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 The $2K Transmission and Floor Shift Conversion
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PackardV8
Commander Member

USA
1785 Posts

Posted - 03/25/2010 :  4:21:43 PM  Show Profile  Email Poster  Reply with Quote
Greetings, SDCers,

I'm re-doing my '55 E12 and installing a Packard V8 and a T85 overdrive from a Stude truck. I wanted to use a Hurst shifter with it. As most of you know, Hurst never made a good bracket for the T85 w/overdrive and nothing at all for trucks. Some of the car installs I've seen, the shifter rods look like pretzels and a bent rod is a weak link and give a sloppy shift.

The adjustable car shifter bracket Hurst provides also places the shifter so far to the left and back, it winds up almost under the truck's seat and requires cutting part of the floor and a long C-shaped shifter to curve around the seat.

Trying to find some combination of parts which would work, I bought three used Hurst shifters, one new Hurst shifter, one new B&M shifter and rounded up the old Foxcraft and Mr. Gasket shifters off a couple of '56Js. With seven shifters in hand, totaling $600, no combination of parts would get the shifter where I wanted it.



I decided to make my own bracket to get the shifter up forward and more toward the center. When I am asked to do custom work, I charge $25 per hour, hoping they will go away.

The first step was to pressure wash, shot blast, re-wash and re-tap all the holes in the T85, shorten the input shaft to Packard V8 length, rebuild the transmission and paint it. This took two days, so there's $200 for the tranny, $400 for labor and $150 for parts. We're in it $750.

First step in making the shifter bracket was to spend a couple of hours moving the shifter around and determining where is the best location and make a cardboard pattern.



Then, use the pattern to cut a wooden bracket and trial fit the shifter. This took a full day. That's another $200.



Find a piece of 1/4" steel plate, transfer the pattern, cut, drill, bend, belt sand, test-fit, file and sand some more. The mid plate and the overdrive housing are slightly in the way, so mill a notch to clear the bracket. There went another day and another $200.



Naturally, now all the shift rods are way too long, so make two short shift rods. None of the good Hurst transmission shift arms would fit and the universal shift arms have about ten holes in them and thus look buffugly. Make two custom shift arms and install with nyloc nuts.



One of the side cover bolts hits the shifter, so find a flat head machine screw and countersink the bracket. The tailshaft bolt needs to be longer, so a Packard V8 main cap bolt was used. The front two side cover bolts need to be longer, so bottom tap all three holes and find two longer bolts. There's another half-day, another $100.



It is pretty much ready start fitting the hydraulic throwout bearing and the custom pilot bearing. I'm going to have to raise my labor rates again, this guy's in this old transmission install $2k and he keeps coming back.

thnx, jack vines



PackardV8

Milaca
Commander Member

USA
2335 Posts

Posted - 03/25/2010 :  4:45:03 PM  Show Profile  Email Poster  Reply with Quote
I like the idea of a big Packard V8 in a Stude truck. Too bad that Studebaker didnt offer these engines in 1955 and onward in the large trucks as they would have offered more power than most of the competitors gasoline truck engines. I guess Studebaker didnt think truck sales were a priority at that time.


A wild Red Hawk admiring it's reflection.
In the middle of Minnestudea
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PackardV8
Commander Member

USA
1785 Posts

Posted - 03/25/2010 :  5:39:44 PM  Show Profile  Email Poster  Reply with Quote
That was the idea. Stude never got around to building a sport truck either, so I thought I'd do it for them.

thnx, jack vines

PackardV8
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sweetolbob
Commander Member

USA
1313 Posts

Posted - 03/25/2010 :  6:37:52 PM  Show Profile  Email Poster  Reply with Quote
Nice How-To Jack

While I expect the cost seems high, try to get a plumber over for $25/hr. Bet you'll have a tough time.

Shop rates were discussed on the HAMB a while back and I believe they were generally in the $50/hr range.

It looks like you have some room left to grow.

Nice post, thanks

Bob

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