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What would you do?

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  • What would you do?

    Alright people, what I have is a Studebaker M5 truck, with three on the tree. My buddy has a Studebaker 259 bored 80 over that he is going to sell me. Heres where my question comes in.

    What tranny should I put in with this application? Keep in mind that if at all possible, I wanna keep it all Stude. I would also like to keep it a manual transmission since the clutch pedal is already there and I like manuals.

    Now I do have the stock transmission in there at the moment, would it be worth it to just have it rebuilt and run it or not at all a good choice for this motor?

    Also I am not sure what rear end I have in my truck, as I am not sure how to identify it and have not been able to find any markings to help me, so....
    Any thoughts on what rear end I should run or how to identify mine and decide from there?

    Thanks a bunch everyone, I know im asking alot but I know very little about auto's but I am eager to learn and restore this beautiful truck of mine.

  • #2
    If your M5 had the 170 Champion engine, it had (has) a T96 Standard trans. The 259 will need a T86 Standard trans, preferably with overdrive. Pick one up at a swap meet.

    As to the rear, you can remove the cover and check the numbers on the gears or, jack it up and rotate the tires. Check the revolutions of the tires versus the revolutions of the driveshaft.

    A slightly more expensive alternative would be to purchase the production order from the Studebaker National Museum. I think it would give you the rear ratio.

    "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

    Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
    Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
    '33 Rockne 10,
    '51 Commander Starlight,
    '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée",
    '56 Sky Hawk


    • #3
      Thanks for your reply rock. I will try to remove the cover and check for any numbers this weekend. I also already ordered the production sheet as i need it for registration purposes as well. I hope it will be here soon and maybe it will give me more of the information I seek. Thanks


      • #4
        What Brad said... if you want to drive your truck on the highway for any distance at all, get yourself an O/D transmission to put behind your 6 or V8. Way better fuel economy and it will make your highway operations blissful.

        '57 Transtar Deluxe
        Vancouver Island

        Are you planning to attend the NW Overdrive Tour in Parksville, BC
        May 23 & 24, 2009?
        Mark Hayden
        '66 Commander
        Zone Coordinator
        Pacific Can-Am Zone


        • #5
          I plan to use this truck as somewhat of a daily driver, both highway and city streets. Good thing is I dont have far to commute at all so I wont rack up too many miles. I will start looking for a T86 w/OD and see what I come up with. Are there any other alternatives? Also what kind of price range would you say is reasonable for a functional T86? Thanks


          • #6
            You are going to need a V-8 Clutch housing FROM A '55-'64 TRUCK and the rear engine mount brackets that bolt onto it, and all the clutch linkage, some shift rods from Tranny to column, a modified driveshift etc. to complete the changeover.
            Most V-8 Trucks use the H.D. Borg-Warner T-85 3 speed Overdrive, so you need to get the matching Clutch Housing for the T-85 or T-86 Tranny you find, it will be best to buy the whole drivetrain from a parts Truck.

            The rear end will be a Dana-Spicer with probably 4.88 gears that you may be able to buy a new Ring and Pinion for, to go to 3.73 or 4.09 for economical cruising rather than hauling type use.

            Really this V-8 changeover works best in R Series or later "C" Cab Truck, than it would in a narrow-nosed M Series Truck, that was not designed for it.

            Expect to pay at least $200.00 for the Tranny alone, depending on where you buy it, how badly the seller wants it gone, and of course condition, condition, Condition! [:0]

            StudeRich at Studebakers Northwest -Ferndale,WA
            Second Generation Stude Driver,
            Proud '54 Starliner Owner