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1963 Champ Pickup - Long Term Restoration Project

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  • 1963 Champ Pickup - Long Term Restoration Project

    This thread documents the long-term restoration of my 1963 Champ 1/2 ton pickup. With the 'Blog' function going away soon, this thread will provide a way to retain the info contained in my Champ pickup blog, plus post new progress when that happens.

    Part 1 - Beginnings

    My 1963 Studebaker Champ 8E5 truck was purchased a number of years ago - best I can figure right now, it was about 15+ years ago. I actually knew of this truck 25 years ago after seeing an ad in the local ‘Trading Post’, but missed buying it by about 1 day. I soon found out that another Studebaker owner in Colfax had purchased it - he came by my house looking for a source for a piston. (This guy also had a decent ‘58 Studebaker Commander J-body hardtop that was for sale…..I kick myself now for not buying it!).He kept the truck for a while, and then sold it to another guy in Stokesdale who purchased it for his son. He had a paint job done (with less than stellar bodywork - can you say BONDO?!) and the truck looked OK. But the son didn’t want it, so it was up for sale again. Looked at it but the price was too high.In early 1998 a friend mailed me a page out of the local ‘Truck Trader’ - there it was again, now in Reidsville. The engine was out, rust had started to appear on the bodywork, but it was a good starting point. Finally it came home…..on a trailer. Right now, I can’t find any pictures of the truck when I brought it home but will look again and add them if found. (No, the picture at the top of this page is not my truck…..it was scanned from the 1963 Studebaker Champ sales brochure.) Over the last 15 years there has been quite a bit of work:
    • Fully disassembled (I’m good at that…..just not really good about getting them back together again )
    • Chassis blasted, painted, and totally rebuilt as an 8E7 (V8) with correct NOS springs, fully rebuilt 259 8E truck V8, Turner disc brake system, new fuel lines, new brake lines, etc, etc, etc……..
    • All the little inside parts have been redone and ready to install - brake pedals, heat system, regulators, etc
    • Stainless steel dual exhaust from Silvertone (partially mocked up)
    • 15×6″ Chevy Express Van wheels converted to use the stock Champ stainless steel hubcaps
    • Original oil bath air cleaner modified to use a dry element and to fit on the Edelbrock AFB
    • Floorboard and rocker panel repairs just beginning


    Here is the Production Order for my truck, obtained from Newman & Altman in May of 1998:
    Click image for larger version

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    The dealer in Greensboro was:
    Dixie Sales Co., Inc.
    327-329 Battleground Ave.
    Greensboro, NC
    Thanks to Richard Quinn for providing the information on the dealer!!
    Last edited by r1lark; 09-10-2019, 06:43 PM.
    Paul
    Winston-Salem, NC
    Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at: www.studebakerskytop.com

  • #2
    Part 2 - Neat Champ Literature Items



    No, this page is not really related to the restoration project - but I wanted to provide access to a few of the neat Champ literature items collected over the years. I hope they provide some enjoyment!

    The top item is the cover of the owner’s manual (Studebaker referred to it as an Operator’s Guide) for the 8E trucks. Just above is the cover of an earlier Champ and Transtar Accessory guide.Here’s a few newspaper ad for a 1963 Champ pickup, by the dealership that sold my truck when new (click on image to bring up larger version…..):

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    (OK, they are not “original” ads, but were made from an original Studebaker advertising mat for the 1963 Champ trucks, and the dealer name was photo- shopped in. Thanks to Ray F. for the help in getting me started on the photo- shopping, and to Richard Quinn for the name/address of the Greensboro dealer.)
    Last edited by r1lark; 09-10-2019, 06:51 PM.
    Paul
    Winston-Salem, NC
    Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at: www.studebakerskytop.com

    Comment


    • #3
      Part 3 - 8E Champ-Transtar-Diesel Accessories Booklet

      Click on the thumbnails to bring up the large images!
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      Since it appears I can only post a certain number of pictures at a time, see next entry for the rest of the Accessory Booklet pages!
      Last edited by r1lark; 09-10-2019, 11:54 AM.
      Paul
      Winston-Salem, NC
      Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at: www.studebakerskytop.com

      Comment


      • #4
        I have owned two Champs in the past both of which were '64 T-6 trim with wide boxes,the first was a short bed and the last one, a long bed.

        Also, the first one was acquired in RI in the late 1960's and the last acquired in Waco, TX around 1997. Both were V8 engines with the last one somewhat customized with a 289/Powershift.

