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Thread: New Guy 56 Project Truck

  1. #1
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    New Guy 56 Project Truck

    Hi Everyone,
    We recently bought a new project and it is our first Studebaker. It is a 1956 Transtar 1/2 ton. It is a model E7 22. From what I have read and learnt it is equipped with a 224 cu in v8 and I know it is a 4 speed manual top shift transmission with the E brake on the tail output shaft of the transmission. ????? I believe the rear differential is a Dana 44 and I know it has the tapered drive axles. I had to pull both left side brake drums to get it to roll freely. I believe I read that the typical gear ratio in this vehicle was 4.10 's ? not sure on this one.

    The one thing my wife an I agree on is that we want a street cruiser but yet we want to pull a small trailer ie 7500 pds.

    The second thing we both agree on is that the transmission shift pattern indicates way to much looseness, So, we want an automatic with overdrive.

    So is there any Original Studebaker Three speed automatic with Overdrive that can bolt up to a 224 cu in Studebaker engine? this would be my PREFERENCE

    Or , do I buy the aftermarket adapter plate and install a nice GM 700 R4. This option in O/D , my final gear ratio would be 2.80 : 1 +/- , just great for highway

    Anyway, I am researching my options, so my questions are do I rebuild the 224 cu in and marry a Studebaker auto with O/D or the GM auto ?
    If I go Studebaker tranny which make is the recommendation?

    Thanks In advance
    Dale Petrie

  2. #2
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    NO There is no such transmission, but you can use a GM aod trans with a Studebaker V8. Is it really a 224?? 289 is squared engine--lugs better. Call Jon Meyer ; I believe he can set you up with adapter.

  3. #3
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    Welcome and congrats on choosing one of the most beautiful pickups ever made. You'll get plenty of help and advice here.

    I know it is a 4 speed manual top shift transmission with the E brake on the tail output shaft of the transmission. ????? The second thing we both agree on is that the transmission shift pattern indicates way to much looseness,
    Not having driven your truck, we can't say yea or nay on the transmission condition and the shifter looseness, but the T98A is a big truck unit, essentially bulletproof in a pickup. I've literally never seen one worn out before the rest of the body and running gear. (I've still got the one removed from my '55 E12 and it was still functioning perfectly after more than fifty years of use.)

    So, we want an automatic with overdrive. . . . Or , do I buy the aftermarket adapter plate and install a nice GM 700 R4. This option in O/D , my final gear ratio would be 2.80 : 1 +/- , just great for highway.
    If you want an automatic, no one can argue with your preference. Alternately, no one can argue with facts. Having driven one for thirty years, I can promise a 224" V8 will not comfortably pull a 2.87 gear on other than flat ground; certainly not with a 7500# trailer behind it. An overdrive automatic would be constantly unlocking the converter and often shifting down into 3rd gear. That's not necessarily a bad thing, just be aware of the limitations of 140 gross horsepower.

    Price the cost of the adapter, a rebuilt 700R4, driveshaft, speedo conversion, and unless you're very talented and experienced, installation and troubleshooting. Figure $3,000 to have it done correctly.

    Then as a CASO alternative, if you and your wife can handle driving a truck 4-speed, consider retaining that and changing the rear axle ratio to a 3.31; a quite common car axle ratio. The 6.40 first gear in the T98A will still pull the trailer off the line and the direct top would give a 2600 RPM cruise at 65 MPH with 225/75-15" tires. The road, engine and fan noise will make it seem louder, but that's just an old truck.

    jack vines
    PackardV8

  4. #4
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    If you are going to pull a 7,500 lb. trailer, go very slow, don't follow too close and get good brakes. I have a 2011 Toyota Tundra that weighs 5,600 lbs and a 5.7L engine. They say it has a 10,500 lb. tow package. I had a all steel utility trailer and a 4,000lb. forklift on it, total weight of 6,500lbs. Doing 30 MPH and some moron dives in front of me and hits the brakes, since he wanted to make a right turn and someone was walking across the street like she had nowhere to go and all the time to get there. It was a Charmin moment. I jumped on the Toyota dealer about the lousy brakes and he told me that I was 500 lbs. over the towing max, That rating is both truck and trailer. Your truck is rated for much less, so be careful.

