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62 lark transmission

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  • 62 lark transmission

    I have a 62 lark wagon 259 with 2 speed flite-o-matic. My question is, what years and models used the same trans? And what models and years had a 3- speed auto? Thanks Tom

  • #2
    Both Borg Warner automatics used by Studebaker--Detroit Gear division 50-55 and Flightomatic 56-66 (well, 3 transmissions if you count Powershift) are three speed automatics, except that normally, the V8 cars always started in second gear, unless selected manually (low) or full throttle acceleration from a stop, more or less. Exceptionally, the 55 DG used all three gears even with V8s, but that was the only year to do so. (V8 truck automatics used all 3 gears as well) Both the DG and Flightomatic have lighter and heavier duty models--lighter for sixes, heavier for V8. The Flightomatic for 6 cylinders used all three gears, but it is a lighter duty transmission in all years, and really not up to the task long term of hauling a V8 wagon around.

    A lot of V8 owners complained about the harsh 1-2 shift in 56, so very early in production it was changed to a 2nd gear start, and retrofitted on most of the 1st gear start V8 Flightomatics. I have a 57 Champion 6 automatic, and its 1-2 shift is fairly harsh even with lower power, but it needs that extra from a stop. Studebaker V8s have lots of torque, and the loss of first gear isn't a big thing. I had a 60 Hawk V8, and using 1st gear was more often an annoyance than a help. Some people have changed the V8 valve body to get a first gear start using a truck transmission valve body--but some people who have done this conversion have backed it out and gone back to second gear start. Its just that the 1st gear is rather low--if they were more evenly spaced it would be worthwhile.

    Any V8 Flightomatic 56-64 should bolt right up to your 259. Likely the 65-66 Flightomatics that were behind the GM 283 V8 will too. Unfortunately, the 6 cylinder version is too light for V8 use, and the V8 versions are second gear start unless you convert them. Co$t$ though, and you might not like the results. Just my opinion...


    • #3
      Only a '58 to '64 V-8 Flight-O-Matic will be a bolt-in, correct fit in your '62 Lark 8. The '56-'57 is a short tail Trans. requiring a two piece driveshaft with center support.
      Second Generation Stude Driver,
      Proud '54 Starliner Owner


      • #4
        Hmmm....slipped my puny mind about the 56-57, and here I recently removed the driveshaft from the 57 automatic parts car. D'oh!