View Full Version : New Project

Bill A
06-20-2016, 12:07 PM
My wife has had a 57 Transtar for a bunch of years and used it in a business she had. She parked it behind her mont garage in 02 and shut it off and it's never been touched since. Making a long story shorter we went to a car show last weekend and she saw one which was quite nicely done and she said she wants hers out again. Well i built custom cars for a number of years and when we married I promised her one car to her liking, last weekend she made her choice. It's chassis # is E7-8264, model is 3E7-12. From what I read here a 3E7 is a half ton and a 3E12 is a 3/4 ton. This is a 3E7-12 so which is it???. The tuck is straight, no rust other than surface rust, it has a long bed a V8 and auto trans with a 2bbl and it is missing nothing as it was a driver when she parked it. I'm trying to decide what the beast way is to go doing it as a stocker or put a late model drive train in it. I will do discs, power steering and AC and the choices make a long list so any ideas/ experiences would be great to hear because she's leaving it up to me. Thanks

Commander Eddie
06-20-2016, 12:25 PM
I believe the 12 refers to the long wheelbase for the 8 foot bed. Does it have the longer bed? If it all there I would keep it stock. These are nice trucks. Maybe install an electric fuel pump. You could also install a Pertronix electronic ignition which works great and is practically invisible to the casual observer. Disc brakes are a good idea. Power steering and A/C are also doable with the stock engine. Putting a modern drive train in might be a good idea of you were starting with a blown engine or none at all, but the Studebaker engines are very durable and should serve you well. It also makes it more desirable later if you want to sell it.

06-20-2016, 01:06 PM
Yes, the 12 refers to the wheelbase, in this case 112", which would be the short wheelbase.

Commander Eddie
06-20-2016, 01:10 PM
Yes, the 12 refers to the wheelbase, in this case 112", which would be the short wheelbase.

Oops! Sorry. I got mixed up on that. Still working on that first cup of coffee. Thanks rockne10.

Skip Lackie
06-20-2016, 05:54 PM
As stated above, a 3E7-12 is a 57/58 1/2-ton pickup with a 112" WB and a 6' box. A 122" WB with an 8' box was available, but that would have been a 3E7-22. How long is the box?

06-20-2016, 06:14 PM
Bill, did I read it right that this truck is an automatic??? If so, that is one rare bird! If this is a factory-equipped automatic truck, I would respectfully beg you to either sell it off and modify another truck or to please restore this with the original drive train. As somewhat of a stick-in-the-mud in the way of modifieds (LOL, ask anyone on this forum:o), I would usually read this and then (try anyway to) just stay out of the conversation. However in a case like this, do please consider the rarity of this vehicle as stock. If the drive train has been modified, then my comments are moot. The Museum can provide you with the production order for your Wife's truck and let you know what it left the factory with.

Bill A
06-20-2016, 10:27 PM
Thanks every one for the responses, Her family were Studebaker family and I think there is still a few boxes of parts plus an extra engine and trans. The WB is 112 in, I spent some today over looking at it to see what all is there. The only thing I found that didn't work right is the passenger door latch wheel spins so I asked her and she said a spring broke or fell off the latch assembly. The truck still has an oil bath air filter and it has a good sized trans cooler in front of the radiator. I pulled the mats out of the cab and there is no rust whatsoever. She had a 60 wagon years ago that she drove back and fourth to Canada to attend college from So Cal and when she was done they got a 55 coupe and her and her dad did a frame off restoration on it. I am going to put a battery in it and some fuel to see if it will run, she feels certain it will as it did for many years. She stated it ran real well when she backed it behind the garage and shut it off. I think the keys were in the ignition for a few years until she noticed them there. Heck I looked in the radiator and it still had coolant in it. I looked in their garage and there are several Studebaker shop manuals so I brought them home to study a bit, i'm retired so I have time to fool around a bit.

Bill A
06-20-2016, 10:31 PM
I'm sorry, I didn't reply, it is an automatic and from what I read it is a three speed so this might get real interesting.

06-20-2016, 10:37 PM
I'd keep the OEM drive train, but install a front end splice that allows PS. I have seen an ad for a MOPAR van of some sort, that allow for grafting over, to include PS. If that swap does not include DB, you could always install a Turner conversion kit for the DBs.

