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Thread: Silver Hawk Major Modifications

  1. #1
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    Silver Hawk Major Modifications

    I recently purchased a very nice 59 Silver Hawk. I bought it for my 15 year old daughter (it was the car she wanted). Before I can let her drive it I plan to make many modifications. Mustang II cross member w/power disc brakes, Chevy 350 w/700R4 trans, center console with shifter, bucket electric seats. The car must be dependable and safe and she has to be able to get it fixed wherever she might go. It currently has a perfectly good running original V8 with good two speed automatic which will be removed and sold. My plan was to take pictures and document the transition for others on this site who might be interested. I know that some members here will say "leave it original!!", but the only way my wife will let my daughter have the car is if has a newer drive train, power disc brakes, overdrive trans and shoulder harness seat belts (another modification). Oh yes, modern AC unit, it's very hot and humid where we live. As per my daughter's instructions I plan to keep as many of the original body parts as possible because she really likes the original look of the car.
    I'm posting here today to see if there is any interest in what I am about to do. If there is sufficient interest I will do my best to document everything and post it all here. I will post pics of the car as soon as possible.


    PS - I couldn't find a title that read, "Engine/Transmission swap", could the moderators help with that??? Anyway, I had to select "Engine" for the title.


    treblig

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    Congrats on the Silver Hawk
    I love those cars. I think you'll find some who will try to deter you from the avenue you've chosen. I believe, to each his own. Chevy swaps have been done to these cars since the Chevy V8 was created. I don't think you'll have too much trouble finding info about the "how to". You should be able to search the tech side of the forum and find numerous places where the parts and pieces are to complete the job easily. I've got a local fab shop who will do the Fat Man front end swap for an LS transplant for about a grand. Your daughter will have a blast with this car. Good luck keeping the boys away with her driving the kooolest car at school. Better keep your shotgun close by.
    sals54

  3. #3
    President Member mapman's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum.
    I like those Hawks. I think it sounds like a good plan but I think I would look for a better choice than a forty year old design like the mustang II front suspension. A disc brake conversion is even available for the Studebaker designed front suspension and it does work with this car, although the steering has a lot of extra parts and can get loose. I would also want a different rear axle to get away from the tapered axle design.
    Whatever you decide keep us updated with pictures and lessons learned. These projects don't often follow a direct course.
    Rob

  4. #4
    President Member TWChamp's Avatar
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    I would keep the car original and if your daughter still wants it after driving accident free for at least 5 years then give it to her. Lots of young drivers have an accident during their first few years of driving. You can give your daughter a newer car with built in air bags and crumple zones, etc. I've never felt a heavily modified car was more reliable than a well restored car.

  5. #5
    President Member shifter4's Avatar
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    This general type of modification ( i.e. modern engine , suspension etc) has been done many, many times .
    There are usually some of these for sale , within any reasonable time frame . There's a fair number of them ,all things
    considered . 2-6 weeks on eBay , and other sites will give a choice . Ask around your local SDC Chapter too .
    The bugs if any will mostly have been worked out by the seller.

    Much better brakes ,modern overdrive automatic etc, for the Stude engine , as mentioned above ,are available.

    Why not wait , and check out some of these , rather than cut up a nice car, that has good value , as original ?

    Good luck .
    Bill H
    Daytona Beach
    SDC member since 1970
    Owner of The Skeeter Hawk .

  6. #6
    President Member 5brown1's Avatar
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    I say yes to documenting the process. It would be nice to have the complete drive line makeover in one series of posts where it can be found by others. The title to your thread should be chosen carefully to make it easy to find. Thanks, and good luck with your conversion.
    I don't know if the pictures will be of any help but thought I would post them. First, is a 700R4 behind a stude engine. The second is a Vintage Air unit.
    These are in a 1955 Speedster which may not have the same clearances as the Hawk.
    Bob Johnstone's Studebaker website would be a great place to post the process. It would also be full of useful information for you. http://www.studebaker-info.org/rjtechoct2014p1.html
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    I looked for previously modified Silver Hawk for over a year. Everytime I found one it had already been sold. My daughter will have her driver's license in 6 months so I had to go ahead and but a car in original condition. My daughter will be required to drive one of our other newer cars for 6 months to get plenty of practice under her belt before she gets the Silver Hawk full time. I built a 46 Chevy Coupe for my son, he started driving it when he was 17. That was 3 years ago and he's has loved every minute of it!! He's super careful and always watches out for the gawkers.

