The Studeblogger

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Transmission & Engine mount replacement technique

While searching out some transmission information on the SDC Forum, I came across this great bit of advice from one of the Forum stalwarts, Gord Richmond, on how best to replace Studebaker engine and transmission mounts, something that will eventually need to be done on every Stude. Even low-mileage cars can require replacement of these parts, as age and oil will break down rubber, causing mounts to sag or shear. This condition can be downright dangerous, as an out-of-position drivetrain can cause critical linkages to bind at the worst possible times, possibly leading to loss of control and even runaway engine operation.

So, from Gord's post:

With the car securely supported on jackstands, remove the nuts from the lower studs on both tranny mounts. Then "crack" the bolts holding the mount brackets to the bellhousing. Use a floor jack with a plywood pad to raise the tranny by carefully jacking under the pan. It'll only go up a bit less than 2 inches; don't force anything. With the tranny supported, back out the bolts holding the mounts to the bellhousing, and remove the old mounts. Real bad ones will come out in 2 pieces.

Note: when installing rear mounts, I suggest you install both together; drop the studs into the crossmember, installing the spacer where required, lower the tranny to slightly above its rest position, then start the capscrews that hold the mounts to the bellhousing, and get them in a few turns, then put nuts on the mount lower studs, and spin them on a few turns. The you can gradually lower the tranny the rest of the way, and tighten the fasteners as you go. Once the tranny weight is fully borne by the mounts, you can torque the bolts up good. The reason for this procedure is as follows: with the mounts bolted tight to the bellhousing, the lower studs project out and down at about a 45° angle. The span between their tips will exceed the span between the holes provided for them in the crossmember, and you will be stuck. By installing them in a "gradual" fashion, you get around the geometry bottleneck, and also ensure that the mounts aren't installed with some built-in stress that will hasten their failure.

With the rear mounts done, a similar procedure will work on the front mounts. Be careful not to jack the motor so high that the distributor get damaged by interfering with the firewall. Sometimes, I've had to cut a little excess length off the front mount studs to enable myself to winkle 'em in.

While you're down there (if you have an automatic transmission), don't forget to check for the presence of the dreaded transmission spacer on the driver's side mount, as detailed in this earlier post.

Happy Studebakering!

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