        I loved both of 'em and miss having the convenience of a truck for that occasional hauling something need...

        Comment


        • #5
          Part 3 continued - 8E Champ-Transtar-Diesel Accessories Booklet

          Double click image to bring up larger version.

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          Last edited by r1lark; 09-10-2019, 11:53 AM.
          Paul
          Winston-Salem, NC
          Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at: www.studebakerskytop.com

          Comment


          • #6
            Part 4 - Introduction of the Champ Conestoga Option

            September 14, 1962

            The Introduction Package sent to dealers consisted of: two (2) typewritten pages describing the new Conestoga camper top for Champ pickups; one (1) Confidential Price List; one (1) typewritten page describing the differences between the ‘Standard’ and ‘Deluxe’ Conestoga top; two (2) Dealer Order Forms; and a two-page (front and back) flyer with pictures and specifications.The individual pages of the Introduction Package are reproduced below; click on the thumbnail to bring up a larger version.
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            Last edited by r1lark; 09-10-2019, 12:17 PM.
            Paul
            Winston-Salem, NC
            Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at: www.studebakerskytop.com

            Comment


            • #7
              Part 4 continued - Introduction of the Champ Conestoga Option

              Finally, here is a really neat item, provided by Richard Quinn. Measurements of the poster are 34 inches by 22-1/2 inches. Thanks Richard!!
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              Last edited by r1lark; 09-10-2019, 12:19 PM.
              Paul
              Winston-Salem, NC
              Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at: www.studebakerskytop.com

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by GrumpyOne View Post
                I have owned two Champs in the past both of which were '64 T-6 trim with wide boxes,the first was a short bed and the last one, a long bed.

                Also, the first one was acquired in RI in the late 1960's and the last acquired in Waco, TX around 1997. Both were V8 engines with the last one somewhat customized with a 289/Powershift.

                I loved both of 'em and miss having the convenience of a truck for that occasional hauling something need...
                I'm looking forward to driving the Champ when it's done. Have put a lot of miles on a '55 E7 pickup, but have not driven a Champ. Looks like you have a lot of experience with Champs for sure!
                Paul
                Winston-Salem, NC
                Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at: www.studebakerskytop.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  Part 5 - Chassis Restoration

                  The next series of posts cover the restoration of the chassis. After sandblasting at a local blaster, the chassis was epoxy primed, and painted with Eastwood’s Chassis Black paint. Was very happy with the Eastwood finish, but we will see how it holds up long term…..check back in a few years! Unfortunately the pictures of the early stages of chassis work are missing in action; if they are found, they will be added in. Thought for sure there was a pic of me spraying the finish coat on the frame, but I can’t find that either!

                  NOTE: Most if not all of these smaller pictures can be clicked to bring up BIG versions. After you view the big version, use your browser ‘back’ arrow to get back to the blog.

                  Here’s the earliest pic I could find of the frame; that is my younger son Robert in the picture, about 15 years ago:
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                  Rear springs were disassembled, cleaned/blasted, painted, and reassembled with new rubber bushings. Man that spring pack is thick - may have to pull some leaves out later to help the ride. Rear axle looked great inside, just a good cleaning inside and a new gasket, and the cover went back on. The rear axle bearings and inner/outer seals were replaced, and the axle endplay was set per the Shop Manual. The whole axle was cleaned with a wire brush on a drill motor down to bare metal, primed with epoxy primer, and painted with Eastwood Chassis Black paint. Monroe Gas Magnum truck shocks were used in the back (as well as the front).The truck was originally a six cylinder, but I wanted a V8. In researching the parts book, it was determined that the only chassis difference was the front springs so NOS 8E7 front springs were purchased from Newman & Altman (before Dennis purchased the parts and formed SASCO). All new spring bushings, tie rod ends, shocks, etc were installed. The truck appeared to just had new kingpins installed, so those were retained. Had some trouble finding the tie rod ends for each side, but finally got some NOS TRW ends from a vendor at Charlotte AutoFair.The steering box was rebuilt using all NOS parts. Below is a series of pictures documenting the steering box rebuild:
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                  NOS steering box parts........

                  NOS post and bearings:
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                  Post installed in steering box:
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                  Instructions from the new post bearing kit
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                  Reaming bushings with an adjustable piloted reamer (borrowed from work):
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                  A new roller assembly was installed in the arm, and torqued to specs using a small inch-pound torque wrench:
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                  Steering box reassembled with new oil seal; cover was then installed with a hand-cut gasket, and post endplay adjusted with shims per the shop manual:
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                  Last edited by r1lark; 09-10-2019, 12:35 PM.
                  Paul
                  Winston-Salem, NC
                  Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at: www.studebakerskytop.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Special Addition -- More Literature!

