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Projects Studebaker truck project - been on ice about 6 years, time to get off my butt...

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by stude_trucks, Jan 24, 2013.

  1. stude_trucks
    Joined: Sep 13, 2007
    Posts: 4,755

    stude_trucks
    Member

    ...and get back on it. Figured I'd start this thread to give me some motivation. Recap: project is a '50 2R15 1-ton Studebaker truck. Goal is to keep it pretty stock looking from the outside and shooting for an early 60's mild, sleeper hot rod with only a few discrete modern upgrades: disc brakes on the front, a NV4500 5sp OD trans and a 70's Dana 70 in the rear for better gears, alum. radiator. The rest will be pretty much all vintage parts, Studebaker for the body and a '57 392 hemi for the motor capped with a Cragar 4-71 blower on top. I'm not looking for a race truck, I want to drive it on the street and use it as a truck. So more interested in low end torque over high rpm hp on the motor. And I'm not into loud and in your face either, so I want it to run smooth and quiet. Walk softly, carry a big stick kind of deal. Being a 1-ton on the stock chassis, the truck sits pretty high. So, I might re-arch the springs when the time comes to drop it down just a little bit. The chassis has been stretched 18" to allow for a custom lockable box so I can keep stuff in it safe and not have to worry about hiding things and hoping clowns don't try to break in and steal stuff when I'm in stores, etc. Out of site, out of mind. Jerry Sezar and his crew helped me get the truck started way back in 2007 by getting it stripped down and extending the frame. Then Matt Seret helped me with a bunch of sheet metal work, including fabbing up the custom box, and roughing out the front disc brakes and setting the motor and trans and master cylinder in the frame.

    Then my wife and I had our son, work was crazy busy, some personal and business stuff became a priority and the project got put on ice and has been stored in the garage mostly as a pile of parts waiting for another push. We had our second child, a girl, about 3 years ago, work was even more busy and times flies by. Project is still sitting in the garage. Tired of looking at the crap everywhere and parts all over the place. Time to get it going, maybe can have it mostly done before the 10 year mark. I've actually had this truck since summer of 2003, so I guess actually it has been almost 10 years now. Drove it about a half block when I first got it which was enough to make me realize it needed some major attention. Has been a pile of parts ever since. I do still have a driver '53 2R11 3/4 ton though, so all is not lost as for not having a usable truck. But the '53 will stay a beat up old farm truck and the '50 is going to be the sleeper hot rod, eventually, one way or another.

    Paint is going to be all black; deep shiny old 30's looking kind of black with just a hint of blue-purple. Slightly off-white trim, just like factory Studebaker. Hand tooled thick saddle leather kind of seat. The kind tough enough you can get in with tools in your pocket and not be pissed you ripped a hole in your prissy soft Ricardo Montalban Corinthian BS. The kind dogs and kids can do their tricks to and it only makes it better. The truck is going to get used and the paint is going to get torn up. It is going to be done right, but when it is done, I don't want it looking too new too long. It's not going to be a 'don't touch my ride' trophy queen. I don't give a damn about awards and trophies and not going to be putting this together to ever sell and make any money on. Hell, I probably already have sunk enough cash into it to ever make that feasible at this point anyway. I always buy high and sell low, so I'll probably be sticking to that plan as far the financial aspects go.

    So, I figure this might be an rough outline for a plan:

    1. CHASSIS:
    I need to get the sheet metal back off the chassis and strip it all back down. The rear right side of the chassis is tweaked down, so I need to straighten that back and re-square the frame as best I can. Not sure what the best plan is to do that, maybe some straps and some jacks and just some gentle brute force. Then clean the frame and paint it stain black. Do all the typical chassis details, brake lines, etc.

    2. BODY:
    Matt got most of it in pretty good shape although the bare metal parts now all have a decent layer of surface rust that needs to be taken off. So, need to do that, strip down all the parts and prime them. The custom box is roughed out but still needs to be detailed out. I was thinking I'd learned some sheet metal skills and try to do it myself. I want it look period anyway and as for a work truck so doesn't want to be slick and perfect. Not chopping it or any other custom body work. When painted, I also don't want it to be too perfect looking, intentionally. Keeping original split ring wheels, maybe black centers and ring in satin silver or maybe chrome (chrome powder coated?).

