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  • Rafe Hollister
    replied
    That looks very nice. I also used 2" lowering blocks to get mine to roughly stock height. But then the rear 235/70/15s rubbed, so I swapped them for the front 205/75/15s. I tell people its front wheel drive now.
    I plan on buying TorqThrust 2s, 215/60/16 on front and 235/60/17 (5.5" backspace so they don't rub) on rear. That should keep the rear about what it is and lower the front a bit more. I may also cut the springs a bit. Thanks for your measurements, I can reference them as to how mine will look if I were to lower it even more.
    Rafe
    Attached Files

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  • 1953champcoupe
    replied
    Click image for larger version

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ID:	1904015 I am sure not all will agree with my idea of proper stance, but I wanted my car low, two inch blocks in the rear and a coil and half removed up front. Sometimes the lack of clearance is annoying It looks just like I wanted it....and out on the road it doesn't ride too bad Sorry I didn't take the same measurements as had been listed.
    Click image for larger version

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  • jrlemke
    replied
    '56 trunk lid is different than the others, but it fits. My '61 Hawk has had a '56 lid installed. The lock is different, the '56 has a turn latch, the others do not.- Jim

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  • t walgamuth
    replied
    which diff in 54 commander, please?

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  • bensherb
    replied
    Originally posted by Rafe Hollister View Post
    I just checked out pictures, my trunk key is in the middle of the trunk 'grill', the GT is near the top. Very nice wheels! What are they? And where did you get the studebaker center logos?
    As far as I know the trunk lid is the same from '56 thru '63, but the interior braceing changes some, and the '62-'63 have an overlay panel covering the ribs.
    My wheels are from a 2015 -2020 Ford Mustang; I made the center caps.

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  • 4NStudy
    replied
    The keyway on the trunk of my Power Hawk is approx. 26 1/4" off the ground. Thats with 14" wheels and 215/75 tires.

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  • Rafe Hollister
    replied
    Thanks Bensherb, this is what I wanted to know. My front height is the same as yours. My rear is, by upper shackle bolt is 4" higher. I just checked out pictures, my trunk key is in the middle of the trunk 'grill', the GT is near the top. Very nice wheels! What are they? And where did you get the studebaker center logos?
    I hated my bench seats, gives me lower back ache. So I'm installing a 2002 Toyota Sienna power bucket seat, I'll do a write up when all done.

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  • bensherb
    replied
    Ok, my shackle is 3.5" center to center, my trunk key (with trunk closed) is at 32 " off the ground, the bottom of my grill is at 18.5" from the ground. Upper shackle bolt is 16.5" from ground to center and my door sill is at 13" from ground at rear of door opening. The bottom edge of my rocker is 2.75" higher at the rear wheel opening than at the front, ( 2.75" rake).

    Now! My car is a '62 GT, I did not like the tail dragging stance it had when I got it (its fine on a standard Hawk ,but not a GT). So, when I fixed the poorly engineered shackle bushings I also added 1" to the shackles, the original ones were shorter and much flimsier. I originally put Ford 6.5" x15" wheels with 215-70-15 tires on it, they fit PERFECT! I now have Ford 7.5" x 17" wheels with 235-55-17 tires, they fit well but did take a bit of tweeking to get clearences right.

    This is with the 15" wheels and 215-70-15 tires, on all four.
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    This is with the 17" wheels and 235 -55-17 tires.
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  • Rafe Hollister
    replied
    Anyone with a hawk want to help me with some measurements? I'm curious how much my car is lifted. The trunk latch and front grill will sufice. Thanks.
    Here are my measurements: The trunk latch center is 30" above the ground. The drivers door sill is 14" high. The rear shackle is 3.5" from center to center of pins. The upper shackle pin is 20" above the ground. The bottom edge of front grill is 18.5" up.

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  • 6hk71400
    replied
    Correct me if I am wrong, but I think I had seen that the stock distribution of front to rear weight on a 56 V8 Hawk ( not Golden Hawk) was 57 percent to 43 percent. The other cars listed in this post are different as a 47 Champion and a 52 have different suspension, wheelbase, and balance. The heavy V8 with the rear end raised would increase the weight on the front end. I don't see how that would improve handling.

    That said, in my opinion, the 52 Commander is a better balanced car, overall easy steering, great ride quality and cruising in overdrive. Now as far as looks, if I could take the ride/handing characteristics of the 52 but have the looks of the 56.....

    Thom, just drive it, enjoy it and do little things at a time. I like both your 56's. I have a 56 President Classic with overdrive. My 62 Lark also drives well with the improvements made with the steering gear box and other things. Just drive the heck out of your car and get to know it then fix as you go. Don't make the mistake many make with whatever brand they have and feel they have to tear everything apart.

    Be a Sensible Acting Studebaker Owner (SASO).

    Bob Miles

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  • Rafe Hollister
    replied
    OK, seems like we got to the bottom of it with those springs. I will check front springs for spacer. I like the stance, but I like the stock stance too. So not sure what I will do. But will definitely lower it to test tire rubbing before I invest a grand on new wheels and tires.
    As far as its condition, no back seat, vent and side glass broken, no windows work, front seat terrible (may be picking up '04 Toyota Sienna power seats for it today), bumpers bent, trunk lid miss aligned, door locks don't work, all emblems removed, shock mount bushings loose, rattles and creaks, have to rev it to 3,000 to get alternator to work, etc... but all the stuff that makes it fun is there! I may be selling my 56 Commander Sedan on Tuesday, perhaps it has spoiled me, 35,000 miles, like new interior, etc....
    But I would still appreciate if someone could do similar measurements as I did so I can tell what stock ride height was.

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  • altair
    replied
    I am sure there are leaf spring specs out there for all the Studebaker models. Locally there is a spring manufacturer that has been in business for 115 years and they made my springs for my 54 and they fit perfect. They have access to the original specs and that is what they used for mine. Therefore the original specs are out there some where. I have contacted this company and have requested a copy of the original specs for my archive file.

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  • studegary
    replied
    To me, it appears that leaf was added to the rear springs, probably so that the large (wider) tires would clear the rear fenders. On my small screen, it looks like there is a spacer block in the front spring. I suggest going with tires close to original size and bring the springing back to stock.

    EDIT: Hard for me to imagine that this is the worst condition car that you ever owned. Around here, five year old Studebakers looked worse than that.

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  • 52-fan
    replied
    Originally posted by Ross View Post
    The second leaf is added. Notice the end is not chamfered like the others.
    It looks like it had a leaf added much like I did on my 52. Mine handles well.
    I think the stance yours has now looks aggressive and I would keep it as is if the tires don't rub.

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  • Greenstude
    replied
    The extra leaf might have been added to improve handling. On the advice of an engineer and a top-notch mechanic in our Chapter. I had an extra leaf added to the rear springs on my 1947 Champion many years ago. This raised the rear end 1.5 inches (to its original height), very greatly improved the car's handling, and noticeably reduced FRONT tire wear.

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