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  • Frame / Springs: Truck Frames

    Hello all. I am working on a 52 2R5. I tore it down and found bad spots on the frame. Looking for some guidance and insight. Also, the little bit of research I read, that a Champ frame is either the same or very similar. Would the Champ frame work? should i repair the frame? or go with a frame swap?

  • #2
    How bad, and what kind of bad? Cracks, rust pits, etc.

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    • #3
      There is a couple small holes in the front that could be patched easily. The real bad spot is the rear passenger side where the crossmember was fastened to the frame. At tht spot the lower part is missing and at the front shackle for the leaf springs it is rotted and weak.

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      • #4
        Some have changed frames to one from an Chevy S-10. You don't say what your wheelbase is but the S-10 works on the short wheelbase I believe. Using that frame you'll have the ability of a power rack & pinion setup too.
        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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        • #5
          Here are a couple photos of a 63 Champ frame, I am putting a 46 M15 on.
          Attached Files

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          • #6
            My truck is the short wheelbase 112". I found a champ frame for sale that is 112 and my research also showed that a dakota with reg cab and short bed was also 112. I would like to keep the Studebaker as Studebaker as possible, but also be cost effective.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Blystone View Post
              My truck is the short wheelbase 112". I found a champ frame for sale that is 112 and my research also showed that a dakota with reg cab and short bed was also 112. I would like to keep the Studebaker as Studebaker as possible, but also be cost effective.
              No doubt that replacing the original chassis with a similar one would be the least work and if you are fine with the suspension, steering etc then a good choice. If you want to upgrade then the S-10 or Dakota frame is the way to go.

              Here's a quick video on shortening the S-10 117 in wheelbase frame for comparison.



              A friend did the S-10 swap with a 455 Buick setup and was quite happy with it. He did say if he were to do it again that he would use the Dakota chassis as the front suspension width was wider. His was about a 55 cab for reference.

              Bob

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              • #8
                One good thing is the Champ frame is about 41 inches wide where the cab sits , I have a couple Transtar cabs and the cut out in the rear where they sit over the frame is about 47 inches.

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                • #9
                  Will a s10 frame work under a 63 zip van?

                  Originally posted by Warren Webb View Post
                  Some have changed frames to one from an Chevy S-10. You don't say what your wheelbase is but the S-10 works on the short wheelbase I believe. Using that frame you'll have the ability of a power rack & pinion setup too.
                  Just wondering if you were thought of the possibility of a S 10 frame under a zip van I saw that you have one I bought in 1963 zip Van.would like to update the suspension do you think I S 10 frame would work if I shorten the time

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                  • #10
                    Does anyone have any experience puttings a C-Cab body on a Champ? If I remember correctly the C-Cab frame and Champ frame are very similar.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Mrzippy View Post
                      Just wondering if you were thought of the possibility of a S 10 frame under a zip van I saw that you have one I bought in 1963 zip Van.would like to update the suspension do you think I S 10 frame would work if I shorten the time
                      The Zip Van is basically a unibody vehicle with a separate front sub-frame much like 67/68 Camaro & Novas, so putting a full frame underneath would be a large undertaking, not to mention the wheelbase of the Zipper is much shorter. I don't have my books here handy but memory tells me it's about 98 inches.
                      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

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Either the late Chevy or Dodge chassis have the benefit of 70 years of engineering improvements. The stock Stude open channel truck frame is a flexible limp noodle by comparison. Even fully restored, the brakes, ride quality, and handling is best suited to 45 mph and below.

                        So it really depends on what you want. Want to impress the restoration crowd? restore everything as the factory produced it. Doing so will cost you a mint but you'll have something nice to display in your driveway and to putt along in Parades.
                        Want something more useful and comfortably derivable? Use a late model chassis designed for modern tires and driving conditions, and you can drive cross-country and back as oft as you like, with repair parts readily available at any parts store nation wide, and a million+ Street Rodders willing and ready to lend you their assistance.

                        Of course your own skills (or whoever you can round up) is the biggest factor. If you cannot imagine, cut, weld, modify, and improvise, then you'd better stick to the old "Bolt 'er together the way Gawd done intended!" route.
                        Last edited by Jessie J.; 01-04-2018, 10:51 PM.

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