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Technical To the Studebaker guys

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 37slantback, Jun 12, 2021.

  1. 37slantback
    Joined: May 31, 2010
    Posts: 443


    I drove a 59 Hawk today. It was a 259 4 barrel with automatic. The take off was pretty slushy. It reminded me of when I drove a 56 Vicky and commented it feels like the auto transmission needs rebuilt not knowing it only had a 100 miles on a fresh rebuild.

    So, is this normal for that era of transmissions? I have only had manuals in those years.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2021
  2. 42merc
    Joined: Dec 19, 2010
    Posts: 799


    Could be the Borg Warner trans was used in Ford as well as the Stude.
  3. Yes, Borg Warner Flight o Matic and they start off in second.
  4. southerncad
    Joined: Feb 5, 2008
    Posts: 812


    Yup, next time you drive it start it off in low and you will notice a big difference, you can change the valve body out, with a 6 cyl. tran. one and it will start in 1st gear then.
    302GMC and dana barlow like this.

  5. dana barlow
    Joined: May 30, 2006
    Posts: 4,684

    dana barlow
    from Miami Fla.
    1. Y-blocks

    Put it in low,if you want a Grandmom auto tranny to take off. I like a clutch/standard 3 or 4 speed. Auto tranny in good shape can work pretty well,if you know how to drive it.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2021
    Flathead Dave likes this.
  6. Flathead Dave
    Joined: Mar 21, 2014
    Posts: 3,630

    Flathead Dave
    from So. Cal.

    Have to know how to drive them...
  7. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,610

    Rusty O'Toole

    There is a reason auto trans cars were not considered performance cars back in the day. The first efforts at getting drag race performance out of an automatic was the reworked Torqueflites and Clutchflites in the mid sixties. Later autos are much better, and can equal the acceleration of all but the most expert box men. Before the mid sixties you bought a stick shift if you wanted to go. Slush boxes were strictly for squares and grandmas.
    Texas Webb likes this.
  8. Fortunateson
    Joined: Apr 30, 2012
    Posts: 4,545


    Not to hijack but can a similar mod be done to a '56 Ford automatic?
  9. 37slantback
    Joined: May 31, 2010
    Posts: 443


    Thanks guys , that sure explains it.
  10. Kevin Pharis
    Joined: Aug 22, 2020
    Posts: 292

    Kevin Pharis

    I’m no Stude expert, but I’m pretty sure a ‘59 Hawk would have had a 259” V8... and may not have had the Borg Warner tranny yet. There was a 2 speed slush box for a long while before the BW was introduced (just like Ford). If it has the later 289” (standard or Avanti) motor, it could have the BW trans too.

    The BW in the Stude was a unique variant. They were basically a manual shift valve body with 1, 2, and 3 (2&3) shift positions. These had bronze clutch plates instead of friction lined, and were built to be tough. They also did not incorporate a vacuum modulator.

    The BW in my Avanti is slushy on takeoff... just like any other trans if starting off in 2nd gear (or 1st in a 2 speed). But when using 1st, it’s responsive on takeoff, and shifts are crisp and firm at all speeds.

    Attached Files:

  11. jaracer
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 1,462


    I don't know, my old T-Bird takes off pretty good in second. I have no problem getting ahead of most traffic from a stop light. If I really want to go, all I have to do is floor it and it shift into low and barks the tires.
  12. Mike VV
    Joined: Sep 28, 2010
    Posts: 2,574

    Mike VV
    from SoCal

    Here's the action that no ones actually explained -

    1. Put the trans. into low, accelerate to a desired, normal shift speed.

    2. Shift into drive...for a second ! As SOON as the trans. is in second gear, pull the shifter back into low gear. Accelerate to your desired speed.

    3. Shift into drive again for the final're on your way.

    Did this many years in my 59 Lark, mostly getting onto the freeway.
    It may take a little practice to get it done smoothly, but don't worry, it will not...hurt the transmission.

    Last edited: Jul 1, 2021
    Texas Webb likes this.
  13. Scrapin’Metal
    Joined: Mar 19, 2018
    Posts: 91


    AWSOME cars for building hot rods. We started out with one with that “Premium rust Package “ Lol
    Been a long year and starting to drive, nobody knows exactly what it is. It has different looks and is an attention getter.
    Looking forward to GoodGuys show in Columbus this coming week. 8675E8D5-72A9-4A59-AE8E-5F0F11E8F90E.jpeg 4128437C-8531-4A08-AB44-B0397801A9A1.jpeg 49AD8B34-DEA3-4891-99E1-C79BF1D8D431.jpeg
    loudbang and Texas Webb like this.
  14. Damn nice looking Stude!
    loudbang likes this.

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