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scarecrowtim
05-31-2009, 06:54 AM
Hi, I am new to the Studebaker.....well kind of. I presently have a 1958 Silver hawk that my father has owned since day one but I am looking at buying a 1955 Studebaker truck with a six cylinder and was wondering if any out there could tell me if it would be able to travel on a freeway at current speeds, say 70 to 75 mph? Asuming it was tuned up and running correctly. Thanks and have a great day,
Tim

kmul221
05-31-2009, 06:58 AM
If it doesn't have a overdrive transmissiom,probably not!

mbstude
05-31-2009, 07:02 AM
Welcome to the Forum.

Having driven a 6 cylinder pickup many miles, the short answer is "maybe". The thing is, these old trucks weren't designed to run 75 MPH.. While I have hit 75 a couple times in my '59 pickup, it was pretty scary! :) Even with overdrive, the engine was screaming and it was a bear to keep it on the road. They're much more comfortable at 50-55. You also have to remember that the suspension is VERY stiff, and you will do a lot of bouncing around. Also, the brakes were made for the dirt roads of 50 years ago..

If you want an Interstate cruiser, put a V8 in it, upgrade to disc brakes, and remove some of the leaf springs from the rear. Then you'll be getting close. ;)

Skip Lackie
05-31-2009, 07:34 AM
There were two 6-cylinder engines available in 1955. The smaller, 169 cubic inch engine usually came with very low (high numerical) rear axle ratio, like 4.55 or 4.89. As Matthew has noted, this greatly limits top speed. The bigger, 246 cubic inch engine was more often ordered with a 4.09 rear axle ratio, which allows a higher top speed. However, neither engine is an high-revver, and neither will attain freeway speeds without an overdrive transmission. I have a 54 with the big 6, OD trans, and a 4.09 axle. A comfortable top speed is about 60. Beyond that, I become uncomfortable with the screaming engine.

And Matthew's last paragraph is right on the money. The brakes are "adequate" if in good condition, but were not designed to bring the vehicle down quickly from 75 mph. The suspension is bouncy, and the steering is probably a little sloppy unless recently rebuilt. Radial tires help.

Good luck with your truck.

Skip Lackie
Washington DC

RebelStude
05-31-2009, 09:07 AM
"Also, the brakes were made for the dirt roads of 50 years ago.. "
Have to disagree with ya here. I'm pretty sure the brakes were made for paved road use.
Granted, they are not up to par with today's brakes, but then again, today's drivers aren't up to par with yesterdays drivers!



George

rockinhawk
05-31-2009, 09:22 AM
I use a 58 with the 170 and a granny 4spd around the farm. My hound dog loves to ride in it but sometimes she gets impatient,will jump out and pass me. Those trucks are tough and strong but not fast. NT


Neil Thornton
Hazlehurst, GA
'57 Silver Hawk
'56 Sky Hawk
'51 2R16 dump truck
Many others.
http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j209/mbstude/avatar2.jpg

Chucks Stude
05-31-2009, 09:24 AM
On the subject of brakes..... there is a Allstate insurance ad where the pitchman is touting the "one mississippi, two mississippi, rule for following another car. Back in the 50's it was one mississippi for each 10 mph of speed. Kinda puts brakes in perspective.

candbstudebakers
05-31-2009, 11:08 AM
Geo. how fast can you drive your trucks around Daily City? nice to see you here, now we have another truck expert in case anyone is interested, going to Iowa Geo?

Bob Peterson / C & B Studebakers

Castro Valley, CA

http://i691.photobucket.com/albums/vv271/canbstudebakers/IM000994-1-1.jpg

PackardV8
05-31-2009, 12:11 PM
Good real world advice here. Most C-cab speedos are +5 to 10 MPH optimistic at highway speeds - at an indicated 70, I get passed all the time by governed semi trucks. In addition to brakes and the rough ride, the sound of that old flathead boat anchor screaming its guts out at a real 70 MPH plus the fan noise and road noise makes freeway travel tiring in a hurry. Plan on putting in a V8 plus Dynamat all over the interior, rebuilding the springs, bushings, shocks and highway rear gears.

thnx, jack vines

PackardV8

Mark57
05-31-2009, 12:31 PM
Hmmm... from all the comments, I am feeling like a "daredevil" for taking my (almost) stock 57 C-Cab out on the highway at highway speeds!

