View Full Version : Heretical question: Will a Champ pickup fit on a Crown Victoria chassis?

08-05-2017, 01:21 AM
I have a friend who wants to buy Ed (long-bed '62 Champ) from me. He wants to frame over to a Ford Crown Victoria chassis (police interceptor special). I told him it would be too wide. He said no, the last series of the Crown Vics were narrow enough. I said I'd think about it. He also wants to trade me a '66 3/4 ton Chevy for Wilbur my '60 Champ. In effect, I would be out of the Champs if he does this. Still have Bess and want to get her going anyway. Then he would have both Mr. Ed and Wilbur.

Hmmm... I'd have to change my sig. line.

Still I was wondering, does anybody know if this frame-over would be possible?:confused::confused: I'm not too very enthusiastic about it.:rolleyes: Still, I need the money to get Bess going.

08-05-2017, 06:11 AM
I think you're right, it would be too wide. I toyed with the idea of using the front clip from a Crown Vic on my '56 F-100, but found the track too wide.

08-05-2017, 06:59 AM
maybe he was watching hotrod garage where they mated a crown vic with a 66 ford truck body?


cheers, junior

08-05-2017, 08:42 AM
If he buys the truck, it's his problem. :)

08-05-2017, 08:54 AM
Might be a better fit onto a Ranger or S10 frame.

08-05-2017, 09:13 AM
From Ford Truck Enthusiasts
This is from measurements taken from an '05 Crown Vic. as close as I could measure.

Track width with stock wheels - 63 1/2
Hub to hub surface - 67 1/2
Outside of tire - 71 1/4

The '02 and earlier which are sometimes used as a complete clip are different.

These measurements are from a '98 Crown Vic.

Track - 63
Hub to Hub - 63 1/4
Overall - 72

These measurements are from my '59 F-100

Track - 63
Hub to Hub - 62 1/2
Overall -69
You didn't state what year you were inquiring about.

Assuming Champ is close to a Lark 57/56" is what he would have to work with. A lot of shoehorning involved but not impossible if he has a torch;). The S-10 is a much better choice I would guess at 57/55". Bob

08-05-2017, 09:44 AM
Seems to me that I've seen a 47 m series on that platform.

08-05-2017, 10:05 AM
Probably the correct width for the Dodge bed, may need fender flares for the front however. Anything can be made to fit, right?

08-05-2017, 10:28 AM
Geeze...where's your sense of adventure??? All you need is a collection of good tools, materials, determined ATTITUDE, and a chair. Every chassis on every vehicle began as a bunch of "materials," that were formed, bolted, riveted, cut, and welded to specifications. Wrap yourself in the "can-do attitude," gather the tools, materials, and take a seat in "THE CHAIR." The chair is project headquarters. That is where you study, plan, criticize, rest, admire, re-think, recover, and refuel your enthusiasm for the next round of activity. Like a boxer, with a chair between rounds, you can throw in the towel, or keep punching.

Every vehicle produced, to be sold to the public, started out as someone's "concept." Drawings, models, variations, and ideas were offered by different designers/artists. Then came the meetings...mechanical engineers, production engineers, accountants (bean counters), various other executives, and meddlers who had their say. Some opinions of emotional appeal, and pragmatists, with objective logic. The results are always a compromise.

One advantage, of the project you are contemplating, is that you can take bits & pieces of the work of others, tweak, massage, and rearrange to your satisfaction.:)

When you are a team of ONE...you have to live with the consequences. (No one else to blame, or share the glory.) I hope when you are done with it, you are happy with the results of the challenge.:!:

George H Young
08-05-2017, 11:16 AM
I agree with John that "THE CHAIR" is the most important tool in the garage.

08-05-2017, 11:39 AM
There are basically two types of modern Crown Vic configurations. The earlier one has a more "dished" type of wheel. The latter has a more flush wheel and the look similar to a front wheel drive car. Whether that alters the full wheel track I don't know. Can the later wheels be used on the earlier cars and narrow the rack??? The easiest way to tell the difference is that the early cars wheels (pic #1) had squared holes with rounded corners and the later cars wheels (pic #2) had round holes.