    Treblig

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    Rob, Thanks for the encouragement!! I have a Chevy 12 bolt waiting in the wings (just in case). I thought that a Mustang II (new version) would be the best since I have used them before for other Hot Rods. The car is extremely hard to steer in tight places. My daughter would never be able to maneuver the car in a school parking lot. Will post some pics today as the transformation has already started.

    treblig

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    Eng/Trans swap

    Here are some receDSC04415.JPGDSC04414.JPGDSC04417.JPGnt pics of the car as it was delivered.

    Treblig

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    Yes, I will definitely keep the shotgun close!!! As it was when my friend was hauling the car to my house from Alabama he had a few really good offers on the car (way more than what I had paid). Then when it finally arrived at my house (in Texas) we couldn't unload the car for all the people stopping next to the trailer to ask about it. My daughter doesn't know what she's getting into but I'm sure she'll figure it out like my son did with his '46 Chevy Coupe.

    Treblig

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    Quote Originally Posted by 5brown1 View Post
    I say yes to documenting the process. It would be nice to have the complete drive line makeover in one series of posts where it can be found by others. The title to your thread should be chosen carefully to make it easy to find. Thanks, and good luck with your conversion.
    I don't know if the pictures will be of any help but thought I would post them. First, is a 700R4 behind a stude engine. The second is a Vintage Air unit.
    These are in a 1955 Speedster which may not have the same clearances as the Hawk.
    Bob Johnstone's Studebaker website would be a great place to post the process. It would also be full of useful information for you. http://www.studebaker-info.org/rjtechoct2014p1.html


    Nice pics!! Every picture helps!!! I was initially going to just swap out the trans for a 700R4 but the wife was adamant about upgrading the whole drive train for when my daughter goes off to College. We don't want her to have any trouble finding a mechanic to work on the car.
    I found that a 2000 Cavalier has a stand alone console was just the right length/width complete with drink holders and an arm rest (storage). I wanted to use the complete shifter mechanism off of the Cavalier but my daughter wanted a chrome shifter handle (like the old cars). I also own a 69 Barracuda and had a spare shifter so I'm modifying the Cavalier shifter mount brackets to hold the Barracuda shifter handle. I welded some threaded studs onto a plate then bolted the Cavalier shifter mount section to the plate, this way I can remove it at any time for maintenance. There are also some pics of the console in the Silver Hawk.DSC04446.JPGDSC04450.JPGDSC04451.JPGDSC04447.JPGDSC04448.JPGDSC04449.JPG Once the shifter and console fit together properly I can easily attach the studded plate to the trans tunnel then bolt on the shifter bracket with the shifter assembly and slide the console into place. Since the shifter brackets came off the Cavalier they retain the mounting screw holes for the console. I can easily install the console and screw it down onto the original brarckets attach points making if very solid. Will post more pics as I go along.

    As for the AC, my daughter really loved the factory (dealer) installed AC evaporator so I plan to get the evaporator rebuilt and use the R4 Chevy compressor with the Chevy serpentine set-up.

    treblig

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    Quote Originally Posted by 5brown1 View Post
    I say yes to documenting the process. It would be nice to have the complete drive line makeover in one series of posts where it can be found by others. The title to your thread should be chosen carefully to make it easy to find. Thanks, and good luck with your conversion.
    I don't know if the pictures will be of any help but thought I would post them. First, is a 700R4 behind a stude engine. The second is a Vintage Air unit.
    These are in a 1955 Speedster which may not have the same clearances as the Hawk.
    Bob Johnstone's Studebaker website would be a great place to post the process. It would also be full of useful information for you. http://www.studebaker-info.org/rjtechoct2014p1.html

    Here are a few pics of the interior with and without the console. It's a real shame I had to remove the front seat, it is beautiful!! I'll probably sell the seat, here are some pics. Are you allowed to sell items in a thread like this??
    Also you can see the beautiful Evaporator under the dash. I had planned to replace it with a modern "hot rod" aftermarket unit but my daughter loves the way it looks and wants to keep it in the car. The bucket seats will be re-upholstered of course, they are electric with built-in arm rests and have the built-in shoulder harness seat belts.

    TrebligDSC04426.JPGDSC04427.JPGDSC04428.JPGDSC04435.JPGDSC04438.JPGDSC04444.JPGDSC04440.JPGDSC04439.JPG

  13. #13
    Golden Hawk Member StudeRich's Avatar
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    My suggestion is; since you plan to replace almost everything Studebaker on the Power Train, Suspension, Steering and Brakes,
    BE SURE YOU have a good, complete list of the GM, Ford, aftermarket and whatever PARTS, so anyone working on this Hybrid would have a clue what is going on with it.


