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  • Thoughts/maybe looking for an engine & transmission

    Does anyone have a full flow 259/289 mated to a more modern automatic than the flightomatic that they're looking to sell? If not, what automatic transmissions are good matches to the Stude V8? I'm thinking that I want to put a new tranny or possibly a motor/tranny combo into my lark before the Saint Louis International meet. Ideally I'd just like to buy a transplant-ready pair to save a little time, but I'm open to anything. As it sits, my car runs pretty loud on the open road. I also entertained the idea of putting a rear end with an even lower ratio, but that 259/flightomatic/3.07 that I have barely wants to jump off the line as it is. Thoughts?
    '63 Lark Custom, 259 v8, auto, child seat

    "Your friendly neighborhood Studebaker evangelist"

  • #2
    Even 331 would help. It'll get louder the lower you go. I'm going to 373 for the PSMCDRs, but I'll trailer it the 1500 km rather than drive a cement mixer.
    Dave Warren (Perry Mason by day, Perry Como by night)

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    • #3
      With the set up you have now is about as good as it will get for a stock Studebaker set up for good mileage and low RPM's on the freeway and noise going to a 331 will give you some faster take off but also raise the RPM's in high gear and give you more engine noise. the GMC 700-r-4 or the 200-r works and there is an adapter made for this set up Howards in Omaha sells them and is in TW.
      Candbstudebakers
      Castro Valley,
      California


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      • #4
        Modern smoother, quieter cars with double-overdrive transmissions have completely changed our perception of what's acceptable. For fifty years, people drove 3.07 geared cars on the highway and didn't think anything of it. Today, the lack of sound insulation makes 2,500-3,000 RPM just too, too noisy.

        A subset of highway noise is the engine-driven fan. On one road trip, I removed the fan and it completely changed the experience. One thing I didn't expect was the water temp was 10-15 degrees higher than before. The fan was necessary to make the air go where it needed to go, even at 60 MPH.

        Still, if one is contemplating highway miles in a Stude, an electric fan will make it noticeably quieter.

        jack vines
        PackardV8

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        • #5
          Good point Jack, I didn't even consider fan noise. That might make the list for sure. I also thought of dynamat-ing the floor and firewall.

          Bob, I've thought very hard about getting one of those adapters from Frank. I may wind up going that route, but my only concern is that my engine leaks a lot of oil, so if I'm going to pull it, I should probably try to shore up some of those, which is a lot of work for a busy guy with a fairly short time frame. I honestly have concerns over time with the plan to find and install an already paired set. Maybe I can talk some of the guys in the local chapter into helping me do the work to speed it up

          Thanks for the ideas so far guys!
          '63 Lark Custom, 259 v8, auto, child seat

          "Your friendly neighborhood Studebaker evangelist"

          Comment


          • #6
            A caution with the GM overdrives and 3.07 gears is that highway speeds (65 MPH) are in the 1,600-1,800 RPM range. I have a 700R4 behind a 350 Chevy engine. Because 1st gear is so low (3.06) getting the car going isn't the problem. The problem is the car shifting into 4th gear (overdrive) on a 45 MPH road. Here the engine drops to about 1,500 RPM's. THEN..., the convertor locks up and the RPM's drop another 300 down to 1,200 RPM. This does not work well at such low speeds. Nor does it work well even at freeway speeds where the roadway encounters hills of even slight size. In my case I have slightly taller than stock 225-60-16" tires that don't help the matter. Though oddly enough that size tire came on Camaro's with 2.78 gears of all things.

            Street driving in overdrive (4th) is tolerable without the convertor locking up. BUT..., the option to disengage the convertor lock up is not advised because it alters the transmission oiling of 4th gear and is attributed to early failure.

            Some have recommended using "D3" (3rd gear / 1:1 ratio) for city driving. I and significant others have found the 2-1 downshift to be extremely abrupt in D3. So much so that it is intolerable (you are expecting the transmission to let go approaching a stop). It is kind of a "D_mned if you do, and D_mned if you don't" situation. One should run the numbers, but I'm thinking 3.54's maybe even 3.73's might be best with the overdrive aspects of the GM overdrive transmissions.

            Regarding the electric fan, I have one on my car. It is installed in the less desirable "Pusher" configuration. Regardless, it rarely seems to run until the car comes to a stop for a period of time. On the highway I don't see it running. That said, the alternator should be upgraded to handle the fan load. In theory all this stuff is great, but in real world application there is always some unexpected surprise attached to your wallet.
            Last edited by wittsend; 08-14-2014, 11:01 AM.
            '64 Lark Type, powered by '85 Corvette L-98 (carburetor), 700R4, - CASO to the Max.