Yes, it has a V8 and an overdrive transmission, but it handles just fine and holds the road quite nicely as fast as I have driven it (took it up to 75 on the Overdrive Tour last weekend for a bit).;) I have had it up to 80, but I'm not fussy driving any vehicle that fast on a public highway - too many idiots! Far better to cruise at a nice 60-65 and I get better fuel economy too.

I do have radial tires, but completely stock brakes - no power, but I can put a lot of weight on that pedal! [:0] (I learned to drive on cars that had drum brakes, no power - so I guess it doesn't trouble me much), but I keep them adjusted and maintained. ;)

As far as road noise, I seem to be immune - just enjoy driving the Transtar too much to think about it. :) The only "option" I wish I had at times was power steering for getting into those tight places in parking lots, otherwise, I'm good to go! [^][8D]

<h5>Mark
'57 Transtar Deluxe
Vancouver Island Chapter
http://sdcvi.shawwebspace.ca/ </h5>

http://i186.photobucket.com/albums/x153/MarkH57/CandyStore1Thumb.jpg

Mark57
05-31-2009, 12:34 PM
PS - I installed a "new" pinion gear a few weeks ago and did some speed tests at 30, 40 and 50 mph. At all speeds, the speedo was within 1 mph - good enough for me! :)

<h5>Mark
'57 Transtar Deluxe
Vancouver Island Chapter
http://sdcvi.shawwebspace.ca/ </h5>

http://i186.photobucket.com/albums/x153/MarkH57/CandyStore1Thumb.jpg

jclary
05-31-2009, 12:45 PM
I still have my first Studebaker. (Bought it in 1975) It is a 1955 Studebaker little six cylinder truck. If you use the straight 3 speed non-overdrive rear-end...with overdrive, you can cruise the interstate comfortably at 65-70 mph. Of course, the trade off is hauling power and loss of speed on hills. Since about the heaviest thing I ever haul is air or the occasional pedal car and poodle, I have been pleasantly putting up with this for many years. On "flatland" the factory throttle even makes a decent "poor man's" cruise control. In 1984 I drove it to the national meet and averaged about 65-70 mph and got over 20mpg. My Wife and Daughter followed in the Buick, so they never complained in my ear about the ride, lack of air conditioner or stereo. Everybody had a good time. Just keep your steering box, tie rod ends, king pins, and spring bushings in good shape. There is an old saying about motorcycles..."If it's too loud, you're too old!"...perhaps the same could apply to the trucks..."If the rides too rough, you're too old!" (Or just a sissy). Last night as I bounced my way home from the cruise-in, I pulled back into the "man cave" with a big 'ol grin on my face.:D

John Clary
Greer, SC
http://i518.photobucket.com/albums/u346/jconln/HPIM0372-2.jpg
I have only two limitations ...BRAINS & ENERGY
SDC member since 1975

buddymander
05-31-2009, 02:50 PM
Just gear up the rearend to the max that your motor can lug it. First, check out the rearend you have to see if it has a tag on it with two numbers like 47 over 12 or something like that to tell you the ratio. Divide the little number into the big number for the ratio. 47 over 12 is 3.90

Roscomacaw
05-31-2009, 03:10 PM
Geez! I'm with Mark here.... Some of you guys make it sound like you need to make sure your funeral arrangements are all in order before venturing onto something other than a rural dirt road in a Studee truck![:0][:0][:0]
49 thru 62, the half ton brakes are virtually identical - V8 or not. And yes, you do have to give up tailgating on the freeway as a measure of self-preservation, but I drove Pete for 8 years in stock form before I put discs on the front. And I'm alive to tell about it.

The little (and it should be 185cu.in. in a '55) six is gonna be huffing to keep up with freeway traffic. If it's the bigger six, it will still be singing, but it'll be a bit easier to keep up. I did say "bit" - as opposed to "bunch".
I would think the bigger six could deal with lower number gears at the rear, which could make freeway speeds a big less chaotic. Still, drive within the capability of a 54 year old vehicle.

