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1961 Studebaker Champ, restoration

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  • Working more on the cab corner.

    These Harbor Freight spacers work, though I found in some places its easier to tape the square block to the sheet metal, for easier set up of the spacer.

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    Some spot welding.

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    I then finished the spot welds, and ground them down. The new piece is to long, on purpose, will trim after everything else looks good.

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    That was really my first sheet metal welding, of two different pieces. Its not perfect, and will probably touch up more, but since the pickup bed hides it, I'm pretty happy with it. But now, the rest of the corner.......

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    We decided, since this is so low in the pickup, we aren't going to try and match all the original curves of the sheet metal. This is the piece roughed out.

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    Alot of trail and error in getting this to match up well enough to weld. But looks close here. Still have to put the L bend on the left side, and trim to length.
    The sheet metal part of the project had me pretty concerned, but gaining confidence as we go.
    Mike and Dawn

    '61 Champ

    Comment


    • Looking good Mike!

      Comment


      • Well, progress came to a screeching halt. Forest fire near us, put part of our community in level 2 evacuation notice. So, loaded the cab on a trailer, and moved it, the second frame and engine, plus a small trailer with all the Champ sheetmetal I could squeeze inside to a friend's house.

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        In the end, its just a pickup, but all the memories attached to it, from riding in it as a kid, to restoring it now, made it something more that just chunks of metal. I'd have been heart broken to lose it. I know others have lost so much more, and I am so sorry for their loses. We got lucky.

        I would like to take a moment, to thank the fire crews, dispatch, truckers, volunteers, friends...... even those who baked cookies for the firefighters........ our home, and Champ, looks to be safe for the time being. We'd have lost both without the help of those fore mentioned. I admit, I usually don't see the good in alot of people, but I have really seen so much good in the last week.

        Mike and Dawn

        '61 Champ

        Comment


        • Mike, just checking in to see your progress. You are doing some nice work. It's always fun to poke my head in to see what you have been up to. Can't wait to see you, your wife, and this truck. Have you found a local chapter to join?
          Ed Sallia
          Dundee, OR

          Sol Lucet Omnibus

          Comment


          • Really happy to hear that your place ended up safe. Firefighters have a rough job, and sometimes get taken for granted. I thank them all as well. A little extra work packing up your truck parts, but it would have been a shame to lose them if the fire had gotten to you. The cab corners are looking good, and I enjoy the updates.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Commander Eddie View Post
              Mike, just checking in to see your progress. You are doing some nice work. It's always fun to poke my head in to see what you have been up to. Can't wait to see you, your wife, and this truck. Have you found a local chapter to join?
              Thanks! Yes, I am anxious to get this pickup going, so we can show it to you and see yours too!
              I have not joined a local chapter. I think the closet one is Albany..... and that is drive. But my sister and her husband live in Albany, so I might join yet.
              Mike and Dawn

              '61 Champ

              Comment


              • Originally posted by tsenecal View Post
                Really happy to hear that your place ended up safe. Firefighters have a rough job, and sometimes get taken for granted. I thank them all as well. A little extra work packing up your truck parts, but it would have been a shame to lose them if the fire had gotten to you. The cab corners are looking good, and I enjoy the updates.
                Thanks for the words of encouragement.
                I helped take baked goods to the fire crews, they were grateful, but probably not as grateful as us, as we so appreciate all they do!
                Mike and Dawn

                '61 Champ

                Comment


                • Been working on the cab corners more. The passenger side one, the first one I did, turned out ok by my standards. But the drivers side, for some reason has been a fight. Not sure why.

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                  Using plasma cutter to cut cab corner to length. I just love the plasma cutter.

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                  Tack welding corner into place. Only blew a hole in the Champ sheetmetal once. Needs more welding, then grinding down, and some Bondo.

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                  I would have thought, I would have learned some stuff from the first one, making the second one easier. Ohhhhhhh nooooooo! Anyway, this one still needs more work, and another couple pieces welded in too. But, I think I am getting closer to taking on the rocker panels and floor pans.
                  Mike and Dawn

                  '61 Champ

                  Comment


                  • Nicely done. Keep posting your efforts.

                    Bob

                    Comment


                    • Looking good. As to making mirrored panels, it's seems easier to build one side more than the other for some reason.

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                      • Still working on the rear cab corners, but I have this week off, and my goal is to get the floor pans started in.

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                        Cutting out old floor..... but I had to keep cutting wider as the rust is so bad. My criteria is, if I can't weld to the metal due to being so thin from rust, I cut it out.

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                        Yeah, this is what I'm dealing with...... pretty sure this is not beginner level restoration. Not feeling very confidant about this, but I know I can make something work, just won't be very original looking. Rebuilding this front cab corner where it mounts to the frame wing, is not something I am looking forward to.

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                        Kind of a moral boost for me. After 2 years of fighting this pickup, seeing new floor pan, at least tack welded in, does give me inspiration. Only three tack welds, in case I need to make an adjustment. I cut the floor pan into two sections. Dealing with one big piece was just to daunting. So I will weld the sections together at some point. And I do have to make some patch pieces, where the new floor pan doesn't reach good metal.

                        Hopefully start cutting out the front section of the floor pan next.
                        Mike and Dawn

                        '61 Champ

                        Comment


                        • Two years since we bought and started working on the Champ.

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                          Sometimes I think my progress is so slow, but have come a long ways looking back on the photos....... just a long ways still to go.

                          The front cab corners are giving me alot of concern.

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                          I think we have a good plan to make them, its just once the floor pans are in, we loose most of our placement references for the mounts. So, thinking mount the cab using the firewall mounts first, then build and weld in the cab corner mounts to fit. Maybe?
                          Mike and Dawn

                          '61 Champ

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