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Transmission help.....

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  • Transmission help.....

    I need to decide what transmission to put in my '56 Transtar... the Stude' 259 has an adapter plate for a 700R4 trans to bolt up to it (that's what was in it previously). Question is, what would the better, more reliable trans be to install, a Turbo 350 or a 700R4... I've had differing opinions from several people locally and want to get some "expert" feedback from you guys... Thanks

    '56 Transtar... project in the works

  • #2
    The 350 is certainly simpler and better understood by old school rodders, but the 700R4 has an overdrive so if it's built right it will make for much more relaxed cruising and maybe even a little $$ savings.

    nate

    --
    55 Commander Starlight
    http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel
    --
    55 Commander Starlight
    http://members.cox.net/njnagel

    Comment


    • #3
      Jim,

      I don't pretend to be an expert on these GM offerings. However, what I've read is that the O/D of the 700R4 is a real boon to driveability. Makes sense too! Do you know what rear axle is under the truck now? If it's a standard Stude truck axle, likely it's not taller than 3.73. That seems to have been the standard fare for trucks that came with a Flight-o-Matic.
      If the truck was one with a T-85 ot T-89 W/OD, it probably came with a 4.09, 4.27, or even a 4.55 rear gear ratio. Those 3 work nicely with an overdrive setup as the 30% advantage of the OD gearing makes for a decent RPM under the hood. Without OD, any of those 4 ratios I mentioned would have you high-revving and stopping at lots of gas pumps.
      While the 700R4 seems to have a reputation of not doing well under heavy loading, it seems to do well unloaded and just cruising along. I'd say if this truck was gonna see more pleasure driving, the OD capability would be a plus. Now if you're gonna load that baby down with a bed full of gravel or wet bark, the 700R4 would still do OK so long as you kept it out of the OD range.
      Again, this opinion is drawn from what I've read of other's experiences. I actually bought an adaptor kit for my truck some years ago but I like the 3-spd stick with O/D too much.[^]

      Miscreant adrift in
      the BerStuda Triangle!!

      1957 Transtar 1/2ton
      1960 Larkvertible V8
      1958 Provincial wagon
      1953 Commander coupe
      No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

      Comment


      • #4
        Mr. Biggs... truck has a ford 9" rear from a '75 t'bird in it... and I'm not sure what the gearing is in it, but I will investigate.

        '56 Transtar... project in the works

        Comment


        • #5
          If you decide to use the 700R4 trans, find a 1988 or later version..
          The later ones had a better front pump and the upgrades to cure the earlier problems..

          George
          65 Commander 2door
          64 Wagonaire
          63 Champ
          63 GT Hawk
          51 Champion Starlight Coupe
          George King
          Grants Pass, Oregon
          64 Station Wagon with fixed roof (Canadian Car)

          66 Station Wagon with fixed roof. Project car, complete For Sale...

          64 Wagonaire sliding roof South Bend car. For Sale...

          63 GT Hawk

          51 Champion Starlight Coupe For Sale...

          Comment


          • #6
            Properly built the 200-4R or the 700-R4 will hold any power a Stude can pass out. Yes...all the way to 900+ hp.

            That said, your adapter will allow the attachment of any GM V-8 trans. to bolt up. Personally I like the 200-4R trans. Better gear ratios, lighter, smaller, overall more efficent.
            I've got one for my Conestoga (unless I decide to go for Jerrys bellhousing!).

            Mike

            Comment


            • #7
              Mike, just make sure you state that the 200-4R wont handle a V8 torque
              right out of a donor, whereas the 1987 1/2 and newer 700-R4 from a V8
              car will work out-of-the-box. It IS true that a properly built 200 is
              a NICE trans, but it needs a decent amount of help to get there, that
              equals a lot of money. A used good 700 can be found for $300 to $500
              with all the bells and whistles. If you get one from a TBI car, than
              you can get the TV cable and bracket. Rememeber that the TV Cable is
              NOT like the "kick-down" cable from the Flight-o-matic. A missing TV
              Cable will NOT allow the trans to build pressure to shift from first,
              an improperly adjusted TV Cable with burn up a good 700 OR 200 trans
              in a couple hundred miles. You can also opt for the 4L60 trans that
              is a slight upgrade from a 700-R4, OR you can get a 4L60 from behind
              an LT1 engine, which has the "Corvette" servo, and crisper shifts. One
              other option, if you want the creme de la creme, is the 4L60E trans.
              It is a computer controlled version of the 4L60, which is quite nice
              to drive. Talk about instantly having the gear you need, when you need
              it! I have one in my 1995 Impala SS clone, & my wifes 95 Camaro Z28.
              Had an 1989 700-R4 in my 1960 Hawk I totalled back in the mid-to-late
              90's, and a 4L60 in my 93 Camaro Z28 (which the wife wrecked tonight).

