Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 40 of 44

Thread: 1964 Studebaker Lark Front Suspension

  1. #1
    Commander Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Garden City,, Kansas, USA.
    Posts
    31

    1964 Studebaker Lark Front Suspension

    I have a 1964 Studebaker Lark that I have installed Rene Harger's front suspension package on. The suspension makes a popping noise when you are driving it. I have checked the rotors, brake calipers, upper and lower A Frames, wheel bearings, the new ball joints, exhaust headers and everything I can think of and it is all to no avail. This suspension has done this since day one and has less than 700 miles on it. I have also checked the front shocks, which are new, to see if they are bottoming out and they are not.

    Anyone have any experience with this front end or have any ideas of what to do to fix it would be greatly appreciated.

    Bill Jones Garden City, KS.
    1953 Northstar Powered Coupe
    1960 LT1 Powered Hawk
    1964 LT4 Powered Lark
    1963 GT Hawk It Is STOCK
    1941 Packard Convertible
    1948 Packard Convertible

  2. #2
    Golden Hawk Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Ferndale, WA, USA.
    Posts
    17,884
    Have you double checked the lower "A" arm to frame bolts? Also the upper ones? The bolts have a tendency to stretch and the nuts loosen.

    StudeRich
    Studebakers Northwest
    Ferndale, WA

  3. #3
    Speedster Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Naples, Florida, .
    Posts
    307
    I may be off base on this in that I am new to Studebakers but I have had a similar problem with brand "C" when the springs were not completely seated in the lower A arms. Just a thought.

    Wayne

  4. #4
    President Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    2,640
    Are you using the coil spring isolators?

  5. #5
    Silver Hawk Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Spokane, WA, USA.
    Posts
    5,457
    Greetings, willie j,

    We are all very interested in real-world owner feedback on the Phantom front suspension conversion. If you have occasion to pull the springs for any reason, can you set up a bump-steer gauge and let us know what you find?

    thnx, jv

    PackardV8

  6. #6
    Commander Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Garden City,, Kansas, USA.
    Posts
    31
    quote:Originally posted by wpsrea

    I may be off base on this in that I am new to Studebakers but I have had a similar problem with brand "C" when the springs were not completely seated in the lower A arms. Just a thought.

    Wayne
    The studebaker coil springs are made so they are flat on each end. Therefore, they will fit in the pocket correctly without having a seating problem. The custom made lower a arms are flat and do not have a pocket like a stock lower A arm has. I have tried three different sets of front springs and they all do the same thing

  7. #7
    Commander Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Garden City,, Kansas, USA.
    Posts
    31
    quote:Originally posted by Alan

    Are you using the coil spring isolators?
    Are you talking about the 3/16" thick diameter shims that Studebaker puts on the top and bottom of each spring? If so, I have tried it without these shims and with them and still have the same problem. If you are not talking about these items I am calling a shim then I do not know what you are referring to as "isolators"

    Willie J

  8. #8
    President Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    2,640
    will, The things you call spacers are coil spring isolators in the Stude workshop manuals. and they have to be there or you will have all kinds of noises.

  9. #9
    Commander Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Garden City,, Kansas, USA.
    Posts
    31
    quote:Originally posted by Alan

    will, The things you call spacers are coil spring isolators in the Stude workshop manuals. and they have to be there or you will have all kinds of noises.
    Alan,

    I have checked my copy of the CD that has all of the shop manuals listed.
    I find Item number 1510-7 which is listed as a rubber insulator, not an isolator. I have these rubber insulators installed in both springs and I still get the popping noise. Item Number 1510-8 is the steel spacer I was talking about and I have tried it both ways, without the spacer and with the spacer and I get the popping noise. Since I have tried these items both ways I don't think that this is the issue. I wish it was that simple, but in my case it is not. These custom built lower A arms are flat with no actual spring pocket. I have installed the rubber insulators between the bottom of the coil spring and the lower A frame and it makes no difference, I still have the popping noise.

    Thanks for the ideas.

