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This question is from someone who has built Studebaker engines for several years, but has recently purchased and Avanti and have attracted several others to ask questions and have work done on vehicles that are rather new to me. It is my rather limited understanding, The R1 engine was labeled with an R and the number, R2 with RS and the number as it is shown on my build sheet. The build sheet on my car dated 1/30/63 with body number 63R3339. The car I am questioning has a build date of 8/30/63 with a body number of R5222.

The engine number on 5222 turned out to be a standard 289 as indicated by the heads and the camshaft. It has an engine number of RJ304. It has been opened up and worked on by someone and converted to a standard 289. What I need to know is this an anomaly, or did Studebaker indicate Avanti engines with something other than R, R2 and so on.

Ted

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42 minutes ago, Ted Jensen said:

This question is from someone who has built Studebaker engines for several years, but has recently purchased and Avanti and have attracted several others to ask questions and have work done on vehicles that are rather new to me. It is my rather limited understanding, The R1 engine was labeled with an R and the number, R2 with RS and the number as it is shown on my build sheet. The build sheet on my car dated 1/30/63 with body number 63R3339. The car I am questioning has a build date of 8/30/63 with a body number of R5222.

The engine number on 5222 turned out to be a standard 289 as indicated by the heads and the camshaft. It has an engine number of RJ304. It has been opened up and worked on by someone and converted to a standard 289. What I need to know is this an anomaly, or did Studebaker indicate Avanti engines with something other than R, R2 and so on.

Ted

Ted - Studebaker changed their engine numbering from the 1963 model year to the 1964 model year.  1963s have sequential, individual numbers.  1964s have date code numbers and there can be multiples of the same number.  P still indicates a regular 289 and R and JT still indicate an R1 depending on if it was initially installed in an Avanti or Lark type or Hawk (RS and JTS for R2).  

What you are giving as body numbers appear to be Serial Numbers (body numbers are different).

Serial Number R5222 was built in September 1963, well into the 1964 model year.  

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FWIW, R1 heads have a casting number ending in 570. Same as regular 259/289. The exhaust valves and valve springs are different. The easiest way to tell an Avanti camshaft is to look for the lobe that used to drive the fuel pump on 232s. A correct Avanti cam does not have it. The Avanti cam also has a different casting number.  I do not recall what is, but if you want to know, I have a NOS Avanti cam in the shop.

Edited by 64studeavanti
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Thank you for the response. Perhaps I did not make a statement that was clear as to what my questions are.

I understand from the Avanti books I have that Avanti engines began with R1001 or RS1001.  I am familiar with Studebakers numbering system. I am familiar with the heads and camshafts. The surprise is If Avanti engines began with 1001 in 1963 production  and I have a build sheet, corresponding to car number R5222 build on 8/30/1963, how is it that the build sheet says, and the engine number says RJ304?  The engine has been apart some time in its life. From all appearances it had rings and bearings installed. The engine that says RJ304 is a standard 289 with standard 289 parts including pistons and camshaft and camshaft gear.  Is it possible Studebaker installed standard a 289 engine built on September 3,
1964 and marked it with an R to be placed in an Avanti? Or is this something that is beyond explanation?

364352834_buildsheetR5222.thumb.jpg.b0a80866a827ea8a0be287470c64cc0c.jpg

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As explained above, RJ304 started as R1 on September 4, 1963. Some P.O. Likely changed the pistons to lower compression in order to run regular gas. The cam could have been sent in as a core for regrind and a regular cam was returned. I suppose it is also possible that the cam was too far gone and since "R" cams are very rare opted for a standard cam. Only the person who built the engine will ever know. 

I suppose Studebaker could have made a mistake, but I believe that is unlikely.

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Well I will take your word for it but with a grain of salt. Because from what I have seen and read Avanti used a different set of numbers that did not indicate the date of build. To your point R1/R2 camshafts are very easy to come by even today.  I would like to hear from other Avanti owners regarding their engine number to see if any other R1 engines used that configuration of numbers. It is interesting that this car was destined for South bend only, no dealer name, was this a local car used by administration? These are curiosities not points of argument.

