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wlfrench
04-23-2017, 11:02 AM
Looking for a ball park figure on having the front suspension of my 62 GT rebuilt. Replace all the bushings, redo the kingpins and front end alignment? I thought about doing the work myself but don't think I'm up to the job. I have a place in mind to do the work but need to know if the estimate they give me is legit.

Alan
04-23-2017, 11:10 AM
The killer is shop time cost. I took my 2011 Tundra to the Toyota dealer to have the check engine light re-set and their shop labor rate is $147 per hour now. If you go to a shop that charges by the hour, you will rack up some big bucks fast. Half of the time is doing grunt work, cleaning and inspecting. I would say about $800 plus parts.

wlfrench
04-23-2017, 11:47 AM
Should I go ahead and get the parts first from a Studebaker vender?

mbstude
04-23-2017, 12:09 PM
Should I go ahead and get the parts first from a Studebaker vender?

That's the only place you'll find the right parts.

I've seen front end rebuilds go north of $1000 if the car owner is paying someone else to do the work. All depends on how much needs to be replaced or repaired.

LovelandJoe
04-23-2017, 12:19 PM
The parts to rebuild through SI is $1083.75 and on page 278.I did mine last year and was pleased with the improved handling.

LovelandJoe
04-23-2017, 12:22 PM
Parts 1083. Alignment 90, labor 200. The kingpins were easier to remove with a lift.

studebaker-R2-4-me
04-23-2017, 12:25 PM
Whoever completes the work, make sure the weight is on your A-frame bushings before they finally torque the A-frame bolts up. It relieves some of the tear-out of your new bushings. It's not that bad of a job if you do it yourself. Safety is paramount when removing springs after that it is pretty straight forward. Check out the Studeblogger (Clark) front end rebuild series at http://studeblogger.blogspot.ca/2013/01/studebaker-front-end-rebuild-series.html. It was really helpful when I rebuilt the front end of my 63 Lark Convertible especially replacing the bushings in the A-frames. Good luck!

Allen

63 R2 Hawk
04-23-2017, 12:44 PM
Find a friend with a hoist and some "old school" mechanical ability. I did mine a few years ago and total cost was about $140USD plus cost of alignment. I took my time and spent pretty much two good days doing it. None of the local shops would touch it and I wouldn't have trusted them to do it anyway. There are some things in the shop manual to pay attention to.

JoeHall
04-23-2017, 12:56 PM
It is a big job, and I understand your reluctance to tackle it. But you could do one side a time, with a break between sides. The only thing connecting both sides is the anti-sway bar, and it is easy enough to hook and unhook. It is getting hard to find someone with mechanical aptitude. If you do it yourself you will have job satisfaction and, "know" your car a lot better.

As for price, mine usually cost $300-$400. I suppose replacing all parts with new would be around $1000, but have never found that necessary. Usually some parts will most always need replaced, but many others will not. It will largely depend on how well the suspension was kept greased, when it was in use. On the 62GT, though I have replaced king pin bearings & bushings, and 'A' arm bushings around three times, but have yet to replace the tie rods even once in the past 300,000+ miles. I believe the center bearing has been replaced once. That is where aptitude comes in, being able to accurately determine what is needed and what is not. It is OK to just replace everything, but that is seldom really necessary.

No matter what, the Grunt work of cleanup is a major hassle.

RadioRoy
04-23-2017, 02:52 PM
I did three of them. Mine cost around $350 each, but those jobs were 15-25 years ago. I took the front suspension off and had Studebakers West redo the bushings and bearings. Then I put the suspension back together and had a shop do the alignment. I think that I am too old and weak to do the job now.

jclary
04-23-2017, 04:03 PM
Looking for a ball park figure on having the front suspension of my 62 GT rebuilt. Replace all the bushings, redo the kingpins and front end alignment? I thought about doing the work myself but don't think I'm up to the job. I have a place in mind to do the work but need to know if the estimate they give me is legit.

I have observed this thread with interest. I'm assuming you titled this thread "Cost of GT front end rebuild" mainly because it is the car you need rebuilt. Unless there is something I'm overlooking, I suspect that any Studebaker passenger car built since 1951 could serve as the topic of the discussion. Although the parts may be different between the lighter duty six cylinder & heavier V8's, aren't the overall designs about the same? Looks to me that labor, tools, method, & components are enough alike, that a front end rebuild (for estimating purposes) would all come close to the same expense.

As to the process...it is an area I am woefully inexperienced. In all my years of playing with Studebaker vehicles, including ones belonging to friends, I don't recall a single one that didn't need a little help with the suspension. If someone knowledgeable with repairing a front suspension was close enough to me, I would be happy to supply free help in cleaning, and handing tools as needed, just for the privilege to observe & learn. Back around 1979, I installed a new king pin set in my '55 truck. Following the instructions in the shop manual, the job went well. But, that was so many years ago, I'd have to approach the task as if it were my first attempt again. On the trucks, no coil springs or A frames.

