PDA

View Full Version : Manual Tranny Swap (What's Involved)



51studer
10-23-2005, 11:04 PM
I have recently given thought to installing a t-10 trans in my 51 Commander. I have read a few things, but want to know what is actually needed to make the swap happen. I have the original 232 I am rebuilding, mostly to stock (unless you guys could tell me some easy cheap mods). What parts Do I need, what problems am I gonna run into, What spline types should I get, what clutch, starter, pedal, mounts etc....... let me know please.;)

gordr
10-24-2005, 05:05 AM
This could turn out to be quite an undertaking. Is the car a standard shift already? If not then you will have to find a clutch pedal and linkage, presumably from a parts car. Shouldn't be too hard to come up with the parts.

Second, there are two T10s out there, at least insofar as Studebakers go. There is the early, '61-'62 type, which had the Chevy-style mounting ears on the front of the case, and required a matching bellhousing. The later ones used the some bolt pattern as the then-current T86 3 speeds, but that is different than was used in '51. Meaning even if your car is standard shift, you won't find a T10 that will mate up to the bellhousing. You'd have to find a T10 complete with clutch and bellhousing. I'm not sure if you can use the '51 flywheel and starter in the later bellhousing, but if you can, you ought to be able to find a clutch disc with splines to fit the T10. Of course it would be nice to have the bigger late model clutch..., in which case, I think you'd have to go with a 12 volt starter to match the ring gear on the new flywheel.

It's starting to mount up, eh? All that work, and you still have direct drive and 3 gears under. And don't forget that the '51 uses a 2 piece drive shaft, and has a yoke on the rear of the tranny. The T10s all used a one-piece drive shaft. You have to either convert to a one-piece drive shaft, or have a machine shop make you a custom front shaft section.

IMHO, this is a job that you could only do easily if you had a complete rusty 4-speed donor car from which you take all the necessary parts.

I think there are 2 alternatives worth exploring.
Easiest, in my book, would be to install a T86 overdrive tranny, with a converted jeep or M5 top cover to make it into a floor shift. You'd get that cool '50s hotrod look, plus the OD tranny is at least as versatile as the T10, and probably easier to find and cheaper to buy.

The other alternative is to go with a modern Brand X 5 speed tranny, like a Tremec or Warner T5, and I think there is an article right here on this site dealing with that. Again, parts are plentiful, and unlikely to be very expensive. T10s can be pricey because there is demand from the Corvette crowd, and because they are used in some of the more valuable hi-performance Stude models. In other words, they are sought after.

To sum up, it is undoubtedly possible to install a T10 in a '51 Commander, but I'm not certain it's the most practical choice. Having owned 3 Studes with T10s, I can't say anything bad about them other than they cry out for an overdrive.

Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

Alan
10-24-2005, 12:32 PM
Gord, I would like to throw my 2 cents in here The Tremic TKO500 and 600 cost $1,700, too new to find used. Best bet is a T5 out of a S-10 truck about $300 but there are the bellhousing and driveshaft problems. Unless the guy is determined and has $$$ and about 6 months to do it I wouldn't advise it.

cosmo
10-24-2005, 12:47 PM
I put a t-5 from a s-10 in my stude. and it's a 170 ohv. the trany cost about 450 the adaptor plate about 500 from bill catchscart ( i think i spelled that right) drive shaft had to change bought one from a junk yard for 20 bucks, had it cut balanced new u joints and yoks that cost me 200. time wise i spent about 2 weeks gathering everything together inbetween my regular job. and i spent about four hours taking the old trany out and putting in the adaptor, clutch. Oh and i had to fab a cross member for the tran so that a bump would just take it out. All in all about I'd say about 1200 buck well spent.

same bellhousing same rear end.

51studer
10-27-2005, 02:54 AM
Thanks guys. First off, I don't have a cash cow, so cheaper is better. I have the auto tranny from the factory, which I am definitely saving. The car is a complete teardown and replace/fabricate other parts, from and original that sat since 1967 or so. I do want to tear @$$ off the line, but still have the freeway speeds. My rearend is a 3.54 ratio, which I am keeping. I read through the article about the TKO tranny and saw the problems with the t-10, but it also noted the Ford "toploader" if i'm right, the article said it pretty much bolted right in, buuuuuuuut I have a problem allowing ford products touch my stude. I'd rather not have to buy an expensive adapter plate to bolt up a tranny, but just have some bell housing work. I am going to keep it 6 volt, but I'm sure I can figure out the electrical aspect of all that. I have been steering in the direction of going with a manual stude tranny, but no one has been able to help me in that field. I'll find a clutch pedal from something to make it work and fabricate as needed. Mostly I just don't want the mating to the engine with the clutch and flywheel to mess anything up, I know there is a lot involved here, but I also know that Stude, Chevy, Borg warner, Warner Lockheed, Caddy, and others were in good kahootz back in the day, and stude was a fore runner for a bunch of technology the big guys took advantage of, so I'm sure there are many many easy fits that are really simple to work. Just note......the car hasn't ran since the 60's, the engine is almost ready (minus a few tiny parts I am going to have to hunt down) so it isn't going anywhere, I have time to make something work properly. Just going for possible options to go for that aren't going to cost a fortune, I just want to see my "Bullet-nose" on the road and kicking @$$, because frankly..........I have not seen one at 10 shows I have been to. P.S. How do I insert pictures on here so I can Show you the project? [}:)]

gordr
10-27-2005, 06:38 AM
51Studer,

See my reply to Dimples elsewhere on this board. There is a complete power train from a '52 Commander available in Seattle, WA, and it sounds like the price could be right, very right:D And the'52 parts are identical to the '51, as far as I can remember.

e-mail or send me a private message via this board, and I'll forward the e-mail to you. Supposedly a rebuilt motor, too.