    3. MOTOR:
    Came from the factory with a anemic 170 ci flat 6 that wasn't much even back to brag about even when new. So, motor is getting swapped to a blown 392 hemi. 170 is already long gone and hemi is just stripped and in parts. Will have a local shop machine and assembly it. I'm not a motor guy and not looking to make this one a motor to learn on. I want it built strong and to last and done by somebody who actually knows what they are doing. The blower will just be providing a mild push and only for reasonable street use. Anybody have any suggestions for a local shop that can do a good job and not cost an arm and a leg? Going with mostly vintage parts on the motor except it has a new custom Wilcap adaptor plate which required a new type high torque starter. Thinking will be mostly all gold with the blower parts in satin silver alum. and some other parts in black, not too much chrome except the valve cover plug wire trims. Alum. radiator was made to original specs. and will just be painted out black like the factory one was.

    Anyway, that's kind of it in a nutshell. Been a long time, time to get back on it. Stay tuned if interested. Hopefully this thread will spur me to actually do some things once in a while. I'm still crazy busy with business/work/family, but I'll do what I can when I can. Probably still will take a few years realistically speaking.

    My son is old enough now where I can actually start to get him to help me on some things as well. Then my daughter too when she is a bit older. The real end goal is to have a nice truck we build together and then get to enjoy together.

    This was how it looked before being put in the garage and rusting up a bit, but is basically in the same situation.

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    Last edited: Jan 24, 2013
  2. Great read and a great project! I'll be watching for progress. :)
     
  3. stude_trucks
    Joined: Sep 13, 2007
    Posts: 4,755

    stude_trucks
    Member

    Thanks Kerry! And thanks for yanking this up off the bottom. Apparently sunk like a rock. :) Always like seeing your threads and hopefully I can return the favor a bit.

    I didn't get a chance to do any real work on it yet today. But, I did snap a couple of shots of actually how it sits before I at least start to unearth it. As you can see, mostly the same but a bit more scattered and with a bit of surface rust on the what was once nice clean metal. The summer fogs here can do some serious work.

    This weekend I'm going to try to do something constructive, even if it is just getting some things cleaned up and organized. I'm going to use the project as an excuse to clean out and organize my garage and set up better work areas. Can't work on the truck unless I get the garage in better shape. Time to ditch a bunch of useless crap I don't need that is doing nothing but wasting space. I need to find the crank pulley for the Cragar blower drive. I somehow misplaced that in the move to this house and haven't been able to find it in the piles of junk. I'm pretty sure it is here somewhere.

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  4. aircap
    Joined: Mar 10, 2011
    Posts: 1,503

    aircap
    Member

    You'll have a great stump puller there with a blown Hemi!
    Keep us updated!
     
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  5. Parts48
    Joined: Mar 28, 2008
    Posts: 1,287

    Parts48
    Member
    from Dry Heat
    1. Hot Rod Veterans

    Nice..! The more Studes back on the road the better :)

    Really like to see this being completed..
    Thanks
     
  6. I'm jealous of how much space you have for the hemi. Fits nice! The fit in my digger rails is TIGHT! I had to grind some on the block, bell, and motor plate to get her to fit.
     
  7. stude_trucks
    Joined: Sep 13, 2007
    Posts: 4,755

    stude_trucks
    Member

    Yes, it was a pleasant surprise how nicely and easily the hemi fit in. I was even able to just use the front mounts using the factory Studebaker frame holes. All we did up front was reinforce and weld up the K members to be able to handle some more torque. The NV4500 is a tail mount as opposed to the Stude which was a bellhousing mount. So Matt Seret fabbed up a simple cross member to catch the back end and it floats over the stock Stude mount at the bellhousing. He just had to barely notch that a bit to clear a bump on the Chevy bellhousing. The clearance for the heads at the firewall was just about perfect. The stock hemi 4-bolt manifolds just go straight down without and problems either. Good room up front for the fan and radiator. Should have plenty of room to the inner fenders on the sides. So far, not sheet metal changes needed at all.

    Matt roughed in the new frame mount dual MC and pedals, but I still need to detail it out and do the final connecting on the clutch parts. I think we went with a hydraulic clutch if I recall. That is one of the first things I want to resolve once I get the cab back off and start back on the chassis to finish that off first. Reminds me, I will need to cut a different access hole in the cab floor for access for that.

    I was thinking about adding power steering to help when towing things, etc. Might be a tight fit on that between the hemi and the frame though. I might need to get creative on that if I decide to go for it.
     
  8. seret
    Joined: Apr 28, 2008
    Posts: 539

    seret
    Member

    Hurray!! I love that thing. cant wait to see you finish it!!
     
  9. studeynut
    Joined: Mar 13, 2011
    Posts: 290

    studeynut
    Member

    Love it, makes me want to work on my Studey 1/2 ton.
     
  10. Cracker123
    Joined: Feb 3, 2013
    Posts: 53

    Cracker123
    Member

    I never Cragar built roots blowers back in the day!
     

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