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Install 259 in Commander to t86

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  • Engine: Install 259 in Commander to t86

    Hello, looking for advise. I inherited a project. It is a 57 commander with 259 and manual t 86.
    I am going to reinstall engine. Transmission with bell housing is still mounted in car. I am not real technical and would really appreciate any help. Questions are as follows.
    1) can I go ahead and assemble exhaust manifolds before installation? Is there room?
    2) can I put motor mounts loose on block?
    3) doesn't look like much room to put in upper bell housing bolts? Do I need to lower tranny or leave it in its saddle. Or is there a trick to those upper bolts?
    4) do I need drive shaft removed from rear of tranny.
    5) am planning on attaching flywheel, and clutch assembly to engine before dropping it in. Is this correct.
    6) also any pictures of basic engine wiring would be great. Looks like the coil mounted on firewall. I see 4 wires that come up in front on passenger side of radiator, but they do not seem long enough to reach water or oil sender etc.
    Probably way too many questions, but I am new at this.
    Thanks. Cory

  • #2
    Installing exhaust manifolds loosely is fine. Same with motor mounts. Best bet is to remove trans from car so you can easily align engine and transmission (assuming clutch disk and plate are mounted on flywheel). I might take disk and plate to someone who can check balance. Remount on flywheel and line up up trans (with correct alignment tool) and engine, loosely bolt together and reinstall. Worry about wiring when this is accomplished...............
    Toby Knoll Garage

    www.tobyknollgarage.com
    ______

    '51 Muntz Jet
    '53 Woodill Wildfire/Dodge
    '54 Hudson Hornet Grand National Tribute car
    '55 Studebaker Speedster/Cadillac
    '56 Corvette SR replica

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    • #3
      Congrats on your Commander!

      The clutch/pressure plate are much easier to put on with the motor outside of the car - easy to access.

      The bell housing can be bolted to the motor so you don't have to worry about those bolts on top.

      The motor mount brackets can be put on tight. The rubber motor mounts can be installed on the frame and it makes for an easy target to aim for the holes in the mounts.

      Other with more experience will continue to chime in.

      Again, congratulations and happy motoring!

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      • #4
        Thanks for info, I will look into mounting bell housing to motor. Assuming back side of bell housing mounts with 4 bolts to transmission. ?
        is there a way to leave bell on trans and still fas y en those upper bolt?
        Also do I need to remove driveline if I leave trans in car when I install motor.

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        • #5
          you can do it either way. trans on engine or trans in car. easier in your case to just pull the tranny and mount it to the engine and stab it, maybe.
          I've done it both ways. Best be to put the Clutch and pressure plate on and align it now. prior to stabbing.
          if you end up putting in the engine and trying to align, just try not to put much pressure on the transmission input shaft. And remove the radiator if that gets in your way.. I've done that too.
          There are some Cali folks here who might be able to take a look. I had a '57 commander a few years ago. Loved that thing.

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          • #6
            I would install the engine bellhousing and transmission as one unit and yes the driveshaft will have to be removed, undo the rear U bolts and note their location mark it with a paint pen. Slide the shaft out of the spline and keep it clean. To reduce the risk of injury to the radiator I would recommend you remove it. It is much easier to install the fan with the radiator out of the way. To make life somewhat easier use long bolts to attach the fan for alignment and then replace the long bolts with the original short ones. When installing the engine with the transmission attached a very steep angle is required I would recommend not to fill the transmission with oil as it will run out and you will have a big mess. Because of the steep angle required to insert the engine, I have used an accessory come-a-long attached to the rear of the engine or even farther back around the transmission to lessen the angle as it is lowered. Additionally it would assist to remove the cross member and lower the rear of the transmission on to a rollerjack and feed it down and in. When the rear of the transmission is on the rollerjack you can disconnect the come-a-long. After the engine is down and in you can jack the rear of the transmission up in to position then reinstall the cross member. Short cuts just make things more difficult.

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            • #7
              Agree with Altair, except it's not really necessary to pull the rear mount, just wiggle the transmission over it for clearance. BTDT. 57 commander.

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              • #8
                I hope you are going to at least CHECK the Clutch Housing to Engine "Dial-in", if not actually Dialing it in, if you are not sure if this is a Factory mated Block & Clutch Housing or not.
                StudeRich
                Second Generation Stude Driver,
                Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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                • #9
                  Their is a removable plate at the top of the bellhousing hump inside the car that will give access to the top 4 bolts. you will probably need an ice pick to clean out the screw heads if that plate has never been removed before. Luck Doofus

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by StudeRich View Post
                    I hope you are going to at least CHECK the Clutch Housing to Engine "Dial-in", if not actually Dialing it in, if you are not sure if this is a Factory mated Block & Clutch Housing or not.
                    I agree. IFAIR, T86's are for 6 cylinder and can work if not driven hard. Either way, if the engine and the bellhousing are not original to each other, dialing in the bellhousing is a must, or you will have gear clashing problems and transmission bearing failures.

                    Dialing in the bellhousing is not that hard with the engine and bellhousing out of the car. It does require a dial indicator, and easily fabricated bracket, plus a tapered reamer and new dowel pins. Some vendors and other nice guys can lend you these, I lent out my reamer and never got it back, so I can't help.
                    Ron Dame
                    '63 Champ

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                    • #11
                      I need something clarified, I always had the understanding that a T 86 is for a V8 and a T96 is for a six?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by altair View Post
                        I need something clarified, I always had the understanding that a T 86 is for a V8 and a T96 is for a six?
                        That is correct, Ron got them mixed up.

                        I guess it should be noted that not ALL V8's had T-86's though.

                        A VERY Few had the H.D. V8 T-85 O.D. Short Tail : '56 & '57 President Classic 289 4V 225 HP & '57 Golden Hawk 289 (PS) and '56 Golden Hawk 352's with Packard Input Shafts.
                        Also, even FEWER '58 Golden Hawks with Long Tail T-85's.
                        StudeRich
                        Second Generation Stude Driver,
                        Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by StudeRich View Post

                          That is correct, Ron got them mixed up.

                          I guess it should be noted that not ALL V8's had T-86's though.

                          A VERY Few had the H.D. V8 T-85 O.D. Short Tail : '56 & '57 President Classic 289 4V 225 HP & '57 Golden Hawk 289 (PS) and '56 Golden Hawk 352's with Packard Input Shafts.
                          Also, even FEWER '58 Golden Hawks with Long Tail T-85's.
                          I guess I was thinking about the T85's on those few cars and on V8 trucks ( which are actually T89's)
                          Ron Dame
                          '63 Champ

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