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What automatic transmission(s) were used on '65 and/or '66 Cruiser V8's?

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  • Transmission / Overdrive: What automatic transmission(s) were used on '65 and/or '66 Cruiser V8's?

    I have a friend with a '64 Cruiser (which I know has a Flightomatic B-W trans) and another with a '65 Cruiser. I thought '65 and '66 cars used a Borg Warner (as I once drove a '66 which DEFINITELY had a 3 speed automatic), but the '65 Cruiser has a different shift pattern (P-R-N-D-L) from the '64 (P-N-D-L-R) and the '65 appears to shift only once when accelerating from a stop. What gives? By the way, the '64 has a 289 Studebaker and the '65 has a 283 McKinnon.
    Howard - Los Angeles chapter SDC
    '53 Commander Starliner (Finally running and driving, but still in process)
    '56 Golden Hawk (3 speed/overdrive, Power steering - Running, but not yet driving)
    '62 GT Hawk (4 speed, A/C, Power steering - running and DRIVING!)

  • #2
    Same trans unless someone changed it to a turbo 350 or 400. My 66 has the familar "Flightomatic" trans with the same shift pattern since 56 at least. It is a 3 speed that unless you start in "L" & shift into drive, starts in 2nd & shifts once into drive. Lots of posts on this. Trans was made by Borg-Warner since 56 to the end. Has the P-N-D-L-R shift pattern.
    Last edited by Warren Webb; 03-02-2012, 08:53 PM.
    59 Lark wagon, now V-8, H.D. auto!
    60 Lark convertible V-8 auto
    61 Champ 1/2 ton 4 speed
    62 Champ 3/4 ton 5 speed o/drive
    62 Champ 3/4 ton auto
    62 Daytona convertible V-8 4 speed & 62 Cruiser, auto.
    63 G.T. Hawk R-2,4 speed
    63 Avanti (2) R-1 auto
    64 Zip Van
    66 Daytona Sport Sedan(327)V-8 4 speed
    66 Cruiser V-8 auto

    Comment


    • #3
      Howard all my 65 cars and wagons I have had have had the BW style tranny as Warren says.

      Mark

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      • #4
        All correct '64, '65 & '66 Studebaker V-8 Cars with Flight-O-Matic column shift, use only 2 of their 3 gears when in D (Drive) and have one shift.
        They also all have the standard Studebaker shift pattern P N D L R.
        StudeRich
        Second Generation Stude Driver,
        Proud '54 Starliner Owner

        Comment


        • #5
          Was the 66 with the definite three gears a six cylinder? If it had a P N D L R it was also likely a Borg Warner, just with the first gear start for the sixes. All the V8s used a beefier version which also started in second gear by having slightly different internals. Its not a good idea to use a weaker '3 gear' six automatic behind a V8.

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          • #6
            The Avanti powershift transmission was still a Borg-Warner transmission (like the flight-o-matic), But it had PRND21 shift pattern
            Bez Auto Alchemy
            573-318-8948
            http://bezautoalchemy.com


            "Don't believe every internet quote" Abe Lincoln

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            • #7
              Thanks to all for the information. The car has a 283 McKinnon V8 and as far as I know has not been "tampered with" or modified. I have NOT driven it yet, that may answer my questions completely. Thanks again everyone!
              Howard - Los Angeles chapter SDC
              '53 Commander Starliner (Finally running and driving, but still in process)
              '56 Golden Hawk (3 speed/overdrive, Power steering - Running, but not yet driving)
              '62 GT Hawk (4 speed, A/C, Power steering - running and DRIVING!)

