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Would you replace these rocker panels?

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  • Would you replace these rocker panels?


    My Hawk's rocker panels have a curve (bow) in them and I'm not sure they should. The door gap at the bottom is also a little larger in the center. I haven't seen any Hawks to compare them to. Is this how they should be - or should the rockers be straight across the bottom? They are otherwise in good condition.

    [img][/img]


  • #2
    The C/K bodies are curved. The rockers are supposed to have a curve in them when they are made. If you sight along the bottom of the door you can see it. From the looks of yours, what may have happened is the rocker was made straight and then forced to fit the floor threshold (that is curved). I think that would tend to cause the bottom to bow down like it is. I suspect that rocker is a replacement....

    Is your hawk a C or a K ? The K's have a torque box behind the rocker that the bottom flange attaches to.

    I think you could rework this rocker to get rid of the problem but it may not be easy. You need to recurve it somehow the whole length as simply pushing it up in the middle may not work.

    I have had sort of the opposite issue with my '53. The new floor pans were not curved but the rockers were. Normally the rockers are welded to the floor but in my case it was not a good way to get the alignment of door/fenders/rocker. I used screws and carefully calibrated stacks of washers to adjust the fit of the rockers. Also had to adjust the front lower corners of the rear fenders in/out. I've had them on/off the car about 3 times tweaking it to the point where now I think its pretty good. Panel alighnment on these cars is not the best no matter you do.

    Jeff in ND

    '53 Champion Hardtop

    Jeff in ND

    Comment


    • #3
      There are other reasons why the rockers could be warped. Who knows when some "Lame Brained" (one of my Father's terms) service guy might have tried to lift the car from the body instead of the frame.[:0] That nearly happened at a tire store to a GT Hawk I once owned. Fortunately I saw what the guy was trying to do and called him down before he hit the valve on the lift. He got mad and claimed he knew what he was doing. I had his boss to take him off my car. I refuse to deal with anybody that won't let me in the service area with my car...especially these older cars with a frame.

      John Clary
      Greer, SC

      Life... is what happens as you are making plans.
      SDC member since 1975
      John Clary
      Greer, SC

      SDC member since 1975

      Comment


      • #4
        My Hawk is a C-body so there is no inner support. I tried jacking them up and, as you indicated, that did not work. Maybe they were in fact replaced at some point, with panels a tad too long, or as you suggest, lacking the correct curvature. I'm just trying to decide whether to just go ahead and get replacements, rather than trying to get that bow/curve out. Do you know if the CE replacement panels have the correct curve? Sounds like some metal cutting is going to be in order either way... Thanks,

        Joe D.

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        • #5
          Those rocker panels should be strait. My car still has the original ones and yet they are strait or bowed the other way.


          Alex Nelsen
          1954 Champion Coupe
          Lizella, GA
          Alex Nelsen, certified Studebaker nut.
          Driving a 1954 Champion Coupe powered by a Chrysler 383.
          Lizella, GA

          Comment


          • #6
            You should be able to see the rockersin this photo.




            Alex Nelsen
            1954 Champion Coupe
            Lizella, GA
            Alex Nelsen, certified Studebaker nut.
            Driving a 1954 Champion Coupe powered by a Chrysler 383.
            Lizella, GA

            Comment


            • #7
              Well, yours looks right, so obviously mine are not.
              I have ordered a new set from CE and they are supposed to
              be curved correctly to fit. We'll see. thanks again,

              Joe D.

              Comment


              • #8
                Joe,

                I have seen c+k cars in both curved and uncurved rockers at the bottom edge! my all origional 55 Pres. Hardtop had curved bottoms,I think it is just a variable in "quality" of the day.can you maybe drill the spot welds and re-locate and weld again? and stay with origional.

                Joseph R. Zeiger
                Joseph R. Zeiger

                Comment


                • #9
                  A general observation: I have seen many restored Studebakers that look terrific, but when you take a second look you notice something funky about the rockers. A wrong bulge down here just does not go with the sleek lines of the rest of the car, and the eye picks it up as out of place. It gives off the impression of a bad bondo job hanging there.
                  I don't know if straight or curved is the answer, but you'll know if it looks right or not.
                  I was very happy with the replacement rockers I bought from classic enterprises, but this was on a 52. Plus I have a K body and so had sub-flooring to attach the rockers too.


                  www.studebakerhardtop.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I'll wait until I get the replacements from CE and see what they look like; I thought about trying to refit the ones I have but not sure how to go about that. Since I amn going to be drilling/cutting anyway, maybe I'll play with them to see if I can get that bow out.
                    I can see how the rockers attach at the front and along the sill plate, but am not sure how they are attached at the rear. I
                    am wondering if they are spot welded behind the lower leading edge of the rear quarter panel; I hope not because I really don't want to remove that rear quarter (again!).

                    Joe D.

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