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GT Hawk problem areas

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  • N8N
    replied
    yes, there's definitely POSITIVES to owning a Studebaker

    - parts availability (except for rust free front fenders)
    - vendor support
    - knowledgeable community
    - bulletproof mechanicals - despite the comments above about the front suspension bushings, the front suspension is pretty "fail safe," e.g. you can have bushings running metal to metal, sloppy, worn out kingpin bushings, and trunnions seized up and flopping around in ways the factory never intended and the car will still drive "OK." Not that I would recommend driving like that, but there is no common failure which will result in the front end of your car crashing into the pavement like there is with a ball joint front end.

    nate

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

    Leave a comment:


  • PlainBrownR2
    replied
    I am not sure if this design was changed later on, but the hardtops(the versions with no B pillar), had something that resembled hog troughs underneath. They went from behind the lower rocker panel to the outside frame rail and looked like spot welded strips of sheet metal underneath. They are under the floor, kinda like a sub floor. These will rot through over the years, and unfortunately, they give strength to the body of the car since the pillar is not present in the hardtops, and keep the car and its body from flexing. You may go to look over a hardtop and perfect floors, but have these hog troughs rusted away.

    These are also available from our vendors(Classic Enterprise to name one).


    [IMG=left]http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t102/PlainBrownR2/55%20Studebaker%20Commander%20Streetrod%20Project/P1010531-1.jpg[/IMG=left]
    [IMG=left]http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t102/PlainBrownR2/55%20Studebaker%20Commander%20Streetrod%20Project/P1010550-1.jpg[/IMG=left]
    [IMG=right]http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t102/PlainBrownR2/Ex%20Studebaker%20Plant%20Locomotive/P1000578-1.jpg[/IMG=right]
    [IMG=right]http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t102/PlainBrownR2/My%201964%20Studebaker%20Commander%20R2/P1010168.jpg[/IMG=right]

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  • HawkGT
    replied
    I'm with PackardV8 in balancing this out with some positives. One of the major ones that I would add is the EXCELLENT handling and front-rear weight distribution. A GT Super Hawk with radius rods and rear stabilizer can take on anything of its era in the handling dept., and a lot of what has come after as well. And for driving in snow, the balanced weight distribution makes the GT more sure footed than any other rear wheel drive car I've ever driven.

    Gene Nagle
    1963 Hawk R1

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  • maxpower1954
    replied
    Right Jerry - the inside skin of the trunk lid is the same on the GTs as the earlier C-Ks, a cost-saving move I'm sure. Russ Farris

    1963 GT Hawk R-2 4-speed
    1964 Avanti R-1 Auto

    Leave a comment:


  • Jerry Forrester
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • PackardV8
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


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

    Leave a comment:


  • fpstude
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • Milaca
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • PackardV8
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • wcarroll@outrageous.net
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • Jerry Forrester
    replied
    quote:Originally posted by Dick Steinkamp
    Yeah, what Dick said. 100% of it.

    Jerry Forrester
    Forrester's Chrome
    Douglasville, Georgia

    Leave a comment:


  • Dick Steinkamp
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • buddymander
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • jimmijim8
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:

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