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S10 or 1978-88 G Body front frame clip to replace the Stude one?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Bob Andrews View Post
    It's just that I sometimes hear that brake fluid should be changed, yet I've never seen a need anywhere like some say. I'm referring to modern everyday cars, not classics. I deliver mail, which abuses brakes way more than most any other street use, and I've never changed it, and never had any symptoms where I had to. On race cars we did it occasionally, but that was ultra-extreme use.

    That's not to say there's anything wrong with it, and it's good peace-of-mind, I guess, but on a modern car that has always remained closed/sealed I can't see why when I've never seen a symptom that would indicate changing needed.
    One example that comes to mind - On my 1989 Thunderbird, after a number of years, repeated mountain downhill slowing created a feeling of lack of brakes. I also experienced this with repeated high speed stops. Not a complete loss of brakes, but just a feeling that things were not up to snuff. A change in brake fluid cured the problem. I guess that there was enough moisture boiling to give me a problem.
    I also believe that contamination from both moisture and wear and corrosion particles are particularly bad for the ABS systems in new cars. I would rather replace brake fluid than an ABS system.
    Gary L.
    Wappinger, NY

    SDC member since 1968
    Studebaker enthusiast much longer


    • #17
      It's just that I sometimes hear that brake fluid should be changed, yet I've never seen a need anywhere like some say.
      I've seen hundreds of newer cars and trucks with brakes trashed from not changing the fluid. FWIW, there were many cars and trucks built from the mid-70s to mid-90s which used some sort of inferior brake and clutch hose material. GM was the worst offender, but some others had the same problem. The brake fluid and moisture cocktail actually dissolved the inside of the hose. Finally, when the brakes were applied, power brake pressure would force enough fluid through the mess to stop the vehicle, but then the crud would block the return of fluid. This caused severe brake drag and ruined many a front rotor and more than a few transmissions. Some numb nuts would keep driving with the front brakes dragging so severely, the load overheated the fluid and burned up the transmission and or boiled the grease out of the front drive hubs.

      If the fluid was flushed every two years, as it should be east of the Mississippi, the crud would have moved along and been obvious in the catch jar. A conscientious owner or mechanic would have seen the black fluid and changed the hoses. At the very least with a biannual fluid flush, brake lock would have been postponed another few years.

      Most every car east of the Missippippi a few years old will have rust spots in the bottom of the master cylinder, calipers and/or wheel cylinders. Brake fluid is hydroscopic and will absorb water. The water settles to the lowest point in each component and begins to rust the iron bore. Again, flushing the system will get rid of the water-contaminated fluid and replace it with fresh.

      jack vines


      • #18
        Doing a frame clip is a whole lot more work than rebuilding the Stude front suspension/steering. A whole lot more work. And it involves cutting, welding, fabrication, innovation and on and on. It has advantages for those with the skills, tools and desire, but is a lot of work. Rebuilding a Stude front suspension/steering is comparatively easy and simple to do. And it's all bolt on.

        Properly rebuilt Stude steering/suspension/brake parts are very dependable. If you want more braking safety and power, dual master cylinder conversions are nearly a bolt on and give modern safety and dependability levels. If you want more braking power, disc brake conversions are also available and can be had in bolt on kits.

        In one sense the kingpin Stude front suspensions are safer than all the modern ball joint suspensions: Ever see a car on the side of the road with a front wheel assembly all cockeyed, cattywampus and lucky if the car is not wrecked? A damaged or severely worn upper or lower ball joint can pull out with no warning of the severity of failure and immediate loss of control. Can't/won't happen with a Stude kingpin front suspension setup.

        The '51 and later Stude front suspension systems have pretty good geometry for the car. The only shortfall, and it is an extremely minor one, is that anti-dive cannot be incorporated into the kingpin front suspension linkage. But, you probably won't be doing many 1g braking maneuvers with your rebuilt '50s Stude, even with upgraded disc brakes. Anti-dive is of no consequence for your '50s Stude sedan.

        On my '53 Stude I installed '58 PackardBaker anti-roll bars front and rear, '58 finned brakes, a little stiffer front springs, Koni shocks made for the Avanti and a nice set of Michelin radials all around. The car handled great, stopped quite well and was still Stude. The modifications were all easy, minor and with greatly improved results.

        So my vote is disassemble, clean, rebuild to the Stude shop manual specs, paint, learn and enjoy.

        Good luck.


        • #19
          Dot 3 & 4 brake fluid is hydoscopic meaning it absorbs moisture. Phoenix systems who makes brake bleeders also sell a strip that quickly measures the moisture in brake fluid & tells if it needs to be changed or not. I visited the pits of the Long Beach Grand Prix a few years ago & noticed that whenever one of their cars came back to the pits after a practice lap, the first thing they did was flush out the brake fluid! why? Because their performance was on the edge to the extent that braking had to be 100% all the time. You change your oil, then why not change your brake fluid? Bleed them into a clean glass jar & you'll be surprised in what you see. I flushed the brakes on the wifes car 3 years ago & again last week. I saw brown fluid (from rust) & tiny particles floating in the fluid. And I am west of the mississippi in a very dry climate & yet there it was. Brake systems are not sealed. The master has to vent in order to work. That venting allows the moisture in the atmosphere to enter.
          59 Lark wagon, now V-8, H.D. auto!
          60 Lark convertible V-8 auto
          61 Champ 1/2 ton 4 speed
          62 Champ 3/4 ton 5 speed o/drive
          62 Champ 3/4 ton auto
          62 Daytona convertible V-8 4 speed & 62 Cruiser, auto.
          63 G.T. Hawk R-2,4 speed
          63 Avanti (2) R-1 auto
          64 Zip Van
          66 Daytona Sport Sedan(327)V-8 4 speed
          66 Cruiser V-8 auto


          • #20
            This thread is way off into the weeds but I can't resist. Keep in mind that modern (1960s and up) brake systems are more or less sealed. Rather than be vented to the atmosphere the master cylinder has the sealed cap with an expanding diaphragm to adjust for level changes. That helps A LOT with keeping moisture out of the brake fluid. Older cars (including all the single-circuit systems I have ever worked on) are vented to outside air and so are always able to absorb moisture. My modern cars I flush when I need to bleed them anyway. My Champion gets flushed every two years no matter what.