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6 speed gearbox conversion


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Hi all

I would like to know if anyone has done a 6 speed gearbox conversion to a Studebaker Avanti.

I currently have a 1964 model R3 powered, with 4 speed and 4.09 differential ration, and would like to convert to a 6 speed gearbox. I started some research on the new TR6060 6-speed manual gearbox that is in the 2006/2007 Mustang and feel this would be suitable for additional HP for future modifications, this would solve my highway crusing problem whilst maintaing my performance requirements.

I have an enginering back ground and have hand built/restored this car from the ground up, and would be interested in any advise or information thats out there.

Thanks

Max

Edited by Max
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While the new Ford 6 speed might sound great on the table, practically wise, its going

to be quite expensive for a while. GM, however, has been using the T56 6 speed since

the early 90's, so there is a LOT of used transmissions out there. I picked up a 97 one,

for my 63. I am currently "working" with Fairborn Studebaker in getting a kit developed.

If you have been following my Cobra brake articles, you can see that my attention has

been directed toward getting the car to STOP well first. Next will be steering, and then

I will be getting into the 6 speed swap. I have also been in contact with a person back

east who wants to also do the GM T56 swap when it becomes available. If Fairborn

decides they dont want to do it, then like you, I plan to just do it myself. There is also

a possibility that McLeod might finally step up to the plate now that Red has been let go

by the new owners (B&M). The only Avanti that I know of with a 6 spd, is an Avanti II

which of course has the GM engine.

Welcome to the forum!

Tom

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While the new Ford 6 speed might sound great on the table, practically wise, its going

to be quite expensive for a while. GM, however, has been using the T56 6 speed since

the early 90's, so there is a LOT of used transmissions out there. I picked up a 97 one,

for my 63. I am currently "working" with Fairborn Studebaker in getting a kit developed.

If you have been following my Cobra brake articles, you can see that my attention has

been directed toward getting the car to STOP well first. Next will be steering, and then

I will be getting into the 6 speed swap. I have also been in contact with a person back

east who wants to also do the GM T56 swap when it becomes available. If Fairborn

decides they dont want to do it, then like you, I plan to just do it myself. There is also

a possibility that McLeod might finally step up to the plate now that Red has been let go

by the new owners (B&M). The only Avanti that I know of with a 6 spd, is an Avanti II

which of course has the GM engine.

Welcome to the forum!

Tom

Hi Tom

Thanks for the information, l have been an AOAI member for many years and have done a huge amount of changes and improvements to my Avanti.The brakes were the first thing l did and l have fitted 13inch Corvette discs (re-drilled to suit Studebaker stud pattern) and 2 piton calipers that look very similar to the Mustang ones in your pictures. The13 inch rotors are actually from the Australian made Pontiac GTO 2 door coupe and l think also fitted to later model Vettes in USA. I still have the rear finned 11 inch Studebaker drums (flanged axle where the drums fit over the wheel studs) these big discs stop the Avanti like nothing else. just about lift the back wheels off the ground under hard non skid braking. i am very happy with stopping.

I have acces to the T56 box in Austarlia as they have been fitted to the GM Holden in Australia for the last 5 or 6 years. I do have access to measure up and look at the application , but would be very interested to share information or in a kit should it be come available, it would save a heap of work.

I will attach a photo of my disc setup for your interest.

Best regards

Max

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I also saw the T56 installation in the Avanti II and it got me excited. I researched the various T56 's, talked to Tremec and found the only one that could be adapted to the Stude bell housing was the Viper unit. It has the longest input shaft. It only comes with an electronic speedo pickup but that can be worked around. I then purchased a Viper 6 spd and made the necessary adapter plate etc. After bolting the trans to the adapter I took a good look at it and thought, this is sure big...how the hell will it fit. I just thought since the Avanti II had no fit problems then a Stude Avanti should be about the same. I suddenly realized that the Avanti II's body is jacked up from the frame a significant amount giving lots more tunnel clearance. I still haven't had the time to physically try to fit it in my 64 but will probably get around to that this fall or winter. I'll let you know if I can get it to fit. By the way, the Viper slip yoke is also different than the other t56's. Fortunately I got the Viper drive shaft with the trans. The shift location with the Viper is also pretty close.

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I also saw the T56 installation in the Avanti II and it got me excited. I researched the various T56 's, talked to Tremec and found the only one that could be adapted to the Stude bell housing was the Viper unit. It has the longest input shaft. It only comes with an electronic speedo pickup but that can be worked around. I then purchased a Viper 6 spd and made the necessary adapter plate etc. After bolting the trans to the adapter I took a good look at it and thought, this is sure big...how the hell will it fit. I just thought since the Avanti II had no fit problems then a Stude Avanti should be about the same. I suddenly realized that the Avanti II's body is jacked up from the frame a significant amount giving lots more tunnel clearance. I still haven't had the time to physically try to fit it in my 64 but will probably get around to that this fall or winter. I'll let you know if I can get it to fit. By the way, the Viper slip yoke is also different than the other t56's. Fortunately I got the Viper drive shaft with the trans. The shift location with the Viper is also pretty close.

