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Automatic Transmission Conversion

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  • Transmission / Overdrive: Automatic Transmission Conversion

    Have you ever heard of a four-speed automatic conversion from the original DG250 automatic to a TR 200 4 R on a early 50's Studebaker with a V8 engine.

  • #2
    I am sure "Somebody" may have done that, you would need the Adapter kit sold by several Studebaker Vendors, a One Piece Driveshaft Conversion, Shifter, 12 Volt Conversion, etc., etc.

    A GM THM (Turbo Hydramatic) 200-4R Overdrive, is a good one to use and they all fit the adapter to all Stude. V8's.

    I just wonder if you will be happy with the Power from a 232 with 120 HP (or is your "Early '50's", a 259?) pulling that heavy load Automatic AND with Overdrive.

    It will help if you still have a Dana Model 44 Rear Axle from a V8 Automatic Car, because they are usually 3.54 Ratio to help the little Engine pull, but it WILL be Working hard!

    Some people with 1951 to 1954 2nd. gear Start DG200's would be happy to have your 1955 Low Gear Start DG-250M.

    https://studebakervendors.com
    Last edited by StudeRich; 10-13-2020, 08:14 PM.
    StudeRich
    Second Generation Stude Driver,
    Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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    • #3
      I put a hot rodded T200-4R into my soon to be (hopefully soon) daily driver Conestoga wagon. And I have an even MORE high end T-200-4R for my other high end, 299 Stude engine powered Conestoga ,
      Make a new crossmember, and either modify the two piece driveshaft, or as I'm doing, install a one piece shaft. You'll also need a quality oil cooler. Don't use one of the old round tube style. The newer flat tube design cools much better.

      The T200-4r IS NOT...a power hog. This rotational weight is much less than the original Stude transmission, the T-200-4R is also lighter in weight. The gear ratios were done very favorably by the GM engineers. They learned from their mistakes with the T-700-R4.

      And yes, a 3.54 rear end gear is a very good match for the 4spd auto trans. I put a 3.70 gear into my "driver" wagon. The overdrive gear will take care of the rpm on the freeway. You don't want to go too high or it will kill all engine power in 4th gear. The 3.54 would be the highest gear you'd want to run. Like I said, otherwise the engine will be turning too slowly to make any power to pass, or pull even small hills.

      Mike

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      • #4
        I am all for tall gears, but believe a 3.92 or 3.73 would be about all the 120 HP, 232 could handle in OD. With anything lower, i.e. 3.54, 3.31, the lil 232's manifold vacuum would be way to low to enjoy any of the benefits of AOD. JMHO

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        • #5
          There are no bolt-in-drive-away transmission conversion kits for Studebaker V8s. All require some fabrication skills and quite a bit of shadetree experience. There are some among us having the above and will tell they did their conversion for $200 and a six-pack. The reality is paying for a quality TH200-R4 rebuild and professional installation is a $3,000 bill.

          The three keys to a successful AOD conversion:

          1. Getting the lock-up torque converter control correct
          2. Proper adjustment of the TV cable via a correctly designed throttle linkage
          3. Selecting the best governor for the engine and gearing. The TH200-4R was used behind four-cyl minivans, V6 turbos and everything in between. Because of the myriad applications, there are several governor choices which control the shift point.

          The most desirable TH-200-4Rs for performance enthusiasts are the units manufactured for Buick Grand National, Olds 4-4-2 and Chevy Monte Carlo SS in 1986-'87. These units used a special valve body. They also had a larger reverse boost valve, second to third intermediate servo, and a specially designed governor assembly. Their BQ, OZ, CZF, KZF or BRF transmission codes can identify these more desirable units. Today, these are NLA in wrecking yards, but most rebuilders use these as the guideline for performance use.

          A 232" can get by with any of the TH200 units; it makes no more horsepower or torque than the 4-cyls.

          jack vines

          PackardV8

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          • #6
            I installed a GM 4L60, AOD in my '62 GT. I made my own adapter which includes rear engine mounts, which are lost by the needed removal of the stock crossmember. It works great with the stock 3.54 rear axle. I'm using a Ford 302 starter mounted upside down on the left side and a GM 168 tooth flexplate. I originally used one of the stock 3 spd shifter arms on the stock steering column to work for the shifter, but have since installed a GM tilt column. I installed a new radiator with an internal trans cooler since my stock radiator had a few leaks anyway. Throttle and TV cable was no sweat. Trans $700, radiator $125, starter $45, Flexplate $20, drive shaft $200, Misc, oil, cooler lines, TV cable, trans mount, speedo cable, etc... $80. Total parts $1170, Labor, Priceless!
            sigpic

