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Sonny
02-24-2005, 06:37 PM
From my email, Guy Ogan is the fella's name.....

"I need help in finding items to make my wife's 64 Studebaker Wagonnair more "driver friendly". The car is VERY HEAVY and the little 2 Barrel 259 V8 with three-on-the-tree just doesn't have the power to get moving well. That plus the non-power steering and a reluctant transmission make it VERY HARD for my wife to drive. I'd like to see if you have any of the following items:

1. 289 crankshaft that would fit in the current 259 V8 to give it more power at rebuild

2. .60 Over Pistons for use with the 289 crank at rebuild

3. R3 Valves and spring kit for use in the heads on rebuild

4. Ted Harbit R2 camshaft for installation into the 259 V8 on rebuild

5. Jeff Rice Intake for use with a 1406 Edelbrock 600 cfm carburetor (I already have carb)

6. Powersteering set-up with mounting bracket to be installed on the 259 V8 at rebuild

7. Avanti Power Shift Automatic with Floor Shifter for installation into the Wagonnaire

8. Turner Front Disk Break Kit

Please let me know if you have or know where I can get any of these items (w/price if possible).

I would also appreciate the name and phone number of a competent Studebaker mechanic in the Texas or Oklahoma area who could do the rebuild and installation."

You can email Guy at, gog6692@msn.com

Sonny
http://RacingStudebakers.com

N8N
02-24-2005, 07:11 PM
I dunno if I'd advise swapping to a Powershift... I think that would probably make the car accelerate slower, if anything. If he wants an automatic, most of the modern automatics have a lower first gear, actually *start* in first gear, and have an overdrive to boot.

I will probably cheese off a lot of Stude faithful by saying this, but after driving around a cul-de-sac for about 2 minutes in my newly acquired '55 coupe, I remembered why I don't like automatics in general and Flightos in particular. The second gear start makes the car feel about as responsive as a tree sloth on Quaaludes, even with a late model 289. Sure, I could punch it off the line and lay big, smoking strips of rubber... but I don't always feel like driving like that. (well, I *usually* do, but apparently such behavior is frowned upon by various sorts. <G>) I get the impression that he's trying to "warm up" the car a little and IMHO going from a 3-speed to a Powershift is going the wrong direction.

Now... if he wants to use the Powershift because it's a Studebaker part, and he wants to keep the car all Studebaker, I would definitely add to that list "have transmission converted to start off in first gear." There's really nothing wrong with the Flighto/Powershift mechanically, I just don't like the implementation. Personally I wouldn't mind going the exact opposite direction, swapping my Flightomatic for either a 3/OD or 5-speed (for the gear spread - I like relaxed cruising on the highway, but I also like brisk acceleration when desired.) Only problem is my plans involve hopping up the engine eventually, so I'd be looking at either a T85 (old school) or maybe something like a World Class T5 or Tremec (modern style) and while the wrenches may be willing, the wallet is weak :/

nate

--
55 Commander Starlight
62 Daytona hardtop
http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel

Sonny
02-24-2005, 07:57 PM
This is for his wife Nate, not a thing wrong with the first gear start Powershift, ("accelerate slower"?, Huh?). We donít even know what rear ratio he has, and I think the wagon is probably at least a 3.54. I gotta tell ya, bring me a four speed to go up against my Lark with the Flite with the 3.54 rear and I'll show you a hell of a scrap. [^]

I know that you like the hi-perf part of Studebakering but I think you're spending too much time around the, "Do whatever ya can to "improve" it" and "Why back in the days, I used ta (add old racing lies here)......", old guys. ;) It'd be nice to see your shining face around us up-to-date, hi-perf Stude guys a little more. [8D] I'm a little [:0] though, I thought you were definitely in the "Stude faithful" category too. [:I] Iím thinkiní that mebbe itís just that you reeeeeally hate automatics. :( Yep, you could say that ya "cheesed" me. [B)]:)

Sonny
http://RacingStudebakers.com

Sam Roberts
02-25-2005, 12:49 AM
Nate, if your '55 is not a typo it don't have a Flightomatic in it. Unless, of course, it was a transplant that is. 1951-1955 automatics were Detroit Gear, and AFAIK the ones behind V-8s were DG-250s in 1955, and they were 1st gear starts. At least the one in mine is, and it was a June build Commander.


quote:Originally posted by N8N

I dunno if I'd advise swapping to a Powershift... I think that would probably make the car accelerate slower, if anything. If he wants an automatic, most of the modern automatics have a lower first gear, actually *start* in first gear, and have an overdrive to boot.