1957 Transtar 1/2ton
1963 Cruiser
1960 Larkvertible V8
1958 Provincial wagon
1953 Commander coupe
1957 President two door

RebelStude
05-31-2009, 05:26 PM
Hey Bob,
I took Pinkie (59 3E11) for a test drive up on San Bruno Mountain the other day and was able to wind it up to 65 before I had to slow down for a curve.
A few years back I beat a Chevy Blazer going up hill on John Daly Blvd. I left him at 55 in second OD. I think that guy is still trying to figure out how I had 5 gears with a three on the tree.
Just cuz we have hills don't mean we can't speed over here &lt;G&gt;



George

PackardV8
05-31-2009, 06:03 PM
Hi, Mark,

Let's remember the question:

quote:I am looking at buying a 1955 Studebaker truck with a six cylinder and was wondering if any out there could tell me if it would be able to travel on a freeway at current speeds, say 70 to 75 mph? The answer to that is a definite NO.

from there,

quote:Hmmm... from all the comments, I am feeling like a "daredevil" for taking my (almost) stock 57 C-Cab out on the highway at highway speeds! Yes, it has a V8 and an overdrive transmission,
Neither the OP nor you indicate what model. A 5, 6 or 7-122 is a completely different driving experience than a 10,11,12 or 1t or even a R5-112 with the HD suspension, which was the worst I've ever driven, so we need to qualify our experiences and opinions.

I know from driving a '59 4E7-122 for many years, your V8 overdrive is a world apart on the highway than is any 6-cyl and completely different animal from a 4-speed V8 or 6-cyl. IMHO, an overdrive is a must for a Stude truck to be highway driven.

FWIW, I've worked Stude trucks for fifty years and will never tell anyone they make any sense for a daily driver truck on today's roads. Put a new guy used to modern trucks in one and he'll be shocked by how hot, cramped inside, antique-rough-riding, antique-noisy, bog-slow and just plain hard work to drive. (These are the exact quotes from a friend who liked the look of my truck and asked me to go on an extended test drive of a 2R5-112 4-speed on a hot day.) And no, my '55 E12 will not be for sale anytime soon, because it makes me smile each time I look at it.

thnx, jack vines

PackardV8

Roscomacaw
05-31-2009, 07:04 PM
Jack, I know what modern "Cowboy Cadillacs" and smaller import pickups are like, but my sensory inputs must be really dulled by my advancing years.

Noisy? Sure - but not to where you need to worry about hearing loss. Hot? Well, I did put a layer of hot water heater insulation on the floorboards when I rebuilt Pete back from a total. But I have a problem with this statement the most: " bog-slow and just plain hard work to drive"

Yes, at a stand-still, my 3E7 is tough to turn. It wears grabby, big-footed radials that weren't even a dream in 1957. But the 289 W/3spd OD (which I agree is a must for pleasureable driving - the OD, that is) here around town AND on the hiways.... I feel one with this truck when driving it. Below OD speed, I shift almost all the time without using the clutch or having to give such a thought. It's just second nature - like I said, as if I were an integral part of it.

Yes, it HAS two solid axles. OH THE DISCOMFORT![xx(] Imagine me driving my truck to South Bend and beyond in '97 and STILL alive some dozen years later! LOL!!!![:o)]

Too bad the pioneers couldn't see into the future. I'm sure if they'd seen 6-lanes and radial tuned suspensions under air conditioned lounge rooms, they'd have opted to wait instead of taking to a Conestoga.;):D

1957 Transtar 1/2ton
1963 Cruiser
1960 Larkvertible V8
1958 Provincial wagon
1953 Commander coupe
1957 President two door

Mark57
05-31-2009, 07:11 PM
quote:Originally posted by Mr.Biggs
Jack, I know what modern "Cowboy Cadillacs" and smaller import pickups are like, but my sensory inputs must be really dulled by my advancing years.

