Studebaker Tech Tips


  • Parts cross references
  • Engine & transmission
  • Body & Trim
  • Suspension
  • Vehicle upkeep

  • Parts Cross References

    Engine & Transmission

  • The Flight-O-Matic transmission used in 1959-64 Vehicles is, for the most part, the same as that used on Ford vehicles of the same vintage.  Often referred to as a "Ford Iron Case" transmission, the only major differences are the valve body & torque converter. A local transmission rebuild shop should have no difficulties in repairing one (especially if they have a staff member that has actually seen a Studebaker automatic).

  • Body & Trim

  • If you lose a trim clip (like those that hold large script emblems on), you can use a small piece of rubber tubing. Find some tubing that is 1 or 2 sizes smaller than the posts on the back of the piece. Cut pieces about 3/4"-1" long. Place the piece of trim on the car, push the pieces of rubber tubing over the posts and push hard. If the tubing slips on & off too easily, it won't be tight enough to hold the trim on. Now, it's not original, but it will keep those hard to find pieces from being lost on Route 66! Maybe a good thing to keep in the toolbox.
  • If you are doing the body work yourself, invest in a good set of body hammers & dollies (no, not like Barbie dollies, but hunks of metal that you hammer against). You can use them to "finesse out" creases and parking lot dings. DO NOT USE ball peen or other hammers as they will stretch the metal and generally cause more harm than good.

  • When trying to repair damage caused by our old nemesis, RUST (notice I said trying), the 2 best tools you could have are a MIG or TIG welder, & a lot of patience. It is possible to cut out the rusted material and weld in new metal, but be patient and take your time.  Remember to MEASURE TWICE & CUT ONCE! Also make sure you are welding to good, solid metal.  Check out this page or our page on Stude rust repair.

  • Suspension

  • When doing any kind of suspension/frame work, the best tool you could have, aside from a laser frame alignment gauge, is a tape measure. A automobile frame is basically a rectangle, and because of that fact you could use a tape measure to tell if the frame is out of alignment. A rectangle should measure the same from each corner to each corner. If it doesn't, the frame may be bent.

  • Vechicle Upkeep

  • When storing your vehicle for those long, ND winters, there are a few guidlines you should follow. 1. Store it in a relatively low humidity storage area, with a wood floor, if possible. Concrete and/or dirt floors allow the car to "sweat", thus starting rust on the floor pans. 2. Block and jack the car off the ground and remove the tires (they will get flat if left on the car. 3. Disconnect & remove the car's battery. 4. Lock all doors and stuff wadded up socks into the tailpipe & carburetor (to prevent our animal friends from making our nice R-3 engine, their new home).


    If you have a tech tip to add, please email me at

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