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R3 Gears!


mfg
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Over the course of the January 1964 HRM road test of the Avanti R3 powered 1964 Studebaker Daytona Hardtop, the rear end gear ratio was changed ......?...... times.

1) Never changed from 'as built'......2) Once.......3) Twice......or......4) Three

Edited by mfg
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2 hours ago, r1lark said:

I think twice.........once to a higher ratio for the Bonneville 150 mph run, then back to a lower ratio for the remainder of the road tests.

Sorry, answer #3 is incorrect.:(

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I'll push back on this one Ed. :o

I dug up my January 1964 copy of Hot Rod Magazine. On page 33, first column, the article says: "..........Managing Editor Dick Wells took our test Lark to the salt flats and joined the factory team for a day with some high speed runs. The Lark was equipped with 3.31:1 rear axle ratio, outfitted with a set of Sears Allstate Bonneville high speed tires, fitted with a new set of Champion spark plugs and an open exhaust replaced the mufflers."  The car then ran 150+ mph with Dick Wells driving. (Did the car already have the 3.31:1 ratio in it, or did the Studebaker/Granatelli Team install that 3.31:1 ratio rear axle for the Bonneville runs?)

Then, on page 33, second column, the article says: "........instead of installing a 4.55:1 or 4.89:1 axle ratio after the Bonneville runs, we decided to use "street' gearing and try the Lark on all types of terrain and under many conditions before we went draggin' for keeps. The ratio installed in the Lark was 3.73:1 with Twin Traction."

The article doesn't say what the rear axle ratio was when Hot Rod picked the car up at Paxton. But even if we 'assume' the axle ratio was already the 3:31:1 that was ran at Bonneville, then the rear axle ratio was changed at least once, from the 3.31:1 to the 3.73:1.  So, I disagree that the answer is "Never changed from 'as-built'".

I wonder what the rear axle ratio really was when Hot Rod picked up the Lark? To me, if Studebaker/Paxton was prepping a R3/4 speed for Hot Rod to test...........would they give them a car with a 3.31:1 ratio? Maybe a 3.54:1.......but a 3.31:1??  If anyone knows for sure, please post.

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Oh Boy guys....Sorry!!:o....when I posted "Answer #1"...believe it or not I was thinking in my head of ONCE!!

Yes, the gears were changed ONCE (at least as far as the article tells us!...I guess only Nelson Bove would know for sure!

CORRECTED ANSWER.....#2!!:wacko:

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That's one unreal Studey!....and yea, I kind of like to own it!!!:D.....however, I wonder if the few R3's that Studebaker put together all acted that (for lack of a better word) 'balky'??

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1 hour ago, mfg said:

That's one unreal Studey!....and yea, I kind of like to own it!!!:D.....however, I wonder if the few R3's that Studebaker put together all acted that (for lack of a better word) 'balky'??

My limited experience with them says, yes.  They don't like to idle, but do smooth out at higher RPMs.  

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I love the idea of having the performance of an R3, but don't see how anyone would be comfortable with driving one on the street that runs (or doesn't run) like that Lark.  I can't believe that Studebaker allowed the R3s to leave the factory unless they were at least half-way comfortable for street driving.  In the Youtube videos of running R3 Avantis I have been able to fine, they will idling but faster than would be normal.  Is that because they won't keep running at a lower idling RPM or run so rough that it must be avoided?

Sad to say, but, if the tradeoff for the performance is that an R3 inevitably acts like that Lark, I may have to stop dreaming about having an R3 clone one day.  

I would love to hear from someone who has ridden in an R3 Stude of some kind, and could tell me what it is really like. 

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3 hours ago, VtMike said:

I love the idea of having the performance of an R3, but don't see how anyone would be comfortable with driving one on the street that runs (or doesn't run) like that Lark.  I can't believe that Studebaker allowed the R3s to leave the factory unless they were at least half-way comfortable for street driving.  In the Youtube videos of running R3 Avantis I have been able to fine, they will idling but faster than would be normal.  Is that because they won't keep running at a lower idling RPM or run so rough that it must be avoided?

Sad to say, but, if the tradeoff for the performance is that an R3 inevitably acts like that Lark, I may have to stop dreaming about having an R3 clone one day.  

I would love to hear from someone who has ridden in an R3 Stude of some kind, and could tell me what it is really like. 

