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GT Hawk problem areas

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  • GT Hawk problem areas

    Hello, all. I am the editor at Collector Car Market Review and a first time poster here. Our next issue includes a profile on the GT Hawk, and I thought I'd check with the real experts about the problem areas of the model. What are the body/mechanical areas to pay close attention to when purchasing one? Once owned, are there any specific areas that demand constant attention? Based what I've seen and the personal experience of a friend of mine who owned one, these are pretty robust cars. Thanks in advance for your help! John

  • #2
    Rust, most often in the floorpans and at the rear of the front fenders (and trunk, too, if the trunk seal has leaked.) Also under the vinyl roof, if so equipped and not kept in good condition.

    Mechanical? They're pretty stout, although the rear end uses tapered axles, so a special puller is required to inspect/service them, and there have been reports of axles breaking in hard use.

    nate

    --
    55 Commander Starlight
    http://members.cox.net/njnagel
    --
    55 Commander Starlight
    http://members.cox.net/njnagel

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    • #3
      I would closely inspect the front suspension and power steering system. The front suspension uses trunnions and kingpins; not for the average front end shop. The power steering is a very complicated system and can be very expensive to repair. These two problem areas can have your car down for a while awaiting new parts; some of which aren't worth installing. I installed all new control arm bushings three years ago on my 62 GT and they started crumbling almost immediately. The transmission fluid level has to be checked while running in DRIVE. And the transmission takes off in second gear unless you pull it down into Low. It has mechanical lifters that have to be adjusted occasionally. The hood springs go bad and you must pull the hood forward aggressively while opening it or risk bending the hood corners. The front suspension lacks provisions to add enough positive camber for today's driving.

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      • #4
        I promise to buy a subscription to your magazine if you join the Studebaker Drivers Club. jimmijim

        Stude Junkie+++++++Do it right the f$$$$ Time. Never mind. Just do it right. When youre done your done. You'll know it.
        sigpicAnything worth doing deserves your best shot. Do it right the first time. When you're done you will know it. { I'm just the guy who thinks he knows everything, my buddy is the guy who knows everything.} cheers jimmijim*****SDC***** member

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        • #5
          they started crumbling almost immediately.
          [/quote] Sometimes the rubber is years old and no good. Sometimes they are installed and not tightened properly. Sometimes the rubber is new and no good. There is a {Delrin} alternative. It employs the use of a grease fitting. That's the route I am going to take. Do it right {once} the first time. jimmijim

          Stude Junkie+++++++Do it right the f$$$$ Time. Never mind. Just do it right. When youre done your done. You'll know it.
          sigpicAnything worth doing deserves your best shot. Do it right the first time. When you're done you will know it. { I'm just the guy who thinks he knows everything, my buddy is the guy who knows everything.} cheers jimmijim*****SDC***** member

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          • #6
            Yep Jim, I'm so looking forward to replacing all of my control arm bushings one more time. I tightened them after the car was off the jacks and sitting as it would normally. And I've only put about a thousand miles on the car. I'm a Delrin fan now and I'm not sure if I am even pronouncing it correctly. I hope they last long enough for me to retro some different spindles with ball joints and disc brakes and quicker arms.

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            • #7
              It's going to be tough to get a list of problems with a Studebaker from a Studebaker forum...we're prejudice .

              Although rust can be a problem (especially in rust belt cars), I don't believe it to be more so than any other cars of the era. They all rusted. GT's no more than any others. Rust prevention was not on the manufacturers' radar at the time. Same with chromed pot metal trim. It didn't last well...but nobody's did.

              Not much of the car was "new"...even though it looked fresh and modern. For that reason, things were pretty well sorted out.

              The basic body had been in production since 1953. The suspension since 1951. Same with the V8 engine...it was just a larger displacement version of the 1951 232 CID. Brakes (with the exception of the optional discs in 63 and 64) were on Studes since 1954. Improvements had been made to all these items over the years and they were fairly "bullet proof" by 1962.

              The Borg Warner automatic was used by Ford (and others) and well proven by 1962. Same with the Borg Warner 3 speed and 4 speed manual transmissions. The rear end was a stout Dana 44. Studebaker did stay with the keyed axles (as opposed to flanged) longer than they probably should have, however.

              Any old car demands a lot more attention than a modern one. Lubrication, tune ups, brake adjustments, etc. Plus it is getting more and more difficult to find a shop that will work on an old car. I can't think of any area, however, where the GT Hawk would be more difficult, or require more attention than any other car from the same era.

