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hank63
03-17-2005, 08:59 AM
Used to own a -64 Hawk many moons ago. Adding a -63 Hawk to my classic car stable in 3 weeks time. My other classic cars (non-Studebaker) exhibit some less than perfect design solutions, which have been "fixed" thanks to info from other owners.
What about the -63 Hawk? Any areas where strengthening or upgrade will delay/eliminate premature wear or failure?
For example - body cracks in certain places, areas/parts sensitive to lack of maintenance, rustprone spots, etc.
I don't mean normal wear and tear, but Studebaker design solutions that have proven a little marginal and which respond well to tried and proven changes.
I'd appreciate your experienced comments (have read the "what to do first when getting hold of a Studebaker" elsewhere on this website).
Thanks in advance

Roscomacaw
03-17-2005, 01:14 PM
Hank,

I just wrote this excerpt in reply to another topic, but it's pertinent to your Hawk.

"While it's true that 6-cylinder cars started life with a lighter gage frame and 8-powered editions, both models have a weak point that seems to be showing itself as the years roll on. One is where there's a big rivet where the back edge of the front crossmember meets the frame rails. Cracks are showing up there. It's probably a good preventive measure to look at any C-K frame these days to see if there's evidence of such. Thankfully, it's not too common. BTW, there's templates available to make patches for this wound. It takes getting some metal cut and enlisting a good welder to install them. It can be done without any disassembly of the car.
The other place these frames are showing some stress is on the top of the spring pocket, where the upper A-arm attaches with two bolts. Even the factory must've been aware of this soft spot as they made patch pieces to be welded in for strengthening. Remember - this was well before the days of "recalls". The general feeling is that only the heavier cars should have to worry about these weaknesses and the spring tower problem can be exacerbated by the upper A-arm bolts not being tightened properly when those parts are serviced."[:0]

Also, C-K bodied cars (your's is a K-body) are prone to rusting in a few places over time. One is the rear, lower front fender area - behind the wheel opening. Look for rust starting inside that area. Accumulated crud can hold moisture there. Keep it clean behind the vent ducts there as well.;)
And also the lower front areas of the rear quarters (in front of the rear wheel openings). There's a splash guard of sorts, ahead of the rear wheels. Sadly, it serves more to HOLD crud captive than protect from it as it was designed to! Likely it's accumulated dirt ahead of that "guard" and can hold moisture for weeks! This means the tin worms can hatch there and eat their way thru! Not cool!:(
Also ( and this is FOR ALL STUDEBAKERS!) take your pocket knife and regularly clean out the slotted water drains along the lower edges of the doors. It takes only ONE DEAD LEAF to clog one of these and then the doors take forever to drain. Again - a tin worm hatchery!:(


Miscreant at large.

hank63
03-19-2005, 01:30 PM
Great stuff Mr Biggs, just what I was hoping for.
I'm mildly surprised that you have indicated relatively few "worry areas". Surely there are more. I don't mean to paint the Hawk as anything bad, but many other brands have a considerable list of things that can be improved on.
Any other suggestions? Anybody?

Thanks / Hank

Sonny
03-19-2005, 03:14 PM
I'd say Mr. Biggs coverd it nicely Hank. They really are pretty stout cars.

Sonny
http://RacingStudebakers.com

N8N
03-19-2005, 08:36 PM
Well, there is the whole tapered axle issue (running and ducking)

seriously, check and make sure your axles show no signs of failing. You'll need the special puller to get the rear hubs off. (if it seems like I'm speaking a foreign language, just post back and I'll explaing in more detail.)

nate

--
55 Commander Starlight
62 Daytona hardtop
http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel

hank63
03-19-2005, 11:55 PM
Thanks Nate,
I understand only too well (one of my other oldies has the same solution for drive shafts and shimmed ball joints). Pressure from a 5 ton jack + gentle heating sent the 2" steel ball (ball joint) 50 metres down the paddock, narrowly missing my silly head in the process. Luckily there was no damage anywhere (except the dog burnt his lips when trying to pick it up).
Unless there's barake issues, noise or excessive play, I hadn't thought to touch the rear axle anytime soon. Any known cases of crown wheel bolts working loose?
/Hank

hank63
03-19-2005, 11:56 PM
That should be brake issues.

Sonny
03-20-2005, 04:59 PM
quote:Originally posted by N8N

Well, there is the whole tapered axle issue (running and ducking)

seriously, check and make sure your axles show no signs of failing. You'll need the special puller to get the rear hubs off. (if it seems like I'm speaking a foreign language, just post back and I'll explaing in more detail.)

nate

--
55 Commander Starlight
62 Daytona hardtop
http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel


Grrrrr.....:( As with ANY old car, you should get yourself a manual and go over the car with a fine tooth comb before you subject it to the rigors of daily driving, including all of the running gear. There is no inherent, "eminent failure", issue with the tapered axle type rear ends Hank. The tapered axles in our Studebakers are no more prone to failure than any old car on the road.

I think saying, "make sure your axles show no signs of failing", is way out of proportion. I think a more accurate statement is, "Make sure that the proper maintenance on the rear end in your Hawk was done". By the factory service manual, the tapered axle rear ends do require a periodic repacking of the axle bearings, and like any bearing, (99% of the time), will give ample notice before failing. It IS one area that many owners tended to ignore.

