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1962 Hawk Restoration

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  • 1962 Hawk Restoration

    I'm about ready to give this car away; it has been a frame-on restoration and is a great disappointment in performance. It shakes and rattles with the least small imperfection on the road. The front end has been completely rebuilt including new coil springs, shocks, tie rod ends, sway bar bushings etc. I put on new leaf springs and bushings as well as shocks. The next thing that is not nice is fuel consumption on the 289...11 mpg on first two tanks of fuel. It is not that I can't afford the fuel cost but rather I expected better fuel performance. UGH! If someone has constructive thoughts the thoughts are welcome. Chet445

  • #2
    I am ready to accept your offer - but before you do, I would check your carburetor settings. It sounds like its running a rich, because I regularly get 18-23 mpg depending on what type of driving I am doing. My 1963 GT has no rattles, but it can be a PITA to locate them. Rust and clips in the bottom of doors is a typical culprit. As far as performance goes, some of the new lighter cars with the same horsepower can go faster. But none will get you there in the style of a nice GT.

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    • #3
      Is the shaking and rattling a body or suspension issue?

      If body, make sure all the body-to-frame bolts are tight and shimmed as described in the manual.

      If suspension, get it on a lift and check everything of tightness. Both my Avanti's have essentially the same suspension and they ride and steer quite well for the elderly design of the steering and suspension. Both were completely rebuilt with new suspension components, polyurethane sway bar mounts and good gas shocks.

      Good luck - It shouldn't be like that. Bob

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      • #4
        What are you running for tires and wheels? Before you condemn the work that's been done and the car, I would look to trying a set of good known wheels and tires and see if that makes any difference.

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        • #5
          There are definitely some things wrong that are not typical of a 62 GT. My GT with automatic had some rattles from use, but was a fine driving car. It also got much better mileage than yours. Maybe a club member in your area could help you do some troubleshooting.
          Last edited by 52-fan; 06-26-2019, 02:57 PM.
          "In the heart of Arkansas."
          Searcy, Arkansas
          1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
          1952 2R pickup

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          • #6
            Originally posted by 55s View Post
            I am ready to accept your offer - As far as performance goes, some of the new lighter cars with the same horsepower can go faster. But none will get you there in the style of a nice GT.
            Count me in, I have lots of room for it! I want to know where you're finding these new "lighter cars" 55s. I haven't seen a car under 3300lbs in over 20 years. All the new similarly sized cars to the Hawk I've seen have been around 1000 lbs heavier. A buddy of mine has a 2000 somthing Firebird and it weighs as much as the huge '68 Chrysler Newport, just under 4000lbs. The '85 Toyota Corola, '99 Honda CRV, and 2003 PT cruiser I've had all weighed around 3300lbs, the same as my '54 Chevy Belair. A 2018 Challenger averages around 4125lbs.

            I guess I got a good '62 GT? It doesn't rattle, it's actually surprising for a hardtop, runs like the proverbial scalded dog, it doesn't get great fuel mileage but better than you mention. What carb do you have? I've found I usually get better milage with a 4v than with a 2v. I currently have a Holley 625cfm Demon on my overbored 289. I replaced the 625cfm R1, AFB with it, the milage isn't as good as with the AFB but I haven't had a chance to fine tune it yet, it's still a bit fat so will get better with some tuning.

            As to performance and economy make sure your timing is correct and carb is tuned properly and neither should be an issue. Remember, too lean, too rich, too little or too much timing will all hurt both performance and economy. FYI, my timing is currently all in at 2500rpm @ 45 degrees total advance.

            The biggest detriment to my fuel economy is evaporation! The crap fuel they're selling us now is not designed for an "open"(aerobic) fuel system and it evaporates EXTREMELY quickly. During the summer I loose at least a gallon week to evaporation. A little example: I fill my Harley every time I ride it on my way home, the gas station is about 3 miles away. If I ride it a week later I get 36 mpg on that first tank of fuel. I refill it and continue riding and I'll get 56 mpg from all successive tank fulls. This is normal, happening with every tank of fuel that sits idle in my vehicles without closed fuel systems. In the 8 months I had my GT parked, while I had the engine and trans out, the entire full tank of fuel evaporated.
            Last edited by bensherb; 02-07-2019, 12:13 PM.
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            • #7
              Are you sure all the bushings used in the rebuild are the correct parts? Is there a chance some of those were the wrong parts or not installed correctly?