Other than that, once the bugs are ironed out, and cosmetics done to your wife's content, it'd be time to drive and enjoy it. :)

Bill A
06-21-2016, 08:28 AM
I haven't really looked at it closely enough but I'm sure a GM 500 steering gear would work as a PS install. I say that because I put a couple in older Chevys that I was working on. I have done a couple of restorations both for large automotive dealers for showroom displays and a number? of hot rod upgrades while working in a couple of hot rod shops. Turn out this truck has been in her family since the early 70's and it was exactly like it is when they bought it.

06-21-2016, 09:32 AM
A GM power steering box is a fairly easy fit. My brother has one on his 57 Transtar with a Studebaker type pump and it works well.

Bill A
06-21-2016, 09:42 AM
not sure what type of pump Studebaker used as this will be my first time working with one, I would imagine there were brackets as well but again it's the beginning so a lot to learn.

Mrs K Corbin
06-21-2016, 10:49 AM
I Agree with Studeclunker on this: Find out what it really is by spending the $50 on the Production Order. If it's a true Automatic truck then it's too rare to cut up or modify. Restore back to factory. If you want a Rod type truck, then I would find one that's a 6 and cut that one up.

If you do cut it up, I need some of the Auto-specific parts myself as I'm putting one back together that I rescued from the garbage can (parts truck status) that was a True Automatic with TT....

It may have been the Twin to yours as it was delivered to Pasedena originally.

Bill A
06-21-2016, 10:56 AM
Newest update, like folks are watching closely.... The engine # is the registration vehicle ID# as was stated somewhere in all this. The truck has a 12 volt negative ground system with an alternator. I grabbed the fan and belt and it turned without issue but the water pump gave in and the front seal started leaking so the first casualty. The trans in automatic as mentioned, the only # was stamped on a plate 10203. The bed is 57 in wide and 78 in long so I think it's a short bed. The steering column has a spacer above it lowering the wheel position but no brackets for the pedals have been changed so it's been an automatic since berth. It does have an industrial strength rear bumper55538, not sure of it's OEM.

06-21-2016, 11:03 AM
in 57/58'...the pedals would've been through-the-floor types unless modified...love this find......

Bill A
06-21-2016, 11:07 AM
Hi, i actually spent a career working on cars in many positions in a service department to a race team and later doing customs after retirement and from what I just saw it is definitely an OEM automatic trans. In my life wrenching i have changed too many over and there are always telltales. I forgot to post a question of sorts, This engine came with a 4bbl carb., a WCFB and I was wondering if someone here would have a manifold for that carb. If I had that I could install a FAST carb body fuel injection as that would make it run so much better and that's what the wife will want without exception. It will spend the rest of it's life at or around 7000 ft as we are going to move to our cabin in the local mntns near us.

06-21-2016, 11:40 AM
That auto is a 3 sp 1st gear start Rear bumpers like yours pictured were dealer add on. If you can't find a 4 bbl manifold you 2 bbl can be machined to fit a 4 bbl. Maybe you could find a local chapter of the Studebaker Drivers Club then find all the parts you want. Or go to C/L and look good luck and I like that truck.

Bill A
06-21-2016, 12:20 PM
OK, with all the consideration on the importance of being original i just ordered a build sheet. Someone smarter than me might have worked on it at some point, it has happened before so better know before deciding which way to go. thanks again for all the information, I did find the old registration in the glove box and it seems her dad bought it in 1974 or 5. It made it seem he was the second owner, they owned a small grove around then so????

06-21-2016, 04:24 PM
When changing the steering you have to swap the steering arms, turning them upside down and put on opposite sides. The arms have to be bent a little to flatten them out and you have to drill out , put a plug in and re ream the holes and make a new tie rod. It may sound a little complicated, but it is easier and faster than trying to ex plane it. The thing is to move the linkage above the springs.

06-21-2016, 06:19 PM
Bill, PM sent.

06-22-2016, 01:12 AM
I'm up here in Sacramento. I have one of the 4bbl manifolds you're looking for.. We are planning a trip to Disneyland next month. I could pack it with me if you are interested. PM me to let me know, or just answer here. Where in So Cal are you?

Mrs K Corbin
06-22-2016, 06:53 AM
The Museum will need the numbers on the seat riser on the left side. Not the engine serial#. However the original engine ser# should be on the production order.
Post it when you can.