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            • #7
              Good stuff to consider! Your 16" comment reminded me that I should have mentioned that I have slightly smaller than stock 14" wheels on my car. (The rims came from an AMC, maybe Pacer or Gremlin. I like 'em!). Probably not a huge impact on overall RPMs, but another small mathematical variable that I'll need to take into consideration. Lots to think about, for sure!
              '63 Lark Custom, 259 v8, auto, child seat

              "Your friendly neighborhood Studebaker evangelist"

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              • #8
                I have one of 41Frank's (Howard's Parts) GM Trans to Stude V-8 adapter kits new in the box for sale. $300 + shipping.
                Jim
                I was STUDEBAKER, when STUDEBAKER wasn't "KOOL".

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                • #9
                  Jim, since you have a 3.07 rear gear if you were to go to an overdrive automatic that likely has a 0.68 overdrive ratio you would have a final ratio of 2.08. Not good. There is a reason cars with overdrive back in the time these cars were built had at the very least a 4.11 to 1 or even 4.56 to 1 was common. The little short stroke 259 does not have enough torque to pull a 2 to 1 gear.Like was mentioned here most of the busyness under the hood you hear is the engine driven fan. The 3.07 gear is pretty close to ideal I think.
                  Frank van Doorn
                  Omaha, Ne.
                  1962 GT Hawk 289 4 speed
                  1941 Champion streetrod, R-2 Powered, GM 200-4R trans.
                  1952 V-8 232 Commander State "Starliner" hardtop OD

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                  • #10
                    What kinds of electric fans have others used on their Studebakers? That might make for a fun weekend project. My alternator is actually from a more modem car and is somewhat beefier than the stock Stude, but I'll have to do more research once i have a better idea of what I'll transplant.
                    '63 Lark Custom, 259 v8, auto, child seat

                    "Your friendly neighborhood Studebaker evangelist"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by JimC View Post
                      Good stuff to consider! Your 16" comment reminded me that I should have mentioned that I have slightly smaller than stock 14" wheels on my car. (The rims came from an AMC, maybe Pacer or Gremlin. I like 'em!). Probably not a huge impact on overall RPMs, but another small mathematical variable that I'll need to take into consideration. Lots to think about, for sure!
                      On a typical 205/75, it's about 4% greater RPMs 2447 vs. 2355

                      jack vines
                      Last edited by PackardV8; 08-14-2014, 01:30 PM.
                      PackardV8

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by JimC View Post
                        What kinds of electric fans have others used on their Studebakers? That might make for a fun weekend project. My alternator is actually from a more modem car and is somewhat beefier than the stock Stude, but I'll have to do more research once i have a better idea of what I'll transplant.
                        Jim, i've not used one in a Stude (yet) but I replaced my engine driven fan with a electric fan/shroud from Cooling Components on my '41 Ford's hopped up flathead V/8. I could sit at a dead stop in rush hour traffic in 90 degree heat and maintain a steady 180 degrees all day long...a pretty good feat for a high compression flattie. Surprised the heck out of me to be honest and overall it was quieter than the stock fan by far. I don't know what dimensions a Lark needs but here are the sizes CC offers:

                        http://www.coolingcomponentsinc.us.c...p/shrouds.html
                        sigpic
                        Bob Shaw
                        Rush City, Minnesota
                        1960 Hawk - www.northstarstudebakers.com
                        "The farther I go, the behinder I get."

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                        • #13
                          Jim, my 64GT Hawk with 289 4bbl 3.31 rear end and AC was switched to a 700R4. After a couple of trips through hills I switched to 3.73 rear end ratio like it much better. Lots of room behind the radiator for a big electric puller fan and an 18" Flex fan. I am ready to change the fan switch from 180 to a 195 degree unit on the upper water pump manifold.
                          StudeRick & Johna
                          Sacramento CA

                          1964 GT Hawk, 1963 GT Hawk, 1962 GT Hawk
                          1957 Silver Hawk
                          1963 Avanti
                          1961 Lark Wagon
                          1963 Lark Daytona

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                          • #14
                            FWIW, I've been told the electric switch for the fan should be in the lower radiator hose, not the upper. At the upper, it's reading the hottest water after passing through the engine. What the switch should be seeing is the temp after the water has passed through the radiator and going back into the engine.

                            jack vines
                            PackardV8

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                            • #15
                              Thanks for the real world info Rick.

                              I'm thinking that the path of most sense and least resistance here is going to be to install an electric fan and keep my current drivetrain as is-for now. I'm still thinking pretty hard about dynamat on the firewall and floor for some added soundproofing. My wife is not only giving me the green light for St. Louis 2015, but she's also coming along, as is my son. (There are several places in St. Louis she wants to see.) She has made it clear that she will be much more pleasant to deal with if I can reduce the interior noise for the 6 hour trip. I'm not complaining though, because it justifies me spending a little bit more on my car than my budget would usually allow. I'm also going to get to add air conditioning and cruise control out of this deal, so there's a couple added bonuses. I'm not sure I can talk her into a new interior, but I'm sure gonna try!
                              '63 Lark Custom, 259 v8, auto, child seat

                              "Your friendly neighborhood Studebaker evangelist"

                              Comment

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