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Lowering a '51 Champion with stock suspension

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  • Frame / Springs: Lowering a '51 Champion with stock suspension

    I want to lower the front of my '51 Champion, keeping the stock suspension. I had new coil springs made that are two-inches shorter than stock, but I'm also considering welding a new spring pocket into each lower A-frame to allow the front spring to drop down into the pockets to bring the body and frame down another inch or two. My concern is whether I will then be able to get the front end re-aligned or if there could be a problem with the two-piece driveshaft perhaps rubbing on the tunnel.

    I don't want to go the Mustang front suspension route, at least not now. Can anyone tell me what their personal experiences have been when lowering a '51. What can be done, and what can't? What are the options. I know the later model spindles will set the car a half-inch lower, but I'd like a little more that that. My car sits a little high. I'd like to drop the front a total of three or four inches and the rear about two inches with blocks. Is that in the cards? All advice will be appreciated. Thanks.
    Last edited by dstude; 02-16-2019, 12:45 AM. Reason: Typo

  • #2
    How much the front of the car will drop with your new springs is unknown as they are likely a different spring rate than the old ones. If the same rate, they will already drop the front of the car 3 inches because of the relation of the spring mount to the pivot points. Oh, and by then you will no longer have any suspension travel as the car will be onto the jounce bumpers. Don't get caught in the trap of building a car that looks cool sitting still but is no pleasure to drive. A little rake looks cool but but a whole lot leads to a car that is left in the garage. Note too that raking the car hard forward will add yet another degree of negative caster.

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    • #3
      3 to 4 inches is a lot to drop the stock suspension. Serious modifications to get the "look" and have a decent ride will be $$. I would put slightly lower profile tires on the car and call it done. It is already a unique vehicle. You will get noticed.
      "In the heart of Arkansas."
      Searcy, Arkansas
      1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
      1952 2R pickup

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      • #4
        My car sits a little high. I'd like to drop the front a total of three or four inches
        by then you will no longer have any suspension travel as the car will be onto the jounce bumpers.
        3 to 4 inches is a lot to drop the stock suspension.
        For true X3. Maybe it's time to put your head under the front bumper and measure the space above the upper and lower bump stops. None of my Studes ever had 3"-4" of travel there to begin with. That the stock suspension can be lowered that much as still be aligned and drivable isn't easily or inexpensively accomplished.

        jack vines
        PackardV8

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        • #5
          I think you are asking for something the Studebaker suspension and frame cannot deliver. Steering geometry will be unattainable.
          There is no "CASO" way to lower the car as much as you want.
          sigpic1966 Daytona (The First One)
          1950 Champion Convertible
          1950 Champion 4Dr
          1955 President 2 Dr Hardtop
          1957 Thunderbird

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          • #6
            Thanks to everyone. That's what I wanted to hear from people who had been there, done that.

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            • #7
              On a V8 car you can use the replacement MOOG front springs and a shorter tire. You'll get an inch plus lower and it should still be fine. On a Champion just do a bit of research on those MOOGS and find one a few hundred pounds softer. Search this forum for Moog front springs there are lots of threads with real world info.
              http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.c...rings+champion

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