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New Studebaker Owner - 1956 Transtar 2E28

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  • New Studebaker Owner - 1956 Transtar 2E28

    Hello, Im a new Studebaker owner. I just recently acquired my great uncles 1956 Transtar 2E28 farm truck with a 259 V8. The truck was used to haul sunflower seeds, wheat, and other grain to the elevators in town for nearly 50 years. My family has owned lots of Studebakers over the years and I'm really glad to be able to keep this one in the family.

    So far I love the truck. When I brought it home, it had a 12ft dump box with a roll cover that my uncle had built himself. The box had seen better days, so I removed it and kept just the flat bed for now. The truck rides much better without the box anyways.

    I'm new to Studebakers but not new to old cars and trucks. I've read through the other post about lead substitute and additives, etc. My question is, what should I be running for fuel in this truck? Uncle told me the octane didn't really matter and he always used lead additives/substitutes. But, I was able to find 110 octane gas (with lead) locally and added 5 gals to the tank which had probably 5 gals of regular octane gas+lead substitute. When I started it today and let it run in the driveway for a few minutes, smoke started coming out from near the valve covers. I shut it off immediately. Wondering if the higher octane is burning off whatever may have been building up over the years. The truck was hardly ran over the last few years, mainly sat in a barn, once a month would be a stretch I think.

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks in advance for the help.

    - Bobo

  • #2
    You may be right. If it's been sitting for years, it might be cooking off old crud. Check the valve covers for leaks, it's not uncommon for old gaskets to dry up and start to drip on the exhaust manifolds. We all like pics if you can.



    • #3
      What's got me worried is it only started doing that today, after I added the 110 octane. I ran it on the farm 5-6 times, drove it down the hwy there, drove it at home a few times, and it didn't occur until now. Oh, just remembered, I also sprayed some gunk degreaser on the engine, and rinsed with water the day I added the 110 gas.

      Here are some pics, when I bought the truck from the uncle and after I removed the grain box.

      Click image for larger version

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      • #4
        That's a good lookin' truck! Welcome to the forum.


        • #5
          I see you rubbed it out, too Looks great!

          If you sprayed degreaser in the engine compartment, it's likely that you washed some crud from the valve and valley covers down onto the exhaust manifolds, and when they got to operating temperature, it started burning off. Just a bump in gasoline octane should not cause any ill effects or any symptoms like what you describe.

          In fact, 110 in that engine is kind of like feeding your dog Russian caviar: he'll eat it, but you're spending a lot of money on something that's not really necessary This truck should run just fine on 87 pump gas.

          Welcome to the Forum and congratulations on a great truck! Might I also suggest you join the SDC? There's a link to the club's homepage right at the top of every Forum page. You will learn an awful lot from our monthly Turning Wheels magazine, and also likely find other Studebaker owners in your area to commiserate -- er, chat with

          Clark in San Diego | '63 Standard (F2) "Barney" |


          • #6
            Thanks for your help guys. I'll let it run again to burn off the rest of the what-nots from degreasing.

            I am planning on the SDC membership. My uncle is a member, has been for years. Actually, he sold a couple farm trucks last year I believe (a gas transport truck and another grain truck), which were noted in a recent issue of Turning Wheels. I saw the picture of the two trucks in one of the articles, they were both on a flat trailer.

            I've got some interesting photos of a couple other vehicles, will try to get them posted soon.


            • #7
              Agree with Clark -- it's the residue from the degreasing job. The exhaust manifolds always smoke after doing that.

              BTW, octane ONLY defines the ability of the fuel to delay/stop pre-ignition (pinging) caused by high compression and/or lugging the engine. It is NOT a measure of goodness, power, or anything else. Your truck can run easily on 87 octane, using the R+M calculation method that has been in use since 1972. Tetraethyl lead was added to gasoline to raise octane beginning in the 1920s, and began to be phased out in the 1970s. It had the secondary advantage that it reduced valve seat wear on vehicles in HD use, such as farm trucks. But if you're gonna use the truck as a hobby vehicle, you can probably discontinue the lead additives. There's not much lead in them any more anyway.
              Skip Lackie


              • #8
                welcome! nice looking truck.

                instead of higher octane fuel, i'd search for a station with non-ethanol fuel. i don't know your location, but you can check at:

                i ass-u-me that since it hasn't ran in awhile, you've changed the oil and other fluids, checked the brakes, etc.

                to protect the engine, many folks use an oil high in ZDDP or as a additive. easy to find info on a "search".
                Kerry. SDC Member #A012596W. ENCSDC member.

                '51 Champion Business Coupe - (Tom's Car). Purchased 11/2012.

                '40 Champion. sold 10/11. '63 Avanti R-1384. sold 12/10.


                • #9
                  It's not likely the high-octane did any damage.

                  My first recommendation is always a Studebaker Shop Manual

                  Once that is in hand, do a complete new wear parts replacement on the ignition. New spark plugs, plug wires, distributor cap, rotor, points and condenser. Once all that is in place, set initial timing, verify the centrifugal and vacuum advances are working as per the Shop Manual. You'll be glad you did.

                  Then, if it has a fuel filter, change that. If it doesn't have one, add one immediately.
                  jack vines


                  • #10
                    Welcome to the SDC Forum! Nice looking truck too.

                    "We can't all be Heroes, Some us just need to stand on the curb and clap as they go by" Will Rogers

                    We will provide the curb for you to stand on and clap!

                    Indy Honor Flight

                    As of Veterans Day 2017, IHF has flown 2,450 WWII, Korean, and Vietnam Veterans to Washington DC at NO charge! to see
                    their Memorials!


                    • #11
                      Great looking truck ! Welcome.....enjoy !

                      Home of the Fried Green Tomato


                      1960 Champ , 1966 Daytona , 1965 Daytona Wagonaire


                      • #12
                        I ran the truck in the driveway yesterday for about 20 mins and eventually all the grease & gunk burned off the manifolds and it was back to normal. Its amazing how much build-up there is on engines over time. Still have a lot to remove.

                        Thanks for the help, tips, and the nice comments about the truck. The acquisition of the truck was two years in the making. I haven't even made it out of the neighborhood yet and already have gotten so many thumbs up and huge smiles as I pass people by. Its going to be fun.

                        Where can one obtain a shop manual? I've got the Truck Parts Catalog for the truck, which is helpful, but no manual.


                        • #13
                          Original shop manuals come up used on ebay all the time. Reprints on paper and CD are available from some of the Stude parts vendors.

                          Skip Lackie


                          • #14
                            Cool looking ride. I like it. Welcome to the site.


                            • #15
                              Home of the famous Mr. Ed!
                              K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
                              Ron Smith
                              Where the heck is Fawn Lodge, CA?