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53 Starliner Frame

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  • 53 Starliner Frame

    I've looked back through the archives and haven't found an answer, so he goes:

    I know the 53 HT frames were the weakest of the 53-64 hawk style frames. I'm finally beginning the hardcore restoration on a 53 4H-K5, and I'm starting with the frame. I'm keeping the car stock, with tweeks to the 232, the suspension, and the brakes (and saving all the original parts so someone can reverse it all in the future). Is there a commonly accepted method of stiffening the frame. I've read about everything from triangular gusset plates at the crossmembers, to adding the '54 longer front crossmember (where would you even find one?), to even adding x-bracing from a lark convertible (There's a convertible locally in a junk yard).

    Rather than letting the local shop experiment on an original frame, I thought somebody might have some advice.

    Also, dumb question - the production order lists the body type as "4H-K5 CUB". What does CUB mean?
    Thanks.



    G. Howes

  • #2
    I've got a 53 Coupe and I recently recieved a freebie '57 Hawk frame that might well end up beneath the 53. No one will be able to tell[}]

    The CUB is a factory code name for a 53 Commander Hardtop.

    Miscreant at large.

    1957 Transtar 1/2ton
    1960 Larkvertible V8
    1958 Provincial wagon
    1953 Commander coupe
    1957 President 2-dr
    1955 President State
    1951 Champion Biz cpe
    1963 Daytona project FS
    No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

    Comment


    • #3
      My 53 is an early one and if I remember correctly [which is getting less frequent] wasn't an extra crossmember added later in the 53 run? If this is true where exactly is it located and can this be added to an earlier car and would it be worth it as I to would like to stiffen my 53? Thanks,

      Darryl C. Lewallen
      Darryl C. Lewallen Clarkesville, Ga.

      Comment


      • #4
        D.C., the frames are different and the batwing crossmember will not fit. And I have tried to do it before, but the 54 up frame is bent different and there are no holes in the frame of the 53 that correspond to the later crossmember or on the body at the outriggers.

        Comment


        • #5
          Here are some pics of one of the members '54 mods:

          http://community.webshots.com/album/453747682GrpcCM

          Sorry I do not remember who's this is. Someone please claim them.



          Dan White
          64 R1 GT
          64 R2 GT
          Dan White
          64 R1 GT
          64 R2 GT
          58 C Cab
          57 Broadmoor (Marvin)

          Comment


          • #6
            BTW is there any good way to tell the difference between the '53 and '54 frames. I have a partial '54 HT frame and body, at least the guy told me it was a '54 but now I wonder?

            Dan White
            64 R1 GT
            64 R2 GT
            Dan White
            64 R1 GT
            64 R2 GT
            58 C Cab
            57 Broadmoor (Marvin)

            Comment


            • #7
              Based on the crash sheets I have, the 53 and 54 C/K frames are the same except on the 54 the crossmember just behind the front wheel well extends out beyond the frame approximately 9 5/32" on each side.

              I was just looking through a copy of "Studebaker Technical Tips", by Dick Datson, and he has a copied article on installing a layer of fiberglass flooring over the original floor pans. Sounds lightweight, but not the solution I'm looking for.

              I've handed it off to a Structural Engineer friend that owes me a favor. I'll let you know what he suggests.

              G. Howes

              Comment


              • #8
                As a side note - in the November '86 TW (page 3) there is an article by John Bridges about Bob Bourke's personal '55 prototype HT. He built it on a 54 frame. The article states,

                "To correct the sagging door/rubber frame problem which all "Bourke coupes" have, Bob stiffened the car's body/frame assembly. He did this by fabricating two long and wide "hat" section/body channels and welded them to the floor panel. The hat section was 18 gauge steel, rust proofed and had a series of holes which were shingle-bent toward the rear.", "...the door sounds and feels like a rolls-royce door closing", "Too bad Studebaker did not adopt this very simple improvement."

                Unfortunately no undercarrige photos. If I can get a specific design and placement suggestion from my engineer friend, I'll post it.

