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View Full Version : New Front control arms, springs and shocks for 53 studebaker



53 Studebaker
09-24-2013, 07:10 PM
Hi all! Moving forward on our project, the next step we are at is the front end of our 53 Studebaker. A few months ago I posted we purchased a 53 Studebaker out of Texas with my dad. We have taken major strides on the body and now have the rust under control to now start looking at the important stuff to move forward. Who has repaired or replaced the front end on their Studebaker? Does anyone know whether it is better to replace or reuse existing parts. I know it is probably better to replace all but I don't know where to buy the parts and where to take it here in Columbus Ohio. Also cost needs to be taken into account. Also while I am here has anyone replace the rear end on a Studebaker. The back pumpkin looks rough. I want to replace this with a new or USED rear end. Any tips on where to go or how much? Also, many of you have asked for pictures. I have tried over and over and keep getting an error on my lap top. Any help also will help me show you where we started and where we are at. As always thanks for your help!

Dick Steinkamp
09-24-2013, 07:13 PM
The back pumpkin looks rough. I want to replace this with a new or USED rear end.

What looks rough about it?

jimmijim8
09-24-2013, 07:30 PM
You aren't but a few miles from Myer Stude restoration and parts {DUNCAN FALLS} near Zanesville Ohio. Rt.70 east. towards Wheeling Wv. Look them up and pay a visit. It will help you out a whole bunch. They will set you on the good foot. cheers jimmijim

53 Studebaker
09-24-2013, 07:43 PM
Fist the pumpkin and the drive shaft look rough. real rusty. (I am replying to both responses). I just want to avoid issues down the road but if you know how I can check the rear end that would help. As for Myer I spoke with them last weekend if you were the one who responded a few months with them. The issue is they are only open during week. I may have to take a day off and drive out there

Dick Steinkamp
09-24-2013, 08:00 PM
Fist the pumpkin and the drive shaft look rough. real rusty. (I am replying to both responses). I just want to avoid issues down the road but if you know how I can check the rear end that would help. As for Myer I spoke with them last weekend if you were the one who responded a few months with them. The issue is they are only open during week. I may have to take a day off and drive out there

Unfortunately you are going to find a lot of rusty parts on a 60 year old car. I'm not sure what your restoration skills are, or what you have planned for this car, or what your budget is.

The rear end can be removed from the car and cleaned and painted (messy, time consuming job). Scrape the grease, clean any remainder with diesel or solvent, wire brush on a angle grinder will get rid of the rust. Then the rear cover can be removed and all the old grease and oil cleaned out of the gear set (again, pretty messy). Inspect the gears, spiders, etc. Look for metal in the bottom of the pumpkin. Replace the cover with a new gasket. Remove the axles and inspect the outer bearings. Replace if necessary. Repack and reassemble with new seals. Set the axle end play per the manual. Replace the pinion seal. You should be good to go.

You'll have to do something similar for essentially every mechanical part in the car if you want to make sure everything is in good working order. This is not to discourage you. Some of us actually find this fun. In the end, you'll know your car and have confidence in it.

63 R2 Hawk
09-24-2013, 08:05 PM
Drain the differential and take a close look at the fluid to see if it's watery or rusty, likewise put some grease in the "U" joints and watch for rusty grease coming out of the seals. Put some new gear lube in the diff then drive it and see what you have. If the control arms look good, I would reuse them. Look for cracks (rusty lines) and bent areas. Put a jackstand under each front "A" arm and look for excessive play, more than about 1/8". Play could be from loose wheel bearings or king pins, you can tell by watching where the movement is. I rebuilt my front suspension on my Hawk with a king pin bushing/bearing kit for less than $125, including one NOS king pin and new wheel bearings. Read the procedure in the shop manual first to see if it's something you want to tackle.

53 Studebaker
09-24-2013, 08:11 PM
Right now the whole car is fun. Like an oversized model getting repaired. My goal is to have everything in good working order. I have no problem working with my dad on the rear end. He is more mechanically inclined than I am and I can learn a thing or two. Messy does not bother either of us! Thanks.

53 Studebaker
09-24-2013, 08:14 PM
Wow both of you guys are good. Both with great ideas. As for driving, there is not a motor in the car yet. We are hoping to check(now) the front end and then once we are happy with the results drop the motor in. My dad and I both agreed work on the front end would be easier without the engine, lol

StudeRich
09-25-2013, 02:22 AM
It sounds like you have a good start. The only issue I see is that when the Engine weight is off of the front springs it becomes very hard to put them back without the weight to help compress them, it usually requires having anchors in a concrete floor like body shops have to chain cars down.

64V-K7
09-25-2013, 03:59 PM
My dad and I both agreed work on the front end would be easier without the engine, lol

Might not be... Usually the engine weight is needed, to compress the springs when disassembling the front end. You'll have to fabricate a spring compressor (thru the coil) with some 1/2" threaded rod and large washers, backed up with a pinned chain thru the spring coil for safety...