View Full Version : Transmission: 1960 Lark to a T-5 questions

07-18-2015, 09:16 PM
I know this might have been asked a lot and I'm still using the search function. I'm going to look at a '60 wagon tomorrow and he says it's a 259 V8, 3 spd non o/d, I was wondering what's involved getting a T-5 into it. I've read that the 59-60 3spd bell will work and not much other info. The T-5 will be easier for the girlfriend to use then the 3 on the tree (worse if you add a o/d unit) and some floor pan replacement is needed to the shifter hole won't be too much of an issue.
The questions I have are:

1. What T-5 pattern do I need to find (Ford or GM) I know it needs a WC V8 one.
2. In the '60 lark do I need the S10 tail shaft or can I run the Mustang/Camaro tail shaft.
3. Is the '60 Lark a crossmember mount in the back of the trans or does it use a bellhousing mount.
4. Is there any mods to the T-5 like the, input shaft, trans register or anything for the throw out bearing
5. Is there any mods to the 259 motor like pilot bushing/bearing.
6. Is the spline count on 3spd the same as either T-5 so I can uses the stock clutch setup.
7. Is there any trans tunnel work I should expect (minus the shifter hole).

Thanks for any info,

07-18-2015, 11:23 PM
1. You need to get a Quick Time bellhousing, that will be for a Chevy type tranny.
2. You can run either, but the S10 puts the shifter a ways forward of the seat, but there were no WC S10's. The Mustang is about right and the Camaro will crowd the seat, so you will have to use a S bent shift handle.
3. Bellhousing.
4. You will have to use a custom pilot bearing.
5. Yes.
6. Same as the early Chev, but not the same as the late 90's WC.
7. No.

07-19-2015, 12:11 AM
Your bellhousing should work with the appropriate adapter. You want the Ford version. More answers here:


There's some info on my T5 swap into my 53 Coupe at my blog linked in my signature below.

07-19-2015, 03:00 AM
Thanks for the reply's.
Dave I did see that page with the adapter but I think I read through it too quickly, as it says you CAN use a 59/60 3 spd bellhousing with a Ford T5. I like the idea of having the stock bell mount and not making a new crossmember....also makes for easy clutch replacement.

Alan, so the '60 lark V8 has 10 spline 1 1/8" shaft?. Also anyone know the difference between the 6 cyl and V8 lark 3spd trans of the same year (I read here that the 6 and 8 won't swap).

Thanks again.

07-19-2015, 08:43 AM
The T5 is a good swap if you are interested in a project, but a 3 speed with overdrive makes a really nice ride. My wife had never driven a stick shift when we met and I taught her in a 52 Champion with overdrive. It's not that hard.
As an added bonus these days, lots of people have never seen or ridden in a column shifted car. It is unique and a theft deterrent for the ignorant. You might want to try the stock 259/overdrive combo first.

07-19-2015, 11:10 AM
I agree with 52-fan that the stick with overdrive is a very nice ride. I have no interest in newer cars, so haven't looked at them in years.
I haven't given the column shift much thought, but are there no newer cars still using this? When was the last car still using the column shift?

07-19-2015, 12:51 PM
The newest vehicle I had with a column shifted 3 speed was a 1976 Dodge pickup. I remember some time in the late 1990s giving a young man a ride one day and he was fascinated by the shifter. Up until then I just thought of it as normal.

07-19-2015, 01:20 PM
Going to look at the car today, if it does have the stock overdrive then it will stay. Around here it's easier to find a T5 then a 3spd with o/d (of any make), but I haven't been a part of this group for long. I've been driving 3 on the tree cars most of my driving life, still have 3 of them (1 was the one I learned on) and 1 had o/d with another waiting to be converted. Anyways, it seems like a pretty easy swap if I need to go that route.

BTW, I think trucks made it to the early 80's with the column shift. I remember working on one and was shocked.....plus I was the only one in the shop who knew how to drive it.

07-20-2015, 12:13 PM
I think any T5 will need some sort of adapter from the bell housing to the trans. Even early Ford bells (which I think are the same as Early Ford pattern Stude bells) need one to the newer T5. The article shows a Tremec which all are GM pattern. I think this will work if you go down that road: http://www.cjponyparts.com/cpc-t-5-adapter-plate-for-6-bolt-bellhousings-1965-1973/p/T5AP/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=merchant&utm_campaign=shopping&gclid=CP2g-o6Z6sYCFUoXHwodVP4Bfg

07-20-2015, 03:33 PM
McLoed has the same adapter for half that price. That is for early Ford to late Ford. On a Studebaker it uses a smaller register, at 4.680" You will have to turn the register down and then you will be too far out to set right in the pilot bearing.

07-20-2015, 06:27 PM
This is how I overcame the short length of the Ford transmission in a Studebaker bellhousing. This was not, however, a T5 but a Toploader, so I don't know what the length differences are. It is a common size alternator bearing.



07-21-2015, 09:14 PM
Ok, Now I'm on the fence. Looked at the car, drove great, it has a different rear so gearing is ok with the non o/d 3 spd. The only hold up was rust issues in the rear corner of the roof and some small rust in the lower body. I've looked at 2 lark wagons and they seem to rust in the same spots (the second one was way worse), is this common for the 58-60 larks to rust on the roof gutters, lower part of all panels and front fenders. Is this just lack of care or did Studebaker not get primer inside double panels?.

07-21-2015, 10:02 PM
All the spots you see are where water or mud gets kicked up into and is hard to dry out or remove. Almost every Lark I have seen has rust in the front fenders right in front of the doors near the bottom. Buy the first one and patch it if the price is right.

07-21-2015, 11:58 PM
That's the other dilemma, trying to get a price gauge (not that many wagons). 259, 3spd, good running, driving, registered, complete (minus carpet), headliner great, seats ok (back popping seams), front door panels rotted at the bottoms, upgraded brakes and 8" rear. Dash and all metal trim inside paint is real good, fuel gauge not working, other gauges good, sun baked dash knobs, all weather stripping shot, floor pans rusty (drivers front you can see road), fenders lower rust opened up, door bottoms bubbling rust, pass rear roof at rain gutter open about 8" and 3" of rust bubbles. Rust bubbles under tail lights at bumper, missing tail light lenses....just basically been sitting sitting out in the weather for years. He wants $5000, but what's a fair estimate.

07-23-2015, 11:49 AM
The price ain't right. Look for something less rusty.

07-23-2015, 12:09 PM
To my eye that's all standard midwest Studebaker rust except for the right rear roof top.
Wonder what happened there?

07-23-2015, 12:21 PM
I'd say installing a T-5 would be the least of your problems. That car has entirely too much rust even if it was given to you free. And I'm not talking about making something pristine and expensive. I'm just talking about functional. Most of the time when you see rust like that externally, internally it is far worse.

07-23-2015, 01:31 PM
I agree, that car is way overpriced and there are much better deals to be had. Luckily for us, Studebakers are underappreciated and often undervalued.