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1948 Studebaker ,LS-3, TR6060 Conversion

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  • Rear Axle: 1948 Studebaker ,LS-3, TR6060 Conversion

    I have a 1948 Studebaker Business coupe, i am updating the drivetrain with a LS-3 and matching TR6060 6 speed manual transmission.I love the look of the Studebaker so i want to keep it stock, except for the drivetrain. Will the original rear differential work running original size street tires?What about beefing up of the Frame? The LS-3 puts out 430HP. If anybody has experience in a restomod project like this , I would appreciate hearing from you.

  • #2
    Here is a picture of the Business CoupeClick image for larger version

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    • #3
      Most early cars did not have a strong enough diff, brakes and springs to handle a V8, so some use later parts to upgrade them. It is easier on 1951 and up, since the frames and such became standardized to a point. There are many 48's that have had engine upgrades like how you want to do yours, so hang tight for more input.

      Welcome to the forum!


      • #4
        Doubtful. Probably has a Dana 27 axle. Pretty lightweight. And has tapered axle shafts. And 4 lug wheels.
        (read it backwards)

        Nothing is politically right which is morally wrong. -A. Lincoln


        • #5
          Maybe if you drive with the proverbial...egg (non-hard boiled) under your right foot..!
          And for what it's worth, that car only has a..."rear" differential..! Sorry, just plain with your words.



          • #6
            If I wanted to upgrade rear end what can i use? I want to keep the body stock , so i need a rear end that (according to classic car database ) has a rear tread width of 54 inches any ideas ?


            • #7
              Chevy S10. 2 wheel drive. It's just a 10 bolt GM Corp gear. It won't handle the horse power of the Ls3 if you have a heavy right foot.
              You really need to go with a 9" narrowed Ford. IMHO.
              Jerry Forrester
              Forrester's Chrome
              Douglasville, Georgia

              See all of Buttercup's pictures at


              • #8
                A 48 business coupe can make a nice rod, but I hope you are experienced enough for the work involved. It won't be like swapping an engine into a later car that was available with a V-8. All the running gear will need upgrading to handle the power of your chosen engine. Also the engine bay is short and narrow and the stock steering will be in the way.
                I am not trying to discourage you, but just give you a heads up. I hate to see a good vehicle abandoned to junk because the builder did not have the experience or resources to finish the job. I have been there and done that.
                "In the heart of Arkansas."
                Searcy, Arkansas
                1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
                1952 2R pickup


                • #9
                  I'll add my own experience with a 39 Ford coupe from 40 years back. I bought a basket case 39 and decided to built it like I would in high school in the 50's. Retained the original suspension, rear end, brakes and transmission and rebuilt them. Used the original steel wheels with Coker bias ply Silvertones. Added a 305 SBC with a cam, Al intake and better heads. All-in-all a great build and fun to drive but after that build I decided never again. Just not enough stopping power and even with the mild SBC I was never comfortable hitting it hard even with the narrow tires. Since then, my builds have had disc brakes with a dual circuit, Dana 44 or better rear ends and three point seat belts.

                  Bottom line, heed Jerry and Mike's advice and opt for a better rear end and disc brakes. It will make a great ride and we can live vicariously through your posts.



                  • #10
                    Cool car, but do you really need 430 HP? A smaller engine with 200/250HP would do the job just fine. IMHO. The front suspension will need a complete rebuild and the brakes will really need to be upgraded. The entire car was designed around an 80 horsepower engine. All the systems will need to be upgraded to handle 5.5 times that.

                    Congrats on keeping it stock looking from the outside. Will that include a paint job in a color from the original 1948 color palette?

                    I heartily agree with what 52-fan said. Make sure you have the skills/tools/space/time/money/talent/spousal approval to finish the job before starting it.
                    Last edited by RadioRoy; 01-30-2019, 12:21 PM.
                    RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

                    10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
                    4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
                    5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon


                    • #11
                      A good rear end swap would be to a later 8.5 Ford Explorer with disc brakes. I think it's the 4WD rears that have the offset differential. The trick is to purchase another short axle and have the long axle tube shortened to match the short side. This centers the differential and gets the width correct for the Studebaker. The 8.5 rear end is pretty stout, but if you plan to use 430 HP to do wheelstands, you might want to go stronger. Might even consider going to a 4 link rear end system to stop rear end twist.
                      Check with Jim Turner, Turner Brakes, to see what he has or recommends for your front brakes. If you need to do a complete suspension swap, then plan on a disc brake & power steering unit. That motor is going to cause real hard steering with stock components.
                      Many that want the Studebaker look but high performance end up with a complete custom frame and suspension to make everything work correctly.
                      All it takes is time and money.................
                      sigpic1966 Daytona (The First One)
                      1950 Champion Convertible
                      1950 Champion 4Dr
                      1955 President 2 Dr Hardtop
                      1957 Thunderbird


                      • #12
                        Swing by my place here in California... I've got an 8" Ford that'll be perfect for that car.


                        • #13
                          I will look into the Ford rear ends, I am definitely going to do what it takes to make this work right. This is my first build, but i do have 40 years of shade tree mechanic experience and 3 physced teenage sons to help. I found this car in maryland, in a barn, where it had been sitting since 1972. The car is going on the road this spring !! Having said that, I realize before this is all done I am going to need a lot of help. I really appreciate the knowledgeable help from everyone on this forum!! I have already done a fair amount of fabrication work for motor mounts ,the LS-3 and tranny fit.


                          • #14
                            here are some picturesClick image for larger version

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                            • #15
                              That's a start.

                              Does that car have an X frame?