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Old 05-02-2010, 07:33 AM   #1
ZZ-IRON
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Default 53 Studebaker or Hawk frame swap info needed

My next project down the road is a 53 Studebaker coupe, any of you guys

ever find a frames that worked under a 53,54 & 55 Studebaker's or 56 to 61 Hawk

if so what modifications did you make

Thanks for any info or pm me

your pm info was great Thanks
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Old 05-02-2010, 11:07 PM   #2
speedtool
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Default Re: 53 Studebaker or Hawk frame swap info needed

Have you checked over on the forum of the Studebaker Drivers Club?
Lotsa good info and nice people!
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Old 05-03-2010, 12:09 AM   #3
scottybaccus
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Default Re: 53 Studebaker or Hawk frame swap info needed

I used a fatman MII clip on the front of mine. I can't say I would change up much beyond that. I later added the IRS from a '95 T-bird with the iron 8.8" diff. It had to be narrowed about 3 inches. The only thing about the chassis I could complain about was the brute size of the front suspension. The MII clip just made it easy to work with.
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Old 05-03-2010, 12:33 AM   #4
jagfxr1949
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Default Re: 53 Studebaker or Hawk frame swap info needed

scottybaccus is right. Why would you change the frame, it fits. change the front suspension if you must. I personally don't get why so many change out perfectly good and well engineered frames for a frame that doesn't fit the under structure of a given body requireing a great deal of work on new structure. Remember the Stude coupes and hardtops are sitting at 120 1/2" wheel bases meaning you will have to make what ever different frame you would choose LONGER. Maybe an extended cab truck frame is long enough, but that would be the wrong choice.
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Old 05-03-2010, 08:04 AM   #5
ZZ-IRON
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Default Re: 53 Studebaker or Hawk frame swap info needed

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Originally Posted by jagfxr1949 View Post
scottybaccus is right. Why would you change the frame, it fits. change the front suspension if you must. I personally don't get why so many change out perfectly good and well engineered frames for a frame that doesn't fit the under structure of a given body requireing a great deal of work on new structure. Remember the Stude coupes and hardtops are sitting at 120 1/2" wheel bases meaning you will have to make what ever different frame you would choose LONGER. Maybe an extended cab truck frame is long enough, but that would be the wrong choice.

jagfxr1949 & scottybaccus , that's what it all about getting good ideas from you guys about frames and suspension etc. before this project gets going
i'm still looking for a 53 Stude coupe i've located a few
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Old 05-03-2010, 08:24 AM   #6
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Default Re: 53 Studebaker or Hawk frame swap info needed

I know Larks can be prone to frame rot, but I'm not sure what else could be made to work under there. The frame design doesn't change much for a long time because they didn't have the funds to do much with them.

120.5" isn't that long, a lot of mid-80s GM cars (and the mid-90s Caprice/Roadmaster) run a 119.5" wheelbase.
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Old 05-03-2010, 02:58 PM   #7
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Default Re: 53 Studebaker or Hawk frame swap info needed

There are some known weak points on the Stude frames - some doublers and fishplates in strategic areas take care of these. There's not anything wrong with the stock suspension - other than bulkiness, but that's what gives it its strength.

What are you trying to do?
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Old 05-03-2010, 03:34 PM   #8
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Default Re: 53 Studebaker or Hawk frame swap info needed

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Originally Posted by Flat Ernie View Post
There are some known weak points on the Stude frames - some doublers and fishplates in strategic areas take care of these. There's not anything wrong with the stock suspension - other than bulkiness, but that's what gives it its strength.

What are you trying to do?
i do know about there are weak spots on the frame & the kingpin worked just fine on Ron Hall's 200 mph Studebaker powered Avanti, followed that build, loved the video that sound & Ron Hall got me hooked

just build a 53 coupe nothing radical but it has to be a coupe
the Skyhawk i hauled back from Long Beach was fun to drive
going to Speedweek in 2000, Bonneville was a blast talked to a lot of Stude guys & Al Teauge

just want to make the journey to the flats with a 53 Stude coupe at Speedweek and hear the sound

old 35mm photo of the Skyhawk hardtop if it was a coupe i'd still have it
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Old 05-03-2010, 03:47 PM   #9
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Default Re: 53 Studebaker or Hawk frame swap info needed

My buddy deals in Studebakers, and every 500 miles he is readjusting his brakes and rationalizing it because the brake drums cost near $200.00 each!! For me, that is reason enough to torch the chasis to the scap pile and find some bullet-proof MII or Nova clip and an s-10 rearend.

