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VtMike

How to upgrade an R2?

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For some time, I have been dreaming about getting an Avanti and upgrading its engine to an R3 clone.  Not to build a race car . . .  just looking for something that would knock my socks off once in awhile, but still be OK for normal driving. 

But the lack of available R3 heads and/or expense of building such an engine may be an unrealistic pipe dream.

So I am wondering how far I could get by upgrading an R2 without totally breaking the bank?  Bore to 299 or 304 cu in?  Port and polish the heads?  Increase intake valve size as much as those heads allow?   Heavy duty valve springs?  Rebuilding supercharger to R3 boost level?

I understand from other threads that the intake manifold may be the choke point that would limit the effectiveness of other upgrades.  What is the best solution to that problem?

Also, aside from looking cool as hell, does the R3 air box do anything for performance?

Really appreciate any thoughts.

Mike

 

 

 

 

 

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Yes, to all of the above.

To reach the maximum potential of the Studebaker V8, the cylinder heads require professional porting, larger intake valves and an improved intake manifold.  There are only a few of Jeff Rice's modified Mopar intakes which will fit under a C.K/Avanti hood when using an R3 airbox.

FWIW, I have one of his single-plane aluminum intakes and a Rochester Quadrajet which would be good in an R3 airbox.  

jack vines

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Jack -  thanks very much for the response.

If such things were done right, what would the ball park be for the HP?

 

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2 hours ago, VtMike said:

Jack -  thanks very much for the response.

If such things were done right, what would the ball park be for the HP?

 

In my opinion, large intake valves and extensive porting work are somewhat unnecessary in a supercharged engine.....Supercharger pressure more than makes up for the lack of big valves and extensive porting work.

Also, I'd stay away from single plane manifolds for street driven vehicles...especially ones that may be driven in colder climates.

One somewhat inexpensive power mod which an R2 engine will benefit from would be to relocate the air filter assy from under the hood (as Studebaker did on the R3's ) to the outer radiator intake area.....Hot under hood air definitely hampers the performance of a supercharged engine....especially one not equipped with an intercooler.....Ed

PS..the R3 airbox mod is a good idea....because of the safety aspects over a sealed carb if nothing else!:)

 

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In my opinion, large intake valves and extensive porting work are somewhat unnecessary in a supercharged engine.....Supercharger pressure more than makes up for the lack of big valves and extensive porting work.

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You're welcome to your own opinion, but not to your own facts.  The Studebaker Engineering dynometer and my own dyno tests conclusively proved the Studebaker V8 does need larger intake valves and extensive porting to exceed the 289hp of the R2.  That's what they did to the R3 to achieve 335hp.  (Yes, the additional 15.5 cubic inches and longer camshaft timing  did add some of that 46 horsepower.  The R3 Engineering Blueprints include specifications and notations for hand porting the enlarged intake passages of the R3 heads.  There is no evidence any of the nine production engines received that extra work.)

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Also, I'd stay away from single plane manifolds for street driven vehicles...especially ones that may be driven in colder climates.

I've never noticed single plane intakes being worse in colder climates.  Are we confusing blocking off the exhaust crossover heat in the intake?  In any case, the R2 intake gaskets already restrict the exhaust crossover passage.  Studebaker Engineering thought the tradeoff necessary.

jack vines

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5 hours ago, PackardV8 said:

I've never noticed single plane intakes being worse in colder climates.  Are we confusing blocking off the exhaust crossover heat in the intake?  In any case, the R2 intake gaskets already restrict the exhaust crossover passage.  Studebaker Engineering thought the tradeoff necessary.

jack vines

I believe you may need to re-read Mike's inquiry Jack....He's looking for better performance from his R2, while keeping good normal driving characteristics.

I'm surprised you don't think that a good dual plane intake manifold is much more 'streetable' in colder climates than a single plane manifold.....It definitely is!:o

Also, you're incorrect in your assessment of R3 type Studebaker engines....The first nine or ten of them DID NOT have larger valves than the regular Stude 289! (although they did benefit from extensive porting and polishing work)

I realize that being a Packard V8 man, you are a follower of the "BIGGER IS BETTER" school of thought....but you need to try and understand that an engine of any cubic inch size, small or large, greatly benefits from a well planned supercharger setup.

Remember, Andy's Novi only had a displacement of 169CI, did not have big valves, and had a rather restrictive intake path.... yet it produced over 8oo horsepower at the end of its life cycle...Why?...because it had a SUPERCHARGER!!.......Your results may vary!...Be well!....Ed:)

Edited by mfg
Spell Check

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Also, you're incorrect in your assessment of R3 type Studebaker engines....The first nine or ten of them DID NOT have larger valves than the regular Stude 289! (although they did benefit from extensive porting and polishing work)

Ed, we're going to have to agree to disagree on this one.  If it doesn't have the larger valves and intake ports, it's not an R3.  

jack vines

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3 hours ago, PackardV8 said:

Ed, we're going to have to agree to disagree on this one.  If it doesn't have the larger valves and intake ports, it's not an R3.  

jack vines

Jack, you're overlooking the first nine or ten R3's....the 299CI "A" series engines....Those engines had standard size Studebaker 289CI V8 valves with, as I mentioned, extensive porting & polishing work.

