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Thread: The Thunder Hawk Project is back on

  1. #1
    President Member SilverHawkDan's Avatar
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    The Thunder Hawk Project is back on

    After a few months (too many) off for cancer treatments I am so happy to be back working on the Hawk. Here are a couple pictures taken last week.

    The Hawk has been moved into its new home in the barn.

    Working on the doors to get them ready for some paint. Part of new pan to get this project going again.


    Putting up these signs in my shop, office and car to keep me on track and motivated.

    I will post pictures and story as things progress. The goal right now is to drive the car to the La Palma Studebaker Meet next year. After beating cancer eight times I have adopted a new life motto:

    Living full tilt boogie, add nitro when needed!

  2. #2
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    Despite the fact that you've had to deal with some serious health issues, I really like your positive attitude and zest to get your beautiful Stude going. Hats off to you.
    All the best,
    Rog
    '59 Lark VI Regal Hardtop
    Smithtown,NY
    Recording Secretary, Long Island Studebaker Club

  3. #3
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    Do U realize how fortunate you R to have the facilities to work on that Hawk,Lots of room to move around.Remember the easiest thing to do is take them apart,getting them back together is the trick.
    Good luck with health problems,I have been in remission for 5 yrs. now.

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    God bless you Brother

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    Like that rolling jig!

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    President Member t walgamuth's Avatar
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    Best wishes on your Hawk and your continued recovery!

    Have you written down your plan for it? Can you share it with us?
    Diesel loving, autocrossing, Coupe express loving, Grandpa Architect.

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    Quote Originally Posted by t walgamuth View Post
    Best wishes on your Hawk and your continued recovery!

    Have you written down your plan for it? Can you share it with us?
    In his pictures, I think I see, a raised Hawk chassis with front and rear drive axles, a '57 - '59 Silver Hawk body minus the front clip, a Stude V8 with some kind of custom supercharger bracket, a large flow volume carb hat and what looks like, a large bundle of steel tubes as well?

    My guess is, that his plan is to, build a Stude powered supercharged 4 WD off road Silver Hawk. I would certainly be interested in any further details he'd be willing to post!

    Mark

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    President Member Commander Eddie's Avatar
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    Dan's brother here. I should let Dan speak for himself but I have been following his progress since inception and here is what I know. It is not 4-wheel drive. It is getting a Ford front frame as I recall. The rear is Jaguar. Dan is working on a modified Dodge fuel injection system mated to a Studebaker engine. Possibly a Paxton Novi supercharger. He probably could have kept things a lot simpler and got it done sooner, but he is doing this his way and you have to admire his tenacity and gumption.
    He can use all the encouragement we can give him. Thanks guys and gals.
    Ed Sallia
    Dundee, OR

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    Good luck on the project and glad to see you are on the mend. Praying for you brother

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    Ok, seeing the chassis that's on the opposite side of the engine, in the first picture, I made the wrong assumption. It still sounds like a very cool project! Dan, I don't guess correctly all that often. I think, most of us, myself included, would rather hear it from the man with the plan, than have to guess? Please give us whatever details as you are comfortable sharing? Also know, we are preying for you'r good health!

    Mark

  11. #11
    President Member SilverHawkDan's Avatar
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    Sorry I forgot it has been quite some time since I first posted about the project. The last four years have been an up and down battle but I am on the new drug you might have seen on TV called Opdivo. Been on it 18 weeks and it has worked a miracle so I am back in boogie mode.

    The project is to re create my very first car which I bought in 1964 for $150. It was a 1959 Silver Hawk that had suffered a wiring fire under the hood. Originally I was going to build a hot rod for me but since things are going the way they are I am now building it for my wife and I to enjoy. So here is the build plan:

    Car will be mostly stock body in the middle with custom sheet metal in front and back with LED lighting in custom script cut outs. Paint will be Blue with Silver metal flake (medium flake) on the hood scoop, top, fins and back panel of trunk. Custom pin striping will divide the colors and no trim on the sides or fins. Front clip will be a tilt up unit with electric screw drive ram lifting device.