As eager as I usually am about tackling complicated mechanical challenges, I will admit to being intimidated by front suspension/steering systems. Instead of challenging my fear of messing up, I find myself falling back on excuses. Don't have a smooth concrete floor, don't have a lift, it's too hot, too cold, too wet. This forum (over time) has provided the falsehood to those excuses. There are folks who have successfully renewed their suspensions with only a floor jack & jack stands. Under pole barns & shade trees. Jerry Kurtz makes the special spreader tool (I have one, it's pretty.) I suppose, if I make excuses long enough, some day, I really will be TOO OLD.:(;)

swvalcon
04-23-2017, 04:30 PM
One of the hardest things is removing the front coil springs. If you don't have a spring compressor rent one. I have my own system for removing them but you need frame repair pulling pots in your shop floor to make it work.If you shop for parts you can help keep the cost down. Upper control arm bushing you can use GM'S and save over half on them. The lowers you are stuck with Studebaker. Still haven't found anything that will interchange. Go with the heavy springs up front. Plenty of post on here about that. Cs 655's. If you have power steering and those need rebuilt anything other than new seals hold onto your wallet as that will hit it hard. Found a local supplier for the bell crank kit that saved a lot and understand some Ford tie rods ends will work. Haven't got to those yet but hope to shortly.

wlfrench
04-23-2017, 04:56 PM
I really was going to do the job myself but I know if I do it it will take all summer working nights and weekends when I have the time. Then just last week my back went out on me so at this point I think discretion dictates that I just pay to get the work done. The main thing that I see that needs to be done is ALL the bushings are either are totally shot or missing and need to be replaced. The one silver lining is that the previous owner replaced the coil springs. Why he replaced the springs and didn't do the bushings at the same time I'll never know. There is a place in Baltimore called Frame Rite (http://www.frameriteauto.com/Baltimore-auto-service-repair.html) with a bunch of older mechanics that come highly recommended for this kind of work.

jclary
04-23-2017, 05:04 PM
....Then just last week my back went out on me so at this point I think discretion dictates that I just pay to get the work done....

You have given a REASON! Very different than an excuse. ;)

JoeHall
04-23-2017, 05:20 PM
I have not paid for an alignment on a Stude since one time in 1985. Its easy to set the caster, camber, and toe in/out, once you get the hang of it :)

mbstude
04-23-2017, 05:29 PM
One of the hardest things is removing the front coil springs. If you don't have a spring compressor rent one. I have my own system for removing them but you need frame repair pulling pots in your shop floor to make it work.If you shop for parts you can help keep the cost down. Upper control arm bushing you can use GM'S and save over half on them. The lowers you are stuck with Studebaker. Still haven't found anything that will interchange. Go with the heavy springs up front. Plenty of post on here about that. Cs 655's. If you have power steering and those need rebuilt anything other than new seals hold onto your wallet as that will hit it hard. Found a local supplier for the bell crank kit that saved a lot and understand some Ford tie rods ends will work. Haven't got to those yet but hope to shortly.

From that advice, I'm guessing you've not worked on very many Studebakers.

I've removed and replaced front coil springs by myself with nothing more than jack stands and a floor jack. Takes less than an hour.

And thanks for doing your part to support the Studebaker vendors..

swvalcon
04-24-2017, 09:38 AM
mbstude I'am glad that works for you. Myself I would rather know I'am safe. I park the car with the frame rail over one of my pulling pots, Then jack it up, pull a tire and put a jack stand under it. Then chain the front of the frame rail to my pot and use the floor jack to raise and lower the lower control arm. Never have to worry about the car falling on me or ducking a coil spring as it comes flying out of the cross member. I'am sure the weight of the car and the heavy stude V8 may hold the car down without being tied to the floor but sometimes it's just a empty frame with no motor. The empty frame you can almost pickup if you put your back into it.

Pat Dilling
04-24-2017, 12:18 PM
With the easy access to a spring compressor these days it makes good sense to use one. Most auto parts stores have them available to loan. Makes the job easier and SAFER. I have used the jack and chain method in the past, but no good reason to take a chance any more. JMO.

Caso wannabe
04-24-2017, 01:29 PM
Which G M bushings work in the uppers?GM's are usually easy and cheap to get w/ urethane.

Jeffry Cassel
04-24-2017, 02:03 PM
It is unlikely everything needs fixing. If there is a problem the bellcrank is the first place to look. A arm bushings are pretty obvious. Unless there is any play at all, the kingpins may not need replacing. Look it over carefully and assess the problem. Parts are too scarce to be fixing things that are not broke. Not to mention expensive.

swvalcon
04-24-2017, 02:59 PM
Caso Gm k5196 same as a 70 olds. cutlass upper. $ 2.67 for two right now at Rock Auto. Some say they don't fit right but I replaced both sides on my hawk and they fit perfect. Only thing I can see is maybe the bolt on the end could be longer but my old one worked fine. Made my own tool to keep the A arm from bending when pressing them in out of two pieces of angle iron.

63 R2 Hawk
04-25-2017, 05:08 PM
When you replace the kingpins, make sure whoever does it understands how far to press the lower bushing into the knuckle so that the "O" ring (or cork seal) has enough "squeeze" to seal the bottom of the knuckle. This is necessary to ensure that grease will travel upward through the knuckle, flow into the upper bearing and exit through the top when greasing the kingpins.

Caso wannabe
04-25-2017, 11:07 PM
Thanks,SWVALCON.