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shift linkage

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  • Transmission: shift linkage

    I thought I would ask what some Studebaker owners would do. The shift linkage in my 55 Champion on the column must be worn to the point that it will jam if not shifted really slow. Not sure if parts are available and also, looks like a big job. The thought of replacing the linkage with a floor shift also crossed my mind. If there available. Reminds me when I was a kid, Old Chevys did the same thing. Back then, I just cut a hole in the floor and replaced it with a twenty dollar floor shift. Your thoughts.

  • #2
    I have always preferred the floor shift. I would go that route if it were me. The shifters are no longer $20, but surprisingly not that far off. Check your local CL for shifters. A bracket is not hard to make to clear the OD if your trans is so equipped.
    sals54

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    • #3
      Yes, I've converted all my Studes to floor shifter for more than fifty years now. It's not quick and easy and there are no bolt-in kits for the Champion; but it's not rocket science either.
      No, don't try to do it in the car. Pull the tranny, clean it, fabricate the mounting brackets, fabricate the shifter rods, adjust the linkage, measure carefully from the mounting face to the shifter lever and cut the hole in the transmission tunnel. Install the tranny and enlarge the hole until everything clears. Fabricate a doghouse to cover the shifter and provide a mounting for the plate and boot.
      Maybe, shop around for a Hurst Indy shifter and having everything in hand will give you a better idea of what is needed.

      jack vines
      PackardV8

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      • #4
        Or... check the chassis parts catalogs and order the correct parts from our vendors. i did that a few years ago on a 56 Commander and the parts were available. The major wear parts are probably the steering collar at the top where the shift lever attaches and the sliding tube inside the steering column with the rounded/square nubs that slide into the lever arms down by the steering box.

        You can probably do it by removing the steering wheel and the steering column assembly, leaving the steering box still attached to the frame.

        The correct terminology and part numbers are in the parts catalog.

        You can convert to a floor shift if you want to, but it you want to actually fix it, that can be done with probably less work and aggravation than converting to a floor shift.
        Last edited by RadioRoy; 06-03-2019, 10:29 PM.
        RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

        17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
        10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
        10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
        4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
        5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
        56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
        60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

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        • #5
          I agree with Roy, that it should be fixed right. First check to see where the wear is. I had a 54 Chevy that would jam when shifting, and I was able to fix it with some simple adjusting. I learned to shift in a strict H pattern, rather that slide though in an X pattern, until I adjusted the linkage.

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          • #6
            I say fix it right, like it is supposed to be.
            I tend to be a restorer, when possible, although my daily driver '55 truck has a 4.3 Chevy engine in it.
            Last edited by thom; 06-04-2019, 06:08 AM.
            thom

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            • #7
              Thanks Guys my thoughts now are live with it till the nice weather is over then tear into it. That will give me time to find out what I need then try to find the parts.

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              • #8
                Try simple stuff first. I have had good luck with replacing linkage bushings and adjusting the levers. Of course the engine/trans mounts must be good.
                You can always convert to a floor shift if these things don't help.
                "In the heart of Arkansas."
                Searcy, Arkansas
                1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
                1952 2R pickup

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                • #9
                  I did a quick search on craigslist near you. There seem to be a few 3 speed shifters available. Around here it looks like the prices are in the $150 - $200 range. I prefer the Hurst, but the Indy is a good choice too. Good luck
                  sals54

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                  • #10
                    I agree with Howard, (52-fan), it very likely only needs the 2 Levers on the column under the hood to be adjusted Parallel and the Grommets replaced, please do not "re-invent" the wheel.
                    StudeRich
                    Second Generation Stude Driver,
                    Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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                    • #11
                      If you choose to repair the column shifter, read this.............
                      http://www.studebaker-info.org/TW/tw0408/tw0408p23.html

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                      • #12
                        Thanks Guys much appreciated

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                        • #13
                          Jeeze Louise... put a floor shifter in it. It's way more fun to drive and looks waaay cooler. If the next owner wants to restore the whole thing back to the weak and wierd column shift... let em. Enjoy the ride for now. It's yours. Do what YOU want.
                          sals54

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by StudeRich View Post
                            , please do not "re-invent" the wheel.
                            Aaaa, but re-inventing the wheel is FUN Rich!
                            sigpic

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                            • #15
                              had the same problem with a 57 commander until the VERY DAY that I sold it when I got a couple of the rubber grommets installed. The rubber grommets took care of it, and the car sold.

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