    Frame is Hawk with a 2002 Durango front clip which gives me the thick heavy stiff frame, very large disc brakes, rack and pinion steering and modern suspension. Extra cross members are being added to stiffen the frame mid to back. The frame will be custom painted to match the project. The rear is Jaguar XJ6 with 3:54 gearing and custom axles and adjustable shocks.

    Engine is the basic engine I used at Bonneville in 2011. 259 standard bore, Clay Smith camshaft, Novi 2000 supercharger pulleys for 10 psi max, Dodge multi port fuel injection adapted to Studebaker intake manifold. Power will go through a Dodge Torgueflight with six speeds forward including two overdrives and lock up converter. Car will have power steering, air conditioning and cruise control.

    Wife and I have designed a custom interior that my wife will sew and we will work together to make it special. The goal is to build a car that performs above average, rides smooth, handles great, is quiet riding and comfortable. Using all Mopar fuel and transmission components allow for going to any parts store and get parts if on the road. Oh and the one request from my wife. "It must not have any sequence to operate". Turn the key and go. So there you have it.
    Dan
    The chassis next to the car is a 1969 Bronco that is getting a Coyote engine and custom set up. I am helping the owner (a famous baseball player and manager) in return for using the shop for my project. I think I am getting the best of this deal. The tubing is for the four exhaust pipes that will exit through the rear valance panel (Jaguar style).

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    How lucky can us Stude people be when we have guys like Dan, Jeff, Ed, Tom, Richard, etc. that can do all the things they come up with. Most are so far over my head I can't begin to imagine the work and wisdom these people have. Best of luck to all of you and good luck with your health situation Dan.

    Ted

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    President Member SilverHawkDan's Avatar
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    Ted,

    Thanks for the kind words. We are all just trying to bring some of the new technology and products into play for us Stude guys and gals. Sometimes you just have to be willing to step outside of the box and try something new. I seem to recall that would describe the years that you were racing the Chicken Hawk. We just happen to be a little (not much) younger and have the advantage of today's machining and other technologies.

    Thank you for the good luck wishes. I feel so blessed right now to be feeling better and have more energy than i have in four years. I guess it paid to hang around long enough to be able to receive the newest drug and used your immune system to fight cancer. Sure worked well and fast for me. I figure I need to take full advantage of this time as there are no guarantees for the future. I started a new thread tonight after spending the day with a new Studebaker owner who has a 1949 two door. I told him to come here and check out the Chicken Hawk story for inspiration.
    Dan

  14. #14
    Golden Hawk Member DEEPNHOCK's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Ha! You haven't watched me wire up stuff!
    But it is true... I got a call from Tom C this afternoon as he was on his way home from the track...
    He made a couple of runs with his white Avanti.
    One was an 1/8th mile pass, and one ws a quarter mile pass.
    Broke both ends of his personal best on both runs! Woohoo!
    He posted about it at: http://www.racingstudebakers.com/foo...art=735#p39644

    Anyway, to tie this with Dan's post.... Tom motivates me to keep going..
    He does more by himself that three other people do.
    I work at a snails pace...
    So reading from the regulars (like you, Ted), and Dan... Keeps me going.
    And reading about those recently passed... Makes me hurry up.
    No time to waste...


    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken Hawk View Post
    How lucky can us Stude people be when we have guys like Dan, Jeff, Ed, Tom, Richard, etc. that can do all the things they come up with. Most are so far over my head I can't begin to imagine the work and wisdom these people have. Best of luck to all of you and good luck with your health situation Dan.

    Ted
    HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)

    Jeff




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

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    President Member SilverHawkDan's Avatar
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    I love my wife. She told me I "needed" to go spend some quality time with the Hawk. She has been sick and I have been her 24/7 caregiver for the last five weeks. She is doing better so she wanted to reward me I guess. I put some primer on the bottom of the drivers door where I repaired the rust holes.


