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1st gear vs. 2nd gear start

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  • 1st gear vs. 2nd gear start

    Does anyone think it's strange that Studebaker automatics went from 2nd gear start in '50 to 1st gear start in '55, back to 2nd gear in '56, then some 1st gear and some 2nd after that. I know that Studebaker did some strange things but what was the thinking on that?


    John

  • #2
    I thought just the 6 cylinders had a first gear start.

    Leonard Shepherd
    http://leonardshepherd.com/

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    • #3
      I thought just the 6 cylinders had a first gear start.

      Leonard Shepherd
      http://leonardshepherd.com/

      Comment


      • #4
        That's what I thought too. My '59 Lark VI has first gear start.
        Rog

        '59 Lark VI Regal Hardtop
        '59 Lark VI Regal Hardtop
        Smithtown,NY
        Recording Secretary, Long Island Studebaker Club

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        • #5
          That's what I thought too. My '59 Lark VI has first gear start.
          Rog

          '59 Lark VI Regal Hardtop
          '59 Lark VI Regal Hardtop
          Smithtown,NY
          Recording Secretary, Long Island Studebaker Club

          Comment


          • #6
            They were all 1st gear start in '55. I think some earlier Champions were also 1st gear start. And some later 6s also. My question is, WHY? What was the logic in 1st gear start some years and some series and not in others? Particularly since all were 3-speed trans? I know of no other mgf. who did it.

            John

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            • #7
              They were all 1st gear start in '55. I think some earlier Champions were also 1st gear start. And some later 6s also. My question is, WHY? What was the logic in 1st gear start some years and some series and not in others? Particularly since all were 3-speed trans? I know of no other mgf. who did it.

              John

              Comment


              • #8
                I'm with you on that thinking as well. Why would you not make them all first gear start and use taller gears in the back for better highway driving? Do you get better mileage with a 2nd gear start? I would think first would be less stress and strain on the engine and trans.
                sals54

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                • #9
                  I'm with you on that thinking as well. Why would you not make them all first gear start and use taller gears in the back for better highway driving? Do you get better mileage with a 2nd gear start? I would think first would be less stress and strain on the engine and trans.
                  sals54

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    BTW, is it possible to modify a 2nd gear valve body to start in 1st or do you have to use a 6 cyl valve body?
                    sals54

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      BTW, is it possible to modify a 2nd gear valve body to start in 1st or do you have to use a 6 cyl valve body?
                      sals54

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        NO, and Yes depending on the year: only '56 & early '57 V-8 Flight-O-Matics can be modified by reversing the shift valve spring location! There are many, many discussions here on that topic some very recently.

                        Also all Trucks with Automatic are 1st. gear start.

                        I think the thinking was to not have all the old folks spinning the tires, making a lot of engine noise and wasting fuel with the over-revving engine. That is why they avoided 1st. gear starting for the most part, except on very low HP engines, especially dangerous in mud, snow and ice.[:0]

                        Their choices were really not all that random at all: all Trucks which obviously need the low gear for the load they could carry, and all the six cylinder cars with no power to speak of, need it to get started!
                        And '55 was the only year they tried that V-8 low gear start, and that year they did not seem to know what they were doing, with more running changes than any three years combined!

                        Another thing is; Flight-O-Matics throw a pretty mean 1-2 shift when you apply some throttle, so snapping your neck on every start is not too desirable unless of course you are doing a little "stop light" racing or on a drag strip!

                        quote:Originally posted by sals54

                        BTW, is it possible to modify a 2nd gear valve body to start in 1st or do you have to use a 6 cyl valve body?
                        StudeRich -Studebakers Northwest Ferndale, WA
                        StudeRich
                        Second Generation Stude Driver,
                        Proud '54 Starliner Owner

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          NO, and Yes depending on the year: only '56 & early '57 V-8 Flight-O-Matics can be modified by reversing the shift valve spring location! There are many, many discussions here on that topic some very recently.

                          Also all Trucks with Automatic are 1st. gear start.

                          I think the thinking was to not have all the old folks spinning the tires, making a lot of engine noise and wasting fuel with the over-revving engine. That is why they avoided 1st. gear starting for the most part, except on very low HP engines, especially dangerous in mud, snow and ice.[:0]

                          Their choices were really not all that random at all: all Trucks which obviously need the low gear for the load they could carry, and all the six cylinder cars with no power to speak of, need it to get started!
                          And '55 was the only year they tried that V-8 low gear start, and that year they did not seem to know what they were doing, with more running changes than any three years combined!

                          Another thing is; Flight-O-Matics throw a pretty mean 1-2 shift when you apply some throttle, so snapping your neck on every start is not too desirable unless of course you are doing a little "stop light" racing or on a drag strip!

                          quote:Originally posted by sals54

                          BTW, is it possible to modify a 2nd gear valve body to start in 1st or do you have to use a 6 cyl valve body?
                          StudeRich -Studebakers Northwest Ferndale, WA
                          StudeRich
                          Second Generation Stude Driver,
                          Proud '54 Starliner Owner

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Those skinny little bias ply tires back then would light up pretty quick. People used to be content to take off a lot slower. Now, with fat radials, tirespin is kept to a minimum. Plus people are in a much bigger hurry to get to where they're going.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Those skinny little bias ply tires back then would light up pretty quick. People used to be content to take off a lot slower. Now, with fat radials, tirespin is kept to a minimum. Plus people are in a much bigger hurry to get to where they're going.

                              Comment

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