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DilloCrafter
07-03-2005, 06:15 PM
Hi folks, I'm new here. After searching for answers on this topic, I decided to post a question (by the way I bought a Stude truck last week, a 1955 pickup as seen here: http://www.rocketdillo.com/studealbum1).

The truck, a 1/2 ton E5-12, has 105K mi. on the 185 flathead six Champion motor and standard transmission. The motor smokes a lot and leaks oil, too. It's going to need help soon. Since I live in 100 degree Texas, I will want to put A/C in this truck, and maybe make other mods eventually to make it drive (and stop) in a more modern and comfortable way. I love the look of this Bob Bourke design, so I want to keep the outside look stock, except perhaps the wheels. Heck, my wife even wants me to leave the bench seat in place, and the original steering wheel (she says they are part of the character and charm - she'll probably win out). Oh, and I want to actually use it as a hauling pickup on occasion, and/or drive it 24 miles to work when I feel like it.

Now that you have a feel for my goals, I want to ask if it would be a good idea to obtain a 259 V-8, and sell the old flathead. After all this is the smaller six, and only would have half the HP or torque of a 259 V-8, from the specs I've seen. What is involved in putting the V8 in place of the six? Will it mate with the transmission? Do I need a V8 from a truck, or will the motor mounts from a car's V8 line up?

rockne10
07-03-2005, 06:27 PM
I have a friend who replaced his champion six in a 56 Transtar with a 259 from a car; also adapted a GM automatic with a floor shifter kit. I don't know the details but I'm sure you'll get plenty of input on this forum. He's happy with his conversion. You'll want to convert to 12-volt. All do-able.
Good luck.

Transtar60
07-03-2005, 08:53 PM
Well start by going here:
http://www.network54.com/Forum/goto?forumid=23885
And use the search function at the top of the page.
What your contemplating has been asked about many times.
But basically the answer is yes and yes.

The trucks frame is the same 6 or eight. The truck motor mount brackets(the engine parts, are different even tho they look just like the car parts.) and the truck bellhousing mounts are different also. To do the cleanest transplant, you need to find a V8 parts truck to optain all the mounts and bits and pieces for he conversion. Theres many Stude truck enthusiasts in Texas so look up on the SDC homepage some of the chapters that may be local to you and make some local contacts. If you find a 3 spd OD, try it . I believe you'll like it.

And of course before starting on this project , get the parts book and shop manual for your truck. If you cant find one that covers '55 specifically , dont worry as very little changed on these trucks. Generally the 57-61 and 62-64 books are easier to find but I have seen some earlier books on ebay. If you took the body off a '55 1/2 ton and a 1962 1/2ton and parked the chassis side by side, you'd have a hard time spotting which was which.

DilloCrafter
07-04-2005, 09:10 PM
Thanks for your input, guys (everyone else feel free to add to the suggestions). The previous owner already converted the truck to 12V, with a 1-wire GM alternator. But I've got to read all the other postings about 12V conversions to see if anything else may need to be done (he showed me the 12V to 6V regulator/converter/whatever) he installed, as well as the fact that he wired a toggle switch right below the Overdrive knob (on left side of dash) and showed me how to put the 3-speed manual trans into overdrive. Transtar60, I guess this is the 3 spd OD you were talking about? Is the same kind found in Stude cars, also?

The only thing not working is the fuel gauge. I'll have to go into the shop manual the prev. owner gave me, and read other postings here about that topic (I'm glad you said what you did about the manuals, Transtar60, because this manual covers 56-63 trucks, and mine is a 55). I guess I should also check the voltage at the back of the instrument panel to be sure it is 6V.

I'm beginning to wonder something here - is there really any need for me to put in a 259 V8 (which I would have to locate, buy and have rebuilt)? Sure, the engine smokes and leaks oil, but the previous owner told me he towed a race car with this truck three years ago. If I have this 185 flathead six rebuilt, and use a modern oil (or even Amsoil synthetic) it should be plenty strong, right? And no mods necessary to fit a different engine/transmission.