    Willie J

  10. #10
    Commander Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Garden City,, Kansas, USA.
    Posts
    31
    quote:Originally posted by PackardV8

    Greetings, willie j,

    We are all very interested in real-world owner feedback on the Phantom front suspension conversion. If you have occasion to pull the springs for any reason, can you set up a bump-steer gauge and let us know what you find?

    thnx, jv

    PackardV8
    Jack,

    I don't have a bump steer gauge. Bump steer can be caused by several things, but in this type of front end that uses a rack and pinion set up it can be caused by the relationship of the tie rod ends being in a horizontal plane with the rack and pinion ends. In Rene's suspension this is controlled by ride height which is a direct relationship to what springs you have in the car.

    I tried the stock V-8 Studebaker springs (Part # 151664) and the ride height was too high and the car rode very rough. This was a result of the Aluminum Head Chevy engine and 700R4 Automatic overdrive, which has an aluminum case being quite a bit lighter in weight than the Stock Studebaker engine which is all cast iron and the stock Stude automatic which has a cast iron case and is much heavier. I also had put the battery in the trunk which transferred about 40 lbs. off of the front suspension.

    Rene suggested I try the Studebaker Six Cylinder springs (Part # 1561666). I did this and they did not have enough load carrying capacity. Dennis Lambert advised me that these springs were too light. They have a spring rating of 230 lbs, which is 5 lbs more spring rating than the V-8 springs. This is when I started to doubt Rene's system. The car was 2 1/2 inches lower in the front with these springs than the with the stock V8 springs. I tried to put a spacer under the six cylinder spring and it raised the car back up 1 1/4 inches, but did not have enough load rating to carry the car with two guys who weigh 220 in the front seats. When one of us would get out of the car it would raise up over 2 inches. This is not good.

    I did determine that the ride height was correct and the tie rod ends and rack and pinion ends were in almost a perfect horizontal alignment position when using the six cylinder springs with the spacer under them. Then I contacted Coil Springs Specialties out of St. Mary's Kansas and we decided to shorten the stock Studebaker springs by 1 3/8" and take 175 lbs out of the V-8 Spring load rating. This gave us the perfect horizontal alignment and right ride height. These custom springs were another $200.00 trip after buying the 6 cylinder springs from Sasco for a $145.00 trip.

    Rene does not have any power rack and steering set up yet. He uses a Flaming River Rear Mount Dodge Omni type rear mount rack and pinion. This is a manual rack and pinion set-up. Without power steering you need to have the Caster on each wheel set at a negative 1 1/2 degrees to - 2 degrees. This measurement is in the Stude shop manuals. This caster setting enables the car to steer easily. The problem with this issue is it is very difficult to get the Camber set correctly.

    My car has never had any front end damage and now the right wheel is out at the top on the right front wheel and in at the top on the left front wheel. I have used all of the adjustment that Rene allows for in the top A-Frame adjustment. This was an improvement but it is not correct yet. I question if we can make all of these adjustments with his system. Rene then tells me I might have to shorten one of the upper A frames to make it work. If we do that and it doesn't work what new thing do we try with a system that is supposed to be a bolt on system?

    I bought his system because it was supposed to be an easy bolt on system. I found this far from the case. I think he sells you the components and it is your problem to make everything fit. I am qualified and smart enough to know to follow directions. When I put the rack and pinion mount o

  11. #11
    Commander Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Garden City,, Kansas, USA.
    Posts
    31
    quote:Originally posted by StudeRich

    Have you double checked the lower "A" arm to frame bolts? Also the upper ones? The bolts have a tendency to stretch and the nuts loosen.

    StudeRich
    Studebakers Northwest
    Ferndale, WA
    Rich,

    I have double checked all of the bolts on the sytem and they are tight. The bolts that hold the lower A Frames on the car are grade eight bolts and I don't think they will stretch. The stock grade five bolts might, but these haven't at least not yet.

    Willie J

  12. #12
    President Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    2,640
    Willie j, Noises are the hardest to figure out over the internet. The only other way to have popping noises would be the upper or lower king pin trunnions binding or too close to the sides of the outer ends of the a-arms. I went back and looked at your long post that came up after I put the first part of this response here. You are going to have to have someone ride shotgun or put a video camera on the car and go through the motions to find out where and when the noise happens at.