Bill A
06-22-2016, 08:06 AM
E7-8164 and 3E7-12 is the other on the plate.

06-22-2016, 08:23 AM
Sal, you wouldn't happen to have one for an R1 in that pile, would you?

Bill, I'm up here in Sacramento. I have one of the 4bbl manifolds you're looking for.. We are planning a trip to Disneyland next month. I could pack it with me if you are interested. PM me to let me know, or just answer here. Where in So Cal are you?

Mrs K Corbin
06-23-2016, 08:51 AM
She's a 3E7 (half-ton V8) with 112 inch wheel base....
production order (give them both numbers) will tell you if it's a true Automatic.... also check the Diff to see if it's TT as mine is. That'll be on the production order as well.

If so, I'd believe that it's worth restoration for sure.

06-23-2016, 10:15 AM
Robert Kapteyn

Bill A
06-23-2016, 01:08 PM
OK, here's a dilema. i mentioned having another engine on the floor along with another trans. The numbers on it are p90125, from what i have found it from a 64 Lark or Hawk and is a 289. Her dad was an engineer and loved to tinker in his garage so I would imagine this was meant to be an upgrade? The specs I could find say the HP on that engine was 200-225 depending on the build I guess. The truck is a smaller V8 showing 170 HP. So whats a guy to do.......

06-23-2016, 01:27 PM
You simply have no choice but to investigate the engine in question and determine if it is indeed a more powerful option. If it then turns to be "built" for more power, then on you go to the transplant. More power is always better.

Bill A
06-23-2016, 02:54 PM
The published numbers indicate an increase of around 50 BHP and in a 170 HP engine thats a ton. My quandary if there was one would be the fact this truck may well be special as it is an automatic which I don't know too much about that statistic as I couldn't find numbers posted anywhere. If it's unique the wife will want it to be restored with minor upgrades, she likes things more original than not. I will have it running soon then I'll know a ton more, i saw a 350 chevy with a 350 TH for sale for 1800 bucks with 30000 miles on them. They were in a corvette and that would be a total plug and play deal hence my ????

Dan White
06-23-2016, 05:02 PM
As others have noted, stay with the Stude power and you will be glad you did and keep it as original as you can if that is what the wife wants. Happy wife, happy Life!

Anyone can have a Chevy V8, but only the select have a Stude. Here is some encouragement.


Bill A
06-23-2016, 06:45 PM
As others have noted, stay with the Stude power and you will be glad you did and keep it as original as you can if that is what the wife wants. Happy wife, happy Life!

Anyone can have a Chevy V8, but only the select have a Stude. Here is some encouragement.


The wife is going to love this article, thanks

Bill A
06-24-2016, 12:56 PM
Another question on this truck, where is a good place to get parts. I need a water pump and gasket/s if required and do they rebuild them or just replace them.

Dan White
06-24-2016, 04:53 PM
Join the Studebaker Drivers Club and get the monthly magazine, Turning Wheels. A lot of vendors advertise there.


Here are three vendors to get you started:


http://fairbornstudebaker.com/WP/index.php/contact-us/ (you need to call)


Pat Dilling
06-24-2016, 06:27 PM
Here is a consolidated list of Studebaker vendors: http://studebakervendors.com/

Amazingly some things can still be purchased at your local auto parts store if you have a good one where their eyes don't glaze over when you say Studebaker. I just got new wiper blades for my '53 at O'Reillys. RockAuto.com also has Studebaker parts.

Bill A
06-24-2016, 06:54 PM
Thanks for the link, I will be learning for a bit. Never thought of O Reillys.55630 this was just after my wife and her dad did a frame restoration on her 55. I think she was in her 20's then so she's the Studebaker lover in our house. I just enjoy working with cars.

06-27-2016, 12:38 AM
Another question on this truck, where is a good place to get parts. I need a water pump and gasket/s if required and do they rebuild them or just replace them.

New ones are available through Studebaker vendors.
You do live in So Cal, that's an automotive wonderland. I live in the Central Valley and can get my waterpump rebuilt in an afternoon at a local re-builder. You should be able to, too.

