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1956 Transtar Project

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  • Steering: 1956 Transtar Project

    Hi Everyone
    Well I have come full circle with my thoughts about HOW I am going to proceed with my Transtar Project. At First I was convinced an IFS was my only option, well now I am not so sure.
    After reading some pretty informative comments from many of you, I may just be leaving the Straight Front axle concept in my truck, after a complete refresh of course.
    I really don't want to hurt the look and the stance of the truck, but I know I will be removing a leaf or two from the rear, to make it a little smoother.

    I have read and checked the Web Site for Turner Disc Brakes, and I see where a Disc brake conversion may be possible. I will give them a call during the business week and verify a few things such as Dana 44 Tapered Axle Kits etc.

    However, since I am not that knowledgeable about Studebaker, I would like to ask SDC group a few questions :
    1. Did the 1956 Transtar come with Power Steering ? If so , can a person still obtain a power Steering sector for that year and model ?
    2. Did the 56 Transtar come with a single or a dual Master Cylinder?
    3. Dose the vehicle have a portioning valve system ? My truck is in storage and I can't get to it to check it out right now.
    4. I plan to re power my truck with a Chevy 383, and 700 R4 transmission, has anyone ever put a Chevy engine between the Front Frame Rails? If so does the existing location of the steering sector clear the engine or exhaust pipes?
    5. Is the original electric system a positive or negative ground? I know it is 12 Volt , but I have read or seen contradictions about the ground , there were no cables from the battery storage area to the starter or truck


    Any information is greatly appreciated, I 'd rather ask a lot of stupid questions, then make informed decisions about my path forward.

    Best regards
    Dale

  • #2
    Your 56 is a very basic truck 12 volt negative ground. Positive ground went out with the 6 volt systems. No stock power steering and the only master cylinder at the time was a single type with no proportioning valve. Many people upgrade to a dual master cylinder when they switch to disc brakes.
    The engine compartment will easily accommodate a Chevy V-8. The Studebaker V-8 is a good size engine itself. A later type power steering box can be adapted to the Studebaker frame and the pump and brackets from a later model used to power it. The steering column will have to be replaced or an adapter made to connect the box and column. The stock steering shaft and box are one piece.
    If you don't have the parts books for your truck, get them. The diagrams will help explain a lot of details. Of course, there are lots of knowledgeable people on the forum who have been through this before.
    "In the heart of Arkansas."
    Searcy, Arkansas
    1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
    1952 2R pickup

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    • #3
      If you want a GM engine and transmission, power steering and disc brakes, I recommend a GM front subframe (Camaro, Firebird). You get all of this and the stance of the truck can stay the same. I have owned two done this way.
      Gary L.
      Wappinger, NY

      SDC member since 1968
      Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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      • #4
        Originally posted by studegary View Post
        If you want a GM engine and transmission, power steering and disc brakes, I recommend a GM front subframe (Camaro, Firebird). You get all of this and the stance of the truck can stay the same. I have owned two done this way.
        X2 with studegary. If you've decided on the SBC swap, just go with the complete front clip and it all fits.

        Having said that, the Stude frame and front axle can be made to work well. It does require some shadetree engineering with shocks, spring bushings, adding PS, but it's definitely OK for a old truck.

        jack vines
        PackardV8

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        • #5
          There's an article in Bob Johnstones Tech Pages using a Ford Areostar power steering. Looks very doable.

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