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    Thanks Jeff , Jack and Alan for your valued comments
    So tonight I learned that Studebaker did not make an Automatic transmission with O/D in 1956 or later years that I can use to repower, at least this is what I am learning here? OK I suppose this means even the larger cubic inch engines from the Studebaker car line up is out , this really limits my options.
    I also agree with the idea of swapping rear gears to provide a better cruiser, I just have to get over the four speed T98 shifting issue.
    However, when it comes to moving a trailer , i agree with the comments of GVWRatings and tow limitations but , I also believe that all trailers of this weight rating MUST have brakes than Must be able to assist stopping the tow vehicle if not stalling it , I certainly know my trailer configurations do.
    I am / was hoping to repower the transtar using a larger ( 289 ) with a Auto with O/D from the Studebaker line of vehicles. I guess I'll keep an ear open and maybe there will be some other ideas.
    Thanks
    Dale

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dale Petrie View Post
    I am / was hoping to repower the transtar using a larger ( 289 ) with a Auto with O/D from the Studebaker line of vehicles. I guess I'll keep an ear open and maybe there will be some other ideas.
    Thanks
    Dale
    Studebaker offered Borg Warner Overdrive transmissions in cars and pickup trucks; but they were all 3 speed standard shifts with an overdrive unit made onto the back of it.

    If you want to go with an automatic with overdrive, your only real choice is to get an adapter and use a GM 700R4 or 200-4R transmission.

    If you don't mind shifting gears but want a more "user friendly" transmission, the whole 3 speed manual with overdrive setup that was optional in your truck could probably be found and installed without too much hassle.

  7. #7
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    There's no reason why you can't put a later 289 in the truck. You may have to find a truck intake.

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    Thanks again for the positive feedback
    In my research I have learned that the Studebaker line of engines, like the 1964 R3 as mentioned below, would be my best choice .

    Quote from online article :
    "The Studebaker V-8 remained powerful to the end, the 1964 Studebaker R3 engine was conservatively rated at 335 horsepower from only 304.5 cubic inches. That's 1.100 horsepower per cubic inch; no small feat in 1964"

    If I was lucky enough to find an R3 engine, then I would seriously consider the Studebaker 3 speed standard with O/D. I am sure the shift pattern is better than a T89!
    I guess this is not the thread to ask, but is there anyone out there that would this combination for Sale ? Maybe I should re-post in the classifieds.

    Thanks again
    Dale

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dale Petrie View Post
    Thanks again for the positive feedback
    In my research I have learned that the Studebaker line of engines, like the 1964 R3 as mentioned below, would be my best choice .

    Quote from online article :
    "The Studebaker V-8 remained powerful to the end, the 1964 Studebaker R3 engine was conservatively rated at 335 horsepower from only 304.5 cubic inches. That's 1.100 horsepower per cubic inch; no small feat in 1964"

    If I was lucky enough to find an R3 engine, then I would seriously consider the Studebaker 3 speed standard with O/D. I am sure the shift pattern is better than a T89!
    I guess this is not the thread to ask, but is there anyone out there that would this combination for Sale ? Maybe I should re-post in the classifieds.

    Thanks again
    Dale
    Dale, the R3 is unobtanium. It's unlikely one will come up for sale in the time you'd be working on this project. But that's moot anyway, as an R3 is not a towing engine. It makes power, but one long uphill pull of a 7,500# trailer might be enough to cause damage. The Paxton superchargers were OK for short bursts of a few seconds, but sustained long pulls at full boost, not so much.

    (But then our friend Alan has a legend from back in the day of how Lionel Stone had him build an R3 and install it in a big truck. It did live, but I'd not want to warranty it.)

    jack vines
    PackardV8

  10. #10
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    Hello Everyone
    The towing of 7500 pds is a small part of my build criteria, our truck will be more of a cruiser than a hauler. That is why I was looking for the automatic with O/D. When towing it would be in 3rd not O/D, same for the 3 speed standard with O/D.
    I don't know enough about the Studebaker engine line up ie the 289 for instance, is there enough metal to bore , is the engine block capable of being decked, are stock heads capable of being ported and larger valves installed , call am options , all of which to increase compression. I will leave my advertisement for a few more days, and if I see no positive feedback, I already have one response that offered a complete rebuilt R2
    Thanks again Dale

  11. #11
    Golden Hawk Member StudeRich's Avatar
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    Jack is absolutely correct (as usual!), a High Performance Engine that is able to put out 335 H.P. AT HIGHER RPM's never equates to Low speed pulling Power as needed in a Truck.

    And then of course, there is the Un-obtainium Factor, IF someone actually had an R3 Supercharged 304 for sale you would probably be looking a $10,000.00 Plus price tag!
    And THEN the 3 Speed would possibly not be adequate for that much power.

    All you have to do is Rebuild the 224 as a 289 replacing the only TWO different Parts: the Crankshaft and the Piston Set.