                G. Howes

                Comment


                • #9
                  I knew Bob Bourke's car and have worked on it and was there for most of its restoration. The car is a 1954 model that Bob purchased new. Bob modified it with ideas that he wanted to incorporate into the Studebaker line. Being a 1954 to start with, it came with the A-pillar cross member that supports the door hinge area. Putting these extended A-pillar cross members into 1953s used to be the regular thing to do. Keep in mind that when alone, these frames were designed to flex, not be rigid. The body and frame were designed to work in tandem, as a unit. It is like one step before unit body. I do not recall frame/body stiffening put on Bob's car. I believe John Bridges. I just don't remember it.
                  Gary L.
                  Wappinger, NY

                  SDC member since 1968
                  Studebaker enthusiast much longer

                  Comment


                  • #10

                    quote:
                    Here are some pics of one of the members '54 mods:

                    http://community.webshots.com/album/453747682GrpcCM

                    Sorry I do not remember who's this is. Someone please claim them.
                    Those pics would be mine

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Has anyone here tried "boxing in" the frame, by welding one foot lengths of steel plate to the open side along the length of the frame every few feet? An old mechanic suggested I do that to my truck's frame to stiffen it and enable higher highway speeds with less vibration. I was also told by my engine's rebuilder that this would be necessary if I wanted to go faster than 72 mph in that C-cab without shaking.

                      [img=left]http://rocketdillo.com/studebaker/misc/images/Current_Avacar.gif[/img=left] - DilloCrafter


                      1955 1/2 Ton Pickup
                      The Red-Headed Amazon

                      Paul Simpson
                      "DilloCrafter"

                      1955 1/2 Ton Pickup
                      The Red-Headed Amazon
                      Deep in the heart of Texas

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Dillo, that's hogwash - about having to fishplate your frame to be able to go faster without vibration! Fact is, my 57 Transtar seems smoothest above 70!

                        Miscreant at large.

                        1957 Transtar 1/2ton
                        1960 Larkvertible V8
                        1958 Provincial wagon
                        1953 Commander coupe
                        1957 President 2-dr
                        1955 President State
                        1951 Champion Biz cpe
                        1963 Daytona project FS
                        No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          New 53, That frame is .071 or 14 ga. and is allready boxed. It will take more than that 232 will put out with no problems. The only thing is don't hit steep driveways at an angle at speed or the doors might pop open those things twist like you wouldn't believe. But they love 500+ horses.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thanks for the input, Biggsy. I wasn't looking forward to learning to braze (or maybe even weld) just to add those plates to box in the frame.

                            I do like the sound of a "fishplate", though. Or maybe some good Texas barbecued brisket and a home-made sausage link

                            [img=left]http://rocketdillo.com/studebaker/misc/images/Current_Avacar.gif[/img=left] - DilloCrafter


                            1955 1/2 Ton Pickup
                            The Red-Headed Amazon

                            Paul Simpson
                            "DilloCrafter"

                            1955 1/2 Ton Pickup
                            The Red-Headed Amazon
                            Deep in the heart of Texas

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I wonder if I could take this conversation down a year, into 1952. I've been working on my starliner for a long time now, I did the frame mods in 2000 and am still no where near driving the car. It's easy to second guess now the work already done.
                              I am planning 400-500 hp. What you see in the picture is stock 1952 Champion....6 cylinder thinner in 1952(?) ....frame. Hacked off, narrowed 11 inches out back, and re-attached. This allowed me to mini tub the car and fit some big tires in a fairly slick way.



                              When I look at the work done like on WCarroll's 54, I get nervous I didn't add enough bracing!
                              My Starliner was not as long a wheelbase as a C/K, that is in my favor. Plus remember the starliner was a convertible based body, and has extra "hog trough" bracing between the frame rails and rocker panels. (which was very rusty but mostly repaired.)

                              Opinions? Will the car bust in half when I drop the hammer on it at the drags? My thinking was very much like that from StudeGary above ... these cars being very near unit body construction. There are I think 24 body to frame bolts on this thing...GM probably used about 10.

                              Dan
                              52 hardtop

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