                    Front and back of the '63 Champ brochure:
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                    Last edited by r1lark; 09-10-2019, 12:44 PM.
                    Paul
                    Winston-Salem, NC
                    Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at: www.studebakerskytop.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Part 5 continued - Chassis Restoration

                      Continuing with steering linkage.

                      Next came the steering idler with a NOS bushing installed........
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                      ….and all the ’special’ 8E steering linkage is NOS too:
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                      BTW, all of these new parts came with an 8E12 (V8 with 5 speed OD tranny) truck that was purchased in about 1985. The owner had planned on keeping it “forever” and purchased every new part that he could from Avanti Parts in the late 1970’s, including a lot of duplicates. (For those Studebaker newbies, Avanti Parts was formed to purchase the parts inventory from Studebaker.) The engine from this 8E12 goes into my Champ too.Here is a shot of the steering box installed:
                      Click image for larger version

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                      The tag on the steering box is to remind me to fill the box with lube! Don’t know about the rest of you, but my projects stretch out so long that reminders like this are needed! The other tag is to remind me to torque the bolt for the steering linkage idler.
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                      A shot of the drivers side front suspension:
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                      The shocks are Monroe Gas Magnum p/n 34905 gas charged truck shocks; used these on my ‘55 E7 pickup and they work great. The Turner disc brake conversion can be seen in this pic, and will have its own page since I have had so many requests for pics.
                      Last edited by r1lark; 09-10-2019, 08:54 AM.
                      Paul
                      Winston-Salem, NC
                      Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at: www.studebakerskytop.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Part 6 - Fuel System

                        The gas tank was clean as a whistle inside, but was filthy and somewhat rusty (surface rust) on the outside. A couple hours with a wire brush on a drill motor, and it was ready for coating using Eastwood’s Tank Tone spray. I like this Eastwood Tank Tone. I is a zinc coating that sprays on. I topcoat it with clear for protection.
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                        With new attachment bolts, brackets cleaned up, and new insulators made from fabric reinforced rubber, the gas tank is ready to go on…….
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                        New gas tank gage and gasket, and the tank mounted in the frame:
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                        New fuel line was bent to match the original exactly:
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                        Paul
                        Winston-Salem, NC
                        Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at: www.studebakerskytop.com

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Part 7 - Brake System
                          Last updated 03-28-2009
                          The brake system was fully redone. Rear drums were excellent, and were just cleaned, friction surface scuffed, and the drums painted. The wheel cylinders and shoes were replaced, along with the emergency brake cable.

                          The front brakes were replaced with a Turner disc brake conversion system. I purchased the kit with just the bracket, fasteners, and spindle spacer from Jim Turner, and sourced the other component from local parts houses. Jim’s kit is excellent, and support is just an email or telephone call away. Follow the instructions closely, call Jim if you get stuck, and you will be fine.

                          NOTE: Most if not all of these smaller pictures can be clicked to bring up BIG versions. After you view the big version, use your browser ‘back’ arrow to get back to the blog.

                          Following are some pics of the disc brake setup:
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                          Note in the picture above, when the spacer is installed there is a 90 degree shoulder for the inner bearing to seat against, instead of the radiused shoulder originally on the spindle. I took advantage of this and used a slightly different inner wheel bearing par number that is not radiused, to ensure maximum surface contact between the ID of the wheel bearing and the spindle surface.

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                          New front brake lines were bent and double flared to match the original. The coiled protectors on two of the brake lines are from the original brake lines, slipped on before the last flare was made:
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                          Paul
                          Winston-Salem, NC
                          Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at: www.studebakerskytop.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Part 8 - Chevy 15×6″ Wheels with Champ Hubcaps

                            This page shows how I adapted the stock stainless steel Champ 1/2-ton hubcaps to the 15X6 Chevy Express Van wheels. These wheels were used because they fit the front disc brake conversion, and also fit over the rear Champ brake drums.

                            ******Disclaimer: This page does not represent a recommendation for you to modify your wheels and/or suspension. It simply shows how I modified mine. Modification to vehicle wheels and suspension could lead to injury or death.****** (Translation: if you do this, don’t say I told you to do it, because I didn’t.)

