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  • Front Axle / Front Suspension: Avanti Rack and pinion


    Wondering if anyone has installed the Slick Street rack and pinion front end setup in an Avanti with a Studebaker engine? http://www.alpha-omegaclothingco.com...FRONTENDS.html
    I know the website says will not work due to the starter but I don't really understand why and have not been able to get in touch with them to find out although I will continue to try.


  • #2
    Do a thorough search here. Been discussed here several times and there are lots of opinions on this subject.

    jack vines
    PackardV8

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    • #3
      Thanks Jack. I have done a search and yes many opinions on the suspension but no where did I find anyone using this on an Avanti with the Studebaker engine. Hoping someone has done this or maybe has an idea about this combination. Thanks again for the suggestion.
      Tom

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      • #4
        Originally posted by tanda62 View Post
        Thanks Jack. I have done a search and yes many opinions on the suspension but no where did I find anyone using this on an Avanti with the Studebaker engine. Hoping someone has done this or maybe has an idea about this combination. Thanks again for the suggestion.
        Tom
        Tom -

        Do you really drive the car hard enough to notice any steering problems ?
        Is your current steering up to date, fresh ?

        The Studebaker (the Avanti is a Studebaker) frames are MUCH the same..! From 1952 (oe53) to 1966, they ALL have the same front suspension. Even the 53 control arms with the odd shock mount, can be swapped with a 1959 Lark control arm, and work very well.
        A slight spindle change was ALL that happened that changed any geometry in all those years, again...no matter the car, including the Avanti.
        No matter the car, Avanti, Lark, Daytona, etc., they are all VERY much the same suspension (front and rear). The control arms and spindles...ALL interchange with each other.
        This means that if something works...OR not, on one chassis, then is will OR will not work on the others. You can put a 1955 "C" bodied front suspension on your Avanti, with NO changes to anything. You'll end up with the same Avanti
        Sure, you can spend a lot of time and or money completing this task of adding a rack & pinion steering and not have any better steering than what you have now...provided that what you have now is in good condition !

        Like always...your BEST bet (money and time spent), rebuild what you have, add a pair of heavy duty anti-sway bars, heavy duty gas shocks, a set of 7" wide wheels with stiff sidewall (NOT all tires are the same!) tires, and drive the car.

        If you want to attain a "no" or little bump steer suspension, you are literally...on your own. I put a C4 Corvette front suspension under my 60 Lark. It's NOT for the faint of heart. A LOT of work, a LOT of measuring, a LOT of fabrication, and a lot of welding.
        Jack Vines has seen it. He can tell you that its' not a weekend project.

        This is the only way to make a rack & pinion steering work properly.

        Mike

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        • #5
          Only one issue I can add to Mike's "all the same" point; the Avanti IS a completely Different "handling" Car than the same or similar framed 109" W/B Hardtop or Convertible Lark Type or ANY Stude. I have owned, the most important difference I know of is the Quicker Steering, a Big improvement.

          It DOES respond quickly and controllably to the slightest Steering input, and the only thing about it that is different than some is, it came with H.D. Springs Front and Rear and "Standard" were heavier duty than Larks.

          There may be other Weight, Balance, Aerodynamics issues that make me say that: my Avanti does NOT drive or handle ANYTHING like all the other years and Models of Studes. I own or have owned.
          But then again, I do admit that I have never driven a Lark or Hawk with the FULL Jet Thrust Package either.
          Last edited by StudeRich; 06-19-2021, 01:50 PM.
          StudeRich
          Second Generation Stude Driver,
          Proud '54 Starliner Owner

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks Mike and Rich. I am starting from a clean sheets if you will. Doing a frame off restoration on a very tired car so I am able to do what ever I want, nice position to be in if I do say so myself. The Slick Street system is bolt on (I know that just means less fabrication than maybe other options) and I am wondering what it does take to make it work if anyone else has installed it.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by tanda62 View Post
              Thanks Mike and Rich. I am starting from a clean sheets if you will. Doing a frame off restoration on a very tired car so I am able to do what ever I want, nice position to be in if I do say so myself. The Slick Street system is bolt on (I know that just means less fabrication than maybe other options) and I am wondering what it does take to make it work if anyone else has installed it.
              Here's an old thread from 2011 about the unit. https://forum.studebakerdriversclub....n-installation

              Personally, I'd talk to Morrison, Fat Man or a couple others that build subframes for these cars and get what you want. Or even a full frame if you can justify the cost.

              There is a Morrison frame in the buy/sell section delivered to Indy for $4500 that needs suspension.

              Bob

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              • #8
                Bob, Thanks for alerting me to that frame. It is for a C/K car so not sure it would work for my Avanti. After I get the body off, should happen next week, I will measure the frame I have and make sure it is not out of sorts. If it is then maybe a Morrison would be in order. I have noticed already one of the rear springs is bent and one side has 5 leafs and the other side has 6 leafs. The car came from the factory with heavy duty springs so should have 6 leafs on each side. I hope the bent 5 leaf doesn't mean the frame is bent but I will soon find out. Thanks again for the information,
                Tom

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by tanda62 View Post
                  Bob, Thanks for alerting me to that frame. It is for a C/K car so not sure it would work for my Avanti. After I get the body off, should happen next week, I will measure the frame I have and make sure it is not out of sorts. If it is then maybe a Morrison would be in order. I have noticed already one of the rear springs is bent and one side has 5 leafs and the other side has 6 leafs. The car came from the factory with heavy duty springs so should have 6 leafs on each side. I hope the bent 5 leaf doesn't mean the frame is bent but I will soon find out. Thanks again for the information,
                  Tom
                  Tom

                  Read right through the C/K part. Hopefully your frame is straight but a lot can happen over 50 yrs plus. Keep us in the loop on your build.

                  Bob

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                  • #10
                    Tom,
                    When I read their advertisement, one thing jumped out at me. Perhaps you missed this:
                    "Will not fit in Avanti, Larks and Sedans when using Studebaker engines, due to the starter on the driver side of engine."
                    I hope not but keep us posted.
                    For the record, I agree with Jack & Mike, make sure everything is better than new (quick steering arms, Koni Shocks, Big sway bars, new bushings everywhere etc.)and you will probably be very satisfied. The center steering pin/bearing/bushing is most important.
                    Bill

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                    • #11
                      Too bad one of the aftermarket shops can't fab up a "single-ended" power rack that would bolt onto the Studebaker frame where the stock steering box goes, with a drag link that would connect with the bell crank.
                      Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

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                      • #12
                        Use a mini starter from Galaxy. Better starts and is shorter and smaller.

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                        • #13
                          I did see the warning about the starter and emailed the company for an explanation why but haven't heard back.
                          After talking to several people and reading the posts here I have decided to not go with this front end setup. Thanks to all and now we will see about the frame and where that leads me.
                          Tom

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