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spuncyco
06-23-2005, 11:51 PM
I just want to know if anyone has any input on a frame or suspension swap on a 49 commander Im tearing down to the frame in the next couple weeks to upgrade to air bags and disk brakes, so far 81 regal parts seem to fit as far as measurements go, but this is my first real modification atempt so we'll see how it goes.

Swifster
06-24-2005, 12:21 AM
Oh, beware. The stones will fly soon... [:p]

My suggestion, unless you are running 500+ HP to the rear wheels, I'd keep the Stude frame. Companies like Fatman Fabrication or TCI (Total Cost Involved) sell conversion kits to Mustang II style suspension, including using Shockwave Air Ride. The rear suspension can be left as is (the axle is strong enough) or converted to a 3 or 4 link with maybe a Ford 9" or GM 10 bolt. I'm having my frame converted to run C4 suspension front and rear.

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Tom - Sterling Heights, MI

Ancient Chinese Proverb: "Injection is nice, but I'd rather be blown!"

1964 Studebaker Daytona - Laguna Blue, Original 4-Spd. Car, Power Steering, Disc Brakes, Bucket Seats, Tinted Glass, Climatizer Ventilation System, AM Radio (136,989 Miles)

Roscomacaw
06-24-2005, 12:26 AM
No stones necessary. Just a question as to what he hopes to achieve with all the effort and money involved.:D

Miscreant at large.

1957 Transtar 1/2ton
1960 Larkvertible V8
1958 Provincial wagon
1953 Commander coupe
1957 President 2-dr
1955 President State
1951 Champion Biz cpe
1963 Daytona project FS

spuncyco
06-25-2005, 01:19 AM
No 500 + h.p. but I do want new technology and a nice ride without having it be visible on the outside of my car, I want it to seem untouched but ride good. As it is its a beast to drive, they replaced all the old suspension for a reason is my thinking. Maybe a flat head studey v-8 down the road, if I find one floating around, I tend to bite off more than I can chew in life but I would rather regret something Ive done than something I havent done.

Transtar60
06-25-2005, 09:40 AM
Studebaker V8's are OHV.

Swifster
06-25-2005, 08:55 PM
quote:Originally posted by spuncyco

No 500 + h.p. but I do want new technology and a nice ride without having it be visible on the outside of my car, I want it to seem untouched but ride good. As it is its a beast to drive, they replaced all the old suspension for a reason is my thinking.

Actually, Studebaker never changed their suspension. It stayed the same way until the bitter end. Even the Avanti II used the same suspension up until the mid 80's. The only beastly part would be the lack of power steering. Get the power steering set up off a donor car and it will be easier to get around.

My reason for C4 suspension is that I'm going the 'Pro-Touring' route and the car will definitely see some track time at a few road course tracks. The only real advantage to the Shockwave set up is the adjustability of the ride hieght. A good set of adjustable shocks and different springs (with different weights will accomplish the same thing at half the cost.

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Tom - Sterling Heights, MI

Ancient Chinese Proverb: "Injection is nice, but I'd rather be blown!"

1964 Studebaker Daytona - Laguna Blue, Original 4-Spd. Car, Power Steering, Disc Brakes, Bucket Seats, Tinted Glass, Climatizer Ventilation System, AM Radio (136,989 Miles)

spuncyco
06-25-2005, 11:06 PM
learn something new everyday, imagine that. I know one thing for sure, this is going to be a learning experience. If I screw something up I guess Ill call some mechanic friends. Until then Ill just keep asking you guys questions.

JDP
06-26-2005, 12:09 AM
I've seen that body put on a Dodge Dakota chassis, there's a 51 project car like that on ebay now.

Studebaker On The Net http://stude.com
64 R2 4 speed Challenger (Plain Wrapper)
63 R2 4 speed GT Hawk
55 Speedster
50 2R 10 truck

gordr
06-26-2005, 03:17 AM
Actually, Swifster, you are wrong in this instance. Studebaker did, in fact, change their suspension. 1950 was a changeover year, and 1950 Commanders got a suspension that is similar to all the later models, IIRC. 1950 Champions got a one-year-only coil spring setup. In 1951, and thereafter, Champions and Commanders used the same coil spring setup with the only differences being in springs and sway bars, according to the weight of the vehicle.

From 1949 back to 1935, Studebakers used what they called Planar front suspension, with a transverse leaf spring and upper (=/- lower) control arms. Not all that dissimilar from the rear suspension on later Corvettes. The solid beam axle on parallel-leaf front springs was available as an option up to about 1938, IIRC.

The '49 Commander will have the last and best version of the Planar suspension.