    By the way, the A/C is aftermarket, not Studebaker but does have the '50's '60's era look.
    StudeRich
    Second Generation Stude Driver,
    Proud '54 Starliner Owner




  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by StudeRich View Post
    My suggestion is; since you plan to replace almost everything Studebaker on the Power Train, Suspension, Steering and Brakes,
    BE SURE YOU have a good, complete list of the GM, Ford, aftermarket and whatever PARTS, so anyone working on this Hybrid would have a clue what is going on with it.


    By the way, the A/C is aftermarket, not Studebaker but does have the '50's '60's era look.

    StudeRich, Yes I figured it was dealer installed (or something like that) but it is pretty nice. You are 100 percent correct about keeping a log book on all parts/materials. I started a small binder early on to document the engine, serpentine system origin, front end parts, trans, electric seats, power brakes/booster, console/shifter and anything else I eventually install. I did the same thing with my son's '46 Chevy Coupe, it's a long list but it's in his glove box and when I'm long gone he'll be able to get almost any good mechanic to fix his car.


    Thanks,
    treblig

  15. #15
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    It might be easier to put the hawk on a S-10 chassis.
    StudeRick & Johna
    Sacramento CA

    1964 GT Hawk
    1957 Silver Hawk
    1964 Avanti

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Studerick64 View Post
    It might be easier to put the hawk on a S-10 chassis.
    I guess it might be, I've done that before also but to me it's much easier to remove the front clip locate and weld on a Mustang II cross member/brakes/etc, move the battery to the trunk and install the power booster and master cylinder. The engine/trans install is pretty easy as far as I'm concerned. Getting locations (mount points) for the fenders and that loooong front end would be a pain (been there, done that) with a different frame. But there are probably some builders who might find it easier to swap frames. It's just like everything else...what's easy for one person is difficult for another and vis-a-versa.
    I do appreciate the suggestion though!!!
    treblig

  17. #17
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    Awesome!! Keep it up.. Your daughter obviously has good taste and it sounds like the Hawk will be a nice car.

    I've been in touch with a guy in Alabama recently who's doing almost the exact same thing as you. He's building a "modernized" '57 Silver Hawk for his 17 year old daughter. So cool to see this going on!!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbstude View Post
    Awesome!! Keep it up.. Your daughter obviously has good taste and it sounds like the Hawk will be a nice car.

    I've been in touch with a guy in Alabama recently who's doing almost the exact same thing as you. He's building a "modernized" '57 Silver Hawk for his 17 year old daughter. So cool to see this going on!!

    There are a couple of questions I haven't been able to find the answer to?????????? I can build or make just about anything but it doesn't help when it comes to Studebakers. The first question/problem: I have searched this site for many. many nights and can't find a definite answer as to whether the 700R4 fits the Silver Hawk best or the 2004R. I have one of each and I know I can make either on fit but which one fits with the least amount of modification???? My second question: The car currently has the large (17") steering wheel, I'm switching to power steering and need a smaller wheel. For the life of me I haven't been able to find out what/which steering wheels will interchange with the original??? I've searched the internet for many, many hours and have also searched here. No one seems to know. I did run across a chart that shows steering wheel adapters. In this chart it shows that the 56/57 Thunderbird steering wheel uses the exact same adapter (like for grant wheels) as the 59 Silver Hawk (B15).
    http://fssteeringwheels.com/app.html

    But before I buy a "smaller" $350 steering wheel (57 Thunderbird) I need to know for sure that it will fit. My daughter (the one with good taste in cars) wants an old style, cool looking steering wheel like the one that's in the car. I also know that the 57 Ford Fairlane, as seen in the pics in the ebay ad below:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/251927387387...%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

    Has the very similar underside with the 3/4 metal protrusion in the center just like the Thunderbird. I haven't removed my steering wheel yet so I don't know if my wheel has this same notched protrusion. I do know that some one here has seen the back side of the 59 Studebaker steering wheel and would know what it looks like. I've also found that the 59/60 Lark has the very same 3/4 metal protrusion on the underside and have read that the Lark steering wheel will work on the silver Hawk. You can the backside of the Lark steering wheel here:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/271525547127...%3AMEBIDX%3AIT


    I hope someone can give me some solid info on these issues to help me resolve the problems I face.

    Treblig

  19. #19
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    The 700R4 is tooo big. Go with the 200R. Better gearing too. The grant adapter will work just fine. Power steering on the original rebuilt front end and 289 motor with trans adapter would be a better choice IMO.
    Start and Stage Your Studebakers

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    Quote Originally Posted by 11SecAvanti View Post
    The 700R4 is tooo big. Go with the 200R. Better gearing too. The grant adapter will work just fine. Power steering on the original rebuilt front end and 289 motor with trans adapter would be a better choice IMO.

