Results 1 to 17 of 17

Thread: 1950 Champion SPINDLE swap

  1. #1
    Champion Member
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Petaluma
    Posts
    21
    Blog Entries
    1

    1950 Champion SPINDLE swap

    I am working on a 1950 champion and would like to fit a turner disc brake conversion kit.
    Well I hear that its quite a challenge..... I found a pair of 1954 commander spindles!
    Will they fit?
    Can I swap them out and fit the 54s on the 50 front suspension?
    Has anyone done that?
    please help! thanks mitch

  2. #2
    President Member thunderations's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    1,613
    The 50 Champion front suspension is a one year only design. I don't think there is a fix for using Turner disc brakes, but a call to Jim Turner would get you all the information you need.
    1966 Daytona (The First One)
    1950 Champion Convertible
    1950 Champion 4Dr
    1955 President 2 Dr Hardtop
    1957 Thunderbird

  3. #3
    President Member RadioRoy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    4,875
    The front suspension on JT Rehbock's 50 Champion is a mixture of 50 and 51 components and has the 51 spindles. It sure surprised me, as I always thought the 50 Champion was completely/totally unique. You might reach out to him to see what he did.

    Or... you could remove the spindles from both sets of suspensions and measure the mounting surfaces of the king pins.

    Since you like Chevy small block engines, and I am assuming you will put one in the 50, how do you plan to handle the steering system?
    Last edited by RadioRoy; 12-28-2018 at 02:32 PM.
    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
    10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
    10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
    4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
    5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
    56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
    60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

  4. #4
    Champion Member
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Petaluma
    Posts
    21
    Blog Entries
    1
    if he ever would call back...... thanks

  5. #5
    Champion Member
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Petaluma
    Posts
    21
    Blog Entries
    1
    Hi roy nice to hear from you!
    well thats good news!
    not a fan of sbc! a baby hemi will go in there. steering will be a rear steer manual rack with el power assist column, 9" rear-end. all other stock!
    I will take both the 50 and 51 spindles out today! I hope I can make it work!
    see you soon! mitch

  6. #6
    President Member RadioRoy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    4,875
    Mitch, I certainly hope you plan to reinforce the frame. The 50 Champion frame looks much lighter than the 51.
    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
    10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
    10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
    4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
    5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
    56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
    60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

  7. #7
    Champion Member
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Petaluma
    Posts
    21
    Blog Entries
    1
    yes roy! for sure!!! the red ram hemi going into that car is not a hp monster, will only provide about 160hp or so, but more torque than the original flat6. yes I will do some reinforcement and an additional crossmember.... thanks

  8. #8
    Champion Member
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Petaluma
    Posts
    21
    Blog Entries
    1
    well I finally got both front spindles apart! they look very similar but the 50 champion is about 1/4" narrower on the backing plate bolt pattern than the 51 champion and the arm for the steering rods are different too (have a little swing toward the backing plate) so not a bolt on deal with the disc brake kit :-(
    has anyone fitted 51 spindles on a 50??????

  9. #9
    President Member RadioRoy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    4,875
    Are you saying that the 51 spindle will not fit on the 50 king pin? If the 51 spindle does fit the 50 king pin, you should be OK.
    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
    10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
    10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
    4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
    5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
    56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
    60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

  10. #10
    Champion Member
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Petaluma
    Posts
    21
    Blog Entries
    1
    well I am gonna take both apart this week, the upper and lower outer control arm pins might be different or not. can't tell when its together. if they are basically the same bushings then it could be swapped over, but I am not yet too hopeful, since the whole upper and lower a-arms (control arms) are quite different.
    I found a set of lower control arms, springs and spindles from a 51 v8 landcruiser (heavy duty version) that I would like to use on the 51 champion, then take the original 51 champion spindles and put them on the 50 champion, that could solve the disc brake conversion fitting problem..... maybe......

