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1950 Studebaker R10 is way to slow

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  • Rear Axle: 1950 Studebaker R10 is way to slow

    Our 1950 Studebaker R 10 runs great and shifts fine but it's slow. In third gear if the wind is just right, 40 mph would be bragging. I was thinking about changing the ring gear or getting a different rear axial.

  • #2
    Cale, a different rear axle ratio would definitely help. Another option would be an overdrive transmission.

    Welcome to the forum! If you get a chance, post some pictures of your truck and tell us the story behind it (ie, how you got it).
    Winston-Salem, NC
    Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at:


    • #3
      I recently bought a 49 2R10 and I am working through some of the same challenges. Though still a noob, I would say you need to figure out what rear diff you have (I would expect 5.571) and what transmission you have (I would expect 3-spd. w/OD).

      If so, wade your way through the Overdrive and make sure it's working - solenoid/governor/lockout/relay/kickdown. The Studebaker shop manual and Parts Catalog are pretty helpful with this. And besides the usual suppliers, you can find lots of parts at - he seems to specialize in the Borg-Warner OD that you probably have.

      I have read that a 5.571 with OD functioning will reasonably do highway speeds (see recent thread on Top Cruising Speeds), but honestly - is that why someone buys a 60-plus-year-old 3/4-ton truck: to do 70 on Interstates? With that chassis? I bought mine for around-town and light duty pickup jobs - hauling junk and brush, hauling a 10-year-old's go-kart, etc. (and because it is an awesome old truck to start learning to wrench on). And even though I am still doing some detecting with the OD, it is working fine for all I am asking it to do.


      • #4
        If you have a "stump pulling" low gear you may want to change the gearing. However, if the ratio is not excessively low you need overdrive. The low gear helps to get the vehicle rolling and the overdrive will give you a respectable road speed.
        "In the heart of Arkansas."
        Searcy, Arkansas
        1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
        1952 2R pickup


        • #5
          Overdrive, overdrive, overdrive transmission.

          Then, there's the very rare 4.10 rear axle ratio used in the E12 V8s in '55 and early '56. I've got a good one I've decided to part with. It would cost to ship it to LA, but bolts in using your present brakes and axles.

          jack vines


          • #6
            Thanks for the feed back. I don't think am going to use this truck for any racing but would still like to travel at highway speeds (not interstate). I got a 3 speed without and overdrive in it.


            • #7
              I can confirm that without the OD, my top speed is about 45. One of the members posted on the "Top Cruise Speeds" thread a nifty calculator that might be able to help you figure out how significantly you want to change the differential gearing if you don't want to add an overdrive.


              • #8
                Take the easy route and add an overdrive trans,you will cruise in relative comfort and the engine will thank you. Luck Doofus