View Full Version : 54 commander transmission to a Chevy small block

Laura Colorado
06-11-2012, 03:22 PM
Hello and help!
I have looked all over and I am sure there is information on here about this topic but I can't find it.
Now I know the idea of putting a chevy small block engine in our restoration may make many of you throw-up but rest assure the outside and interior will be stock!:) We would like to keep the T86E-A1 transmission with the overdrive and use an adapter plate to connect to the 350 but we can't find a plate. The one we found needs a 9" shaft and ours is only 7". Honest Charlies used to have one but not anymore. Many people say they have done the conversion-Can you PLEASE help us?
If we need to buy a new transmission-what one do we get and can we still keep 3 on the tree?

06-11-2012, 04:10 PM
If you can find a '65 or '66 Studebaker Commander, Daytona, Wagonaire or Cruiser with the 3 speed OVERDRIVE, it MUST be an Overdrive 3 Speed Manual Trans. this T-86 Overdrive Trans. is a bolt in to the small block Chev. Clutch Housing because it has the wide Chevy. bolt pattern at the lower right hand bolt.

Do keep in mind though that the T-86 is not rated for much over 225 HP.

Laura Colorado
06-11-2012, 04:19 PM
Thanks again! Is there anyway to keep 3 on the tree and put in a transmission that could handle 350HP?

06-11-2012, 04:57 PM
Thanks again! Is there anyway to keep 3 on the tree and put in a transmission that could handle 350HP?

There is, but it's a needle in a haystack if you know what I mean. The Heavy Duty T-85 Overdrive would do the job for you, but it would have to come from a '57 Golden Hawk, '57 President Classic long wheelbase Sedan, or a '57 Packard Clipper and then the bolt pattern would have to be modified on your Chevy Clutch Housing and the input shaft also, just too rare and too much trouble to keep the column shift.

The simple choice is a T-10 4 Speed floor shift. Unfortunately without Overdrive.

There are also Tremac 5 speed Overdrives available that should mate to a small block Chev. I have never gone there, so not the one to ask about it.

06-11-2012, 10:47 PM
A GM T5 should work nicely, and they have overdrive. As long as you're not drag racing should hold up fine.

06-11-2012, 11:57 PM
Trans-Dapt of Cerritos CA. Made them, they still have many of their adapters in stock. Check with them and use the part number from the Honest Charlie catalog.