  13. #13
    President Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    2,640
    Bill, I would like to see some pictures of the setup preferably of the underside looking forward at the upper and lower a arm inner pivot centerlines as their relation to the tie rod pivots. And the rack should be a little forward and above the tie rod ends at the steering arms for proper ackerman.

  14. #14
    President Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Santa Barbara, California, USA.
    Posts
    3,776
    That is unfortunate that you had this experience, and it started you
    on this path of frustration. As you may be aware, I am running 17 by
    8 inch wheels on my Avanti, which is the "Lark" wheelbase. I have not
    touched the stock alignment the car had when I got it. The tierods,
    bushings, kingpins and such are all as they were, and the car sat for
    about 7-10 years when I got it. I also had 14 by 7 wheels on my Hawk,
    for many years. The only thing I witnessed, was they were easier to
    steer than with the stock bias ply ballon tires. "All over the road",
    is relative, I notice a difference between my '93 Camaro (R&P) and my
    '95 Impala (box-n-rods). I would say my Avanti wanders about as much
    as my Impala, perhaps a little more, but thats to be expected since I
    rebuilt the Impala front suspension - the Avanti is aged "good". Its
    quite startling to hear that Rene suggested using 6 cylinder springs
    on a V8 car, thats a "no-no" even with a stock suspension. I have to
    definately agree with your conclusion he has NOT done enough research,
    that "solution" alone underlines it.

    Wide enough for you? I wouldnt go more then 8 inches on the front of
    an Avanti, the rear I think I could have fit 9, but I wanted to be able
    to rotate my tires.



    Tom

    quote:Originally posted by willie j
    I did not have any popping noises with the stock Studebaker suspension, but the car did not drive properly with the stock system and 17" custom wheels on the car. It drove OK with the stock 670 by 15 tires on it, but not with the wider tires. I had the front end aligned and it was still all over the road with the stock suspension set-up. That is why I went to Rene's sytem.
    '63 Avanti, zinc plated drilled & slotted 03 Mustang Cobra 13" front disc/98 GT rear brakes, 03 Cobra 17" wheels, GM alt, 97 Z28 leather seats, soon: TKO 5-spd, Ported heads w/SST full flow valves, 'R3' 276 cam, Edelbrock AFB Carb, GM HEI distributor, 8.8mm plug wires

  15. #15
    Commander Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Garden City,, Kansas, USA.
    Posts
    31
    [quote]Originally posted by Alan

    Willie j, Noises are the hardest to figure out over the internet. The only other way to have popping noises would be the upper or lower king pin trunnions binding or too close to the sides of the outer ends of the a-arms. I went back and looked at your long post that came up after I put the first part of this response here. You are going to have to have someone ride shotgun or put a video camera on the car and go through the motions to find out where and when the noise happens at.
    [/quote)

    Alan,

    Rene's suspension does not use king pin and trunnions. It uses Mustang II upper and lower ball joints and Mustang II spindles. I used Ford Granada Rotors which are an 11" rotor. I used mid 80's GM calipers, which is what Rene's sytem calls for and his custom made caliper brackets. I used 1994 Camaro 9" double diaphragm booster,matching Camaro master cylinder and made the brake pedal ratio a 5 to 1 ratio and the brakes work very well. I will try to take some photos of the rack and pinion and post them. I am new to the Studebaker Forum and have tried to add some photos of my Studies and have not been successful.

    I appreciate all of you guys feed back and interest in this problem. It fortifies why we all belong to the Studebaker Driver's club.

    Willie J

  16. #16
    President Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Santa Barbara, California, USA.
    Posts
    3,776
    Funny, I mentioned that the Phantom front end was Mustang II parts -
    got ripped for it. Now, someone who installed one agreed with me? If
    its not too late, I would be inclined to remove the Phantom, and put a
    Stude front suspension back on. New rubber bushings, tierod ends and
    the like will go a long way. Usually what causes a Stude to drive "all
    over the road" is the bellcrank being worn, if you had powersteering
    and had done any work on the control valve, there is an adjustment on
    the back under the aluminum cover that controls sensitivity. After I
    rebuilt mine, it was almost uncontrolable, turning the nut just ONE of
    the flats looseward .. made it steer like a dream.