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            • #7
              Originally posted by bensherb View Post
              I installed a GM 4L60, AOD in my '62 GT. I made my own adapter which includes rear engine mounts, which are lost by the needed removal of the stock crossmember. It works great with the stock 3.54 rear axle. I'm using a Ford 302 starter mounted upside down on the left side and a GM 168 tooth flexplate. I originally used one of the stock 3 spd shifter arms on the stock steering column to work for the shifter, but have since installed a GM tilt column. I installed a new radiator with an internal trans cooler since my stock radiator had a few leaks anyway. Throttle and TV cable was no sweat. Trans $700, radiator $125, starter $45, Flexplate $20, drive shaft $200, Misc, oil, cooler lines, TV cable, trans mount, speedo cable, etc... $80. Total parts $1170, Labor, Priceless!
              This is a major difference from the original poster's question. You have a 289 cid V8, not a 232 cid V8. You were replacing a BW 3 speed (starts in second) AT, not a DG250 3 speed (that starts in first and has a lockup torque convertor) AT. I can understand your doing this conversion, but I can not agree with/understand the reasoning for the original poster's request/conversion.
              Gary L.
              Wappinger, NY

              SDC member since 1968
              Studebaker enthusiast much longer

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by studegary View Post

                This is a major difference from the original poster's question. You have a 289 cid V8, not a 232 cid V8. You were replacing a BW 3 speed (starts in second) AT, not a DG250 3 speed (that starts in first and has a lockup torque convertor) AT. I can understand your doing this conversion, but I can not agree with/understand the reasoning for the original poster's request/conversion.
                Agree completely, Gary. If one has a working DG250, it's as good an automatic as one could want.

                The OP would further the discussion by explaining why he wants to convert.

                jack vines
                PackardV8

                Comment


                • #9
                  To mirror what Jack is saying, what is your plan for the car, and why isn't the current unit satisfactory? Is there something with the operation of the original that just makes it's alteration an imperative?

                  Bill

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                  • #10
                    I think you guys are missing the original question. He asked if it had ever been done or if it's possible. My reply was to say yes, it is possible and can be done without spending huge amounts of money. A Studebaker V8, is a Studebaker V8, it's displacement has no bearing on what can be bolted up. Why he asked the question is irrelevant. Perhaps he's just wondering, perhaps he has a bad trans, or perhaps he just wants to update; it really doesn't matter.
                    sigpic

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by bensherb View Post
                      I think you guys are missing the original question. He asked if it had ever been done or if it's possible. My reply was to say yes, it is possible and can be done without spending huge amounts of money. A Studebaker V8, is a Studebaker V8, it's displacement has no bearing on what can be bolted up. Why he asked the question is irrelevant. Perhaps he's just wondering, perhaps he has a bad trans, or perhaps he just wants to update; it really doesn't matter.
                      You are correct as far as sticking to the original question (rarely done here). The original poster included very little information. The original question was previously answered (post #2 by Rich). I do not believe that the original poster ever came back to this topic. I was giving more general information for the many others reading this topic.
                      Gary L.
                      Wappinger, NY

                      SDC member since 1968
                      Studebaker enthusiast much longer

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by bensherb View Post
                        I think you guys are missing the original question. He asked if it had ever been done or if it's possible. My reply was to say yes, it is possible and can be done without spending huge amounts of money. A Studebaker V8, is a Studebaker V8, it's displacement has no bearing on what can be bolted up. Why he asked the question is irrelevant. Perhaps he's just wondering, perhaps he has a bad trans, or perhaps he just wants to update; it really doesn't matter.
                        Guilty as charged! The presumption was that he had an intended purpose for asking the question. If in fact was not his purpose it would have been nice for him to have stated it up front. We do have a tendency to go side ways on these subjects, especially when there is little direction or purpose. I guess an inquiring mind is one of those thing that set human beings apart from most other animals. My intent in my last post was to give the original poster the opportunity help guide the thread in a direction he would like it to go-inquiring minds need to know.

                        Bill

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Actually, there are a LOT of unknowns about this Poster and this Post.

                          By doing a little "Sleuthing" as Bob P. calls it, I remembered that Jeff is the newbie who is LOOKING to buy a '50 or '51 Land Cruiser, so he very well MAY be kind of just thinking/dreaming out loud here, to make it more Drivable or Economical, in HIS mind !
                          I don't think he even HAS a Stude. yet!

                          Suffice it to say, there is a LOT we do not know, so we really can't guess.

                          I do hope Jeff comes back here though.
                          StudeRich
                          Second Generation Stude Driver,
                          Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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                          • #14
                            A common concern is the reliability and the availability of parts and experienced service for the 65-70 year old and relatively rare DG200/250 transmission. Almost all of the mechanics experienced with this transmission design have long since retired or passed on. I don't know of a mechanic or a trans shop within 200 miles that would be willing to take on a rebuild, or give even a 90 day warranty on one of these units.

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                            • #15
                              Jerry Kurts is the DG specialist. No-one knows these better and he is very reasonable. Jerez is his user name on this forum.
                              jerezstude@aol.com is his email.
                              Last edited by rkapteyn; 10-25-2020, 11:02 AM.

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