    Yes the 2004R has better gearing and I would prefer to use the 200 but some of the info I've found suggests that the shape of the 200 (wide pan) will require lots of modification to the batwing (and I don't even know what the batwing is???). I need someone with real would experience with the 2004R in a Silver Hawk (or similar body). Same goes for the steering wheel issue. My daughter doesn't want a newer type (aftermarket) steering wheel so the adapter will be the last resort. I know someone on this site has the answers to my questions.
    Thanks for your help,



    Treblig

  21. #21
    Golden Hawk Member DEEPNHOCK's Avatar
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    Not trying to be a naysayer, but.....
    Unless you are going to have $omeone do the job for you...
    You are looking at a multi-year project.
    Girls attitudes and desires change 780 degree's between 15 and 19...
    I'd consider what would be the fastest (and safest) way to get the car on the road...now.
    Stuff a set of Turner brakes on it, and freshen up the rest.
    Let her learn about old school cars the old school way.
    Then, when she is a tad older, you can continue that father daughter project.
    HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)

    Jeff




    Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by DEEPNHOCK View Post
    Not trying to be a naysayer, but.....
    Unless you are going to have $omeone do the job for you...
    You are looking at a multi-year project.
    Girls attitudes and desires change 780 degree's between 15 and 19...
    I'd consider what would be the fastest (and safest) way to get the car on the road...now.
    Stuff a set of Turner brakes on it, and freshen up the rest.
    Let her learn about old school cars the old school way.
    Then, when she is a tad older, you can continue that father daughter project.

    I will do it all myself. I'm a machinist and a mechanic. I'm having the engine being built as we speak. The trans will take a week to get overhauled once I decide which one (200 or 700). I have the new brake pedal, booster, master cylinder ready. The serpentine system is ready to be sand blasted and painted. The bucket seats will be in this week as well as the console. Once I have all the eng/trans parts I know I can have everything installed in two weeks (eng/trans). Then just hook up the wires and start her up. A week or two at the upholstery shop and she'll be ready to rumble. I figure by the end of summer, no problem. The car needs NO body work at all. My daughter won't start driving the car until Christmas so I'll have plenty of time. I still do need some help with finding a smaller steering wheel (that looks like the original or close), don't want an aftermarket.
    Plan to use the AC that's already in the cab.
    Treblig

  23. #23
    Speedster Member whitehawk759's Avatar
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    Treblig: Welcome to the forum. I have a 700R4 behind a 350 in my Hawk, it is a fairly easy fit, the only tight spot is with the Pittman arm and since you are going with the Mustang II front clip that should not be a problem. The existing trans mount can be modified to fit the 700R4. The gear ratios can be an issue with the 700R4 but that depends on the rear end ratio you have. I have a Grant steering wheel with power steering, they have a wide selection in styles and they bolt right on. Looks like you have a nice car and some mad skills in fabrication. Your daughter will get a lot smiles and thumbs up. Have fun.
    Don Watson
    61 Hawk

  24. #24
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    Great project. You stated that you have done other hot rod projects so it seems that you know your capabilities, the components you're using and the outcome for the project. That's cool.
    Your kids are lucky.
    Little questions are why you're here.
    The steering wheel. If it comes down to it, have you thought about cutting the stock outer rim off and swapping on a different, smaller rim.
    One thing that hasn't been mentioned, the direction of the airflow from the windshield defroster vents.
    I know that you are using an after market AC system,---but.
    On my 55 sedan [late model with wrap around glass] the defrosters suck. The stock vents direct the airflow toward the outside edge of the windshield, outside the line of sight.
    A pain in the butt and a safety issue for the driver. And something to think about.
    Little things, if it's not one thing, it's sixteen others.
    South Lompoc Studebaker

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by whitehawk759 View Post
    Treblig: Welcome to the forum. I have a 700R4 behind a 350 in my Hawk, it is a fairly easy fit, the only tight spot is with the Pittman arm and since you are going with the Mustang II front clip that should not be a problem. The existing trans mount can be modified to fit the 700R4. The gear ratios can be an issue with the 700R4 but that depends on the rear end ratio you have. I have a Grant steering wheel with power steering, they have a wide selection in styles and they bolt right on. Looks like you have a nice car and some mad skills in fabrication. Your daughter will get a lot smiles and thumbs up. Have fun.
    D. Watson, That is great information you've given me!!! Thanks YOU!! Since the car currently has decent pick up off the line I figured that the lower first gear (700R4) would be all my daughter needed. I can always swap out the rear for a Chevy 10 or 12 bolt later anyway since it's only a two day job. Chevy rear ends are a dime a dozen around here!! I'll go with the Grant as a last resort...my daughter is right about one thing, the car would look much nicer with an original type steering wheel and the current evaporator. I had already ordered the 700R4 non-lock up torque converter valve (kit). Going with a non lock up torque converter makes it so easy. I simply put a good sized trans cooler up front and the overdrive transmissions stay as cool as a cucumber!! I've installed trans temp gauges in my cars with non lock up 700r4 and 2004R and they stay really cool (185 degrees) all day long with a trans cooler.