I will probably cheese off a lot of Stude faithful by saying this, but after driving around a cul-de-sac for about 2 minutes in my newly acquired '55 coupe, I remembered why I don't like automatics in general and Flightos in particular. The second gear start makes the car feel about as responsive as a tree sloth on Quaaludes, even with a late model 289. Sure, I could punch it off the line and lay big, smoking strips of rubber... but I don't always feel like driving like that. (well, I *usually* do, but apparently such behavior is frowned upon by various sorts. <G>) I get the impression that he's trying to "warm up" the car a little and IMHO going from a 3-speed to a Powershift is going the wrong direction.

Now... if he wants to use the Powershift because it's a Studebaker part, and he wants to keep the car all Studebaker, I would definitely add to that list "have transmission converted to start off in first gear." There's really nothing wrong with the Flighto/Powershift mechanically, I just don't like the implementation. Personally I wouldn't mind going the exact opposite direction, swapping my Flightomatic for either a 3/OD or 5-speed (for the gear spread - I like relaxed cruising on the highway, but I also like brisk acceleration when desired.) Only problem is my plans involve hopping up the engine eventually, so I'd be looking at either a T85 (old school) or maybe something like a World Class T5 or Tremec (modern style) and while the wrenches may be willing, the wallet is weak :/

nate

--
55 Commander Starlight
62 Daytona hardtop
http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel


Sam Roberts

Roscomacaw
02-25-2005, 01:29 AM
All thing being equal, I think he's got problems other than a weak engine! A decent 259 will right scoot a Wagonaire. In fact, it was only a few months back that I drove one with a well-broke in 259 in it (like umpteen unkonwn miles in a Champ truck before it got transplanted into the Wagonaire!) and a standard Flight-o-matic. It was hardly a slouch![}:)]
Being as respectful as possible, I have to wonder what sort of lead foot the guy's wife has! Either that or that car needs a serious tune up.[:I]
The 30 extra cubic inches that 289 crank's gonna afford is gonna be minimal in performance diffeence. On the OTHER HAND - the reworked heads are gonna make that 259 really come alive! I'd just leave the lower end alone and tweak the heads and cam.:D

Miscreant at large.

N8N
02-25-2005, 07:06 AM
yeah, I agree with Mr. Biggs - a 259 is not a bad engine.

Yes, my '55 has a Flighto in it. I *wish* it had a DG-250 - then I wouldn't have to convert to 12V and I'd probably like it better with the lockup converter and all. Sonny is right - I really don't like automatics at all. Yeah, my car probably would be as fast as a comparable stickshift on the dragstrip - just feels slug slow off the line when I'm not going for max accel. I thought the Powershift also started in 2nd unless you manually selected it? I've only driven two cars that I recall with a Powershift, one was an Avanti that I was driving home from Carlisle and I was more concerned about the mechanical condition of the car and was accelerating very gently, the other was a car that I was demonstrating for some prospective buyers (why the guy didn't want to drive the car himself, I dunno, it was FUN!) and I don't remember ever not manually shifting it :)

nate

--
55 Commander Starlight
62 Daytona hardtop
http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel

Roscomacaw
02-25-2005, 11:37 AM
You bring up a point that I've found curious in the past, Nate. YOU - professing to be a guy who'd rather swizzle a shifter around - not being willing to reach up and select "LOW" for taking off with a Flight-o and then going to D. Is it just a mindset that: "I'm in an automatic dammit! I shouldn't HAVE to move any levers!"? :D

BTW - to anyone following this thread, SASCO has (Maybe "HAD") some first gear start valve bodies for Flight-o-matics. These offer a bolt-in change to first gear start. BUT - from what I've heard - while these DO perform as advertized, without a change to a compliant governor, they upshift out of first WAY to quickly. And no one seems to know just what governor goes with these valve bodies. :(

Miscreant at large.

