View Full Version : Similarities & Differences to Work with

05-21-2005, 11:28 PM
I visited a Studebaker Graveyard today and found a half dozen or so 1960 LARK wagons, some of which might be able to be brought back from the Dead!
This is the exact year model I am looking for and if I am going to do a Ground Up restoration, I want to have ALL the options and accessories combined into (1) car.
First Question: Are Standard 3-speed (manual) transmissions the same for a 6 and V8?
Second Question: Is it feasible to switch an Automatic car to a Manual? (Not possible. Feasible. Anything is possible!) Are the frames the same (Trans. Mount & Clutch Pedal)
Third Question: How can you tell the read end gear ratios?
When I am finished I would like to have a REGAL trim level, 259 V8, 3-speed manual trans. w/ Overdrive, 1960 LARK Station Wagon. Thatís not too Tall an order is it?
Thanks in advance for any Help or Advice!:D


Mike Van Veghten
05-22-2005, 01:43 AM

Hey....you forgot one question.
2dr. or 4dr. (I have a 60 2dr. wagon)

1. Not sure, the trans. may be the same but....the bellhousing is not. You'll have to come up with a V-8 bellhousing.

2. Sure, as long as you have all of the required parts.

3. If the various people that may have removed the differential cover were kind enough to put the tag back on....there's a small metal tag under one of the cover fasteners with the gear ratio stamped on it. If not, remove the cover...count the teeth on the ring and pinion and divide one by the other.

4. No, people add and subtract parts all the time. My Conestoga was the bottom of the line when it came from the factory. The first time I saw it....it had EVERY 53/54 part known to man added to it! Even a tissue dispenser!

Have fun on your hunt / buildup.

05-22-2005, 01:53 AM
No Dan, not at all.:D It is possible to switch an automatic to manual and vice versa. If there are several there, why not start with the manual to begin with? It's easier not to have to cut holes in the floor, add the clutch assy. etc... Still if the old auto is a better prospect and you're replacing the floors anyway, what the heck?;) And by the way, it is normal for stude floors to be rusted out.[:I]
If you're going to do this kind of surgery you really need the body, chassis, and service manuals. You'll be living in them. In the end, done right, a superior car to anything on the road will result.
As far as the transmissions, the collective wisdom is; don't use a tranny for a six on an eight. The eight will toast the tranny.[}:)] Same with the rear end. Sonny can answer that question far better than I can.;) I do know the drive trains on a six and eight are different from front to back. By the way, you'll love the overdrive.[8D]

Oh! I forgot. The rear end has a tag attached to the back plate. Sometimes they are hidden with dirt and grime. Sometimes they're missing. They are about 1 X 1/2 inch. They say something like; 45-11 top line and 4.09 bottom or perhaps 47-11 top and 4.27 bottom. This tells you the ratios. on the bottom front of the center housing is the designation number, something like 44 or 47, whatever it happens to be.;)

Lotsa Larks!
A.K.A: out2lunch

05-22-2005, 07:02 AM
V8s used a T-86 tranny (we're talkin' 3-spd, stick shift here) and the 6s had a T-96 tranny. Not even close in makeup, and you wouldn't run that T-96 behind a V8 for very long:(
It's not hard to swap an auto car to standard shift. While the engines are the same, the differences start with the bolts held captive in the rear crankshaft flange and go back thru the driveshaft. You'll want all the steering column and relevant linkages to effect the changeover as well.
Studebaker DID use different gage metal to make the frames of 6s vs. 8s. This is not reflected in the parts books but it WAS the case. I personally don't think it's that big a deal when you consider that many 6-cylinder Studes have been "upgraded" to V8 status over the years and there's not been a mounting flood of woeful tales of frame failure because of the lighter frames being employed. Fact is, while there ARE examples of frame cracking around the front crossmembers of some cars, it's typically been on cars that started life as a V8 and consequently would've had the heavier gage frames to start with![B)]
Other'n gage tho, there's no physical differences between the V8 and 6cyl frames save for the front motor mount brackets - which unbolt anyways.
As has been mentioned already, you'd want at least a type 27 rear axle behind that V8. A type 44 would be top preferance tho.;)
Other 6-to-8 conversion considerations are V8-worthy springs for the front suspension and V8 brakes all around.[^]

Miscreant at large.

05-22-2005, 05:12 PM
Manuals are on order, and it's a 4-door LARK wagon or nothing.....well maybe a 1953 Champion Custom, or a 1954 Commander Starliner Hardtop, or a 1955 President Speedster, or a 1958 Packard Hawk.... but thats it!
Seriously though, If I am going to build a car from pieces(Frankenstein), I would like to know the best pieces to look for.
Mr.Biggs- So the V8 frame is actually a Heavier gauge steel???
one of the cars I looked at had a Cracked frame(right front-end), and it was a V8! so I am going to search for a V8 to build off of!
Have others re-enforced the frames in any other ways?
I will have more questions as soon as I get a car, but for now it's all about what car I should be looking for.-Thanks Dan


05-22-2005, 06:37 PM
Yes, there's a fix for the frame problem and it's relatively easy to do. I have a set of templates that you use to cut reinforcements from steel sheet. Then these are welded in place over the problem areas.
Even that there are occassional cracks out there shouldn't be that much of a condemnation against how the frames were engineered. After all, Studebaker NEVER envisioned these things would be soldiering on some 50 or more years later![:0]

Miscreant at large.

05-24-2005, 09:53 AM
Would that be a Franken-aire or a Wagon-stein?[:0] Oh boo hiss!![xx(]

Lotsa Larks!
A.K.A: out2lunch

05-24-2005, 02:47 PM
Lots of good advice. Stude beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I used to have a red 59 Lark 6 cyl 2dr wagon for surfing.

If no ratio tag is present, no need to take anything apart. Jack up the rear of the car by the differential (USE JACKSTANDS!!), put a chalk mark on the rim and brake backing plate and another on the input yoke and differential case and start turning the wheel. If one revolution of the driveshaft happens in 3.31 revs of the wheel guess what the ratio is?!! Right 3.31.