View Full Version : Brakes: Hill holder parts for 50 Champion wanted

10-04-2011, 11:23 PM
I would like to add the Hill Holder option to my 1950 Champion. Any one have the parts, or some of them, on hand?


Has anyone out there done this? Is it a big job?

Thanks. Tim Hebron Illinois

10-05-2011, 09:09 AM
I wrote Studebaker International, they don't list the kit in their catalog, but were able to put together the parts for my '53.

10-05-2011, 09:37 AM
This post might be a good opportunity to have a "hill holder" discussion. I have vehicles with and without the device. They are neat little conversation pieces and fun to discuss at cruise-ins and shows. However, in some ways they are over rated and a pain in the butt.

If you live in an area with lots of very steep hills, a properly operating hill holder can be useful. In most cases, a moderately skilled driver will not need it. A well tuned car with adequate power and a pair of semi coordinated feet should have no trouble pulling away from a stop on a hill.

The Pain in the butt part...the hill holder is a rather simple valve that uses an adjustable mechanical linkage to lock the brake pressure when stopped on an incline with the clutch pushed in. The linkage allows the brake pressure to be released when the clutch is released. One problem I have found is that (with conventional brake fluid), over time, brake fluid can thicken and acquire a gel like quality that does not allow the ball check to move freely inside the valve. When this happens, the hill holder will either work intermittently or not at all. If you have developed a driving habit of relying on it...this can be problematic when it fails. The other problem is the mechanical adjustment. Again, it is pretty simple, but a few turns of the adjusting nut can be the difference in it not working at all or not releasing properly. In my opinion, the hill holder is over-rated, but will work fine if the brake fluid is kept fresh and the adjustment is maintained.

I have seen them offered at swap meets, and I have seen parts vendors list them from time to time. I think that (for the most part) they are all fairly similar in internal parts. However, externally, they had different configurations and mounting brackets that changed by model. If you find the correct one for your car with the associated fittings, installing it is a simple matter of following manual instructions and some elementary bending and fabrication of brake lines. Perhaps other folks will jump in and share their experience with the neat little device.

Good luck with your project.:)

10-12-2011, 09:23 PM

I appreciate your insights into the limitations of the hill holder. I have a 1951 Champion with it and a 1950 without it. I don't find it tough to switch between but feel the addition to the 1950 will be worth the effort. Not a need, just a nicety. Any way, I will just keep an eye out. Ya just never know. Thanks. It's always good to learn from others experience.


10-13-2011, 08:16 AM
Hill Holder is a great little accessory. I live around Indianapolis, which is fairly flat, but there are a few hills at stoplights in my neighborhood, and the biggest hill is on my driveway, right outside my garage. These hills make a Hill Holder very worthwhile for me.

As stated above, they do get dirty after 50 to 80 years, and if you don't clean it every 50 years or so, you can't depend on it. You have to take it apart and clean it out. To clean it, you must remove its big round cover.

You must remove it from the car, clamp it by its body into a strong vise. Don't know anyone who was able to get the cover off while the thing was still mounted on the car. Don't clamp it by its two little round mounting tabs; they will break quickly. Use a good pipe wrench, slide an extension that's 2 to 3 feet long over the arm of the pipe wrench for leverage(if you have nothing else you can use a piece of chain link fence top rail that's been slightly flattened on the end) and remove the cover. Clean it out, install a kit, reassemble, fill, bleed, install, bleed, adjust, test, readjust and enjoy. Dan