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Anyone Replace leaf springs with Air shock- mid 50's Studebaker

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  • Frame/Springs: Anyone Replace leaf springs with Air shock- mid 50's Studebaker

    Hello to the super experienced---- Anyone Replace leaf springs with Air shocks ?
    if so, how was results--- what type of air shock used----
    Rather than re leaf old rusty springs, this may be the way to go ?????

  • #2
    Air shocks are a replacement for Hydraulic or Gas over Hydraulic Shocks, NOT SPRINGS.

    Full Air Bags, would be a totally different thing, expensive and no benefit.
    Second Generation Stude Driver,
    Proud '54 Starliner Owner


    • #3
      Leaf springs actually have a lot of interesting properties. They locate the rear axle, both fore and aft and side to side. They are self dampening. They allow the placement of the shock absorber much more outboard, getting the best control from it.
      And, they are fairly simple and straightforward.
      If you “re leaf old rusty springs” then they are replaced with new, not at all rusty” springs.
      In the Portland area, Oregon Auto Spring can provide newly manufactured leaf springs for Studebakers for a reasonable price.


      • #4
        New leaf springs, quality made, can be had for around $300 a pair. I had mine made from scratch to factory specifications at a spring shop in Portland, Oregon for that amount. They came out very nice and have the correct arch and recoil.
        The company I used is Oregon Auto Springs. There should be a shop in the Bay area. You might contact Studebaker West in San Jose.
        Ed Sallia
        Dundee, OR

        Sol Lucet Omnibus


        • #5
          Yes, some years back when the "layin' frame" low-rider truck fad was at its' lowest, I was asked to install air suspension in a custom Stude pickup. The rear, with air bags, custom shocks, compressor, valves, lines, welded brackets, custom suspension links, ran him about $3,000.

          jack vines


          • #6
            For some reason lately I've seen a lot of people ask about alterations without stating the purpose or problem they are trying to correct. This may come about from "suggestions" from someone else. Or perhaps the poster sees something in a different application and believes it is applicable to all vehicles. Assuming the "air shocks" you mentioned are actually air bags they are best applicable to coil spring configurations. So, the whole rear suspension would have to be designed and created because the leaf spring configuration is completely different.

            Thus, '63 looks 59' it would be best if you can inform the members of what you are trying to accomplish. Then they could best advise with their wealth of knowledge. All the people posting above have given excellent information and advice. But knowing the purpose and expectation (and budget) would be even more helpful.
            '64 Lark Type, powered by '85 Corvette L-98 (carburetor), 700R4, - CASO to the Max.


            • #7
              how about the integrity of the upper shock mounts ??


              • #8
                The other thing that "looks" like air shocks are coil-over-shock springs. These are used a lot in "hot rods" and off-road trucks. They can be made in varying sizes and rates. HOWEVER, they require a complete geometry change for the suspension. They will require a 3- link or 4-link suspension to keep the axle where it was intended to be as well as track bars to prevent side to side movement.

                These can all be done, but there is a serious cost associated with doing that.

                I have coil-over shock overload helpers on my Lark as well as a single leaf helper spring and extended shackles, just to get the rear end up where it's supposed to be.

                I like the rear to set a bit higher, so I need to have a set of rear springs made for my Lark that are for a 60 Wagon to help raise the rear. I guess I need to contact Oregon Auto Springs, as the spring manufacturer within 30 miles of my house refuse to respond to my messages....Their loss.
                Dis-Use on a Car is Worse Than Mis-Use...
                1959 Studebaker Lark VIII 2DHTP