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  • What to do with an M-5

    I have a 1947 M-5 that I bought in 1973 with a hole in the block. I disassembled it in 1975, moved, and never got back together. I have pondered restoring it with a Champion engine and overdrive (which I have had for 30 years) or building a rod of some sort. I have seen a few M-5s with V-8s, but I have never really talked to the builder about firewall mods and the like. I know that the Ms don't have much cab room stock. Does anyone have an opinion on the usefulness of such a truck after it was modified?
    If I do build the truck, (after the Daytona and 52) I want something I can drive. Trailer queens are not my idea of fun. I know there are lots opinions out there. Let's have it!

    1952 Champion Starlight, 1962 Daytona, 1947 M5. Searcy,Arkansas
    "In the heart of Arkansas."
    Searcy, Arkansas
    1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
    1952 2R pickup

  • #2
    I drove a 47 M5 for 12 years, for everyday trans. The engine was a
    four cylinder mustang with auto. I installed a gm power steering box and an 57 olds rear end. All else was original. I had to do the brakes twice during this time but no other problems. Remember in a vehicle that was driven about 50 when new, if you are going to go fast and want luxury let tha t be your guide. I loved mine the way it was, but it was not fast and I had to respect the stopping distance. Good luck.

    Tex in Alabama
    53 C coupe

    Tex E. Grier

    Comment


    • #3
      I drove a 47 M5 for 12 years, for everyday trans. The engine was a
      four cylinder mustang with auto. I installed a gm power steering box and an 57 olds rear end. All else was original. I had to do the brakes twice during this time but no other problems. Remember in a vehicle that was driven about 50 when new, if you are going to go fast and want luxury let tha t be your guide. I loved mine the way it was, but it was not fast and I had to respect the stopping distance. Good luck.

      Tex in Alabama
      53 C coupe

      Tex E. Grier

      Comment


      • #4
        So you're saying you used the stock front brakes with Olds rear brakes?
        I saw an M-5 with a S-10 V6 installed once, but I hadn't considered a four cylinder. Any pictures of the install?

        1952 Champion Starlight, 1962 Daytona, 1947 M5. Searcy,Arkansas
        "In the heart of Arkansas."
        Searcy, Arkansas
        1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
        1952 2R pickup

        Comment


        • #5
          So you're saying you used the stock front brakes with Olds rear brakes?
          I saw an M-5 with a S-10 V6 installed once, but I hadn't considered a four cylinder. Any pictures of the install?

          1952 Champion Starlight, 1962 Daytona, 1947 M5. Searcy,Arkansas
          "In the heart of Arkansas."
          Searcy, Arkansas
          1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
          1952 2R pickup

          Comment


          • #6
            Another thought would be to use the Champion six and if you are not planning on towing anything or doing any heavy hauling use a 3spd/od tranny out of a car. This might give you a more drivable combination. Also remember that there are some really cool hot rod parts for that engine through folks like Cathcart. You could also regear the rear end to make it a more pleasant driver as well, depending on what the gearing is now. The overdrive might be enough to overcome a lower rear end gear ration. Just some thoughts.

            Joe Roberts
            '61 R1 Champ
            '65 Cruiser
            Editor of "The Down Easterner"
            Eastern North Carolina Chapter
            Joe Roberts
            '61 R1 Champ
            '65 Cruiser
            Eastern North Carolina Chapter

            Comment


            • #7
              Another thought would be to use the Champion six and if you are not planning on towing anything or doing any heavy hauling use a 3spd/od tranny out of a car. This might give you a more drivable combination. Also remember that there are some really cool hot rod parts for that engine through folks like Cathcart. You could also regear the rear end to make it a more pleasant driver as well, depending on what the gearing is now. The overdrive might be enough to overcome a lower rear end gear ration. Just some thoughts.

              Joe Roberts
              '61 R1 Champ
              '65 Cruiser
              Editor of "The Down Easterner"
              Eastern North Carolina Chapter
              Joe Roberts
              '61 R1 Champ
              '65 Cruiser
              Eastern North Carolina Chapter

              Comment


              • #8
                My original thought was to build a nice little Champion engine and pretty it up with a dual intake and aluminum head. I got the old speed parts years ago before the prices went through the roof. A Cathcart modified engine would be super, but I don't have the coin right now.
                I got a 3 speed trans with overdrive for a Champion powered truck from Bakertown Custom Garage when my brother and I were at the South Bend meet in 1978 and always figured that I would adapt the original T-90 top shifter if I went that route. The rearend is a 5:38, I believe, and might have to be changed even with overdrive.

