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Parts needed for 1953 C-Cab

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  • Parts needed for 1953 C-Cab

    Hello All, I have a 1953 2R5 C-Cab with a 1963 289 linked to a Studebaker automatic transmission, After reading about the Chevy and Nissan transmission swaps on this site I am seriously considering doing the swap but I want to think a bit more before I decide which I think would be better. The truck is apart now, I took it apart when my now 28 year old son was looking over my shoulder from a backpack, It's about time I put it back together and enjoy driving it while I still can. I have been looking for some time for a complete steering column from an automatic transmission pickup. I'm also interested in an aluminum offenhouser intake manifold and an aluminum waterpump manifold. Not looking for high performance, I just want to lighten it up a bit and add a little bit of cool while I'm at it. I rebuilt the motor, it has maybe 20 miles on it, It has a stock Delco distributor that I bought from Lester Schmidt years ago. I installed a small 390cfm Holley 4 barrel and the motor seems pretty peppy. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated, Thanks Don

  • #2
    On my Daughter's '57 Stude pickup, with an R1 engine & powershift... we took the steering column out of a '63 Lark (with automatic) and lengthened it to fit (an exhaust extension from Farm & Fleet is the EXACT same diameter & gave us the section we needed). A mid '70's jeep indicator panel will snap into the stude indicator dial housing and work fine. You can take the switch that contains the back-up light & neutral lock out switch, flip it over & use the backup light switch segment for your neutral lockout... HOWEVER it will only work in Park (which has caused a few inconveniences.,.. but not many). Actually when seeing the prices for steering columns in South Bend one May... she decided to buy an entire '63 Lark parts car. There was a story about the project in TURNING Wheels back in 2001 or 2002, but I don't remember the month (One of the four covers contained a wedding picture and the blue truck had a big blue bow on it.) We also ended up using the Lark gages in the dash.


    • #3
      Deaf Mute, I'll keep your method in mind if I have no luck trying to find one. Thanks, Don


      • #4
        A correct water pump manifold for a V8 "C" cab pickup positions the water pump and fan at a different height than a car water pump manifold. This is significant if you have correct radiator/fan shrouding and radiator for a V8 "C" cab truck, then everything aligns properly. I think there were some aluminum water pump manifolds made to the car specification, perhaps by Lional Stone. There likely was never any aluminum water pump manifolds made to the truck specifications. I've seen Stude V8's installed in "C" cab pickups with the car manifold and no radiator/fan shrouding so it can be done that way, it just doesn't position the fan correct to the radiator.


        • #5
          53Baker; Have you tried the Studebaker Truck Talk forum? Those guys know a lot about Studebaker trucks and there are a lot of parts floating around in that bunch. Great bunch of folks. Just Google 'Studebaker Truck Talk'.

          Frank Drumheller
          Locust Grove, VA
          M16-52 '48 Boyer-bodied fire truck


          • #6
            Thanks StudegaryB and Studelark for your responses, I have switched gears and decided to sell my Studebaker 289 V8 and automatic transmission, this combo has maybe 20 miles on them after both were completely rebuilt about 15 years ago, the motor starts right up and sounds smooth and quiet but I'm relocating to Texas where my 53 C-Cab will be my daily driver, I just want it to be bullet proof so I've decided to put in a 350 Chevy coupled to a beefed up 200R4 automatic. I am still looking for a steering column out of an automatic C-Cab, I will continue to look until I find one, they do exist, I've seen a few over the years.


            • #7
              Please define bullet proof. I drove a Stude V8 from Jackson MI to Kalamazoo MI at highway speeds with a spun rod bearing. The engine was junk afterwards but it got me home. The rod stayed in the block.


              • #8
                oilnsteel, Bullet proof was a bad choice of words, what I meant was, for ease in keeping it running everyday and finding parts anywhere I happen to find myself. I'm 59 years old and being a one man wire EDM machine shop keeps me busy enough. Regards, Don


                • #9
                  Understand, 53Baker. I'm in a similar situation as I own a 1 and a half man machine shop (have a part time employee). You've got 2 years on me. I drive a '57 Transtar every day. I will grant you they are more maintenance intensive than a modern car, especially those 1000 mile grease jobs. The truck is dead stock with the exception of one of Dave T'bows distributors, a backup electric fuel pump, and and alternator from a big car company that starts with C. I find the maintenance enjoyable and part of bonding with the truck. It is performed at my shop, while the CNCs are working and making me money and only need occasional attention. If it keeps me late, the wife thinks I'm working harder so we have more income. No need to tell her otherwise. I keep a stock of exchange assemblies on the shelf to deal with parts availability and down time. It gets grounded in the winter for a couple of the worst months for major repairs and modifications. I carry a few spare parts with me but have never had to use them.

                  Your truck, your decision, your money, as Packard V8 would say, and no criticism of your choice is expressed or implied. Personally I think the Stude V8 is one of Studebaker's finest achievements, but you must do whatever works best for you with the facts you have to work with.

