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  • #16
    Another option, which has been mentioned before, by none other than Ted Harbit, is to tap the cranks bolt holes and bolt the flywheel on from the rear, like most other auto manufacturers.
    A '62 259 V-8 Flight-O-Matic did not employ low gear start. And to the best of my knowledge the 6 cyl. Flight-O-Matic will not bolt up to a V-8. Your '61 three speed o/d would be a BW T-86.

    As to which is the better choice between a T-86 and a Flight-O-Matic, its a matter of which fits your driving style the better. Do you like to shift through the gears?
    Or would you rather just drop it into drive and forget it?
    At this late date another factor that needs consideration is the operating condition of the respective trannys. A Flight-O-Matic that has been setting idle for a decade or two is now a bit of a crap shoot, and the cost of a rebuild, and skill level required may be enough to make one become weak in the knees.
    And if you are intending long distance or expressway driving, you will certainly appreciate the benefits of having that three speeds overdrive.

    If the budget and your horse trading skills are up to it, a GM 700r4 would be my recommendation. Low low scoots you off the line and the o/d keeps ya smiling all the way.

    I presently own three vehicles with 700r4s. My everyday LWB van which I use every week throughout the summer to haul three 24-30' loaded enclosed trailers, now has 548,000 miles on its original trans, and counting.
    Last edited by Jessie J.; 12-04-2015, 09:58 PM.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Jessie J. View Post
      Another option, which has been mentioned before, by none other than Ted Harbit, is to tap the cranks bolt holes and bolt the flywheel on from the rear, like most other auto manufacturers.
      A '62 259 V-8 Flight-O-Matic did not employ low gear start. And to the best of my knowledge the 6 cyl. Flight-O-Matic will not bolt up to a V-8. Your '61 three speed o/d would be a BW T-86.

      As to which is the better choice between a T-86 and a Flight-O-Matic, its a matter of which fits your driving style the better. Do you like to shift through the gears?
      Or would you rather just drop it into drive and forget it?
      At this late date another factor that needs consideration is the operating condition of the respective trannys. A Flight-O-Matic that has been setting idle for a decade or two is now a bit of a crap shoot, and the cost of a rebuild, and skill level required may be enough to make one become weak in the knees.
      And if you are intending long distance or expressway driving, you will certainly appreciate the benefits of having that three speeds overdrive.

      If the budget and your horse trading skills are up to it, a GM 700r4 would be my recommendation. Low low scoots you off the line and the o/d keeps ya smiling all the way.

      I presently own three vehicles with 700r4s. My everyday LWB van which I use every week throughout the summer to haul three 24-30' loaded enclosed trailers, now has 548,000 miles on its original trans, and counting.
      Both motor's are 259's I don't know where a 6 cylinder came into play....


      the 700r4s are what I use on all my monte carlo builds good transmission... but I'm tryin to keep the car Studebaker... and shifting gears isn't a really big deal too me.
      "trying to save them from the crusher one at a time"

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      • #18
        My '64 speed, Daytona has a 259 and '3 on the tree'. Really quite fun most of the time. Love the instant that kick down 'passing gear'. About the only thing that grinds me is that lack of a synchronizer on first. In stop and go city traffic it works best for me to just leave it in first, wind it up then let it freewheel down.
        Otherwise I find myself rolling just a little to fast to shift it back into first without grunching, and a strain pulling away in second.Of course that IS part of the character of an old manual shift Studebaker. Which reminds me how impressed I was on my first ride in a new 1963 Ford with its All Syncro 3 speed, downshifted into firs even at 20 mph with no double clutching and no grinding, just like a 4 speed.
        Later Saginaw all-syncro 3 speeds were available with o/d. A really cool set up is a Saginaw 4 speed with the 3 speeds o/d setup swapped on, Full synchronization and 8 possible gears. Hard to find the parts anymore but there is a seller on epay that occasionally offers these completely rebuilt and ready to install for around 1500, that and a 'Chevy pattern' Stude bell-housing and you can have a 'bolt in and play' 8 speed manual trans toy.
        Can tell by your posts that this is not the way you intend to go. Just putting it out there for those that are new and have never heard of it, and to remind the old hands that may have forgotten this bit of trivia.

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