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Cost of GT front end rebuild?

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  • Cost of GT front end rebuild?

    Looking for a ball park figure on having the front suspension of my 62 GT rebuilt. Replace all the bushings, redo the kingpins and front end alignment? I thought about doing the work myself but don't think I'm up to the job. I have a place in mind to do the work but need to know if the estimate they give me is legit.
    I'd rather be driving my Studebaker!

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  • #2
    The killer is shop time cost. I took my 2011 Tundra to the Toyota dealer to have the check engine light re-set and their shop labor rate is $147 per hour now. If you go to a shop that charges by the hour, you will rack up some big bucks fast. Half of the time is doing grunt work, cleaning and inspecting. I would say about $800 plus parts.

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    • #3
      Should I go ahead and get the parts first from a Studebaker vender?
      I'd rather be driving my Studebaker!

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      • #4
        Originally posted by wlfrench View Post
        Should I go ahead and get the parts first from a Studebaker vender?
        That's the only place you'll find the right parts.

        I've seen front end rebuilds go north of $1000 if the car owner is paying someone else to do the work. All depends on how much needs to be replaced or repaired.

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        • #5
          The parts to rebuild through SI is $1083.75 and on page 278.I did mine last year and was pleased with the improved handling.

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          • #6
            Parts 1083. Alignment 90, labor 200. The kingpins were easier to remove with a lift.

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            • #7
              Whoever completes the work, make sure the weight is on your A-frame bushings before they finally torque the A-frame bolts up. It relieves some of the tear-out of your new bushings. It's not that bad of a job if you do it yourself. Safety is paramount when removing springs after that it is pretty straight forward. Check out the Studeblogger (Clark) front end rebuild series at http://studeblogger.blogspot.ca/2013...ld-series.html. It was really helpful when I rebuilt the front end of my 63 Lark Convertible especially replacing the bushings in the A-frames. Good luck!

              Allen
              1964 GT Hawk
              PSMCDR 2014
              Best time: 14.473 sec. 96.57 MPH quarter mile
              PSMCDR 2013
              Best time: 14.654 sec. 94.53 MPH quarter

              Victoria, Canada

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              • #8
                Find a friend with a hoist and some "old school" mechanical ability. I did mine a few years ago and total cost was about $140USD plus cost of alignment. I took my time and spent pretty much two good days doing it. None of the local shops would touch it and I wouldn't have trusted them to do it anyway. There are some things in the shop manual to pay attention to.

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                • #9
                  It is a big job, and I understand your reluctance to tackle it. But you could do one side a time, with a break between sides. The only thing connecting both sides is the anti-sway bar, and it is easy enough to hook and unhook. It is getting hard to find someone with mechanical aptitude. If you do it yourself you will have job satisfaction and, "know" your car a lot better.

                  As for price, mine usually cost $300-$400. I suppose replacing all parts with new would be around $1000, but have never found that necessary. Usually some parts will most always need replaced, but many others will not. It will largely depend on how well the suspension was kept greased, when it was in use. On the 62GT, though I have replaced king pin bearings & bushings, and 'A' arm bushings around three times, but have yet to replace the tie rods even once in the past 300,000+ miles. I believe the center bearing has been replaced once. That is where aptitude comes in, being able to accurately determine what is needed and what is not. It is OK to just replace everything, but that is seldom really necessary.

                  No matter what, the Grunt work of cleanup is a major hassle.
                  Last edited by JoeHall; 04-23-2017, 01:03 PM.

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                  • #10
                    I did three of them. Mine cost around $350 each, but those jobs were 15-25 years ago. I took the front suspension off and had Studebakers West redo the bushings and bearings. Then I put the suspension back together and had a shop do the alignment. I think that I am too old and weak to do the job now.
                    Last edited by RadioRoy; 04-23-2017, 05:37 PM.
                    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

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by wlfrench View Post
                      Looking for a ball park figure on having the front suspension of my 62 GT rebuilt. Replace all the bushings, redo the kingpins and front end alignment? I thought about doing the work myself but don't think I'm up to the job. I have a place in mind to do the work but need to know if the estimate they give me is legit.
                      I have observed this thread with interest. I'm assuming you titled this thread "Cost of GT front end rebuild" mainly because it is the car you need rebuilt. Unless there is something I'm overlooking, I suspect that any Studebaker passenger car built since 1951 could serve as the topic of the discussion. Although the parts may be different between the lighter duty six cylinder & heavier V8's, aren't the overall designs about the same? Looks to me that labor, tools, method, & components are enough alike, that a front end rebuild (for estimating purposes) would all come close to the same expense.

                      As to the process...it is an area I am woefully inexperienced. In all my years of playing with Studebaker vehicles, including ones belonging to friends, I don't recall a single one that didn't need a little help with the suspension. If someone knowledgeable with repairing a front suspension was close enough to me, I would be happy to supply free help in cleaning, and handing tools as needed, just for the privilege to observe & learn. Back around 1979, I installed a new king pin set in my '55 truck. Following the instructions in the shop manual, the job went well. But, that was so many years ago, I'd have to approach the task as if it were my first attempt again. On the trucks, no coil springs or A frames.

                      As eager as I usually am about tackling complicated mechanical challenges, I will admit to being intimidated by front suspension/steering systems. Instead of challenging my fear of messing up, I find myself falling back on excuses. Don't have a smooth concrete floor, don't have a lift, it's too hot, too cold, too wet. This forum (over time) has provided the falsehood to those excuses. There are folks who have successfully renewed their suspensions with only a floor jack & jack stands. Under pole barns & shade trees. Jerry Kurtz makes the special spreader tool (I have one, it's pretty.) I suppose, if I make excuses long enough, some day, I really will be TOO OLD.
                      John Clary
                      Greer, SC

                      SDC member since 1975

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                      • #12
                        One of the hardest things is removing the front coil springs. If you don't have a spring compressor rent one. I have my own system for removing them but you need frame repair pulling pots in your shop floor to make it work.If you shop for parts you can help keep the cost down. Upper control arm bushing you can use GM'S and save over half on them. The lowers you are stuck with Studebaker. Still haven't found anything that will interchange. Go with the heavy springs up front. Plenty of post on here about that. Cs 655's. If you have power steering and those need rebuilt anything other than new seals hold onto your wallet as that will hit it hard. Found a local supplier for the bell crank kit that saved a lot and understand some Ford tie rods ends will work. Haven't got to those yet but hope to shortly.

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                        • #13
                          I really was going to do the job myself but I know if I do it it will take all summer working nights and weekends when I have the time. Then just last week my back went out on me so at this point I think discretion dictates that I just pay to get the work done. The main thing that I see that needs to be done is ALL the bushings are either are totally shot or missing and need to be replaced. The one silver lining is that the previous owner replaced the coil springs. Why he replaced the springs and didn't do the bushings at the same time I'll never know. There is a place in Baltimore called Frame Rite with a bunch of older mechanics that come highly recommended for this kind of work.
                          I'd rather be driving my Studebaker!

                          sigpic

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by wlfrench View Post
                            ....Then just last week my back went out on me so at this point I think discretion dictates that I just pay to get the work done....
                            You have given a REASON! Very different than an excuse.
                            John Clary
                            Greer, SC

                            SDC member since 1975

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                            • #15
                              I have not paid for an alignment on a Stude since one time in 1985. Its easy to set the caster, camber, and toe in/out, once you get the hang of it

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