Gunners Garage

2-Engine F-150 (or Studebaker Big Six in the back)

The 245.9 cid Big Six has engineering that dates back to the Erskine of the 1930s. It is a heavy six-cylinder motor. So we used hefty chains to lift it.

The 245.9 cid Big Six has engineering that dates back to the Erskine of the 1930s. It is a heavy six-cylinder motor. So we used hefty chains to lift it.

 

For the past week or so we’ve been driving a very rare vehicle—a 2013 Ford F-150 Crew Cab with two engines. The engines included the 302-cid Ford V-8 under the hood of the truck and the Studebaker “Big Six” under the fiberglass tonneau cover.

Amazing, just a few months ago, the Studebaker engine was, as they say, a “boat anchor.” The car that it came out of – our son Jesse’s ’49 Studebaker Commander Starlight coupe – had sat for at least 30 years and it appears that the cylinder head was off the engine for most of that time. In fact, the head was locked in the trunk and we had no key to open it.

We finally punched in the Studebaker’s trunk lock and got to the parts inside. Then, we dragged the works to Antigo Auto Parts (locations.bumpertobumper.com), the Bumper-to-Bumper store in Antigo, Wis. This is one of just a few auto parts stores we know of that still do engine rebuilding. We gather the parts for them and they take care of everything else right down to painting the engine and accessories.

 

The rebuilder had the engine rigged to lift it up sideways, so we used a tow strap and wood frame to make it sit upright so we can mount it in a stand.

The rebuilder had the engine rigged to lift it up sideways, so we used a tow strap and wood frame to make it sit upright so we can mount it in a stand.

 

So, why were we riding around with the engine in the back of our pickup for a week? Well, when we took the engine out of the car, we mounted it in one of those engine stands with a T-shaped base. It was a sturdy stand that held the big Studebaker six, but it wasn’t as stable as it was strong. Our home shop has an apron that slants down slightly by the door and the engine started rolling a tipped over! A couple of parts got bent up in that process and we had to dig up spares from RPM Classic Parts (www.rpmclassicparts.com) in Albert Lea, Minn.

So, after we had the engine rebuilt in Antigo, we certainly didn’t want to drop it again. We made a trip to the Harbor Freight (www.harborfreight.com) outlet in Appleton, Wis., and purchased a 2000-lb. engine lift with long legs that spread out so the darned thing won’t tip over when we mount the Big Six in it.

With it being cold in Wisconsin at this time of year, we had to wait for a 25-degree day (yes we consider that warm up here) to unload both the engine stand and the engine. That day rolled around this past weekend, which was a week and a day from the time we picked the motor up. So, we had a 2-engine F-150. We hear they are pretty unique. (By the way, we use the terms “motor” and “engine” interchangeably, which some hobbyists don’t agree with, but if a car was a motorcar and early motorists went motoring, than an engine is a motor!)

 

The shop did everything from installing cylinder liners to painting the motor, the exhaust manifolds and all the engine accessories.

The shop did everything from installing cylinder liners to painting the motor, the exhaust manifolds and all the engine accessories.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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