View Full Version : Packard V8 powered Transtar pickup

58 Transtar
11-30-2017, 07:48 PM
Well, I have been driving the truck around locally and getting the bugs out of it. The first thing was to replace the Carter 4 barrel with an Edelbrock 600 cfm 4 barrel. With replacing the power steering assist with a Vega power steering box, the steering is so much nicer. If the factory would have used the bigger Packard V8 with power steering they probably could have saved their truck market. I did bore the Packard from 352 cu.in. to 374 cu. in. WOW! talk about torque. Next step is to disassemble it again, and sandblast. Did I ever tell you how much I hate sandblasting? Barry

11-30-2017, 07:57 PM
Congrats Barry on getting that big project on the road; agree completely. I said for fifty years Studebaker should have had the Packard V8 as an option in trucks. It took you and me to do it for them. I've been driving my '55 E12 with the '56 Caribbean 2x4s for a couple of years now and love everything about it more I did than with the Studebaker V8. And yes, Barry, big block torque rules!

jack vines

11-30-2017, 09:04 PM
Several years ago, there was a truck salvage yard here in South Bend. We were able to tour it after the owner passed. There was a E35 tractor with a Packard engine there. The yard was in probate and nothing could be purchased.

12-01-2017, 08:24 AM
Back in '73 or '74 I bought a dealer stock in Southeast Kansas. In looking around to see if there was anything else in the building that he wanted to get rid of he showed me a Packard crate V-8 sitting against the back wall of the shop. He said he ordered it to install for a farmer who had a spun bearing in the engine in his Studebaker truck. I don't remember whether the farmer fixed the engine or junked the truck. At any rate the dealer was stuck with the Packard engine. He offered it to me as part of the deal, but I had a 14-foot U-Haul too full to take on that much more weight so I passed on it. I contacted a man in St Louis who was looking for a Packard V-8 and I think he came over the next weekend and got the engine.

12-01-2017, 10:24 AM
He said he ordered it to install for a farmer who had a spun bearing in the engine in his Studebaker truck. I don't remember whether the farmer fixed the engine or junked the truck. At any rate the dealer was stuck with the Packard engine.

Also, could be, the farmer did some measuring and discovered the Packard V8 isn't a bolt-in in the C-cab. The radiator has to be moved forward and the motor mounts have to be fabricated. If the 4-speed tranny is a requirement, major adapter fabrication is necessary. I used a Studebaker T89, so only the input shaft had to be modified.

jack vines

12-01-2017, 11:19 AM
Jack is being somewhat coy regarding his installation.
Having done many conversions over the years and having seen Jack's E12 installation first hand, I can honestly say that NOW the Packard V-8 looks like it was born there. I'm sure there was a tremendous amount of hidden work on both of your parts to accomplish what should have been done by Studebaker 62 years ago.
Kudos on your success.
PS: pm him regarding his front spring solution.

12-01-2017, 01:23 PM
Now I'm day-dreaming about Packard powered Champs. I wonder how they'd go with the New Process 5-speed? :3

58 Transtar
12-01-2017, 05:20 PM
My truck was originally owned by Oregon Frozen Foods which became Ore-Ida when Heinz Ketchup bought them. There were 4 trucks left, and I bought the best one, along with a twisted frame, and Packard engine from another one. They had 8 58 Transtar pickups that they bought new. They would use them to go to the local farmers and pickup their potatoes. For the large farmers they had 4 gravity wagons with electric brakes. The 259 Stude could not pull these trailers loaded. They told the dealer in Nampa Idaho to take all the trucks back, and they would buy Fords. The dealer installed the Packard V8's into 4 of the trucks to save the deal. I was told that Studebaker supplied the engines and transmissions. This was told to me by the man that I bought the truck from, who worked for them, and bought the trucks. The one with the Packard V8 rolled (the electric brakes failed on the wagon) and they used it for parts. It was missing the trans, bell housing, and clutch. Thanks to Jack Vines I got all the missing pieces. The engine was toast! It must have been running after it was rolled. no oil pressure, and no water. I was lucky to have a close friend that donated a 1956 Packard 352. I completely overhauled the engine, and bored it to 374. This truck also had Thermo-King air conditioning (also dealer installed), and power assist steering, to which I could not find parts to rebuild it. I have never seen a control valve like this had. Every power assist I have ever seen had the valve assembly then the ball joint, and then connected to the drag link. This one had the ball joint first then the valve assy connected to the drag link. After talking to Jack Vines I decided to put a GM power steering box on, but it meant I would have to shorten my steering column and lose my column shift. I want to keep it original for AACA. I found that they still make brand new Vega style power steering boxes, and put one on. I was able to keep my column shift, and had plenty of clearance for the Packard starter. My only regret is I didn't buy the other 2 trucks.