Bill A
07-01-2016, 01:11 PM
Well I 55831built a oil primer tank so I could develop pressure without turning the engine, could have done it differently but I wanted easy/ inexpensive and I got to make something in my garage/ shop. I put at leaf a quart or 2 through it under pressure so it's all lubed before I try to light it.

55 56 PREZ 4D
07-01-2016, 04:44 PM
Spend a couple minutes here.
There is enough info that you can spend days there.

Bill A
07-01-2016, 07:33 PM
Thanks, thats a treasure trove on things to know.

Mrs K Corbin
07-05-2016, 06:56 AM
just make sure that you limit the oil pressure to 40# or less ya might pop something.

Bill A
07-05-2016, 01:38 PM
I was thinking to start at 15-20 just to see where it comes out, not sure what the oil pressure relief spring is set at in the front housing and with its age it is likely less than it was. I do remember something about 40 lbs so that may well be what the setting is. It should be easy to control as I'm using a pressure vessel to create the pressure.

Mrs K Corbin
07-06-2016, 06:31 AM
Kool! Turn and Lube you should be ok. I'd also squirt a little marvel in on top of the cylinders just for GP.

Bill A
07-06-2016, 07:27 AM
Kool! Turn and Lube you should be ok. I'd also squirt a little marvel in on top of the cylinders just for GP.

I worked on Mercedes Benz for 40 years and at idle minimum pressure was around 8 lbs. with the late model oiling systems, oil shear is the primary concern so a lot of pressure isn't really required to achieve lubrication. The top end is where larger pressure comes into play, hydraulic lifters are a bugger.

Bill A
07-16-2016, 03:35 PM
Well we got the report from the Studebaker museum as to the build and it is exactly as it was when it was built. Her dad changed the color but it will be painted after everything else os done but it is completely original. Looks like it will be more of a restoration.

Robert Crandall
07-16-2016, 06:04 PM
I am envious of your truck. Any vehicle here on the east coast that was used as a work vehicle for 45 years then parked one day behind the garage 14 years ago would not have even a vague resemblance to the condition of your truck. Good luck with its revival.

Mrs K Corbin
07-18-2016, 07:24 AM
someone needs to start a registry of the Automatic trucks! I think yours makes 5 or 6 that I know of and only 1 that's streetable (florida).

Mine's waiting paint, glass, and reassembly.

Bill A
07-18-2016, 08:26 AM
If all goes well I will have it running this week, we just got back from a vacation so it's back to work.

Bill A
09-08-2016, 06:01 PM
Well it has been a bit longer than expected. The wife has had me doing tons of stuff to prepare to move to the local mountains. Today I went to where the truck is and did what I wanted to do and it runs just like it enjoyed it. I did cheat using an electric fuel pump spliced in so fuel feed wasn't an issue to begin with so I did have to crank it several times with no report so off with the distributor cap and a quick and dirty point cleaning and the next time around it said "where have you been man". OK that being said how do I check the darned trans fluid level. I packed all the Stude books and can't find a dip stick, I believe the wife would have another answer but why expect anything different. I will have it hauled on a flatbed but I want her to drive it out so it all has to work. Thanks gang for pointing me in the right directions.

09-08-2016, 07:08 PM
This sounds like a sweet truck. The original engine is probably a 259. It is a 3.562 bore by 3.250 stroke. The 289 on the floor is the same bore with a longer 3.625 stroke. The only difference between the two engines is the crank and pistons. The cylinder head ports and valves did not change. Full flow engines have a little better oil drain back and the block mounted filter. The crank snout is a little longer to accommodate supercharged applications. 2 barrel intakes and 4 barrel intakes were made from the same casting up to 1962. The casting for the 2 barrel was used until the end. 63 and 64 4 barrel intakes had a bigger carburetor pad for mounting an AFB. Any older intake can be modified to work with an AFB (or Edelbrock) (or TBI). It does need to be put on a mill and machined.

Some trucks had low compression option heads. Mostly 3/4 ton and up but some 1/2 tons did as well. The head casting number is above the center exhaust port. That will tell you what heads are on the truck as well as what is on your extra 289.

Vintage air makes an A/C and heat kit for the truck plus they make bracket and pulleys to mount a Sandon compressor on a Studebaker V8.