    Thanks again,
    Treblig

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by 55 56 PREZ 4D View Post
    Great project. You stated that you have done other hot rod projects so it seems that you know your capabilities, the components you're using and the outcome for the project. That's cool.
    Your kids are lucky.
    Little questions are why you're here.
    The steering wheel. If it comes down to it, have you thought about cutting the stock outer rim off and swapping on a different, smaller rim.
    One thing that hasn't been mentioned, the direction of the airflow from the windshield defroster vents.
    I know that you are using an after market AC system,---but.
    On my 55 sedan [late model with wrap around glass] the defrosters suck. The stock vents direct the airflow toward the outside edge of the windshield, outside the line of sight.
    A pain in the butt and a safety issue for the driver. And something to think about.
    Little things, if it's not one thing, it's sixteen others.
    55 56 PREZ 4dr, Can you be more specific about your idea on the steering wheel??
    "The steering wheel. If it comes down to it, have you thought about cutting the stock outer rim off and swapping on a different, smaller rim."
    You said outer rim. which outer rim are you referring to? To me the outer rim is the part you hold with your hands as you drive. I'm a machinist so there nothing I won't try but I'm not sure what you're suggesting.
    On the defroster...I do need to check it to make sure it does a good job for my daughter. I have looked at it briefly, it looks like a small radiator with a small blower attached to it up under the dash near the windshield. The regular car heater was originally mounted under the passenger's seat (I have already removed it). I was planning on leaving the original defroster after I checked it for proper function. If it doesn't defrost properly I'll remove it. My plan was to buy a hot rod type heater with a three speed blower and defrost vents/hoses. If the original defroster does a good job I'll just route the hot rod heater "defroster" ducts to another part of the car. Here are some pics on the console project, I almost finished it today. The biggest problem was that I failed to realize that the console mounts in an uphill angle (trans tunnel) but the shifter (69 Barracuda) needs to be parallel to the ground so in the pics you have to imagine the trans tunnel going at an upward angle and the shifter mounted level inside the console. I was mocking it up to try and determine the correct position for the shifter, vertically, horizontally, and also make sure that it shifts along the same line as the console slot. It took quite a few tries but it very close now. It looks pretty rough now but when I'm done with it it should look real nice all painted up and welded.

    If you didn't know any better you'd think that shifter came with that console!!!!!!
    DSC04462.JPGDSC04459.JPGDSC04456.JPGDSC04457.JPGDSC04466.JPGDSC04464.JPGDSC04466.JPGDSC04457.JPG

    Thanks for the info!!!

    Treblig

  27. #27
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    None of my business how you build your car... but you posted here, so I am assuming you are interested in opinions.
    I have no issue with your engine / transmission choices. As for the AC, I would do exactly what you are doing, except I might go with one of the smaller, more reliable compressors. I had to rebuild a boat load of R4's under warranty. I like the console and shifter set up and admire you for going the extra mile on the steering wheel, even though, you could just keep the 17 inch wheel. Just because it has power steering doesn't mean it must have a smaller wheel. Also, have you ever been driving a car that lost its power steering? That teenage girl will appreciate the 17 inch wheel in the unlikely event she loses power steering, which could result in simply losing the engine power (failed module, etc.). You could just leave the 17 inch wheel, and then it would really look vintage... because it is.

    The ONLY area I strongly disagree is the Mustang II front suspension. I know how prevalent they are, but that is a horrible choice for virtually any car. You are trading decent 50's technology for crappy 70's technology (mind you, 70's technology that Ford abandoned in pretty short order). Guys with super light weight roadsters can get away with it using stiff springs and shocks. Ever hear that old race car adage? Goes something like this: "Any suspension will work on a race car as long as you don't let it." My point is this: this car weighs a lot more than all those roadsters running around with Mustang II front suspension. It also weighs more than a Pinto (from which that suspension was copied) or a Mustang II. It can be very twitchy in a long sweeper. I consider that suspension on a heavy car to be downright dangerous.

    I am sure others disagree, but it is mostly others who have already used that suspension and refuse to admit it was a mistake. Think about it; have you EVER in your life seen a serious road hugging car use that suspension? There are much better alternatives, one of which would be to keep the original suspension, replacing all the wear items, and add disc brakes. I don't know if it is a close enough fit, but if so, you could even find a late 70's Camaro (talk about dime a dozen) and stub in the front of the sub frame like so many guys do on old pick up trucks.
    I have rambled enough.... JMHO.

