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Thread: 1962 7E5 Champ

  1. #1
    President Member 62champ's Avatar
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    1962 7E5 Champ

    This thread is meant to be more of a march of progress thread than a "hey, look at my finished vehicle" type thread. Want to keep this in the public sphere so I can keep my eye on what I have been able to do and maybe have others to keep pestering me about what I am going to finish next...so here we go.

    Back in 1991, I joined the SDC about the same time my Uncle got his 1960 Champ pickup out of a 15 year hibernation and decided to restore it back to running condition. We went to a couple local chapter meetings and my Uncle bought a close friend's '62 Champ and restored it as well - the "blue truck" I currently own. This was followed by his '50 2R5 and then in 1996, he started on the truck this thread is about, 7E5-135849, or as my Uncle would refer to a vehicle, the "white truck."

    This truck was produced on July 9, 1962. It was late in the production year, so late that it had a deviation on the production order to possibly use up parts because of changes in the next model year. Instead of having normal E5 front springs, this truck has the heavy duty front springs - which were the standard springs for the 7E7. Someone else in the Studebaker world stated they have a note in their Champ parts book that states the last 80 or so E5 were built this way - and by checking total numbers of trucks made with starting VINs, this truck is the 30th truck from the end of 7E5 production.

    The truck was shipped from South Bend to a dealer in Henderson, Texas - a small city in north east Texas, near Marshall. Only accessories on the production order are an overdrive transmission (thank goodness - 4.55 rear), PCV valve, and those heavy-duty springs, but it had already been sold so rush was on the order as well.



    The dealer must have had a deal worked out, because the truck did not go to its new owner without a radio, cigarette lighter, and climitizer. The trucks history is a mystery until about 1975, when a cousin, while at football practice in a new town, saw the truck sitting in a farmers field. The town was Hillsboro, Texas, about 160 miles west of its original home. My cousin found the person who owned the farm and found out that the truck was for sale. He told my Uncle about it and a deal was struck. The truck was pulled to my cousin's family farm and that is where it sat until 1995, the bed being filled with trash in that time period.

    By 1995, my Uncle was finished restoring the three trucks that were close to home, so he asked my cousin to haul the truck to his home so he could start on it. Photos below are of the truck shortly after it arrived there, showing what 33 years of being outside had done to its state of being. The interior was pretty ragged, there were some holes rusted in the floor, the tailgate was toast, and the bed had a hole rusted in the floor about the size of a basketball... My cousin states he believes the drive train was pulled because the intention was to go with a V8 motor instead.





    My Uncle started working on the truck sometime during 1996, and these photos are from 1997 when I stopped by for a visit. These are scans of actual photographs, so they have a little different look.







    Will continue the story later...
    Last edited by 62champ; 08-09-2018 at 10:13 PM.

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    President Member 62champ's Avatar
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    In 1998, knowing that he was not doing well health wise, my Uncle could no longer work on the truck. A short time later, he said it would be mine if I would finish it. At that point, I started gathering things to finish the truck, such as gauge cluster, grill, hubcaps, etc...

    It was clear that unless a new bed floor could be found, it would have to have something else replace the hole that had rusted in it over the years. A gentleman in north Central Texas who had restored another short/wide bed happened to have an extra bed that he would part with, so in the winter of 2000, my Uncle and I went to his place and loaded the bed up and hauled it back to my Uncles house.



    Since the truck already had V8 springs, the plan was to put a 289 out of a '56 Studebaker under the hood and I started looking for all the transmission parts needed to make it all work. I got married in July 2000, so things turned down quite a bit as far as Studebaker and restoration stuff was concerned. My Uncle's health continued to decline and he passed away on July 10, 2002. Once that had taken place, I started to sell all the accumulated parts, thinking I would never have the time/place/money to ever finish it.

