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lelshaddai
07-14-2017, 01:03 PM
Let's get started.
First I have a 53 Commander. Many of you have seen it. I am finishing up my Metropolitan project and will be starting the Commander project hopefully next week. The 53 Commander is a running driver at this time. The interior is complete(a little dated) but works for a good driver. The problem is the rust. Front pans and trunk were gone and covered with sheet metal and riveted in place. I have new pans and rear clip with decent trunk to be welded in. Standard rust through on all for fender and behind side vents. Frame is OK but has surface and slight pitted rust. Rockers are good. I have all four fenders for patch panels in rear and used good shape front replacement fenders. Rust repair and paint, replace carpet and recover front seat(I found and have the matching fabric) and she would be a decent driver. I need to pull the engine for seals, cleanup and paint.

Here is where the question comes in. I picked up a 54 Champion Yesterday in CA(Thank you Howard for helping with this). I appears that almost all the car is there, yet in pieces. The body and fenders are completely rust free. Frame has been painted and in great shape. It has an updated white tuck and roll interior (all white, seats, door panels, has new white headliner in box) though the backs of the front seats will need to be repaired. Engine appears to have been rebuilt at one time.

I have several questions.
1. I have toyed with two ideas A)completely remove and replace my 53 commander body and fenders with the 54 Champion body and fenders onto the 53 frame. I would move all the 53 Commander parts over, Dash, emblems, grills.......The 54 body would hours and hours of body work and rust repair.
OR
B) Pull out the complete driveline(engine, trans, rear end) 53 has a 289, with Fight o matic and place it into the Champion body. I would move the Commander dash, emblems , grills over. I would move the power steering box and column over. 53 is ann Automatic car.
c)Either interior would work. One is a little dated but I am not sure of an all white interior. I could replace the whole thing but trying to cut cost.

d) can the 54 Champion brakes either be moved over to the 53 Commander. I know the size is a bit different. Can the 53 drums be used with the 54 Champion backing plate and internals. Are the 54 brakes on front good enough to use as they are?

I am trying to figure out the best way to proceed. Any and all helpful suggestions would really help on this path. I can supply pics of anything that would make this more helpful. I know it is a big challenge either way but I kinda look forward to trying it. I have the time.



http://i1101.photobucket.com/albums/g432/lelshaddai/1953%20Studebaker%20Commander/20150814_144402_zpstkqyilui.jpg (http://s1101.photobucket.com/user/lelshaddai/media/1953%20Studebaker%20Commander/20150814_144402_zpstkqyilui.jpg.html)http://i1101.photobucket.com/albums/g432/lelshaddai/1953%20Studebaker%20Commander/00000_eiLLCJ7BD2Y_600x450_zpszt2rrrjb.jpg (http://s1101.photobucket.com/user/lelshaddai/media/1953%20Studebaker%20Commander/00000_eiLLCJ7BD2Y_600x450_zpszt2rrrjb.jpg.html)http://i1101.photobucket.com/albums/g432/lelshaddai/1953%20Studebaker%20Commander/2012-10-05_10-32-51_512_zpsh57tyuu1.jpg (http://s1101.photobucket.com/user/lelshaddai/media/1953%20Studebaker%20Commander/2012-10-05_10-32-51_512_zpsh57tyuu1.jpg.html)http://i1101.photobucket.com/albums/g432/lelshaddai/1953%20Studebaker%20Commander/2015-08-15%2014.55.00_zpsvc9whdoo.jpg (http://s1101.photobucket.com/user/lelshaddai/media/1953%20Studebaker%20Commander/2015-08-15%2014.55.00_zpsvc9whdoo.jpg.html)