You'll need a heavier, (usually three-legged), puller to get the hub/drum assembly separated from the tapered axle, and of course, there is a specific procedure to follow. It is, in fact, a straight forward and relatively uncomplicated operation.

I’m here to help, (not hide things from), my fellow Studebaker owners, to the best of my ability, and this issue has just recently surfaced after it had some "press" in the Studebaker community. It became an important issue when one of our Studebaker specific vendors developed a "flange axle style", replacement for the tapered axles. There was never any "the sky is falling", “signs of failure”, alarms about the tapered axles prevalent in our community, prior to press about the new offering Hank.

The new axle style setup was developed by, and predominantly for, the high performance side of the house. Although, it IS a great addition to our bag of options for keeping our highway bound Studebakers running long into the future.

The new kit features axles made by a famous aftermarket axle manufacturer, of materials much superior to anything that any car manufacturer puts in their cars, (even today), utilizing a roller bearing that doesn't require repacking. You run the bearing until failure, just as more "modern" cars do. By all means, it IS a more "user friendly" setup, IS more stout than the current axle setup, IS much welcomed for high performance and heavy duty applications, IS a resale enhancing modification, IS $495.00, and IS not required if you pay attention to the preventive maintenance schedule as outlined in the factory service manual and/or don't require it for a heavy duty or racing application.



Sonny
http://RacingStudebakers.com

N8N
03-20-2005, 07:24 PM
I was just giving you a hard time Sonny, but I think we are on the same page. Yes, you should pull the axles and have a look at the bearings. If the axles and bearings look good, they probably are good. (there are no guarantees in life...) that said the hub area of the one axle on my "new" coupe looked pretty bad, like someone had busted a key in it and spun the axle in the hub, I replaced that one :/

nate

--
55 Commander Starlight
62 Daytona hardtop
http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel

Sonny
03-20-2005, 08:08 PM
I figured as much Nate, I wasn't really mad, I think we’re on the same page too. I think it’s more a case of semantics. ;) You’ve illuminated something to remember though. I’ll definitely remember in the future to advise all who inquire to, “Make sure that the proper maintenance on the rear end in your _________ was done.” When I saw, "make sure your axles show no signs of failing", I got scared! [:0]

Sonny
http://RacingStudebakers.com

hank63
03-21-2005, 12:11 AM
Gents,
Thanks for your comments. The taper is only a way of attaching, not normally related to shaft strength. As pointed out, tapers need a special working procedure & the right tool, which I will apply if I need to separate the mating parts.
Generally speaking, I would classify the rear axle as one of the more reliable car components, it rarely gives trouble.
Thanks again for your helpful advise, It's really appreciated.
Nothing beats the "voice of experience".
/ Hank

1949commander
03-22-2005, 12:54 PM
Don't underestimate the Studebaker enginneers. The one thing they had on their side was the relative lack of design by commitee. This is why Ford, GM and Chryslers will have several commmon design flaws, which were put in by the bean counters and micro-managing excecutives. Example the gas tank top is the trunk floor in several Ford products, the break away steering boxes on 70's Chevy trucks. Being the underdog by no means results in poor products. Studebaker survived as long as they did because they had an extremely resourceful group of people working for them. Gene Hardig, one of their chief engineers was very likely the best in the business at making something great with little money and no time. Don't be surprised by the fact that Studebakers are generally really well engineered products. They new how to design them they just didn't know how to sell them!!

Restore it, don't replace it.Keep the Studebaker reproduction industry going

Roscomacaw
03-22-2005, 10:29 PM
I have to take issue with them not knowing how to sell them. It wasn't that they didn't have a good product or market recognition of that fact. But once the seller's market of post WWII was satisfied, Ford and GM decided to duke it out to see who'd be "King-of-the-Hill" in auto sales. And with their monetary resources, they could afford to sell cars for little or no profit. Little Studebaker couldn't match their deals. They'd bowed to labor's threats and were paying their workers the most in the industry. Consequently, they were just brushed aside in the battle to sell cars as cheaply as possible. They countered with their Scotsman offerings in 57 & 58 but it was really too little, too late. Only their last minute miracle that was the Lark, kept the doors from closing with the end of the 58 model year. If the Lark hadn't been in the wings at that time, the 58s would have been the last of the line.[xx(]

Miscreant at large.

1949commander
03-23-2005, 10:23 AM
I think that Paul Hoffman leaving in 1949 didn't help since he was the sales and marketing guy and H Vance was manufacturing. I know where I work that if it was up to our manufacturing people we would build one product with one color and never change it until the orders dried up. I think that without Hoffman their future product planning lost direction and it was up to lower level people to push the product redesigns. However, had Hoffman stayed the 53 coupe most likely would have never come about since they would have had an all new car in 1952, which may have been better selling but not as dramatic. It's all history now, and we get to see it all over again with the slow slide to the abyss that GM is going through a full 50+ years after the slide began at Studebaker. Funny how history repeats itself. Will we have to bail out GM?? Maybe, if they don' make some very radical changes, not just in product but in philosophy.[^] They need to cut to 2 brands Chevy and Cadillac, and put all the money they spend on badge engineering into product engineering. That’s how Toyota makes money!!!

Restore it, don't replace it.Keep the Studebaker reproduction industry going