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"Volare" front clip in a champ

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  • Front Axle / Front Suspension: "Volare" front clip in a champ

    I am looking for information about this swap. I have a good "valore" crossmember and I have done some rough measurements. I believe that the studebaker oil pan will interfere with the mopar steering linkages. Those mopar engines used a mid sump pan. I have also heard there was an article written about this swap but I've dug through everything I can read. Most of the stuff I read is from the F100 guys. There was a Champ truck owned by Gene Strickland featured in the Custom and modified section of Turning Wheels from september 2016 that mentioned it was "valore" subframed but thats it.

    My particular truck's v8 sits at least 1" lower and maybe 1 or 2" back from it's typical location due to the fact that it was swapped in place of the underpowered inline 6 and the guys that did the swap told me they didn't have the right transmission mounts.

    That all being said I am primarily looking for measurements of well, anything really. My particular Champ is a 1960 so the master cylinder is under the floor. I was wondering how others have done this. Again Mr Strickland's Champ pedals go through the floor I'm wondering how this is done with the thirsty disc brakes from the mopar subframe.

    I was also wondering about proportioning valves and any other things anyone else can think of that i might be neglecting. I am looking to keep my manual steering and manual brakes to keep things simple. Anything will help, and thanks in advance.

  • #2
    I thin you meant "volare", not "valore"?

    I did a quick search on google for "studebaker champion volare front end swap" and came up with a bunch of links. It sounds like you already checked those out though.

    Comment


    • #3
      Don't know anything about frame or suspension differences, but years back, a friend put a Volare (capital "V") front end under his 1950 Stude truck without problem. I know he reinforced (boxed) the frame where the torsion bars attached.
      He used a big Chevy for power though.
      I rode well, drove well. I don't recall the problem, but he didn't like the steering arrangement that he used, and I don't recall what he did.
      He drove it for a coupla years before he sold it to a friend.

      Have fun.

      Mike

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      • #4
        When the Volare came out, there was a certain amount of buzz about how bad the front suspension was. If you are planning on doing it just because you have the front suspension, you should keep researching.
        RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

        17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
        10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
        10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
        4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
        5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
        56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
        60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

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        • #5
          Originally posted by RadioRoy View Post
          When the Volare came out, there was a certain amount of buzz about how bad the front suspension was. If you are planning on doing it just because you have the front suspension, you should keep researching.
          X2, Roy - the OP came asking for advice and like you, I wouldn't install the Mopar if it were free.

          FWIW, of all the Stude truck IFS swaps, the only one I'd consider is the Ford Aerostar. It's pretty much a bolt-in, has discs, power R&P. Check it out.

          jack vines

          PackardV8

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          • #6
            Welcome to the SDC Forum!

            There have been a couple of swaps of Volare front suspensions into Studebakers, but not nearly as many as Camaro/Firebird swaps. My two cents worth - The Volare front suspension and brake system was not good when it was new and it hasn't gotten better over the past 44 years. It was a cost driven (cheap) system when new.
            Gary L.
            Wappinger, NY

            SDC member since 1968
            Studebaker enthusiast much longer

            Comment


            • #7
              Guess I'm the "Lone Ranger" in this discussion hot rodder, I had a Volare front under a 66 Ford F-100, and every single thing about it was perfect, but I especially loved being able to set the ride height on those torsion bars with the turn of a bolt. Perhaps it isn't a good fit in the Studebaker trucks, folks with experience there will tell, but we loved ours ! I usually kept it at this level : see pic

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              • #8
                I appreciate all the feedback I have been receiving. I have read a ton of stuff on this swap. Some guys say that the “Volare” is junk and doesn’t keep alignment, others say it does just fine on their 150mph class land speed trucks. I am going to try my best to use the front end I have. My truck right now is wobbly and unstable at highway speeds with it’s almost 60 year old steering and suspension technology and the stock stude drums are the biggest pain with that goofy crown right in the middle. I have already had a tire (rim and all) fall off in traffic. The frame under my truck isn’t the best candidate for an expensive state of the art swap. I just want to get down the road smoothly. J.Byrd thank you for your comment and picture. Also Jack Vines I am very happy to see your comment also. (I read a lot of your stuff) and mr studegary, thank you for the welcome.

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                • #9
                  My friends truck as noted above had NO...driving problems at speed. At least 90ish in CA. freeways.
                  He just didn't like the steering, and that's a different subject than the suspension itself. It rode and cornered fine.
                  The box my friend used was just too fast a ratio for that big ol truck. It was not the original steering to that front suspension.

                  Also as I recall, there is different torsion bars that one can use to stiffen the spring rate. I seem to recall him using stiffer torsion bars specifically for the additional weight of the big Chevy engine.

                  Mike

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                  • #10
                    Article in Bob Johnstone's techs gives a bit of detail on da Ford Areostar conversion. Looks simple, just about no frame mods. Dat da one I'm gonna do on my upcomeing frame swap.

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                    • #11
                      Think i would go the other way. refurbish the stock front end, add disc brakes and radial tires for starters. dont like the ride, throw some weight in the back. then enjoy the truck!!! Luck Doofus

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by thehotrodder View Post
                        I appreciate all the feedback I have been receiving. I have read a ton of stuff on this swap. Some guys say that the “Volare” is junk and doesn’t keep alignment, others say it does just fine on their 150mph class land speed trucks. I am going to try my best to use the front end I have. My truck right now is wobbly and unstable at highway speeds with it’s almost 60 year old steering and suspension technology and the stock stude drums are the biggest pain with that goofy crown right in the middle. I have already had a tire (rim and all) fall off in traffic. The frame under my truck isn’t the best candidate for an expensive state of the art swap. I just want to get down the road smoothly. J.Byrd thank you for your comment and picture. Also Jack Vines I am very happy to see your comment also. (I read a lot of your stuff) and mr studegary, thank you for the welcome.
                        The Volare front end is at least a 45 year old design (installed in 1975 in 1976 model Volares). My comments on the front end and brakes are based on cars that I have owned and cars that I have known and worked on.
                        Have you figured out the placement and attachment of those torsion bars that run lengthwise to the vehicle? If you use the whole assembly, then you have different attachment and strength issues.
                        Gary L.
                        Wappinger, NY

                        SDC member since 1968
                        Studebaker enthusiast much longer

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The Volare torsion bars run left to right and vise versa, not front to rear. So no extra crossmember is required for their mounting. That entire suspension is contained in the K member (or perhaps they call it an H member which it better resembles in that car) and it simply bolts to the chassis with four bolts. That is why it was a semi popular swap...it's easy.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by bensherb View Post
                            The Volare torsion bars run left to right and vise versa, not front to rear. So no extra crossmember is required for their mounting. That entire suspension is contained in the K member (or perhaps they call it an H member which it better resembles in that car) and it simply bolts to the chassis with four bolts. That is why it was a semi popular swap...it's easy.
                            Thank you. Obviously I had the wrong system in my mind.
                            Gary L.
                            Wappinger, NY

                            SDC member since 1968
                            Studebaker enthusiast much longer

                            Comment

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