              EDIT : I forgot to mention the "TH400-R4" the 4L80/4L80E. These are
              heavy bullet proof transmissions that are usually in motorhomes and
              tow trucks. They are BIG, BAD, and probably overkill for your truck.
              http://www.hotrod.com/techarticles/g...ission_review/

              Tom

              '63 Avanti, zinc plated drilled & slotted 03 Mustang Cobra 13" front disc/98 GT rear brakes, 03 Cobra 17" wheels, GM alt, 97 Z28 leather seats, soon: 97 Z28 T-56 6-spd, Ported heads w/SST full flow valves, 'R3' 276 cam, Edelbrock AFB Carb, GM HEI distributor, 8.8mm plug wires
              '63 Avanti R1, '03 Mustang Cobra 13" front disc/98 GT rear brakes, 03 Cobra 17" wheels, GM alt, 97 Z28 leather seats, TKO 5-spd, Ported heads w/SST full flow valves.
              Check out my disc brake adapters to install 1994-2004 Mustang disc brakes on your Studebaker!!
              http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.c...bracket-update
              I have also written many TECH how to articles, do a search for my Forum name to find them

              Comment


              • #8
                Sorta on topic~ anyone got any pictures of the mods required to put one of these transmissions in a Stude? More specifically, I'd Like to see what you have to do to the frame...
                Thanks in advance!



                StudeDave [8D]
                V/P San Diego County SDC
                San Diego, Ca


                '54 Commander 4dr 'Ruby'
                '57 Parkview (it's a 2dr wagon...) 'Betsy'
                '57 Commander 2dr 'Baby'
                '57 Champion 2dr 'Jewel'
                '58 Packard sedan 'Cleo'
                '65 Cruiser 'Sweet Pea'
                StudeDave '57
                US Navy (retired)

                3rd Generation Stude owner/driver
                SDC Member since 1985

                past President
                Whatcom County Chapter SDC
                San Diego Chapter SDC

                past Vice President
                San Diego Chapter SDC
                North Florida Chapter SDC

                Comment


                • #9
                  Tom....

                  NOT totally true !

                  If you get one out of a Grand National or other factory Turbo Buick...the 200-4R WILL handle most all streetable Studebaker horse power.

                  But yea, it's actually not much different than the 700 in OEM form though...they both need a little to a lot of help in most all cases.

                  Mike

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Mike, I will give you the Turbo Buicks (wasnt there an Olds also?) but
                    those arent going to be as plentiful and cheap as a common V8 700-R4.
                    The early 700's 87 and older, are complete junk, and unless you plan
                    on swaping out almost EVERYTHING internally, you would be better off
                    with a standard 200 trans. Because the V8 700s are so common, they
                    are a better cheaper choice across the board. An OEM later 700 will
                    handle even a mild Studebaker engine just fine. I would add a Vette
                    servo, and a shift kit to a 700 used behind an R1 or R2, or a truck
                    thats used for towing. In ALL cases a trans cooler MUST be added.[B)]

                    I am not knocking your leaning toward the 200 trans for drag racing,
                    it makes sense there, lighter, and you mention gear ratios. But the
                    common swap into a Stude would see an OEM trans used, not a built one
                    from Art Carr or the other 200 trans gurus. The OEM 200 trans might
                    make a nice addition behind a Stude straight 6 though!

