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  • Clutch / Torque Converter: R/1 4spd clutch

    I recently finished my 59 year project --- 53 champion. I bought the R/1 engine complete with clutch and T-10 4spd sometime in the 1970s. (paid $75). The guy had taken it out of a Studebaker in order to install a Chevy engine. He was a drag racer!! Now that I have had a chance to drive the car I am finding out that the transmission might have had some hard use.. It pops out of 2nd, is sometimes hard to downshift from 4th to 3rd... it has a fairly loud whine in 4th. Those problems have made me decide to take the transmission out this winter and go over it. My other problem is the clutch. My left leg is a little weak and the clutch is extremely hard to push. I am guessing that he installed a heavier pressure plate for drag racing. I didn't pay a lot of attention to the clutch before installing the engine and transmission. I am wondering what type of pressure plate would make the pedal easier to push. I understand that a diaphragm type of pressure plate requires less effort. Does anyone know exactly what pressure plate and disc would fit and solve my problem? Click image for larger version

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    1967 Riviera, 1964 Avanti R/2-R5096, 1953 Champion-R/1,4spd, Two 1967 Studebaker Gravely tractorssigpic

  • #2
    Oooooh, looking at that great car makes it hard for me to concentrate on getting my Avanti road worthy!! My first car in high school was a dark green 54 coupe. One fine looking auto you have. Sherm Green Bay / 63R1089

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    • #3
      A stock Avanti pressure plate was around 2000# total pressure. Performance Borg and Beck Pressure plates start at about 2400 #'s and go up to about 3100 #'s. Those will give your left leg a workout. Today's dual friction discs have a much better co-efficient of friction so you no longer need the high clamp force. A diaphragm clutch will interfere with the bellhousing. Get a stock replacement 10.5" pressure plate and you will be fine for normal driving. 1800 - 2000 # of clamp will work. South Bend Clutch might be able to rebuild what you have and put in any spring combination you desire. Do not use a pressure plate with centrifugal rollers in it. You will not be able to shift it above about 4000 RPM.
      james r pepper

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      • #4
        Does anyone else think the fan is mounted backwards, ie, rear side facing forward?
        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
          It sure looks that way?

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          • #6
            I was able to install a diaphragm clutch, no problem. Done twice. Once in a Champ truck with T-10 4-speed; used a McLeod pressure plate, which I still have now. Truck bell housing is roomy, went in without issues. Did one in an Avanti. Had to grind two projecting lumps off the inside of the bell housing at about 10:00 and 2:00, and then made sheet metal covers for the resulting holes. You really need the right throwout bearing, too.

            jtjim, which version of T-10 and bellhousing is on your engine? There were two types used. '61 and '62 Studebakers used a bellhousing with the Chevy style T-10 transmission, which had the same bolt layout on the front as did common Chevy transmissions. '63 and '64, T-10's became available with the "Ford-style' bolt layout on the front, so Studebaker reverted to their regular manual bellhousing for the 4-speed cars.

            Reason I mention this, is that your transmission noises and shifting issues are consistent with a bellhousing that has not been dial-indicated to ensure it is concentric with the engine crankshaft. Previous owner may have mated an R1 from an automatic car to a 4-speed from a different car. If the tranny in your car has the "Chevy-style" bellhousing, that is pretty much a certainty, since any R1's built with 4-speed would have been delivered with the "Ford-style" bellhousing.

            Dial-indicating to make the bellhousing concentric can be done in the car, but it is a chore.
            Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

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            • #7
              I appreciate all the replies. I will just say that all of my vehicles have the cooling fans mounted with the concave side of the blades facing the engine. I have a GM 4.3, my Avanti R/2, my Buick Riviera, and the photo in the Avanti shop manual shows the same. In any case, I have an electric pusher fan in front of the radiator that does all the work. I have 2 shrouds but can't get either to work with this engine yet. One problem is that the chassis is from a 1962 GH Hawk donor. It was a power steering car and the slave cylinder causes interference with the lower part of the radiator. Click image for larger version

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              I have to admit that I do not recall dial indicating the bell housing. At the time I thought that it was built from the factory so it should be OK. I have read in the TW co-operator that it might not be the case. I rebuilt this engine in 1985 and my memory is not that good as to whether I did or not. The engine is definitely a 1964, R/1---#JT K323 . It is possible that this engine came out of an automatic car! I do not know what the difference is in the bolt pattern, Ford vs Chevy. I measured mine----6.5" horizontal bottom, 7" vertical.

              Can I source the clutch from my local parts supplier or must I order from SI. Is the pressure plate standard bolt pattern which will bolt up to many other cars?

              As I mentioned, this winter I plan to remove the transmission and have a look inside. I will definitely check the bell housing concentricity. ----Just a short story-----When I installed a 1954 , 232 engine in this car (around 1963) I was very young and had no idea about indicating the bell housing. I found a bell housing that would work with the T86 short tail transmission and a starter that would work and I was good to go. I never understood why the transmission would pop out of 2nd gear. Since then I have learned why.

              It came with the Hurst shifter. It seems to be OK. As I said, it doesn't shift smoothly. My 63 GT Hawk with the factory shifter always shifted smoothly and did not whine.

              By the way Jim, I don't recall when I needed to shift above 4000 rpm!
              1967 Riviera, 1964 Avanti R/2-R5096, 1953 Champion-R/1,4spd, Two 1967 Studebaker Gravely tractorssigpic

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              • #8

                Another vote for switching to a diaphragm pressure plate. They're smoother and require less pedal pressure for the same holding power.

                If I were doing it, I'd also convert to a hydraulic throwout bearing, but it doesn't seem the OP wants that degree of fabrication.

                jack vines
                PackardV8

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                • #9
                  Jtjim: I use a 1970 camaro disc and pressure plate (because this one is diaphragm). Dimensions are the same, splines, disc, all identical to the borg & beck 3 finger. The stude v8 throwout bearing fits the camaro plate perfect. In the cars the new pressure plate will have to have a couple of high spots clipped off with a cutoff wheel or they will interfere with the bell housing like gordr said. Pedal effort is a ton easier And with a diaphragm there is a way smaller chance of chatter. Way easier to get a better bite with 50 fingers (or whatever) than just 3

                  I’d take a look only out of curiosity since I wouldn’t use it anyway but the clamp pressure is adjusted by the thickness of springs and the amount of springs in the pressure plate. I had a pressure plate in a truck clutch once with ALL spring/ no vacant spots.

                  whatever you decide. . . Goodluck

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