Someones friend needs to get a tape measure and do some math for himself. Or is this another engineer and build by committee project?

08-05-2017, 11:50 AM
If he buys the truck, it's his problem. :)
Agree, make the deal. He's got the problem and you've got the cash.

08-05-2017, 02:42 PM
I agree with John that "THE CHAIR" is the most important tool in the garage.
Mine is a Lazy Boy.

08-05-2017, 02:48 PM
Some years ago a friend dropped a '50 Champion Starlight on to an Impala interceptor chassis; track was identical and wheelbase was 1/2" longer. But that was the least of his problems; getting the body to sit at the right height, adapting all the electronics and computerization, etc. He never did finish it and sold it on Ebay.

08-05-2017, 03:00 PM
Someone once said you can do anything if you have more money than brains. This sounds like two more trucks that will not see the light of day again. Ron, do you really REALLY want a 66 Chevy 3/4 ton truck?

As has been said once they are gone it is his problem.

Bob Miles
Tucson AZ

08-06-2017, 02:22 AM
Geeze...where's your sense of adventure??? All you need is a collection of good tools, materials, determined ATTITUDE, and a chair. Yatta, yatta, yatta.

REALLY John? Clunk is not even DREAMING of doing this! A buyer is. :rolleyes:

08-06-2017, 07:41 AM
Don't do it. These projects usually end on a scrap heap

08-06-2017, 10:14 AM
REALLY John? Clunk is not even DREAMING of doing this! A buyer is. :rolleyes:

This is a forum, just because someone starts a discussion, doesn't mean all comments are personally directed toward him. Perhaps I should have worded it..."where's everybody's sense of adventure?" Of course, we know that Studebaker forum members have some sense of adventure:whome:, if not, we would never post a comment for fear of the responses.;):rolleyes:

08-06-2017, 01:39 PM
Might be a better fit onto a Ranger or S10 frame.

That's what I told him. I think he's going for the hot-rod thing... But honestly, a long bed???

No, I'm not modifying my Champs. Do I want a Chevy? Why not? I like Chevys almost as much as Studebakers. Actually, I'm gonna be completely honest here, I like Chevys just as much. The reason I got into the Studebakers is cost. So far, they have served me well and I have been able to get everything I need to keep them running... on the rare ocassion I actually have the cash to buy parts.:o Bess ('56 Parkview) is my first priority right now and if the trucks have to be sacrificed to get her back on the road, so be it. Also, I need a truck that can pull a 4-horse gooseneck trailer. The one offered to me can do so with relative ease. Worse comes to worse, I have a motorhome with a 476 and ton-and-a-half drive train available. That can all be switched into the Chevy pickup with very little modification. Thus, very little issues with towing capacity after that. So, when I'm offered a Chevy pickup with a 390 engine, turbo 400 tranny and eight-lug 3/4 ton chassis, power steering, power brakes... well there you are.

The only reason I am even considering selling to this fellow is because he will return to me anything he doesn't want to use. Also, if the project doesn't work out, Dave will give me first chance to pick up the pieces. I know him well and can keep a fairly close eye on what he's doing to the truck. Also, Wilbur is likely going to remain largely stock. He likes the 245-w-OD and can afford to do the repairs I can't.

I'm not thin skinned and John's comment didn't offend at all. Kinda thought it was sage advice. Likely I'll pass it on to Dave. By the by, he might just turn up here before too much longer.

Oh, Dave's chair is a swiveling bar-stool, I think. Mine is one of those little wheeled gardening doo-hickys with a tractor-type seat.

08-06-2017, 06:47 PM
I have recently been reacquainted with the driving quality of the straight axle T Cab. If I were to be using that truck for anything resembling daily use, I would REALLY REALLY consider an S-10 swap. There are tons of parts for these frames. Summit has pages and pages of suspension mod parts for the S-10. Nothing for Studebaker.

08-07-2017, 10:43 AM
I enjoyed THE CHAIR analogy. Especially the part about the boxer. Most of the time, after a short sit, I come back out punching. Sometimes though, I head down to the house for a softer chair.