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bellhousing alignment?

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  • bellhousing alignment?

    Is it really that critical in the real world? Some of you old timers (like me) must have swapped bellhousings and trans in the back yard before you knew any better. Did they fly apart? I've bolted up a hell of a lot of B/Hs and or trans adapters for other makes and never heard of this proceedure. I don't want to be stupid about it but I will be on a creeper under the truck. Convince me.

  • #2

    In a word... YES, it is that important.
    It is a twenty minute procedure that assures you that the thing is centered.
    Think about it.
    Would you just stuff in stock main bearings without checking the clearance?
    Same deal here. If you take the shortcut, you take the risk.
    Having done a dozenteen Stude engines over the years, it is far easier to check it than to tear one apart later because you didn't check it.
    And checking it will cost you about $10 for a cheapie dial indicator and a couple scraps of angle or flat stock.
    Jeff[8D]


    quote:Originally posted by 32tom

    Is it really that critical in the real world? Some of you old timers (like me) must have swapped bellhousings and trans in the back yard before you knew any better. Did they fly apart? I've bolted up a hell of a lot of B/Hs and or trans adapters for other makes and never heard of this proceedure. I don't want to be stupid about it but I will be on a creeper under the truck. Convince me.


    DEEPNHOCK at Cox.net
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    HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)

    Jeff


    Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain



    Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)

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    • #3
      quote:Originally posted by 32tom
      I've bolted up a hell of a lot of B/Hs and or trans adapters for other makes and never heard of this proceedure.
      The key phrase there is "other makes". For whatever reason, Studebaker didn't have the manufacturing tolerences in this area to allow for interchangeability like most other makes.


      Dick Steinkamp
      Bellingham, WA

      Comment


      • #4
        most other makes? VW is the only mfgr's product I have worked on where the bellhousings were truly interchangeable without dial in. All other FSM's have recommended dialing them in.

        nate

        --
        55 Commander Starlight
        http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel
        --
        55 Commander Starlight
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        • #5
          It was a problem with other makes too. I remember the question "why does my trans pop out of gear, I've tried everything"? being asked in the tech pages of Hot Rod Magazine in the '50's and '60s'.
          I also read in a Ford manual circa 1965 that if the bell housing face run-out was excessive, you could shim the bell housing away from the engine block to compensate!
          The run-out, both face and bore, should always be checked. It could be found within specs! You are more likely to get away with skipping it if the car has a manual transmssion as opposed to an automatic. Studebaker torque converter flex plates are small, but plenty strong IF not stressed by mis-alignment or gouged by lock washers.

          Dwain G.

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          • #6
            quote:Originally posted by Dwain G.

            It was a problem with other makes too.
            I'm sure it was, but I think it was the exception rather than the rule. With Studes, I think it is the rule rather than the exception.


            Dick Steinkamp
            Bellingham, WA

            Comment


            • #7
              WOW- learn something new every day [:0]

              I grew up in my father's garage; he was a top-notch, well-respected, college-trained mechanic... and while I can't ever remember working with him on a Stude, I NEVER EVER saw him do this procedure on the literally hundreds of engine and/or trans. swaps he did over the years; and never heard of a problem with it... only place I've ever heard about this is here, and made a mental note to keep it in mind when I work on Studes- but others? [xx(]

              Robert K. Andrews Owner- IoMT (Island of Misfit Toys!)
              Parish, central NY 13131
              http://www.cardomain.com/ride/2358680/1

              Comment


              • #8


                this is why I ask. Does anybody have the dimensions of tool J-2045? I assume it's close to the same as the Stude input shaft but, the only one I have is still working. Part of my skepticizim is that every non-Stude input shaft had some clearance built in which would lead to eratic readings. I would like to get everything together before the change over. I'll have to sleeve the bearing retainer for the Stude throw out bearing (anybody care to mic the Stude bearing retainer so I can match Stude's clearance?) and either sleeve the pilot shaft or make a new pilot bearing.

                BTW I'm using a 56 2E truck shop manual for what little information that I have.
                Please forgive the sloppy silicone job.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Tom; I don't know what you are building, looks like some non-stude Ford? top shifter or something, but that bellhousing is a CAR housing! You mentioned being "under the truck", if it's going in a truck, you need the truck housing with the big tall cast legs (rear engine mount brackets) bolted on for the rear mounts to fit a truck. On the other hand if you are using a mount under the trans. the weight of the Stude. V-8 could break the alluminum case tranny, just something to think about.
                  StudeRich
                  Second Generation Stude Driver,
                  Proud '54 Starliner Owner

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Looks like a T5 out of a Chevy S10 truck of the mid to late 80's. They are a nice tranny but go easy on the power shifting the trannys are not rated high enough for the torque of a 289 Stude. Trans dapt of Ceritos has the pilot bearings, Stude is the same as Chrysler OD. (0.9385")it is about .001" larger than the 15/16" hole in the Stude crank. The Chev trans pilot is .592" and the Stude is .750" The pic is a little dark so I can't see much detail but if it is an Avanti Chev pattern bellhousing it should have holes on the side to help for mounting to the truck.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Tom, what engine DOES your truck have? You said you're using a 2E manual for giudance but you didn't say whether your truck IS a 2E (a 1956) or what engine it has.
                      As Rich has said, it looks like that's a Stude V8 car bellhousing. I HAVE seen these used in a Stude truck with a bit of modification to make the single rear mount work with the truck's second crossmember, so that might be OK if that's the case here.

