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'55 Speedster question

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  • '55 Speedster question

    Partway into restoration. Engine rebuilder tells me the thrust bearing is shot and says could be a transmission problem (auto trans) due to ballooning forward of torque convertor or some other pressure problem. Also is the trans supposed to shift twice when start out in Drive? Any help on either question would be greatly appreciated. Gene

  • #2
    Gene, it would be a big help if you could tell us what year and model of Studebaker you are asking about. At least the engine and transmission combo as well.

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    • #3
      If it is the original 259 V8, the thrust bearing is part of the front main bearing. If you replace the main bearing set, you will be replacing the thrust bearing by default. Be sure to set the headspace properly by the proceedure in the shop manual - Studebaker used a shim system. If your engine rebuilder is not familiar with Studebakers, get him a manual and insist that he follow it. These engines are not like the average "belly button" chevy most mechanics cut their teeth on.

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      • #4
        Whacker, the topic is "55 Speedster" <G>. The car should have a DG250 automatic transmission. I can't fathom a transmission problem from a "ballooning forward of torque converter" with that lock up torque converter. Your DG 250 should start out in first and then have two shifts to direct drive and then the torque converter locks up. This all assumes that your car has the original, or at least correct, engine and transmission. I am a little leary about your rebuilder based on the little bit of information that you posted. Are you sure that he is familiar with this engine and this type of automatic transmission, or at least variations manufactured more than 50 years ago?
        Gary L.
        Wappinger, NY

        SDC member since 1968
        Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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        • #5
          I'm with Gary on this one. I suppose ANYthing's possible, but I find your rebuilder's theory really a stretch![:0]
          Rightfully, your Speedster should have three gears in Drive. I HAVE heard of a DG-200 or 200M being subbed for an ailing 250. This would effect a 2nd gear start. All the DG family have 3 gears forward, but only the 250 started in first from a standstill (in "Drive").[:I]
          Assuming we're talking the "Thrust bearing" that is basically the #1 main bearing's flanges, if the engine's crankshaft end play wasn't set OR was lost thru improper reinstallation of the front crank hub, I could envision the crank's movement fore and aft, hammering on the thrust part of #1 main.
          I agree with whacker's feelings about the average "rebuilder" ASSuming a V8 is a V8 is a V8.[xx(] I've heard TOO many horror stories![V]

          Miscreant at large.
          No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

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