                  I still have a G&E shaper in my shop, and use it for the odd job. Draw whatever conclusions you wish.

                  Have fun with your truck- that's what is most important!



                  • #10
                    Jim, Cool reply, Thanks for sharing that with me, I have owned this truck for 30 years and only drove it the first two, I took it apart then had to slap it back together so I could move it on a trailer across the country, it has been pushed it in and out for years and every once in a while started up and driven around the streets near my home unregistered with no windows, and no front shock mounts, so it was kind of bouncy. I took a Chevy out to put the Studebaker in because that's what I wanted but now I'm gearing up to relocate to Texas and I'm just thinking maybe it's time I take the easy route as I know it will once again take a back seat to trying to get situated in a new area and creating an income stream. I'd be lying to say you don't have me second guessing my self again, the motor runs smooth and quiet and it's already in the truck. Don


                    • #11
                      My older brother has a 1949 C-Cab, 1/2 ton and several years ago swapped the OEM drive train out for Stude 289, T-85 and Ford 9" rear end. He likes it, and with Turner DB up front it stops well, but the steering is a little heavy. He has no inclination to sub frame it in order to get PS, however.

                      OTOH, if you like to think out of the box, and are looking for a bullet proof, reliable, excellent drive ability, good MPG (23-25), cheap and easy drive train swap, have you considered a a 1988-1993 Volvo 240 (2400cc, inline 4-cylinder) motor & AOD transmission? I have owned a couple of 240s, and even bought my mother one about 15 years ago. They are rear wheel drive, and IMHO would be a perfect swap in replacing a Stude 6-cylinder in anything, from Lark to truck. They are light weight too, so no reason to worry about PS. Also might find some other stuff from the donor car would fit the truck, i.e. floor shift, steering column, EFI related stuff, etc..

                      A donor car/wagon could be had for maybe $500. Anything less than 150,000 miles would have lots of life left, since it is not uncommon to see them with 300,000 miles and still going.

                      Just saying...
                      Last edited by JoeHall; 09-07-2014, 11:22 AM.


                      • #12
                        Keep the Stude motor. The 350 is not gonna buy you any real convenience. Tune-up parts an motor oil an' filters for Studes are all still available at auto parts stores - stuff even for that tranny too. If you break anything more serious than that, the 350s gonna hold you up just as much as the 289 - all things bein' equal.
                        No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.


                        • #13
                          I can't talk like I really know anything mechanical but I can tell you what I have...

                          I drive a 57 Transtar with a Stude 289, 700r trans, PS, jaguar disc brakes, AC and TBI. I drive this truck everyday to take kids to school then to work (sometimes out of town which adds 100-120 round trip) and back to pick up kids then off to coach my kids sports teams. I helped with the rebuild of the motor and install of the TBI, replaced the starter, brake booster, AC parts and most electrical components easily with over the counter auto parts or a quick call to SI or Chuck Collins.

                          I drive this truck at least 40 miles a day and it has been reliable and inexpensive to upkeep. The most expensive things so far have been chroming, painting, new radiator (built to original size but because I live in AZ I made sure it runs cool) and updated interior.

                          I love my truck!


                          • #14
                            Well you guys did it!, I really wanted to keep my Studebaker anyway so I have decided to keep my motor but I am going to put a Chevy TH200 behind it, My co-worker has one in his Corvette and wants to convert his car to a 5 speed standard, this transmission is less than a year old and will bring the RPMs way down at highway speeds. Jon Myer has what looks to me to be a great kit available on-line. SO my wish list for now is, an aluminum intake manifold and water pump manifold that will fit a 289 and also a complete steering column for a C-Cab, including Steering Wheel in good shape and dash mounting bracket. Tall order YES but I know they are out there. Thanks for setting me straight guys, Don


                            • #15
                              There are several versions of the 200R/700R conversion kit and not all are created equal, so beware, and shop carefully to avoid a frustrating, extra-cost, extra labor experience.

                              For any kit you consider, make sure it has a flange adapter with a hole about 1.707" ID to fit the 1.703" OD of the torque converter pilot (NO a 1.740-1.750" hole will not do, no matter what any vendor tells you; NO there are not a bunch of different sizes of TC pilots to choose from---only 1.703"). Also, make sure the kit has provisions for alignment dowels (YES you do need them, no matter what any vendor tells you). Also, an alignment tool that is removable once installed, without having to destroy it, would be nice. Also, if you order any accessories from the kit vendor, i.e. speedo cable, measure yours first, since a one-size-fits-all length of 82" will not fit the bill. Better yet, buy a universal kit and make your own.

                              Phil Harris, at Fairborn Studebaker has addressed all the above very professionally in his kit, but the same is NOT true for some kits out there. Plus, his are steel versus aluminum, and $50 cheaper.

                              Again, buyer beware.
                              Last edited by JoeHall; 09-18-2014, 06:13 PM.