The R3 engine in 1963 Studebaker Avanti 63R1025 (the 1963 Hot Rod Magazine Avanti R3 road test car) is an example of one of those 'early' R3 engines.......Ed:)

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No, Ed, they weren't overlooked; those were prototype California hot rods; no two were alike and have little resemblance to production R3 engines.  

The "World's Fastest Production Car" fable will be with us forever.  Those who were there in the day know and have reported there was nothing "production" about those cars.  They were hand-built race cars.  How did the United States Auto Club  certify the Avanti R-3 as completely stock?   The engine hadn't yet gone into production, but since Studebaker, STP and Paxton were paying USAC to be there, "stock" was whatever Andy said it was.

Just one of several examples; when the R3 actually went into production, Studebaker Engineering refused to use the Winfield camshaft design from the race engines.  They determined it would be too noisy and too short-lived for a production car.

FWIW, several of the modifications used in those "A" engines were submitted to the Pure Stock Muscle Car Drag Race Tech Committee for their approval to use in PSMCDR competition.  They were unanimous, "Factory race team prototypes are not stock cars.  If it didn't come down the production line available for general sales, don't bring it to race."

jack vines

Edited by PackardV8

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1 hour ago, PackardV8 said:

No, Ed, they weren't overlooked; those were prototype California hot rods; no two were alike and have little resemblance to production R3 engines.  

The "World's Fastest Production Car" fable will be with us forever.  Those who were there in the day know and have reported there was nothing "production" about those cars.  They were hand-built race cars.  How did the United States Auto Club  certify the Avanti R-3 as completely stock?   The engine hadn't yet gone into production, but since Studebaker, STP and Paxton were paying USAC to be there, "stock" was whatever Andy said it was.

Just one of several examples; when the R3 actually went into production, Studebaker Engineering refused to use the Winfield camshaft design from the race engines.  They determined it would be too noisy and too short-lived for a production car.

FWIW, several of the modifications used in those "A" engines were submitted to the Pure Stock Muscle Car Drag Race Tech Committee for their approval to use in PSMCDR competition.  They were unanimous, "Factory race team prototypes are not stock cars.  If it didn't come down the production line available for general sales, don't bring it to race."

jack vines

Great conversation Jack....and I do appreciate you're taking the time to read my thoughts on this subject!

Let me make my point once again......I'm not particularly concerned if those early "A" series R3's were/are considered production engines or not.

What I''m saying is that those early R3's made BIG power (and set records) with the same smaller valves as used in "normal" Stude 289 engines.....The bigger valves that you seem to be pushing so hard for really aren't necessary on engines equipped with a supercharger.....The supercharger more than makes up for smaller valves!

Now I'm not saying larger valves wouldn't give an engine even higher power....they would....however, Mike mentioned he is interested in more power while retaining the respectable street manners which his R2 has now.....Big valves and/or super-hi-lift cams would not help those street characteristics..... And as far as racing engines go, I think, once again, that Andy's Novi V8 makes my point very nicely!............Ed:)

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I believe I recall that the 288 (?) cam R3 was described by Bez as "wild."  But I thought the milder R3 cam (266?) option had, in your words, at least somewhat respectable street manners.  I think I recall the R3 road test back in the day indicating that the R3 was a comfortable car for normal driving.  But my memory is suspect and the road test guys may not have been too picky about driving comfort, so I would like to hear more on the issue of how uncomfortable an R2 would be to drive with bigger valves and the other mods I was thinking about.   

By the way, I came across a very interesting commentary in another forum by someone going by "Dare-to-be-different," who said he had years of Stude drag racing experience, and, among other things, said that the R 1 & 2 cams performed better in the Stude engines because they were a much better match than the R3 cams.  He described increasing valve size as the biggest bang for the buck in terms of performance options.  I don't know who he is, but he had a lot of interesting things to say about what did and didn't work for him in Stude engines.

 

 

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29 minutes ago, VtMike said:

I believe I recall that the 288 (?) cam R3 was described by Bez as "wild."  But I thought the milder R3 cam (266?) option had, in your words, at least somewhat respectable street manners.  I think I recall the R3 road test back in the day indicating that the R3 was a comfortable car for normal driving.  But my memory is suspect and the road test guys may not have been too picky about driving comfort, so I would like to hear more on the issue of how uncomfortable an R2 would be to drive with bigger valves and the other mods I was thinking about.   

By the way, I came across a very interesting commentary in another forum by someone going by "Dare-to-be-different," who said he had years of Stude drag racing experience, and, among other things, said that the R 1 & 2 cams performed better in the Stude engines because they were a much better match than the R3 cams.  He described increasing valve size as the biggest bang for the buck in terms of performance options.  I don't know who he is, but he had a lot of interesting things to say about what did and didn't work for him in Stude engines.

