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1961 Studebaker Champ, restoration

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  • #91
    Been fairly busy with the Champ pickup and other frame. Pulled the engine off the other frame, and it's now in the shop. The engine out of the Champ, is all tore down. Tonight I measured the cylinder bores, and though my measurements could be off a few thousandths, they all measured pretty close to one another.

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    Good news on the other frame, I welded the small crack.

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    Bad news.... the front motor mounts look to have been welded since leaving the factory. The welds look nothing like the welds on the Champ, and the mount heights are different.

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    And the drivers side motor mount is broken off the frame in the back.

    So, couple steps forward, one back..........
    Mike and Dawn

    '61 Champ

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    • #92
      Almost have the other frame painted. The last 10% is taking longer than the first 90%, lol.

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      I also took the front leaf springs to be re-arched. Suppose to be something like 4" curve, these had little over 2".

      The number 4 cross member rusted out spot still has me concerned. I like things to be right, specially when so easy to get to now. But, I think it would be ok, as the metal to the rivets looks ok. I think I will pull the bed off the '61, and if that crossmember is still good, I might use it. Other wise, I might try welding in a patch.

      And I still have the two motor mount pads above to deal with. Not factory welds, and one weld is broke. And the pads not are correct height of angle compared to the '61. Procrastinating on making a decision!
      Mike and Dawn

      '61 Champ

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      • #93
        Always nice to see progress. Somebody with more knowledge will have to explain the different heights on the motor mounts. I wonder if it had a brandX engine at one time, or maybe the difference between a six cylinder and an eight? Keep up the updates!

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        • #94
          Been busy on the Champ, but nothing really to report, till today. This morning we got the bed off the pickup! Only one bolt holding it on, and just one fender rod attached, everything else missing.

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          The bed has some issues, as I'm guessing most Champ beds do.

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          Even though the bed floor is pretty bad, it's still kinda defines the character of the old girl, so going to massage and weld it up the best I can.

          One reason I really wanted the bed off, was to replace a badly rusted crossmember on the '62 frame. I think the one on this pickup, is in better shape, so going to take it off and replace the bad one. Probably really doesn't need to be done, but as long as I have the frames opened up, plus, I'm really enjoying the challenge of making repairs I'd never thought I'd have to make. I have to admit, if I get the old girl running, I will be pretty proud.

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          So, sure you folks with observant eyes noticed couple odd things in the first photo.
          One, my dad when trying to convert the Champ to four wheel drive, placed the rear axle under the springs, then moved the shock mounts back.
          Second, he said the pickup was to light in the back end, so he added some broken D7 or D8 Cat springs to the back end for weight.

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          Mike
          Mike and Dawn

          '61 Champ

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          • #95
            I wouldn't think that the shocks being mounted at that angle would be very effective. Will you leave it as is or make it more OEM correct? Aside from that, good on you for making progress.
            sigpic
            In the middle of MinneSTUDEa.

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            • #96
              Originally posted by Milaca View Post
              I wouldn't think that the shocks being mounted at that angle would be very effective. Will you leave it as is or make it more OEM correct? Aside from that, good on you for making progress.
              I agree. The shocks need to be much closer to vertical to work properly.
              Some people could make a case for the extra weight at the rear of a pickup, although I would wonder how it would effect driving at speed.
              "In the heart of Arkansas."
              Searcy, Arkansas
              1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
              1952 2R pickup

              Comment


              • #97
                Originally posted by Milaca View Post
                I wouldn't think that the shocks being mounted at that angle would be very effective. Will you leave it as is or make it more OEM correct? Aside from that, good on you for making progress.
                I'm using a different frame, that is stock, to rebuild the pickup. I'm not sure what my dad's reasoning for the different placement of the shocks on this frame was, he did all this over 50 years ago, he doesn't remember.

                Mike

                Mike and Dawn

                '61 Champ

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                • #98
                  Originally posted by 52-fan View Post
                  I agree. The shocks need to be much closer to vertical to work properly.
                  Some people could make a case for the extra weight at the rear of a pickup, although I would wonder how it would effect driving at speed.
                  My dad never got the front end working correctly, so when it got up to speed, had a bad shimmy in the front end. I doubt he ever noticed what the back end was doing with all the issues up front!

                  Mike
                  Mike and Dawn

                  '61 Champ

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                  • #99
                    My front leaf springs were re-arched, and couple new leafs added. Got it pretty much bolted back together.

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                    Mike and Dawn

                    '61 Champ

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                    • Getting the 259 block ready to cleaned and magnafluxed.

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                      Pulled the gas tank off the '61, I think it might be in better shape than the one off the '62 frame.
                      Before and after.

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                      Going to be ordering a rebuild kit for the WCFB carb. We'll see how that goes.

                      Got the new floor boards, hoping to be cutting out the old floor board here pretty soon.
                      Mike and Dawn

                      '61 Champ

                      Comment


                      • Did you get the pesky Oil Galley Plug OUT of the Rear, down below the Dist. hole and behind a Core Plug?
                        The one that gets talked about here so much because people forget to replace it.
                        StudeRich
                        Second Generation Stude Driver,
                        Proud '54 Starliner Owner

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by StudeRich View Post
                          Did you get the pesky Oil Galley Plug OUT of the Rear, down below the Dist. hole and behind a Core Plug?
                          The one that gets talked about here so much because people forget to replace it.
                          We tried to get it out..... but its stuck in there. Thinking about asking the machine shop to take it out. Thanks for the heads up.
                          Mike and Dawn

                          '61 Champ

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                          • Both of my V8 blocks are cracked. Second block was confirmed cracked at a machine shop, the crack is about 10 inches long. Then, on top of that, one of the two heads I took in is cracked in two places. I have another two heads, although in much worse shape than the cracked one, they are at the machine shop now, being magnafluxed. But, even if ok, no block to go with them, unless I try to repair one.

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                            This all seemed like such a good idea a year ago. I knew the pickup was a basket case, and only good reason to restore it was for sentimental reasons. I knew it would be lots of headaches.

                            Do I regret starting the project...... a little to be honest. I was at the point in my life, I wanted to start taking life easier, not be so busy and involved all the time. Just as I cut back, I find my dad's old pickup. But the process has been fun. I've learned so much, and learned that I like working on rigs, from the ground up. Doing just about all of it ourselves. But when its sentimental, setbacks just seem to sting a little more. Like a sliver of your dream slipped through your fingers.

                            I've taken a short break from the Champ. Kinda let the bad vibes float off. So now, the plan is try and find a running engine, even a bad running engine would be ok. Just something to get the project moving forward again. In the meantime, I can almost hear the last of the floor boards rusting away....... time to get the new ones in.
                            Mike and Dawn

                            '61 Champ

                            Comment


                            • Always a good idea, when feeling overwhelmed, to take a break. There are plenty V8s around - one might drop in your lap when you least expect it... Thanks for posting.

                              Comment


                              • You are doing a great job. I have found out over the years that sometimes you have to take a break. It resets your mind and spirit! i have enjoyed your posts. I'm a Chevy man but i love my Stude! Keep up the good work it will be worth it in the end! Bobby

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