Good points Mike!.....To me, this situation is what inevitably happens when a smaller cubic inch engine is tweaked to compete with other domestic automakers (then) much larger cubic inch high performance engines.......Really can't have it 'both ways'!!:D

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Found something in an old Hot Rod Magazine road test that I found interesting . . .  it makes me think the R3s came from the factory with a milder and more streetable setup and the rough running may have been caused by owners tweaking their small engines to squeeze a little more out of them.  

The last test car we used was the new R2 and we made no attempt to try it at the drags. We just drove it and enjoyed it. A few short bursts through the gears in remote locations proved that it had adequate power, as Studebaker claims. Even with the blower, the engine is very smooth, quiet and docile as a limousine in heavy traffic. Amazingly enough, we used the R3 version in our travels to and from the office and except for the objectionable gear ratio we had fitted for the drags, it too was a very smooth car for daily duties.

 

 

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Per Studebaker Sales Letters 103 and 161, the R3 "...is not regarded as ideally suited for city driving under heavy traffic conditions.  We offer no warranty on this engine because of the highly specialized conditions of its use."

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When I listen to that video I hear a cold engine and no attempt to keep it running using the throttle. It also sounded like it hadn't been set up for proper idle and maybe wasn't jetted for the elevation. Normal idle speed for most hot cam engines can be over 1000 rpm and this one WAS NOT THERE... Perhaps 'just coming off the trailer' wasn't the best time to get a video of that car! I will allow it to be parked in my driveway beside my R2 Avanti and I will even setup the idle, gratis...

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58 minutes ago, StudeNorm said:

When I listen to that video I hear a cold engine and no attempt to keep it running using the throttle. It also sounded like it hadn't been set up for proper idle and maybe wasn't jetted for the elevation. Normal idle speed for most hot cam engines can be over 1000 rpm and this one WAS NOT THERE... Perhaps 'just coming off the trailer' wasn't the best time to get a video of that car! I will allow it to be parked in my driveway beside my R2 Avanti and I will even setup the idle, gratis...

Agreed!...(except I want it parked in MY driveway!!:D)

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12 hours ago, VtMike said:

If that is all it is, I would buy the Lark and transplant the R3 into an Avanti.  Then I would have my Avanti R3 clone I've been dreaming of . . .

I know what you mean!....It's like an authentic R3 engine 'deserves' to be in an AVANTI!!!:o

Still, that '64 Daytona, boxy looking as it is, is still one rare baby!!:D

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  • 3 years later...

After several years, I finally noticed this discussion of my R3 Lark. I was also wondering how in the world Studebaker could sell a car that acted as bad as this one does when it’s cold? It would, however, smooth out when the engine warmed up. I was relieved to find out that this engine would not have acted this way in 1964 as the proper fuel was available at that time. Shortly after this video and with an empty gas tank , I put five gallons of 100 octane aviation fuel in the tank. The difference on the engines attitude was unbelievable. It will now start easily when dead cold or even after a lengthy winter storage. It idles smooth and acts like a regular car.

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13 hours ago, Nelson said:

After several years, I finally noticed this discussion of my R3 Lark. I was also wondering how in the world Studebaker could sell a car that acted as bad as this one does when it’s cold? It would, however, smooth out when the engine warmed up. I was relieved to find out that this engine would not have acted this way in 1964 as the proper fuel was available at that time. Shortly after this video and with an empty gas tank , I put five gallons of 100 octane aviation fuel in the tank. The difference on the engines attitude was unbelievable. It will now start easily when dead cold or even after a lengthy winter storage. It idles smooth and acts like a regular car.

Thank you for your input...The gasoline available at the pumps today truly is disappointing!

Such an interesting, wonderful Studebaker!!!

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15 hours ago, brad said:

Nels,is that the 288 cam? The R3s I've had a hand in were quite streetable. They had the milder 276 cam. 

Brad. I know it’s not a 276 cam and it sounds too radical even for the 288. I know Paxton was having the early experimental cams and the final ones designed at the same shop that was doing there Novi work. Normally I’d remember the name of the shop but my brain isn’t what is used to be. I’ll probably remember it as soon as I post this…or probably not.

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The R3 (B86) I had in my Avanti in the latter 1960s was very streetable.  I ordered it from Paxton Products ($725 + shipping) and specified the 276 cam.  The idle was normal for an R engine.  I recall being amazed at how quickly it would rev up when operating the throttle linkage.

--Dwight

Edited by Dwight FitzSimons
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