The Flightomatic should be the H/D water cooled unit with a 1st gear start. The rear end should be a Dana 44. The ratio should be on a tag on the lower left cover bolt.

The 5 hole wheel pattern is 5 on 5". Chevy 5 hole 1/2 ton wheels fit nice.

Good luck. If you have any questions, ask. We are all willing to help. Joining SDC would be a good start.


Bill A
09-08-2016, 07:24 PM
Thanks for the response, this thing was parked behind my in-laws garage in 02 and sat there ever since. Today is the first time it has had any heat in the heads since that day, it did take me a couple of hours to prep it but I enjoyed it so what the heck. I did have to spray some WD 40 in the ignition switch so I could get the key back out but I do need some information as to the whereabouts of the transmission dip stick as I couldn't find one and the procedure for checking it???? Sounds kind of dumb but I never worked on a car that didn't have a fill tube with a stick in it.

Mrs K Corbin
09-09-2016, 06:40 AM
You're gonna love this one..... The transmission dipstick is under a cover on the right side of the transmission HUMP in the Floor. That's where my 58 AUTO truck is...
Otherwise you may have to pull the hump to find it.....

Also, the procedure I believe is to warm it up and check the fluid with it in "D" with the emergency brake on, so that it doesn't roll. However I wouldn't do it that way, as the thing might be empty. just make sure it has some fluid registering on the dipstick first. Fluid levels are kinda critical in FOM's so our FOM experts should chime in here.

A word of Warning...... look at the quadrant on the steering column and note where the R (Reverse) is, if it's still there. It will be all the way to the Right, where low generally is in a modern tranny, so be watchfull that you NEVER hit reverse while moving forward, it might make for an interesting police report of the accident.

Note: Neutral is just to the right of P, and on mine, P doesn't work so I have to chock-block it to keep it from rolling away....

Bill A
09-09-2016, 08:40 AM
I had a feeling you would respond having one yourself. Thanks for the information and i'll check it this morning. I did prime the oil system with my goofy oil tank set up and the truck seems to run around 65 lbs of pressure so it likely is a good engine. Now the water pump.

Mrs K Corbin
09-12-2016, 07:01 AM
65psi? WOW! Mine is like 5lbs warmed up.... starts cold around 25.... Gonna drive it till it knocks...LOL

09-12-2016, 07:21 AM
On cars of that era I believe the trans dip stick was accessed through the floor on the right side of the transmission hump. I would imagine the truck would be similar.

Bill A
09-12-2016, 08:40 AM
Keep in mind that is gauge pressure in this truck. it could be off like the one in your truck could. I know for years Mercedes minimum hot idle oil pressure was 7 lbs. If you increase the engine speed what does it go to and how fast does it get there, those are more the telling values.

Bill A
09-12-2016, 08:41 AM
Your right, I did find the thing. Funny thing that shows the effects of age on the mind is there is another automatic on the floor in the garage where the truck is, I could have just looked.......

Mrs K Corbin
09-13-2016, 06:47 AM
You got a spare?!?! check the oval tag on the left side , it's probably worth keeping...

Bill A
09-13-2016, 09:00 AM
Hi, yes I have a spare transmission and a complete 289 sitting next to it. Seems my wives dad was a big Studebaker fan having as many as three at a time. He had an Avanti as well and the wife had a Hawk of some sort as well as the truck when I met her. She sold her car and a lot of collected parts but there are still a few left. It seems I will know a lot more about them soon enough, ordered the water pump and I think I'll go look at a loose door latch today, the pawl doesn't latch so I think there is a spring needed somewhere.

09-13-2016, 09:02 PM
I'm guessing here, but I seem to remember someone mentioning a door on the tranny hump inside the cab. You check from the passenger side by lifting the floor cover and sliding the little door off. There might be a screw securing it. Then you will see the dipstick. Might be for a different application, so take this with a grain of poor memory.

Well this is a useless post, sorry I didn't see that there was a second page of comments. Glad to hear things are going so well. Cool beans on the spare!

Mrs K Corbin
09-14-2016, 07:22 AM
WD 40 goes a long way on those door latches. But if you need to inspect, remove the door panel and latch assembly per the shop manual (reminder that the latch screws will probably be stuck so take your time there). Take a careful look at the springs. They can be had for about $15 each, or a complete rebuild of the latch can be done by SI...