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Studebaker Truck Drivers Beware !!

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  • Studebaker Truck Drivers Beware !!

    In early August I had to run an errand at night, and while driving my 1964 Champ pickup I heard a rattling noise emanating from the rear of my truck. It was loud enough to make me get out of the road immediately. I pulled into the driveway of a church and continued in a couple hundred feet towards an overhead light. I discovered my under-the-bed spare tire missing, and it's steel support bar dragging on the ground.

    Meanwhile, on the highway I heard the skidding of several cars, a lot of commotion, and people swearing. Yes, my spare tire was in the middle of a traffic lane, and was run over by a motorcycle and two cars, causing flat front tires to all three, two bent rims, and one caved in front fender. Luckily, the cyclist hit it squarely on his big Harley rather than on the spare's edge, otherwise he surely would have lost control. And very fortunately, nobody was injured.

    Over the years, the nuts on the "carrier clamp" bolts that secure the support member had worked loose enough to allow the spare tire and wheel assembly to fall out from under the bed. The lesson to be learned from this is obvious. Please check the fasteners on your spare tire mounting system. I do not want to hear of this happening to someone else.

    My system is now reworked and double nutted. In addition, I have threaded a chain through the spare in two places, and anchored the chain to the frame with 7/16 inch diameter nuts and bolts. Even though this incident took place three weeks ago, I'm still a bit shaken when driving the Champ, but nonetheless back on the road.

    Larry

  • #2
    Wow , that could of been real bad!
    I too have a spare carrier under the bed and I have had it double nutted ever since I bought the truck, without any trouble. Every year I lower the tire to clean and check the air pressure , which i think is a good practise to get into....makes you more aware of things on your truck.
    sigpic

    Home of the Fried Green Tomato

    "IF YOU WANT THE SMILES YOU NEED TO DO THE MILES "

    1960 Champ , 1966 Daytona , 1965 Daytona Wagonaire

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    • #3
      Originally posted by SuperHawk View Post
      ...My system is now reworked and double nutted. In addition, I have threaded a chain through the spare in two places, and anchored the chain to the frame with 7/16 inch diameter nuts and bolts...
      WHAT???? No SUPER GLUE???

      John

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      • #4
        Larry,

        Did you get sued? Ticketed! Or, just flipped off? Some of us get the all around treatment just for being any where near the scene!

        Bo

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        • #5
          Glad to know there were no serious injuries. My spare is at home in the garage as I don't trust that bracket and I just throw it in the bed of my truck if I'm going a long distance
          sigpicSee you in the future as I write about our past

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          • #6
            Gee, sorry for your trouble. Thanks for the reminder. Although my truck is a C-cab...the original spare (very very spare now!) is still hanging under the bed. I'll have to go check. That old spare has a burnt place in the tread where it, at some time past, managed to slip over against the exhaust pipe.

            An easy way to have that tire come loose in the bracket is to wrench it tight against a fully inflated tire, and then, it loosens if the tire leaks down. Double nutting is one way for safety, drilling the bolt and nut for a cotter pin is another.

            How 'bout that...the darn nuts escaped by themselves. Any other time... If you had needed the darn thing to fix a flat, you'd probably be more likely to ruin your clothes and pull a rotator cuff trying to get the blasted thing off!
            John Clary
            Greer, SC

            SDC member since 1975

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            • #7
              I have been around Studebaker trucks owned by family all my life and I have yet to pull a spare tire out from under the bed - they are usually in the bed or not there at all.

              It all goes back to a family incident in the early 1950s. My Grandfather and oldest Uncle were hauling a cow to the local auction in the back of a 2R5. At some point along the trip they got a flat. When my Uncle was under the back of the truck getting the spare out, the livestock decided it would also be an appropriate time to relieve itself. From that point on, my other Uncle would say with a chuckle, no more spare tires went under the bed of a Studebaker truck that the family owned...

              I know the 4X4 made it necessary to place a spare on the fender, but didn't Studebaker also offer some type of bracket on the inside of the bed to attach the spare to as well? My 7E7 has four holes in the inside bed wall that makes me believe there might have been a spare tire bracket there at one point - but that is just a guess.

              Thanks for the heads up - always important to check things like that. Pulled the spare out of my 09 Ford last last spring and found it only had 25 lbs of pressure in it (and the wheel was also full of sand/dirt).

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              • #8
                Spare Tire

                Glad to hear there were no serious injuries! Another reason I switched to an "in box" carrier.

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                Mark Hayden
                '66 Commander
                Zone Coordinator
                Pacific Can-Am Zone

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                • #9
                  Don't you rotate your tires?
                  That would have made you put your hands on that hold down on a regular basis.
                  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...)

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                  • #10
                    I confess I've dragged that retainer bar about 800 feet once, after hitting a nasty pothole - wondering what the HELL had come apart! LOL. Didn't drop the spare because it hadn't been there in months. I was gonna go back to the junkyard (where I've recently liberated a rear axle from it's roost) and take off the spare hoist from under a Mercury Mountaineer. As I get older, laying on the ground to wrestle the spare down seems less and less appealing.
                    No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

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                    • #11
                      Larry, don't feel you are alone on something as this. I'm glad no one was injured or a car didn't pile into a tree trying to avoid hitting the tire.

                      I had a similiar experience, but not with a Studebaker. I purchased a 1996 Ford F-150 4X4 from a friend of my youngest son in 2007. Several months later, we had a significant snow in December. My 4X4 was the only thing that could move that morning. In backing out of our driveway, I backed into the bank of plowed snow on the opposite side of the road from our house. I pulled away and proceeded down the street into the town. About two blocks later I heard a bumping, grinding noise. When I got to main street, I pulled to the curb and discovered the spare tire holder dragging on the road absent the spare tire. I found the spare tire in the intersection on the corner of our street. Thank goodness no one slid into it as it was half way covered by snow. I didn't hear anything as the deep snow muffled the sounds.

                      If it can happen to a late model, modern truck, it can happen to a 48 year old truck.

                      Frank Drumheller
                      Locust Grove, VA
                      60S-W6
                      M16-52 1948 Boyer-bodied fire trucki

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                      • #12
                        Since you guys are on the subject of things dropping, be sure and check the thin straps that hold up the gas tank !! That rascal is heavy when full, and is a REAL scarey site spinning around at 50 mph on the road behind you ! There have been two instances of this in my life, one mine, one not, but certainly worth checking. I don't remember how all Stude tanks are held in, but those little thin, rusty, stressed straps will break, and they are even older now than mine was in the 80's.

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                        • #13
                          I had my carrier drop (no spare in it) and embarrass me at the airport once, I pulled out into traffic and dragged it for a few feet, thought the driveline had busted in my Old 2R5

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by j.byrd View Post
                            Since you guys are on the subject of things dropping, be sure and check the thin straps that hold up the gas tank !! That rascal is heavy when full, and is a REAL scarey site spinning around at 50 mph on the road behind you ! There have been two instances of this in my life, one mine, one not, but certainly worth checking. I don't remember how all Stude tanks are held in, but those little thin, rusty, stressed straps will break, and they are even older now than mine was in the 80's.
                            And that's not just a Studebaker issue, either ... Ford recalled our '03 F-150 some months ago to check for that exact problem; fortunately, our truck was Ziebarted when new and is completely rust-free underneath, so no issues there. I asked why the 4x4s weren't included in the recall - I was told the skid plate on those tends to catch those tanks when they fall out!
                            Jacob Newkirk - Owensboro, KY

                            KEEP AMERICA BEAUTIFUL! Drive a Studebaker!

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