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2 hours ago, Ted Jensen said:

Well I will take your word for it but with a grain of salt. Because from what I have seen and read Avanti used a different set of numbers that did not indicate the date of build. To your point R1/R2 camshafts are very easy to come by even today.  I would like to hear from other Avanti owners regarding their engine number to see if any other R1 engines used that configuration of numbers. It is interesting that this car was destined for South bend only, no dealer name, was this a local car used by administration? These are curiosities not points of argument.

Hello Ted!....really no mystery here...it's just that the 'new' (at the time) Studebaker 1964 engine serial numbering system is a little confusing...Gosh knows why Stude adopted it!!

However, to give an example, the 1964 Avanti I sold years ago (R5180) was written on 8/27/63, a few days before your Avanti, and had R1 engine # RJ303.

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By the way, Studebaker built what seems like a group of 1964 Avantis (in this serial number range) equipped very similar to yours (and my old '64).. .....mostly all R1's, automatics, painted Avanti Red, with black interiors!:o

Edited by mfg
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10 minutes ago, mfg said:

By the way, Studebaker built what seems like a group of 1964 Avantis (in this serial number range) equipped very similar to yours (and my old '64).. .....mostly all R1's, painted Avanti Red, with black interiors!:o

This was probably part of the run of Allstate Avantis.  I owned R5176.  They were made as a group and all equipped the same, including Allstate tires.

The '64 that Ed (MFG) references had an engine made one day prior to Ted's referenced engine.

EDIT: A small World of Studebakers and Avantis.  Ted and I both reside in Dutchess County, NY and account for two of this group of Allstate Avantis.  

Edited by studegary
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We will disagree on the Availability of R1/R2 cams.  If you know of a stash somewhere, let us know. I Am sure many of us would be interested.

Since you asked, my 64 Avanti, serial #5408, has engine number RJ330. That decodes to R1 engine built on September 30, 1963. It came configured as R1 engine. I have since rebuilt it with .060 over flattop pistons, ISKY ST5 cam, block zero decked and otherwise balanced and blueprinted.

One other thing you can check is that R1 engines have no transfer slots in the intake manifolds.  Standard Studebaker and R2 manifolds do have the slots. 

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Thank you guys, This information is helpful in that now I know Avanti did not all use the same engine numbering system. This is not an argument but we have R1/R2  cams ground to spec when needed. 

Gary and MFG I think you might be on to something with the Allstate cars as this was red outside and black inside with Allstate tires. It is now owned by a fella who inherited it from his grandfather. I am only remanufacturing the engine and transmission with accessories. Yes he wants it to be an R2.

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26 minutes ago, Ted Jensen said:

Thank you guys, This information is helpful in that now I know Avanti did not all use the same engine numbering system. This is not an argument but we have R1/R2  cams ground to spec when needed. 

Gary and MFG I think you might be on to something with the Allstate cars as this was red outside and black inside with Allstate tires. It is now owned by a fella who inherited it from his grandfather. I am only remanufacturing the engine and transmission with accessories. Yes he wants it to be an R2.

And I thought that you were making the switch from Studebaker trucks to Avantis. You know that it will take a lot to make it an R2.  Do you or the Avanti's owner have all of the bits and pieces necessary?  If you and the owner do not mind, where (approximately) is this Avanti (owner) located?

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Gary:  I am building two R2 engines at this time, one to Europe and one to Massachusetts.  Some of the parts are a challenge but we have most of them and offers to buy what we don't have. Not making the switch but have purchased an Avanti for my own or maybe sell after a while. I am in the process of making a E7 pickup into a supercharged truck for fun. This will be my final restoration. Will concentrate on engines and transmissions. Age has prompted this move as it is getting harder to bend and twist in ways necessary to continue restorations. Anyway after 15 truck restorations I needed a change.

Ted

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Ted, it is true you can have standard Stude cams reground to R1/R2 specs or even ST5, however, the correct R1/R2 cam has a different casting number and is not readily available. I am guessing that it also has a little more "meat" on it since it has a higher lift from the factory. Probably not significant.

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