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Center Bell Crank.

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  • Steering: Center Bell Crank.

    Has any one had experience with high speed shimmy caused by wear in the bell crank shaft and bearings.
    Thanks Hawkowner

  • #2
    No. Do you have a Hawk? If so, there is a factory kit to install a dampener on the steering to correct for this problem.
    Gary L.
    Wappinger, NY

    SDC member since 1968
    Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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    • #3
      My GT Hawk used to do that. Don't know if a loose belcrank bearing has anything to do with it. More than likely it has to do with a too flexible frame. My car has power steering, don't know if the non power steering cars did it too. Yes, Studebaker made a dampener kit to solve it. Not sure if anyone would have a kit but it could be fabricated from a generic kit. There is a service bulletin for it. I resolved the problem by installing radial tires. I know it may sound flaky but it has not done it since.

      Roger List
      Roger W. List
      Proud Studebaker Owner

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      • #4
        Just in case someone would be wondering how long ago I put the radials on it, it was in the 70's over 100,000 miles ago.

        Roger List
        Roger W. List
        Proud Studebaker Owner

        Comment


        • #5
          High speed shimmy could be caused by several things: loose bell crank bearings, mount or pinch bolt; loose king pin bushings/bearings; loose tie rods; loose drag link; wheels out of round; tires out of balance, etc.. If the bell crank bearings are loose, I'd replace them just on principle, but it may stop or at least reduce the shimmy.

          GT Hawks apparently had a problem with shimmying very early on, since there's a field service bulletin that provides for a tubular shock absorber to be mounted between the frame and bell crank. Never seen one on anything but GTs, so not sure if it was a retro fix for other Hawks. My 62GT had one when I first got it in 1985, and also had a shimmy. I rebuilt the front end and it still had a shimmy and would track rain grooves. I finally installed radial tires, and all problems went away (same as Roger L. above). Many years later, I removed that shock absorber looking apparatus, and it made no difference. Not sure if it ever did, but left it on for many years and the first 200,000 miles or so.

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          • #6
            Joe, does your GT also have power steering? If so, I was suspecting that the real problem might be due to inadequate damping of the spool valve in the control valve. In any case glad to hear that I'm not the only one that resolved it with radial tires.

            Roger List
            Roger W. List
            Proud Studebaker Owner

            Comment


            • #7
              If we were to read the Service Bulletin, I believe it said the Dampener is for Power Steering Hawks.
              I had a R1 Power Shift '63 GT Hawk with Power Steering, that would feel like it was hopping sideways on Right Turns, it must have needed the Dampener but did not have one.
              StudeRich
              Second Generation Stude Driver,
              Proud '54 Starliner Owner

              Comment


              • #8
                I just read the service bulletin yesterday and it does only apply to power steering equipped GT Hawks. Basically it says to install the damper kit as a last resort if tightening up the suspension doesn't work. In my experience though, it really doesn't make any difference. Once the shimmy starts it's one of the scariest experiences you'll ever have, especially at 60 mph or better. I stick by my original idea that a combination of poor ridgitity of the frame and weak dampening of the spool valve in the control valve is the real culprit. I'm just glad that radial tires seems to stabilize it.
                Roger W. List
                Proud Studebaker Owner

                Comment


                • #9
                  Don't discount tire issues before you get too far into the fray. The tubular stabilizer was designed to fight exactly what you seem to be fighting. I never saw them on 62's and that's where the problem is most often present. Never owned one but saw plenty in the day with the problem.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The shimmy seems to be initiated when the front tires hit something in the road that causes a sudden deflection of the wheel. It may be speed sensitive as I've only had it happen to me at highway speeds. Once it starts though it becomes a resonant oscillation as the power steering tries to correct the deflection but overshoots the neutral position then the whole thing just repeats in the opposite direction. I have experienced the same effect recently when I replaced the power cylinder. I was bleeding the air out of the system with the front wheels off the ground and while turning the wheels back and forth it started oscillating just like it did on the road. Had to shut the engine off to stop it. I then let the front end down and tried bleeding it again with weight on the tires and it didn't do it again. The drag of the tires on the floor was enough to dampen the spool valve's tendency to "hunt" when the wheels were free to move off the floor.
                    Roger W. List
                    Proud Studebaker Owner

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      kit is available www.studebakerparts.com

                      Russ Shop Foreman \"Rusty Nut Garage\"
                      53 2R6 289 5SpdOD (driver)
                      57 SH (project)
                      60 Lark VIII 2dr sd (driver)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Roger L. View Post
                        Joe, does your GT also have power steering? If so, I was suspecting that the real problem might be due to inadequate damping of the spool valve in the control valve. In any case glad to hear that I'm not the only one that resolved it with radial tires.

                        Roger List
                        Adding more caster to the alignment can help too. It's a common occurance with I beam axles when there is not enough caster. With them increasing it to at least 4 degrees seems to do the trick.
                        sigpic

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                        • #13
                          Rick, (bensherb) I don;t think you will EVER see 4 degrees POSITIVE Caster on a Studebaker!
                          The King Pins will be ALL the way against the "A" Arm way before that.

                          On a STUDEBAKER Car with Independent Coil Front Suspension, you will be lucky if you get close to 0 Caster, since the design Alignment Spec. is close to -2 1/2 degrees, NEGATIVE Caster!
                          StudeRich
                          Second Generation Stude Driver,
                          Proud '54 Starliner Owner

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by StudeRich View Post
                            Rick, (bensherb) I don;t think you will EVER see 4 degrees POSITIVE Caster on a Studebaker!
                            The King Pins will be ALL the way against the "A" Arm way before that.
                            .
                            On a STUDEBAKER Car with Independent Coil Front Suspension, you will be lucky if you get close to 0 Caster, since the design Alignment Spec. is close to -2 1/2 degrees, NEGATIVE Caster!
                            Not surprising; it was just a thought. The effect should be the same either negative or positive; more caster, 2.5 degrees over 1 degree should improve the issue. I've encountered the same problem with vehicles using I beams and more caster was the fix. My "T" is currently running 6 degrees caster; very low speed steering is more difficult (no power) but no wobble since. I have a similar issue with my truck (American Toyota). It's a common problem for that truck, the factory parts won't allow more than 1.5 degrees caster, either way. The after market actually offers A arms to allow up to 4 degrees caster, but they are EXPENSIVE; so the common choice is to adjust the factory parts to the maximum available.
                            Last edited by bensherb; 10-21-2019, 12:10 AM.
                            sigpic

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                            • #15
                              Maybe try removing power steering belt and then drive the car. If you still have that shimmy it maybe something else thats the problem. Im guessing here, I also had a 62 hawk that liked floating all over the road with its power steering. When I removed the belt it went away.

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