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Projects Gasser How To? Questions

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by RatStude55, Jan 12, 2018.

  1. RatStude55
    Joined: Jan 9, 2018
    Posts: 30

    RatStude55
    Member
    from Arizona

    Hi. I have a 1955 Studebaker Commander (with a 53 nose) fiberglass hood, fiberglass grill and it's sitting engine less but set up for a Chevy. I just need to choose the which engine.
    Can someone point me in the direction what to do with the front suspension. I want a fun street car that is drivable. I have no clue on this straight axle stuff, what to use..What to get it from, a old pickup? better off with a aftermarket kit.
    I live in Southern AZ and old parts are easy to scrounge lots of 40s, 50s stuff sitting around where I am for almost nothing.
    I plan on running a Ford 8.8 rear, they are a dime a dozen but I guess not era correct. I want era correct from mid 60s.
     
  2. town sedan
    Joined: Aug 18, 2011
    Posts: 736

    town sedan
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Just a reminder not all "gassers" had straight axles. Now the "gasser look" seems to require it. Just like pro-street required silly wide steamroller rear tires and the dreaded RR requires tetanus shots. Sorry about the interjection.
    -Dave
     
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  3. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 40,088

    porknbeaner
    Member

    9" ford for mid '60s or Olds, or Spicer 60, or Chevy 12 bolt.

    There was a '53 Stude in a little town in Oregon when I was in highschool that was out running everyone around with a small block. He was just running stock suspension on the front. For a beam axle probably an econoline axle is going to get you close. You really need to measure the track width, they are not a wide car at all.
     
  4. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 8,113

    saltflats
    Member
    from Missouri

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  5. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 39,254

    squirrel
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    what part of southern AZ?
     
  6. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 40,088

    porknbeaner
    Member

    JIM you are going to enjoy this. I saw southern AZ and my brain said South Australia. Duh'OH
     
  7. RatStude55
    Joined: Jan 9, 2018
    Posts: 30

    RatStude55
    Member
    from Arizona

    Thank you all for the input!
    I'm in Casa Grande!
     
  8. RatStude55
    Joined: Jan 9, 2018
    Posts: 30

    RatStude55
    Member
    from Arizona

    What is required to get that front end gasser raised front end lift?
     
  9. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 8,871

    DDDenny
    Member
    from oregon

    Beaner
    That's Az not Oz!
     
  10. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 39,254

    squirrel
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Oh, up north! :) I'm way the other side of Tucson, right near the southern border.

    I wouldn't go to too much effort to try to make the front sit up silly high...how about just enough to make it level? If you want it to handle well, then it will take some thought to figure out the best way to go. Probably the most sensible thing is to just get an aftermarket axle/spring/brake kit, and possibly cut off the front of the frame, and add new rectangular tube rails. But we don't know what your money/time/skill situation is.
     
  11. southcross2631
    Joined: Jan 20, 2013
    Posts: 2,280

    southcross2631
    Member

    Check out Fiddle Picker's Stude build. He can point you n the right direction on setting up a straight axle in a car like yours.
     
  12. RatStude55
    Joined: Jan 9, 2018
    Posts: 30

    RatStude55
    Member
    from Arizona

    Squirrel. Im familiar with Sierra Vista, i spend a lot of time down in Patagoni.
    No. I don't want it silly high a slight frontal rake. Just make it look like a authentic 1960s built gasser
    My money situation is I have to save, depending on cost. I cant go drop a grand, I'm a good parts scrounger, wheeler and dealer. To make a grand i sell something, save for a couple months, or?
    I am confident in my skills, if not I have plenty of friends and family that always lend a hand. I've been playing with cars for about 30 years. My time...its all i have..I'm 45 and retired. I appreciate all the comments! Please keep them comming.
    I'll go check out Fiddlers post.
     
  13. Mike VV
    Joined: Sep 28, 2010
    Posts: 1,014

    Mike VV
    Member

    RatStude -

    Remember that Studebakers are a little narrower than most cars. Do some careful measuring before you buy any OEM or off the shelf axles. You want those tires well under the body skin..!

    Mike
     
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  14. southcross2631
    Joined: Jan 20, 2013
    Posts: 2,280

    southcross2631
    Member

    Narrowing a factory axle is not that difficult if you can weld. I have a narrowed 53 Ford F100 axle under my Morris minor. Look for someone converting to Mustang 2 style front end and pulling their axle. Mine was given to me and had new king pins and a disc brake conversion.
    I took 6 1/4 inches out of mine.
     