  11. #11
    President Member RadioRoy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    4,875
    The 51 parts are the same from Champion to Commander. There is no need to take the 51 Champion apart. You really should have some chassis parts catalogs.
    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
    10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
    10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
    4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
    5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
    56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
    60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

  12. #12
    Champion Member
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Petaluma
    Posts
    21
    Blog Entries
    1
    oh that is so true roy!
    well then I will blow the 50 apart and hope the spindles I'll get will fit!
    and I will let everyone know, so we all finally have an answer to this issue.....
    happy new year everyone!

  13. #13
    President Member RadioRoy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    4,875
    If I am reading this correctly, we are thinking of putting the 51-54 (actually all the way to 61 or so) spindles on the 50 Champion king pins. But maybe the whole 51-54 spindle/king pin assembly can be attached to the 50 A arms.
    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
    10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
    10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
    4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
    5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
    56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
    60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

  14. #14
    Golden Hawk Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Gainesville, FL
    Posts
    14,777
    I have a friend who did the mechanical work on a '50 Champion build a decade ago. He kept the stock '50 front steering/suspension but added the '51 and later Turner discs to the front. I sent him an email asking if he remembers what he did, this is his response:

    I don't know if I remember everything as it has been over ten years.. IIRC, I used a later spindle with an 'adapter bushing' provided by Jim Turner. It all went together fine. I had checked the spindle offsets etc. before I did it. Once again a little 'foggy' after all these years but I am pretty sure I used the 50 kingpin and I know he supplied the bushing...only needed on one end of the pin.
    George

  15. #15
    Champion Member
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Petaluma
    Posts
    21
    Blog Entries
    1
    So here it is, once and forever! the answer to the question:
    "Can I fit my '50 champion with a disc brake conversion kit from turner brakes (turner brakes.com) or hot rods and brakes (hotrodsandbrakes.com) ????"
    The answer is YES, But:
    You will need '51-61 king pin's and spindle's!
    The '50 outer upper control arm pin will fit the '51-up upper king pin, and the '50 outer lower control arm pin will fit the lower '51-up king pin!
    You will not be able to just put a '51-up spindle on a '50 king pin! that will not work (upper bushing is smaller on the '50 king pin), but if you exchange both the king pin and spindle from a '51-up car, you will be able to use the original 1950 upper and lower control arms (a-arms) of your Studebaker champion!
    The bolt pattern of the '51-up spindle will then accept the bracket to convert to the disc brake caliper!
    Questions?

    I heard that a intermediate bushing can be fitted into the '51-up spindle's upper section and you could use the '50 king pin, but I guess it is easier to find the whole assembly rather than machine a crossover bushing! (also may be cheaper)

    I also heard that the whole control arm assembly might be switched from a '50 to '51-up: Upper and lower control arm, but that needs modifications on your crossmember (front axle body), so why bother?

    I hope this post will finally answer the endlessly upcoming questions about fitting disc brakes on a 1950 champion. To me all the misleading and unclear information out there was rather intimidating.... I have taken both 1950 and 1951 front suspensions apart and have actually assembled it! So this is not a guess or wishful suggestion but it actually works!
    Mitch

  16. #16
    President Member RadioRoy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    4,875
    Good work, Mitch!
    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
    10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
    10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
    4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
    5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
    56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
    60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

  17. #17
    President Member thunderations's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    1,613
    This is very interesting, yet I have a question.
    It's been established by Mitch that a swap to 51-61 King pins and spindles is not only possible, but basically a bolt on.
    It's also my understanding that later spindles that allow for more camber/caster, as I remember, are interchangable with the earlier, 51-61 spindles.
    Now the question: Can a later, 62-66 style spindle be installed on a 50 Champion the same way that Mitch installed the 51-61 spindle, or is the camber/caster change causing a conflict somewhere?
    Thanks, Mitch for getting this info out to the masses that like the 50 Champions, but also like to be able to stop them.
    1966 Daytona (The First One)
    1950 Champion Convertible
    1950 Champion 4Dr
    1955 President 2 Dr Hardtop
    1957 Thunderbird

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •