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pres589 (djronnebaum)
pres589 (djronnebaum) UltimaDork
9/9/21 11:12 a.m.

We could start a debate in this thread about installing pistons "backwards", that's something you can do, and we can have an argument about it.

Really cool project.

More Tools Than Sense
More Tools Than Sense Reader
9/9/21 2:45 p.m.

Thanks for the kind words, Everybody!

It is a lowly 318, not a 360 (I guess it's a 323 now)

I've never heard of installing the pistons backwards what would be the benefit of rotating them?

wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L)
wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) PowerDork
9/10/21 5:47 a.m.

In high school, a friend bought a sweet 67 Barracuda with a 2 bbl and auto it was really impressive. It will be plenty for your oh so chrome Stude. Thanks for sharing. You do a lot with a cordless drill.

More Tools Than Sense
More Tools Than Sense Reader
10/4/21 9:49 a.m.

Well, it’s time for updates! (mainly because a new video is done)

Last thing I needed to do before putting it all back together is check all the bearing clearances. I used plastigage and found that the were a little loose but should be safe to run. 

I needed to buy a ring compressor and was very happy with the adjustable one I bought. I had heard some people say how much better the tapered, size specific ones were, but this worked a treat. No problems getting the bottom end back together.

I put the heads back together as well and was on my way. I was following along in the book at this point and really taking my time. It helped me get it all back together nicely but there are certainly one or two things in that book that are NOT accurate… I’ll get back to that later…

I had to get that matte black paint on there first before installing the cam and the heads.

Then I added a hex wrench to the end of some long thin bar stock to prime the oil pump. Worked great once I realized I had to turn the engine over to open up all the passages, duh. 

Once oil flow was confirmed, I closed it all up with intake and valve covers

The next job was to go Transmission hunting! The frame came with an automatic (boooooooooo) 

So after checking all of the dodge trucks, in all of the local junk yards, I found one without a slush-box (Yaaaaaaay)

I tried to make a timelapse video of me removing it but apparently I take way longer to remove a transmission than my go -pro takes to run out of batteries.

But anyway, here I am test fitting it.

It's an NV3500 and there's more to this story because I ended up buying the wrong size flywheel and other minor mix ups. But it's time for me to get back to work so watch the video to skip ahead and I'll finish the write up later this week, Cheers!

Part 3 of the Studabreaker!



RandolphCarter New Reader
10/4/21 10:33 a.m.
More Tools Than Sense said:

Once oil flow was confirmed, I closed it all up with intake and valve covers


Looks good!

Those don't look like the original valve covers and intake manifold. What's the story with those?

More Tools Than Sense
More Tools Than Sense Reader
10/4/21 11:47 a.m.

Picked them both up from the face-page Market-list. The intake is a Torker 2 and the valve covers are some off brand I assume, no stamps anywhere that I can see. Also, doing all the shopping in local classifieds made me realize, I really should have used a small block Chevy. Those parts are just falling out of the trees around here, Mopar, not so much. 

dropstep UberDork
10/4/21 8:43 p.m.

In reply to More Tools Than Sense :

Same problem I have finding used small block Ford parts locally. I'm always excited to see a project that doesn't have a Chevy engine though! 

More Tools Than Sense
More Tools Than Sense Reader
10/5/21 7:35 p.m.

Well, the first test fit of the transmission told me 2 things, the flywheel was too small and the starter does not work. So I ordered one of each. 

Once I had all of the parts, I came to another issue, the pilot bearing wouldn't fit inside the crank. After some googling I found out there is a bushing that holds the pilot bearing. I found one for sale but they made the mistake of listing the exact specifications of the bushing on the for sale page. So, instead of ordering one, I made one on the lathe for 'free'. Read that as 4 hours of my precious life.  

Well once I had the pilot bushing and bearing ready I installed the clutch and then spent way to long trying to line up the engine to the bell housing. But, We have a complete engine! mostly. 

Now that it's going in, it's time to install the transmission mounts. The engine mounts will stay stock, but the front transmission mount has changed due to the manual transmission being longer than the autocraptic. 

This worked out pretty well since I could use a stock mount from the 87 truck and just move it to a new location, I added some flat plate to the frame and welded in come captive bolts to finish the job. 

Next up, I just need to, you know, finish the whole car!


AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/5/21 10:18 p.m.