Early V8 OD trannies aren't that hard to find. IMHO, either the OD tranny or a five speed would satisfy the kick @$$ off line and also good freeway cruise manners. Top gear in a T10 is 1:1, same as top gear in a straight 3 speed, and the Stude V8 is torquey enough that you don't NEED 3 gears under 1:1. I often shifted my 4 speed cars 1-2-4. NOt to say it isn't fun to row the T-10 through the gears, but if want easy highway cruising, 3:31 or 3:07 gears are better behind one.

The S-10 five speed could be a good cheap alternative. Its input shaft, is, I think quite short compared to the Stude V8 shaft (not so compared to the 6). If you made an adaptor plate, I think you'd find there wasn't enough shaft to use, even if you made an adaptor to put the pilot bearing in the center of the flywheel. In one of his books, Dick Datson described a method of mating a Chevy Saginaw 4 speed to a Stude bellhousing by securely bolting angle-iron flanges to the sides of the bellhousing to accept the Chevy tranny mounting ears. The back face of the Stude V8 bellhousing is much narrower than the span of the mounting ears on the Chevy tranny.

If there is a "U-pull" auto wrecker near you, it shouldn't be too hard to get one of those trannies, or maybe a T-5 from a Mustang. IF (big IF), you can find a Stude truck V8 bellhousing, they have a very broad rear surface, and it should be easy to re-drill for a Brand X tranny.

Still, I have to say the simplest option is to get a Stude overdrive tranny and install it, with or without the floor shift modification. And this isn't the "purist" in me taking this tack, it's just the simple fact that taking adavntage of the factory's engineering saves you the necessity of re-inventing the wheel.

BTW, in case you are unaware, there ARE kits available to install a Chevy overdrive auto tranny, either 700R4 or 2004R, behind a Stude V8. I think there is one on ebay right now. And those trannies are readily available, too.

Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

Alan
10-27-2005, 10:35 AM
51, there is one other thing if you want a Ford top loader they are $$$$$ but in 1982-83 they put a top loader made by Tremic in Mustang and Capris behind the V8 GT's it is a 4 speed over drive. If you want to go the 3 O.D. I have got the Flywheel, clutch, PP, bellhousing, tranny, clutch pedal, linkages, ect. out of a 53 K that I would sell you for $250 + shipping or you could pick up in L.A.

Roscomacaw
10-27-2005, 11:34 AM
My vote would be for the 3spd O/D, given your desires for this car's ultimate performance. If you want it to shine off the line, then going with a 4.10 or even a 3.73 (in concert with the O/D) would provide the range of RPMs that you need to scat from the get-go and still cruise economically!
With the 1 - 2 - 2O/D - 3 - 3O/D sequence of shifting, there's your 5-speed! And NO engineering required![:p]

In the "easy, cheap mods" dept. - what about later stock heads and exhaust manifolds?[:0]:D

Miscreant at large.

1957 Transtar 1/2ton
1960 Larkvertible V8
1958 Provincial wagon
1953 Commander coupe
1957 President 2-dr
1955 President State
1951 Champion Biz cpe
1963 Daytona project FS

51studer
10-28-2005, 01:01 AM
Little side note. If I were to go with the 3Spd. O.D. stude, is it a floor shift, and how easy is it to get a "posi" rear axle from a stude with the ratios mentioned by Mr. Biggs. And P.S. I screwed up and had the 232 heads redone already for $400 when I should have spent the extra for some old 259's and had them redone, so now I'll pay double if I get 259's, But I am going to make some custom headers W/ cutouts to blow the exhaust out the front fender fresh air flaps like a CAT tractor smokestack.:D

Alan
10-28-2005, 11:47 AM
51, a few side notes. First, the Stude T86 3 O.D. is a good tranny for someone that will not abuse it. But speed shifts from first to second will catch the dogs under the syncro drum and pop one end out then you are stuck in second gear and have to take apart the tranny to put them back in place. Second, floor shifters were made by Ansen and a few others but not anymore, so you will have to make your own or find one that someone wants to sell or at a swap meet. Third, If you are changing from a automatic to a stick you need to change the bolts that hold the flywheel to the crank, these are made of a rare earth element called unobtanium and have to be done with the pan and rear main off the engine. It sounds to me like you need some thing like the S10 T5 or the Tremic 4 O.D. out of the 83-4 Mustang. With the T86 you are going to need all the relays,kick down switch and wireing to get it done plus have to find a shifter or build one. I myself do not like the O.D. for performance especialy for drag racing.

