View Full Version : 60 Lark VI to VIII

07-20-2005, 12:10 AM
I'm restoring a 60 convertible 6cyl auto and I have 60 4dr V8 auto donorcar for the conversion. How deep do I have to take this? Springs brakes, rear, wiring harness, steering? The 4dr has power steering and brakes, are they worth swapping or just more to go wrong? Any major obstacles not obvious to a Lark newcomer I should know about. I'm hoping this is a pretty straightforward nut and bolt swap. Thanks

07-20-2005, 01:24 AM
The items you mentioned, although I don't think you need to mess with the steering and the wiring harness could be modified. I would add the power steering while you are at it though. It'll be a bolt in.

Studebaker On The Net http://stude.com
64 R2 4 speed Challenger (Plain Wrapper)
63 R2 4 speed GT Hawk

07-20-2005, 01:49 PM
I learned a little bit while looking for my car. You will have to switch out the springs,the transmission,and I would check to see what type of rear-end is in the donor car, because it's probably a DANA 44 and would be better in the long run. Power Steering and Brakes would be nice if you have the parts already! I wouldn't mess with the wiring if you don't have to. Where are you located?


07-20-2005, 03:18 PM
I think the rear in the sedan might even be a tt. it spun both wheels trying to load it on the trailer. I've never driven a V8 Lark but my 53 Commander sedan was tough to park so I guess the power steering would be nice. I don't have any experience with power brakes on a Stude, the hydro-vac looks complicated and expensive to repair. I hate to cut up the sedan since it is very restorable but I can't duplicate the stash of parts needed for the convert any where close to what I got the sedan for.By the way if any body needs any 4dr or 6cyl specific parts let me know and I'll save'm for you. I'm located in Winchester,VA

07-20-2005, 09:00 PM
I spent a lot of time and money on a 1960 convertible that was my daily driver and then parted it out because the floor and underfloor boxes rotted out; snow and salt takes its toll. I assume you are comfortable with the condition of your sheetmetal.

I wouldn't take chances on brakelines or hoses that may be 45 years old. Are you going to spend any money to make this car look nice? A brake line failure can make it look ugly and be unhealthy to boot.
Cheap insurance and great peace of mind=all new lines and hoses,rebuilt or replaced wheel and master cylinders.

V-8 power requires larger brakes. Backing plates from sedan should be a bolt on. If you're uncomfortable with the power booster have a shop do it. It's worth it. Note 1960 brakes were not self adjusting. Adjust anytime it's in the air for service.

The V-8 has front pulleys and crank bolts specific to power steering. I would swap the steering too.

07-21-2005, 12:12 AM
The car is remarkably sound especially for a convertible, only sheet metal I need is a nose panel. I agree on the brakes, 30 some years ago I bought a 51 pickup and the brakes went out on the way home, finally got it stopped by hitting a bridge, I'm definately a believer in a thorough brake job

07-21-2005, 12:16 AM
Speaking of brakes, i have access to 63 V8 cruiser and a GT hawk parts cars, would they have better brake systems?

07-21-2005, 09:27 PM
63 V-8 brakes would be the same size and have the same stopping power as 60 V-8. Either should bolt on. The 63 has vaned drums to better dissipate heat and would also be self adjusting. A judge who looks hard enough may deduct for vaned drums on a 60. I'm putting them on my 53 because I LIKE BRAKES!

I don't know if there would be any reason why you couldn't put the 60 V-8 drums over 63 brakes with self adjusters. Anyone out there explored this option?

08-20-2005, 11:15 AM
Had the convertible on a lift yesterday and noticed 2 large iron wedges behind the front bumper. Are these weights a convertible thing? 6 cyl only? Will I need them after the V-8 is in? Do I need to change the front coils with V-8 no weights? Thanks

08-20-2005, 11:42 AM
Those wedges are weights. They "harmoize" the front clip to the rest of the car tub. Basically 6 or V8 they are necessary . If you remove them you will have severe vibrations that shake the cowl.

08-20-2005, 11:45 AM
Those weights were installed in both sixes and V-8s in all convertibles and in the 63 and 64 station wagons.
There are two different part numbers for the six and V-8. The weight in the six was probably heavier to compensate for the lighter engine. Maybe someone else would know.
Be sure to do a front end alignment when completed.

08-20-2005, 05:14 PM
Hard to believe cowl shake was a problem after looking at the X-frame. looks like it came off a bridge. I hope 6 and 8's are the same, gotta be a tough item to find

08-20-2005, 06:06 PM
It was BECAUSE of that X-member that the shaking developed. Look under the two Larks again. See how the front clip of the ragtop is only anchored at ONE point ahead of the door pillars - right in front of the radiator?
The usual flexi-frame of the other Studes was stiffened to keep the ragtop body from flexing (no steel roof for rigidity). This throws all the twist to the front of the frame to where the fenders couldn't go along with it that much and not start to tear in short order. Consequently - the center-point, rubber-block mounting as a cheap, fast fix. The engineers later admitted that they hadn't anticipated the flexing fenders (which showed themselves on the test track) but there wasn't adequate time nor money to do a sophisticated fix. Dampening weights would have to suffice.[}:)]

BTW, my 60 ragtop was a 6 when I got it and I did the V8 swap eventually. Still using the same weights it came with and no adverse effects.

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[^]

08-21-2005, 09:51 AM
Thanks Mr Biggs, even though I'm a relative newcomer here I've seen enough posts to be amazed by your breadth of Knowledge on all things Studebaker

08-21-2005, 11:26 AM
Maybe it wasn't a 'sophisticated' fix,but I know that GM used the same 'cheap' idea on Camaro convertibles,and certain Corvairs.

Hawks,Larks,and other critters!

08-21-2005, 03:30 PM
The weights were also used on sliding roof station wagons.
The only reason I know this , I took one apart once.

Blue 15G
08-22-2005, 02:51 PM
Many years ago I had a '60 Lark Convertible that the previous owner changed from a 6 to a V-8. All he had changed was the radiator, engine, trans, and I'm pretty sure, the driveshaft. I eventually changed to V-8 springs on the front, which it needed. But it steered fine and the small 6 cyl. rear end held up okay. The 6 cyl. brakes were adequate although I'm sure the larger ones would have been nice to have. What I'm getting at is: How do you plan to use the car? For light duty, Sunday drive type of use, you may not have to swap out as much as you think.

This also reminds me of one other neat feature that the car had. Since it still had the 4:56 rear end, and the speedometer gear wasn't changed, when accelerating from a stop, the needle would fly up past 30 or 35 in less than 2 seconds, adding to the illusion of high performance! :D