In reply to More Tools Than Sense :

Two things for sure:

1. All the hard work's done

2. you know what you've got.


10/22/21 10:43 a.m.

Studebaker rods will never NOT be awesome.

78CobraII New Reader
10/23/21 11:44 p.m.

Not wanting to pick nits on a great project, but will you be able to remove the transmission crossmember with the body installed?

TRX New Reader
10/26/21 1:36 p.m.

> After some googling I found out there is a bushing that holds the pilot bearing.

The original design used a solid thickwall Oilite or bronze bearing.  The needle roller bearings have a much smaller OD.  Rather than changing the cranks, which would make them non-backward-compatible, or using a custom bearing, they use an adapter bushing.

The solid bearings will wear slowly over time, and eventually need to replaced when they get too sloppy.  The needle rollers tend to fail suddenly, plus they were known to cause brinnelling of the input shaft nose.  I assume the OEMs eventually went to harder noses to fix that, since it doesn't seem to be a problem any more. 

For off-road vehicles, the needle bearings don't like water.  Even tiny amounts of contaminants or rust will hose the needles.  There are some bearings that have a tiny lip seal.  Don't depend on that.

Last time I priced parts out, the solid bearings cost 2x-3x what a needle bearing went for, and most places were out of stock anyway.  Having had a few needle bearing failures, I favor the solid bearings where practical.

APEowner SuperDork
10/26/21 2:23 p.m.
More Tools Than Sense said:1...

...I've never heard of installing the pistons backwards what would be the benefit of rotating them?

The pin bores are offset in the pistons toward the thrust side to reduce noise. Smokey Yunick discovered that by putting the pistons in backwards there was a mechanical advantage that can result in more power but with slightly reduced piston life and increased noise, particularly on cold start.  However, there's less friction if the pin is offset towards the thrust side. 

I don't remember the details but there are similar benefits and tradeoffs with having the cylinders offset from the crank centerline.

Modern engines use a combination of those offsets and their tradeoffs depending on the design criteria so not all engines use offset pins.  Some performance pistons have zero offset pins in applications where the OEM used an offset. 

In my experience playing with pin offset can produce power but we're talking small percentages and moving from zero offset away from the thrust side produces an even smaller benefit and should only be done if you need every bit of power you can get and don't care about noise or piston life.  It should also only be done if you have a repeatable dyno and the resources to do the testing to verify that you're actually accomplishing something.  Otherwise you're better off buying a quality piston and trusting that the manufacturer did the research to put the pin where it belongs for the application that the piston is designed for.



More Tools Than Sense
More Tools Than Sense Reader
11/7/21 7:10 a.m.
78CobraII said:

Not wanting to pick nits on a great project, but will you be able to remove the transmission crossmember with the body installed?

Probably.. Maybe not. I've removed the whole body from the "complete" project in about 2 hours so if it needs any major work I'll start with that anyway. 

More Tools Than Sense
More Tools Than Sense Reader
11/7/21 7:56 a.m.

Finally time for more updates! If you just want to watch the video, here it is- https://youtu.be/OI6ksF8AMOU

So, with the drivetrain installed, I wanted to get the body down on top of the frame and finish the body mounts. However, the engine wouldn't fit between the inner fenders. 

I think you know where this is going. 

Plenty of room now! 

Except in the rear. In order to center the tires in the front fenders, the frame needs to go back like 2 more inches. 

And that obviously isn't gonna happen...unless!

So much room for activities! 

Now, as cool as it would be to just watch the engine through the foot well, I think it's called a firewall for a reason. So I'll put one back in. 

First CAD templates. It needs an extra 4 inches to have access to bolts and the distributor as well as the oil pressure sender. 

Next, I bent a piece of sheet metal and spent a good long time with the stretcher shrinker combo. 

Definitely didn't work out perfectly but I'm pretty happy with the result. 

The rest was just a mess, trying to shape the bottom of this section to match was a minor nightmare but with more CAD templates and a lot of patience I got er gone. 


It's certainly not going to be the tightest seal but I think I can worry about that once the rest of the car doesn't have any massive holes in it. 

As usual, I've been putting video together so check out the latest update where I get into more details and get further along than this!



bgkast PowerDork
11/7/21 12:27 p.m.

That looks great. Slather some seam sealer on and it will be up to oem spec!

