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A little more tiger in my R1 kitten


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This is a longshot, but does anyone have any tips for me to get 30 or 40 more hp out of my R1? I live in California and good mechanics are hard to find, much less Avanti mechanics. I bought this R1211 from my brother who had it for 30 years. Thankspost-13090-0-27971700-1476507968_thumb.jpgpost-13090-0-17782500-1476508052_thumb.jpg

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I believe most will agree that the Studebaker V8 as built is pretty limited induction-wise. To get significantly more power there will need to be some serious thought into and machine work to the intake, cam, exhaust extraction and cylinder heads to allow it to breathe better and get the exhaust flowing out better. It's simply a result of the conservative design and construction by Studebaker. They considered themselves an economy car builder which was their bread-and-butter...they knew little about performance plus their limited budgets made it necessary to go to the Granatellis to get the performance they wanted from the Avanti.

With enough money and talent, you can get more out of that R1. You can do a few things around the edges to improve it such as electronic ignition, install an overdrive automatic or 5-speed manual. They won't get you more horsepower but will get what power there is to the rear tires more effectively. To get better performance...not necessarily more horsepower...try and get some weight out of the car. An aluminum driveshaft will reduce weight plus rotating mass...alloy rims...move the battery to the trunk for better weight distribution...find some aluminum pulleys (there are some out there)...install a Saturn air deflector under the front to direct more cooling air to the radiator. Installing composite leaf springs will get nearly one hundred pounds out of the car by themselves. There's lots of little things that can be done to improve performance without spending a ton of money on engine enhancements and expensive machine work. You can also find some universal fuel injection kits that will work but they likely won't be cost-effective unless you plan on driving the car a lot.

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Wander over to the Racing Studebaker forum and search around. Those folks spend a lot of time extracting more HP from those engines. In the long run, after watching Harbit, et.al., racing at the pure stock drags, I think the blower idea stated above is an excellent suggestion.

It makes up for a lot of short comings of the original design, adds serious HP quickly and will probably develop more HP at less cost than other methods. There has to be a reason Studebaker went to it and cost vs performance would be my suggestion.

Edited by Avanti83
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Lovely ride Dan. Currently I am building up an engine follwing advise from several others here and the SDC Forum. If you are in So Cal, I would be glad to show what I am working on, pm sent.

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Thanks for all the great sensible suggestions and nice comments. A Paxton would be nice, but I don't hear of those lying around anywhere. Kennie, thanks for the email. I replied today. Do you have a Studebaker Avanti as well? I'm not a mechanic, but I intend to maintain that Avanti as best as I know how. My brother is a purist, but I like old cars that will burn rubber. Besides my car used to be white with a black interior. I will be weighing my options inbetween my family and work. Keep them coming if you can think of anything else. Thanks much. Dan

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Dan,

Yes, I bought R2962 about 16 months ago. It runs but the wrist pin on the number 8 cylinder is loose and cutting a groove in the cylinder wall. I am in the process of building another engine to swap in so I don't have an entire car half disassembled. Being another engine allows me to experiment and learn what really should be done to improve a Stude engine without ruining the numbers matching block. A couple of guys near me have been particularly helpfull and I would be glad to pass on what I have learned.

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your compression is to high for a charger. you can get a R2+ camshaft for it. that will give you some power, From what I am seeing , the only way to get power is to improve on the internals. the heads flow very very poor numbers, porting and better valves will help. you can lower your compression and get a sn-60 supercharger from nash nimeshi Solanki, he also is making the brackets. you can pony up some money for a evans aluminum intake. I have been searching for performance items myself, so far I see the best effort is in the heads.

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Wow! That's enough to get me started. Thanks Avanti83 for the link and Endl98 for your contribution, and Kenny I will be calling you soon since we live close by (100-150 miles). Avanti83, do you know anyone using one of those superchargers presently?

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Dan,

Keep in mind, if you have flat top pistons, the blower will be a disaster! Stock compression is 10.25:1, an R2 engine was 8:1. Either engine is prone to detonation, likely severe.

To make any power (regardless whether R 1 or 2) you need to CAREFULLY port the heads but even more importantly un-shroud the valves. A good porting job doesn't end at the valve seat. Stock ports only flow around 135 cfm, if done right a mild port job and reshaping of the combustion chamber can increase the flow 25-40%. That is assuming you upgrade the intake valve to R3. For exhaust, stick with R 1/2, it's big enough.

At that point, stepping up from the R 1/2 cam to the R 3 cam will release more power. Then you can actually see some benefit from headers and a manifold.

Currently I am working on the heads, the lower end is ready for assembly. With .060" over dished pistons (19-20.5 cc), decked block (.035" squish) and heads milled .040" and chambers openned around the valves, I will get around 8.25:1 compression with a denser charge. What this will result in at the rear wheels, hard to say but if I can get near the original power with common pump gas, I'll be over the moon.

Ken

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Ken, will you be around working on your car this coming Sunday, or will you be busy? I would like to come up and see in person and try to soak up a little information. I am going on a motorcycle ride with about 30 people on Saturday. Dan

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Dan,

I've been on the road for couple of weeks so you had better believe I will be home. You could say a few honey-do's need to be caught up with. Meet me in Pasadena and I can show you my car itself and I'll have the cylinder heads here as well. One is done, the other I am about to dive in so you can see what needs to be done.

Ken

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