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Bell Housing or Transmission?

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  • Transmission / Overdrive: Bell Housing or Transmission?

    Now that I have the engine/transmission out of my Sky Hawk, I'm going to strip the block down to take to the Shop to have the machine work done. Before I remove the bell housing and transmission, which do I need to place witness marks on...the bell housing and block, or the bell housing and transmission...or both? I know SOMEHTING has to be aligned perfectly when it goes back together....

  • #2
    It should be indexed by a dowel pin or 2. Just leave them where they are and you should be good to go when you re-assemble. It's the bell housing to engine that is indexed, not the bell housing to transmission.
    sigpic1966 Daytona (The First One)
    1950 Champion Convertible
    1950 Champion 4Dr
    1955 President 2 Dr Hardtop
    1957 Thunderbird

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    • #3
      Neither. If the bellhousing was the original, it was dialed in at the factory. If it was performing OK, without misalignment before, it should stay that way. Just keep the dowel pins in place. If the dowel pins stay in the block, make sure to instruct the machine shop to leave them alone. It is only when you are changing bellhousings from one engine to the next that the dial-in procedure is required. As for the transmission, that "register" (large machined hole) should be true. If you want to scribe a mark there, it won't hurt anything.
      John Clary
      Greer, SC

      SDC member since 1975

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      • #4
        'Stupid' question here: does anybody know why it is essential to match up the bell to the block on 1964 down Studes? Why I asked is that was no longer an issue to the best of my knowledge with any other American manufacturer, at least from the mid 1950's up.
        --------------------------------------

        Sold my 1962; Studeless at the moment

        Borrowed Bams50's sigline here:

        "Do they all not, by mere virtue of having survived as relics of a bygone era, amass a level of respect perhaps not accorded to them when they were new?"

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        • #5
          Originally posted by 1962larksedan View Post
          'Stupid' question here: does anybody know why it is essential to match up the bell to the block on 1964 down Studes? Why I asked is that was no longer an issue to the best of my knowledge with any other American manufacturer, at least from the mid 1950's up.
          Actually, it's good science to dial-indicate any bellhousing change on any engine family. Most times, it comes in close enough, except when it doesn't. When it doesn't, pilot bearing or input shaft bearing failure, vibration, shifting problems can occur.

          If the bellhousing was the original, it was dialed in at the factory. If it was performing OK, without misalignment before, it should stay that way.
          For true, on one you've owned and experienced. However, Stude parts have gotten swapped around over the years; on an unknown engine, never assume the bell housing coming with it is the original. Better to know than to hope.

          jack vines
          PackardV8

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          • #6
            the vehicle in question hasn't operated well as you bought the car ? If you have no experience driving/operating the engine, you would be best served to have the combo dialed-in before install....especially if you're rebuilding things...

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            • #7
              Originally posted by 1962larksedan View Post
              'Stupid' question here: does anybody know why it is essential to match up the bell to the block on 1964 down Studes? Why I asked is that was no longer an issue to the best of my knowledge with any other American manufacturer, at least from the mid 1950's up.
              Actually it was/is an issue with all, when installing a new part to an old part and even checking the original was a good idea if you had the bell off the block. I went through 4 input shaft to main shaft bearing replacements on my 66 Olds 4-4-2 Muncie, before anyone bothered to check the original bell housing alignment, it was off, by a lot. Had to remove the factory pins dial indicate it and drill two new holes. Never had another bearing failure after that. Every aftermarket company will tell you to do it on every engine/bell housing regardless of make. Most manufacturers "recommend" it if replacing one or the other, especially if there is a manual transmission in it. Flex plates are more forgiving, but they too, will fail eventually if twisted too much, and input shaft seals will fail faster. Not a Studebaker specific problem, a matter of pluses and minuses in all the tolerances involved with drilling block bolt holes, bell housing bolt holes, surfacing mating surfaces, etc.

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              • #8
                The engine/bell housing have never been apart. The engine, though locked up, has only 17,332 miles on it. Sitting for 44 years, in a Shop, didn't help.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by 345 DeSoto View Post
                  The engine/bell housing have never been apart. The engine, though locked up, has only 17,332 miles on it. Sitting for 44 years, in a Shop, didn't help.
                  Then you won't have to mark anything. The factory installed pins will mate back when you put it together, assuming your rebuilding what's there and the machine shop doesn't pull them out while it's being machined, and if they were correct, it will be after you're done. Most of the "tips" here are for transplants of either the engine or the trans from a different car. But, since its apart, it's easy to do, and you'll know how careful the factory was putting yours together. Not needed, but won't hurt.

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