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n2tires
11-19-2006, 11:47 AM
Hello Folks! I have recently purchased a '55 Champion. It seems to be a orignal that was parked in '75 and apparenly not ran since. I am intersted in converting this to a V8 with with disc brakes. I am not familiar with this type of car.


I have been a strong admirer of Studebakers for many years and especially the Champion/Commander body style. Any info and instuction on this build will be appreciated.
Thanks,Brent

Dick Steinkamp
11-19-2006, 12:13 PM
Welcome, Brent. You've come to a great forum and can get plenty of help here [^]

First of all, you'll want to join the Studebaker Driver's Club. Their award winning monthly magazine is easily worth the $19 newbie year membership. It's chock full of Studes, parts, vendors, troubleshooting advice, etc. You can sign up here...

http://www.studebakerdriversclub.com/aboutsdc.asp

You'll also want to join your local chapter so you have a local network of Stude nuts to help with parts and advice...

http://www.studebakerdriversclub.com/ev_localevents.asp

In 1955 (and many other post war years), Commander meant "V8" and Champion meant "6". Both Commanders and Champions came in essentially all body styles, so it's impossible for me to tell what body style you have without further description. If you can post the car's serial number (on the plate on the driver's side door jamb on the "A" pillar) and the numbers on the body tag (on the passenger side of the engine side of the firewall), some here can tell you the specifics of the body style you have (in Studebaker terms :)). Pictures would be great also.

The '54 and up Studebakers had very good, self energizing drum brakes. They were used up until the end of Studebaker production in 1966. The 6 cylinder (Champion) brakes were not as big as the 8 cylinder (Commander) brakes, but they should work fine for the weight of your car if properly renewed (shoes, hardware, hoses, lines, cylinders). V8 brakes are readily available if you wanted to upgrade. There are also disk brake conversions available from http://www.turnerbrake.com/ and others.

The little Champion 6 is not a powerhouse, but should be fine in your car. If you want more power, a Studebaker V8 (built from 1951-1964) will bolt in with the least amount of trouble. You will have to change the transmission, rear end, driveshaft, brakes and other components to V8 parts if you do this. Brand X motors can also be fit to this car. There is no "kit" to do this, however, and you will need some pretty good engineering and fabrication skills to pull it off.

I recently dragged home a '60 Studebaker Lark wagon that had been sitting for several years. I soaked the carb in carb cleaner and reassembled it with new gaskets, changed the oil, repaired some mouse eaten wiring, pulled a piece of sandpaper through the ignition points, hooked up a fresh battery and fuel supply, give it a squirt of starting fluid and it started with less than one turn of the crankshaft and ran :D. It runs nice (no smoke or odd noises). You might have the same luck. It's hard to stop these Studebakers [8D]


http://static.flickr.com/100/292046667_cc1661ba0e_m.jpg

Dick Steinkamp
11-19-2006, 12:13 PM
Welcome, Brent. You've come to a great forum and can get plenty of help here [^]

First of all, you'll want to join the Studebaker Driver's Club. Their award winning monthly magazine is easily worth the $19 newbie year membership. It's chock full of Studes, parts, vendors, troubleshooting advice, etc. You can sign up here...

http://www.studebakerdriversclub.com/aboutsdc.asp

You'll also want to join your local chapter so you have a local network of Stude nuts to help with parts and advice...

http://www.studebakerdriversclub.com/ev_localevents.asp

In 1955 (and many other post war years), Commander meant "V8" and Champion meant "6". Both Commanders and Champions came in essentially all body styles, so it's impossible for me to tell what body style you have without further description. If you can post the car's serial number (on the plate on the driver's side door jamb on the "A" pillar) and the numbers on the body tag (on the passenger side of the engine side of the firewall), some here can tell you the specifics of the body style you have (in Studebaker terms :)). Pictures would be great also.

The '54 and up Studebakers had very good, self energizing drum brakes. They were used up until the end of Studebaker production in 1966. The 6 cylinder (Champion) brakes were not as big as the 8 cylinder (Commander) brakes, but they should work fine for the weight of your car if properly renewed (shoes, hardware, hoses, lines, cylinders). V8 brakes are readily available if you wanted to upgrade. There are also disk brake conversions available from http://www.turnerbrake.com/ and others.

The little Champion 6 is not a powerhouse, but should be fine in your car. If you want more power, a Studebaker V8 (built from 1951-1964) will bolt in with the least amount of trouble. You will have to change the transmission, rear end, driveshaft, brakes and other components to V8 parts if you do this. Brand X motors can also be fit to this car. There is no "kit" to do this, however, and you will need some pretty good engineering and fabrication skills to pull it off.

I recently dragged home a '60 Studebaker Lark wagon that had been sitting for several years. I soaked the carb in carb cleaner and reassembled it with new gaskets, changed the oil, repaired some mouse eaten wiring, pulled a piece of sandpaper through the ignition points, hooked up a fresh battery and fuel supply, give it a squirt of starting fluid and it started with less than one turn of the crankshaft and ran :D. It runs nice (no smoke or odd noises). You might have the same luck. It's hard to stop these Studebakers [8D]


http://static.flickr.com/100/292046667_cc1661ba0e_m.jpg