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Johnjb
05-30-2005, 09:23 PM
I am considering the Phantom front suspension setup for my 1953 Commander hardtop. I can't seem to much discussion from anyone who has installed this suspension. Anyone out there have it? Pros/Cons?? Not cheap--but no front clip/cutting involved. Any feedback would be appreciated. ;)

wcarroll@outrageous.net
05-30-2005, 10:58 PM
I plan to do the same with my '54 and have been unsuccesful in finding anyone who has done this conversion. When I spoke with Phantom they told me they had sold some 20 plus kits which seems strange since no one has come forward with their experiences. I agree that it is a bit expensive but worth it since it does not require cutting the frame. I do know someone who installed one on their Avanti but I don't think they ever finished the car. There has been talk of this subject in the past but nothing ever came of it. I too welcome anyone's thoughts or experiences on this conversion.

Johnjb
05-30-2005, 11:56 PM
Does Phantom Auto Works ever have a vendor booth at major Studebaker meets ---Spokane maybe??? Maybe they would provide a reference for someone who has purchased and installed their suspension??/

PaulDriver
05-31-2005, 01:58 AM
What about Fatman Fabrications?

http://www.fatmanfab.com/

It'a a MustangII Independant Front Suspension, a good deal chaper (hub to hub for about $500, and includes iron disc brakes) then the phantom front end, you should call them though, as they don't list a 54 Stude application, but that could just be that no one has done one yet, not that it can't be done.

The Fatman kit does require that some welding be done to the frame
( see http://www.fatmanfab.com/05page11.htm for installation into a '40 Chevy ) to acomodate a new cross member and spring towers.

It's what I'm planning on installing in the 3R6 pickup.

Paul.

N8N
05-31-2005, 07:34 AM
Paging Pat Drnec, paging Pat Drnec, get your suspension installed already <G>

nate

--
55 Commander Starlight
62 Daytona hardtop
http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel

Dick Steinkamp
05-31-2005, 09:40 AM
Studebob challenges us to think about the pros and cons of swaping a Studebaker V8 for a brand X before we actually do it. The Stude V8 was (is) a good, sold powerplant; there is lots of info (and parts) available to get decent HP out of it; there are no engineering problems (anticipated and unanticipated) involved with staying with the same motor that is already in the car, etc.

I'd do the same with the Studebaker front suspension. You'd be swaping one independent suspension for another; I don't think you'll notice any change in ride and handling (especially if you upgrade to a late Hawk or aftermarket anti sway bar on the stock set up), there are no engineering problems involved like there are with any swap, parts are easy to come by, it is a proven design (used by Studebaker from 51-66), it's strong, the brakes from 54 and up are quite good and you can still install disks on the stock set up (Turner and others) if you want to do this.

I'd say the same kinds of things about the Studebaker Dana 44 rear end...especially now that Ted Harbit has the flanged axle conversion kit. The Dana 44 is as strong as a Ford 9" and is lighter; spring perches are already there, etc.

With all that said, I did replace the Stude V8 with a Chevy in my 54. Just think about a suspension swap first and make sure you will get the benefits you are looking (and paying) for.

-Dick-

Sam Roberts
05-31-2005, 10:08 AM
Actually Dick, Phil Harris, of Fairborn Studebaker, is the one handling the flanged axle setup now that Ted Harbit has sold out to him. Phil, and Malcolm Berry, were at the swap meet in South Bend displaying them.

www.fairbornstudebaker.com

stude6@yahoo.com

1-937-878-1576


quote:[i]I'd say the same kinds of things about the Studebaker Dana 44 rear end...especially now that Ted Harbit has the flanged axle conversion kit. The Dana 44 is as strong as a Ford 9" and is lighter; spring perches are already there, etc.

With all that said, I did replace the Stude V8 with a Chevy in my 54. Just think about a suspension swap first and make sure you will get the benefits you are looking (and paying) for.

-Dick-




Sam Roberts

wcarroll@outrageous.net
05-31-2005, 10:41 AM
My main reason for wanting to install the phantom front end is to lower my car without cutting springs or modifying the stock Stude suspension. The Phantom kit uses Ford Granada spidles which means you could use aftermarket dropped spindles to lower the car even further. The best part about the kit is that it does not require permanently modifying the car in any major way- allowing one to re-install the stock suspension if desired. It will be some time before I get my project back on the road, but once I do I will have plenty of info to share.

Dick Steinkamp
05-31-2005, 10:45 AM
Sam,
Thanks for the correction and the links. I think it's great that people like Ted, Phil, and Malcolm develop and market these kinds of products. There ain't much money or glory in doing so, but their efforts are certainly appreciated.

-Dick-

Dick Steinkamp
05-31-2005, 10:54 AM
Will,
That's an awful lot of money and work (to me anyhow) just to get the car lower. If that's your only goal, try experimenting with cutting the coils first. Mine are cut by about 1/2 a turn. It got the car as low as I wanted, and as a side benefit, stiffened up the front end just a little. Not overly stiff (IMHO), but just stiff enough to give it a more modern ride. After cutting the coil, I ground the cut end a little flatter to sit better in the spring pocket. I had the car lower than it is now at one point, but it hung up on speed bumps, pot holes, etc. so I cut another set of springs (less this time <g>. Just a warning not to make your car too low or it becomes difficult to navigate even normal roads.

-Dick-

(is it true that "if it's too low...you're too old" <g>)

Sam Roberts
05-31-2005, 11:37 AM
Dick, in case you have never met any, or all, of those 3, they are ALL quality guys, and anything they do will be quality too! If all in Studedom were as upfront as these guys, there would be no bad apples in the barrel! ;)


quote:Originally posted by Dick Steinkamp

Sam,
Thanks for the correction and the links. I think it's great that people like Ted, Phil, and Malcolm develop and market these kinds of products. There ain't much money or glory in doing so, but their efforts are certainly appreciated.

-Dick-


Sam Roberts

Johnjb
05-31-2005, 02:06 PM
thanks for all the input. the real question is how much in terms of handling, stopping and steering do you gain over the stock configuration??? I was hoping someone had installed the Phantom suspension and could give the pros and cons of the installation. I plan to keep the Stude engine (maybe use a 289), rear and transmission.
Just wanted to know the benefits of this upgrade? I do not want to cut or weld anything to the car. If no one has any actual experience, I will probably just redo the stock suspenion and maybe add disc brakes and larger front sway bar.

Mike Van Veghten
05-31-2005, 03:25 PM
Well,
As some of the other guys have said....

Handling - no gain. A very slight decrease in unsprung weight. No change in geometry. Actually the Stude spindle to A-arm connection (ball joint area...) Is stronger on a Stude....for what ever that may be worth.

Stopping - The addition of disc brakes is a good thing overall. But Dave L. and Turner can get you the same thing.

Steering - Rather than start a big hassle...I'll keep quite on this one! Except to say....VERY little gain (IMO).

Kdancy
06-01-2005, 04:17 PM
Another advantage I have toyed with, is in changing to a rack and pinion set up it frees a lot of space on the steering box side to add a set of headers. The stock steering box makes it awful tough to make equal length headers on the drivers side.

53commander HDTP
53 Champion HDTP
61 Cursed Purple Hawk
64 Champ long bed V8
64 GT

Bunzard
04-27-2006, 10:58 PM
If you figure out how to make rack and pinion work please pass it along. I acquired a Mustang unit to apply to a '64 Daytona and could not find a way to make it function. I was interested in gaining space on the driver side also but the R/P is on the shelf.