The Big Job begins

65,148.3 Miles on the original Studebaker Thunderbolt 283 V8. It was not taken care of over the years but, it still ran well.

The ’66 Commander finally in the garage for the transplant operation.

An excellent motor that I have driven over 20,000 miles without any big problems. Just improved the ignition with a Mallory (ACCELL) conversion and changed the oil and filter regularly using 15W40 diesel with STP and Lucas oil additive with each fill-up.

Here are the components removed from the Thunderbolt Delco window distributor. I picked up a Studebaker ‘Delco’ from a ’60 Lark some years ago and I’ll use it in the JT along with the Mallory electronic ignition. Not shown is a matching Mallory high voltage coil.

Stutter wheel and pickup in place. No points to wear out!

Parts starting to come off. I plan to remove all the front sheet metal and grille. I’m going to try to re-and-re the engine and trans all together. Just too difficult removing the trans from the bottom and then trying to get it to fit when it is time for the re-install. To to this I will remove the radiator support as well as the radiator.

As parts are removed they go in the box. If they are not easily identified – like bolts and screws – they are bagged and tagged.

Same with wiring. Each connection is tagged. In the past this has really helped speed up re-assembly.

Next the tear down continues.

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