    If you want modern brakes to go with the '94 booster/Stude front end,
    shoot me an email, I'll do yah way better then dinky Granada brakes and
    fill the inside of those 17 inch wheels.



    Tom

  17. #17
    Commander Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Garden City,, Kansas, USA.
    Posts
    31
    Tom,

    My Studie did not have power steering on the car. I hate to go back to the original front suspension. It would be a major problem which I don't really want to do. By this I am talking about changing headers, steering column, as well as trying to make everything fit after I built the front of the car around Rene's suspension package.

    I do know that the bell crank bushings were good on the car. I restored a 63 Lark Convertible that my son inherited and know about the bell crank bushing issue. His was bad and replacing the bushing helped a great deal. He has 18" tires and wheels on his stock suspension with Turner brakes. By stating the car is all over the road I meant when you are driving it, particularly on a rutted road you don't know if it is going to go left, right or straight. His car doesn't drive as well as I would like for it to, but he just puts up with it.

    I am pretty sure my front wheels on the 64 Lark are 17" by 7" and the
    rear ones are l7" by 8". By the way your Avanti looks great! I am sure your tires are a lot larger than mine. I have 225 by 45 by 17 on the front and 235 by 55 by 17 on the rear. I will send you a separate e-mail about the large brakes on your Avanti. I am trying to insert a photo of the Lark. As I stated previously I am new to the forum and am still trying to get my profile the way I want it.

  18. #18
    Commander Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Garden City,, Kansas, USA.
    Posts
    31
    quote:Originally posted by PackardV8

    Greetings, willie j,

    We are all very interested in real-world owner feedback on the Phantom front suspension conversion. If you have occasion to pull the springs for any reason, can you set up a bump-steer gauge and let us know what you find?

    thnx, jv

    PackardV8
    Jack,

    In all the information I gave you on my last post, I did not mention that I have not had any bump steer with Rene's front suspension package, no matter what spring combination I had in the car, just all of the problems I mentioned.

    Willie J


  19. #19
    President Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Santa Barbara, California, USA.
    Posts
    3,776
    Your going to have to reduce your signature picture or complaints will
    start. You can use a program like Irfanview to reduce and resize it.
    I usually take my digital camera pictures and reduce them to 25%, then
    save them to 80% of original - they start out at 4 mb a piece.

    Unfortunately (for you) my disc setup uses the stock suspension, with
    a Granada spindle you are married to whatever aftermarket kits their
    making for Granadas - I would guess thats zero. What you've described
    in your posts sounds like a nightmare, I can not imagine spending that
    much and being this disappointed. I'm worried about the inconsistancy
    between sides, and shortening a-arms to make things work. That will
    throw off any balance you have. Obviously, the same would have to be
    dont to the opposite side, thats dangerous ground. If the popping is
    the only problem, perhaps you could use shorter springs, with a higher
    rate, and put aluminum spacers under the bottom. It is possible the
    spring is rotating and creating the noise. The aluminum would act as
    an insulator - they used them on Avanti IIs. I dont know how close it
    is to the Granada spindle, but Mustang Steve makes a disc setup very
    similar to mine for early Mustangs. Perhaps you could adapt it?

    http://www.mustangsteve.com/cobrabrakes.html

    I am running 245/45R17 all the way around, BTW beautiful convertible!

    Tom

  20. #20
    President Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    2,640
    All I can say wiilie j, Is that is one sweet ride but I would rather see it from the bottom side.

  21. #21
    President Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    3,258
    Willie -

    Using the new suspension MAY have uncovered a crack in the frame or front crossmember that wasn't a problem with the stock stuff but is now with the Phantom parts. When a cracked piece of steel moves it pops like you are talking about. Couple that with many peoples findings in frame rails and crossmembers that have cracks right there in and around the a-arm mounting points and the spring pockets.
    No guarentees...just another thing that others have run into with Stude frames. One guy was even selling cardboard patterns to transfer to steel and weld to the frame.

