Yes, No, Maybe

by jack vines


Yes, back in the bad old days, these little puppies were working trucks, so I know first hand a 170" in as-new condition will pull a 2900# trailer; just slowly and dangerously if in today's urban or interstate traffic. Make sure the trailer brakes are connected and working well, leave early for your destination and look well ahead.

No, I wouldn't do it today.

Maybe, evaluate the engine condition and drive it a while before making any decisions. Champions smoke because they all have valve guide wear and worse yet, lifter bore wear. From 1939 on, Studebaker Engineering knew the weaknesses, but didn't fix the problem. Parts Department stocked .001" and .005" oversize lifters and a special reamer. Those are now NLA. If we ever get in another Champion to rebuild, we'll experiment with bronze bushings for the lifter bores. We have developed a method of installing positive seals on the valve guides, which also help with the oil burning. Neither fix is easy or inexpensive, but it is preferable to pretending the problem isn't there.

jack vines

Posted on Dec 5, 2017, 12:15 PM
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