    Fast forward to December 2016. On a trip back home from our new residence in Kentucky, I decided to stop by the family farm and my Uncle's former home. It was pretty depressing seeing how dilapidated everything had become, with the small shed my Uncle had done all his restoration work in falling in on itself. When I saw the truck in the huge chicken house my grandparent had built in the early 1950s, it really brought a sad feeling knowing that no one might ever take the time to try and finish the vehicle. I talked with my wife, and we though at least it deserved a chance at a continued existence. Photos below are what it looked like that December day.






  3. #3
    President Member tsenecal's Avatar
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    It looks like a project, but I agree, it should have a second chance. Since it was part of the family, that gives you even more reason. Trucks don't really have to cost a fortune to get back to at least driver condition. Cars seem to need a lot of expensive things done. ( Upholstery, glass, brightwork, etc. Good luck with the truck.

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    I never knew the pick-ups came with padded dashes like the Lark. Thanks for posting your project in progress. I always had a soft spot in my heart for these vehicles.

  5. #5
    President Member 62champ's Avatar
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    This is the bed that was bought back in 2000 for the original restoration attempt as looked in July 2017.





    Since the old bed was not going to be used, the bolts were removed and it was unloaded in the trucks old resting place.





    I knew the old seat had not been thrown away, and sure enough, I was able to find it among all the old Studebaker parts.



    With wheels/tires off my current Champ installed, the truck was pulled out and the other bed set on the frame and pulled to the driveway to be loaded up for the trip to its new home.









    As much stuff that was loose that could be bolted on was reattached so it would not have to jostle around in transit.



    Last edited by 62champ; 08-09-2018 at 10:04 PM.

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    President Member t walgamuth's Avatar
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    Cool! It looks like a good solid project now.
    Diesel loving, autocrossing, Coupe express loving, Grandpa Architect.

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    President Member 62champ's Avatar
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    Truck (without the motor) pulled on the trailer with little effort.



    Old Studebaker friend had a complete drive train from another 7E5, so this is the motor/bell housing before it slid into the engine compartment.





    Truck made it to its new home with no problems other than answering a lot of questions while stopping for fuel or other reasons...

    Concrete floor is something this truck has probably never seen. Here it is squeezed between two relatives.



    Still need some simple things like wheels

    Last edited by 62champ; 08-09-2018 at 10:03 PM.

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    President Member BRUCESTUDE's Avatar
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    Nice story! Please keep us updated on your progress!

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    Patrick
    I wonder how many folks noticed the Lark grille INSIDE the Champ grille? Perhaps you could enlighten those interested as to its purpose! Good luck with the truck.
    Rob in PA.

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    Golden Hawk Member 8E45E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stude1964 View Post
    Patrick
    I wonder how many folks noticed the Lark grille INSIDE the Champ grille? Perhaps you could enlighten those interested as to its purpose! Good luck with the truck.
    Rob in PA.
    He's making the Packard version.

    Doesn't Ford install a finer mesh grille on certain models of their truck line to turn them into Lincolns?

    Craig

  11. #11
    President Member RadioRoy's Avatar
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    How about some more pictures of the 51 Starlight or the 55 Starliner?
    RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

    17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
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    10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
    4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
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    56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
    60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

  12. #12
    President Member 62champ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stude1964 View Post
    Patrick
    I wonder how many folks noticed the Lark grille INSIDE the Champ grille? Perhaps you could enlighten those interested as to its purpose! Good luck with the truck.
    Rob in PA.
    This was a solution to a problem my Uncle had while using Champ trucks for farm work. Central Texas corn stalks and dried sunflower plants had a nasty tendency to poke holes in an unsuspecting radiator - so the '62 Lark mesh kept everything from needing a repair. This is the '60 5E7 that was a farm truck from @1965 to the late '70s. Photo is from 1992 when it was pulled out of hibernation and in the process of being restored.

    Now the next question - how does a 1/2 ton truck wear 1958 14" wheel covers...

    Last edited by 62champ; 08-09-2018 at 10:02 PM.

