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View Full Version : Should I change from 4 spd to T85 OD ???



sals54
03-28-2009, 02:36 AM
I've been contemplating a change from my current T-10 to a T-85 with Overdrive. I used to run this setup in my car many years ago, but the OD never worked. I now have a chance to get another T85 and have been seriously thinking that would be better than going to a 5 speed.
Anyone here have experience with both? I welcome any thoughts.
My car is not stock anyway, but the T-85 is basically a bolt in, while the 5 speed would mean some re-engineering and perhaps too much "down time".
Anyway.... what are ya'lls thoughts??

sals54
http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm197/sals54/NewSignature.jpg

clonelark
03-28-2009, 03:57 AM
In the end, I think you'd like the 5 speed a lot better, the down side is it is a lot more expencive.
Do you have another car to drive? If so i'd go with the 5 speed. Collect everything you'd need before tearing down the car.
The 3-spd w/ O.D. will require a shifter and possibly a clutch disk. and a top shifter would be nice add on for the 3 speed. Maybe even going back to a 2 pc drive shaft.
Let us know what you end up doing. I have a 54 K in the wings that is a 3 spd .OD champ. will be going to a V-8.

http://i39.tinypic.com/v3prfk.jpg

N8N
03-28-2009, 07:40 AM
Sal,

if you do not use the T-85 let me know. I am considering the exact same swap.

nate

--
55 Commander Starlight
http://members.cox.net/njnagel

candbstudebakers
03-28-2009, 10:53 AM
Sal as you know to go to a top loader you need the T-86, unless you plan on a lot of freeway driving I would stay with the 4 speed if it works good, life is to short to have the car off the road if you like to drive it..Bob Peterson

sals54
03-28-2009, 11:12 AM
Thanks for the input. Isn't the T85 the heavy duty trans? Are all the T85s the same? The one I used to have in my Coupe was from a truck. I believe this one is also from a truck. If my memory serves, its the T85 that was used in Avantis and Golden Hawks. Am I off base with this?
Money is not the only issue. I believe I could do a 5 speed swap for almost the same money. I see the World Class Chevy T5s come up on craigslist fairly often for $300 or less. I already have the Chevy pattern bellhousing in front of the 4 speed, so all the clutch linkage is good to go except for a new clutch disc to fit the splines.
One thought I have is about reliability. Will the T5 hold up over time? I know the T85 is nearly bullet proof. Either way, I am ready for an OD. Bob, you're right on about it being off the road, but I DO drive on the freeway a lot, so OD is king.

sals54
http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm197/sals54/NewSignature.jpg

52-fan
03-28-2009, 11:34 AM
I seem to remember that the truck T85 had a lower 1st gear than the car version and was described as noisier due to the way the gears were cut. Of course, if you've had one before I guess you know that.

http://i152.photobucket.com/albums/s186/52-fan/StudebakersofArkansas2-1.jpg
1952 Champion Starlight, 1962 Daytona, both w/overdrive.Searcy,Arkansas
"I may be lazy, but I'm not shiftless."

Alan
03-28-2009, 11:44 AM
Sal, The T-85 had a 10 bolt "D" shaped side cover. They are slow shifting and a big drop in RPM's from second to third. If you are going to use a Chevy T5 then you will have to use the S10 truck tranny, since it has the longer input shaft. If you use the Camaro type the shifter will be back against the seat and you will have to make a longer pilot bearing to support the snout of the trans. input shaft.

sals54
03-28-2009, 11:54 AM
Alan,
Do you know if the S10 transmissions are the same between the 2.8 and the 4.3?

sals54
http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm197/sals54/NewSignature.jpg

StudeRich
03-28-2009, 12:04 PM
[quote]Originally posted by clonelark

and a top shifter would be nice add on for the 3 speed.

Actually clone, it would not. On the Heavy Duty T-85 as Bob at C&B said, there is no top cover, so it not possible to install one of those archaic, slow shifting, Truck Tranny top covers. [xx(]

I have no idea why anyone would want one, because they are not spring loaded speed shifters, just old "through neutral" type floor shifters like a TRACTOR! It might be a nice nostalgic "look", but most cars are to DRIVE, not look at! :(

bams50
03-28-2009, 12:25 PM
Sal-

I've been thinking about a 5-speed for my Daytona, and have been looking at different ones. I have seen some question about the World Class behind a V8; some question it's durability. Tom Rautio did that great piece on the conversion in his Avanti (it's under Tech Tips). He used the TKO/3550 series, which seems to be much more durable, and I believe you can choose from a couple different shifter positions. Worth checking out.

Robert (Bob) Andrews Owner- Studebakeracres- on the IoMT (Island of Misfit Toys!)
Parish, central NY 13131

"Some people live for the rules, I live for exceptions"- 311

"Do they all not, by mere virtue of having survived as relics of a bygone era, amass a level of respect perhaps not accorded to them when they were new?"

