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T5 in a studebaker

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  • T5 in a studebaker


    I might be interested in putting a T5 transmission behind my flathead 6 in a Silver Hawk. I have not had any luck finding one though. I'm told that an S10 ---1982 thru 1987 with manual speedo is the best fit. Anybody know where to look to find one of these transmissions??

    A stude OD trans is also a possibility. But I don't know how plentiful they are either. There would be the satisfaction of knowing it's all studebaker. Regards Dan

  • #2
    Expensive and you need an adapter or a bellhousing support plate off a truck. Unless you have the parts before hand or the adapter lined up from Cathart? Spelling? It is a pain behind the six.


    • #3
      I'm interested in this as well since I have a 185 with a topshift trans and a V8 OD. Wondering about the compatibility.


      • #4
        Buddymander-----Heres what I know about t5's. I'm told it can be done & the result is pleasing in terms of performance. My car has a flightomatic behind the six. I could never get it to shift right ( probably my own incompetence). I do know that Cathcart studebaker makes & sells an adapter plate to make it work. He will sell you the adapter plate as well as a clutch & pressure plate for $530.00. Check out his website if you have not already done so.

        If what I have been told is correct, you need a t5 out of an S10 truck that has the shifter in the middle of the trans ( apparently ford has the shifter on the tail of the trans). It needs to have a manual speedo output if you want to make your speedometer work. From one website I read that means it should be out of an S10 from about 1982 to 1987. Not exactly sure when they started the electronic speedometer, but it was around 1987 or so. The best fit would be from a 1985 S10 with a V6, according to one source I read. You would need to have the proper bell housing as well---I'm not sure which one works but I think Cathcart told me it was the larger one. Of course, there would be fixturing to mount the transmission and modification of the driveshaft etc etc.

        Even though I have my car off frame right now, I intend to drive mine quite a bit, and it has no top end right now. I would think it would make the little six more fun to drive. My engine is being totally rebuilt with some modifications that should kick my horsepower up quite a bit. I would think the 5 speed would be perfect for the car.

        Having said that, it's not a Studebaker Tranny. I'm also checking into putting a floorshift on a Stude OD transmission. There have been some very good posts on this forum about doing just that, so thats a possibility as well. I don't mind the column shift so much but I assume I would have to get another column out of a doner car since mine has an automatic.

        Why not just put my automatic back in? Can you imagine the tranny going out? One mechanic I ask to work on it said he does not work on anything older than he is. I know a place in California that will do it! I don't know how dependable a 57 flightomatic is. The one that was in it was supposedly just rebuilt, but it did not shift correctly & I could not find any help. Enough said---penny for everyones thoughts--Regards---Dan


        • #5
          The Flightomatic is basically a good transmission. Did you ask for help in the forum? There are some very knowledgeable members. Turning Wheels also has a technical editor with expertise in this area.
          You would probably get better use of the power of the little six with a T-5, but you have to decide if changing from an automatic to a standard is worth the time/money.

          "In the heart of Arkansas."
          1952 Champion Starlight w/overdrive. Searcy, Arkansas
          "In the heart of Arkansas."
          Searcy, Arkansas
          1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
          1952 2R pickup


          • #6
            We love to give out advice especially when it's somebody else getting their hands dirty. Keep the auto for now and there is plenty of help here to get it to shift right.


            • #7
              FWIW, I put lots of miles on a '56 Flight Hawk with the 185" six and T96 overdrive. This is essentially the same car as your Silver Hawk. I feel it is by far the easiest, most cost-effective combo available. There are plenty of T96s, clutch pedal and linkage to be found out there at a reasonable cost.

              IIRC, my Flight Hawk had the 4.56 rear gears and 3.19 in overdrive. I also highly recommend a floor shift and a manual overdrive kickdown switch. If you put in the manual trans and a floor shifter, you won't believe it is the same car. Just don't expect to pay for it with fuel economy improvements. The little six just has to work too hard pulling around a 3400# coupe.

              thnx, jack vines



              • #8
                I'm no mechanical expert, so I'm not even going to answer some of these. My dad is a tranny guy though, and has his own shop. I'm pretty sure we have the mechanical speedometer equiped T-5 if you want me to look into it for you. It was something he went through for a hot rodder for a flat head ford V8, but he never showed up. That was 2 years ago, and I think the tranny is still in the shop, and for sale too, unless that changed. Just shoot me a email if you would like me to look into it for you.

                Dylan Wills

                '61 lark deluxe 4 door wagon
                Dylan Wills
                Everett, Wa.

                1961 Lark 4 door wagon
                1961 Lark 4 door wagon #2 (Wife's car!)
                1955 VW Beetle (Went to the dark side)
                1914 Ford Model T


                • #9
                  I too am not a bright star in this catagory as I have never bolted a T5 into a Studebaker. But I have done other tranny swaps.
                  I'm not sure what cathart has but here is my input.

                  In the case of adapting a T5 to a studebaker you are correct in your assumption that the early S10 is the easiest, as it is easiest to put in many, many cars. But again, I'm not sure of the input shaft length of that T5 compared to the Studebaker. Can you measure the input shaft on the Studebaker and let us know, as well as the pilot bearing area length as well.
                  Most guys pull the bell housing of the stock "studebaker" tranny. Then make a plate that goes between the bellhousing and the transmission face. It can be 1/4" or so thick. The thickness of the plate can be determined by the lenght of the input shaft required. Then you can mix and match clutch plates per your requirement.
                  In other cases the more difficult route is an actual bellhousing adapter. Which is very expensive way to go about it. In the case of a bellhousing adapter you may also need to have an adapter for the flywheel ect.

                  In any case as another note: You can drill and tap a stock flywheel for what ever pressure plate you need. This is common on Ford Mustang flywheels. They are called dual patterned flywheels so you can put a stock disc and pressure plate or a Cobra disc and pressure plate.

                  I personally find it hard to believe that 795.00 for an adapter is just a thicker plate. I can't find a parts list for the cathcart kit. I have also heard of guys mixing and matching parts from the camaro and s10 T5 to get what they need. The camaro t5 has the same rear shifter location as the ford, but also has a very short snout.