  28. #28
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    Customclassictrucks.com and at least one other site HAD articles on the subject, I can't find them now.
    So, I'll try to describe it.
    Find a donor steering wheel with the desired diameter AND with the spokes in the same location as the stock wheel.
    Looks like about 4 and 8 o'clock by your interior images.
    On the donor wheel grind the plastic off the spokes where they meet the rim.
    Cut the rim free of the spokes.
    Center and lay the donor rim over the stock wheel and mark the spokes where they meet the new rim.
    Cut the rim free of the stock wheel.
    Grind the plastic back to prepare the spokes to weld on the donor rim.
    Use PC-7 or your favorite epoxy putty to mold the old and new. Sand and paint.
    You would also need to figure a way to modify the horn ring.
    South Lompoc Studebaker

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynn View Post
    None of my business how you build your car... but you posted here, so I am assuming you are interested in opinions.
    I have no issue with your engine / transmission choices. As for the AC, I would do exactly what you are doing, except I might go with one of the smaller, more reliable compressors. I had to rebuild a boat load of R4's under warranty. I like the console and shifter set up and admire you for going the extra mile on the steering wheel, even though, you could just keep the 17 inch wheel. Just because it has power steering doesn't mean it must have a smaller wheel. Also, have you ever been driving a car that lost its power steering? That teenage girl will appreciate the 17 inch wheel in the unlikely event she loses power steering, which could result in simply losing the engine power (failed module, etc.). You could just leave the 17 inch wheel, and then it would really look vintage... because it is.

    The ONLY area I strongly disagree is the Mustang II front suspension. I know how prevalent they are, but that is a horrible choice for virtually any car. You are trading decent 50's technology for crappy 70's technology (mind you, 70's technology that Ford abandoned in pretty short order). Guys with super light weight roadsters can get away with it using stiff springs and shocks. Ever hear that old race car adage? Goes something like this: "Any suspension will work on a race car as long as you don't let it." My point is this: this car weighs a lot more than all those roadsters running around with Mustang II front suspension. It also weighs more than a Pinto (from which that suspension was copied) or a Mustang II. It can be very twitchy in a long sweeper. I consider that suspension on a heavy car to be downright dangerous.

    I am sure others disagree, but it is mostly others who have already used that suspension and refuse to admit it was a mistake. Think about it; have you EVER in your life seen a serious road hugging car use that suspension? There are much better alternatives, one of which would be to keep the original suspension, replacing all the wear items, and add disc brakes. I don't know if it is a close enough fit, but if so, you could even find a late 70's Camaro (talk about dime a dozen) and stub in the front of the sub frame like so many guys do on old pick up trucks.
    I have rambled enough.... JMHO.

    Lynn, You are absolutely correct...I did come here for opinions. And your opinions are good ones. I have also heard some bad things about the R4 unfortunately I hadn't been able to find a serpentine system for the A4, I still might find one in time. I have talked with m AC guy and he also warned me about the R4. He said to go with the Delco and not an O'rielly or other type. He said the Delco cost a little more but he has found that they run quieter and are pretty dependable. He suggested the Sanden but I don't think they make a Sanden for the GM serpentine system??

    As for the steering....you make an extremely good point!!! If the P/S goes out my daughter will need all the help she can get, I guess we'll see how it steers with P/S since the steering wheel is not a priority until she actually drives the car. Don't hesitate to bring up points like the steering wheel and loss of power!!!!

    If I could find a donor front clip with the same track width I would go with your idea, I have seen too many cars with donor front clip with tires that rub the fenders (track width too wide). I do plan to order the best Must II front end with the correct rate front springs and tubular control arms so it should be pretty solid. I've used the Must II on many cars (even the larger cars, 46 Chevy 4dr) and it worked out great. One of the big reasons I don't like the donor front clip is having to locate the places where the fenders bolt up and the front end rests. It's a PITA....The Must II makes it so easy. My son's car has a 76 Camaro front clip and it took me a few weeks to manufacture and locate the front supports for the grill, radiator, fenders, etc. Those old front ends weigh a TON!!! But I still appreciate your opinions on the subject!!