  13. #13
    President Member 62champ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RadioRoy View Post
    How about some more pictures of the 51 Starlight or the 55 Starliner?
    The '55 is actually a Champion owned by my late Uncle Ernest from about 1995. He always wanted a Speedster until I told him how many of these models were produced compared to the Speedster... Photo below is from 2010 - car hasn't been on the road since about 2012.

    Last edited by 62champ; 08-09-2018 at 10:02 PM.

  14. #14
    President Member 62champ's Avatar
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    So the hunt for parts is beginning, starting from the bottom up. The old wheels and tires that were originally on the truck were not in any kind of condition to keep, and they were a mix of 15 and 16 inches. Have feelers out now but not much action finding some accurate 15" originals, so I needed to find a temporary replacement for the short term - enter local car guy who restored a 1937 coupe less than a decade ago. He created a hot rob under the original body work so the whole drive train was removed - including all the original wheels and tires. Tires are Gillette and could be 50 years old - but no way to know.



    While it might seem odd to have 6.00 X 16 tires on a 1962 Champ, it could have been ordered on these trucks originally. According to my price and ordering guide for 7E trucks published in December 1961, five 6.00X16 - 4 ply wheels tires were approximately $4.10. If you wanted 6 plys, that would run you $24.52...



    Last edited by 62champ; 08-09-2018 at 10:01 PM.

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    President Member 62champ's Avatar
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    So with some time this week, I managed to get stuck into the front axle - thinking that I want to work from the outside in and up as far as mechanicals go.

    This is the right side brakes with drum off - there is plenty of meat on the shoes, so it might be a matter of retaining the 7E brakes and rebuilding everything to make them stop everything.



    Whomever last repacked the wheel bearings needed to finish off their grease supply, so the hubs were half full of grease - the poor rear seal could not keep everything in...

    Got both front drums and associated brake parts off without too many problems.





    Next thing will be dropping the front axle and getting the front leaf springs off...
    Last edited by 62champ; 08-09-2018 at 10:12 PM.

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    Speedster Member Studelarkrod's Avatar
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    Who's 70 Chevelle in the background of the one chicken coop picture?

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    President Member 62champ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Studelarkrod View Post
    Who's 70 Chevelle in the background of the one chicken coop picture?
    That is my stepbrother's. His mom bought it brand new - just a simple metallic blue with black vinyl top with the base V8 and automatic in it. When my stepbrother wanted to put it on the road back in the early 90s, he decided to go SS with it - hence the red paint job and stripes. He would never sell the thing, although I am not sure if his son is interested in keeping it on the road.
    Last edited by 62champ; 11-11-2017 at 08:55 AM.

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    Speedster Member Studelarkrod's Avatar
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    That's a real shame. I would give my left arm up for a 70 Chevelle. I have tried to buy a few times and have never been able to get one.

    About about the other studes or cars in the background? We need more pictures!

  19. #19
    President Member 62champ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Studelarkrod View Post
    About about the other studes or cars in the background? We need more pictures!
    Other Studebakers are owned by family members - there is a '63 Avanti (with square headlight buckets - long story), '53 Commander coupe, '55 Champion hardtop, '62 Daytona hardtop, 51 Champion Starlight coupe, and a '62 GT - they are in various states of existence but they could probably be back on the road with the right resources...

  20. #20
    President Member 62champ's Avatar
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    So the front axle is out without any problems. Have got a king pin rebuild kit on the way and will now talk to a local guy who has a reamer and press to be able to put said kit in... then will start getting the leaf springs off - local large city has a leaf spring business - hopefully they can help...

    Last edited by 62champ; 08-09-2018 at 10:11 PM.

  21. #21
    President Member 62champ's Avatar
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    So the front springs are free and clear. Contacted the local business that deals almost exclusively with leaf springs, and they said they work on just about any leaf spring that has been built. They also make their own U-bolts, so they can supply those as well. Was kind of amazed the rubber bushings were not in poorer shape than they were - many of these I have seem are pretty lop-sided with wear over the years - truck must not have had many miles on it when it was parked...