My 2 cents.
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Old 05-03-2010, 04:40 PM   #10
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Default Re: 53 Studebaker or Hawk frame swap info needed

Any of the Hawk or Gran Turismo chassis will swap. Although the front suspension stayed pretty much the same throughout the run, Studebaker supposedly beefed up the frames continuously. I replaced the bulky crossmember with a Street Rod Engineering, Lake Havasu, AZ., unit and Flaming River rack and pinion. Lots more room, better steering and brakes.
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Old 05-04-2010, 12:56 PM   #11
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Default Re: 53 Studebaker or Hawk frame swap info needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by oneyellowtub View Post
My buddy deals in Studebakers, and every 500 miles he is readjusting his brakes and rationalizing it because the brake drums cost near $200.00 each!! For me, that is reason enough to torch the chasis to the scap pile and find some bullet-proof MII or Nova clip and an s-10 rearend.

My 2 cents.
Sounds like something isn't working correctly.
All the frames will work. GTs are the heaviest, but use two less body mounts. Easy to fix that by adding two.
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Old 05-04-2010, 02:33 PM   #12
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Default Re: 53 Studebaker or Hawk frame swap info needed

I heard through the grapevine that Art Morrison is building a 53? coupe for one of his daughters. Might want to check them out for a full frame or clip setup.
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Old 05-04-2010, 02:50 PM   #13
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Default Re: 53 Studebaker or Hawk frame swap info needed

just got a 57 silver hawk has a s 10 chassis under it looks to fit pretty well can send pictures if needed
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Old 05-04-2010, 03:05 PM   #14
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Default Re: 53 Studebaker or Hawk frame swap info needed

I make a crossmember kit also, here is on installed:




Whole frame:



Here is a photo album of a few installs I have done in the last two years.

http://s206.photobucket.com/albums/b...ebaker%20Hawk/


I build everything to order, heavy duty tubular control arms with OEM rubber bushings and high quality ball joints. All premium parts!
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Old 05-04-2010, 03:23 PM   #15
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Default Re: 53 Studebaker or Hawk frame swap info needed

If I had it to do over, I'd build a full frame from scratch, but that is what i do these days. Execution is everything. Don't think you can just slap two sticks of square tubing under it and call it done. I thinnk S-10 chassis swaps are generally total destruction of a classic and have seen very, very few Nova or Camaro clips that I would say were done nicely. If it isn't engineered to suit your application, you stand to really harm the value of your project.

ElPolacko shows the right way to stub or do a chassis. No concern there.

Here is what mine looked like on the Fatman stub... Forgive the wheels. It was a different mission. (pro-touring flavor)



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Old 05-04-2010, 04:27 PM   #16
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Default Re: 53 Studebaker or Hawk frame swap info needed

How did the engine go in after the Fatman sub install?

The one we have here was piss poor in design. The customer did his best with what they supplied but ended up having to start over. Talk about expensive!



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Old 05-04-2010, 10:21 PM   #17
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Default Re: 53 Studebaker or Hawk frame swap info needed

The Fatman stub was nice. The cross-member was lower than what you show. I set the oil pan on the cross-member with a ~1" spacer block and it had just the right ground clearance and driveline angle. The car was lowered just by adding the stub, then you add dropped MII spindles if you want it real low. In my pics, it was on struts for mock-up. Probably a little high.
The rack mount was well designed and much cleaner than what you show, too.
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Old 05-05-2010, 07:20 AM   #18
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Default Re: 53 Studebaker or Hawk frame swap info needed

I put a 79 nova clip under mine, narrowed it 2 inches, it works good and it was real cheap to do. that stock 53 stude steering is real funky and the brakes are to small
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Old 05-05-2010, 01:54 PM   #19
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Default Re: 53 Studebaker or Hawk frame swap info needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by scottybaccus View Post
The Fatman stub was nice.
Good to know they improved over this unit,
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Old 05-07-2010, 09:44 AM   #20
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Default Re: 53 Studebaker or Hawk frame swap info needed

I'm kinda lost on why to go to that much trouble. For the 53 of my dad's that I just finished last fall, it got a 9" ford in the rear, and a disc brake swap for the front from a vendor who I met on here that will remain nameless forver. Agreed, the steering design is a bit bulky, but an omni rack swap (for rear steer) would take care of that and free up a lot of room. My dad built the car in 59 for B/Gas, so it already had the firewall massaged and engine (a 389 at the time) set back 10%.

A frame swap seems like too much work for the supposed benefits.

The 455 pontiac/th400 combo is a damn good one, I'll admit. I've built dozens of Olds V8s, but this pontiac suuuure runs good...
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