http://i1101.photobucket.com/albums/g432/lelshaddai/1953%20Studebaker%20Commander/52167893525__A4EFE8B5-F4A5-4B40-B711-362E0224F927_zpskokvtgsk.jpg (http://s1101.photobucket.com/user/lelshaddai/media/1953%20Studebaker%20Commander/52167893525__A4EFE8B5-F4A5-4B40-B711-362E0224F927_zpskokvtgsk.jpg.html)http://i1101.photobucket.com/albums/g432/lelshaddai/1953%20Studebaker%20Commander/52167895050__4BC58B10-7F54-4F11-ADED-04184AD5B07B_zps65hcdmeo.jpg (http://s1101.photobucket.com/user/lelshaddai/media/1953%20Studebaker%20Commander/52167895050__4BC58B10-7F54-4F11-ADED-04184AD5B07B_zps65hcdmeo.jpg.html)http://i1101.photobucket.com/albums/g432/lelshaddai/1953%20Studebaker%20Commander/52167944223__88F57D09-15F2-41AF-990B-CA9C6B013735_zpsuwn74bhq.jpg (http://s1101.photobucket.com/user/lelshaddai/media/1953%20Studebaker%20Commander/52167944223__88F57D09-15F2-41AF-990B-CA9C6B013735_zpsuwn74bhq.jpg.html)http://i1101.photobucket.com/albums/g432/lelshaddai/1953%20Studebaker%20Commander/2017-07-14%2008.45.04_zpsedhqxwod.jpg (http://s1101.photobucket.com/user/lelshaddai/media/1953%20Studebaker%20Commander/2017-07-14%2008.45.04_zpsedhqxwod.jpg.html)http://i1101.photobucket.com/albums/g432/lelshaddai/1953%20Studebaker%20Commander/2017-07-14%2008.45.33_zpsbrivgv7e.jpg (http://s1101.photobucket.com/user/lelshaddai/media/1953%20Studebaker%20Commander/2017-07-14%2008.45.33_zpsbrivgv7e.jpg.html)http://i1101.photobucket.com/albums/g432/lelshaddai/1953%20Studebaker%20Commander/2017-07-14%2008.46.27_zpsvahiqahp.jpg (http://s1101.photobucket.com/user/lelshaddai/media/1953%20Studebaker%20Commander/2017-07-14%2008.46.27_zpsvahiqahp.jpg.html)http://i1101.photobucket.com/albums/g432/lelshaddai/1953%20Studebaker%20Commander/54%20Champion%20Starlight%20coupe%20800%20x%20600%20pic%205_zpshs2zuqga.jpg (http://s1101.photobucket.com/user/lelshaddai/media/1953%20Studebaker%20Commander/54%20Champion%20Starlight%20coupe%20800%20x%20600%20pic%205_zpshs2zuqga.jpg.html )http://i1101.photobucket.com/albums/g432/lelshaddai/1953%20Studebaker%20Commander/54%20Champion%20Starlight%20coupe%20800%20x%20600%20pic%208_zpsehlzpwjc.jpg (http://s1101.photobucket.com/user/lelshaddai/media/1953%20Studebaker%20Commander/54%20Champion%20Starlight%20coupe%20800%20x%20600%20pic%208_zpsehlzpwjc.jpg.html )

RadioRoy
07-14-2017, 01:11 PM
d) can the 54 Champion brakes either be moved over to the 53 Commander.

The brakes can be moved if you move them complete from the backing plates outward. But you will be better off if you can find 54 and later Commander/V-8 brakes.

I know the size is a bit different. Can the 53 drums be used with the 54 Champion backing plate and internals.

No. You cannot mix and match drums and internals from different designs.


Are the 54 brakes on front good enough to use as they are?

Maybe, but if you find 54 and later V-8 brakes, you should be fine.

warrlaw1
07-14-2017, 04:12 PM
You would also need the V8 Commander front springs if you move the 289 to the Champion. You have two lovely projects, there.

lelshaddai
07-14-2017, 06:53 PM
I have a third option to throw at everyone. I originally was getting the champion for the fenders, doors, hood and trunk lid to replace my Commanders. I have the Classic Enterprises new replacement front floor pans and a used trunk pan I can put in the Commander. What about just replacing these parts on the Commander and just paint and call good? Many options but very unsure of direction.

studegary
07-14-2017, 08:32 PM
I have a third option to throw at everyone. I originally was getting the champion for the fenders, doors, hood and trunk lid to replace my Commanders. I have the Classic Enterprises new replacement front floor pans and a used trunk pan I can put in the Commander. What about just replacing these parts on the Commander and just paint and call good? Many options but very unsure of direction.

That's the direction that I was thinking. That 1953, with 1954 grille, looks good to me. I don't have the S/N, but it appears to be a Vernon/LA build car with that C pillar nameplate on a one color Starlight. I would use the other car for whatever parts you may need and then sell off the rest as a unit or part it out. I suggest replacing the brakes with later V8 units.

