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Help with 1936 and 1937 President and Dictator Gear boxes.

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  • Help with 1936 and 1937 President and Dictator Gear boxes.

    Hi all,
    yesterday I went up to Lincoln UK to pick up some spare parts that came from a 1936 President sedan a club member was given from London.

    The car had sat outside since the mid 1970's and not covered up. The motor was in pieces and also left outside in the elements. So the RHC car was completely toast.

    I was interested in parts for my 1937 President convertible sedan which does not have overdrive.

    The gearbox out of the 1936 either has free wheeling or Overdrive. Are these gearboxes the same in 1936 and 1937 and is this an Overdrive gearbox ?

    The rusty one is from the President.

    The nicely painted green one is from the other club member who is restoring a 1936 Dictator woody wagon. Is this OD as well ???

    I am not that familiar with 1936 cars so some help would be appreciated.

    Regards and thanks for your help


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    Greg Diffen

    Editor Studebaker Owners Club UK magazine

    Australian Stude guy living in Warwick, United Kingdom

    1933 St Regis Brougham Model 56 delivered new in the Netherlands
    1937 Dictator sedan Australian Body by TJ Richards RHC
    1937 Packard Super 8 Limousine UK delivered RHC
    1939 Packard Super 8 Seven Passenger sedan monster UK delivered RHC
    1939 Commander Cabriolet by Lagenthal of Switzerland
    1963 Lark Daytona Hardtop
    1988 Avanti Convertible

  • #2
    Having been through some of these issues recently with my Indy car project using a 1937 President engine, I can tell you that the Dictator transmission won't fit. I got a 1937 automatic overdrive box from Gerry Kurtz, but gave it back because it did not have a manual lock-out cable - you step on the gas pedal hard to make it shift out of overdrive, not what I wanted. I then got a 1937 President OD/FW box with the manual lock-out cable. Unfortunately, in the Indy car chassis, it was too long and too wide for my feet and legs to fit. It's sitting here on the garage floor, come get it, LOL! My parts book shows that the front flanges for the 1936 and 1937 are the same part number. The big case on the back end of your rusty 1936 transmission is the OD/FW unit.

    I finally got a 1936 President 3-speed, no overdrive/FW box that bolted right in to my 1937 bell housing. It is almost identical to the one you currently have, but I think they added some blocking rings to the synchronizers in 1937.

    One of the things that Studebaker changed over the years is the top flange for the shifter. The older ones projected forward of the case and mated into the bell housing. Later ones do not extend in front of the case.

    Photos below are of the 1937 President box with manual lockout cable. The last photo shows the 1936 box w/o OD as it now sits in the Indy car. The rear axle is from a 1928 GB, 3.31 ratio.

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    Gary Ash
    Dartmouth, Mass.

    '32 Indy car replica (in progress)
    ’41 Commander Land Cruiser
    '48 M5
    '65 Wagonaire Commander
    '63 Wagonaire Standard
    web site at


    • #3
      Hi Greg.Click image for larger version

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      Attached is a photo of the transmission and overdrive unit from a '37 President I restored several years ago. The parts manual states that to identify a manual overdrive unit that model "R1-1F" is cast on the top of the overdrive housing and for the automatic overdrive model "R5 - 1" is cast on the right side of the overdrive housing.

      The automatic overdrive is specific to '37 and the manual type overdrive with Free Wheeling is listed in the parts manual as '36, '36, and '37.

      Attached Files