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View Full Version : '55 PRESIDENT REAR SHOCKS



RHO
07-05-2006, 09:53 PM
Ordered a set of rear shocks from SI some time back and just now getting to installing them on the car which, when I acquired the car, had no rear shocks at all for reference. The problem is the shocks I received came with what I call a standard single bolt kit like you could get at CarQuest, etc., i.e., one bolt with a metal spacer and different threads on each end.
PROBLEM: the bolt will NOT fit between the rear chassis frame members and even after grinding one side down and taking off two-three threads of the other side, they have to really be pushed to install and then a big gap exists. I don't understand why the bolt will not fit between the frames into the two holes, but the space is too narrow. Front hole size appears to be 11/16" while the rear hole size is 7/16". The old original service manual seems to indicate a bolt-thru arrangement but on this car the front hole and rear hole are different diameters. ??

'55 Commander
'55 President

Roscomacaw
07-06-2006, 12:26 AM
How about a foto? I'm not visualizing from your description.:(

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

JDP
07-06-2006, 01:04 AM
Glad you said that, I read his post 4 times and still was lost.:)

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64 Daytona HT
64 Daytona Convert.
64 R2 4 speed Challenger
63 R2 4 speed GT Hawk
63 R1 GT Hawk
63 Avanti R1/AC
63 Avanti R2/4 speed
62 Daytona HT
62 Lark 2 door
60 Hawk

RHO
07-06-2006, 06:35 AM
OK, photo hopefully this evening.

'55 Commander
'55 President

N8N
07-06-2006, 06:51 AM
I know EXACTLY what he's talking about, the new gabriel rear shocks come with a universal shock mount, toss it over your shoulder, it does not work on a Studebaker. To make matters worse, you also need the sleeves from the original shocks to work with the right hardware. The lower shock mount should have a bolt and a cast metal spacer. The *upper* shock mount should have a special bolt with a long, tapered head that actually pulls itself part way through the metal of the crossmember and a different cast metal spacer. Unfortunately I'm not at home so I can't look up part numbers at the moment, but all this stuff should be in the chassis parts book. Basically, if starting with NO hardware, one will need to buy:

(4) sleeves
(2) lower spacers
(2) upper spacers
(2) special bolts for upper shock mount
(2) bolts for lower shock mount (regular Grade 5 will do)
washers and nuts as required (these probably came with the shocks)

Once you have all this stuff (I'd try SASCO first) if you are still confused post back and I'll try to help; I put new shocks on my '55 coupe and it had most of the original hardware still on it, and what was wrong I think I figured out how to put it right.

good luck,

nate

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

RHO
07-06-2006, 07:27 AM
Thanks Nate. That's the situation. The car had NO rear shocks or bolts in it when I got the car a couple years ago. I'll try to take some photos this evening so everyone can understand the problem. Thanks very much for the list of piece parts.
Randy

'55 Commander
'55 President

N8N
07-06-2006, 08:58 AM
I see you have two '55s, maybe you could look at the other one to see how it goes together? If that is not an option and for some reason the spacers aren't available, I don't remember if the thicknesses are printed in the parts book, if not post back and I'll try to remember to measure them for you (would be easy to make from round steel stock if you have access to a bandsaw and drill press)

the tricky bit would be the special bolts; I hope that you will be able to find them, otherwise you'll have to do something like weld a nut on the head of a bolt, have a friendly machinist make them from hex stock, or....?

nate

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

N8N
07-06-2006, 09:33 AM
Now that I think about it, if originality is not a big issue for you and you can't source all the special bits, it might actually be cheaper to order another pair of rear shocks, this time for, say, a '61 Hawk or Lark, I think in 56 or 57 through 62 the shocks changed to use regular bolts and sleeves built into the shocks, and they won't require any special hardware, just some bolts and washers that you can buy at the hardware store. Nothing changed on the spring plates or frame IIRC. I actually prefer the earlier style mounting as it more securely locates the shock and keeps the rubber bushings somewhat pre-stressed, but if you can't find all the hardware this is an option for you.

good luck,

nate

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

RHO
07-06-2006, 07:17 PM
Ok, I do not readily see how to post the photos of the shock situation for information but Nate knew the problem exactly, I have contacted SI and they have the parts I need, so all is well.

'55 Commander
'55 President

RHO
07-06-2006, 07:19 PM
I read on the technical talk that to post a photo it has to already reside on a web page; since the problem is solved, I won't bother to try and post. Thanks Nate!

'55 Commander
'55 President