Sam Roberts
02-25-2005, 01:18 PM
Hey Big Guy,

Shifts points should be controlled with the either the shift linkage on the preCanadian era, and the Throttle cable on those 1965-66s such as mine. With the TC the adjustments are bass-ackward to linkage! Linkage pushes, cable pulls is the motion as it were. As to governors, I'd guess you could trial & error with Ford Cruise-O-matics, since they are also B-W transmissions. Actually, with the Studebaker input shaft, you can use the COM, put the Studebaker shift body in it, and use the same quadrant on the steering column. The pattern on Fords is PRND2D1L as opposed to Studes PNDLR.


quote:Originally posted by Mr.Biggs

You bring up a point that I've found curious in the past, Nate. YOU - professing to be a guy who'd rather swizzle a shifter around - not being willing to reach up and select "LOW" for taking off with a Flight-o and then going to D. Is it just a mindset that: "I'm in an automatic dammit! I shouldn't HAVE to move any levers!"? :D

BTW - to anyone following this thread, SASCO has (Maybe "HAD") some first gear start valve bodies for Flight-o-matics. These offer a bolt-in change to first gear start. BUT - from what I've heard - while these DO perform as advertized, without a change to a compliant governor, they upshift out of first WAY to quickly. And no one seems to know just what governor goes with these valve bodies. :(

Miscreant at large.


Sam Roberts

studegary
02-25-2005, 03:24 PM
I will go in a completely different direction with my response to this case. I think that this guy should buy his wife a different Wagonaire, or other Studebaker, that already has automatic, power steering, etc. and then maybe make small changes, like carb. Since he is planning on paying for all labor as well as parts, he will have way more in this car than it will be worth. I know that what some people put into cars and their end value doesn't matter to some people, this proposition just doesn't make sense to me. I agree with Bob/Biggs that a warmed up 259 is very responsive and there is no reason to go to a 289. One thing that he can't get away from is that a Wagonaire is very heavy and he will be adding weight with the ps and automatic.

Sonny
02-25-2005, 06:15 PM
I'll put it this way fellas. This wasn't the first email that I got from Guy, he was originally thinking soft block. I think what he's thinking is that he wants to "do" the entire engine as long as he has it apart for the performance enhancements. Since it IS a heavy wagon, why not bump it up to the power plant with more HP and torque to drag that heavy wagon around? Also, I don't wanna start a sword fight, but the wagons were normally optioned with auto and PS, (which I don't think adds enough weight to make any noticeable difference, especially for the benefit of his wife).

If he would get another car, how could he know that he wouldn't have some of, more of, or different problems? If he rebuilds his own engine, he knows exactly what he has, what's in it, what's been done and he can be much more assured that it was done the way he wants it, the right way. Also, I didn't include pictures of the car, but it's beautiful, almost showroom condition.

Sell my almost pristine wagon for another and hope that it will be what I want? Nope, I think what he's doing makes a lot of sense to me. Install all new parts in my almost pristine wagon and enhance the value and drivability. Sure itís gonna cost a few bucks, but like weíve seen many times before, itís not always a money thing fellas. A mild performance enhanced 289 with a Powershift will make that wagon snap, chitt, fart and vibrate, PLUS heíll have an almost Zero-time car when itís finished.


Sonny
http://RacingStudebakers.com

Sam Roberts
02-26-2005, 10:39 AM
Not being familiar with how much this wagon weighs, I am wondering how much more than an Avanti are we talking about. I tend to agree with Sonny here, if in fact extra power, and torque is really needed!