Noisy? Sure - but not to where you need to worry about hearing loss. Hot? Well, I did put a layer of hot water heater insulation on the floorboards when I rebuilt Pete back from a total. But I have a problem with this statement the most: " bog-slow and just plain hard work to drive"

Yes, at a stand-still, my 3E7 is tough to turn. It wears grabby, big-footed radials that weren't even a dream in 1957. But the 289 W/3spd OD (which I agree is a must for pleasureable driving - the OD, that is) here around town AND on the hiways.... I feel one with this truck when driving it. Below OD speed, I shift almost all the time without using the clutch or having to give such a thought. It's just second nature - like I said, as if I were an integral part of it.

Yes, it HAS two solid axles. OH THE DISCOMFORT![xx(] Imagine me driving my truck to South Bend and beyond in '97 and STILL alive some dozen years later! LOL!!!![:o)]




Mr. Biggs, you have captured my exact sentiments, so I will not reiterate same. ;)[^][8D]

<h5>Mark
'57 Transtar Deluxe
Vancouver Island Chapter
http://sdcvi.shawwebspace.ca/ </h5>

http://i186.photobucket.com/albums/x153/MarkH57/CandyStore1Thumb.jpg

PackardV8
05-31-2009, 07:20 PM
did either Mark or Biggs notice the "bog-slow" was directed by my friend at the 2R5-112 4-speed he drove? I defy anyone to argue with that assessment, or his others as applies to that truck. Remember, I'm a fifty-year C-cab driver and all I could say to him was, "Some C-cabs are not quite as slow and noisy as this one."

As always, your truck, your opinion, your decision.

thnx, jack vines

PackardV8

Allan Songer
05-31-2009, 07:39 PM
Hell, if a 50 year old 5'3" 115 lb woman (my wife) can use a C-Cab (1955 E7, 289/T85) as daily transport for the last 12 years, then any man who thinks a C-Cab is too rough, too noisy or too HARD to drive should really not even THINK about owning one!

RebelStude
05-31-2009, 07:54 PM
Well, from my first little 2R6-112 up to my 7E45-171 (and the 3/4 and 1 tons in between), the driving experiences are all the same, FUN!
One of the best times I had on the road was driving a 6E28, 5OD with a 2 speed rear axle from CA to CO and back (except for getting stopped by the Utah HP, but that's another story). The stake racks rattled, the tach bounced on the dash, the smell of the gear oil in the trans filled the cab and man did it get hot in the cab even with the windows down and the firewall vents open. But I had a blast split shifting the gears up and down the hills between here and there. Hard work? Maybe for some, but I don't look at it that way. For me, it's a kick in the pants to drive a truck, especially an "old" one. Different strokes for different folks, as they say.
I always encourage someone new to Studebaker to take their vehicle out and see how THEY like it first before offering my warped opinion&lt;G&gt;

George

PackardV8
05-31-2009, 08:44 PM
Hi, Allen,

Luv ya' man, but remember, you gave her the best of the best C-cabs. Put her in that 2R5 with the T9 non-synchro 4-speed and see how long she lasts.

thnx, jack vines

PackardV8

Allan Songer
05-31-2009, 10:30 PM
quote:Originally posted by PackardV8

Hi, Allen,

Luv ya' man, but remember, you gave her the best of the best C-cabs. Put her in that 2R5 with the T9 non-synchro 4-speed and see how long she lasts.

thnx, jack vines

PackardV8


Yeah, you're probably right about that! In fact, I passed on a 3R6 with a 4-speed before buying the E7. The big 6 was OK with me, but that 4-speed with the 4.27 gears made for a truck not well suited to city driving to say the least!

studeclunker
05-31-2009, 10:50 PM
There's one here in Red Bluff CA that has a, I'm pretty sure, modern Chevrolet chassis. It looks pretty good too. Needs some finishing out though. If you want to cruise at light speed with the rest of the racer-boys, then this is the best solution for you. As for me, I'm just as happy at the double nickel.;) Oh, I don't drive the Champ on the freeway, but I have the wagon, she has a V8 with overdrive and has plenty of power and speed when I need it.:D

http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=29440

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