                            NOTE: Most if not all of these smaller pictures can be clicked to bring up BIG versions. After you view the big version, use your browser ‘back’ arrow to get back to the blog.

                            15×6″ Chevy Express Van wheel, which is configured such that the wheel will fit over both the Turner disc brake setup, and the Studebaker drum. I considered using 16″ Studebaker truck wheels (they did fit over the front calipers, just barely) but the narrower width versus the Chevy wheels made me decide against them. The blue color is machinists Dykem, for layout marking:
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                            Basically, the size and position of the slots that hold the stock Studebaker hubcap clips are being duplicated on the Chevy wheel. The clip positions are accurately laid out, and I am milling the slots out with a small end mill. This ‘test wheel’ is being done at home on my drill press, instead of at work on the Bridgeport, to keep the “….what the heck are you doing putting a good Chevy wheel on a Stupidbaker…..” comments to a minimum<G>. The other 4 wheels will be done on the Bridgeport. (Actually, the folks at work are very supportive of my Studebaker hobby, especially the machinists.)
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                            After the slot is milled, the edges are squared off with a file. Note that the mill is plunging straight down on this first slot, which actually ended up not working. I ended having to build up the slot some, and then come in at an angle so the slot is more perpendicular to the surface of the wheel.
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                            The easiest way to square up the edges of the slot was with a bastard file, followed with a finer file. This first version slot is actually a little too large in the ‘height’ direction. The modified version was not as tall, plus I did a much better job keeping the the long sides parallel.
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                            Hubcap clips installed. The clips here in the first version actually stick up to ’straight’. Once the slots were modified, the clip laid down more like the stock wheel:
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                            Hubcap installed on ‘test’ wheel:
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                            Test fit of the wheel with hubcap on the truck. Note that there is a ‘ribbed’ trim ring on the wheel also. This is similar to the combination ran on my ‘55 E-series V8 except with a smooth trim ring. The stainless cap and trim ring looks great against an ivory color wheel.
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                            The other wheels are done, primed/sealed, and waiting for a topcoat of paint. This really isn’t hard, just a lot of repetition.
                            Paul
                            Winston-Salem, NC
                            Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at: www.studebakerskytop.com

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Part 9 - Oil Bath Air Cleaner Mod to Dry Filter Type

                              What type of air cleaner to use?? Since the engine has an Edelbrock 500 cfm AFB, the stock Stude air cleaner could not be used unless the carb top was swapped for an earlier top. A chrome air cleaner was considered, but decided that would look out of place. It was finally decided to try and modify a 1964 Stude oil bath air cleaner for a dry filter.
                              No, a 4bbl oil bath was not cut up (altho one was available). A 2bbl that came with a ‘62 Cruiser engine was used. The 4bbl oil bath was used for height reference, however.
                              The following pictures show how an oil bath air cleaner was modified to take a dry element, by using a 10″ Mr. Gasket chrome air cleaner.
                              The first few pics are of the original 2bbl 1964 Studebaker oil bath air cleaner before modification:
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                              There were only two spot welds that held the inner oil ‘holder’ to the air cleaner base. In the photo below, these have already been drilled out, but the two pieces have not been separated yet:
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                              Inner ‘oil reservoir’ removed:
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                              A little cleaning and some light color primer, and there was a good surface to mark for cutting. Decided to use a sabre saw with a metal cutting blade, and then dress it up with a stone on the air die grinder:
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                              Center portion cut out:
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                              Holes were drilled around the edge, and the oil bath air cleaner base will be rosette-welded to the bottom portion of the Mr. Gasket air cleaner:
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                              I know, a little out of sequence. The modified oil bath air cleaner needed to be spaced up to fit on the Edelbrock AFB but was a little worried about having the top of the air cleaner TOO high tho. Here is the spacer shown on top of the carb.
                              By using the original 4bbl Stude oil bath air cleaner and a Stude 4bbl AFB, it was determined how high off the intake the original oil bath would have been. Luckily, the top of the modified oil bath will be within about 3/16″ of the original.
                              Click image for larger version

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                              The Mr. Gasket air cleaner base has since been welded to the bottom portion of the oil bath air cleaner, and the top and bottom portions have been prepped and primed. As soon the two halves are finish coated, some “finished product” pictures will be posted.
                              One item that still needs to be sourced is a new rubber seal that fits between the outer edges of the top and bottom oil bath halves.
                              Paul
                              Winston-Salem, NC
                              Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at: www.studebakerskytop.com

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