    The one leaf spring sits about a quarter inch higher than the other - might be the problem with the truck sitting lop-sided. If the business does not "re-arch" springs, I might have them simply break them both down and swap every other leaf to make them equal...



    Looks pretty weird without anything under the front end.

    Last edited by 62champ; 08-09-2018 at 10:11 PM.

  22. #22
    President Member 62champ's Avatar
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    Took advantage of yesterdays warm weather and got some POR15 on some of my parts. The can of paint was old enough that the lid was part of the rest of the can, so I had to punch holes in the bottom and drain it into a quart mason jar...

    Went on fairly well, even though it will probably never be noticed by anyone again after it is back on the truck. From everything I can tell, the wheel cylinders have never been off the truck and there were still lots of readable things on items:



    Because the king pin kit has not been installed yet, I only put on a coating for the middle of the front axle but the backing plates got a covering front and back.



    I also got a number of parts this past week. Brake hoses and shocks from Rockauto and brake shoes, wheel cylinders (both only one is shown) and master cylinder from NAPA.



    Feels good to doing the final part of the process on a couple things...
    Last edited by 62champ; 08-09-2018 at 10:10 PM.

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    The quarter inch spacer under the leaf springs is to compensate for driver and battery weight on drivers side. Empty, mine sits a bit high on driver's side.
    Kim

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    President Member 62champ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kamzack View Post
    The quarter inch spacer under the leaf springs is to compensate for driver and battery weight on drivers side. Empty, mine sits a bit high on driver's side.
    Kim
    That would only make a 1/4 inch difference in the height - this was about a two to three inch difference from side to side. With a tank full of fuel and 250 lbs behind the wheel, it might have sit level - maybe.

  25. #25
    President Member 62champ's Avatar
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    Body mystery solved...

    Since getting the truck home this summer, I noticed there as a pretty significant hole in the firewall that was not there on my 7E7. I looked a number of engine photos I have of other Champs and could not see another hole like mine - so it was puzzling as to why it was there. This is a bad cell phone photo of what I am talking about:



    In looking though some of my literature, it may be there for a specific reason. In April of 1962, South Bend sent out service letter T-14. In this service letter, mechanics in the field reported that on 170 OHV equipped Champ pickups, it was impossible to remove the rear rocker arm shaft capscrew from its spot because the curve in the firewall was too close. The solution was to cut a 1 1/4 inch hole to fully allow the bolt to be removed. Only part I might be missing is there is not a cover plate over that said hole (pn 1338946) with two retaining screws. Wonder where that cover plate ended up - or maybe someone saved .75 by leaving it off...

  26. #26
    President Member 62champ's Avatar
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    Considering it was -4 Tuesday morning, not a lot has gotten done in the garage on the truck. Took the day after New Years and made the trip to the local spring retailer to get some U-bolts for the front axle. They had 7/16 stock and made them up while I was waiting - $9 each. I checked with about 8 different Studebaker parts suppliers and only one had some of the U-bolts, and that was only the short one. The shop I went to could make the 3 3/4 inch tall U-bolts exactly, but the longer ones (4 1/4 inches) make a pair that were 1/2 inch longer.

    Last edited by 62champ; 08-09-2018 at 10:09 PM.

  27. #27
    President Member 62champ's Avatar
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    So the wheels/tires I had picked up to simply hold the truck up off the garage floor have been retired... Gentleman in Virginia had five 16" truck wheels and tires that looked like they would work - so after a quick trip, they are now part of the collection of parts that will grace the truck. Got the rubber spring bushings for the front end the other week. Still waiting for the front axle with new king pin kits to get back, then everything from the frame down in the front can get painted and put back together...ahh, progress.



    If anyone wants to buy some 16' beauty rings - let me know. Will be in South Bend in May.

    The tires are quite a bit larger than should be on the truck, and put them on my other Champ to see how round they still were - round for now...


  28. #28
    Commander Member capwombat's Avatar
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    Looking good!

