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The Infamous Studebaker "Lean"

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  • Shocks: The Infamous Studebaker "Lean"

    Both of my front and rear springs on my Sky Hawk are the same, side to side. For some reason, it leans a bit to the driver side...just enough to notice. Laying a level over the axle hump in the trunk verifies it. I installed a set of Air Shocks on the rear, each shock having it's own fill fitting. I filled the passenger side shock to 20lb, per instructions, and using the level I installed 75lbs in the driver side to bring the rear level. What a difference in ride quality! Not to mention, the rear universal joint no longer ticks the rear of the tunnel upon hard acceleration (with new one piece drive shaft). It improved the front, to the extent that I had to tweek the headlight adjustment just a bit. Win, win...

  • #2
    I have never heard of that being a thing with Studebakers. I have owned many and never experienced that. It sounds like you found a good solution to your problem, however. Very creative thinking.
    Ed Sallia
    Dundee, OR

    Sol Lucet Omnibus

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    • #3
      My GT is like that. I can measure everything and both sides measure out the same; even with the left spring mounted in the lower hole per the manual. Looking at it from the rear the left side appears about 1" lower than the right side.
      sigpic

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      • #4
        It may be a temporary solution. I don't believe that the shock mounts were engineered to take that much extra weight. It may be something that you can reinforce, if they cause you trouble. I've seen lots of broken shock mounts that were only exposed to the wear and tear of the shock absorber.

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        • #5
          Don't you have two mounting holes for the front of the springs? The right spring
          goes in the top hole and the left goes in the bottom hole.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by paul shuffleburg View Post
            Don't you have two mounting holes for the front of the springs? The right spring
            goes in the top hole and the left goes in the bottom hole.
            Yep, that's the way mine are mounted.
            sigpic

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            • #7
              They tried to compensate for all the extra Load of; the Steering Gear and Column, the Battery, the offset Gas Tank and the always present Driver by using those offset Front of the Rear Spring Mounts.

              But when your springs are shot, they are done.
              Standard shocks were not designed to make up the difference, air shocks WILL band-Aid the problem however with some ride quality loss and possible damage to the Crossmember.
              StudeRich
              Second Generation Stude Driver,
              Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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              • #8
                My 54 Champion sedan was leaning on the driver's side, visually nothing seemed out of the ordinary. I decided to have the springs re-arced, however when I removed the rear springs I found a broken leaf. It was one of the smaller components and it was not visible until they were removed and disassembled. I went to an old spring company that had the specs for my Studebaker where they made new springs that fit perfect. Now the car sits normal and square. The cost was $300 for the pair.

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                • #9
                  My 61 is like that, too! I've replaced front springs years ago with NOS and switched rears. No difference! So it is what it is.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Jeffry Cassel View Post
                    My 61 is like that, too! I've replaced front springs years ago with NOS and switched rears. No difference! So it is what it is.
                    Same here. Oddly the '53 still has it's original springs and doesn't do it.
                    sigpic

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                    • #11
                      I have seen many Studes with the subject lean, but it is usually due to sagging springs, incorrectly installed driver's side rear spring, and missing spacer under the front spring on driver's side. So new front & rear springs, the rear spring forward mount in the correct hole on the driver's side, and a factory recommended spacer on the driver side will usually correct the lean. Of course if the driver is super sized and riding solo, the lean will return, but autocorrect when the driver exits the vehicle. LOL

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