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1950 Studebaker 2r Pick Up Truck Suspension Questions

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by A.D.D., Nov 15, 2013.

  1. A.D.D.
    Joined: Dec 9, 2011
    Posts: 197

    A.D.D.
    Member
    from PacNW

    I have a dumb question:

    Now, before someone calls me lazy.... I did a search and read quite a bit about air-ride.... but, I still have questions.....?????

    My 1950 Studebaker Truck is about ready to start screwing back together.




    I have done quite a bit of the hard work (truck has been blown apart down to bare frame, chassis work is finished and body pretty far along), truck has been mocked back together and collected about 85% of what I need plus spares. Currently, I am getting ready to blow the chassis apart and give a good coat of satin black, then reassemble mechanically.


    Now, here's the thing:

    I am getting ready to order coils for the front and drop the engine back in.

    Then I started thinking about Air-ride....... (Dun, dun dun...)

    Living in the land of steep driveways and those stupid HUGE speed bumps, clearance is a concern. After some thought, I figured adjustable suspension would be VERY nice to have.
    Example: Raise the ride height for daily driving, load leveling when the bed is full of parts and generally for looking cool.

    LAYING FRAME is NOT the goal here.

    So, here's my specs:

    *1950 Studebaker 2r pickup truck, SWB, stock body.

    * Basically a SBC/ auto with Camaro 10 bolt rearend on leaf springs

    * 1979 (ish) Camaro Subframe, stock.

    * Stock looking truck other than tires/wheels.

    A few details about the STUDE for those unfamiliar:

    The front track with Camaro stub is very close to stock. Front wheelwells have plenty of room. Bed is double walled like a modern fleetside, but has removable rear fenders like any other 50's truck. This means NO WHEELWELLS INSIDE THE BED. (hope that makes sense).


    I have NO INTENTION to back 1/2 the chassis and would like to know what it takes to basically just bolt in an "Air-Ride" type system. Don't get me wrong, I can fabricate a bit, weld and all that. BUT.... being late in the game here, not interested in building a new chassis. If it doesn't work, I will just do my best to tuck as much stuff up under the frame rails and deal with whatever gets destroyed (having owned quite a few traditionally lowered cars over the years).


    To be clear:

    Truck could easily be running in a few weekends (but my plan is to have it finished to a certain extent and driving before Summer comes back around again.

    Raising is more important than "laying frame". I want the ride height to be about the same as cut coils and lowering blocks. In fact, it doesn't need to be much lower than that when it's all the way down.


    I completely understand HOW air bags work, 4 link rear suspension, and back 1/2, mini tubs, etc... not to mention a place for all of the crap (suspension) to go when the truck is all the way down. I am also willing to accept less travel down to keep my bed floor stock.

    Just want to know, is this feasible? Ballpark cost?


    Thanks in advance.



    Here's the truck:


    First pic is when I bought it. Last pic is the truck I am basing mine on.





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  2. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 27,520

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Well I have to say that I admire your desire to be able to raise the front of the truck for clearance (I could have used that ability more than once) and not to make the truck look broken with the bumper laying on the ground and the wheels cockeyed.

    I'd start by looking into what works for the second series Camaros or the 70/77 Chevelle, Cutlass Regal style cars with quite similar suspensions. There has to be plenty of those floating around with bags on the front and plenty of info.
     
  3. A.D.D.
    Joined: Dec 9, 2011
    Posts: 197

    A.D.D.
    Member
    from PacNW

    Thanks for the reply.

    I have driven modern cars and SUV's with air suspension and it's the best! The ride is good, you can raise as needed and they supposedly automatically lower the faster you go, etc.....


    My deal is exactly what you said Mr 48: "Well I have to say that I admire your desire to be able to raise the front of the truck for clearance (I could have used that ability more than once)"


    Over the years I would like to think that I have mastered going up and down driveways at an angle and driving cautiously....but then I hit a pot hole that makes me feel like I just launched a balljoint through the back of my hood.

    LOTS of Air-Ride info out there and especially on the HAMB. But, it seems like everyone tried to go as low as possible with completely reworked rear suspension. Which is fine and I actually like..... but this is a TRUCK.

    I NEED to be able to haul an engine in the back, go to the lumber yard or home improvement store, etc. And, of course........while still looking cool :cool:

    I was hoping someone out there would say "Yes...I have done it. Not worth it for the difference in height, it cost me $XXX, OR.... "I have one like that, cost $xxx and I am glad I did it". Etc.

    HAMB rules when it come to a DIVERSE group of car people with a wealth of information.

    Thanks.
     
  4. studeboy
    Joined: Feb 12, 2003
    Posts: 539

    studeboy
    Member

    Kustombuilder here has a 56 Ford PU that has air on it. It has been used to haul corn for a furnace numerous times. The ride seemed as good or better than it was before the load. A small adjustment to the air pressure and you good to go. Also the running boards are only a couple inches off the ground on the bumpstops. It seems to me it works well and it rides better than a leaf spring suspension. The truck has a dakota stub up front and a c10 trailing arm setup out back.

    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
     

  5. A.D.D.
    Joined: Dec 9, 2011
    Posts: 197

    A.D.D.
    Member
    from PacNW

    Thanks..... I'll look him up.










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  6. A.D.D.
    Joined: Dec 9, 2011
    Posts: 197

    A.D.D.
    Member
    from PacNW


    Okay.........

    I re-read the reply...and as much as I appreciate the response, I am sticking with leaf springs on the back.



