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Question about 56 Power Hawk frame crossmember

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  • Frame / Springs: Question about 56 Power Hawk frame crossmember

    On my Power Hawk, there is a cross member of some
    type that goes completely across the bottom of the car,
    from side to side. It looks to be formed of several layers
    of metal. Mine is starting to separate near both ends.

    What is this piece called? Are they readily available, as
    used pieces, or remanufactured?

  • #2
    They are commonly called bat wings. They tend to separate at the spot welds on the ends. They are made of un-obtainum. Only way is to buy good used. They are not cheap, anyone that has one for sale will ask you to bend over and grab your ankles. Figure between $100-$200. If it is not rust eaten up the best way to fix is have it chem dipped, then put a few clamps on the ends and weld the edges.

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    • #3
      On "C" and "K" Models this is the: "Number THREE Crossmember".

      It supports the Body only, unlike the Sedan/Lark Type #2 Crossmember that supports the Body AND the Engine/Trans.

      As mentioned, your only options are; find a good Used one, or repair it.
      The Center portion should be good as is.
      StudeRich
      Second Generation Stude Driver,
      Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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      • #4
        Yes the center area seems fine. On the passenger side the last eight inches or so is split
        apart about 1/4 inch. On the drivers side however, it is separated over an inch because I can
        easily srick my fingers in the gap. It doesnt seem to be very rusty.

        What causes the metal to separate?

        Also, are there different configurations, and if so, how do I tell which one will work on my car?
        Last edited by jeryst; 11-01-2017, 08:00 PM.

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        • #5
          There are spot welds every 1/2" to an inch or so. As the car goes in or out of a drive way or twists on turns, it pulls on those welds. The bolts that hold the wing to the body only clamp the top hat section of the wing. You take a piece of metal and keep twisting it back and forth and it is going to brake.

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          • #6
            There are two ways to repair this, clean up all dirt, oil and old paint, clamp it together and weld the two pieces together on the edges. The second a little more work, after clean up locate where the failed spot welds, center punch and drill thru one layer, whiz wheel around the hole , clamp together and weld. Clean welds and paint. Lou Cote

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            • #7
              Take it off the car and sand blast it. It should not be difficult to find a shop to do this. You probably want to cut away the bad part which is always at end and the last 10 or 12 inches before cleaning it up. take out spot welds with an American made (not Chinese)spot weld cutter. Using heavy gauge steel and a cut off tool make new pieces and plug weld them back on. POR-15 and re-install

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              • #8
                You can buy the inexpensive spot weld cutter from Harbor Freight, it will work fine, how do I know. I own a Studebaker and I have replaced the floors and the rear pan and floor corner pieces. Other than that Mr Cassel is spot on.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by 1953champcoupe View Post
                  You can buy the inexpensive spot weld cutter from Harbor Freight, it will work fine, how do I know. I own a Studebaker and I have replaced the floors and the rear pan and floor corner pieces. Other than that Mr Cassel is spot on.
                  I can do a lot of mechanical things, but I have never ventured into cutting/welding or metal
                  work of any kind. If the batwings were $1000-$2000, I would think about it, but if I can truely
                  pick up a nice one for $100-$200, that seems like the best route for me, especially when
                  it's something critical like a cross member.

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                  • #10
                    The cross member has to come out either way, and if you're not comfortable doing the repairs yourself, I would think that a local welding shop could repair it for you for much less than the $100 to $200 you would spend on a replacement. I cleaned mine up , clamped it, and welded it in less than an hour.

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