  29. #29
    President Member 62champ's Avatar
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    A Tale of One Seat...

    As the weather warms, thoughts of getting more things done on the truck fill my head - if only the body would follow...

    I have the original seat for the truck, and really wish it would have fared much better in its lifetime. I have a bottle of "purple power" that is running low and decided to use it up by cleaning on the old seat cover.

    I suspect the truck did not have a huge number of miles on it (brake parts still had much of the original paint on them) but it is clear that Texas was not gentle with the interior - or at least some of it.

    This is what the two halves of the seat look like.

    Passenger, other than the obvious hole, it in pretty good shape:



    Driver side - much different story. And I did use the purple power on it, but...



    Anyway, the idea will be to eventually get NOS covers for a Lark and do what I did with my 7E7. More to hopefully come soon.
    Last edited by 62champ; 08-09-2018 at 10:08 PM.

  30. #30
    President Member 62champ's Avatar
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    Been trying to get some cleaning and painting finished as I wait for the king pins to get installed...

    More things cleaned up and painted:



    Brakes return springs came in yesterday, so seemed everything was there to put them all together and get them ready to go on the axle spindles when they return.

    Last edited by 62champ; 06-15-2018 at 09:59 PM.

  31. #31
    President Member 62champ's Avatar
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    Finally got the axle back from having the king pins rebuilt and put if back where it belongs. Will need to do some paint touch up and then it off the the other half to take care of that part where the "rubber meets the road."




  32. #32
    Silver Hawk Member 52-fan's Avatar
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    You're making good progress. Do it right now and you'll never be sorry.


    "In the heart of Arkansas."
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    1952 2R pickup

  33. #33
    President Member 62champ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 52-fan View Post
    Do it right now and you'll never be sorry.
    That is the plan - it was never meant to be a show vehicle - but I would like to make it as good as I can...

  34. #34
    President Member 62champ's Avatar
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    Well, I am glad to see there is a notable difference from the before and after...



  35. #35
    President Member 62champ's Avatar
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    Yesterday got some more POR15 on the front end. Got all the bearings repacked and the drums remounted on the spindles today so I could take the front end off the jack stands for the first time since January...



    Tires make it look like a Champ version of the sand vehicles Studebaker built back in 1950 - that poor little six would need some help spinning these big things.


  36. #36
    Golden Hawk Member StudeRich's Avatar
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    I like those Truck Tires, they help a Lot Raising the usually too Low axle Ratio a bit which always helps.

    My 5E6-122 '60 Champ has 700X15 Tubeless, Bias 6 Ply rated Truck Tires and sits about like yours, probably the same size.

    Mine came with the Optional 7.10X15 Firestone Deluxe Champion Car Tires, instead of the Standard 6.70X15 Car Tires.
    Truck Tires are much taller than Car type, I believe today they would be 85 aspect ratio.
    StudeRich
    Second Generation Stude Driver,
    Proud '54 Starliner Owner




  37. #37
    President Member 62champ's Avatar
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    Truck the day it arrived at it's new home


    One year anniversary photo...

  38. #38
    President Member 62champ's Avatar
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    Poor bed - sat outside for 20 years waiting to be put back on a truck to only be there one year and removed once again...



    I am thinking it will be much easier to work on that tail-end without having to do it from the bottom...

    Last edited by 62champ; 07-22-2018 at 07:27 AM.

  39. #39
    President Member 62champ's Avatar
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    Despite a steep approach to the garage, I managed to get it out with some Farmal help to power wash the rear part of the frame.





    Found at some point in the trucks history, one of the bolt holes that toward the rear, bottom, had a pretty intense yank - hole is no longer round and bent the frame around it...




  40. #40
    President Member 62champ's Avatar
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    Started getting the back end broken down from outside in.

    Right rear brakes is missing the emergency brake bar but plenty of cobwebs.



    Left rear came off without any problems, including the brake shoes from their brackets...



    All the braking hardware is off and getting ready to attack the rear springs and diff.


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