View Full Version : Prop rod to struts ?

11-12-2005, 08:44 PM
My 53 Starliner is in the shop having some bodywork done and while there I had this bright idea of doing away with the prop rod and installing some gas struts. My friend whos doing the work informed me that the kit I purchased [for a late model Mustang] can't be made to work because of the way the Studebaker hood operates. My question is has anyone else ever tried this and were you successful and if so how did you do it and what parts did you use? Thank again for any help you could provide.

Darryl C. Lewallen

11-12-2005, 09:16 PM
I would be concerned about the hood buckling, they are not that strong.


55 Commander Starlight
62 Daytona hardtop

11-12-2005, 10:16 PM
I think it could be done.The biggest problem is gonna be that the 'Stude hood moves forward as it moves up.How about trying a 'dead' strut first,just to see what happens,or make one out of 2 pieces of tubing,one sliding inside the other,as a 'test'piece??Nate is right about the buckling,but the hood could be braced with some metal inside the edges...remember,that hood weighs a bit more than modern day beer-can car hoods!
One thing about the struts,I'm afraid they'd be in the way when working on the car[they're gonna hafta be long ones to obtain enough'stroke'. While we're on this subject,can someone tell me what the hood hinge springs do???[This is assuming the hinges are the same as a Hawks hinges]Always wondered why they could build a trunk lid that stays up,but not a hood???
Did Rube Goldberg design the hood hinges???[:o)]

Home of the Almostahawk

11-12-2005, 10:51 PM
The springs just help the hidges work properly and insure a correct fit against the rear weatherstrip.

Studebaker On The Net http://stude.com
64 GT Hawk
64 R2 4 speed Challenger
63 R2 4 speed GT Hawk
53 Street rod

11-13-2005, 10:26 AM
I've seen a '53 rod with struts installed. They reinforced the hood with tubing around the entire perimeter. The struts go from the fender aprons to the hood at some pt about 2' or so forward of the hinges. They ARE in the way to working on the engine. Most newer cars with struts I have seen the struts are mounted to the firewall instead, but those hoods are simple hinges and don't go through the motions the coupe hoods do.


'53 Champion Hardtop

11-13-2005, 05:19 PM
Why are the hinges designed to go through the over complicated contortions that they do? Why wounldn't a normal hinge as found on every other car on the planet serve the same pupose? I wish someone out there had more specifics on this. Thanks for the input.

Darryl C. Lewallen

11-13-2005, 09:08 PM
I was only 1 year old when your car was born,so I can't answer that,but it just occurred to me that hinges are the only item i can think of right now that the auto industry has actually managed to simplify!!!

Home of the Almostahawk

11-14-2005, 01:35 AM
Some body types require complicated hinges because the shape of the hood or trunk lid requires that the panel move upward or outward before hinging up in order that the lowermost corners of the panel don't scrub the opening. It's all a matter of geometry.

Think of the hood on a Hawk. Suppose you put a set of simple strap hinges on the back edge of the hood at the cowl. If you were to try to open the hood, the rear corners, which are the widest part of the hood, and which are LOWER than the hinge plane, would perforce swing both down and forward....into a an opening between the fenders which becomes narrower both downward and forward. Something would have to give; or jam.

The actual Hawk hood hinges are built such that when you tug the hood forward, the back edge of the hood rises a bit before the hood opens upward very much, allowing clearance for those rear corners. Look at a car with very simple hinges, and you will usually see a very flat, shallow panel, or else a design which places the hinge in such a place that no part of the panel has to move on the "wrong" side of the hinge plane.

Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

11-14-2005, 12:51 PM
I was gonna say just that, gord. But my fingers were tired.[V]

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