  15. Champscotty58
    Joined: Jul 1, 2010
    Posts: 110

    Champscotty58
    Member

    Are you looking to race it at all or just going for the look? A lot can be said for wheels and tire selection and messing with the factory front suspension/rear suspension ratio to get the look you are after without diving too far into frame modifications. Just a thought.
     
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  16. RatStude55
    Joined: Jan 9, 2018
    Posts: 30

    RatStude55
    Member
    from Arizona

    I want the look that's fun to drive around town, no freeway time unless I do the 60 miles to Tucson car meets. Occassional 1/4 mile launches. So it needs to be safe, reliable, and hold up well. I won't be nice to it. I'm fairly brutal on my stuff.
    It will be done right or not at all. I can do what I know and planned on just a BBC and 4spd. Torque Thrusts, then I was going LS 4l80e, billet rims, AC but for about a year now if been thinking it's time for something different. I have always loved gasser class cars, and thought...why can't I have one? I want to be different.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
  17. RatStude55
    Joined: Jan 9, 2018
    Posts: 30

    RatStude55
    Member
    from Arizona

    I picked up another set of 4 today
    15x5s and 15x8.5s $200 not sure if backs will fit, but i have 7s and 8s
     

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  18. chevy57dude
    Joined: Dec 10, 2007
    Posts: 3,997

    chevy57dude
    Member

    Hell of a deal on those wheels.
     
  19. southcross2631
    Joined: Jan 20, 2013
    Posts: 2,280

    southcross2631
    Member

    You want to be traditional with a Studebaker. Then make use an early Cadillac motor. Studellac's were very popular in the late 50's early 60's.
    A straight axle car does not have to drive bad unless you build it wrong.
     
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  20. RatStude55
    Joined: Jan 9, 2018
    Posts: 30

    RatStude55
    Member
    from Arizona

    331-390
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2018
  21. cretin
    Joined: Oct 10, 2006
    Posts: 2,804

    cretin
    Member
    from S.F.V. CA.

    Blasphemy!
     
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  22. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 12,419

    Moriarity
    SUPER MODERATOR
    Staff Member

  23. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 8,871

    DDDenny
    Member
    from oregon

    Exhibit A

    [​IMG]
     
  24. RatStude55
    Joined: Jan 9, 2018
    Posts: 30

    RatStude55
    Member
    from Arizona

    No No guys I was just referring to the Caddy motors I know and have had, the 472-500. Last time I had one they didn't make many aftermarket parts for them.
    My appologies those Caddy engines you are beautiful! Id be happy to lift my hood.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2018
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  25. southcross2631
    Joined: Jan 20, 2013
    Posts: 2,280

    southcross2631
    Member

    I told you they were popular and it was not just because they made a Studebaker haul ass. They looked good doing it.
    The eldo 500 has a rear sump oil pan which comes in handy when doing swaps. Lighter than a big block Chevy.
     
  26. RatStude55
    Joined: Jan 9, 2018
    Posts: 30

    RatStude55
    Member
    from Arizona

    Ok guys, I'm going to assume these beautiful Caddy engines you posted are not 472/500's?
    Do they make all the dressup and speed parts for them? I cannot find anything other than a Edelbrock Performer for one ?
    My reference to Caddy engines were ugly were to what I knew the 472-500. I love the motors but would not want to lift the hood, does a early Edmunds manifold or stock 2x4 Cad fit one of these motors?
    I have access to a 429, is that workable
     
  27. Didn't see it mentioned but the reason you never saw many Lowey Studebakers as gassers is the wheelbase @120 ".
    They made great Bonneville cars though.
    I doubt anyone will talk you out of this, but the simple fact remains. ALL old cars don't make good gassers.
     
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  28. RatStude55
    Joined: Jan 9, 2018
    Posts: 30

    RatStude55
    Member
    from Arizona

    You are right I haven't seen many C-K body Gassers, but I'm a dare to be different kind of guy...There are a few I really admire.
    If it was a Lark it would be a easy no brainer. I Think a 53-5 Studebaker makes a perfect gasser candidate..I could be wrong?
     
  29. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 39,254

    squirrel
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    it makes a better land speed car, actually.

    A Willys makes a great gasser.

    Or a prewar Studebaker Champion.
     

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