More Tools Than Sense
More Tools Than Sense Reader
11/12/21 1:41 p.m.

So, after the firewall was done, I added some more body mounts. These were the second ones I made and I probably should have added more metal to the Body of the Stude versus making them so tall off of the frame but that's where the old body mount locations were so... what are you gonna do? 

Well, next I realized that the headers couldn't actually be bolted down because they hit the frame, so first, I modified the frame.

I cut a bigger hole than this and then realized that it didn't matter...

Because the Headers were going to hit the bottom of the frame and I clearly couldn't cut up the section of the cross member where the A-arms bolted on. 

So I fixed my "fix"

And then I went back to fixing the  problem. The obvious solution would be to buy headers that fit a truck frame. So I went about modifying the ones I had.

I could fix some of the bashed up bits while I was in there. 

Definitely a fair share of butchery. I'm still pretty happy with the final product though. 



artur1808 HalfDork
11/12/21 2:53 p.m.

I noticed in the video you switch between a MIG and Stick welder when fixing that crossmember under the engine. Any particular reason for the stick welder?

More Tools Than Sense
More Tools Than Sense Reader
11/12/21 3:11 p.m.
artur1808 said:

I noticed in the video you switch between a MIG and Stick welder when fixing that crossmember under the engine. Any particular reason for the stick welder?

My MIG welder is only a little 120V unit, it doesn't really have enough power to penetrate the 3/8" steel of the cross member. 

More Tools Than Sense
More Tools Than Sense Reader
11/3/22 3:29 p.m.

In all my projects and videos and 2nd projects and 3rd projects, I completely forgot that I never finished updating this thread. 

Well better late than never, Updates!

I believe I left off having installed an engine, mostly, so now moving on to the driver controls.

But standing in the way is the Oogie Boogie man here. Hopefully I can kill both of these birds. 

The original clutch and brake go through the floor in 1950's style and I wanted to keep that, so rather than making a custom mount for the pedals, I can borrow one from the old frame... 

I was very lucky that the new Frame rail falls in mostly the same location as the old one, so I could just clamp the piece of old frame down and weld it in.

Now the Master cylinder is going to be a custom job, obviously, so step one is to make a push-rod. 

Then, a bracket to hold the master cylinder. 

The bracket needed some extra bracing of course, all simple stuff. easy to weld up. 

the push-rod ended up real short but it's not too cramped under there and it seems to move with no problems.

Next up: A Clutch!

orthoxstice Reader
11/3/22 4:27 p.m.

I enjoyed that manifold progress .gif

More Tools Than Sense
More Tools Than Sense Reader
11/7/22 6:42 p.m.

In reply to orthoxstice :

Thanks, A lot more stuff like that in the videos! (but I know you guys are reading these threads at your desk when you should be working and the sound would give you away, lol.)


With the brake pedal working, it's time to add a clutch. I couldn't find a separate master cylinder for the life of me and had to buy this fully assembled kit, but oh well, don't have to worry about bleeding it this way. 

First I needed to make the actuator pin fit the 1950's pedals. The original pin from the stude was a fork shape, I believe, and I thought about just sticking a pin through but I was worried that pin with only one mounting point would be too weak and floppy so I welded this up. Pretty simple way to encapsulate the end of the pin.

Once that was done, I needed to find a way to mount the master cylinder, which had this weird, angled bracket permanently affixed to it. This isn't a problem so long as the mounting bracket matches said angle.  I found some 1/8" plate lying around and drilled  an over-sized hole in it.

As you can see, it needs to be closer to the frame rail as well as a way to mount it to said frame. Two birds, meet stone. 

Obviously a lot of cutting and trimming happened as well and here we have a clutch cylinder mount. Which I apparently didn't take any finished pictures of. 

With all of that working, I could now build a floor on top of it. (It was really convenient that there was a huge hole in the floor right where I was working.) 

But now that that work is done, I can fix those floors( mostly). start with a rectangle o' steel.  Trim to size, use those fancy dancy cleco fasteners and weld away, you get the idea. 

You'll notice I left a hole there and that's because the 2 fluid reservoirs live under there. Obviously, removing the whole body of the car to top off your brake fluid is going to be something of a design flaw. 

So I made simple aluminum cover to be screwed in place. I may add better fasteners later as it's just held in with sheet metal screws for now... but that's a project likely to be pushed off until I do need to service said fluids. 


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