Register now to get rid of these ads!

Projects Studebaker Covers on your Chevy - Fix that Belly Button

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by scottybaccus, Feb 8, 2009.

  1. scottybaccus
    Joined: Mar 13, 2006
    Posts: 4,109


    So I know this guy that has a friend with a coworker that needs some cool valvecovers for his small block err.. Studebaker. Yeah his Studebaker. Problem is, I, umm, this guy hates oil leaks. So anyways, he heard somewhere about these cool valve covers on early Stude V8s. It seems that the 232 to 259 c.i. motors from 1953 to ??? used a nice, no name, center bolt valve cover. Follow along as this guy updates the sealing to keep those nasty oil spots off my, err... his driveway.

    First, you have to see how close the holes are to some other nameless covers to believe it. It seems they could go on that motor with only a set of bolts and a liberal application of silicone. The Studebaker covers use rubber grommets in large holes, the others use a close fit hole and an aluminum washer.

    The sealing surfaces really show what 30+ years of development can do.


    The shaded area shows how much the gaskets overlap. Not too confidence inspiring...

    I started with removal of the unnecessary parts. I saved the tops and baffles for a PCV trick to come later.


    Then I scribed a line down the center of the flange using a piece of 1/8" masonite as a guide. I cut the long sides with a cut off wheel and the short sides and corners with snips. This stuff is pretty light weight. Note that the corners on the stude covers have two different radius. This is consistent with the chevy.


    About 12-14 hours in the electrolysis tank made short work of the rust inside and out....


    No pics of the welding, but here's the drill.
    First, drill 8 3/16 fender washers to 1/4" to fit the bolts closely. Cut these down to small sqaures to tack inside the stude covers with the cylinder head or original cover used as a jig for the four stud bolts. Weld the holes closed from the top, then drill them back out from the inside using the washers as a guide. The center of the new hole will be on the inboard edge of the old hole, so this was an easy way to make that happen.
    Now use a bunch of nuts and washers to mount threaded rod in the framework of the chevy insert to help you align it inside the stude cover. Tack it in place in about 12 places, then test fit to the cylinder head. If you like it, weld it. Keep the heat to a minimum and move around after welding no more than one inch at a time. When finished, I mounted 3 cut-off wheels on my die-grinder to make a wider disk. This was the right size to grind the weld back flush with the studebaker sealing surface, being careful not to grind too much. It needs to be flat, not steve sellers pretty.
    Here's the finished product.


    I put drain holes in each end of the chevy piece to allow any oil getting between the two a way back to the pan

    The gaskets needed a minor trim at two corners...


    Now a little bit of traditional hardware to finish it off...


    The engine will be assembled soon, so I'll add that to my build thread. For the record, you can bolt centerbolt Studebaker covers on your late model belly button without all this, but now I am confident that oil leaks won't be an issue and I won't have to search out rare gaskets and grommets. Off the shelf gaskets and 5" threaded rod with brass washers and acorn nuts are easy to get.

    Ta daa!

    Last edited: Jan 14, 2011
  2. choppintops
    Joined: Dec 9, 2008
    Posts: 1,460


    I'm not into the "fake" look, but good fabricating execution.
  3. Chopperman
    Joined: Sep 26, 2006
    Posts: 1,250


    more info on the "tank" please
  4. scottybaccus
    Joined: Mar 13, 2006
    Posts: 4,109


    Thanks. I don't think it's fake. It makes a motor with 53 years of history look the part. It will look more at home with two fours, an I-beam axle and a 70 year old body. Let's save that debate. It's been beaten to death already.

  5. choppintops
    Joined: Dec 9, 2008
    Posts: 1,460


    Just like finned covers over disk brakes. Call it what you want, it is a part designed to make a modern part look like it is something it isn't. No different then the disk covers or rat rodders using hemi covers on thier chevs.:rolleyes:
  6. scottybaccus
    Joined: Mar 13, 2006
    Posts: 4,109


  7. Nice looking pair of valve covers. Thanks for posting.

  8. TP
    Joined: Dec 13, 2001
    Posts: 2,023

    from conroe tx

    Scotty, that is a nice set of vavle covers. Neat trick. Thanks for posting. As far as being fake or not who cares. Model a's didn't come with bomber seats either and I like them also.
  9. Ranunculous
    Joined: Nov 30, 2007
    Posts: 2,465


    Hey scotty,
    Great tech! This is what hot rodding is all about-taking something stock and making it look and perform better.That and having what the other guy doesn't by the labors of your own hands and talent.
  10. Dirty2
    Joined: Jun 13, 2004
    Posts: 8,903


  11. rick finch
    Joined: May 26, 2008
    Posts: 2,003

    rick finch

    Put a real Studebaker mill in it!!!:D
  12. Von Rigg Fink
    Joined: Jun 11, 2007
    Posts: 13,426

    Von Rigg Fink
    from Garage

    theres nothing wrong with this it Engine-nuity..
    atleast he isnt buying false oldsmobile sbc covers..he made these
  13. scottybaccus
    Joined: Mar 13, 2006
    Posts: 4,109


    Did I forget to mention that leaving the hole spacing alone and leaving out the webs in the chevy flange would make this a direct improvement to Studebaker? :)

    Thanks guys. I like it. Another benefit is massive clearance for big rockers. This was another consideration. I am searching for aftermarket breathers like the aluminum moon stuff that would be appropriate on a steel cover. I've seen a couple, but nothing that makes me want to put holes in these yet. I will have to look at my manifold when it comes in to see if there is room for a breather there. That's why I hung on to the old breather baffles.