                      But, yeah. For whatever reason, Stude individually fitted each engine to it's bellhousing so when (over the course of time) bellhousings or engines get swapped, there's a fair chance they're NOT going to be within specs as far as alignment goes.
                      Such misalignment can cause undue bearing wear and clutch chatter on standard shift vehicles and shatter flex plate discs on automatic-tranny cars.
                      It's a hassle to do - there's no denying that. But as Jeff says, it's easier to do it now than when the truck's all back together.[xx(]

                      Miscreant at large.

                      1957 Transtar 1/2ton
                      1960 Larkvertible V8
                      1958 Provincial wagon
                      1953 Commander coupe
                      1957 President 2-dr
                      1955 President State
                      1951 Champion Biz cpe
                      1963 Daytona project FS
                      No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

                      Comment


                      • #12


                        I'm sorry not enough background information. The truck is a 34 Ford P/U that I bought like this. 55 259 It was originally built with an adapter bolted up to a 39 Ford trans. The second owner blew the Ford trans and somebody replaced it with a 55 Stude top shift 3 spd. truck trans. I'm pretty sure the existing B/H didn't come from the factory connected to this engine.

                        It does chatter if you slip the clutch.

                        I bought the 4spd B/H in the picture. The S-10 trans is needed to locate the shifter in front of the seat. I do know others have used the Ford T-5 behind Studes in later model vehicles where the shifter location is not an issue.

                        I'm not a gear jammer, but I do like to wind the engine out a little. The little engine pulls nice! The Stude truck trans doesn't like to shift without some grinding. It's a truck trans. I sunday shift it but if you have the Rs up a little it will grind unless you let the Rs fall back. I'm not talking big RPMs here. Just winding it out in what ever gear it's in. The O.D. gear will come in handy for a proposed trip to the salt next year.

                        Is the chattering a function of not being concentric with the crank or the trans surface not being square with the center line? The book says to throw the B/H away if it's out more than .006. I was thinking the chatter was possibly a flywheel, disc or pressure plate problem that I'd have to inspect and correct at the time of the change over.

                        The book I have shows a special tool inserted into the crank to dial in the crank center line before repinning. If there is a better home grown way of doing it, I'm all ears. I'm not a machinist but I slept at a flea bag hotel last night.

                        Thanks for your help. I should have supplied more info.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          N8 made a tool for us with a "L" shaped piece of steel. The short leg of the L bolts to the crank flange using two flywheel bolts, the long end of the L faces toward the rear and mounts the dial indicator on the inside of the round bore that the transmission fits in.


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                          Arnold Md.
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                          • #14
                            Unless that old truck trans is a truck 4-spd, it shouldn't grind at all going into 2nd or 3rd. 1st is not synchro'd tho, so no easy downshift to 1st but then that's not what you're saying anyway. Probably a victim of worn synchros on 2nd and 3rd.
                            Of course, clutch chatter can be a number of things and a stick shift Stude is probably more tolerant than the .004 they call out, but most BH's are further out than that if they're mismatched to the block. And that CAN cause chatter.
                            Later Stude truck V8 3spds were a heftier side-loader unit and were used behind the Golden Hawks that wore a supercharger.

                            Anyway, you don't "throw away" the BH - you remove it's locator pins, align it to the the crankshaft using a dial indicator that's attached to the crank (I use a magnetic base to do this) and adjusted so the tip of the indicator rides the ID of the tranny hole. You snug the bolts that hold the BH to the block, check the runout and adjust the BH with a mallet until the runout's in spec. Then drill new locator holes for pins that'll establish alingment (I use roll pins myself).

                            Miscreant at large.

                            1957 Transtar 1/2ton
                            1960 Larkvertible V8
                            1958 Provincial wagon
                            1953 Commander coupe
                            1957 President 2-dr
                            1955 President State
                            1951 Champion Biz cpe
                            1963 Daytona project FS
                            No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              quote:Originally posted by Mr.Biggs

                              Unless that old truck trans is a truck 4-spd, it shouldn't grind at all going into 2nd or 3rd. 1st is not synchro'd tho, so no easy downshift to 1st but then that's not what you're saying anyway. Probably a victim of worn synchros on 2nd and 3rd.
                              Of course, clutch chatter can be a number of things and a stick shift Stude is probably more tolerant than the .004 they call out, but most BH's are further out than that if they're mismatched to the block. And that CAN cause chatter.
                              Later Stude truck V8 3spds were a heftier side-loader unit and were used behind the Golden Hawks that wore a supercharger.

                              Anyway, you don't "throw away" the BH - you remove it's locator pins, align it to the the crankshaft using a dial indicator that's attached to the crank (I use a magnetic base to do this) and adjusted so the tip of the indicator rides the ID of the tranny hole. You snug the bolts that hold the BH to the block, check the runout and adjust the BH with a mallet until the runout's in spec. Then drill new locator holes for pins that'll establish alingment (I use roll pins myself).

                              Miscreant at large.

                              1957 Transtar 1/2ton
                              1960 Larkvertible V8
                              1958 Provincial wagon
                              1953 Commander coupe
                              1957 President 2-dr
                              1955 President State
                              1951 Champion Biz cpe
                              1963 Daytona project FS
                              OK The light bulb is starting to glow. (I think) The throw away quote in the manual refered to face runout.

                              So you remove the special bolts, align it, drill out different bolt holes to 3/8" and then drive in 3/8" roll pins to lock in the new alignment? I was having a hard time with the concept of drilling a precise hole with a hand held drill motor. The roll pin idea makes sense to me.

                              Thanks for the tip on the throw out bearing.

                              The 4 spd B/H is the only Stude B/H I've ever had in my fat little fists.

                              If the existing B/H has the locator pins,(who knows who did what?) I might reinstall it and check the runout to see how far out it actually is. I'll feel better if I find it to be out a lot.

                              Thanks for putting up with a Studebaker rookie.


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