StudeRich
07-14-2017, 08:47 PM
It would appear that you now have a '54 Champion complete Rebuilt Engine to sell to someone who needs it.
It could be made to replace Engines in many years of Studebaker Cars and Trucks! :cool:

junior
07-15-2017, 09:25 AM
Hmmm...tough call either way. I guess it depends what you really want in the end. Is it a Commander you really want, or a V8 Champion? I personally would go with the Champion because if it's truly rust free you're going to save a lot of time and $ by starting with the car that you know fits together as assembled at the factory. Devoting your time and $ on making the drivetrain/suspension/brakes the way you want has more value than screwing around with body changes and major rust repair IMO. Your expertise level in body work/restoration may lead you to a different outcome. No matter what you choose you really can't go wrong, both are great starting points. Me being a guy that can't leave well enough alone, I'd take the Champion, restore the exterior and interior to stock specs, and swap in a modern inline six and manual trans, say something like a BMW or Toyota. Cheers, Junior

lelshaddai
07-15-2017, 11:41 AM
So far I like the feedback. The biggest problem with the Commander is the rust. I have followed the forum a while and there are quite a few of you that place a rust free car above all others. That is what attracted me to the new car. Body work is not my thing. I took the car by to a friend of mine who does classic car reconstruction for a living. He will spray the car when I am ready. He highly recommended starting with the Champion body because it would save a lot of money on body work. However the cab on the Commander is not bad. It is the fenders, and floor pans. The body panels I would be moving over would need very little body work. The frame on the Commander is not rusted through and just surface and slight pitting. I think it could be cleaned up and sprayed. A pleasant surprise that came with the Champion was the fact that the previous owner rechromed everything. Grill surrounds, grill inserts(54 ones) head light trim, tail light bevels, door handles, Emblems(most are Champion S ones), regold the S's. Much of that can move over. Also the Champion does not have all the wiring harness. The Commander has the wiring still. Maybe I am just talking myself into something. I want a nice driver when complete. Saving some money over one body over the other is important since I know better that if I ever do sell it I would be lucky to ever breakeven. If I keep the Commander I would probably fix the power steering, change the Drum brakes to a newer version of drum brakes and install the 62 Stude AC I have. The rest would stay original(though the 289 and fight o matic are not original to this car) I have the 53 Grill inserts. The 54 was a deluxe and does not come with any stainless. I will have to drill holes and take the stainless off the Commander and drill the holes in the Champion. I have a friend who is already going to purchase whichever body I do not use. He has a fresh Ford 302 with AOD, Ford 9" and Aluminum Radiator to drop in. I have time to spend on either one.

junior
07-15-2017, 11:56 AM
After your last post, I would absoultly go with the '54. Your friend will take the '53...double bonus there. One thing though...

" The 54 was a deluxe and does not come with any stainless. I will have to drill holes and take the stainless off the Commander and drill the holes in the Champion."

If you are talking about the C5 window trim on the '53, and it's factory then you will find its not stainless but chromed pot castings...mucho $ to rechrome. If you can find some 55 stainless C5 window trim then consider using it instead. Someone on this forum a while back had a complete set for sale, perhaps it was sal54 or flashback?? cheers, junior

S2Deluxe
07-17-2017, 01:37 AM
Someone on this forum a while back had a complete set for sale, perhaps it was sal54 or flashback?? cheers, junior

It was flashback, I think. He's changing his '53 Commander from Regal to Deluxe trim. Doing so does have the advantages of weight savings and less susceptibility to corrosion.

Mark

lelshaddai
07-17-2017, 02:03 AM
The trim on the 53 I have is stainless not pot metal.

S2Deluxe
07-17-2017, 10:57 AM
The trim on the 53 I have is stainless not pot metal.

It can still trap moisture absorbing debris, between it and the body. As well as in the holes that must be drilled for the clips used to fasten it on. Don't get me wrong? The Regal trim pieces are certainly attractive, when they're clean and shiny, but it takes a little bit more effort and expence, to keep them looking that way, for the long term and they do add a little weight! The Deluxe trim is less so, because there's less of it. It shows more of the simple beauty of the pure form. This is similar to the reasoning used by some Hot Rodgers for, doing what they call, shaving the trim. Please, do whatever it is that pleases you most!

Mark