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Stude frame question

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  • Stude frame question

    I've been reading here about frames and have a simple question. I see references to "top hat" style frame. Help me out with the meaning of this term please.

    53 Commander Hardtop
    64 Champ 1/2 ton
    WA state

  • #2
    I haven't heard the phrase "top hat", but the term "hat channel" refers to structural pieces that look like a slice through a flat brimmed hat. Here's a page that has pictures:
    http://wx4.org/to/wagons/usefulstuff/frames/frames.html
    This has nothing to do with anything I'm working on, but it does explain things. In a previous post about 53 frames there is a reference to hat channels reinforcing a frame. I believe the idea was to continuously weld hat channel upsidedown (brim side up), hence the reference to cutting holes in the channel to prevent water from getting traped.

    In general, for the same steel gauge, tubes are stronger than "hat" or "C" channel. That's why "Boxing" a "hat" or "C" channel frame adds strength.

    G. Howes

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    • #3
      Thanks, that clears it up.

      53 Commander Hardtop
      64 Champ 1/2 ton
      WA state
      Don Wilson, Centralia, WA

      40 Champion 4 door*
      50 Champion 2 door*
      53 Commander K Auto*
      53 Commander K overdrive*
      55 President Speedster
      62 GT 4Speed*
      63 Avanti R1*
      64 Champ 1/2 ton

      * Formerly owned

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      • #4
        And Stude "hat channels" are already "boxed".

        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


        • #5

          You'll probably hear the characterization of the Stude frame as a "top hat" style frame quite a bit ddub. As "new53" has explained, the "look" of the Studebaker frame resembles a flat topped, flat brimmed hat, as you would normally wear it. The depiction of the Jeep frame, (that new53 provided a link for), was of the "C-channel" style, and is the type that was used in Stude trucks, (as well as many other makers). The C-channel type frame has evolved to become the present day, default, "standard" choice for heavier vehicles and trucks.

          The Stude car frame also incorporates a thin, flat steel sheet welded to the bottom of the "hat brim". I doubt that the thin sheet gives much added lateral strength, but it does allow the frame to absorb greater tensional loads, (twist). The Stude frame, (in good order), is strong, light and flexible, designed to promote better ride and handling for the street, no doubt.

          Studebaker was not alone in using the top hat style frame, in particular, Chevy used it up to about '54, (I think). Anyway, Studebaker did make frames, (various years/models), of varying gauge or thickness. As a rule-of-thumb in trying to figure out which Studebaker frame is which, the 6 cylinder cars usually got the "lighter" frame, while the majority of V8 and export cars got the heavier gauge frame.

          There have been a few cracks found around the control arm bolt areas and front cross-member attach point on some model Studes, that subject is well covered in other discussions on the forums.

          Sonny
          http://RacingStudebakers.com
          Sonny
          http://RacingStudebakers.com

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          • #6
            quote:Originally posted by Sonny



            Sonny
            http://RacingStudebakers.com
            Welcome back, Sonny!!

            Dick Steinkamp
            Bellingham, WA

            Comment


            • #7
              quote:Originally posted by Dick Steinkamp

              quote:Originally posted by Sonny



              Sonny
              http://RacingStudebakers.com
              Welcome back, Sonny!!

              Why thank you very much Sir Richard! ALL-ways good to hear from you as well! Hopefully I can spend some time here, but since I've been gone so long my own website is a mess, and where I'm gonna have to concentrate some serious time. I'm elated that the SDC forums have matured so quickly! Awesome!

              In any event, thanks again Dick, you've always been the finest of gentlemen and I truly appreciate your consideration. BTW, Awesome signature picture!

              Sonny
              http://RacingStudebakers.com
              Sonny
              http://RacingStudebakers.com

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