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questions about my trans( 3-OD)

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  • Transmission / Overdrive: questions about my trans( 3-OD)

    Hey my car factory with a three speed OD. I'm thinking hard about using a three speed OD with a floor shifter. Now just curious how much if any better are the later Three speeds, and are the six engine trannies different? I know the bellhousing be different but can I put V8 power to this original trans if I wanted to? Or will I blow tranny bits all over the street? I know this question will seem stupid one way or another but I really don't know all this stuff yet.

  • #2
    The transmissions and clutches behind six cylinder engines are smaller than those behind V-8 engines. The overdrive portion is essentially the same internally, but the Champion transmission will not bolt up to a V-8 and won't handle the load.
    RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

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    • #3
      but can I put V8 power to this original trans if I wanted to? Or will I blow tranny bits all over the street? I know this question will seem stupid one way or another but I really don't know all this stuff yet.
      Definitely a no. The 6-cyl car T96 would not live nor prosper behind a V8.

      From this and other of your posts, it might be inferred you are not yet eligible for Social Security. If so, even the T86 which came behind most car V8s is on the delicate side for performance use. When younger, I've done many hard miles and shifts on T86s, but also broken a few.

      So yes, a T86 with a floor shift makes a great driver. It will give good service if not abused.

      The best tranny for a car driven hard is the T85 w/overdrive. Unfortunately, the long tailshaft car versions are unobtanium. The short tailshaft truck T89 can be made to work, as can the 4-speed T10 or the 5-speed T5 or the 6-speed T56 or just about anything if one is sufficiently talented and funded.

      Bottom line - go with a V8 car T86 overdrive, fab a Hurst floor shifter for it with the tranny out on the bench and then drive it with some care.

      FWIW, I've got a '56 T86 which would be perfect, but you can probably find one closer to home. Make sure you get one with the flywheel, bellhousing, governor, solenoid, kickdown switch, speedo gear, driveshaft, and the wiring harness. Chasing all bits will drive you nuts and break your wallet. Also be aware the bellhousings and mounting patterns are '51-57 and '58-'64 and '51-55 trannies will be 6 volt.

      jack vines
      Last edited by PackardV8; 06-18-2013, 09:09 AM.
      PackardV8

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      • #4
        OK that's what I thought I was pretty sure the six trannies were different, wanted to be absolutely sure since I'm parts hunting. I know a guy here in town who has a truck three speed. He said downshifting into first gear is harder than other BW's. I want to be able to drive the car kinda hard sometimes depending on what ends up under the hood. Would this tranny work for me?
        Which tranny would be in a three speed GT?

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        • #5
          T86 w/OD ....

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          • #6
            Downshifting into first is harder because 1st gear isn't synchronized. Full syncro 3 speeds appeared first on Fords around 63 or so. Studebaker never had them.
            59 Lark wagon, now V-8, H.D. auto!
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            • #7
              None of the Studebaker B-W 3-speeds, neither car nor truck had a synchronized first gear, so both are difficult for a novice. The good news is overdrive cars usually have a 3.73 or lower rear axle and the Stude V8 has enough low end grunt, downshifting to low is not necessary as long as the car is moving.

              Downshifting from second to first gear is yet more difficult on a truck than a car because of the wider ratio spread. I don't have the T86/T90 ratios at hand, but here are the T85/T89:

              T89 289" truck ratios: 3.17, 1.75, 1.00, .722, r3.666
              T85 56-58 GH ratios: 2.49, 1.59, 1.00, .722, r3.154

              To try to make it easier to downshift the wide-ratio truck gears from second to first, it was given a straight cut low gear and a straight spline shaft.

              To make the car easier to speed-whoop from first to second in a drag race, it was given bevel cut low gear and a spiral splined shaft.

              jack vines
              PackardV8

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              • #8
                Originally posted by PackardV8 View Post

                To try to make it easier to downshift the wide-ratio truck gears from second to first, it was given a straight cut low gear and a straight spline shaft.

