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Lark VI 4 speed?

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  • Transmission: Lark VI 4 speed?

    This has nothing to do with the Daytona I've been posting about.

    I'm curious as to the reasons why the Studebaker 4 speed trans wasn't generally used in their 6? I guess maybe, the ratios in this trans were for
    acceleration in a V8, as opposed to final drive and lower engine rpms at a set speed?

    Different era, different performance expectation?

  • #2
    Just my guess, but not many people would have thought of buying a lowly six with a 4 speed. The four speed was an extra cost item that most six buyers would not have considered. An overdrive for better mileage and speed made more sense in those days.
    "In the heart of Arkansas."
    Searcy, Arkansas
    1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
    1952 2R pickup

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    • #3
      CASO started with the six-banger and anyone who wouldn't pay just a little more for a V8 certainly wouldn't pay a lot more for a 4-speed which would have dramatically lower fuel economy than the overdrive.

      jack vines
      PackardV8

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      • #4
        Originally posted by PackardV8 View Post
        CASO started with the six-banger and anyone who wouldn't pay just a little more for a V8 certainly wouldn't pay a lot more for a 4-speed which would have dramatically lower fuel economy than the overdrive.

        jack vines
        I get the rationale that the extra cost, back in the day, was more important, but I'd still like to know why the 4 speed trans back then *lowered fuel economy*, rather than today, when more gears is the way to get more fuel economy.

        Yes, I also understand, back in the day, fuel economy wasn't an expected goal, as much as today.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by LeoH View Post
          I get the rationale that the extra cost, back in the day, was more important, but I'd still like to know why the 4 speed trans back then *lowered fuel economy*, rather than today, when more gears is the way to get more fuel economy.

          Yes, I also understand, back in the day, fuel economy wasn't an expected goal, as much as today.
          Today, fuel economy is obtained by higher (ie, numerically lower) rear axle ratios and, as you mention, more gears in the tranny. The lower (ie, first, second) gears in todays transmissions I believe have lower ratios to overcome the higher rear axle ratios, and the top gear is almost always an overdrive gear.

          But in the early to mid '60s, the highest Stude rear axle gear was probably a 3.07:1 (maybe there were higher ratios available, but probably not many sold). And the 4 speed transmission had a 1:1 ratio in top gear, not an overdrive ratio.

          As far as Jack's comment, I believe he is saying that compared to an overdrive transmission, the 4 speed would generally have had a lower fuel economy since the 4 speed was only a 1:1 ratio in top gear.
          Last edited by r1lark; 12-27-2012, 09:57 AM. Reason: spelin'
          Paul
          Winston-Salem, NC
          Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at: www.studebakerskytop.com

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          • #6
            Got it. That seemed like the issue, but when it comes to gear ratios 'n such, I glaze over I woulda caught your spelin' issue most likely

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            • #7
              I have junked out a variety of hawks and larks over the years and have never found a rear axle higher than 3.07 in either a model 27 or model 44. On the 6 cylinder cars I have taken apart, I have always found lower gear ratios, like 3.73 which I was told was done to make the car feel snappy and allow it get partially away from it's own shadow. My current project, a 1963 Lark had a 6 auto with 3.73 model 27 rear axle.

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              • #8
                Thank you for the feedback on the numbers. Since you have gone through several rears, do you have a sense of how many had TT in them?

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                • #9
                  On 6 cylinders, almost none. Most of the 44 TT I had came from Hawks and Cruisers. I may be wrong on this, but I think the only cars that had TT as standard were Hawks and R engine powered Full Package cars and Police cars as well. But, as stated, I may be wrong. I did come across a 3.31 Model 23 with TT once. I had never even heard of a 23 so I thought I had a model 27 that I planned for a 64 Commander 4dr 259 auto. Boy was I surprised when I cleaned it up and found the Model 23 tag.

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                  • #10
                    Thanks for the info Gene.

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                    • #11
                      I've personally owned 10 6 cylinders with twin-traction. Hawks didn't have TT as standard equipment. The model 23 was used until the model 27 replaced it, in late 1959-early 1960.


                      Joe

                      Originally posted by GeneC View Post
                      On 6 cylinders, almost none. Most of the 44 TT I had came from Hawks and Cruisers. I may be wrong on this, but I think the only cars that had TT as standard were Hawks and R engine powered Full Package cars and Police cars as well. But, as stated, I may be wrong. I did come across a 3.31 Model 23 with TT once. I had never even heard of a 23 so I thought I had a model 27 that I planned for a 64 Commander 4dr 259 auto. Boy was I surprised when I cleaned it up and found the Model 23 tag.
                      sigpic

                      1962 Daytona
                      1964 Cruiser
                      And a few others

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                      • #12
                        A bit of very arcane trivia:

                        Back in the late '60s the Sunbeam Tiger was a hot Brit-built sports car with the Ford 260"-289" V8s. It came with a Dana 44 with 2.88 gears. Very few were delivered with Twin Traction, so Studebaker was a popular donor unit for the TT and for lower numerical gear ratios.

                        Doane Spencer, a famous SoCal hotrodder/road racer setting up a Tiger for Hollywood Sports Cars. He decided the Dana 44 was too heavy, so he substituted a narrowed Dana 27 with TT from a 6-cyl Lark. It worked well on the road courses. To make it legal, Rootes Motors had to issue an option part number, but of course none were ever factory built or delivered.

                        Remind anyone of the Granitelli Bonneville cars? They had many modifications which Studebaker certified as legal but never built or sold.

                        jack vines
                        PackardV8

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                        • #13
                          Joe-

                          Thanks for the correction, I have had the opposite experience on 6 cylinders. As for Hawks, I will take your word for it, all of the ones I have had were TT, so that was my experience, but I always say never use words like "Always" or "Never" with Studebaker!

                          Gene

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by PackardV8 View Post
                            CASO started with the six-banger and anyone who wouldn't pay just a little more for a V8 certainly wouldn't pay a lot more for a 4-speed which would have dramatically lower fuel economy than the overdrive.

                            jack vines
                            What does CASO stand for?

                            Regards

                            Neil

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                            • #15
                              What does CASO stand for?
                              It stands for Cheap A** Studebaker Owner. It gets used alot on here.

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