    If anyone has cool breather ideas for steel covers, I'd love to see them.
  14. Danimal
    Joined: Apr 23, 2006
    Posts: 4,125


    Gives it a lot more class than the stock covers. They look great.
  15. Pauly da mick
    Joined: Nov 14, 2006
    Posts: 245

    Pauly da mick

    This is cool man! Thanks for sharing!! :cool:
  16. stude_trucks
    Joined: Sep 13, 2007
    Posts: 4,755


    I don't like fake anything, particularly valve covers, blowers and not to even mention patina - let alone desecrating precious Studebaker parts for a Chevy.

    But, this seems cool enough for me and I don't have much problem with it. It doesn't say Studebaker or Chevy on them and I can tell you for sure, not very many people are even going to recognize the covers and think that is a Studebaker motor and be "tricked". Mostly only actual Studebaker people even care about Studebaker or know much of anything about them and those will also pretty much instantly realize that is not a Studebaker motor but will be amazed that this was even possible.

    Mixing and matching parts and getting creative is what hot rodding is all about. Sure, he could just go get some cool finned cast covers and that is probably what I would do if I had to use a Chevy. But, I can admire the work that went into these even if I wouldn't do it myself.

    Coming from a pretty hardcore Studebaker person, seems ok to me, crazy, but ok. Good to see some wacky ideas and some good craftsmanship too. Glad somebody is at least putting some old Studebaker parts to use as not enough do and too much still just wastes away and gets tossed to the scrappers.
  17. Rusty Junk Ranch
    Joined: Dec 13, 2006
    Posts: 776

    Rusty Junk Ranch

    Fake is an empty blower case with a 2GC under it :D!
    I think your safe:)
  18. bobbytnm
    Joined: Dec 16, 2008
    Posts: 1,417


    Very cool!

    Looks like you did an excellent job. I recently made some valve covers for my 500ci Caddy engine. I cut the tops off some early Caddy valve cover and mated them to the tops of my late model covers.

    Again, nice work
  19. krooser
    Joined: Jul 25, 2004
    Posts: 4,583


    I'm waiting for the SBC to early Hemi conversion... it's for Chevy guys with low self-esteem.

    Or the '57 Chevy glue on panels for your Corrola...
  20. Funny how the nay-sayers always have to comment, and those of us that think this is "Hot Rodding" just admire.

    Good job, Scotty. Thanks for the Tech.
    If I had a crate engine I'd do it.
  21. Rudebaker
    Joined: Sep 14, 2007
    Posts: 1,598

    from Illinois

    I'm a long time Chevy guy with a Studebaker that still has a Studebaker engine in it. I still like my Chevy's but I'm diggin' the Stude V-8 just as much and plan to keep it right where it belongs. That said I don't see what he's doing as trying to "fake" a Studebaker engine, I see it as putting unique and cool valve covers on a Chevy engine. As 'stude trucks' said only a Stude guy will probably recognize the covers and none of them are going to think it's a Stude engine for a split second. I should really stir the shit and put some "fake" Olds valve covers on my Stude.

    Great job, I like 'em! :cool: I just hope this doesn't become a trend until after I've picked up a couple spare sets of stock covers for my car.
  22. xderelict
    Joined: Jul 30, 2006
    Posts: 2,477

    Member Emeritus

    We might have something like that running around town.It's a rear engined chevy truck disguised as a hemi . It's terrible. Rob Lee may have a picture of it.I don't know if I should ask.:confused:

  23. Slag Kustom
    Joined: May 10, 2004
    Posts: 4,312

    Slag Kustom

    nice work. i hate chevy center bolt valve covers.
  24. plym49
    Joined: Aug 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,797

    from Earth

    I'd do this to a SBC in a NY minute. You accomplished changing the look of the Chevy motor in a good way. Putting 'Oldsmobile' covers on a Chevy is dumb, just like putting 'Corvette' covers on a Stude V8 would be dumb.

    An important part of hot rodding is taking something designed for over there, and using it over here.

    Again, great job.
  25. LIL.TIMMYUser Name
    Joined: Jan 30, 2009
    Posts: 741

    LIL.TIMMYUser Name

    They look cool!!! Isn't that what we're all after? I've done tons of weird shit just to do it, hasn't everyone? Turned a 4d 71 maverick into a 2d with longer door, sills and some minor window frame reshaping. I had people come up wondering what exactly i was driving all the time!! Mind you this had some serious mods done, nose on the deck,shaved bumper, found a junkyard "super comp" header, installed it, f-in header sat on the ground when i let it off the jack!!! What to do? Just raise the whole motor/trans 9 inches in the unibody! 2oo inch 6 with a triple offy carb log. Americans all around. Was my only car for some time. I didn't have much money, and it was a turd to be sure, but i had fun building it, had fun driving it, and wish i still had it. Being creative with what you've got is what it's all about. Rock-on! You crazy free-thinkers!

    Attached Files:

  26. Hell those look very cool! Any pics of them on a motor?
  27. patgizz
    Joined: Jun 14, 2007
    Posts: 86

    from cleveland

    awesome work, i hate chevy centerbolt valve covers and all the aftermarket offerings
  28. willie57
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 378

    from wisconsin

    that is just to darn cool
  29. jguff
    Joined: Jan 14, 2009
    Posts: 134


    Anyone who knows engines will still see a small block chevy because of the exhaust manifold configuration.

  30. Good tech! I think it will be helpful to alot of us tryig to make a sbc look a little better.

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!


Copyright © 1995-2020 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.