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53 Commander vs. 54 Champion parts swap

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  • 53 Commander vs. 54 Champion parts swap

    Started the disassembly of the 53 Commander Coupe. I am pulling every part off that will swap to the 54 Champion body and frame. I have looked in the body and chassis catalogs to get some information but I want to confirm. I have both radiators out. They hold the same liquid amounts and are the same dimensions. Seems the 54 Champion will work with the 53 Commander V8? Correct? Front springs , will 54 champion springs work in the 53? The 53 springs may rust pitting but no flaking. They look good. The Champion springs are excellent. Need to swap? The brakes on the 53 are already both 11 inch and from a newer car so I will switch those. Emergency brake swap OK? I am moving the dash, trim and interior over. Any other parts that may not swap out that I am missing?
    Jim
    51 Studebaker Starlight State Commander Coupe
    53 Studebaker Starlight Regal Commander Coupe
    62 Volvo PV544 Sport
    59 Renault 4CV




  • #2
    others will be along with more/better info but if the Champion was "original", it came with a 170-6 so the springs and suspension may need some upgrading for the heavier V8.

    if i recall correctly, the '54 frame is slightly thicker than the '53. that's good.
    Kerry. SDC Member #A012596W. ENCSDC member.

    '51 Champion Business Coupe - (Tom's Car). Purchased 11/2012.

    '40 Champion. sold 10/11. '63 Avanti R-1384. sold 12/10.

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    • #3
      The V8 is 200 lbs heavier than the I6, so those springs will make it look like it is going down hill an level ground. Radiator outlet for the six is probably smaller than the eight and you really do not want less flow when it comes to coolant. Finally, you can haul those '53 brakes to the local metal recycle yard - the '54 brakes are much better than the earlier ones. Good luck.

      Comment


      • #4
        The 53 brakes were already swapped with newer brakes by previous owner. Front and back are 11inch and self adjusting. I will keep those.
        51 Studebaker Starlight State Commander Coupe
        53 Studebaker Starlight Regal Commander Coupe
        62 Volvo PV544 Sport
        59 Renault 4CV



        Comment


        • #5
          I can swap the springs and radiator, just that the 54 parts are a bit better condition. Yes, the 54 Champion is stock. The 53 Commander has a 289 with flight o matic.
          51 Studebaker Starlight State Commander Coupe
          53 Studebaker Starlight Regal Commander Coupe
          62 Volvo PV544 Sport
          59 Renault 4CV



          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by lelshaddai View Post
            The 53 brakes were already swapped with newer brakes by previous owner. Front and back are 11inch and self adjusting. I will keep those.
            You may have mis-remembered or did not measure, because the CORRECT Rear Drums for the 11 Inch Front ones would be 10 Inch, definitely NOT 11 Inch.

            I am not saying that you could not HAVE 11 Inch rear drums, it is just that if you do, they would belong to the Front Disc. Setup, not the 11 Inch Front DRUM Brake system and not stop correctly with Front Drums.
            StudeRich
            Second Generation Stude Driver,
            Proud '54 Starliner Owner

            Comment


            • #7
              Click image for larger version

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ID:	1715881One thing is true. They are new style brakes with the adjusting wheel. I did measure the brakes. Outside to outside is almost 12 inches. Fronts are the same size. The Drivetrain came fro a 63 or newer. Did I not see that some of the newer cars had 11 in front and back?
              51 Studebaker Starlight State Commander Coupe
              53 Studebaker Starlight Regal Commander Coupe
              62 Volvo PV544 Sport
              59 Renault 4CV



              Comment


              • #8
                Just in case someone says the dash is different...it's not. "ALL"...of the 53 -54 dash boards will interchange...fact. Even the 55 dash will interchange as long as the early 55 dash is used.
                I was told different sometime back, by a few people. Found out for myself...not true.

                Mike

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by lelshaddai View Post
                  [ATTACH=CONFIG]66152[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]66153[/ATTACH]One thing is true. They are new style brakes with the adjusting wheel. I did measure the brakes. Outside to outside is almost 12 inches. Fronts are the same size. The Drivetrain came fro a 63 or newer. Did I not see that some of the newer cars had 11 in front and back?
                  NO, none of the Cars had 11 Inch Front and Rear.
                  Those rears are probably the correct 10 inch INSIDE where it counts for a 259 V8 without 289 Finned Drums.
                  Last edited by StudeRich; 08-09-2017, 03:12 PM.
                  StudeRich
                  Second Generation Stude Driver,
                  Proud '54 Starliner Owner

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I think you are correct. The front measure almost 13 inches on the outside. 1 inch bigger than the rears.
                    51 Studebaker Starlight State Commander Coupe
                    53 Studebaker Starlight Regal Commander Coupe
                    62 Volvo PV544 Sport
                    59 Renault 4CV



                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Did the Commander have a square and red "S" embossed on the interior rear dash area?
                      51 Studebaker Starlight State Commander Coupe
                      53 Studebaker Starlight Regal Commander Coupe
                      62 Volvo PV544 Sport
                      59 Renault 4CV



                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I think you mean the Speaker cutout hole on the Package Tray behind the rear seat, Yes but no Red Paint unless the entire shelf was Red.
                        StudeRich
                        Second Generation Stude Driver,
                        Proud '54 Starliner Owner

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Is that normal to have? My commander has it and my champion does not
                          51 Studebaker Starlight State Commander Coupe
                          53 Studebaker Starlight Regal Commander Coupe
                          62 Volvo PV544 Sport
                          59 Renault 4CV



                          Comment


                          • #14
                            It's just a '53 thing, just like the rear seat armrest, the leaded weld at the base of the 'C" Pillar, the missing #3 frame crossmember, and the Eccentric adjusted Brakes!

                            My '54 has a different Package Tray/Shelf than my '53 Starliner.
                            Last edited by StudeRich; 08-10-2017, 03:00 PM.
                            StudeRich
                            Second Generation Stude Driver,
                            Proud '54 Starliner Owner

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Are the rear and front springs really different between the 53 Commander and 54 Champion? The manual stats the front springs are the same by name/brand but it mentions they have different free length. The manual also states the Champion and Commander rear springs to be the same size and same number of leafs(4). I have seen some springs with five. I am trying to read the parts books and manuals but do not have a clear answer. Also the radiators appear to be the same, same dimensions, 3 row. If I do not need to swap these parts it would be nice, especially the front coils. Are the part numbers on them somewhere? Getting conflicting information.
                              Jim
                              51 Studebaker Starlight State Commander Coupe
                              53 Studebaker Starlight Regal Commander Coupe
                              62 Volvo PV544 Sport
                              59 Renault 4CV



                              Comment

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