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  • I have a quandary

    I'm in the middle of building a 259 CI engine for Buttercup.
    I was just informed of a '57 Caddy engine and hydramatic transmission for sale that I can get for a reasonable price.
    I like the sound of 300 HP and 400 lbs. of torque under the hood of a '55 Stude Cp. It's 10 to 1 compression ratio so that means 93 octane fuel.
    But Buttercup is a 3 speed/overdrive and I was really wanting to keep her that way.
    Is there an adapter to bolt a Stude bellhousing to the Caddy engine.
    I hear that the Caddy manual tranny flywheels are rare.
    This type of Studelac is uncharted waters for me so I would like some guidance from you guys.
    Should I or shouldn't I? What to do, what to do?
    I will still be building the 259 for a future Cp. or HT.
    Jerry Forrester
    Forrester's Chrome
    Douglasville, Georgia

    See all of Buttercup's pictures at https://imgur.com/a/tBjGzTk


  • #2
    If Buttercup is going to be a daily driver, I would stick with the 259. It would be cheaper to drive than the Caddy mill, especially if it has to use 93 octane fuel. The three speed overdrive tanny in Buttercup is a blast to drive as well.
    Joe Roberts
    '61 R1 Champ
    '65 Cruiser
    Eastern North Carolina Chapter

    Comment


    • #3
      If you are building it to sell in the near future, like within a year, put the 259 into it. If you want it for yourself, for a long time, I know that you like the Cadillacs, so go for it. The downside is that if you plan to drive it a lot, the gasoline will be a major difference. If you go Cadillac, I would go with the Hydramatic.
      Gary L.
      Wappinger, NY

      SDC member since 1968
      Studebaker enthusiast much longer

      Comment


      • #4
        Buy the Cad and put it into inventory. It sounds like you will be able to repair the Stude V8 fairly quickly and reasonably. Once up and running, keep your eyes open for a Cad adapter and flywheel. Another option is an early Cad/Lasalle floor shifted 3 speed. No adapter needed. If you find the Cad parts you need and still have Buttercup and still have the urge for Cad power, make the switch. If not, sell the Cad stuff or keep it for the next project.
        Dick Steinkamp
        Bellingham, WA

        Comment


        • #5
          IMHO, I'm afraid the t86 would be short lived behind 400 ftlbs.
          Originally posted by Jerry Forrester View Post
          I'm in the middle of building a 259 CI engine for Buttercup.
          I was just informed of a '57 Caddy engine and hydramatic transmission for sale that I can get for a reasonable price.
          I like the sound of 300 HP and 400 lbs. of torque under the hood of a '55 Stude Cp. It's 10 to 1 compression ratio so that means 93 octane fuel.
          But Buttercup is a 3 speed/overdrive and I was really wanting to keep her that way.
          Is there an adapter to bolt a Stude bellhousing to the Caddy engine.
          I hear that the Caddy manual tranny flywheels are rare.
          This type of Studelac is uncharted waters for me so I would like some guidance from you guys.
          Should I or shouldn't I? What to do, what to do?
          I will still be building the 259 for a future Cp. or HT.

          Russ Shop Foreman \"Rusty Nut Garage\"
          53 2R6 289 5SpdOD (driver)
          57 SH (project)
          60 Lark VIII 2dr sd (driver)

          Comment


          • #6
            Jerr; Trans-Dapt has what you need. The pilot bearing is 437-4 and the adapter is 75K 259-2.

            Comment


            • #7
              That 259 would love to find its way under the hood of the '55 truck in my signature picture. I think I already have an overdrive that would bolt right up. (just thinking...)
              John Clary
              Greer, SC

              SDC member since 1975

              Comment


              • #8
                Yes, if you go with the Cad, keep the Hydramatic. It's a great old tranny.
                No, don't even think about using a T86 behind a Cad.
                Maybe, do what you'd suggest to a customer - define your goals and your budget.

                jack vines
                PackardV8

                Comment


                • #9
                  A good friend of mine has a saying, K.I.S.S.
                  That stands for Keep It Simple Stupid. I think the Stupid only refers to me but,.....

                  Whip out your summit cataloge and order up a 550 hp stroker of your choice and a turbo 400!!!

                  Just kidding, Geez. Nothing wrong with the caddy engine but put a tranny behind it you won't have to mess with a gain later. Then you need to do the same with the rear.

                  All stuff you know way better than I do.

                  Dean.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The Cadu engine will be affordable.. I had a couple 429 1964 caddys that got 17 mpg. highway consistently with air on in 4000 lb. + cars. They were quick too. Go for the Caddy and hydramatic. cheers 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

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I will join the chorus. If you use the Caddy engine, use the Hydramatic, too. They are a 4 speed transmission, and are the most economical of the early generation of automatics. Twenty miles per gallon is not out of the question in that light car. And I agree the torque of the Caddy engine will tear up a T86 in short order.
                      Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I wasn't just referring to the MPG, but the 93 octane required. Around here, that is 30-40 cents more per gallon.
                        Gary L.
                        Wappinger, NY

                        SDC member since 1968
                        Studebaker enthusiast much longer

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Here's another way to look at 40 cents a gallon. If your mileage increases by 10 percent, (due to greater possible advance timing) its a wash. I use 89 octane and 10 cents a gallon increase, and figure I save 23 cents a gallon in increased mileage.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Yes, depends on your future plans for the car. Ever have another car where you held back & wondered what it would've been like? Have not done that with my Prowler, having added headers & a performance exhaust.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Tom B View Post
                              Here's another way to look at 40 cents a gallon. If your mileage increases by 10 percent, (due to greater possible advance timing) its a wash. I use 89 octane and 10 cents a gallon increase, and figure I save 23 cents a gallon in increased mileage.
                              In general, I agree with your statement. In cars that call for/require high test, I use it. I agree that to use too low of an octane rating results in lower MPG and equal or increased cost of operation along with reduced performance.

                              My 40 cents per gallon was in reference to using 93 octane in the Cadillac engine, that requires it, and using 87 octane in the Studebaker engine.
                              Gary L.
                              Wappinger, NY

                              SDC member since 1968
                              Studebaker enthusiast much longer

                              Comment

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