    Another thing to check. Do you have an anti-sway bar attached? The sway bar (or any other item!?)may be touching a control arm or other part of a moving part (or frame) during the arm movement. Check for full a-arm (suspension) movement to verify hard parts don't bang into each other.

    And just a note on the R&P vs. bump steer......
    Just because the tie rod/ends are parallel to the ground...in no way effects the bump steer..good or bad. Done right...the tie rod joint at the rack body...basically....should be in line with a line drawn between the upper a-arm pivot point and the lower a-arm pivot point. Where ever the R&P is mounted...the R&P "joint" should be near that line. And that's just the starting point.

    Good luck.

    Mike

  22. #22
    Commander Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Garden City,, Kansas, USA.
    Posts
    31
    quote:Originally posted by Mike Van Veghten

    Willie -
    Mike,

    I have been out of pocket for about three weeks. Got tired of working on Studies. I tried to answer your post a few minutes ago and I think I sent it off before I wrote anything. Like I said I am new to the forum. In answer to your request about the sway bar, yes that is the first thing I removed, thinking that may be what the problem might be and that didn't fix anything.

    55Prez sent me a photo of what to look for on the front cross member possibly being cracked and I printed that photo and am going to go look some more. I have checked the spring pocket, the frame in front and back of the spring pocket and didn't find anything. I also checked the front cross member where the A frames bolt onto it and haven't found anything. I have tightened every bolt that I put in this suspension and didn't find anything yet. I have checked all of the new ball joints and tie rod ends and no excessive play. I haven't given up yet, but it is frustrating, because I really like the car and it is fun to drive.

    Thanks for the ideas.

    Bill jones aka willie j


    Using the new suspension MAY have uncovered a crack in the frame or front crossmember that wasn't a problem with the stock stuff but is now with the Phantom parts. When a cracked piece of steel moves it pops like you are talking about. Couple that with many peoples findings in frame rails and crossmembers that have cracks right there in and around the a-arm mounting points and the spring pockets.
    No guarentees...just another thing that others have run into with Stude frames. One guy was even selling cardboard patterns to transfer to steel and weld to the frame.

    Another thing to check. Do you have an anti-sway bar attached? The sway bar (or any other item!?)may be touching a control arm or other part of a moving part (or frame) during the arm movement. Check for full a-arm (suspension) movement to verify hard parts don't bang into each other.

    And just a note on the R&P vs. bump steer......
    Just because the tie rod/ends are parallel to the ground...in no way effects the bump steer..good or bad. Done right...the tie rod joint at the rack body...basically....should be in line with a line drawn between the upper a-arm pivot point and the lower a-arm pivot point. Where ever the R&P is mounted...the R&P "joint" should be near that line. And that's just the starting point.

    Good luck.

    Mike

  23. #23
    President Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    , , .
    Posts
    2,091
    I bet you forgot to grease the lower ball joint. Don't ask me how I know....

  24. #24
    Golden Hawk Member Dick Steinkamp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Bellingham, WA, USA.
    Posts
    11,108
    quote:Originally posted by willie j
    I haven't given up yet, but it is frustrating, because I really like the car and it is fun to drive.
    Don't give up, Bill! That is ONE BEAUTIFUL LARK[]. It's one of the few I personally wouldn't change a thing on (well, except for the popping noise in the front end ). Perfect color combination, seats, drivetrain, stance, etc.



  25. #25
    President Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    , , .
    Posts
    2,091
    So...what turned out to be causing the popping noise???

  26. #26
    President Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA.
    Posts
    3,333
    Have you checked the fit of the spring in the lower pocket? It sounds as though the spring may be shifting in the pocket as the spring loads and unloads. The only other thing I can think of is one of the the spring coils hitting the edge of the lower or upper pocket as it moves through its normal travel. This would be more of problem on the inner side of the spring, since the coil travels in an arc as it moves with the suspension, and therefore may be binding up on the coil pocket in the A arm. It would be easy enough to check this by looking for marks on the coil pocket or abrasions on the coil itself where ever it may be striking the A arms or the coil pockets. Good luck.

  27. #27
    President Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    , , .
    Posts
    2,091
    Did you grease the ball joints or not??