    While that dried I went out in the yard and drug up the extra hood I have. I started the modifications on it that will be transferred to the good hood when I make sure the angle is what I want. I am laying the grille back as I have never liked the straight up look. Marked it and started cutting.

    First angle setting. Not nearly enough.


    Next setting was better. It started to rain heavy so I had to quit as I was working outside due to a packed house in the barn. Need to move some thing around to make room for the hood by the door and the welder.


    Hope to get back up there on Monday and do some more work on it. Sure was nice to be back working on it. This is the best therapy man can buy.

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    "Hope to get back up there on Monday and do some more work on it. Sure was nice to be back working on it. This is the best therapy man can buy."


    Best wishes with your therapy, (medical and hobby), as I hope to finish my long languishing '55 Prez State Sedan project within the next eighteen months. Your gumption is a true inspiration...

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    I'm anxious to see where this goes. Has the frame work already been done? I'm thinking about looking at jag suspension myself.

  18. #18
    President Member SilverHawkDan's Avatar
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    GrumpyOne, Thank you for the kind words. These last four years have been a real struggle. Been on chemo so long I don't know if I would be able to function if it ever ends. Just real happy that the new drugs are working great and the side effects are pretty minimal. My dad had a 55 Commander that he gave to my older brother. It was a nice car. I built the 299 engine that was in that car. It was the first engine I ever built. I was 10 years old at the time. Of course dad kept a watchful eye on me and made sure it was done right. Ran real good. Hope that you can find inspiration to get out there and work on it regularly and if I can be a part of that inspiration then all the better. That way we both get therapy that works.

    Flipper, Yes the Jag set up has been fabricated in. You can check it out on the RacingStudebakers web site. It is in the forums and listed in the Studebaker Powered Performance Projects. It is The First Love Project. I used four Energy Suspension bushings and fabricated a mounting plate that bolts to the top of the Jag differential housing. I didn't want to mount the differential housing directly to the frame s some people do because I did not want the vibration. This is going to be a street car that will see lots of miles and ride comfort is big with us. I hope to be getting back to finishing the rear suspension by February. I will post pictures here as that work progresses.
    Dan

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    I found the thread and read it all the way through. Did you find a rack that will work with the narrowed front suspension?

  20. #20
    President Member SilverHawkDan's Avatar
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    Flipper, Yes, it is a Mustang unit. I will put the part number and brand on the web as soon as I verify the information with the shop that supplied it. I will PM you the information.
    Dan

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    President Member SilverHawkDan's Avatar
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    Not trying brag here....... Oh who am I kidding, I'm here to brag big time. My wife knows I have lots of tools and buy them all the time. She works in the shop with me so she knows most of what I have. She wanted to get me something I didn't have for Christmas so she really put some serious thought into this. She came up with these two cool tools.

    The pliers tool will find a home in my truck to use for road side emergencies and my general hauling and parts chasing adventures. The drill drive is something I am still thinking up uses for. It is standard drive and I have a lot of adapters including ones for 1/4" sockets that just might make this tools handy for certain applications. She could have gone gift cards but not her. This is just another reason why I love her.

  22. #22
    President Member SilverHawkDan's Avatar
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    We did the Secret Santa thing again this year. Somehow my Secret Santa found out I have a Studebaker and got me this:


    Nice and warm. I wore it on my walk this morning and it kept me nice and warm while looking cool. Very Blessed.

  23. #23
    President Member SilverHawkDan's Avatar
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    More work on the hood for the Thunder Hawk. Welded in a brace to make up for my mistake in cutting out the flange and support tube. This bar will keep the hood at the proper shape during the fabrication faze.

    Next I cut out another 3" from the hood and cut off the flange so that I could see the angle while fitting the grille frame in place.

