View Full Version : Tire clearance on 61 Hawk

03-04-2011, 10:26 AM
I installed the differential back into the car last night and mounted the wheels I had picked up at the local junk yard to make sure I didn't get any fender rub. The wheels are from a 87 Mercury Grand Marquis (hope I spelled that right).

No rub front or rear but while checking I discovered that I had about 1/2" more clearance on the drivers side rear than I had on the passenger side rear. I am thinking the body is probably not sitting on the frame right. Looks to be shifted to one side by about 1/4 inch. If that is not the problem, then I assume something is bent.

Anybody run into this before? Any suggestion on where to start looking?

The body of this car still has to come off the frame for restoration and if it is just an alignment issue I can take care of it when the body goes back on the frame. This is my first time doing this and I don't know if the body mounting holes would allow for a 1/4" misalignment.


03-04-2011, 10:35 AM
Don't panic, I have seen this on numerous cars 1/2" is nothing.

03-04-2011, 11:19 AM
Mine is the opposite. Tight on the driver's side.

03-04-2011, 11:23 AM
Most seem to be closest on the Right, but none are centered.
It could have something to do with the varied HEIGHT of the rear spring mountings, left to right.

03-04-2011, 11:24 AM
It could be simply the fender stamping. I actually took my rear fenders off and put a
block under the wheel opening and a friend and I stood on either end giving it a slight
bow, this gained about a 1/2. It wasnt even noticeable, but not recommended on a
show car!


03-04-2011, 11:27 AM
While the body is off the frame, measure everything. The Shop Manual has many frame dimensions in a diagram. Over the fifty years your Hawk has been on the road, it may have been banged around a bit. Measure all the front to rear and diagonal points to insure the basic frame is square. You won't believe how light the frame is. I personally make everything square and then weld all the riveted joints and re-weld the front crossmember, reinforcing it around the A-arm mounting area per the '56 STB.

Back to your side-to-side offset, you'll want to center the wheels under the frame. This makes a difference in how the car goes down the road. Then, try to center the body over the wheels. This is just cosmetics, but worth doing.

This would also be a good time to add a rear sway bar and a stiffer front bar. I don't remember which the '61 Hawk came with, but I always use the later frame-mounted bar and brackets.

jack vines

ToGa 42
03-04-2011, 12:17 PM
Like others have stated before me, I would not be too concerned about the 1/2" difference on the right side. More than one of the C/K Studebakers that I have owned were this way.
Tom T.

03-04-2011, 02:52 PM
Thanks guys. Your responses make me feel a lot better about this.

Jack, you mentioned a 56 STB. I assume this is some type of service bulletin. Where would I find it?