But, assuming I can find someone to weld on a bracket for a compressor, will a rebuilt 185 motor do okay with the load of an A/C compressor (I gotta have A/C here, at least 7 months of the year)?

studeclunker
07-04-2005, 09:23 PM
The old sixes had a reputation for tons of grunt. They also had a reputatation for being slow. If I was going to set the truck up for modern driving and hauling a V8 and matching drive train would be high on the list. Especially if A/C was added to the mix. You're asking a lot of that six to add A/C. There is no need to go outside the 'Studebaker' relm. There are motors and drive train components that will more than fill the bill including A/C.

Good luck.:D It looks like a truely wonderfull old truck![8D] I wish...

Lotsa Larks!
Studeclunker
A.K.A: out2lunch

Transtar60
07-05-2005, 11:42 AM
quote:Originally posted by DilloCrafter

Thanks for your input, guys (everyone else feel free to add to the suggestions). The previous owner already converted the truck to 12V, with a 1-wire GM alternator. But I've got to read all the other postings about 12V conversions to see if anything else may need to be done (he showed me the 12V to 6V regulator/converter/whatever) he installed, as well as the fact that he wired a toggle switch right below the Overdrive knob (on left side of dash) and showed me how to put the 3-speed manual trans into overdrive. Transtar60, I guess this is the 3 spd OD you were talking about? Is the same kind found in Stude cars, also?

{YES, thats what I was talking about. Normally the overdrive(with the handle slid in) will engage at speed automatically when you let up on the throttle for a second. Many have gone to controlling it with a toggle switch because the relays are scarce. }



I'm beginning to wonder something here - is there really any need for me to put in a 259 V8 (which I would have to locate, buy and have rebuilt)? Sure, the engine smokes and leaks oil, but the previous owner told me he towed a race car with this truck three years ago. If I have this 185 flathead six rebuilt, and use a modern oil (or even Amsoil synthetic) it should be plenty strong, right? And no mods necessary to fit a different engine/transmission.

{ I'd try putting some miles on it. I have a 62 Lark with the OHV six and it smoked until I drove it some. If it doesnt stop smoking, Maybe then a set of rings and bearings, and new seals and gaskets, you may not need a full blown overhaul if it runs well and has good oil pressure. And if the oil pressure is low , new bearings may take care of that. Dont know what level of engine building your at. But you get the idea. I run Rotella 15w40 Diesel rated oil in all my Studes and have good oil pressure with all of them}

But, assuming I can find someone to weld on a bracket for a compressor, will a rebuilt 185 motor do okay with the load of an A/C compressor (I gotta have A/C here, at least 7 months of the year)?

{ I could be wrong but the modern Sanden type compressors while still putting a load on the engine, are less taxing than the old Yorks. Others have done it. Check out some of the pictures on the Stude truck talk page.}

DilloCrafter
07-07-2005, 01:47 AM
I found someone 550 miles from me who will let me hear his 259 V8 running (which he took out of a 55 Commander) and "load it on [my] truck" for me, for $300. Of course, I won't drive my Stude truck across Texas just yet, but I could fly out on Southwest Airlines, and have him put it on a pallet, then pay a shipping company (such as Craters & Freighters) to bring it home.

What do you guys think, is that car V8 going to be a pain to fit into a 55 truck?

Thanks in advance,
Paul

Transtar60
07-07-2005, 06:45 AM
Not if you have C-cab truck V8 motor mounts(the engine brackets, V8 truck tranny and bellhousing with mounts for a truck(T-85C/T-89), and the truck V8 water pump manifold, the truck accelerator linkage, a truck V8 radiator, as long as you got all that its a breeze , relatively speaking.

All that will bolt right on the 259. Even if you dont have all the rest , just yet, a running 259 ought to be worth $300. Course thats providing theres no hidden defects.

DilloCrafter
07-10-2005, 05:18 PM
Thank you, everyone, for the ideas and information. I'm going to lean toward staying with the six for now, since I'll soon be in contact with SDC club members in my area who can introduce me to some seasoned Stude engine mechanics.

Also, regarding my need for air conditioning here in the middle of Texas, Ray Fitchthorn responded to a query from me on air conditioning a Champion six with this: "a 185 in excellent (good) condition will have no trouble running the Sanden AC compressor. It is not a power-hog like the old York reciprocating units." Thanks, Ray, I hope you don't mind me quoting you here.