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Overdrive for a Champ truck

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  • Overdrive for a Champ truck

    Things are starting to slow down at work, and I am beginning to think about winter projects. The 62 Champ I bought last spring could really use an overdrive transmission. It has a V8 289. I am thinking two different avenues, and I have come here looking for advice. Option 1: find a T85 overdrive and all parts to do a "Studebaker" conversion. Option 2: convert it to a modern overdrive, maybe a T5 or one of it's variants. Has any one done a T5 in a Champ? If so what do you think of the conversion and how hard was it to fab up? Does anyone have a T 85 they would part with? I could go either way on this.
    1962 Champ

    51 Commander 4 door

  • #2
    I have an NOS T86 overdrive still in the crate. It was bought years ago for a Champ pickup with an OHV 6. No idea if it'd work for you, but it's priced reasonably.

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    • #3
      Thanks Matt. If it will work I would be interested. Can anyone tell us if it will work?
      1962 Champ

      51 Commander 4 door

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      • #4
        It will work, but there will be some problems. First the bell housing, unless the truck housing that goes with it is included in Matt's deal. Myself, I don't like the slow shifting of a electric OD, but to each his own. Here is a T5 from a S-10 truck bolted up to a Stude truck.

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        • #5
          I think mine will work if you currently have a T86 3 speed. If you've got a T85 then you'd have to find the other style bellhousing.

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          • #6
            My brother is finishing up a T5 swap into his 57 Transtar and I know it requires the S10 shifter position. Does the Champ also have to have the S10 shifter arrangement to clear the seat?
            sigpic

            "In the heart of Arkansas."
            Searcy, Arkansas
            1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
            1952 2R pickup

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            • #7
              I think mine will work if you currently have a T86 3 speed. If you've got a T85 then you'd have to find the other style bellhousing.
              The passenger car T85 and T86 gear ratios are completely different than the lower first and second gears in the truck T89/T90 versions. As to the bell housings, someone more expert will have to rule on this, but IIRC, the T89 and T90 truck three-speeds shared the same bell housing. There was another bell housing for the T98 four-speed and yet another for the 5-speed.

              Alan, did you use the 5-speed bell housing for your conversion?

              Anyway, I had gathered an S10 5-speed and a Stude V8 truck 5-speed bellhousing if I decided to go that way but went with a Packard V8, so these now are surplus. I'd offer them for sale, but crating and shipping will be serious tonnage.

              In the end, even though the T5 shifts easier, I was doing a semi-old-school hot rod build, so I used a T89 behind the Packard V8 with a custom fabricated Hurst floor shifter.. I believe I've got one extra Stude T89 and one Hurst shifter left. Same problem with crating and shipping.

              jack vines
              PackardV8

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              • #8
                Mine is a T86-1A. If anyone needs an NOS one let me know.

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                • #9
                  Guy from North Alabama last night called me and said he has a T 86 with bell housing and clutch assembly from a 56 v8 Truck. Has the rear end fro drum to drum. PM if you want his number. jimmijim
                  sigpicAnything worth doing deserves your best shot. Do it right the first time. When you're done you will know it. { I'm just the guy who thinks he knows everything, my buddy is the guy who knows everything.} cheers jimmijim*****SDC***** member

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                  • #10
                    Be sure and check the length of the input shaft on the 6 cyl vs the 8 cyl trans. I ran into some trouble there once upon a time.
                    Neil Thornton

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Kurt View Post
                      /Cut/The 62 Champ I bought last spring could really use an overdrive transmission. It has a V8 289./Cut/
                      It would make a lot of difference Kurt, if we knew what Transmission, which would dictate which Bell Housing you are currently running in your Truck.

                      Is it: T-89 straight 3 speed, Flight-O-Matic or T-98 4 Speed?
                      StudeRich
                      Second Generation Stude Driver,
                      Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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                      • #12
                        Just for S&G, what do you want for it? I goofed on the selection of syncros (Israeli repops, not BW) and have shifting issues, so...maybe I use this? BTW, the '8E uses a V8 Clutch, flywheel, bellhousing, and thus input shaft.

                        Originally posted by mbstude View Post
                        Mine is a T86-1A. If anyone needs an NOS one let me know.
                        Ron Dame
                        '63 Champ

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                        • #13
                          The truck currently has a T89 straight 3 speed. Which I believe is the same as a T 85 only with different gear ratios. I think I would like to go with a T5 if it would not be a huge ordeal. I am also considering the T 85 with overdrive. I am sure There are pros and cons to both. Thanks to all for the input so far.
                          1962 Champ

                          51 Commander 4 door

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Alan View Post
                            It will work, but there will be some problems. First the bell housing, unless the truck housing that goes with it is included in Matt's deal. Myself, I don't like the slow shifting of a electric OD, but to each his own. Here is a T5 from a S-10 truck bolted up to a Stude truck.

                            That bell housing looks just like the one on my Champ. What was it's original application?
                            1962 Champ

                            51 Commander 4 door

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Kurt, At a glance, the bellhousings look pretty much the same for any of the trannies that could be used. It's really just the location of the bolt holes as well as the main hole that accepts the nose of the tranny that's different - and those are tough to see with a tranny in place. So it's not that easy to discern if you have a bell housing that'll work with the tranny of your choice. I have a couple of truck T-85s (or T-89s) here, and may well have a bell housing to match. I'd have to scratch around to know for sure.
                              No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

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