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Should I change from 4 spd to T85 OD ???

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  • Should I change from 4 spd to T85 OD ???

    I've been contemplating a change from my current T-10 to a T-85 with Overdrive. I used to run this setup in my car many years ago, but the OD never worked. I now have a chance to get another T85 and have been seriously thinking that would be better than going to a 5 speed.
    Anyone here have experience with both? I welcome any thoughts.
    My car is not stock anyway, but the T-85 is basically a bolt in, while the 5 speed would mean some re-engineering and perhaps too much "down time".
    Anyway.... what are ya'lls thoughts??

    sals54
    sals54

  • #2
    In the end, I think you'd like the 5 speed a lot better, the down side is it is a lot more expencive.
    Do you have another car to drive? If so i'd go with the 5 speed. Collect everything you'd need before tearing down the car.
    The 3-spd w/ O.D. will require a shifter and possibly a clutch disk. and a top shifter would be nice add on for the 3 speed. Maybe even going back to a 2 pc drive shaft.
    Let us know what you end up doing. I have a 54 K in the wings that is a 3 spd .OD champ. will be going to a V-8.

    101st Airborne Div. 326 Engineers Ft Campbell Ky.

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    • #3
      Sal,

      if you do not use the T-85 let me know. I am considering the exact same swap.

      nate

      --
      55 Commander Starlight
      http://members.cox.net/njnagel
      --
      55 Commander Starlight
      http://members.cox.net/njnagel

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      • #4
        Sal as you know to go to a top loader you need the T-86, unless you plan on a lot of freeway driving I would stay with the 4 speed if it works good, life is to short to have the car off the road if you like to drive it..Bob Peterson
        Candbstudebakers
        Castro Valley,
        California


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        • #5
          Thanks for the input. Isn't the T85 the heavy duty trans? Are all the T85s the same? The one I used to have in my Coupe was from a truck. I believe this one is also from a truck. If my memory serves, its the T85 that was used in Avantis and Golden Hawks. Am I off base with this?
          Money is not the only issue. I believe I could do a 5 speed swap for almost the same money. I see the World Class Chevy T5s come up on craigslist fairly often for $300 or less. I already have the Chevy pattern bellhousing in front of the 4 speed, so all the clutch linkage is good to go except for a new clutch disc to fit the splines.
          One thought I have is about reliability. Will the T5 hold up over time? I know the T85 is nearly bullet proof. Either way, I am ready for an OD. Bob, you're right on about it being off the road, but I DO drive on the freeway a lot, so OD is king.

          sals54
          sals54

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          • #6
            I seem to remember that the truck T85 had a lower 1st gear than the car version and was described as noisier due to the way the gears were cut. Of course, if you've had one before I guess you know that.


            1952 Champion Starlight, 1962 Daytona, both w/overdrive.Searcy,Arkansas
            "I may be lazy, but I'm not shiftless."
            "In the heart of Arkansas."
            Searcy, Arkansas
            1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
            1952 2R pickup

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            • #7
              Sal, The T-85 had a 10 bolt "D" shaped side cover. They are slow shifting and a big drop in RPM's from second to third. If you are going to use a Chevy T5 then you will have to use the S10 truck tranny, since it has the longer input shaft. If you use the Camaro type the shifter will be back against the seat and you will have to make a longer pilot bearing to support the snout of the trans. input shaft.

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              • #8
                Alan,
                Do you know if the S10 transmissions are the same between the 2.8 and the 4.3?

                sals54
                sals54

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                • #9
                  [quote]Originally posted by clonelark

                  and a top shifter would be nice add on for the 3 speed.