Roscomacaw
10-28-2005, 02:15 PM
But if '51 is going with 12volts (and he can correct me if I'm wrong in assuming so), he could get by with the '58 and later O/D which didn't have a relay involved. Further, a T-85 (as was used behind the 56J's 352 and other 56-57 Stude-engined cars and useable with the 58-later O/D solenoid) would be beefier still and bolt right up with the proper bellhousing. BTW, there's only one kickdown switch, not plural.;)And the KD switch mounting hole is probably already on 51's throttle linkage although the little lever that actuates the KD switch would have to be relocated. That said, he could well find his desires in a later 5-spd. More engineering is what it takes.
BTW, does anyone know what percentage advantage the T5 or Tremic tranny's O/D ratios afford? Is it 30% or less?
51, you can buy a limited slip insert for a Stude 44 rear axle. This thing goes in without taking the rear apart. Cost is about $400 and you can install it yourself.;) BTW, the different-headed flywheel bolts are kinda rare but if we can't scare up a set, you can use regular Grade 8 bolts by just grinding one flat of it's head so it'll nestle in close to the crank like the unobtainium ones do.
Whatever you decide ultimately, I applaud you for sticking with the Stude engine instead of the obligatory SBC transplant.[^]

Miscreant at large.

1957 Transtar 1/2ton
1960 Larkvertible V8
1958 Provincial wagon
1953 Commander coupe
1957 President 2-dr
1955 President State
1951 Champion Biz cpe
1963 Daytona project FS

Alan
10-28-2005, 06:20 PM
For the nit pickers around here I should have said 523297, Relay OD solenoid; 529479 Switch OD accelerator kick down; 530175 Sleeve and Tube OD control.

Roscomacaw
10-28-2005, 10:20 PM
No nit-picking, Alan - only covering ALL the options and what of those, I feel (opine?) would be the easiest route to achieve the performance parameters 51 speaks of.:D If Alan sees himself racing with this car, then an original O/D setup probably wouldn't be as viscerally exhilarating as 5 shift lever positions on the floor.[:p][}:)]:D

No matter which manual tranny you chose to go with, 51, you'll have to dial in the bellhousing and change the flywheel bolts out. The auto tranny installation uses the shorter bolts and longer ones have to go in their place to accomodate the thickness of the flywheel.
For something other than stock, a hydraulic clutch arrangement might alleviate alot of linkage hocus-pocus too!;)

Miscreant at large.

1957 Transtar 1/2ton
1960 Larkvertible V8
1958 Provincial wagon
1953 Commander coupe
1957 President 2-dr
1955 President State
1951 Champion Biz cpe
1963 Daytona project FS

51studer
11-10-2005, 12:56 AM
GUYS GUYS GUYS!!! simmer down now. There is no need for semantics. I think I am gonna go with the s-10 tranny. Out of all it seems to be the most cost effective and if I destroy it, I won't have to sell a kidney to fix it. 5 speed is nice. Now, is there any person/place/website you know of that has a guide with pictures to fab up the clutch/flywheel/bellhousing/throwout bearing assembly? that's the part that I think I'll need good help with. Good Idea on the hydraulic clutch pedal idea, I'll look into getting a tranny that has that option. and just use the pedal out of a vehicle with a hydraulic clutch. I'm keeping 6 volts, but I can put a regulator in line to the accessory fuse block and guage assembly, so the engine electrical can be 12V. ;)

Roscomacaw
11-10-2005, 02:43 AM
How do you figure you're gonna keep 6volts as the main power and yet have 12 volts to run "the engine"[?][?][?][B)] It would be easier - way easier - to go to 12volts and use a regulator to power a couple of the gages with 6volts. A 12volt generator (or alternator, if youlike) heater & wiper motors will be easy to find along with 12volt bulbs. IF you end up using the original 6volt starter in your 5spd adaptation, said starter will last a loooooooong time on 12 volts.:D
I don't know of a guide to making the swap. There are instructions out there to adapt the T-5. I don't have that link handy but it's on the NCSDC website, I believe.[:I]

Miscreant at large.

1957 Transtar 1/2ton
1960 Larkvertible V8
1958 Provincial wagon
1953 Commander coupe
1957 President 2-dr
1955 President State
1951 Champion Biz cpe
1963 Daytona project FS

garyash
11-10-2005, 09:06 AM
Here's a link to an article on putting an T-5 transmission from an S-10 into an old Chevy truck. Some useful info there on different T-5 versions and O.D. ratios.
http://www.chevytrucks.org/tech/s10t5.htm

Gary Ash
Dartmouth, MA
'48 M5
'65 Wagonaire Commander
'63 Wagonaire Standard
www.studegarage.com

51studer
11-10-2005, 11:16 PM
Thanks guys. Biggs, the latter 12V batt. reduced to 6v was what I meant.[8D]I don't think it's worth keeping the old 6 volt starter, when I'm changin the tranny anyway, could just find a gear reduction 12v, smaller and more torque.