    Treblig

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by 55 56 PREZ 4D View Post
    Customclassictrucks.com and at least one other site HAD articles on the subject, I can't find them now.
    So, I'll try to describe it.
    Find a donor steering wheel with the desired diameter AND with the spokes in the same location as the stock wheel.
    Looks like about 4 and 8 o'clock by your interior images.
    On the donor wheel grind the plastic off the spokes where they meet the rim.
    Cut the rim free of the spokes.
    Center and lay the donor rim over the stock wheel and mark the spokes where they meet the new rim.
    Cut the rim free of the stock wheel.
    Grind the plastic back to prepare the spokes to weld on the donor rim.
    Use PC-7 or your favorite epoxy putty to mold the old and new. Sand and paint.
    You would also need to figure a way to modify the horn ring.
    PREZ, I see what you are saying now. I am a welder so I can see how someone could do what you are suggesting. I've seen videos on the wheel repair process and it's fairly simple. I'll keep your idea in mind as it is a viable solution!! I've been looking at many wheels on ebay and on the internet. A nice vintage wheel in good shape isn't cheap and that's the reason I was leaning toward buying a smaller (new) vintage wheel like this one:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/280703088488...%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

    I've requested pics of the underside of this smaller wheel and got this:
    DSCN4732.jpg

    The center part of these 57 T-Bird wheels (especially the small one in the background) look a lot like the Studebaker wheel. I'm still waiting for someone (on this web site) to tell me that they have actually used a T-bird wheel on a 59 Silver Hawk. I don't mind spending $350 on this wheel (15") since I am saving a bundle by doing the majority of the mechanic work myself.
    I've read that the 60-61 Lark wheel will fit and work on the Silver Hawk and the pics of the underside of the Lark wheel look very similar to the T-Bird wheel. I can do some machining on the wheel if it's close but don't want to completely redesign the wheel if I pay $350 for it!!


    Thanks!!!
    treblig

  31. #31
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    I like what you are doing.I think we get a little 200 vs 700 happy at times. I have both in my cars.

    I'll agree with whitehawk on the install. My 54K has a complete drivetrain from a 1990 Caprice 9C1 Police Cruiser. As a data point it is a 4L60 (700R4) trans and 3:42 posi. The tire spec for the 9C1 is 235 70/R15 to give you some idea about overall ratio. 225's are listed as a option so the trans should be fine with a ratio number in the range as mine with about the same OD tires in it. You may need to massage the tunnel a bit but that will be obvious as you install the setup. One-half ton pickups run up to 4:10 but with 245 to 265 tires and the same tranny.

    The local police seemed to be able to do their job with this setup so it can't be all bad. Although as a data point, my setup came from a low mileage County Sheriff's car that mysteriously found a ditch one dark night.

    Avanti eerrrr! Hawk, Bob
    , ,

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweetolbob View Post
    I like what you are doing.I think we get a little 200 vs 700 happy at times. I have both in my cars.

    I'll agree with whitehawk on the install. My 54K has a complete drivetrain from a 1990 Caprice 9C1 Police Cruiser. As a data point it is a 4L60 (700R4) trans and 3:42 posi. The tire spec for the 9C1 is 235 70/R15 to give you some idea about overall ratio. 225's are listed as a option so the trans should be fine with a ratio number in the range as mine with about the same OD tires in it. You may need to massage the tunnel a bit but that will be obvious as you install the setup. One-half ton pickups run up to 4:10 but with 245 to 265 tires and the same tranny.

    The local police seemed to be able to do their job with this setup so it can't be all bad. Although as a data point, my setup came from a low mileage County Sheriff's car that mysteriously found a ditch one dark night.

    Avanti eerrrr! Hawk, Bob

    Thanks for the info, there's nothing like real life applications!!! Oh, on the steering wheel issue I forgot to add this:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/3291-Grant-S...833504&vxp=mtr

    As you can see this grant steering wheel adapter fits both the 57 T-Bird and the 57/58 Hawk (it's even written on the box if you look close). I've already found that the steering wheel shaft size/spline changed in 57 on Studebakers so this adapter should also work on 59 and 60 Studes. My point is that the 57 T-Bird spline has to be the same as the 59 Hawk spline or the adapter wouldn't fit both of them!!

    treblig

  33. #33
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    Update on Major Mods Silver Hawk

    Quote Originally Posted by Treblig View Post
    Thanks for the info, there's nothing like real life applications!!! Oh, on the steering wheel issue I forgot to add this:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/3291-Grant-S...833504&vxp=mtr

    As you can see this grant steering wheel adapter fits both the 57 T-Bird and the 57/58 Hawk (it's even written on the box if you look close). I've already found that the steering wheel shaft size/spline changed in 57 on Studebakers so this adapter should also work on 59 and 60 Studes. My point is that the 57 T-Bird spline has to be the same as the 59 Hawk spline or the adapter wouldn't fit both of them!!