                  Actually clone, it would not. On the Heavy Duty T-85 as Bob at C&B said, there is no top cover, so it not possible to install one of those archaic, slow shifting, Truck Tranny top covers. [xx(]

                  I have no idea why anyone would want one, because they are not spring loaded speed shifters, just old "through neutral" type floor shifters like a TRACTOR! It might be a nice nostalgic "look", but most cars are to DRIVE, not look at!
                  StudeRich
                  Second Generation Stude Driver,
                  Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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                  • #10
                    Sal-

                    I've been thinking about a 5-speed for my Daytona, and have been looking at different ones. I have seen some question about the World Class behind a V8; some question it's durability. Tom Rautio did that great piece on the conversion in his Avanti (it's under Tech Tips). He used the TKO/3550 series, which seems to be much more durable, and I believe you can choose from a couple different shifter positions. Worth checking out.

                    Robert (Bob) Andrews Owner- Studebakeracres- on the IoMT (Island of Misfit Toys!)
                    Parish, central NY 13131

                    "Some people live for the rules, I live for exceptions"- 311

                    "Do they all not, by mere virtue of having survived as relics of a bygone era, amass a level of respect perhaps not accorded to them when they were new?"



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                    • #11
                      Hi, Sal,

                      Yes, for a daily driver, I prefer the T85 to the T10. The 28% overdrive completely changes the feel of the car. There have been several previous threads on this issue.

                      No, all T85s are not the same, just as all T10s are not the same
                      Truck ratios: 3.17, 1.75, 1.00, .722, r3.666
                      GH ratios: 2.49, 1.59, 1.00, .722, r3.154
                      T10 ratios 2.54, 1.92, 1.51, 1.00
                      2.20, 1.64, 1.31, 1.00

                      Comes down to what one can afford. A junkyard T5 is a crapshoot. There are ten different versions and five different gear ratios; most are too weak to live behind a strong 289". The newer world-class versions mostly came behind Mustang V8s and led a hard life at the hands of younger demographic. The TK0 500 is around $1700 new, plus the adapter and associated clutch hardware, so difficult to do it correctly for less than $2500.

                      If you've got a good T85 and a good floor shifter, it's a fun way to go and fits the Stude like it was made for it.

                      thnx, jack vines




                      PackardV8
                      PackardV8

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                      • #12
                        Sal,
                        The 5-speed transmissions are different between the 2.8L v/6 and the 4.3L v/6.
                        I am also doing a "project" that I am in need of the 4.3L type 5-speed trans.

                        George
                        Grants Pass, Oregon
                        65 Commander 2door
                        64 Wagonaire's ( 1 Canadian fixed roof disc brake car, the other sliding roof South Bend car.)

                        63 GT Hawk
                        51 Champion Starlight Coupe
                        George King
                        Grants Pass, Oregon
                        64 Station Wagon with fixed roof (Canadian Car)

                        66 Station Wagon with fixed roof. Project car, complete For Sale...

                        64 Wagonaire sliding roof South Bend car. For Sale...

                        63 GT Hawk

                        51 Champion Starlight Coupe For Sale...

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                        • #13
                          Jack, thanks for the tips on the ratios. One thing I failed to mention is that my car currently has a Ford 9" rear. I can switch the rear end ratios quite easily, so perhaps the truck ratios may not be too bad for me. I'm not drag racing with it anyway, just cruisin. I will have to consult my "ratio computer wheel" and see what rear ratio will work best for my current tire size.

                          sals54
                          sals54

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                          • #14
                            Unless you have really tiny tires on that car, a 3.54 should be close, for a warmed up 289 or R1 and the Truck 3.17 Low gear, I don't think you would be happy cruising with any lower gears then that. Doesn't Ford have a 3.50?


                            StudeRich at Studebakers Northwest -Ferndale,WA
                            StudeRich
                            Second Generation Stude Driver,
                            Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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                            • #15
                              FWIW,
                              1. The truck T85 is many times more common than the car.
                              2. The car version is quieter and shifts more quickly from low to second
                              3. The truck T85 is easier to double--clutch from second back into low, but because the truck second gear is lower, you can pull from a walk in second.

                              thnx, jack vines

                              PackardV8
                              PackardV8

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