              Dick Steinkamp
              Bellingham, WA

              Dick Steinkamp
              Bellingham, WA

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              • #8
                quote:Originally posted by Dick Steinkamp
                Yeah, what Dick said. 100% of it.

                Jerry Forrester
                Forrester's Chrome
                Douglasville, Georgia
                Jerry Forrester
                Forrester's Chrome
                Douglasville, Georgia

                See all of Buttercup's pictures at https://imgur.com/a/tBjGzTk

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                • #9
                  Welcome and thanks for asking

                  As others have stated, look for signs of rust as you would with any old vehicle. These cars have developed a pattern over the years. Pay close attention to the rear of the front fenders near the fresh air vents, the rockers below the door, the driver's and passenger's floor pans, and the rear lip of the trunk lid and the trunk floor.


                  Now how about pointing out some of the highlights like the use of stainless and aluminum trim, the interchangability of body panels and parts with other models, awesome factory shop manuals that show and teach you how do do everything, and the fantastic support our vendors provide with their plethora of parts



                  http://community.webshots.com/user/s...host=community

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                  • #10
                    Rust, rust and more rust is the only really expensive problem area.

                    You might be interested in some of the positives - by classic/exotic/low production standards, the V8 engine, the various transmissions, rear axle, brakes and front suspension and power steering are pretty much bulletproof. If/when normal wear parts need replacing, they mostly fit all post-51 Studes and thus are readily available and dirt cheap by the standards of some other low production vehicles.

                    Many here say the '63-64 GT Hawk is the best-styled steel bodied car ever and with the optional R2 engine and 4-speed, one of the best performers of the early '60s.

                    PackardV8
                    PackardV8

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                    • #11
                      The only complaint I have with my 1963 GT Hawk is its use of the outdated single chamber master cylinder. Even the Larks of the same year had a dual chamber master cylinder but the Hawks were not updated. The other issue with the Hawk master cylinder is its location (under the left floor pan along the outerside of the frame) which makes it very unhandy to service, whereas the Lark has it mounted to the firewall.


                      1949 2R17
                      R is for Rusty

                      In the middle of Minnesota
                      sigpic
                      In the middle of MinneSTUDEa.

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                      • #12
                        One item that I don't believe has been mentioned is the aluminum overlay on the trunk of the 1962 and 1963. The years have not been easy on them. The original mounting tabs deteriorate making correct mounting difficult. Replacements are very rare. Over the years I've seen a couple 1962 NOS overlays that were priced in the $300 range. I've never seen a 1963 overlay for sale. The overlay was eliminated on the 1964, making that trunk lid a very desirable find. I've only seen one at a swap meet and it was a rusty mess.

                        Perry
                        '23 Special Six,
                        '50 Business Champ,
                        '50 Starlight Champ,
                        '60 Lark droptop,
                        '63 GT R1
                        Perry
                        \'50 Business Champ,
                        \'50 Starlight Champ,
                        \'60 Lark Convertible,
                        \'63 GT R1,
                        \'67 Triumph TR4A

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                        • #13
                          Hey, I knew Rusty; man, he was a mess! Won't a 53-4-5 decklid fit a GT?

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                          • #14
                            quote:Won't a 53-4-5 decklid fit a GT?
                            All C/K deck lids from '53-64 will physically bolt on, but 53-55 are smooth, the '56-63 is squared-off on the back. The '64 has the same shape as the '56-63, but is smooth on the rear, without the stamped-inverse ribbing.

                            thnx, jack vines

                            PackardV8
                            PackardV8

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                            • #15
                              quote:Originally posted by PackardV8

                              quote:Won't a 53-4-5 decklid fit a GT?
                              All C/K deck lids from '53-64 will physically bolt on, but 53-55 are smooth, the '56-63 is squared-off on the back. The '64 has the same shape as the '56-63, but is smooth on the rear, without the stamped-inverse ribbing.

                              thnx, jack vines

                              PackardV8
                              You'd think the '56-64 C-K's would have more trunk room than the '53-4-5. But, correct me if I'm wrong, they don't.

                              Jerry Forrester
                              Forrester's Chrome
                              Douglasville, Georgia
                              Jerry Forrester
                              Forrester's Chrome
                              Douglasville, Georgia

                              See all of Buttercup's pictures at https://imgur.com/a/tBjGzTk

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