    NO over-boring is required to fit Stock 289 or Avanti High Compression Pistons if the Bore measurement allows, except to fit New oversize Pistons.
    Of course you CAN go more than the normal .030 over to; .040 or even .060 to get 298.5 c.i.d.

    Also, there is no reason you can't bolt up a 289 from a Hawk or Lark either, all V8 Blocks are basically the same.
    You just need to dial indicate the Truck Clutch housing to match the New Crank centerline and re-drill the Dowel Pin holes oversize to center it.

    I have never shifted a T-98 Four Speed that was loose or sloppy, it just needs getting used to, moving the shifter a bit farther than a Newer 2000's Toyota 5 Speed Manual Top Shifter.
    Last edited by StudeRich; 10-08-2018 at 04:42 PM.
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  12. #12
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    All you have to do is Rebuild the 224 as a 289 replacing the only TWO different Parts: the Crankshaft and the Piston Set.
    Rich is correct, as usual. Finding a 289" crankshaft is not as easy as it once was, but pistons are readily available. FWIW, 259" cranks are still readily available and it being 30" less displacement is only less than 20 hp loss.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dale Petrie View Post
    is there enough metal to bore , is the engine block capable of being decked, are stock heads capable of being ported and larger valves installed , call am options , all of which to increase compression.
    Yes, while the above is somewhat garbled, we can guess at what you're asking; excess iron is what makes the Studebaker V8 so heavy. We routinely bore .060" and after sonic testing we go .093" and even .118". All our builds have square decked blocks, line honed main bores and the heads can be surfaced up to .125". Only the intake valves need enlarged, standard R3 size are available. We like to use Chevrolet valves and springs, but only on performance builds. There are only two performance cam options readily available, but sufficient to most needs.

    jack vines
    Last edited by PackardV8; 10-08-2018 at 04:42 PM.
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  13. #13
    President Member swvalcon's Avatar
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    If you want to get rid of the manual trans and tow a 7500 lb trailer. Pull both the motor and trans and find a 6.0 gas LS & auto overdrive out of a chev or Gmc pickup and do a swap. There are a lot of places doing the computer rewire so it is a stand alone system. Now your working with 300 hp plus depending on what the motor came out of and set up. Way more power and better gas mileage if you working it.

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    Hello Gentlemen
    Again thanks for the comments, the issue with our transtar is not only the T 98, but the E Brake system on the tail end, making the conversion almost necessary to change the Dana 44 Re ( no e brake with tapered axles on our current set ).
    My 1985 GMC one owner has a 6.2 HO gas crate engine) and this is why I am spoiled , it's all about the low end torque engine, the right gears in the rear and a nice over drive transmission.
    I can see a repower coming.
    Consider my issue or thread closed. thanks for all your comments
    Now it's all about best bang for my buck.
    Thanks

  15. #15
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    You said the case is closed, but your truck had an emergency brake system when it was new. Do you know why yours doesn't work? Dana 44 axles have been used on many thousands of vehicles, so parts are readily available.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skip Lackie View Post
    You said the case is closed, but your truck had an emergency brake system when it was new. Do you know why yours doesn't work? Dana 44 axles have been used on many thousands of vehicles, so parts are readily available.
    Skip, if you thought about it, you'd remember the 4-speeds have the parking brake drum on the transmission output flange with an external contracting band. They didn't have the linkages to the rear brake drums.

    Of course, the under-dash handle, cables and linkage from the 3-speed trucks could be added and use the Dana 44 rear brake drums as a parking brakes.

    jack vines
    PackardV8

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    President Member Jerry Forrester's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swvalcon View Post
    If you want to get rid of the manual trans and tow a 7500 lb trailer. Pull both the motor and trans and find a 6.0 gas LS & auto overdrive out of a chev or Gmc pickup and do a swap. There are a lot of places doing the computer rewire so it is a stand alone system. Now your working with 300 hp plus depending on what the motor came out of and set up. Way more power and better gas mileage if you working it.
    Best advice so far.
    Jerry Forrester
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by PackardV8 View Post
    Skip, if you thought about it, you'd remember the 4-speeds have the parking brake drum on the transmission output flange with an external contracting band. They didn't have the linkages to the rear brake drums.

    Of course, the under-dash handle, cables and linkage from the 3-speed trucks could be added and use the Dana 44 rear brake drums as a parking brakes.

    jack vines
    One of the many disadvantages of geezer-dom is that you can't remember important stuff, like the parking brake arrangement on trucks equipped with 4-speed transmissions. However, it must be noted that I also forgot the fact that the truck under discussion was equipped with a 4-spd trans (post #1).

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