1963 Studebaker Champ Restoration
Note: When rebuilding the engine it could cost you up to $5000+ to do a complete rebuild. A complete
rebuild may not be needed as sometimes the motor only needs new rings or a valve job but even this will
cost $2000+ depending on what is required. Ensure your machine shop knows Studebaker engines as I
had one that forgot to install valve stem seals even after I supplied the parts. Getting a good used motor is
another option but buyer beware as many people say the motor worked fine but in reality is just another
motor in need of a rebuild. Best to hear it run before buying, check for cleanliness proper assembly. If all
you are looking for good used engine parts then pay accordingly (Core Value) I have paid as little as $100
up to $250 for used V8 engines. They are worth that in parts alone but remember a 50+ yr old motor will
always need some sort of machine work.
Task: Install Engine Top End
When I purchased the Champ it only had a short block which did turn over and looked in good
condition. All of the other parts were sitting in the cab or pickup box. I thoroughly checked all parts to
ensure they were serviceable. I installed rebuild cylinder heads with new valves and stem seals. One valve
seat also had to be replaced. All new gaskets were used to include head, valley & head covers. Used Loctite
Aviation gasket sealant since Perfect Seal is no longer available. Checked all lifters for cracks and oiled
prior to re-installation. Checked Dowel pins for fit and roundness. I lubed cylinder walls with oil while
turning over engine to work the oil in and ensured that Head gaskets were installed "This Side Up".
Clean all Head bolts (Wire Brush or die if required) & block threads with thread chaser/tap if required.
Used anti-seize on bolts when installing.
Installed rocker arm assemblies with straight push rods. Push rods
installed with rounded shiny end up. Torque Heads in proper sequence as per manual up to 40 lbs, then
50 & finally 60 ft lbs. Note: I prefer thick Head gaskets to lower Compression ratio and for better seal.
Following Engine Firing order I turned engine over gradually and adjusted all valve (lash)
clearance to 26 thousands of an inch (cold) three times to ensure that no pushrods were loose or were too tight in
prep for engine startup. Installed Valley cover while ensuring to put copper washers on all 3 bolts & new gasket.
After about 500 miles you should remove valve covers to see if you have any loose pushrods and readjust as necessary.
Installed valve covers with new gaskets, oil filler caps and acorn nuts
Note: Read & follow your shop manual completely to ensure you have assembled your engine in proper sequence and adjusted such things as the valve clearance.
Task: Installed Distributor Totally rebuild Distributor to include new rotor, condensor, distributor cap and points. Inspected
gear teeth and oil pump end to ensure in good condition. Followed installation procedures as per
manual. Use timing light to adjust timing and ensure to disconnect vacuum line to get proper reading.
Ensure new distributor seal installed so their are no oil leaks. Lubricate Distributor with engine oil
through access hole (just a few drops) Ensure Points gap is exactly at .020 of an inch.