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Transmission Upgrades for a Flathead 6

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  • Transmission / Overdrive: Transmission Upgrades for a Flathead 6

    I have a 57 Silverhawk with the inline 6 and 3-on-the-tree manual trans. I know they make adapters to mate up a more modern GM transmission to Stude V8's, but would I also be able to use the same adapter to put something like a GM TH200-4R behind my 6-banger?

  • #2
    I’m not aware of anyone that offers a kit like that. Keep in mind that the little Champion Six doesn’t really have the torque or horsepower needed to be practical in front of an automatic.


    • #3
      I've got a 3 speed overdrive off a 58 hawk 6 if your interested.


      • #4
        57 has the short tail shaft transmission with two piece drive shaft and 58 is the long tail shaft transmission with one piece drive shaft.
        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


        • #5
          Originally posted by swvalcon View Post
          I've got a 3 speed overdrive off a 58 hawk 6 if your interested.
          That's what I have now, 3 speed with the overdrive.


          • #6
            If you have the Borg Warner T-96 3 Speed Overdrive Now, that is the BEST Combo for that little 185 Six, so no need to change it.

            If you MUST have an Automatic due to disabilities etc. then the next best option would be a Studebaker 259 or 289 V8 Engine and Flight-O-Matic Trans. swap.

            Third option; Sell the Hawk and get what you really want.

            Someone here always comes up with the MOST important question, so I might as well ask it:
            WHAT Kind of driving: i.e. speed, distance, regularity etc, will the Car be used for?
            Second Generation Stude Driver,
            Proud '54 Starliner Owner


            • #7
              I agree with Rich and just about everyone else. The T96 with overdrive you have is the most desirable match for the Champion engine. I wouldn't fix it if it ain't broken.
              Are you having any issues that might motivate you to consider changing to an automatic?
              "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


              • #8
                John, You need a truck support plate. They come in trucks to use a V8 bell housing behind 6's. Bolt one on to your 6 and bolt the adapter to it.
                Attached Files


                • #9
                  I'd go with nothing less than a TH400 behind a six cylinder. But you'd have to live without OD.