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              • #8
                Chet, I've owned my 62 GT since 1975 and have not experienced problems with the suspension such as wandering or vague steering. My GT has a few minor rattles, but nothing I would call out of the ordinary for those bodies. The Fuel mileage is another issue as I have seen 23 mpg out of my Hawk with a 4 speed and 3.31 differential. I once owned a 62 GT with a 3 speed OD trans and it would do 24 on the highway and around 16 or 17 mpg around town. You have some serious issues if you are only getting 11 mpg. You need to do some basic testing and adjusting such as running a compression check, adjusting the valves and being sure that the ignition timing is set correctly. If your engine has an original Prestolite distributor in it, there is a 100% guarantee that it needs rebuilding as the centrifugal advance weights are a big problem with those and I'm seeing distributors with failed vacuum chambers which will also cause a drop in fuel economy. If you want to talk with me directly about your problems, send me a PM with your phone number and I'll give you a call. Bud

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                • #9
                  Bud check your PM. Chet445

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                  • #10
                    I'm not seeing anything in my inbox. Please give it another try. Bud

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                    • #11
                      I agree with Bud with regard to the Prestolite distributor. There is another adjudicative problem that should be addressed when you work on the distributor, that is the resistance wire that goes to the distributor. They go bad and short out, and without a resistor they are the last line of defense. Delco dist. used a real resistor, some Fords used a coil with an internal resistor, that's what I used. You might even consider using a Delco distributor.

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                      • #12
                        I like the suggestion on checking the tires. My 61 got a frame off restoration with new wheels and new redial tires. But the first year of driving while I was still sorting out various issues, the one constant was that it shook a lot above about 50 mph. I replaced U joint and balanced the drive shaft and brake drums but nothing helped. Finally I found a shop that could do an on-car tire balance. Once that was done the car will run the interstate at 75 mph just as smooth as my 2018 daily driver.

                        They seem to be few and far between now, but ask around your local old car guys and see if anyone can suggest a shop that does on-car balancing. It sure worked for me.
                        Wayne
                        "Trying to shed my CASO ways"

                        sigpic‚Äč

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                        • #13

                          Originally posted by bensherb View Post
                          Count me in, I have lots of room for it! I want to know where you're finding these new "lighter cars" 55s. I haven't seen a car under 3300lbs in over 20 years. All the new similarly sized cars to the Hawk I've seen have been around 1000 lbs heavier. A buddy of mine has a 2000 somthing Firebird and it weighs as much as the huge '68 Chrysler Newport, just under 4000lbs. The '85 Toyota Corola, '99 Honda CRV, and 2003 PT cruiser I've had all weighed around 3300lbs, the same as my '54 Chevy Belair. A 2018 Challenger averages around 4125lbs.
                          Thank you for correcting me. I never would have thought that the average weight of new cars is going up, and cars similar to our Studebakers can be more heavy. I assumed that cars were getting lighter for better fuel consumption. Many of the new SUVs are heavy and work into the average as well.

                          However, just because you are correct on this point doesn't mean that you have first dibs on this car that might be given away. : )

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                          • #14
                            Chet, since you seem to want to give that Hawk away, I can give it a good home and stop work on my 62. I wish I could pass on any common problems with a Hawk, but I do not have a running car, yet! Do the basics as far a bad mileage. As others have said, check timing, static and advance. Adjust the carb. Check plugs for running rich. Good luck, it's just a matter of time you'll sort it out. If I can overcome what I'm facing working on my 62, you certainly can. Hang in there.

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                            • #15
                              Rattles: On my 64 GT I took out all the side window glass....replaced/clean/tightened everything inside.....replaced all the moldings/weather stripping....big, big improvement!
                              Lou Van Anne
                              62 Champ
                              64 R2 GT Hawk
                              79 Avanti II

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