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Front axle for the Indy car

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  • Front axle for the Indy car

    I went to WCD Garage in Northborough, MA to pick up a 1928 President [edit: 1929 model FH President, s/n 7028315] axle assembly from Bob Munter. I thought I was getting an "axle", but it turned out to be the whole front axle assembly complete with 2 wood-spoke wheels, pressed steel 15" drums and brakes, and two shock absorbers.

    It took four of us to roll and tug the thing to my trailer and hump it on board. When I got home, the engine hoist lifted it enough to start taking it apart. One wheel and brake came off easily. The other brake had the shoes rusted to the inside of the drum so I had to dismount the whole thing from the steering knuckle and take it apart from the back side. Even that took two days of grunt labor.



    Talk about unsprung weight! When you drove one of those old '29 Presidents, you had better hope you didn't get a flat. The tire and demountable rim weighed about 75 lbs. The tire, rim, and the brake drum came in at 113. Even the backing plate and 3-shoe brake assembly ran 27 lbs. The hub, wood spokes, and inner rim are permanently mounted to the 15" drum. The tire and its outer rim slide onto the inner rim and were retained by 5 plates and big square nuts. This car must have seen some tough days because on one wheel, there was a collection of junk used to hold the wheel on; none of them matched. I don't need these brakes, so if anyone does, let me know.



    The axle itself seems in pretty good shape. The steering knuckles and spindles are huge. I haven't weighed the axle itself yet. The king pins seem tight and move easily. All the wheel bearings still had grease and look great, no rust on the spindles. What I actually need now are some hubs [p/n 150922] for wire or disk wheels that fit these spindles. Even back then, Studebaker used 5-on-5 bolt pattern, and I plan to get some Dayton/Rudge wire wheels with knock-off retainers. I'll have to cut off the towers at the outer ends of the axle that held the levers for the rod-actuated brakes, but otherwise, this axle seems to be very like the original Indy cars. The original Indy cars probably used 1929-32 axles with the cable actuated brakes, but I think they were otherwise very similar.



    At least it's some progress!

    [img=left]http://www.studegarage.com/images/indy/gary_indycar25_vvsm.jpg[/img=left] Gary Ash
    Dartmouth, Mass.
    '32 Indy car replica (in progress)
    '48 M5
    '65 Wagonaire Commander
    '63 Wagonaire Standard
    web site at http://www.studegarage.com
    Gary Ash
    Dartmouth, Mass.

    '32 Indy car replica (in progress)
    ’41 Commander Land Cruiser
    '48 M5
    '65 Wagonaire Commander
    '63 Wagonaire Standard
    web site at http://www.studegarage.com

  • #2
    Cool, Gary - keep us informed.

    Chris Pile
    Midway Chapter SDC
    The Studebaker Special
    The only difference between death and taxes is that death does not grow worse every time Congress convenes. - Will Rogers

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    • #3
      This project is way up there on the cool meter. Not only will you enjoy an interesting build, but this should be fun to drive when you're done. By all means keep us informed.


      1952 Champion Starlight, 1962 Daytona, both w/overdrive.Searcy,Arkansas
      "I may be lazy, but I'm not shiftless."
      sigpic

      "In the heart of Arkansas."
      Searcy, Arkansas
      1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
      1952 2R pickup

      Comment


      • #4
        Congrat's.! That is more of a project than I would now take on.

        Gary L.
        Wappinger, NY

        SDC member since 1968
        Studebaker enthusiast much longer
        Gary L.
        Wappinger, NY

        SDC member since 1968
        Studebaker enthusiast much longer

        Comment


        • #5
          Man-o-man....
          A guy gets four bathroom scales and he goes nutz weighing things[]
          Jeff[8D]


          quote:Originally posted by garyash

          <snip>
          The tire and demountable rim weighed about 75 lbs. The tire, rim, and the brake drum came in at 113. Even the backing plate and 3-shoe brake assembly ran 27 lbs.
          HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)

          Jeff


          Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain



          Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)

          Comment


          • #6
            Jeff, when you come to visit, I'll set up a pair of them to weigh you. Of course, I do have the other two if we need them, LOL!

            [img=left]http://www.studegarage.com/images/indy/gary_indycar25_vvsm.jpg[/img=left] Gary Ash
            Dartmouth, Mass.
            '32 Indy car replica (in progress)
            '48 M5
            '65 Wagonaire Commander
            '63 Wagonaire Standard
            web site at http://www.studegarage.com
            Gary Ash
            Dartmouth, Mass.

            '32 Indy car replica (in progress)
            ’41 Commander Land Cruiser
            '48 M5
            '65 Wagonaire Commander
            '63 Wagonaire Standard
            web site at http://www.studegarage.com

            Comment

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