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1961 Studebaker Champ, restoration

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  • 1961 Studebaker Champ, restoration

    I realize there is already a 1962 Champ restoration project being documented, but we thought we would do ours to, though we am just starting out.

    Long story short, as I told in a previous posting, this Champ is one my dad bought in the early '60s and sold in late '70s, and I just recently acquired it.

    I found it on Craigslist, and this is how it looked where I bought it.

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    Last edited by ChampCouple; 08-30-2019, 09:38 PM.
    Mike and Dawn

    '61 Champ

  • #2
    After my wife and I bought the pickup, my dad told me he had tried to convert it to 4wd, using a Jeep front end. But he never got it to work right. We decided to look for a Champ front end, to replace the Jeep one. Soon we found a '62 frame and bought it.

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    So my original play was to swap front axles, and go back to the Studebaker axle. But then someone mentioned, why not fix up this frame, pull the cab and box off the '61, and set it on this one. Since this one is so easy to work on, that's we have decided to do.
    Mike and Dawn

    '61 Champ

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    • #3
      We don't have a shop, or even a garage, but we did find a pretty nice canopy/carport to put the pickup under, and then going to get another one soon, for the frame.

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      At least its out of the weather.

      So far have been working mostly on the '62 frame, wire brushing it to get it ready for undercoating. It's in very good shape, so its not taking long to do. But we are removing everything attached to the frame, to lean them and the frame, and will reinstall after undercoating.
      Mike and Dawn

      '61 Champ

      Comment


      • #4
        You have something not a lot of people do - a family connection to the vehicle - that will make the project a lot more meaningful.

        That body arrangement has been seen in another '61. This truck was for sale in California a few years back - had a great stance.

        Last edited by 62champ; 08-31-2019, 06:13 AM.

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        • #5
          Using the second frame sounds like a good idea. It should simplify the work.
          Are you actually undercoating the frame? I would have though it just got painted or powder coated.
          "In the heart of Arkansas."
          Searcy, Arkansas
          1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
          1952 2R pickup

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          • #6
            That was great luck to find a good frame! I enjoy project documentarys. Keep up the good work, and the updates. Not sure how rough the old frame is, but you should save, or salvage, all of the useable parts from it before it goes to scrap.

            Comment


            • #7
              Good luck with the truck and please keep the updates and pics coming....
              1949 Studebaker 2R5 half ton pickup...

              Comment


              • #8
                Cool project, subscribed!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by 62champ View Post
                  You have something not a lot of people do - a family connection to the vehicle - that will make the project a lot more meaningful.

                  That body arrangement has been seen in another '61. This truck was for sale in California a few years back - had a great stance.
                  I wish I remembered more about the pickup from my childhood, but not much other than doing some body work on it. Thanks for the photo of the '61, very inspiring!
                  Mike and Dawn

                  '61 Champ

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by 52-fan View Post
                    Using the second frame sounds like a good idea. It should simplify the work.
                    Are you actually undercoating the frame? I would have though it just got painted or powder coated.
                    Undercoating may be overkill, but since the frame is so easy to work on, I'd prep it for that. Probably the only rig I will ever do this kind of restoration.
                    Mike and Dawn

                    '61 Champ

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by 50Champ View Post
                      Good luck with the truck and please keep the updates and pics coming....
                      Thank you, will do.
                      Mike and Dawn

                      '61 Champ

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by tsenecal View Post
                        That was great luck to find a good frame! I enjoy project documentarys. Keep up the good work, and the updates. Not sure how rough the old frame is, but you should save, or salvage, all of the useable parts from it before it goes to scrap.
                        Yes, got so lucky finding the pickup, then a frame to with spare engine and transmission. I'm not sure how rough the old frame is, everything looks so rusty underneath the pickup. But when the cab and box is off, I can take a good look, and yeah, probably save as much as I can. I may need parts..... or someone else even.

                        - - - Updated - - -

                        Originally posted by Topper2011 View Post
                        Cool project, subscribed!
                        Thanks, appreciate the interest.
                        Mike and Dawn

                        '61 Champ

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          So far I have been working on wire brushing the '62 frame of rust. I'm lucky, its really just surface rust. I've also been removing anything attached to the frame, to clean those items too.

                          My father in law asked what I was doing as I was working on the frame, and I told him. His reply was, seems like alot of work. I agreed, probably overkill, but I wanted to do it well. Not five minutes later, when I took the top two bolts of the cab mount bracket off the frame, it literally fell to the ground. Neither bottom bolt had nuts on them! So this way I can also verify everything is as it should be too.

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                          This weekend working on wire brushing the fuel take and leaf springs. Fuel tank looks to be in pretty good shape, except for the crack around the filler neck.
                          Last edited by ChampCouple; 12-29-2019, 08:25 AM.
                          Mike and Dawn

                          '61 Champ

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ChampCouple View Post
                            My father in law asked what I was doing as I was working on the frame, and I told him. His reply was, seems like alot of work. I agreed, probably overkill, but I wanted to do it well.
                            Don't think you will regret getting your hands on everything, making sure it is in good shape, cleaning and then painting. When it is all said and done, you will not have any nagging thought in the back of your head about something going wrong with "name item" because you did not have a good look at it.

                            Take plenty of photos or everything - especially those that come apart, at different stages so there is not many questions before they go back together. Too bad you are not closer, I have a set of NOS rear springs with bushings that I am going to sell.

                            Good luck.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by 62champ View Post
                              Don't think you will regret getting your hands on everything, making sure it is in good shape, cleaning and then painting.
                              Taking photos would be a good. I thought the service manual would show about everything. No photo of the gas tank or how its mounted in the manual. Thankfully its not complicated, but some photos would have been good backup.

                              Wish I did live close, leaf springs and bushings would have been great. Can't imagine the shipping cost on leaf springs, lol!

                              Thanks
                              Mike and Dawn

                              '61 Champ

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