  28. #28
    President Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Bullhead City, Arizona, USA.
    Posts
    1,848
    'Stupid' trick here; try squirting some WD40 or similar where the coil spring pockets are and test drive the car.

  29. #29
    President Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    , , .
    Posts
    944
    I assume you are using coil springs that have dead coils on both ends?? If not. the second coil will pop over the first coil when the spring is compressed. I've had that happen when experimenting with after market coils in the stock set up. Gives off a popping sound.

  30. #30
    Commander Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Garden City,, Kansas, USA.
    Posts
    31
    quote:Originally posted by nels

    I assume you are using coil springs that have dead coils on both ends?? If not. the second coil will pop over the first coil when the spring is compressed. I've had that happen when experimenting with after market coils in the stock set up. Gives off a popping sound.
    Nels,

    I have used both Stock Stude V-8 Springs and Stude 6 Cylinder springs for the 1965/66 cars that used the six cylinder Chevy engine. Both of these have the popping sound and they are supposed to be progressive rate springs and had the dead coil on each end of the spring. The custom springs I had made by Coil Springs Specialties in ST. Mary's KS are not the progressive rate spring and they also gave off the popping sound.

    I have ordered new coil spring isolators from Eaton Detroit Springs and I will put one of them on top and bottom of each spring. I had the stock coil spring isolators in the car when I started, but they were only used on the bottom of each spring. Putting one on the top and bottom may help.

    I have a problem with the Phantom front end on the right wheel, which happens to be the one that is making the noise, in that the camber adjustment is not enough to bring the top of the tire/wheel enough to get the proper camber adjustment. I am out of adjustment and the tire/wheel is still out too much at the top. Rene Harger is sending out an upper control arm that is 7 1/2 inches long to replace the 8 inch long control arm that he usually uses. Hopefully this will correct the camber problem.

    He is also sending me another spindle and upper ball joint in case the original units he uses may be defective. When I get these parts, I will install everything and see if this corrects the popping noise and the camber problem.

    Bill J

  31. #31
    Commander Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Garden City,, Kansas, USA.
    Posts
    31
    quote:Originally posted by buddymander

    Did you grease the ball joints or not??
    I have been off of the forum for a few weeks and just checked it. Yes I did grease the upper and lower ball joints again, and I still do not know what is causing the noise. I have responded to Nels' post a few minutes ago with some other ideas and answering his post.

    Bill J

  32. #32
    President Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    , , USA.
    Posts
    678
    Hi Willie J.

    Sorry to hear you're having problems with the Phantom conversion. I have two kits (Avanti & '54 Commander) and although neither car is yet drivable, I have had my fair share of problems and frustrations. It sounds like you have already spent a considerable amount of time trying to diagnose the problem. Having first hand experience with the installation and design of these conversion kits, I am at a loss for what might be causing your mysterious popping noise. I would suggest using a laptop and small USB camera to help diagnose the problem. If you don't have a laptop maybe you could borrow one. USB camera's with audio are pretty darn cheap as are extension USB cables. Mount the camera in a strategic spot, place the laptop in the passenger seat, then hit record and go for a drive. This would allow you to better document what is happening both visually and audibly. I know it seems like a lot of work, but it might just shed some light on your problem. I sure hope you get things sorted out -that's too beautiful of a car to be frustrated with.

    http://community.webshots.com/user/s...host=community

  33. #33
    Speedster Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Ferndale, WA, USA.
    Posts
    248
    I've spent significant time with a tool called "chassis Ears", a listening devise that helps locate noises that are dificult to pinpoint.
    This tool has 5 or 6 clamps that are connected to various points and allow you to switch between each point, slowly but surely isolating the culprit. Buy one or rent one, you'll be pleased.
    There is a local hot rod shop who put in one of Phantoms rack kits and cursed the day he saw it. Many mods later he thinks he's got it working. (1955 Connestoga station wagon)

    Brian K. Curtis,
    1925 Duplex-Phaeton ER
    1949 1/2 ton pickup
    1963 GT Hawk custom
    1966 Daytona 2dr

  34. #34
    Commander Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Garden City,, Kansas, USA.
    Posts
    31
    quote:Originally posted by wcarroll@outrageous.net



    I am not sure what you are referring to as a USB camera. I have a Sony Digital Camera, but it is a fairly high end camera at $500.00 and I do have a lap top computer. Is the camera you are talking about some kind of small movie camera? Please let me know a little more about the USB camera.