                1952 Champion Starlight, 1962 Daytona, 1947 M5. Searcy,Arkansas
                "In the heart of Arkansas."
                Searcy, Arkansas
                1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
                1952 2R pickup

                Comment


                • #9
                  My original thought was to build a nice little Champion engine and pretty it up with a dual intake and aluminum head. I got the old speed parts years ago before the prices went through the roof. A Cathcart modified engine would be super, but I don't have the coin right now.
                  I got a 3 speed trans with overdrive for a Champion powered truck from Bakertown Custom Garage when my brother and I were at the South Bend meet in 1978 and always figured that I would adapt the original T-90 top shifter if I went that route. The rearend is a 5:38, I believe, and might have to be changed even with overdrive.

                  1952 Champion Starlight, 1962 Daytona, 1947 M5. Searcy,Arkansas
                  "In the heart of Arkansas."
                  Searcy, Arkansas
                  1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
                  1952 2R pickup

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    How about the old Ford straight Six?
                    There are several sizes... 223 ci, up to 272 (I believe).
                    They were current from mid-late 50s until 64 and powered Falcons, Fairlaines, full-size pickups and vans.
                    Size should not be a problem.

                    You should be able to find one with a 4-speed truck tranny attached.

                    63 Avanti R1 2788
                    1914 Stutz Bearcat
                    (George Barris replica)

                    Washington State
                    63 Avanti R1 2788
                    1914 Stutz Bearcat
                    (George Barris replica)

                    Washington State

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      How about the old Ford straight Six?
                      There are several sizes... 223 ci, up to 272 (I believe).
                      They were current from mid-late 50s until 64 and powered Falcons, Fairlaines, full-size pickups and vans.
                      Size should not be a problem.

                      You should be able to find one with a 4-speed truck tranny attached.

                      63 Avanti R1 2788
                      1914 Stutz Bearcat
                      (George Barris replica)

                      Washington State
                      63 Avanti R1 2788
                      1914 Stutz Bearcat
                      (George Barris replica)

                      Washington State

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        You have a great idea on what you want to do. Yes I used the original
                        front brakes with the olds rear. The reason for the odd combination was I had the stuff on hand. The Champion engine you are talking about would be great even with the original rear end. The O.D. would make the low gears go away, and you would have the best of both worlds. It would have enough gear to haul reasonable loads out of O.D. and at the same time run good on the highway in O.D. I think you would have a fun vehicle. No I don't have pictures, but the 2.3 ford engine with auto was too easy to install. It looked at home. NO CUTTING.

                        Tex in Al.
                        53 C coupe

                        Tex E. Grier

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          You have a great idea on what you want to do. Yes I used the original
                          front brakes with the olds rear. The reason for the odd combination was I had the stuff on hand. The Champion engine you are talking about would be great even with the original rear end. The O.D. would make the low gears go away, and you would have the best of both worlds. It would have enough gear to haul reasonable loads out of O.D. and at the same time run good on the highway in O.D. I think you would have a fun vehicle. No I don't have pictures, but the 2.3 ford engine with auto was too easy to install. It looked at home. NO CUTTING.

                          Tex in Al.
                          53 C coupe

                          Tex E. Grier

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            My first suggestion would be to search the Studebaker Truck Talk site where this issue has been discussed several time. I continually use the search feature to research much needed info for my 5 M-series. You rearend ratio is probably a 4.88 Dana 41. There are a few options for the rearend ratio beside doing the OD Transmission. I personaly like mine all original, but I life in the tulies and traffic is not much of an issue.
                            http://www.network54.com/Forum/23885/

                            Bill Elbert

                            59 4E11
                            58 Champion
                            57 3E11
                            48 M16
                            46 M15
                            41 M5

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              My first suggestion would be to search the Studebaker Truck Talk site where this issue has been discussed several time. I continually use the search feature to research much needed info for my 5 M-series. You rearend ratio is probably a 4.88 Dana 41. There are a few options for the rearend ratio beside doing the OD Transmission. I personaly like mine all original, but I life in the tulies and traffic is not much of an issue.
                              http://www.network54.com/Forum/23885/

                              Bill Elbert

                              59 4E11
                              58 Champion
                              57 3E11
                              48 M16
                              46 M15
                              41 M5

                              Comment

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