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What Is Difference Between 51-56 And 57-62 Rear Shocks?

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  • Rear Axle: What Is Difference Between 51-56 And 57-62 Rear Shocks?

    There are two different part numbers for rear shocks on 51-56 versus 57-62. Does anyone know what the difference is between the two shocks? I know it is not the bottom mount. Not sure if it's the top mount, and/or expanded and contracted length, and stroke. If there's a difference in length, it would be due to the different rear springs, used on 57 and later, but I doubt it would be much. Can anyone shed any light?
    Thanks Much

  • #2
    The older ones have a little different upper mounting (type A) that is more difficult to replace but won't rattle. The type B does not require that special bolt that the type A uses. In 63 they went to a stud on the bottom that went thru a hole in the spring plate.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Jeffry Cassel View Post
      The older ones have a little different upper mounting (type A) that is more difficult to replace but won't rattle. The type B does not require that special bolt that the type A uses. In 63 they went to a stud on the bottom that went thru a hole in the spring plate.
      Thanks, I have found excellent interchange rear shocks for the 62GT, now on a mission for the 56J's. I only have a 59-64 Parts Catalog, so hoped someone here would answer. Then I remembered the 56J Only website, where Frank A. posted a parts catalog for 56J folks. So now I see type A (51-56) top and bottom bushings are different from type B (57-62), but the studs are same diameter (7/16") and only 3/8" different length (3 3/8" for type A and 3" for type B). I also recall, as you mentioned, type A top stud head is tapered, and passes into the frame hole a bit, which may account for he extra 3/8" length, since the frames crossmembers are identical width. In looking at type A and B bushings, it appears they can be interchanged. In fitting other car shocks on either 51-56 or 57-62 Studes, I'd prefer type B upper bushing, and type A lower bushing. Thankfully, Dorman includes a type A lower bushing with Dorman mount pin #31001. This way, all that is necessary is to press the replacement shock's lower bushing out, and use the Doorman. The top bushing, no matter the ID, is easily adapted by drilling it out to 1/2", then installing a 1/2" OD x 7/16" ID steel bushing, readily available on eBay. The top bushing eye can be adjusted by cutting some away, or by shimming with washer, whichever is needed.

      Still, the 51-56 shock part numbers are different from 57-62. Not sure if it's just the upper and lower bushing differences, or also involves extended/contracted length and stroke. Only way to know for sure is to remove a shock from my 56J and compare it with the Gabriel I recently removed from the 62GT.
      Thanks Again

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      • #4
        It might be a case of "Different Strokes" for Different Folks, but since you tend to change things to "Your way" anyway, why not get the "Best" setup while you are at it?

        Put a Pair of '63 to '66 Lower Spring Plates on and Use the more common, better "Stud Mount" lower end Shocks instead of those "Hokey" Cross Pin Type, which are harder to find?

        While at it, you have the Option to weld on the Traction Bar Mount Portion of the Spring Plate from an Old '56 one or New Metal and have no more Spring wind-up and wear on your Springs.
        StudeRich
        Second Generation Stude Driver,
        Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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        • #5
          Rich,
          Actually, I prefer the 62 and earlier lower mount, and have swapped every 63-66 Stude ever owned over to the earlier one. I have had a rear anti-sway bar under the 62GT since the 1980s, adapter from a 1970s Mopar sports car, but I forgot which one. It works superbly. I have never needed traction bars, since I take off like an old man, even when I was a young man. I have cut the traction bar mounts off off a few rear ends though, when installing them into my cars. LOL

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          • #6
            Having recently delved into finding replacement rear shocks for my 62GT and 56J, so far I have only found a replacement for the 62GT's, but consider it a huge success. The 56J is next, but I wanna understand any differences between the two cars first. In another thread, lower & upper mount alignment on GTs came into question. One member reported the lower was at too much angle, and addressed it by bending the mount plate ear. Another member used a longer mount bolt and added a 1.25" spacer to move the mount forward. I opted to space the upper mount rearward about 1/2", and the bottom mount forward about 1/2" with a Dorman (31001) shock mount pin. Pretty sure all of the above successfully address the issue. Here are links to that thread and another, related thread: Is this 1961 Hawk Rear Shock mount correct? Rear Shock Interchange, 1951-56 And/Or 57-62

            Today, to better understand the above misalignment in 62GTs, I examined the Shop and Parts Manuals. I also used a Gabriel specs site, that includes a pic of the 57-62 Studebaker shock lower pin; it is offset about 1/2", to move the shock forward. The Studebaker Shop Manual, upon closer look, also shows the offset pin; it says the spacer is inherent with the offset pin, and to install the shock with the longer end of the pin toward the mount plate. However, the Parts Manual shows a 1/2" metal spacer which also goes between the mount plate and offset shock pin. The sum of the 1/2" spacer and offset pin would move the shock about 1" away from the mount plate, for better upper & lower mount alignment. Not sure why the metal 1/2" spacer is in the parts manual but not in the Shop Manual, but it is what it is.
            Last edited by JoeHall; 03-11-2020, 10:51 AM.

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