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T86 with OD interchangeability

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  • Transmission: T86 with OD interchangeability

    Long time lurker but infrequent poster here. Looking for some advice.

    Five days before I was supposed to drive my '62 Hawk from Minnesota to Mansfield for the national meet, an ignorant tire shop employee apparently damaged my T86 (I was getting a nice metallic sounding click in first), so we ended up driving a brand X to Ohio. On Sunday, I dropped the transmission to inspect the damage. Both the first/reverse gear and the gear on the cluster have nice fresh clean broken teeth.

    Seems like I have a couple of options:

    1. Take the transmission to a local transmission shop that a (Chevy driving) buddy recommends. This is not my preferred option. Can anyone recommend a shop in the Twin Cities or even the five state area that has worked on these before? I don't mind delivering it to right person with the knowledge and parts to fix it right. It looks like new parts are expensive...

    2. Find a used T86 . Are there differences among long tailshaft units or will any 58-64 T86 interchange? I might have a lead on a good one from a '58 Commander--any issue with using this? I wonder about speedometer cable issues and such...

    I'd like to get the car moving under it's own power before snow flies (which will be soon around here).

    Any advice is greatly appreciated!

    Tim from Minnesota
    '62 Hawk

    p.s. I meant to post this to the tech section--now I can't figure out how to move it there!
    Last edited by tj1852; 09-24-2019, 08:38 AM. Reason: posted to the wrong section.

  • #2
    They would have to shift to Low at a good speed to do that, totally negligent, make them PAY!
    You do not do that changing Tires, or going from the Shop rack to the Parking Lot!

    Yes any Long Tail T-86 3 Speed Overdrive from a Studebaker would be set up with a 12 Volt Overdrive Solenoid, have Car Gear Ratios, not Truck and will work fine. The Speedometer Pinion Gear is externally replaceable for different Axle Ratios and Tire sizes.

    If your T-86 was not Overdrive, I would definitely put one in.
    StudeRich
    Second Generation Stude Driver,
    Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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    • #3
      If it were me I’d be hunting up Jerry Kurtz , he rebuilds OD trannys . He knows his stuff
      sigpic

      Home of the Fried Green Tomato

      "IF YOU WANT THE SMILES YOU NEED TO DO THE MILES "

      1960 Champ , 1966 Daytona , 1965 Daytona Wagonaire

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      • #4
        Chipped teeth on 1st/reverse gear and/or the cluster gear are most often due to revving it up and dumping the clutch, on asphalt (not gravel, mud, snow etc.). Grinding it into gear will chew up the outer edges of those (unsynchronized) gears, but will not chip them severely enough to cause the sounds you describe. The T86 is fragile, and those two gears are most susceptible, if abused.

        As for your T86, ideally send it to Jerry Kurtz and let him go through it. Next best, use your recommended local guy, or repair it yourself. It is not complicated, and you will gain tremendous confidence and self satisfaction from the experience. Just have the Shop Manual on hand, and pre-read it before beginning. No special tools are required, that you cannot fab yourself, i.e. dummy shaft for the cluster gear to hold the needle bearings in place when you slip the cluster gear back in to the case.

        Least desirable would be to install a, "good used" T86. You are likely to run into problems and frustration. There's most always something inside a used T86 that needs attention. Most common are the, "dog house" gears on the synchronizer rings for 2nd and 3rd, and the input shaft bearing. But there are lots of other potential problems also, so I would not even think of installing one without going through it first. You can inspect and replace any problems encountered, and will know your car a lot better afterward. Parts are still available from several sources, and you can even make your own gaskets. It's less complicated than working on most riding lawn mowers. Go for it!

        JMHO

        UPDATE: Hopefully yours in an OD. If not, as Rich said, now is a good time to upgrade to OD.
        Last edited by JoeHall; 09-24-2019, 07:49 PM.

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        • #5
          There are two T86 models early an late, they have different bolt patterns.

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          • #6
            I have a T86 with bell housing in my shop, came out of a 61 Hawk, I am located in Council Bluffs IA. Here are a couple of pictures, Like a previous poster indicated a used transmission might need work too. A tough call to make. I live near Council Bluffs IA, went through the twin cities a couple of months ago. Good luck with what ever you decide to do.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by 2R5 View Post
              If it were me I’d be hunting up Jerry Kurtz , he rebuilds OD trannys . He knows his stuff
              I haven't seen a post from Jerry since the forum upgrade. So, it might be best to look him up, see if you can get his phone number and give him a call. It could be, if your core is repairable (and it seems so) that Jerry might have one he can exchange for your repairable core. It is worth a try, and I would bet that the shipping fee would be worth the peace of mind knowing you have obtained service from one of the best in the business.

              John Clary
              Greer, SC

              SDC member since 1975

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              • #8
                Originally posted by 1953champcoupe View Post
                I have a T86 with bell housing in my shop, came out of a 61 Hawk, I am located in Council Bluffs IA. Here are a couple of pictures, Like a previous poster indicated a used transmission might need work too. A tough call to make. I live near Council Bluffs IA, went through the twin cities a couple of months ago. Good luck with what ever you decide to do.
                Looking at all the key wear indicators in the gears' pic, I'd say that one has excellent potential, low mileage and minimal (if any) abuse history. The bronze synchronizer dog houses look good, as does the first/reverse gear. If those all look good at 360 inspection, there's minimal side slop in the input shaft, and no gritty rotation, I'd feel confident in it. Only concern is the green synchronizer, which makes me wonder if it has been overhauled before (but that could be a good thing). Still, would wanna disassemble and inspect, probably install new needle bearings and input shaft bearings while in there; definitely replace he rear seal, regardless. Hopefully, it has overdrive?

                Also, since you know the history of this T86, if it (and its bell housing) came out of the car it was originally installed in, and not swapped in somewhere over the decades, that would be encouraging. Many folks did not realign the bell housing when swapping from motor to motor, which often destroyed the input shaft bearing, and eventually the input shaft-to-mainsheet needle bearings. First clue was when the car would pop put of 2nd gear when using the engine for braking.

                It is noteworthy that T85/89 transmissions suffered none of the above maladies.
                Last edited by JoeHall; 09-25-2019, 08:04 AM.

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                • #9
                  I've done two transmissions for Bill Heiker. But it looks like 1953champcoupe in Iowa is your closest bet.
                  sigpic
                  Claude Chmielewski
                  Studeski
                  http://www.studeski.com
                  Fillmore, Wisconsin
                  47 M-16 Truck
                  53 2R5
                  60 Lark VIII Convertible
                  60 5E7 Champ pickup
                  62 GT Hawk 4 speed
                  63 Lark
                  63 GT Hawk R2 4 speed
                  64 Commander Wagonaire
                  64 Daytona Convertible
                  50 Champion Regal (parts car)
                  36 Dictator
                  36 Dictator in pieces

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                  • #10
                    Thanks to everyone for all the info! Yes, my car does have overdrive, it's one of the main reasons I bought it years ago. I've never owned a Studebaker without it.

                    I think I'll probably bring it to the local guy and see what he says first. 53champcoupe, I'm heading out of town today, but I may PM you next week. Is that t86 equipped with OD? Did it come out of a running driving car? It may be a better starting point than mine.

                    Thanks again,
                    Tim

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                    • #11
                      I bought a 61 Hawk "parts car" for the trunk lid, the engine was AWOL, I assume it's the transmission out of the Hawk because the seller was not a Studebaker guy. I'll admit I wondered what the internals would look until I took the cover off. I am getting close enough to finishing my coupe I should start selling "stuff"

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