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53 Studebaker or Hawk frame swap info needed

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by ZZ-IRON, May 2, 2010.

  1. ZZ-IRON
    Joined: Feb 28, 2007
    Posts: 1,949

    ZZ-IRON
    Member

    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
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2010
  2. speedtool
    Joined: Oct 15, 2005
    Posts: 2,545

    speedtool
    BANNED

    Have you checked over on the forum of the Studebaker Drivers Club?
    Lotsa good info and nice people!
     
  3. scottybaccus
    Joined: Mar 13, 2006
    Posts: 4,132

    scottybaccus
    Member

    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.
     
  4. jagfxr1949
    Joined: Jun 27, 2008
    Posts: 283

    jagfxr1949
    Member

    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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  5. ZZ-IRON
    Joined: Feb 28, 2007
    Posts: 1,949

    ZZ-IRON
    Member


    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
     
  6. 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.
     
  7. Flat Ernie
    Joined: Jun 5, 2002
    Posts: 8,304

    Flat Ernie
    Tech Editor

    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?
     
  8. ZZ-IRON
    Joined: Feb 28, 2007
    Posts: 1,949

    ZZ-IRON
    Member

    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
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2010
  9. oneyellowtub
    Joined: Aug 19, 2007
    Posts: 602

    oneyellowtub
    Member

    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.
     
  10. studearch
    Joined: Aug 25, 2008
    Posts: 257

    studearch
    Member

    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.
     

    Attached Files:

  11. S1B
    Joined: Mar 18, 2004
    Posts: 609

    S1B
    Member

    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.
     
  12. llonning
    Joined: Nov 17, 2007
    Posts: 639

    llonning
    Member

    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.
     
  13. harleyracer
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 28

    harleyracer
    Member

    just got a 57 silver hawk has a s 10 chassis under it looks to fit pretty well can send pictures if needed
     
  14. scottybaccus
    Joined: Mar 13, 2006
    Posts: 4,132

    scottybaccus
    Member

    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)

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  15. 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!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  16. scottybaccus
    Joined: Mar 13, 2006
    Posts: 4,132

    scottybaccus
    Member

    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.
     
  17. edweird
    Joined: Jan 4, 2009
    Posts: 3,064

    edweird
    Member

    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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  18. Good to know they improved over this unit, :eek:
     
  19. OldsRanch
    Joined: Feb 18, 2004
    Posts: 186

    OldsRanch
    Member

    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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    Last edited: May 7, 2010
  20. stude54ht
    Joined: Dec 30, 2007
    Posts: 173

    stude54ht
    Member
    from Spokane WA

    FatMan Mustang II on mine, handles great!
     
  21. 55chieftain
    Joined: May 29, 2007
    Posts: 1,773

    55chieftain
    Member
    from Canton IL

    Another Hamber sent me these pics of what he did. He grafted the lower control arm ends from a 59-64? full size Chevy to use those spindles and used some tubular upper arms from Speedway and made a mount for the upper. I'll probably do something similar on my 55.
     

    Attached Files:

  22. ZZ-IRON
    Joined: Feb 28, 2007
    Posts: 1,949

    ZZ-IRON
    Member

    update getting closer

    for the journey to Bonneville Speedweek in 2011
    driving a 53 Stude coupe on the salt & hearing that sound

    got the 53 Champion coupe in Wisconsin formally a Montana car
    mainly needs a front clip, drive train, oh yea lots of work!
    has the 1/4 & rear glass and so other goodies inside the shell

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  23. HARD EDDY
    Joined: Sep 28, 2009
    Posts: 45

    HARD EDDY
    Member

    nice! grab me a front clip too!!
     

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