Results 1 to 16 of 16

Thread: 50 Commander shocks

  1. #1
    Speedster Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Along the Mohawk
    Posts
    107

    50 Commander shocks

    I was looking at the shop manual last night and noticed that the Champion and Commander suspensions are similar. Is it possible and or desirable ( at least from an availability \cost perspective) to convert the Commander to conventional shocks?

  2. #2
    President Member RadioRoy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    4,679
    You would have to fabricate shock mounts. This is not an unknown in the automotive world. The 46-48 Fords came with lever action shocks and many were converted to airplane type shocks. J.C.Whitney used to sell the kits, which included the shock mounts.

    You just have to get the math/geometry right, especially around travel and angles. And you have to be able to weld and fabricate.

    Since 50 Commanders are relatively rare in the grand scheme of all the antique cars out there, there might not be a lot of information about this particular modification. If there is any information, this is the place to get it.
    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

  3. #3
    President Member TWChamp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Minneapolis
    Posts
    4,520
    Does anyone specialize in rebuilding the original knee action shocks for the 1950 Commander?

  4. #4
    President Member LeoH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Sun Valley, NV
    Posts
    2,104
    Quote Originally Posted by TWChamp View Post
    Does anyone specialize in rebuilding the original knee action shocks for the 1950 Commander?
    Oh yeah. In looking for info on rebuilding these, I came across someone's article about what he did to rebuild his knee action shocks. He referenced this company for parts: http://www.classicautoshocks.com/



  5. #5
    President Member LeoH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Sun Valley, NV
    Posts
    2,104

  6. #6
    President Member LeoH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Sun Valley, NV
    Posts
    2,104
    Here's another operation referenced on the HAMB: http://nosimport.com/

  7. #7
    Speedster Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Midlothian, Texas, .
    Posts
    219
    I have installed the front suspension from a 50 land cruiser parts car in my shop in my 50 champion. To install airplane shocks you will need the lower mounts that bolt to the lower control arm from a 50 champion and drill holes to mount them. There is a hole in the top of the frame for the shock. Also the trunnion nut behind the knee action shock will have to be replaced as it has no grease fitting. The hardest part is removing the spring to drill the holes.

    Barn Find
    1950 Champion
    Before I started
    Jim Berry
    Midlothian, TX

  8. #8
    Commander Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Bakersfield California
    Posts
    31
    I will be calling Five Points in Santa Ana tomorrow and will report my findings.
    I also have a 50 Commander and would like to convert over to a coil over spring setup.

    Question: Is the upper mount the same in both the Champion and Commander? If so, I only need to fabricate the lower mounting bracket??

    DT Holder
    1950 Commander
    327 small block with turbo 350 trans
    Bakersfield Ca.

  9. #9
    Silver Hawk Member bezhawk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    here, sometimes somewhere else
    Posts
    5,680
    Your old shocks may just be out of adjustment, or low on oil. You DO know that they are adjustable don't you? This is why we always say get the shop manual for your car FIRST, then spend (waste) money after.!
    Bez Auto Alchemy
    573-318-8948
    http://bezautoalchemy.com


    "Don't believe every internet quote" Abe Lincoln

  10. #10
    Commander Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Bakersfield California
    Posts
    31
    Quote Originally Posted by bezhawk View Post
    Your old shocks may just be out of adjustment, or low on oil. You DO know that they are adjustable don't you? This is why we always say get the shop manual for your car FIRST, then spend (waste) money after.!
    Well of course I did NOT know they were adjustable. (thanks) To my credit I did post here first.

    I did not see any information on this in the service manual and I have all of the manuals on order from Studebaker International. (on CD)
    I will look into adjusting them. They may very well be OUT of oil. Does anyone have a reference on this procedure???

    Note: I have owned this car for 4 days.

  11. #11
    President Member TWChamp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Minneapolis
    Posts
    4,520
    I just checked my lube chart, and the 50 Commander has 51 places to lubricate, 39 of them being grease fittings.

  12. #12
    Commander Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Bakersfield California
    Posts
    31
    Info: I called Five Points in Santa Ana and they do still refurb the Studebaker shocks for ~190 each.

    Sooo, adjust and oil you say.

  13. #13
    President Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Joliet , Illinois
    Posts
    2,757
    If you need new shocks I have many N.O.S. units some back to 1939 and a few earlier , not all are available
    These are brand new in the original boxes for $95.00 each.
    Robert Kapteyn
    studebaker@mac.com
    Text to 815 212 2389

  14. #14
    President Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    St. Louis, Mo.
    Posts
    1,605
    SI used to have a lot of the front ones in NOS condition
    Milt

    1947 Champion (owned since 1967)
    1961 Hawk 4-speed
    1967 Avanti
    1961 Lark 2 door
    1950 Commander Starlight
    1988 Avanti Convertible

    Member of SDC since 1973

  15. #15
    Speedster Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Goldendale WA
    Posts
    169
    Place called Apple Hydraulics.com has add for lever Shocks and sleeving brake cyls in oldcarsweekly.com

  16. #16
    Speedster Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Midlothian, Texas, .
    Posts
    219
    I don't know if there is anything I have overlooked but I converted my 50 Land Cruiser to airplane shocks and it's driving just fine. Only parts I had to find was the two lower shock mounts in front. The Champion mounts fit with no mods or drilling. Also had to find upper mounting bolts from a Champion, the Land Cruiser even has holes in the frame in the correct position. I have not yet installed the front bushing but plan to soon. I left the old shocks in place with the linkage removed until I get the bushing. Kind of odd but the Land Cruiser has all the holes to do this, just need the bushing, lower front mounts and upper rear mounting bolts.

    Barn Find
    1950 Champion
    Before I started
    Jim Berry
    Midlothian, TX

Posting Permissions

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