Now the original poster says the suspension is "junk". That may well be, but Studebaker didn't build it as junk. It was one of the most-refined designs in the industry at the time. If it is junk now, it is because that car was used and abused, and not maintained, because it was "just an old car". Probably never saw a grease gun for 20 years. Overhaul that old suspension; tear the front spring apart and grease it, install a few new bushings, and it will likely surpise the heck out you how nice it rides. And you know, the geometry of that "antique" suspension is nearly the same as that of the magic Mustang II setup that the streetrod vendors peddle. And it will be a LOT cheaper and easier to recondition the stock suspension than to cut it all out and weld in something else.

This isn't me telling you to keep the stock suspension simply because Studebaker made it. I'm saying that you will save time and money by simply bringing the stock suspension back to good working order. And you won't be inviting problems with state inspection (if applicable) by having a frame clip or welds in the frant suspension area.

There should be no problem with hanging disc brakes on the stock spindles, and you may even be able to find an in-box power steering gear that will work for you, if that turns your crank.

Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

1949commander
06-27-2005, 10:48 AM
One additional point is that the Commander suspension had negative caster from factory where as the Champion had positive. Negative caster works quite well with modern radial tires. I had mine aligned and I have to say it drives wonderfully. It tracks like it on rails, cross winds don't bother it as much as my modern cars. I don't get any pulling when I apply the brakes. The only hard part of these suspension is getting the spread right when you put new steel bushings in. No one sold the tool when I did mine so I had to improvise. There can not be any stiffness in the assembly once the bushings are installed. Otherwise the car will not settle down to the correct ride height.If it had the Lark style worm and roller box it would make it easier to steer setting still. The planar was the first independent suspension developed with the idea that less unsprung weight meant better ride. I'd say they got it right, mine rides firm but smooth and level, big bumps disapear without bounce or float. You will notice small bumps since there is no rubber to mask them. I have low profile radial tires so if you put 75 series the small bumps should disapear as well.

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

spuncyco
06-27-2005, 08:42 PM
definately some thing to think about I didnt know that disk brakes would fit on my spindles, I do want the air bags on it so if they fit i might consider rebuilding the old suspension. What I want in the end is a chopped studey slead, I dont see any of those. I can appreciate restored cars but this one is getting cut up.

steve_smith54
07-02-2005, 12:15 PM
Again, If you have not already done so, I would recommend checking out the Bullet Nose Paradise website http://www.ctaz.com/~junge/ and read what some of the owners have done in terms of suspension and frames. Many cars featured on the website are '47 to '49 Studes. People have done everything from subframing to building a custom frame. There is one in the Phantoms section that has a link to the car owner's web page. He is building a radically modifed '51 Commander with a custom made frame. The custom built frame could obviously get very expensive unless, like the man doing the car, you have the skill and equipment to do it yourself. I sure don't!

There was indeed a car on eBay that was sitting on a Dodge Dakota frame. Apparently it worked out okay until the 4 cylinder Dodge engine failed.

With a pre-1951 car, I suppose I would look into subframing as long as your car's frame is in good condition. That would probably be the easiest way to achiveve power steering and disk brakes. I might pursue other options if I were doing a '51 or later as I understand the suspension was basically the same from '51 to '66. With the rear leaf springs you do have a great deal of leeway in terms of the types of rearends you could use. Since you have said you are not going for high performance, your stock rearend would probably suffice.

Decisions, decisions. It doesn't get any easier the more of us who give our input. In the long run, you have to decide what will give you the most satisfactory result without bankrupting you.

Peace,

Steve

Roscomacaw
07-02-2005, 06:01 PM
There were some subtle changes made thru the 51 to 66 years as far as the suspension goes. One rather amusing one is that the '51-'52 models all had threaded metal bushings on the INNER A-frame shafts as well as on the outer ends. In '53 they went to using steel-shelled rubber bushings on the inner shafts - both uppers and lowers. Then for the R3 and R4 Avanti cars, they reverted to the threaded metal inner A-arm bushings. At least on the uppers. I don't recall if they were called for on the lower's too. I have to assume this was to effect more rigid suspension, given the high-performance nature of these cars. I don't know if they were also spec'd for any R3-R4 powered Hawks or Larks. Maybe Dwain or Bob P. will advise us here.;)

Miscreant at large.

1957 Transtar 1/2ton
1960 Larkvertible V8
1958 Provincial wagon
1953 Commander coupe
1957 President 2-dr
1955 President State
1951 Champion Biz cpe
1963 Daytona project FS

spuncyco
07-03-2005, 04:24 PM
Lots of ideas, its not getting any easier to make up my mind but you guys are definately helping out alot, I need to pick up a camera and when I do I put some pics up on the site. One thing I know is Im having fun with it already and only drove it twice.

38stude
07-20-2005, 09:48 PM
Hi, I am new on the forum. I have a 38 Commander club sedan and it was subframed by a previous owner. It is great having modern technology of disc brakes and power steering. I bought the car this way. It is a Camaro front clip and fits the lowered stance look I liked. :)

John
1938 Studebaker Commander Club Sedan