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Jeff T.
12-05-2006, 11:08 PM
Since I cannot do much work on my lark at present since it is on blocks on the other side of town... I am thinking out loud if you will on some things I have considered doing to my lark during the process of better restoring and modifing the old girl

I was going through my stack of old Turning wheels the other day and came across a few letters in the Co-opperator section on building a V8 automatic transmission with first gear start. The suggested method mentioned was to take a 61/62 six automatic and replace the drums and clutches with V8 and HD flightomatic parts.

Has anyone out there actually done this... I have a spare 62 six automatic and a 66 V8 auto. What specific parts are needed to beef up the 62 six auto or is it as simple as taking the drums and clutches from the 66 auto and installing them in the 62.

Just wondering, I have a 259 coming and I am trying to decide on transmissions. I would like a 4 speed manual but in the off chance the my wife "might" need to dive the lark in an emergency...the only stick shift that she knows how to drive is an International tractor.

Jeff T

"I'm getting nowhere as fast as I can"
The Replacements.

kamzack
12-08-2006, 12:41 PM
I think all you'll need to do is swap valve body from six trans into V8 trans. It's pretty simple swap. I'm sure I could be wrong, we've done it in the past and worked. As you may know, first gear is there and is the "L". I wish ya well.
Kim

JDP
12-08-2006, 12:58 PM
SASCO has the V8 first gear start valve bodies that is a one part swap.

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JDP
Arnold Md.
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Roscomacaw
12-08-2006, 03:12 PM
You can not just bolt in a 6cyl trans valve body. It's not that simple.
You can buy one of the sure enough V8 trans 1st gear start valve bodies as JDP suggests or you CAN change some springs in your existing valve body and have it work. See some of the recent posts here by Rosstude.
Some folks I've talked to claim they've had to swap out the governor to keep 1st gear from upshifting too quick. Others say it's not a problem. This MAY be because they were dealing with different editions of the Flight-o-matic. It's NOT just as simple as there's a V8 trans and a 6cyl trans. There's numerous variants out there with subtle differences that could work for or against the valve body change.

Miscreant adrift in
the BerStuda Triangle
http://images.andale.com/f2/115/106/906179/2006/12/7/truckonhill3.jpg

1957 Transtar 1/2ton
1960 Larkvertible V8
1958 Provincial wagon
1953 Commander coupe

Rosstude
12-08-2006, 05:04 PM
Mister Biggs hit the nail on the head, as far as I can tell. I am no expert, but have been “experimenting” with auto transmissions as of late. I did achieve 1st gear start in a 57 FOM using one spring, but I understand that works only in a narrow time frame of production, and many variables exist within the units over the years of production, making this issue complicated. So, I can confidently answer your question, maybe yes, maybe no.
I say I am “experimenting” because, for me, the jury is still out on this first gear start business. I will say, the car is indeed more peppy off the line with 1st gear start, however time will tell if it really is an improvement, or just a fun technical diversion. I am confidant the factory knew what they were doing, being far more qualified in these matters than I, but I just can’t resist tweaking on things.
I did the 1st gear start conversion; then shortly thereafter the tranny failed. The change in control strategy strained an already weakened, and old part to the point of failure. Take my experience for what it’s worth.


Ross.
Riverside, Ca.
1957 Provincial X2
1958 Transtar
1963 Lark

Roscomacaw
12-08-2006, 07:28 PM
Ross, you bring up a good point - WHY did engineering change the FOM to second gear start after about the first 20,000 of them went into the '56 V8 cars??? This after they'd changed the predecessor DG transmission to first gear start starting in 1954. Why did they GO to 1st gear start and why did they change back - in mid-run no less!???

Miscreant adrift in
the BerStuda Triangle
http://images.andale.com/f2/115/106/906179/2006/12/7/truckonhill3.jpg

1957 Transtar 1/2ton
1960 Larkvertible V8
1958 Provincial wagon
1953 Commander coupe

Rosstude
12-09-2006, 12:43 AM
I did ponder why the change was made so early on, especially after the failure of my FOM (or rather before I found the cause), I wondered about recalls, or service bulletins that may have covered trans issues. Seems economy is sited by many as the reason given by the factory, I can see the point, the V/8 has plenty of torque to start off in 2nd. But I have to assume that the early 56's lived a long life starting in 1st, also didn’t trucks start in 1st?, so apparently the FOM is able to withstand it.
Back to the original question, I gotta say, I have been staring at manuals for weeks now, and have burned the trans section into my mind. I see in the trans overhaul section of the shop manual I have for 59 to 64, the same parts in the 6 cylinder control body (not later #35) as my 57 has, and the procedures are the same for the early six, as for the 56-57. So, maybe the 6 control valve body would work. I might be tempted to try it, but I would have assume the risk that it could be a failed attempt.

Ross.
Riverside, Ca.
1957 Provincial X2
1958 Transtar
1963 Lark

Roscomacaw
12-09-2006, 12:53 AM
Ross, I have it on good authority (SDC Tech consultant for the FOM trannies - John Metzker) that the 6cyl valve body is a no-go in a V8 trans. This from a guy who still builds auto transes to this day.:) Of course, John COULD BE wrong, but I'm not gonna try to prove that to be so. FACT IS, I've had a valve body I took out of a 62 6cyl Lark some time back, but I never tried it because I consulted with John first. I figured if he didn't know - no one would.;)
John lives down your way. Very nice fellow who'll let youpick his brain about the ins and outs of Flight-o-matics as much as you want. Just be prepared to get answers that are WAY over your head.[B)]

Miscreant adrift in
the BerStuda Triangle
http://images.andale.com/f2/115/106/906179/2006/12/7/truckonhill3.jpg

1957 Transtar 1/2ton
1960 Larkvertible V8
1958 Provincial wagon
1953 Commander coupe

Rosstude
12-09-2006, 07:58 PM
I am already in over my head[:I]

Ross.
Riverside, Ca.
1957 Provincial X2
1958 Transtar
1963 Lark