    The front is a 1979 Camaro stub. ALL of the info on that I could find on the HAMB as well as other sites covers bags on a camaro stub. No problem there. But what about bags on the back with leaf springs?
    It's a TRUCK. I want a full bed (no mini tubs, no box for the frame notch, no 4 link/ trailing arms and no raised bed floor). I will stuff the biggest meats on the back I can with the best offset I can manage. The Stude actually has a lot of room back there. But again........"It's a truck". I want to haul more than just ass.

    So...........

    I am considering "Air Bags".

    After all the info I have read..... the front is easy. Done to death.

    But it would be kinda dumb to run air bags on the front ONLY (I could be wrong there). REALLY, the only reason I am sticking with leaf springs....is that they are there. Ready to go. And from experience, they work just fine.

    AND...... I could care LESS about "laying frame".

    I just want to be able to lower the truck to the point of a regular drop (cut coils, dropped spindles and low profile tires. BUT.... be able to raise it for driveability (it IS a pick up truck). On the back, I might haul an engine or 2, a bunch of 100 pound bags of sand, gravel, cement....hell maybe a load of bricks?! Helper springs and air shocks are great...but again, parked rake versus "driving down some bombed out side road height".

    I did find a few air bag kits for leveling your ride (towing/hauling) for around $300 or so.

    If I combine "REAL" air bags on the camaro clip and these "load leveler" type bags on the back.... how do I link them to the pump/tanks, etc. Set them up seperately? Is this going to cost more? Complicate things?

    NEVER........EVER....... had air bags.

    Yes... in this age of the internet, I can drink a beer and watch step by step as someone else does all the hard work in " 27 8×10 color glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining what each one was.....". This does makes things easier than back in the day, and might even make me a little lazy.... but, hey..........?????

    GOTTA be......... SOMEONE out there that has bags on leaf springs.

    Which would be nice before I drop a bunch of money on something that will never work for what I want to do (after spending time re-inventing the wheel trying to get it to work).


    Thanks in advance.:D







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  7. studeboy
    Joined: Feb 12, 2003
    Posts: 539

    studeboy
    Member

    Ridetech air over leaf system should cover what you're looking for. The system is basically the main leaf for geometry and the airbag for ride height

    http://www.ridetech.com/store/airoverleaf/

    Sent from my EVO using H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  8. nrgwizard
    Joined: Aug 18, 2006
    Posts: 1,223

    nrgwizard
    Member
    from Minn. uSA

    Hey, A.D.D.;

    Arlo Guthrie... finest kind. A friend & I were laughing over that exact phrase yesterday. Alices' Restaurant. Used to know all the words perfectly - drove folks nuts doing the whole thing... :D . "You can get anything you want, at Alices' restaurant - exceptin' Alice...." :D .

    Haven't done the bag on my cars/trucks, but on the city buses I work on, leveling is done w/a small air valve, that uses an arm to determine whether air gets added or dumped, & of course, ride height. Used one for the front, & one for the rear. As studeboy mentined, I suppose you could keep the rear leaf springs, using just the main for axle location, & the bags for load. Don't remember if there's enough room 'twixt the axle tube & frame. I'd guess you'd be better off mounting the bags on the inside of the frame, esp if you want wide hides. & what you want the bags for, is what they're intended/designed for. Just figure out your rubber stops, in case you loose a bag, so you can continue on. & I'd appreciate some follow-up pics.

    Marcus...
     
  9. A.D.D.
    Joined: Dec 9, 2011
    Posts: 197

    A.D.D.
    Member
    from PacNW

    I appreciate it!

    Frustrating when you can't get the answer you want! I figured someone out there musta done it.

    I went on Air-ride's site and found the air over leaf. Seems simple enough. Also found a guy with a old Chev truck on another board (Camaro clip w/ leaf out back), need to ask him if it worked out allright or if he wishes he'd done it differently.

    Now I need to figure out what it takes to get it all working together and how much! I am not one to "Buy a kit" for premium $$$, but I like to think I am smart enough to know when to buy a complete set up over rigging something together.

    We'll see........


    NRGWizard: Alice's Restaurant alright! Used to play it every Thanksgiving, maybe I will this year! No disrespect to Arlo, but his Dad was a lot cooler!

    And....... I am TERRIBLE at taking pics along the way, but I will make an effort to snap a few.



    Thanks again.










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  10. 1955IHC
    Joined: Aug 20, 2013
    Posts: 636

    1955IHC
    Member

    I love the Stude trucks one day I will own one. For me personally I love the idea of an adjustable suspension. That said here's my two cents. More moving parts makes things more complicated. While I have never owned a vehicle with an air ride suspension I've serviced a few. Cold weather and frozen air lines is an issue I know that has been covered. But one I don't see covered I'd life time! I've replaced bags on oem ot vehicles that are less then five years old. They dry rot and leak. I guess it comes down to WHAT YOU REALLY WANT, as I'm still considering them.

    Sent via Illinois Bell Telephone Company's Car Radiotelephone
     
  11. Jacksmith
    Joined: Sep 24, 2009
    Posts: 360

    Jacksmith
    Member

    Hey, what ever happened? Did this post just die & fade away, or am I missing something? I'm interested in Studebaker truck anything. I have a '56 that will also be used as a truck while looking cool... Hello?... anybody?... hell-lloooo?
     
  12. A.D.D.
    Joined: Dec 9, 2011
    Posts: 197

    A.D.D.
    Member
    from PacNW

    Unfortunately as my user name implies... I have a short attention span. Stude Truck is looooong gone! Like 5-6 cars ago long gone.

    In fact, I own NOTHING HAMB friendly right now. ;)
     
  13. Jacksmith
    Joined: Sep 24, 2009
    Posts: 360

    Jacksmith
    Member

    DOE!!!
     

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