    So here is the current angle. Not sure if this is where I stop but for now here it sits. I think I need to decide which headlights to use before proceeding further on the grille. The headlight area is going to be angled back to match the grille angle.

    More as it happens. Sure feels good to be back working on it again.

  24. #24
    President Member t walgamuth's Avatar
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    Looks like some great progress and great healing there Dan!

    Congratulations!
    Diesel loving, autocrossing, Coupe express loving, Grandpa Architect.

  25. #25
    President Member SilverHawkDan's Avatar
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    Still sick and home bound per doctors orders but hope to be released soon. So I got some incentive in the mail and now I NEED to get back to work on the Hawk.

    Power bear claw latches to make it safe and handle free. Can't wait to get back up to the barn and see how these fit and work.

  26. #26
    President Member SilverHawkDan's Avatar
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    I was working on these latches at my desk and found what could be a "fatal" flaw in one of them. I will post pictures and an explanation in the next day or two. If you have used these latches on your car you will want to see what I found.

  27. #27
    President Member SilverHawkDan's Avatar
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    Ok you will have to look closely at the pictures but I think you will be able to see the problem. First pic is of the two latches side by side. The top one is the one that has the issue.

    The problem is with the locking lever that is at the bottom of the latch. In the bad one the locking lever can move side to side yet the good one does not have that movement. Did a washer or shim get left out? Not sure and decided it didn't matter to me because even if I sent it back I would do the modification to both latches anyway. So here is the good latch up close:


    And here is the bad latch up close, sorry the picture did not come out as clear as I thought it did:


    If you look closely you will see a lot more of the gold anodized plate showing on the good latch. So here is the fix that I would recommend to anyone using these latches. Drill a 11/32 hole and tap it to 10-32 machine screw thread. Screw in a screw that is 3/4" long and include a nut to lock it in place. Adjust the screw until it comes within about .010 to .020" of gap and lock it down. Now there is no chance even in an accident that the latch will suffer an "accidental" unlock and open. Here is a pic of the "fix".

    I welcome any inquiries as to how to perform this repair/improvement. I really feel this will make for even better "safer" door latches for Studebakers.

  28. #28
    President Member SilverHawkDan's Avatar
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    Got home from training today and a Speedway Motors box was waiting for me. I got the Bear Claw door latch mounting plates and the adjustable door striker bolt plates. They will make the job so much easier. So what i thought was mistake actually saved me money. I bought the door latches with electric actuators on EBay for 46.00 and the plates for 30.00 so I saved about 69.00 over the price of the kit. So I am a happy camper right now. So as soon as the rain lets up and the cold gives up I can get these parts installed.

  29. #29
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    Dan

    If it would help, here's a post with my bearclaw install on my 54K.

    http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.c...w-Door-Latches

    Good luck, Bob
    , ,

  30. #30
    President Member SilverHawkDan's Avatar
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    Thank you Bob. That helps me visualize the install. Can't wait to get at it. But the weather man is calling for rain the next 41 hours. That can't be right but he has been right the last month so I guess I will believe him until proven otherwise.
    Dan

  31. #31
    President Member SilverHawkDan's Avatar
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    So I finally (after more than a year) got back to the frame part of the project. Measured six times and finally made the cut. Rolled the Mopar frame up and just like I thought it lines up real nice like. Just had to cut a slot in both frames and then they slide together. Have to get the toe set to zero and make the wheelbase setting and make sure things are level and then tack it, check it and weld it.




    Set the Studebaker enigne with supercharger in the Durango frame to make sure everything fit like I thought it would. Fits better than I thought it would and I can move the engine forward and backward about 5 inches without clearance issues so I should be able to put it right where I want it.



    So progress and just need to keep plugging away. More reports as things happen.

  32. #32
    Speedster Member Noxnabaker's Avatar
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    This sure IS interesting...!

