Division of Borg Warner. It evolved into Cruise-O-Matic in 1958 and finally the FMX in 1968. While the B-W transmission was also used by AMC, IH, Volvo, Checker and many others, Studebaker was the only company to use the Flight-O-Matic designation. jack vines
  5. When testing the oil pump by motoring it with a long shaft and a drill motor, remember it turns counterclockwise. I was called in to consult on an engine with an oil pressure problem. They were driving the oil pump clockwise. X3 - I've never seen a failed pump. Let us know what you find. jack vines
  6. 1. Is there oil pressure when you drive the oil pump with a shaft and drill motor? 2. If yes, verify the distributor gear is locked to the shaft and the lower shaft is locked to the upper shaft. 3. When installed, is the distributor flange fully seated against the block? 4. Is the distributor rotating when the engine is cranked over? jack vines
  7. It will be the casting number above the two center exhaust ports. Verify both heads. jack vines
  8. While the slave cylinder has the sole advantage of being externally replaceable, it's not the best for feel and actuation. The hydraulic throwout bearing does require pulling the tranny if it ever needs replacing, but GM warrantied them for 50,000 miles. How many years will it take us to drive an Avanti that many? I like the ease of installation, the feel of the direct engagement so much that I now use the hydraulic throwout bearing on all my manual transmission conversions. I even have one behind the Packard V8 in my E12 pickup. jack vines
  9. All, '62-64 full-flow blocks are the same, even those built as 259"s. However, don't buy a 259" as your core; 289" crankshafts are getting expensive, so buy a complete core. When you get to that point, there are options. The R1 10.25 compression is too high for today's pump gas. The good news is semi-dished pistons are available to lower the compression for the same price as the original flat top pistons. If one has never rebuilt a Studebaker V8, there are many small but critically important steps which are different than a small block Chevy. Do you drive your Avanti in the winter? If not, save yourself the cost of the core and add to the value of the car by rebuilding the original engine. (If you're thinking of DIY, plan to lose at least one summer season of driving, because home rebuilds never proceed as smoothly or as rapidly as one would wish.) jack vines
  10. The Ashtabula plant was built by Rockwell International in 1959. . . . made unsaturated polyester resins used in car parts, boats, shower stalls and sink tops. Ashland Chemical Inc., bought it from Rockwell in 1979 and operated it until 2000 when production ceased. jack vines
  11. Even though the Studebaker V8 is a small block internally, externally it's a big block , this means any US OHV8 engine would fit in the Avanti engine compartment and most have been transplanted in at one time or another. I've seen Cadillac, big block and hemi Mopar, Oldsmobile and big block Chevy. As mentioned, most Ford oil pans are front sump, but there are various truck pans which would have made the swap possible. As to the slant sick Mopar, we'll have to agree to disagree. Its reputation for longevity is because it doesn't make enough horsepower to stress even four main bearings. jack vines
  12. FWIW, the engine number indicates in what body the block was originally installed and with what parts it was originally built. Problem is, Stude V8s are now 60-70 years old and have been through many reincarnations. One local Avanti owner bought a long-distance R2. When it arrived, there was a stock 259" under the supercharger. Another time, I bought a P-code 289" and even verified there were dished pistons inside. Problem was, an unscrupulous SDC member had installed a 259" crankshaft. Bottom line - the only way to know what he has is to disassemble and check. jack vines
  13. X3 on going electronic. Carburetors and distributors are crude mechanisms which don't have the ability to manage a supercharged engine to maximum output. Take an R2 or R3 and run it flat out up a long mountain pass. Guaranteed a terminal meltdown several minutes into the run. Today, there are 2-liter turbo engines making 335 horsepower with a warranty. With a computer to control ignition and injection, adding an intercooler, a good R3 might make 500 horsepower and live. jack vines
  14. Since I've never had one of the original Winfield cams on a Cam Doctor to verify the specs I can't speak from that. However, I'll ask the guy who raced them if he has more specificity. IIRC his comments correctly, the 276-degree advertised timing was similar on both the Winfield and the production R3 cam. The reason Studebaker Engineering changed the lobe profile for the production engines was the Winfield was more intense, producing too much lifter click and probably shorter cam lobe life. The racer does remember none of the race cars were as fast with the production cams. This article will also mention how some of the A and B engines were modified and/or swapped into more than one car owned/driven by a Granatelli or sold to friends and employees. Sometimes, the production engines were pulled out and sold separately when another was installed and then that engine was swapped when the car was sold. What is "original" depends on what point in time is being referenced. The #5 Hawk was built as an R1, raced as an R3 and an R4 and then sold with an R1 reinstalled. As far as "an engine which was set up and verified by the Granatellis", each A-series was slightly different as they learned what the Studebaker V8 required to be fast. The article I mentioned will detail how Paxton borrowed ideas from the few Stude racers out there. Then, after the shut-down at South Bend as the leftover R3 engines and parts began to run out, they/Paxton would still sell an "R3". I know of one member who in the late 1960s purchased an R3 long block directly from them and when it arrived, it had ported stock heads, stock rods; basically a stock long block with R3 pistons and cam in it. His complaints were ignored. jack vines
  15. Ed, there's a forthcoming Turning Wheels article about the #5 '64 Hawk raced at Bonneville and R3 history in general. In that will be details as to how the A-series were built with Winfield cams. After Bonneville, the plan was to run them at the NHRA Nationals. By this time Studebaker had released specs for the production R3 engines and so to be legal for NHRA, the race cars had to take out the Winfield cams and swap them for the production Studebaker cams. This account is from the guy who was there as it happened. jack vines
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