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Hawk Hydrovac brakes

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  • Hawk Hydrovac brakes

    Richard...sorry I was not clear..

    The brakes on my Hawk R-1 are drum type with Hydrovac boost for sure..and I was told locally that they could not be modified with the Turner conversion..

    As you comment, it would be a lot more expensive to go Turner than if they were already Studebaker disc.., can you explain for me a litle more..would I still keep the Hydrovac and also require more modification to allow application of the Turner kit to the spindles, or??

    As you can probably tell, I am 'mechanically challenged' so I let other people spin the wrenches for me and I just get to enjoy driving my Studes..

    Appreciate any and all feedback



  • #2

    Disc brake cars used a special spindle at the front wheel. It has a machined flat place on the inside at the front where the disc brake caliper bracket would be mounted. If the spindles on your car don't have this flat space, you will need spindles that do, I think, check with Turner.

    On balance the Studebaker drum brakes are very good. A little more susceptable to fade than the Studebaker disc brakes and certainly not as good as modern disc brakes, but better than 95% of the brakes made in 1964.

    Tim K.
    '64 R2 GT Hawk
    Tim K.
    \'64 R2 GT Hawk


    • #3
      quote:Originally posted by GTtim

      On balance the Studebaker drum brakes are very good.
      I agree, and IMHO, unless you drive down a big mountain agressively, or drive in big puddles, or plan on stopping several times in quick succession from 70 MPH, you won't notice the difference between the stock drum brakes, Stude disks, or aftermarket disks.

      Dick Steinkamp
      Bellingham, WA


      • #4
        If your car ever had Disc. brakes and they were removed, it should have the 1557522 and 523 Steering Knuckles (spindles). I have never seen a FACTORY installed "R" series engined car without Discs, it was supposed to be part of the Engine package as well as the complete "Performance Package" on the later '63's and all '64's. However everything was possible at Studebaker, they aimed to please!
        The big difference is going to be that you need to change the rear brakes from 10 inch to 11in. finned drums and the style they used was a truck brake that did not have "self energizing" action built in. This means that they do NOT lock-up under the higher line pressure required for Disc. front brakes, and do not require a equalizer valve. Nowdays there are many ways to get around that. I know one guy who merely reversed the "wedge" at the top of his rear brake shoe anchors to prevent the self energizing action and lockup, and did nothing else to the stock 10in. drum brakes and "HE" say's they work fine! Or you could add a equalizer valve.

        If this car has been modified from it's original factory condition, ie: R1 engine added, or WAS Disc. I would check the adjusters on the rear brake backing plates to see if you have a "starwheel" slot at the bottom or a large lock nut with a small stud that has 2 flat sides for a wrench, AT THE TOP ONE FORWARD ONE AFT OF THE AXLE. The second type of adjusters was used on the 11 in. finned rear drums for front discs. Meaning you are already "set to go" for front Discs.

        Oh, your other question, YES they still used the Hydrovac, however the Disc. setup uses a more powerfull one. It's all about knowing what this car REALLY is, check those rear brake backing plates! You also have the option of ordering a copy of the factory "build slip" for your car available at Stude. National Museum website.

        Hope you can understand this, and it helps - Rich.

        Studebakers Northwest
        Ferndale, WA
        Second Generation Stude Driver,
        Proud '54 Starliner Owner


        • #5
          Many R series cars did not have disk brakes. It was only standard on the fairly rare package cars, and ordered as a option on maybe half the rest.

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          • #6
            Thank you guys for the feedback..

            I have contacted Andy Beckman for the original build sheet, plus Ron Elerbe advised me he shows it as a factory w/o a/c..

            As it now has a 4-speed and a/c, someone has made some changes along the way..

            I will get the brakes checked to see if it shows any signs of having having been a disc car, but I expect the build sheet will tell the tale!!


            Barry Leppan
            Ontario, Canada
            64 Daytona R-1 Convertible & 64 GT Hawk R-1
            GT Hawk Registry & SDC, Hamilton Chapter [IMG]


            • #7
              You might want to check the complete build sheet. Studebakers some times have an issue of owners shifting body and serial number tags!

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