PackardV8
03-28-2009, 12:40 PM
Hi, Sal,

Yes, for a daily driver, I prefer the T85 to the T10. The 28% overdrive completely changes the feel of the car. There have been several previous threads on this issue.

No, all T85s are not the same, just as all T10s are not the same
Truck ratios: 3.17, 1.75, 1.00, .722, r3.666
GH ratios: 2.49, 1.59, 1.00, .722, r3.154
T10 ratios 2.54, 1.92, 1.51, 1.00
2.20, 1.64, 1.31, 1.00

Comes down to what one can afford. A junkyard T5 is a crapshoot. There are ten different versions and five different gear ratios; most are too weak to live behind a strong 289". The newer world-class versions mostly came behind Mustang V8s and led a hard life at the hands of younger demographic. The TK0 500 is around $1700 new, plus the adapter and associated clutch hardware, so difficult to do it correctly for less than $2500.

If you've got a good T85 and a good floor shifter, it's a fun way to go and fits the Stude like it was made for it.;)

thnx, jack vines




PackardV8

Orestudeguy
03-28-2009, 12:46 PM
Sal,
The 5-speed transmissions are different between the 2.8L v/6 and the 4.3L v/6.
I am also doing a "project" that I am in need of the 4.3L type 5-speed trans.

George
Grants Pass, Oregon
65 Commander 2door
64 Wagonaire's ( 1 Canadian fixed roof disc brake car, the other sliding roof South Bend car.)

63 GT Hawk
51 Champion Starlight Coupe
http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh183/orestudeguy/58Commander.jpg

sals54
03-28-2009, 01:32 PM
Jack, thanks for the tips on the ratios. One thing I failed to mention is that my car currently has a Ford 9" rear. I can switch the rear end ratios quite easily, so perhaps the truck ratios may not be too bad for me. I'm not drag racing with it anyway, just cruisin. I will have to consult my "ratio computer wheel" and see what rear ratio will work best for my current tire size.

sals54
http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm197/sals54/NewSignature.jpg

StudeRich
03-28-2009, 01:50 PM
Unless you have really tiny tires on that car, a 3.54 should be close, for a warmed up 289 or R1 and the Truck 3.17 Low gear, I don't think you would be happy cruising with any lower gears then that. Doesn't Ford have a 3.50?

http://i197.photobucket.com/albums/aa221/studerich/My64Daytona.jpg
StudeRich at Studebakers Northwest -Ferndale,WA

PackardV8
03-28-2009, 02:04 PM
FWIW,
1. The truck T85 is many times more common than the car.
2. The car version is quieter and shifts more quickly from low to second
3. The truck T85 is easier to double--clutch from second back into low, but because the truck second gear is lower, you can pull from a walk in second.

thnx, jack vines

PackardV8

Alan
03-28-2009, 02:10 PM
The Ford will be 3:55. I have put Saginaw 4 speeds behind 289's that ran into the 13' at close to 100 MPH. And never broke one. If you can find a good core and the OD that would be a way to go also. If some fool tries hard enough he can brake anything. The early S10 trannys are in the $100-200 range and the shifter is in the right spot. No mater what you decide it is not just a bolt in.

R3 challenger
03-28-2009, 02:12 PM
My '58 Golden Hawk has a T-85 with 4.27 TT rear axle, and I'm very happy with it. Studebaker used the T-85 in several models, including 56B & 57H heavy-duty models and police cars and '56-'58 Golden Hawks, among others. See page 245 of the '55-'58 Chassis Parts Catalog for a complete list. A dividing line was 1957/1958, when the two-piece driveshaft was replaced with a one-piece for '58. I don't have a truck manual here, but I think the comment about the truck T-85 having a noisier first gear (not helically cut gears) was right. Truck experts like Ingvar Vik (Cooperator) could fill you in on that. According to the '57 Hot Rod test of a Golden Hawk, first gear in the GH T-85 transmission was 2.49, 2nd. was 1.59. That spacing is a bit wider than the more common T-86 OD trans, but unless you plan to drag the car, it works OK for street use.

Good luck with it if you decide to use it. If not, I'm sure you can find a ready buyer....T-85s are not very common....especially the '58 one-piece driveshaft units.

George

george krem

bams50
03-28-2009, 02:33 PM
I forgot this link, with more 5-speed info:

http://studebakerdriversclub.com/tech_5speed.asp

Robert (Bob) Andrews Owner- Studebakeracres- on the IoMT (Island of Misfit Toys!)
Parish, central NY 13131

"Some people live for the rules, I live for exceptions"- 311

"Do they all not, by mere virtue of having survived as relics of a bygone era, amass a level of respect perhaps not accorded to them when they were new?"

gordr
03-28-2009, 04:12 PM
I believe it's also possible to add the overdrive unit from a T85 to the T-10 4-speed box. I've never tried it, although I have seen articles that say the cases are drilled the same way, and that the T-85 mainshaft will work in the T-10 case. Maybe someone here can link to an article that's definitive.

Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

Alan
03-28-2009, 04:27 PM
It requires an adapter, Tom Beatty made them. I worked for Beatty back in the 50's and 60's. Turned Lional Stone onto them when Beatty retired and built a few myself. Lional sold the adapters to some guy in Idaho about 15 years ago. It is a PITA job and you still have to do the OD jive. The last one I had I sold to Jack Vines a year ago.

http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g171/artcloud/image2.jpg

wcarroll@outrageous.net
03-28-2009, 04:29 PM
When I researched doing a 5-speed conversion, I found that over the years T5's have gotten a bad wrap because many of the stock installs lacked proper shift stops in the shifter -causing bad shifts and serious destruction.

A stock T5 from an early 90's Mustang GT is the best choice torque ratings wise.


http://community.webshots.com/user/s2dbaker?vhost=community

PekkaP
03-29-2009, 04:36 AM
quote:Originally posted by PackardV8

Hi, Sal,

Yes, for a daily driver, I prefer the T85 to the T10. The 28% overdrive completely changes the feel of the car. There have been several previous threads on this issue.

No, all T85s are not the same, just as all T10s are not the same
Truck ratios: 3.17, 1.75, 1.00, .722, r3.666
GH ratios: 2.49, 1.59, 1.00, .722, r3.154

.....

If you've got a good T85 and a good floor shifter, it's a fun way to go and fits the Stude like it was made for it.;)

thnx, jack vines




PackardV8


I have a bit of same thoughts as Sal since I am a bit concerned how long the T-86 will last behind the McCulloch powered 289 in my 55 coupe. I have considered either the T-10 or T-85 route and I may want to go for the T-85.

However, I have now a question regarding the one project T-85 that I have. It has numbers T85 C-148 stamped on the cover.
Can one tell by the numbers if this is a truck version or a passenger car version of the T-85. I have no information from what car it came from. A couple of pics here:

http://community.webshots.com/album/570732082JodVDz

By the way ... I am very happy with the T86 with a top cover X- brand (?) vintage shifter and I will stay with this gearbox untill it gives up..:)

Pekka

http://hotrods.pp.fi/Stude%20at%20Hillclimb%20Dodads%202006.jpg 1955 President State Coupe

1961 Lark Regal VIII Convertible

PackardV8
03-29-2009, 11:07 AM
The side covers are the same for most all T85s. There is usually an aluminum tag on one of the tailshaft bolts which gives specific info. Your photo could be either a '57GH/sedan or a truck.

We have to be specific with our terminology. Rich was denigrating the use of an M1 truck shifter conversion which replaces the top cover on the T86 and uses internal forks.
quote:one of those archaic, slow shifting, Truck Tranny top covers.


quote:I am very happy with the T86 with a top cover X- brand (?) vintage shifter Are you referring to an aftermarket shifter conversion which mounts on brackets and shifts using external rods and arms? If so, I've used those for some mild drag racing with moderate success. Alan raced his T86 harder than possible and reported internal linkage lockup upon occasion.

thnx, jack vines


PackardV8

PekkaP
03-29-2009, 11:48 AM
quote:Originally posted by PackardV8



We have to be specific with our terminology. Rich was denigrating the use of an M1 truck shifter conversion which replaces the top cover on the T86 and uses internal forks.
quote:one of those archaic, slow shifting, Truck Tranny top covers.


quote:I am very happy with the T86 with a top cover X- brand (?) vintage shifter Are you referring to an aftermarket shifter conversion which mounts on brackets and shifts using external rods and arms? If so, I've used those for some mild drag racing with moderate success. Alan raced his T86 harder than possible and reported internal linkage lockup upon occasion.

thnx, jack vines


PackardV8


Thank you Jack for the information on my T85 -- no aluminium tag left on the transmission... I guess I just need to find out checking the ratios whether it is truck or GH/Prez version.

The shifter in my current T-86 uses internal forks -- the same type of construction as in Dick's Ute. However I am not sure how it was modified -- the car was sold new / comes from Southern California and was obviously occasionally raced there in the early 60's - I do not know much of its history. But the shifter / shifting is good ( I have had cars with T-10s and I somehow like this set up now more):).

I do not know if back in the days there were other similar modifications as the M1 truck ( like Jeep or maybe it was just something the owner made in the 1960s/late50s?) - but to me it is not archaic or too slow shifting.[:I]

I added one interior pic showing the shifter. It is a bit hard to see but maybe you can recognize the shifter from its shape.

http://rides.webshots.com/photo/2847594110064371389ROrISC



http://hotrods.pp.fi/Stude%20at%20Hillclimb%20Dodads%202006.jpg 1955 President State Coupe

1961 Lark Regal VIII Convertible