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Getting a '60 Champ back on the road

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  • Getting a '60 Champ back on the road

    Good Evening SDC,

    I have a 1960 Champ that I work like to get rolling down the road safely. I have the brakes, tires, electrical, engine, and trans working properly.

    What else should I check/replace? chassis parts, bushings, etc
    1961 Lark Regal VIII 259/auto -- Lucy

  • #2
    Good door latches,or seat belts. One or the other.


    First make'em run.Then make'em stop. everything else is just details.
    Neil Thornton

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    • #3
      Lube the suspension and drive shaft, check all fluid levels, check the lights, then start driving it and ironing the bugs out of it. Short trips at first, on secondary roads at 20-35 MPH. Gradually, start adding distance and speed as your confidence grows. Develop the habit of monitoring all gauges near constantly, and be alert to unusual smells or noises. Keep your cell phone with you, and always bring a tool box and jumper cables.

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      • #4
        What Joe said, plus some spare parts. Things like a Genny, fuel pump, etc... These things, the fuel pump especially, are what most often go out and strand you. I know from personal experience. Also, replace the bearings and cups. Don't worry about what's in there, just do it as the parts are not that expensive. Another thing, if you haven't mentioned it already, are the shocks. They're another thing that should be the first to be replaced on a Champ as it can effect your steering in a very scary way otherwise.


        Best of luck with your truck. I'm working on getting a '60 Champ back on the road myself.
        Home of the famous Mr. Ed!
        K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
        Ron Smith
        Where the heck is Fawn Lodge, CA?

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        • #5
          Sounds great guys, Thank You

          I have a 8 mile commute to work. I would like to get this together well enough that I can drive it whenever I want while keeping my trusty subaru in the mix
          1961 Lark Regal VIII 259/auto -- Lucy

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          • #6
            Do not forget about the Steering, check Tie Rods, Reach Rod and definitely check that semi-fluid Grease that is SUPPOSED to be in the Steering Gear Box.

            If you have thoroughly flushed and bleed the brakes after a total rebuild, good; then do the bleed AGAIN after 2-3 Months.
            StudeRich
            Second Generation Stude Driver,
            Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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            • #7
              Does anybody know if turners brake kit will fit under the stock 16" wheels?

              I would like to retain the stock look as much as possible but brakes are a gray area for me when it comes to originality vs safety
              1961 Lark Regal VIII 259/auto -- Lucy

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              • #8
                I would bet they would fit. I did that conversion last winter and the stock 15's almost fit...... It was very close. I went with aftermarket 15" slots.

                I say do the conversion and get wheels that fit if the originals don't. The original brakes in good working condition are downright scary in my opinion.

                Turner brakes and an OD. Trans really changed the Champ for the better.
                1962 Champ

                51 Commander 4 door

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                • #9
                  Jim Turner makes a 12" kit for earlier trucks, using Cadillac rotors. My older brother put that kit on his 49, half ton and it works great. I dunno if the OEM wheels woulda fit, but he was already going to 6" wide GM wheels anyway.

                  (Sorry I am not familiar with correct model designations for Stude trucks)

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                  • #10
                    Thank you for the response guys,

                    Im going to call Jim and pick his brain.
                    1961 Lark Regal VIII 259/auto -- Lucy

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                    • #11
                      I wouldn't go so far as to say the brakes on my Champs are scary, but would agree they are definitely not optimal. I find anything that is towed has to have brakes of its own. Some time ago, there was a post where someone put GM pickup brakes on his Champ. Seems to have worked out quite well and also, the cost was reasonable. I'll dig around for it and post a link if I can find it.
                      Home of the famous Mr. Ed!
                      K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
                      Ron Smith
                      Where the heck is Fawn Lodge, CA?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I have disc brakes on my 61 Champ & compared to the standard brakes on my 62 3/4 there is no comparison! I never measured the rotors or anything because I bought the whole front axle with the disc's from a vendor at La Palma some years back. One of the best investments made! Wish there was a disc kit for the 3/4 ton truck. It needs one.
                        59 Lark wagon, now V-8, H.D. auto!
                        60 Lark convertible V-8 auto
                        61 Champ 1/2 ton 4 speed
                        62 Champ 3/4 ton 5 speed o/drive
                        62 Champ 3/4 ton auto
                        62 Daytona convertible V-8 4 speed & 62 Cruiser, auto.
                        63 G.T. Hawk R-2,4 speed
                        63 Avanti (2) R-1 auto
                        64 Zip Van
                        66 Daytona Sport Sedan(327)V-8 4 speed
                        66 Cruiser V-8 auto

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by what huh View Post
                          Sounds great guys, Thank You

                          I have a 8 mile commute to work. I would like to get this together well enough that I can drive it whenever I want while keeping my trusty subaru in the mix
                          I drive my '61 Champ 52 miles per day round trip to work and it runs like, well, a Champ!
                          All good advice above. There are few things better than driving a Champ to work. Have fun!
                          Ed Sallia
                          Dundee, OR

                          Sol Lucet Omnibus

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