  33. #33
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    Great progress Dan, both with the Hawk and your health.
    Thanks again for your assistance in my purchase of Sal's LS1214DSC_0360[1].jpgDSC_0358[1].jpg She's ready to install when I return to Arizona in the fall.
    Cheers, Bill

  34. #34
    President Member SilverHawkDan's Avatar
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    Your Welcome Bill. As you can tell I am taking this time of good health and trying hard to maximize the time. The best part is I am actually having fun with this. I figure if I screw it up I can get another frame and try again. I love a challenge as you can see and this is the most challenging non race car build I have ever attempted. By the way that engine looks good. Cleaned up real nice. Bet you can't wait to get back to Arizona and install that baby and take it for a drive. If it runs like I think it will you should have a real strong runner on your hands. Keep following along as it will get real interesting soon.
    Dan

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    Thanks Dan,
    You do know I have the McCulloch Blower assembly for LS1214? To start I'll run the 4BBL then convert over to the blower(2 bbl) later. I tore the motor down and completely re-sealed it, wire wheel cleaned every nut & bolt, re-threaded all the bolt holes etc. Internally it was in terrific shape, no ridges or noticeable wear anywhere. Looking forward to the fall. Today (in BC) I retrieve my '59 Lark Regal HT project to put a 40+ year dormant, 25,000 original mile Studebaker back on the road. Pics to follow once trim is reinstalled.
    Cheers, Bill

  36. #36
    President Member SilverHawkDan's Avatar
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    So I finally got a chance to work on the frame plating. I have been busy helping with this project:

    I am also making an inventory list and taking pictures of all the Studebaker parts I am hoping to sell either before or at La Palma at the Studebaker meet next month. But I took time to get some work in on the frame. I made the inside and outside plates.

    Then made a top plate and cut the side plates to match the profile. Then welded it all up.

    I was having a hard time seeing if it was good or not so I shot a quick coat of primer on it to check it out. Still need to finish off some of the welds but it looks good and is very strong.


    Here is a good shot to show the before and after so you get an idea of what was done.

    So I hope to get the top side done on the passenger side and then flip the frame to do the bottom plates. Lots of clean up and finish work to be done on the frame but it is coming along nicely. Hope to get the body on it by next weekend. More as it happens.

  37. #37
    President Member evilhawk's Avatar
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    This is a very interesting build. I cant wait to see it finished

  38. #38
    President Member SilverHawkDan's Avatar
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    Got the passenger side top done today. I have come to the conclusion that my welding skills are not what they used to be. I used to be a certified welder in the 70's and 80's but like a lot of things as you get older those skills get lost to diminished motors skills and nerves that don't let you hold your hand still anymore. But the welds might not look pretty but they are strong and that is all that matters. Monday I will flip the frame and do the bottom plates and then primer and flip and primer the top. Then outside it goes so the body can come in to e be jacked up and ready to have the frame rolled under it.

    If you double click on the photo you will be directed to my photobucket site for this project. Put your cursor on the picture and arrows will appear on both sides of the picture. Click on the left arrow and you will see a step by step photo series on how I plated the frame. There are 26 photos from today. Enjoy.

  39. #39
    President Member SilverHawkDan's Avatar
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    Flipped the frame over today to weld the plates to box in the frame. Got both sides done.


    Cleaned it up and shot some primer on it for now. Flipped it back over and pushed it outside and covered it up as it is raining here for the next few days.



    Pushed the body back in and tomorrow I hope to get the body lifted up and supported and the frame rolled under it. If all goes well the body will be on the frame by days end. I need to see how everything fits with the new front clip.

    I have chemo on Wednesday but if all goes well I hope to be back at work on it on Thursday.

  40. #40
    President Member Commander Eddie's Avatar
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    Coming right along, Dan. Now that brother Bill has purchased a Golden Hawk that may add to your motivation to get this project on the road. Can't wait to see the finished car.
    Ed Sallia
    Dundee, OR

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