Nels

Can l assume the Viper T56 you worked with was fitted to a Studebaker engines, if so its sounds like you have done most of the groundwork already. Getting a Viper T56 here in Australia might be a bit of a problem. I did read somewhere that you could order the a T56 with a variety of differnt input shafts. I might have to question Tremec on this option or if l can purchase the input shaft and parts required to change a standard T56 to the longer input shaft. I can get hold of any number of T56 boxes from our Australin GM Holden as thay have come with the LS1/LS2 engine with T56 six speed for the last 8 years or so. I would be interested in knowing how you fitted the T56 box to the bell housing and what had to made, etc.

Great to here from you, and thanks for the information. When l work out how l can attach pictures l will attach a few pictures of my car.

Thanks

Max

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Nels

Can l assume the Viper T56 you worked with was fitted to a Studebaker engines, if so its sounds like you have done most of the groundwork already. Getting a Viper T56 here in Australia might be a bit of a problem. I did read somewhere that you could order the a T56 with a variety of differnt input shafts. I might have to question Tremec on this option or if l can purchase the input shaft and parts required to change a standard T56 to the longer input shaft. I can get hold of any number of T56 boxes from our Australin GM Holden as thay have come with the LS1/LS2 engine with T56 six speed for the last 8 years or so. I would be interested in knowing how you fitted the T56 box to the bell housing and what had to made, etc.

Great to here from you, and thanks for the information. When l work out how l can attach pictures l will attach a few pictures of my car.

Thanks

Max

Nels

Can l assume the Viper T56 you worked with was fitted to a Studebaker engines, if so its sounds like you have done most of the groundwork already. Getting a Viper T56 here in Australia might be a bit of a problem. I did read somewhere that you could order the a T56 with a variety of differnt input shafts. I might have to question Tremec on this option or if l can purchase the input shaft and parts required to change a standard T56 to the longer input shaft. I can get hold of any number of T56 boxes from our Australin GM Holden as thay have come with the LS1/LS2 engine with T56 six speed for the last 8 years or so. I would be interested in knowing how you fitted the T56 box to the bell housing and what had to made, etc.

Great to here from you, and thanks for the information. When l work out how l can attach pictures l will attach a few pictures of my car.

Thanks

Max

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Max,

Yes, the trans is fully adapted to the Stude. It is not terribly difficult to do if you have some machine shop access. I can go through it with you if you would like.

What serial # is the Avanti? How did you end up with the R3?

Nels

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Nels,

Did you use the hydraulic clutch assembly? What did you use for a flywheel? I think

that there are a few people that would be interested in your findings. I need to send

an Email to Fairborn and find out if he gave up on the project, I havent heard anything

in months now.

Tom

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Hi Tom,

The set up uses the Stude flywheel. The clutch plate is the Viper's and the pressure plate is the Stude's. If I remember correctly the Viper input shaft pilot is the same as the Studes(?). I discarded the hyd clutch and took advantage of the machined male pilot in the front of the case where the hyd clutch originally was mounted. I picked up on that diam since it is concentric to the drive line and proceeded from there to make the adapter fit the stude bell housing. Really pretty straight forward. This has not been installed yet as I am busy with summer projects but hope to see if I can get it to fit in the car when the nice weather goes away. I really don't want to cut on the floor or tunnel. At least not much. If I have to I may raise the body a little to get clearance.

Nels

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Sounds interesting. I will be curious to see how it all comes together in the car. I have decided to use the

hydraulic clutch assembly. I like how easy the clutch in my buddies '02 Camaro SS works in comparison to

the one in my Avanti (two legger!). This project is down the road a ways, I bought the 97 Camaro trans

because the price was just too good to pass up. Even if I end up not being able to use it, I will be able to

resell it for twice what I paid. I had to move some things around in the garage tonight, so the T56 got even

MORE buried then it was! Oh well. Brakes were the first on my list, whats the point in having a road race

transmission if your brakes fade after turn two? ;)

Tom

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  • 1 month later...

Hi Nels

I think i have missed the boat here, i did not get thethis email until now i have had problems at my end and also been very busy with work, my apologies.

In response below to your questions, the serial number of my Avanti is RQ5375. I have a block short block R3SB54 and the the balcance of the parts are from all over, but in the end l got all the parts l needed to finish.

I would realy like to take you up on your offer of a run through on getting all the details to put the Viper T56 into my Studebaker Avanti and maybe were l could source one from. If you could run through what i need to know l would appriociate it.

let me know how you could do this by email or whatever.

I will try to attach some pics again but l do not seem to have much luck through the AOAI path.

Best regards

Max

Max,

Yes, the trans is fully adapted to the Stude. It is not terribly difficult to do if you have some machine shop access. I can go through it with you if you would like.

What serial # is the Avanti? How did you end up with the R3?

Nels

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  • 1 month later...

Hi Max,

Idon't get to this site much myself. I got a note that there was a question on a t56 so I came back to check.

I still haven't installed the t56 or attempted it yet. My other projects seem to take presidence. If you are interested maybe you should email me directly at r4stude@cinci.rr. com.

Nels

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I hope that both of you will SHARE what you have done with the rest of us

when you get further along, or possibly document the process as you go

to help others avoid mistakes along the way. This forum really should be

used more then it is, that Yahoo group should be closed and its members

moved over here. This IS the club forum.

Tom

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