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53 Commander vs. 54 Champion parts swap

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  • lelshaddai
    replied
    Thank you. I picked up a V8 set of coils and a 5 leaf set of rear springs. They will be replaced. Just want to do this correctly.

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  • StudeRich
    replied
    Trust me, you cannot use Champion Six Front Coil Springs in a V8 Car, there is a difference between a "Lowered" Car and "Flat" Coil Springs.

    Some people can deal with Lowered, but when you drop a V8 into a 6 Cylinder Car, the Coils bottom because those springs were made to support around 200 Lbs. less, so you end up "riding on a Rail!"

    Been there, done that.

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  • S2Deluxe
    replied
    Originally posted by lelshaddai View Post
    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
    Jim please forgIve me, for making a statement that seems, it should be so blatantly obvious that it's likely not that much help? Although I don't have my parts catalog handy at the moment, I can say that if it doesn't list springs for 4H and 5H C&K bodies under the same part # as those for 14G and 15G C&K bodies? They are different parts!

    Originally posted by Corvanti View Post
    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.
    As I understand the Studebaker chassis situation, at least as it applies to the '53 & '54 C&K models, it is that the Commander (4H & 5H) models have slightly thicker frames than the Champion (14G & 15G) models! From '55 on, all models used the same thicker steel in the chassis. However people have now been installing V8s in these chassis for nearly 65 years. Not much endures such an expanse of time, without some degree of deterioration! Not all of which is easily detectable. The #3 crossmember or batwing, as it is often referred to, which was mentioned previously, would be a benefit no matter which chassis it is used on, wasn't installed on the C&K bodies until the '54 model year. I'd expect the '54 Champion chassis to be fine with any level of sane street horsepower you plan to use with it!

    Mark

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  • lelshaddai
    replied
    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

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  • StudeRich
    replied
    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.

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  • lelshaddai
    replied
    Is that normal to have? My commander has it and my champion does not

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  • StudeRich
    replied
    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.

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  • lelshaddai
    replied
    Did the Commander have a square and red "S" embossed on the interior rear dash area?

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  • lelshaddai
    replied
    I think you are correct. The front measure almost 13 inches on the outside. 1 inch bigger than the rears.

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  • StudeRich
    replied
    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.

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  • Mike Van Veghten
    replied
    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

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  • lelshaddai
    replied
    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?

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  • StudeRich
    replied
    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.

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  • lelshaddai
    replied
    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.

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  • lelshaddai
    replied
    The 53 brakes were already swapped with newer brakes by previous owner. Front and back are 11inch and self adjusting. I will keep those.

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