    I also have a battery powered listening device that you use with special ear muffs and it is very sensitive, but am not sure how I could use mine to go to four or five different listening points like Chocolate Turkey mentions. I live in a town of 30,000 people in the southwest corner of Kansas in the middle of nowhere and we have a couple of rental places in town, and I will check to see what they have.

    By the way your webshot is a very nice item. I looked at all of your photos and it appears that you are leaving in the Stude engine in since I see the stock stude front engine mounts are still in place. AS you know an Avanti frame is the same thing as a Lark Convertible. It appears to me that the frame I see on your webshot page is probably the 54 Commander since I don't see any x-member in the frame.

    I have a drive on lift and use it a lot. We have not been able to reproduce the popping noise with the car on the lift. A concern that is as serious as the popping noise is not being able to get the camber adjusted in enough at the top of the right wheel with Rene's setup. We are going to try a shorter upper right side a frame if he ever gets it to me and I am going to put new spring isolators in place (two on each spring) that I bought from Eaton Detroit spring co.

    Right now I have about three grand in the front suspension and it still doesn't work correctly and cannot find any evidence of a cracked frame on the car.

    Willie J

    Hi Willie J.

    Sorry to hear you're having problems with the Phantom conversion. I have two kits (Avanti & '54 Commander) and although neither car is yet drivable, I have had my fair share of problems and frustrations. It sounds like you have already spent a considerable amount of time trying to diagnose the problem. Having first hand experience with the installation and design of these conversion kits, I am at a loss for what might be causing your mysterious popping noise. I would suggest using a laptop and small USB camera to help diagnose the problem. If you don't have a laptop maybe you could borrow one. USB camera's with audio are pretty darn cheap as are extension USB cables. Mount the camera in a strategic spot, place the laptop in the passenger seat, then hit record and go for a drive. This would allow you to better document what is happening both visually and audibly. I know it seems like a lot of work, but it might just shed some light on your problem. I sure hope you get things sorted out -that's too beautiful of a car to be frustrated with.

    http://community.webshots.com/user/s...host=community

  35. #35
    Commander Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Garden City,, Kansas, USA.
    Posts
    31
    quote:Originally posted by chocolate turkey

    Brian,

    I have a set of chassis ears type of tool that I bought from Snap-On Tools but it doesn't have anything that will allow you to check several attachment points. Mine has a set of earmuffs that is 9 volt battery powered and has a single point that you touch on the point you want to listen to. Mine isn't much longer than a doctor's stethoscope. I will check with Snap-On tools and see if they have any other attachment pieces that I can buy for my Snap-On (Ears).

    Thanks for the idea.

    Bill Jones aka willie j



    I've spent significant time with a tool called "chassis Ears", a listening devise that helps locate noises that are dificult to pinpoint.
    This tool has 5 or 6 clamps that are connected to various points and allow you to switch between each point, slowly but surely isolating the culprit. Buy one or rent one, you'll be pleased.
    There is a local hot rod shop who put in one of Phantoms rack kits and cursed the day he saw it. Many mods later he thinks he's got it working. (1955 Connestoga station wagon)

    Brian K. Curtis,
    1925 Duplex-Phaeton ER
    1949 1/2 ton pickup
    1963 GT Hawk custom
    1966 Daytona 2dr

  36. #36
    Commander Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Garden City,, Kansas, USA.
    Posts
    31
    quote:Originally posted by chocolate turkey

    I've spent significant time with a tool called "chassis Ears", a listening devise that helps locate noises that are dificult to pinpoint.
    This tool has 5 or 6 clamps that are connected to various points and allow you to switch between each point, slowly but surely isolating the culprit. Buy one or rent one, you'll be pleased.
    There is a local hot rod shop who put in one of Phantoms rack kits and cursed the day he saw it. Many mods later he thinks he's got it working. (1955 Connestoga station wagon)

    Brian K. Curtis,
    1925 Duplex-Phaeton ER
    1949 1/2 ton pickup
    1963 GT Hawk custom
    1966 Daytona 2dr
    Brian,

    Do you have the contact name and phone number of the local shop that worked on the Connestaoga wagon? If you can let me know I will call him and asked what he had to do to make everything work.

