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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Back, a few years ago, my "buddy Bob" had an old Studebaker pickup that he kept trying to push onto me. I kept looking at it and every time I would just say no freakin way I was gonna work a rustbucket like that. Well, as most of you probably well know, after a while the visions of Grandeur kick in... and I dragged home a pile of crap, the fenders whipping up and down in the wind, air wishin up through the floor boards, and watching the road out through the bottoms of the doors and the hole in the windshield. No engine, no transmission, no tailgate, and no brakes, but the tires all held air, including the tractor tri-rib on the front.
2.5 years later, and less than $3k, and I have a nice daily driver 53 Studebaker 2R5 truck. It hauls a trailer, and carries everything from building supplies to firewood in the non-winter months.

Later my "buddy Bob" wanted an engine rebuilt for a Ford pickup, so he solicits my expertise (if you wanna call it that), and I end up with an old IH 350 utility tractor, non running mind you. I never deal for anything that runs, it just wouldn't be me. So last winter I drag it into my garage, and I can't for the life of me remember why , cuz I had NO intentions of fixing it up... and the next thing I know, it is blew up into a gazillion pieces strung all over the garage and takes me all winter to put back together. What's the point you ask?...
I put it out for sale this fall, with no serious lookers, and ended up trading it for a 61 Studebaker Hawk (thanks Craigslist). Just what I needed, another project. Well, you see, this one wasn't all rusted out, which in northern NY everything is rusted out once it hits 10 years old. And it ran, and it moved under its own power... before I fixed anything... So I HAD to get it.
So, after only a few months, I am about done with this one. Leaving the body alone, fixed a floorboard, new carpet, dashpad, seat upholstery, a couple pieces of glass, and a pile of other odds and ends. Just have to come up with a BW T86 with OD since someone has replaced the original with a straight 3 speed, and I am good to go. Oh yeah, it even runs good, once I replaced the 6 bent pushrods. I haven't tallied the $$$$ I have spent on it, but this ain't no Chevy with dime-a-dozen parts, this a quality machine that costs lots of money for parts, if you can even get them. (a little jab at the Chebbie guys, all in good humor though) :p
I do still have my 70 Galaxie, which is promised to my son when he is old enough. I also have a 56 F250 rustbucket project. I will probably never do anything with it, it is rustier than my Studebaker truck was, but I couldn't refuse for $80.
Here they are (assuming the pics post properly)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So true. If i decide to start on the 56 Ford truck someday, I think I can get everything to build it starting with nothing, and parts are about half of similar pieces for the Studebakers.
I suppose that is same reason the Chevy 350/350 combo has become the cookie cutter hot rod powertrain option. I don't blame anybody for doing it, it just isn't me.

With the price of gas where it is, and only getting worse, I have been contemplating pulling the Ford 302 out of the Stude truck and installing a Ford 2.3 turbo. I am not sure if what I would gain in mileage would make it worth the ordeal, but I am only getting about 13 mpg currently. Sucks when you can't drive by a gas station. I only hope the Hawk is better for mileage.
 

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Always liked the looks of those old studes!!
Keep the 302 in the truck. Smaller motors don't create instant mileage gains. You're still driving a barn door into the wind. Little motor needs to work harder so burns more gas. Just wait till your gas gets up closer to our prices. THen you'll feel the pinch. My old 79 460 gets about 8mpg in US gallons.
Talked to a guy in Christchurch NZ that had a Hawk. He used a 4 speed O/D in his. The type based on the mopar a8333 tranny. Ford, mopar and chev all used them.
Good lookin' car and truck. Styling way ahead of it's time.
 

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With gas prices here in Alberta at just a touch under $1.00 a litre I think I'd be more inclined to look at an overdrive unit or highway gears in the old Stude truck. Changing to a 4 cylinder will not get the mileage you are looking for, after all you will have to go a lot deeper into the throttle to maintain the same speed. As was said before you are driving a vehicle with the aerodynamics of a barn (nevermind just the door);)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hey RWENUTS, my newest personally owned vehicle, a 1980 F350 stake bed, with 351M get s a good solid 9 mpg, so I feel your pain.
Gas was over $4 a gallon earlier this year, it is currently down to the $3.70s right now, what a bargain.
Gear Vendors sells an overdrive unit, but it costs more than I have in my whole truck.
I am currently looking at all my options for the pickup. I have a 2WD E4OD sitting in my barn, but no wiring or controller to go with it. One can buy an after market controller, but it's too expensive. I am contemplating a junkyard AOD. We have a yard nearby that still has some 80s stuff sitting around. I could also go with a manual 5 speed with OD, It would be fairly simple to use a complete hydraulic clutch setup. I would just need a pre-1985 flywheel with the proper balance for my 82 engine.
As far as aerodynamics go, I don't think the old Stude would be much worse than a boxy 80s Ford Ranger. Plus my truck only weighs around 2800 lbs to start with. I would guess that is near the same as a Ranger. I think a 2.3L 4 cylinder would push it down road just fine without a trailer. Add a turbo and my utility trailer would be no problem.
If I could get the 302-2V to give me 20+ mpg, I would be happy. I am not sure an OD trans will get me there though... but maybe. I could add fuel injection which may help, but again aftermarket systems cost mucho dollars.
Another engine option I have considered in the past is a Buick or Pontiac 3800. I had a Bonneville with this engine that would consistently get 32 mpg on the highway. I am sure this would easily get me in the mid 20s in my pickup with an OD trans.
Well, it is all in the thought process right now anyway. I will be driving it again next spring regardless of mpg, but any mileage improvement would be nice.
 

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Grillin Randy
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Does your Studebaker pickup have the original rear? A lot of those old pickups had really low gears. They are right about the OD transmission would help the mileage. My 86 F150 4X4 with a 302 and an AOD got way better mileage than 13. I wish I could remember what my 70 F100 with a 302, 4 speed and 370 rear gears got for mileage. 15 keeps floating around my head but I can't tell you 100% for sure. Your Studebaker might be a little more aerodynamic Than my Fords were. :confused:

I almost bought a Hawk once, it had a 289, 4 speed and wasn't running but I thought it was cool. The only thing was my son was a baby and that $100 they wanted for it then seemed like a lot of money. I wish that I could find one for that now! :D Of course $100 is a lot less money now.

I still think Hawks are cool!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The original Stude rear axle was 4.88:1 ratio, so I used the 9" axle out of the donor 82 F150. Not sure what the ratio is.

You can't get much for $100 these days, maybe a good used part. My first car was a 72 Ford Ranchero for $300.
 
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