                    StudeDave, what mods are required depends on the model car, and the
                    trans used. For my 60 Hawk, it was amazingly easy to do. I got a
                    driveshaft from an early 70's Chevelle, and modified the crossmember
                    that goes from a-pillar to a-pillar (the BIG one on a Hawk) with a
                    hole for the GM rear trans mount. The spot welded seam was cut off
                    to the spot welds to clear the 700-R4 pan. A friend of mine had his
                    cut with a band saw, and a piece of steel welded in. I like his job
                    better as the finish looked cleaner and gave more room. About an inch
                    needs to be removed from the front edge only at the pan area. The OEM
                    trans mount can be used then. I used a B&M racket shifter, though its
                    not the cheap way to go - a shifter from the salvage yard will work.
                    The trans I got was from a TBI 305 Camaro RS, so I used the bracket
                    at the TBI, bent it to bolt to one of the rear bolts on the intake. I
                    used an Edelbrock carb with a 1/2 spacer, so I would have the mount
                    for the TV cable. I added a universal trans cooler. It cost me just
                    over $1000 by searching, and doing all the work myself. The shifter
                    was abou 180 of that! Used trans for 37,000 was 300 bucks complete.
                    But, as Mike will point out, not everyone will be able to do it that
                    cheap, and there can be hidden costs with any project!!

                    Tom
                    '63 Avanti R1, '03 Mustang Cobra 13" front disc/98 GT rear brakes, 03 Cobra 17" wheels, GM alt, 97 Z28 leather seats, TKO 5-spd, Ported heads w/SST full flow valves.
                    Check out my disc brake adapters to install 1994-2004 Mustang disc brakes on your Studebaker!!
                    http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.c...bracket-update
                    I have also written many TECH how to articles, do a search for my Forum name to find them

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I had a 700R4 in a 85 Astro van. Bought it new, hauled a travel trailor and a motorcycle trailor all over the country. Kept that van eleven years and one hundred fifty-seven miles with no trans. problems. I did change the oil and trans filter every thirty thousand miles. So I guess I can't call the early 700R4 junk. Maybe I was lucky.

                      GARY H 2DR.SEDAN 48 STUDEBAKER CHAMPION NORTHEAST MD.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Champ .. you got lucky I think, or you "helped" the tran by manually
                        shifting it sometimes so it didnt lug? Heat is the enemy, & the early
                        700's shifted terribly, usually burning themselved up by slipping. An
                        engineer who used to work at my company went through (he says) 4 700s
                        during the 5 years he had his Astro van. I find that hard to believe,
                        but he stands by that claim.[B)]

                        I have 135,000 miles on the REBUILT 4L60 in the 93 Camaro. The muscle
                        cars dont tend to make it much past 100,000 miles on the OEM 700 trans.
                        It must be the lead foot behind the wheel.

                        Tom
                        '63 Avanti R1, '03 Mustang Cobra 13" front disc/98 GT rear brakes, 03 Cobra 17" wheels, GM alt, 97 Z28 leather seats, TKO 5-spd, Ported heads w/SST full flow valves.
                        Check out my disc brake adapters to install 1994-2004 Mustang disc brakes on your Studebaker!!
                        http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.c...bracket-update
                        I have also written many TECH how to articles, do a search for my Forum name to find them

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Tom, When towing I stayed out of overdrive.

                          GARY H 2DR.SEDAN 48 STUDEBAKER CHAMPION NORTHEAST MD.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            So... the general concensus seems to be for the 700R4 for drivability and gas economy... should I consider the turbo 350 if I intend to tow with the truck? Would that be the only reason to go with the Turbo 350 instead of the 700R4?

                            You guys are full of awesome info... thanks to all and to all those who will post in the future.

                            '56 Transtar... project in the works

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I think that if you stick with the '88 and newer rule of thumb for a
                              700 R4 trans, its going to be a little stronger then a 350. As Champ
                              mentioned, when towing (or just climbing a hill) NEVER use OD. This
                              builds up a lot of heat in the trans, and even though you will save
                              gas, a new transmission still costs more. (though out here in SoCal,
                              its pretty close![B)][V])

                              Oh .. also the 700 has a lower first gear, which will help you get the
                              truck moving along when you ARE towing. Really is the best upgrade
                              that you can do to a Stude, the lower first gear gets you out of the
                              hole faster (then a FOM), and the OD saves you gas. Not many things
                              can be done to a car that improves MPG AND performance!

                              Tom
                              '63 Avanti R1, '03 Mustang Cobra 13" front disc/98 GT rear brakes, 03 Cobra 17" wheels, GM alt, 97 Z28 leather seats, TKO 5-spd, Ported heads w/SST full flow valves.
                              Check out my disc brake adapters to install 1994-2004 Mustang disc brakes on your Studebaker!!
                              http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.c...bracket-update
                              I have also written many TECH how to articles, do a search for my Forum name to find them

                              Comment

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