    treblig

    Well today I managed to get the 69 Barracuda shifter assy properly mated to the 2000 Cavalier shifter mounting bracket and console mount. It came out nice and solid. It took quite a few adjustments to get the shifter stroke to match the PRND21 panel on the 2000 Cavalier console. It also took quite a few tries to get the shifter handle moving in a line parallel (and on center) with the Cavalier console slot. Now it shifts smoothly and without effort.
    DSC04468.JPGDSC04469.JPGDSC04470.JPG
    I forgot to mention that before I could slide the Barracuda shifter in through the slider hole(s) I had to enlarge the holes in all the slider plates, I guess the Cavalier shifter shaft is a little smaller diameter than the Barracuda shifter shaft. Anyway, in the pics you can now see the problem I was talking about earlier. With the console in the car the top of the PRND21 display is level but the shifter mechanism is at an angle (see pic where light is shining under console) to properly match the angle at which it moves (front to back).
    DSC04471.JPGDSC04472.JPGDSC04473.JPG
    Now that the console is ready to permanently install I moved on to installing the passenger's electric seat. It was pretty simple but, like the driver's side, I had to tack weld a 1 X 1 piece of box iron to the outside mounting points because the Silver Hawk floor slants down from the tunnel to the door, this way the seat is level in all directions:
    DSC04460.JPGDSC04461.JPG

    I'll have to make another post so I don't put too many pics in at once (I don't know what the limit is).

    treblig

  34. #34
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    Here are the rest of the pics from today, here's the beautiful evaporator I plan to overhaul and use:DSC04474.JPG
    Here is original steering wheel I plan to replace with a smaller diameter wheel (if possible).

    DSC04476.JPG

    Here's what the rough seats look like installed, you'll have to imagine them teal blue with white inserts:

    DSC04475.JPGDSC04479.JPGDSC04480.JPGDSC04481.JPGDSC04482.JPG

    Lastly some good pics of the Silver Hawk, it was a nice sunny day and I had to take some good pics:

    DSC04484.JPGDSC04483.JPGDSC04485.JPG

    10 pics are the maximum allowed, maybe more later.

    Treblig

  35. #35
    President Member 5brown1's Avatar
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    What vehicle are the seats from?

  36. #36
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    My opinions are just that.
    Your daughter is lucky to have you building such a cool car for her.
    Re: compressors, the R4 isn't that bad, but as noted, sometimes has reliability issues. Seems to be hit and miss. I have seen them go 200k miles, and seen them not make it out of warranty.
    I would be surprised if there wasn't a Sanden option for your serpentine belt system.... but then I have never used a serpentine belt system on a hot rod build.

    Your work is impressive, and I am sure will result in a fun reliable car.

  37. #37
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    Treblig,

    Just wondering if you have ever owned, driven or maintained a Studebaker prior to your recent purchase? It really sounds like you have focused on change for it's own sake without really understanding what many Studebaker owners have learned about the car's reliability and performance from millions of miles of service. The fact is that no matter how many arbitrary changes to other manufacturer's components you make you still have a fifty five year old car probably no better or more safe then what you started out with.-Bill

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hallabutt View Post
    Treblig,

    Just wondering if you have ever owned, driven or maintained a Studebaker prior to your recent purchase? It really sounds like you have focused on change for it's own sake without really understanding what many Studebaker owners have learned about the car's reliability and performance from millions of miles of service. The fact is that no matter how many arbitrary changes to other manufacturer's components you make you still have a fifty five year old car probably no better or more safe then what you started out with.-Bill
    I'm going to take a wild guess and say that Mommas opinion has a whole heck of a lot of sway in Trebligs house.
    And in Post #1 Momma had a whole list of changes.
    Gotta keep Momma happy.
    South Lompoc Studebaker

  39. #39
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    I've always thought that the best safety device is an advanced or a defensive driving class. Or both.
    You can't keep the crazies away from you but you sure can learn how to recognize them.
    South Lompoc Studebaker

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by 55 56 PREZ 4D View Post
    I'm going to take a wild guess and say that Mommas opinion has a whole heck of a lot of sway in Trebligs house.
    And in Post #1 Momma had a whole list of changes.
    Gotta keep Momma happy.
    Happy wife, Happy life!! If Momma's not happy nobody's happy!!
    I didn't make those up, but they do carry a lot of weight. Momma said, "You will not buy a old car for our daughter unless it has a modern engine and transmission, a good modern AC, modern power steering and suspension." Then she said to me, "When you're long gone I want our daughter to be able to take the car to any mechanic and get it fixed without having to order parts and wait a week or two." I don't think there is ONE good Studebaker mechanic in my city and I'm not joking!!! Yes, I could fix it myself but I won't/can't live forever.
    Thanks for the support, PREZ!!

    Treblig

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