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Advice needed: How to adapt a T85 with R11 overdrive to SBC engine

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  • Transmission / Overdrive: Advice needed: How to adapt a T85 with R11 overdrive to SBC engine

    Hello to all .New to you . I’m looking for a T85 with R11 overdrive to install behind SBC . So how to adapt it what do i need to do . Read many articles but got only bits of info . Most Trannies of this type came from Studes so . I can make it work . I Bow to the Knowledge of those who have gone before me . Thank you 🙏 Karl

  • #2
    Welcome to the Forum, Karl!
    I can't help you with your inquiry, but I'm sure you would attract folks who could if it had a more descriptive title than "Advice".
    "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

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    • #3
      That trany was used in...

      1957 - 1966 American Motors/ Rambler with 287 or 327 engine.
      1965 - 1969 Jeep J-series 4WD pickups (used with a Dana 20 transfer case)
      1963 - 1967 Jeep 4WD Wagoneer and Cherokee with a V-8 engine
      1965 - 1971 Ford truck
      1955 - 1958 Packard
      1962 - 1964 Plymouth with 413 or 426 engine
      1964 - 1965 Buick
      1960 Dodge Dart, Matador and Polara
      1956 Studebaker
      1957 Nash Ambassador with a V-8 engine
      1957 Hudson with a V-8 engine
      1958 Edsel
      1955 - 1957 Mercury
      1958 - 1964 Pontiac
      1962 - 1963 Oldsmobile

      MOST did not come from Studes. You need to find out what you actually have in order to adapt it to a Chevy.

      It is essentially a BW T10 four speed with only 3 forward gears.


      Unless you have to have a column shift, a WC T5 would be a better and less expensive way to get the OD.
      Dick Steinkamp
      Bellingham, WA

      Comment


      • #4
        There are a dozen varieties of the T85 overdrive transmission. The most important is the front bolt pattern and the second is the input shaft.

        Give us more details and we can help you find what you're trying to accomplish.

        FWIW, I have the ultimate example of this ; a very rare SBC 4-speed T10/BW R11 overdrive conversion done by our friend Alan.

        jack vines
        PackardV8

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Gear Head View Post
          Hello to all .New to you . I’m looking for a T85 with R11 overdrive to install behind SBC . So how to adapt it what do i need to do . Read many articles but got only bits of info . Most Trannies of this type came from Studes so . I can make it work . I Bow to the Knowledge of those who have gone before me . Thank you 🙏 Karl
          Borg-Warner T-85N with O/D: 1965/67 F100 240/300/352 // 1968/71 F100 240/300/360/390 // 1969/71 F100 302

          1965/67 Galaxie/LTD 352/390 /// 1955/56 Packard/Clipper.

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          • #6
            Seems like you should be looking for a Saginaw trans with BW overdrive. That's what would have been in a late '50s Chev.
            "Burning Bridges...Lost Forevermore"......

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Dwain G. View Post
              Seems like you should be looking for a Saginaw trans with BW overdrive. That's what would have been in a late '50s Chev.
              X2...plus, the later version of the Saginaw 3 speed had a synchro low. The Saginaw 4 speed had the same case as the 3 speed, and like Jack's OD addition to a BW T10, you could add the Saginaw OD to the 4 speed Saginaw.
              Dick Steinkamp
              Bellingham, WA

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Dick Steinkamp View Post

                X2...plus, the later version of the Saginaw 3 speed had a synchro low. The Saginaw 4 speed had the same case as the 3 speed, and like Jack's OD addition to a BW T10, you could add the Saginaw OD to the 4 speed Saginaw.
                It's really odd that Borg-Warner designed the R11 to bolt on the T85 and later evolved the T85 into the T10 , but bolting an R11 behind a T10 is an expensive nightmare, requiring a custom aluminum adapter casting and a new output shaft. On the Saginaws, the overdrive from the 3-speed is almost a bolt-on to the 4-speed. The bad news is the Saginaw 3-speed overdrive is unobtanium rare. Most were scarfed up long ago.

                jack vines
                PackardV8

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                • #9
                  Gear Head , welcome to the Forum. For future posts, please remember to put technical topics in the Tech Talk channel, and choose the appropriate topic prefix for the question you're asking. Also, make sure your topic title is as descriptive as possible - let people know what you're asking about. You'll get more responses, and it will help users later who may be searching for the same topic.

                  Happy Studebakering!

                  Clark in San Diego | '63 Standard (F2) "Barney" | http://studeblogger.blogspot.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thank you all for “Advise”
                    I’m retired first ever joining a Car Club . Was born with Bow tie umbilical but was told by my fathers. Motorcycle riding Buds I was Created on His favourite Snort-in Norton That was at Dads Funeral . Wonder why I like Riding Motorbikes 🏍 I will post in Tech area with better heading . Really want to put old style overdrive in my 57 Chev and you Stude men seem to want to make the impossible work . It’s easy if you have lots of money and can pay someone else to Do it . I love making it Run and Sound Sweet . I have a Saginaw 3 spd full synchro I put in and still use column shift which I just love don’t want floor shift . So I can get 1960 Studabaker t 85. With R 11 Small Ford bellhousing pattern 10 spline clutch. Long pilot nose and yoke output on tail shaft .

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                    • #11
                      Your build, your money, your decision, but if you've already got the Saginaw 3-speed with overdrive, the only conversion which makes much sense is to put the OD behind a Saginaw 4-speed. It all fits with no problems.

                      Having been there, done that, wanting to mess with the T85 behind a SBC is doing it the hard way for no gain.

                      jack vines
                      PackardV8

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