Sam Roberts

studegary
02-26-2005, 01:25 PM
Base weights; 1964 Daytona V8 wagon - 3555 pounds, 1964 Avanti - 3195 pounds. For comparison, a 1959 Lark VIII two door is 2924 pounds. This equates to the wagon being 22% heavier than than the '59 Lark V8 and 11% heavier than the Avanti.

N8N
02-26-2005, 07:08 PM
Bob is right... if it's an auto, I don't want to have to shift it at all unless I'm racing! It's just the principle of the thing :)

Hey, it's my toy, I'll make it work the way I want it to. Just offering my opinion, feel free to disagree!

nate

--
55 Commander Starlight
62 Daytona hardtop
http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel

gordr
02-26-2005, 11:33 PM
quote:Originally posted by Sonny

From my email, Guy Ogan is the fella's name.....

"I need help in finding items to make my wife's 64 Studebaker Wagonnair more "driver friendly". The car is VERY HEAVY and the little 2 Barrel 259 V8 with three-on-the-tree just doesn't have the power to get moving well. That plus the non-power steering and a reluctant transmission make it VERY HARD for my wife to drive. I'd like to see if you have any of the following items:

1. 289 crankshaft that would fit in the current 259 V8 to give it more power at rebuild

2. .60 Over Pistons for use with the 289 crank at rebuild

3. R3 Valves and spring kit for use in the heads on rebuild

4. Ted Harbit R2 camshaft for installation into the 259 V8 on rebuild

5. Jeff Rice Intake for use with a 1406 Edelbrock 600 cfm carburetor (I already have carb)

6. Powersteering set-up with mounting bracket to be installed on the 259 V8 at rebuild

7. Avanti Power Shift Automatic with Floor Shifter for installation into the Wagonnaire

8. Turner Front Disk Break Kit

Please let me know if you have or know where I can get any of these items (w/price if possible).

I would also appreciate the name and phone number of a competent Studebaker mechanic in the Texas or Oklahoma area who could do the rebuild and installation."

You can email Guy at, gog6692@msn.com

Sonny
http://RacingStudebakers.com


My .02 worth:

Add the engine goodies, and the power steering. Keep it a 259 or make it a 289, your option. Instead of going Powershift, simply swap in a 3 speed overdrive, and swap out the rear axle for one with a 3.73 or even a 4.10 ratio. That'll get you out of the hole much quicker, but you'll still have a good set of legs on the Interstate.

My '64 Wagonaire with 4 barrel 259, and automatic with 3.73 rear axle is no slouch getting off the line, but it gets a little buzzy at 75 mph.

If you go through the shift linkage on the column, and get everything in tip-top shape, it will shift pretty easily. Also, having overdrive with the free-wheeling feature makes shifting easier as well.

Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

kelmbaker
02-27-2005, 01:48 AM
I think the FOM automatic is good, but second gear start stinks. What a stupid thing (sorry, just the way I think about it). The change over to first gear start is more complex than just a valve body change, ask John Metzger. The GM change over to a OD auto is a great way to go. All the "warm up" stuff in the internals of the engine are cheap at rebuild time. Any more cubes help, as do carb, cam, etc... PS is not that common (in my experience) as one might think, even on Wagonnaires (of which I have two in the yard now, after just sending one to Gord in Canada). But Gary is right. Changing over the tranny, rebuilding the engine to mild R-2 status and adding PS is going to cost. All the changes start to add up. There are cars out there already done. The bottom line? I don't know, but I would have to start to think maybe another Wagonnaire might be the ticket...

Kelly J. Marion

Sam Roberts
02-27-2005, 08:32 AM
Having been thru that changeover to a 1st gear start, I know there is more to it than just the valve body Kelly. [^] I did not consult John Metzker on it, but the guy who did my work has only worked on B-W transmissions about 50 years! ;)


quote:Originally posted by kelmbaker

I think the FOM automatic is good, but second gear start stinks. What a stupid thing (sorry, just the way I think about it). The change over to first gear start is more complex than just a valve body change, ask John Metzger.
Kelly J. Marion


Sam Roberts