              Comment


              • #8
                Some cars have been switched to a Fordomatic/Mercomatic unit (I owned one) and that gives you a transmission with a similar appearance and operation, except for the different shift pattern/quadrant.
                Gary L.
                Wappinger, NY

                SDC member since 1968
                Studebaker enthusiast much longer

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks Gary. That may very well be the answer. I still need to drive the car and verify that it does in fact have a 3 speed transmission (even if it starts in 2nd gear in drive). I should be able to drive it this weekend, and I'll report here on what I find. Again, thanks everyone!
                  Howard - Los Angeles chapter SDC
                  '53 Commander Starliner (Finally running and driving, but still in process)
                  '56 Golden Hawk (3 speed/overdrive, Power steering - Running, but not yet driving)
                  '62 GT Hawk (4 speed, A/C, Power steering - running and DRIVING!)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    One more thing Howard. I seem to remember that Jeep used the same shift indicator in the 60's. Perhaps on the car in question was modified, the shift dial from a Jeep was installed. Jeep used a different transmission that had the now common P-R-N-D-L pattern. I have looked in some Jeep areas to see if any of their vendors made a reproduction dial but no success so far. If anyone knows where you could get one it would be great with installing a GM overdrive trans & having the stock appearing shift dial on the column.
                    59 Lark wagon, now V-8, H.D. auto!
                    60 Lark convertible V-8 auto
                    61 Champ 1/2 ton 4 speed
                    62 Champ 3/4 ton 5 speed o/drive
                    62 Champ 3/4 ton auto
                    62 Daytona convertible V-8 4 speed & 62 Cruiser, auto.
                    63 G.T. Hawk R-2,4 speed
                    63 Avanti (2) R-1 auto
                    64 Zip Van
                    66 Daytona Sport Sedan(327)V-8 4 speed
                    66 Cruiser V-8 auto

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thanks for the update, Warren.
                      Howard - Los Angeles chapter SDC
                      '53 Commander Starliner (Finally running and driving, but still in process)
                      '56 Golden Hawk (3 speed/overdrive, Power steering - Running, but not yet driving)
                      '62 GT Hawk (4 speed, A/C, Power steering - running and DRIVING!)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        About eight years ago got a HD three-speed auto from Dave Thibeault and had it installed in my '65 Cruiser. It starts in first gear. These, I believe, were used in Stude taxi's with 6's. I think Dave got the trans from SASCO at that time.

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                        • #13
                          The difference was caused by the government They said taht all shift quadrants were to be alike to save anyone from shifting into the wrong gear by mistake, Reverse instead of neutral for instance , and that the GSA would not buy any vehicles that weren't equipped that way. That went into effect in 66 and was also the end of the Chrysler pushbutton automatics.

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                          • #14
                            The Powershift transmission was the only one that Studebaker offered that had the now conventional shift pattern. That transmission was last offered in 1964. The Flightomatic transmissions always had the same pattern P-N-D-L-R. My 66 Cruiser is testimony to that. Perhaps someone has a picture of the shift indicator on the 66 Cruiser in the SNM. That would prove beyond any doubt of the shift pattern.
                            59 Lark wagon, now V-8, H.D. auto!
                            60 Lark convertible V-8 auto
                            61 Champ 1/2 ton 4 speed
                            62 Champ 3/4 ton 5 speed o/drive
                            62 Champ 3/4 ton auto
                            62 Daytona convertible V-8 4 speed & 62 Cruiser, auto.
                            63 G.T. Hawk R-2,4 speed
                            63 Avanti (2) R-1 auto
                            64 Zip Van
                            66 Daytona Sport Sedan(327)V-8 4 speed
                            66 Cruiser V-8 auto

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by GTCruiser View Post
                              About eight years ago got a HD three-speed auto from Dave Thibeault and had it installed in my '65 Cruiser. It starts in first gear. These, I believe, were used in Stude taxi's with 6's. I think Dave got the trans from SASCO at that time.
                              That will work, but it is not the sweet ticket for everyone. The reason it is listed as "H.D." is that for a 6 Cyl. normally equipped with the lightweight Borg Warner AS8-35 & AS30-35 Aluminum case Automatic, the Low Gear start cast iron case Flight-O-Matic was a heavier duty option for '63-'64 Fleet, H.D. Sedans/Wagons, and Taxis etc. with 6 Cyl. Engines, but NOT a V-8.

                              The problem is, the 1 to 2 shift was NOT accomplished in the same manner as in a V-8 and with a narrower band, so it's not as sturdy a setup for a V-8 as the stock 2nd. start unit.
                              StudeRich
                              Second Generation Stude Driver,
                              Proud '54 Starliner Owner

                              Comment

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