View Full Version : Lark 4 Speed

03-26-2012, 11:51 PM
I'm beginning to feel the need for a 4 speed in my 62 Daytona. Has 3 speed overdrive now and is so much fun I think I'd like to change to 4 speed. Has a 3:31 gear in it and will move right along. Anyone have one for sale? Or can anyone suggest why I shouldn't change it? I'm not not concerned about authenticity and I don't think the 4 speed would degrade the value. I'm like others here not concerned about what it will sell for, but how it suites me.
Thanks in advance,

Jessie J.
03-27-2012, 12:06 AM
Having an overdrive gear is nice on highway trips. Have you given thought to a 5 speed o/d coversion? That would be my 1st choice.

03-27-2012, 05:00 AM
Kim, if you are going to change it out you will be happy with the 5 speed swap. That gives you the extra gears plus the overdrive and these tranny's are plentiful.

03-27-2012, 06:34 AM
I would agree with the 5 speed suggestion. I had access to a T10 a while back and I thought about putting it in my Champ, but the advantages of overdrive brought me back to reality. Of course the cool factor isn't neccesarily there, but then each to his own, right?

03-27-2012, 06:41 AM
I have a 64 Lark with a great automatic in it. But i would also like to go to a late model automatic or 5 or 6 speed transmission. I have a 3:55 geared 27 Posi in it right now, and a 65 flanged 3:73 44 waiting in the wings. Already own a steel tech adapter ( I'm kinda leery of) had it for years still in the box. I say Leary because iv'e seen one wear out a starter prematurely, (not engageing teeth properly) and someone on the racing group has had the same problem. Fixable but i shouldn't have to do it.

03-27-2012, 08:46 AM
There's just something more visceral about rowing through a manual transmission as opposed to just stomping on the gas in an automatic. Not that the car is faster in this era of modern automatics but I went through this when I purchased my 83 Avanti. I kept the automatic but never lost the desire for a manual so I had to purchase the 74 with a four speed.

If I had to start from scratch with no transmission, I'd go five speed for all the reasons above. If looks are important, we can find Hurst four speed shift levers all over the local swap meets. Just modify one to mount on the five speed and put a four speed ball on it. Best of all worlds.

Go for it.


03-27-2012, 09:26 AM
You haven't mentioned which engine your car has?

03-27-2012, 09:56 AM
Having owned several of both, I now consider the T10 4-speed preferable only if a drag strip is a regular use. The T10 close ratio with a 4.11 or lower rear axle ratio is great there.

I could never figure why B-W and Stude ever chose the ratios they did for the '62-64 wide ratio transmission. Second and third gears are too close together. Thus, it doesn't do anything especially well except provide a synchronized low gear.

For all-around use, the four more widely ratios of the 3-speed + overdrive is far more flexible, allowing a low rear axle ratio to be used while retaining relaxed cruising. Agree completely, if starting a swap from scratch, definitely go with the 5-speed.

jack vines

03-27-2012, 11:48 AM
Clone, Those adapters use a 89 Ford Ranger 2.9L. V6 starter that is mirrored for use on the drivers side of the engine. You have to use an adapter ring to space out the starter for a stick. Without the spacer you will get all kinds of weird noises and clashing of the gear into the flywheel.

03-28-2012, 12:40 AM
Thanks for the feedback. Mine is 259 V8. Not out to race, just want to alarm the kids in thier mustangs and rice burners. With the 27 3:31 single trace diff, I don't really want to be dead stop launches. I sold the 3:31 flange axel, twin trac that would encourage me to do such foolishness. (maybe I should go buy it back) What does the 5 speed conversion consist of?

03-28-2012, 05:38 AM
I have most parts to do a conversion....bellhousing , flywheel, clutch. T 10 , starter, driveshaft, backup switch....etc............just never did one.

03-28-2012, 08:11 AM
Go with a 4 speed or 5 speed. With a T86 3 speed OVERDRIVE you don't want to be launching it at all, even with 'only' a 259. The T86 was somewhat marginal with even a base 289 under somewhat ordinary use, especially with a heavier model like a Cruiser or a Wagonaire; Studebaker replaced a lot of them. That is also why, besides the cool/uncool factor, Avantis, for example, never came with a 3 speed overdrive at all, even though some were built with straight 3 speeds; they needed the stronger T10 or automatic. Even the base engine in an Avanti was too much for a T86 overdrive

One of those days, Launch will turn into Lunch. Even if not launching, with a 27 and a T86 O/D it is not a good combo for frightening the rice burners through the gears.

03-28-2012, 08:33 AM
Just did a 5 speed in a R2 Lark. Got the kit from Phil Harris. It was almost a bolt in. It replaced a 4 speed. Jim

03-29-2012, 12:21 AM
Thanks guys,
I don't know that I want to do the 5 speed because of all the changes that may have to be made. I think I want to install a 4 speed like from the factory. In the process, I don't want to reduce the 4 gear rpm that I have with the T86 in third overdrive. I really enjoy drivng it as is, guess I kinda want to remember how much fun it was driving a 68 Road Runner I bought new back in the day. The Daytona is feels light, is resposive and while not all that powerful, the 259 sounds good. (may be because of the holes in what appears to be the original tail pipe) I hope to do dual exhaust next week.
I owned a 63 R1 Avanti back in the early ninties that had a T86 in it and according to an early owner, came from South Bend that way.

03-29-2012, 10:20 AM
I don't want to reduce the 4 gear rpm that I have with the T86 in third overdrive. Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way. As I mentioned earlier, the 3-speed with overdrive has a much wider ratio spread than does the 4-speed.

You have a 3.31 rear axle or an effective 2.31 final drive with overdrive. The overall first gear ratio is approx 8.37.

To retain the same cruising RPM you'd have to install a 2.31 rear axle ratio. With that setup, the overall first gear ratio with a T10 4-speed would be only 5.86. To get an idea of what that would be like, just take off in second gear every time with your present setup. Not good for the clutch, dangerous on left turns in traffic and not possible on some hills.

Life is about tradeoffs.

With a T86 3 speed OVERDRIVE you don't want to be launching it at all, even with 'only' a 259. The T86 was somewhat marginal with even a base 289 under somewhat ordinary use, especially with a heavier model like a Cruiser or a Wagonaire; Studebaker replaced a lot of them. Agree, the T86 is a medium duty transmission. To save a very few dollars, S-P used the T86 instead of the excellent heavy duty 3-speed with overdrive T85 already in the parts bins. Penny-wise, pound-foolish, seemed to me.

jack vines