    Bill J

  37. #37
    President Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Long Beach, CA, USA.
    Posts
    881
    Just a thought. Is it possible that the Phantom suspension mod isn't very well engineered? I mean, just because it FITS doesn't mean it WORKS.

  38. #38
    Commander Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Garden City,, Kansas, USA.
    Posts
    31
    quote:Originally posted by Allan Songer

    Just a thought. Is it possible that the Phantom suspension mod isn't very well engineered? I mean, just because it FITS doesn't mean it WORKS.
    I have said all along that the Phantom Front End is not well engineered. He tries to say it fits all Studies, but when you call him about it he wants to talk about the C&K cars and then tries to tell you it fits a Lark also.

    Following things are noted.

    1. Had to cut the oil pan to make it clear the rack and pinion.

    2. AFter I had the oil pan customized, the loop of the rack hit the
    pan so I had to modify the rack.

    3. I have had three different set of coil springs in the car and
    finally have a custom made set that is giving the right spring
    rate and ride height.

    4. The angle of the connecting shaft that connects the Flaming River
    Steering Column to the Rack and pinion is so severe that you have
    to grind some of the meat out of the top universal joint, which in
    itself can create a safety problem if you aren't careful. The
    angle is about 45 Degrees and the Borgeson single steering u-joint
    is only designed to not be used at over 30 to 35 degrees. IF you
    try to use a double top u-joint you have to have a support
    bearing holding the shaft in place and there is not room for the
    support bearing because of the rack and pinion and upper a-frame
    being in the road.

    This isn't everything. Yes I would say the design isn't completely correct, and Rene doesn't give enough info about the things that can be or are wrong with his instructions.

    Willie J

  39. #39
    President Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    , , USA.
    Posts
    678
    I was referring to a cheap camera often used in conjunction with a personal computer -also known as a webcam. USB (universal serial bus) is the type of connector it uses to connect to a computer. They're so darn cheap I figured if it were to get damaged it would be no big deal. I have a Phantom kit on my Avanti which has the same frame as your Lark type, but am installing a late model LT1 Chevy setup. I too had to use a custom oil pan and modify the hoop that the rack bolts to. The best way to get around your problem with the steering joint/shaft angles is to cut off the drivers-side rack mounting tab on the hoop and change the angle so that the rack rotates upward -allowing a more direct shot to the column. Did you use the stock column or an aftermarket? Since the other end of the rack uses a rubber mount, the whole unit can rotate without changing any of the geometry. Take a close look at the picks of my Avanti using the direct link below and you will see what I'm talking about. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Will

    http://good-times.webshots.com/photo...78480179kDsyVa



    http://community.webshots.com/user/s...host=community

  40. #40
    President Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Bullhead City, Arizona, USA.
    Posts
    1,848
    I just glanced through this thread and it answered a big question of mine.

    I was thinking of going with the 'Phantom' suspension kit but 'something' kept dissuading me.

    I now know why.

    Being a front end/alignment man by trade; I cringe at having to jury rig a putative kit to make it fit.

Similar Threads

  1. Front suspension
    By jcstude in forum Tech Talk
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 07-08-2009, 01:39 PM
  2. any pics of Flintstone Flier Lark front suspension
    By ChampTrucking in forum General Studebaker-Specific Discussion
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 03-29-2009, 10:23 AM
  3. Front Suspension
    By Tom B in forum Tech Talk
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 01-07-2008, 08:09 PM
  4. 64 Lark Front Suspension Solved?
    By sals54 in forum Tech Talk
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 01-01-2008, 01:20 PM
  5. Color of Front Suspension Parts on 63 Lark
    By 58PackardWagon in forum General Studebaker-Specific Discussion
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 05-14-2007, 01:08 AM

Posting Permissions

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