 

 

I've never ran the standard R3 276' cam in any of my Avantis......I've heard (for what it's worth) that it takes some 'bottom end' torque away from the engine....while improving high-RPM performance.

In a street driven Studebaker Avanti, give me as much 'bottom end' torque as possible!.....Ed:)

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The production R3 cam is 276 degrees duration.  To make best use of it in a modified stock head requires a custom intake manifold, R3 airbox, professional porting, larger intake valves and the R3 exhaust system.  Even with that, the increased power will be mostly above 4,000 RPM.

If one is going to use the OEM iron intake manifold, the 260 degree R2 cam or the 266 degree R2+ cam is usually a better choice.

jack vines

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16 hours ago, PackardV8 said:

 

If one is going to use the OEM iron intake manifold, the 260 degree R2 cam or the 266 degree R2+ cam is usually a better choice.

jack vines

i agree with you on that Jack!:)

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Without going into much of this discussion I would make a couple of comments.  First I have driven an R3 powered Avanti with an automatic transmission and the 276 cam and it was no problem on the street.  Second, you can overcome head restriction with more pressure from a blower but there are two downsides.  The increased pressure results in higher air temperature which is not good for power.  The second is that the higher pressure results in more power required to drive the supercharger.

The best route even with a supercharged engine is to reduce the restriction in the intake path.  In other words, larger valves, porting and a less restrictive manifold.

None of this is a mater of opinion, just simple physics.

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14 hours ago, 64Avanti said:

Without going into much of this discussion I would make a couple of comments.  First I have driven an R3 powered Avanti with an automatic transmission and the 276 cam and it was no problem on the street.  Second, you can overcome head restriction with more pressure from a blower but there are two downsides.  The increased pressure results in higher air temperature which is not good for power.  The second is that the higher pressure results in more power required to drive the supercharger.

The best route even with a supercharged engine is to reduce the restriction in the intake path.  In other words, larger valves, porting and a less restrictive manifold.

None of this is a mater of opinion, just simple physics.

Yes there's really no doubt a hot cam, larger valves, and a port & polish job will add power....It really just depends on how much 'streetability' you're willing to sacrifice!

Also, I notice you live in California (southern?)....If that's the case, allow me to point out that a Studebaker Avanti powered by an R3 engine will behave quite differently in the month of January in New England than January in sunny California!......Ed:)

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I ran  the R3 engine in the car I did in Georgia, with a comp cams 279degree  .511 lift cam, and it was quite mild feeling . I never tried the more radicle 288. One must remember the larger displacement the engine the more duration cams have less effect on the idle . Huge engines can take more duration without being lumpy and not driveabe. As a side note that R3 engine made 405 hp. 

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Sagandaga  -  I saw your PM yesterday but can't find it now.  Don't know how to do a PM response.  Anyway,  I appreciate the info that you shared and will get back to you if and when my plan starts to come together.  Mike

 

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13 hours ago, brad said:

I ran  the R3 engine in the car I did in Georgia, with a comp cams 279degree  .511 lift cam, and it was quite mild feeling . I never tried the more radicle 288. One must remember the larger displacement the engine the more duration cams have less effect on the idle . Huge engines can take more duration without being lumpy and not driveabe. As a side note that R3 engine made 405 hp. 

For true, Brad; a more current best science cam, such as your 279-degree Comp Cams is very different in most respects than the 1950s Studebaker cam grinds.  FWIW, the original A-series prototype engines were built with Winfield cams.  Studebaker Engineering decided they were too intense and too noisy for the production B-series engines.  The 276-degree cam chosen for the production engines has much milder ramps and produced less power.

Also, the Comp Cams getting .579" lift in 279 degrees indicates a much more intense rate of lift than the OEM .406" lift in 276 degrees.

Intake and exhaust manifolds influence how a given cam feels and behaves.  The OEM Studebaker iron dual plane intake and exhausts help to tame cam duration.  The same cam run with a single plane intake and custom four tube exhaust headers feels and sounds quite different.

Congrats on that 405hp in a package which will fit under an Avanti hood and look mostly original.  Those two are not easy, as many have discovered.

jack vines

 

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5 hours ago, PackardV8 said:

  FWIW, the original A-series prototype engines were built with Winfield cams. 

jack vines

 

Not all of them were Jack.    (Unless the specific Winfield cam had the same 276' duration as Stude later used in the "B" R3!).....Ed:)

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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

Edited by PackardV8

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7 hours ago, PackardV8 said:

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

That article should be interesting! However,  as I personally know someone who owns one of those engines, an engine which was set up and verified by the Granatellis ( 276' camshaft), I find you're saying that NONE of the "A' R3's had that 276' cam a bit of a S-T-R-E-T-C-H Jack!!:o......Ed :)

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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

 

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