                To make the car easier to speed-whoop from first to second in a drag race, it was given bevel cut low gear and a spiral splined shaft.

                jack vines
                That's what he said the reason why wouldn't be good for a hot rod was, So still what's the verdict on whether or not the truck tranny would work? And would higher HP and fun driving kill the t86 or not? Should I just find a four speed?

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                • #9
                  Nobody has mentioned, you can put a floor shifter on a t-86 by just getting the top shifter from a Jeep t-90. It's nearly a direct bolt-on.
                  Proud NON-CASO

                  I do not prize the word "cheap." It is not a badge of honor...it is a symbol of despair. ~ William McKinley

                  If it is decreed that I should go down, then let me go down linked with the truth - let me die in the advocacy of what is just and right.- Lincoln

                  GOD BLESS AMERICA

                  Ephesians 6:10-17
                  Romans 15:13
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                  Illegitimi non carborundum

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Bob Andrews View Post
                    Nobody has mentioned, you can put a floor shifter on a t-86 by just getting the top shifter from a Jeep t-90. It's nearly a direct bolt-on.
                    Wow thanks! We have a ton of old mail jeeps in the local pick and pull. I could still use a use a hurst shifter stalk for the "look" or I bet this linkage plus a hurst shifter could work out.

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                    • #11
                      There is no linkage. You just pull the side cover off, remove the shift forks and plug those holes. Then you pull the top cover and install the shifer with its forks. You have to elongate the two rear holes about 3/16" to fit the T-86 case. Also need to cut the low/reverse shift fork of and move it back 3/16".

                      If you have O/D you need to weld a little plate on it so when shifting into reverse it will work normally. Without this plate you have to pull the O/D handle out every time you want to back up.
                      Proud NON-CASO

                      I do not prize the word "cheap." It is not a badge of honor...it is a symbol of despair. ~ William McKinley

                      If it is decreed that I should go down, then let me go down linked with the truth - let me die in the advocacy of what is just and right.- Lincoln

                      GOD BLESS AMERICA

                      Ephesians 6:10-17
                      Romans 15:13
                      Deuteronomy 31:6
                      Proverbs 28:1

                      Illegitimi non carborundum

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                      • #12
                        You just pull the side cover off,
                        ??? Don't the shift forks have to come out through the top cover? My T86s don't have a side cover.



                        jack vines
                        Last edited by PackardV8; 06-18-2013, 02:32 PM.
                        PackardV8

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                        • #13
                          You're right. It's been a few years since I had a t-86 out.
                          Proud NON-CASO

                          I do not prize the word "cheap." It is not a badge of honor...it is a symbol of despair. ~ William McKinley

                          If it is decreed that I should go down, then let me go down linked with the truth - let me die in the advocacy of what is just and right.- Lincoln

                          GOD BLESS AMERICA

                          Ephesians 6:10-17
                          Romans 15:13
                          Deuteronomy 31:6
                          Proverbs 28:1

                          Illegitimi non carborundum

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                          • #14
                            OK I had so one tell me that the long tail shaft trannies will not work in my car without swapping drive shafts which I planned on doing anyway, but he also said there is a cross member where the two piece drive shafts meet. Two questions, can I and should try to reuse the two piece drive shaft in my swap? He seemed to think so, but it seems like a bad idea. To me. Can I just cut this out and make a brace in it's place, or is that even necessary? As I mentioned the guy here in town has a truck tranny connected to a 259. I don't know what tranny it is all he said was that it's bell housing can be used in a T5 swap. Is there a way I could use this tranny or would it be a fight everytime I took her out to play? And even if it worked well for what I want, could I even mount it? I 've got parts and chassis books for the 53 and gt hawk on the way so I'll soon be answering my own dumb questions soon enough.

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                            • #15
                              Also if I had say a stude T86 V8 bell housing could I find a good BW out of a a brand X, and swap it in?

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