Announcement

Collapse

Get more Tips, Specs and Technical Data!

Did you know... this Forum is a service of the Studebaker Drivers Club? For more technical tips, specifications, history and tech data, visit the Tech Tips page at the SDC Homepage: www.studebakerdriversclub.com/tips.asp
See more
See less

Lowering a Lark

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Lowering a Lark

    I have a 64 Commander Wagon, seems pretty well stock, as everything on the underside is coated with factory undercoating.
    The issue is that it stands 13.5 inches off the ground measured at the rear of the rocker panel. I believe there are 7 rear leafs. The front is slightly higher. I would like to lower this to 8-9 inches using factory specific equipment.
    Any ideas?
    Bill Foy
    1000 Islands, Ontario
    1953 Starlight Coupe

  • #2
    Well out here we are lifting vehicles for off-road purposes. My grandpa thinks its stupid. He said that when he was young they wanted to lower the vehicles to keep the center of gravity lower. They used to take the torch and heat up the coil springs so they would sag. I don't suggest doing this. I've never tried to lower a vehicle, but good luck with your project.

    Jake

    -Home of John Studebaker-
    http://s158.photobucket.com/albums/t95/stude4x4/
    http://varozza4x4.com

    Comment


    • #3
      No different then any other leaf/coil setup. lowering blocks in the rear, new, shorter coils in the front is the quick and dirty way. Dropped spindles would be nice, but no one makes them.

      JDP/Maryland


      63 GT R2
      63 Avanti R1
      63 Daytona convert
      63 Lark 2 door
      62 Lark 2 door
      60 Lark HT-60Hawk
      59 3E truck
      58 Starlight
      52 & 53 Starliner
      51 Commander

      JDP Maryland

      Comment


      • #4
        quote:Originally posted by Captain Billy
        The front is slightly higher. I would like to lower this to 8-9 inches using factory specific equipment.
        Any ideas?
        I don't think there was a factory lowering kit for any model Studebaker .

        All stock Studebakers seem to have a nose high attitude. Relatively unattractive if you are used to looking at modern cars.

        You might try some lighter (sedan) rear springs, but lowering blocks would be the quickest and easiest. For the front, you can try 6 cyl springs if you have a V8 engine, you could have special, lower springs made, or you can cut a coil or so out of your current springs.


        Dick Steinkamp
        Bellingham, WA

        Comment


        • #5
          A friend used to autocross his daily driver 2 door '64 Commander (lighter than your wagon). It ran for years with the longest partial leaf on each side turned upside down. That resulted in rear leafs that were esentially straight level, and REALLY reduced rear body roll.

          Seems like when we reassembled the spring packs we used U bolts in addition to the factory clamps.

          Comment


          • #6
            Capt Billy; I am guessing this may be a 6 cyl. fixed roof Wagon, NOT a Wagonaire? The reason I say that is, usually a V-8 and or a Wagonaire with "X" member frame has plenty of weight to keep it down (3275 LBS), whereas the aforementioned does not!

            Your car has been modified for trailering, Std. would be 5 leaves, HD would be 6. You could remove the 2 lower ones if you have 7. The fronts may be HD Avanti or Hawk. A lot can happen to a car in 43 years you know![:0]

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

            Comment


            • #7
              The car seems to be close to the build sheet, 64 Wagon V8 with sliding roof and A/C, and did have a trailer hitch when I bought it.
              Because of the A/C + V8 it should have had heavier coils in the front? And because of the trailer hitch perhaps heavier leafs were ordered as well, but that is not indicated on the build sheet. Now, when it comes to installing lowering blocks in the rear, what do i use and where do I get them?
              Thanx
              Bill Foy
              1000 Islands, Ontario
              1953 Starlight Coupe

              Comment


              • #8
                Discount Auto, AutoZone, Pep Boys, Jeg's, Summit Racing, Speedway Auto, JC Whitney....
                Or any of a hundred 4WD/Off Road truck stores.
                Go to any of their websites and search for 'lowering blocks'.
                They come in may different heights and 'should' have new (longer)u-bolts with them.
                Also... If you do cut your front coils to lower the front... Cut them with an abrasive cut off saw/grinder.
                Don't use a torch, as the torch heat will hurt the springy part of the end coil.(a technical term)
                Jeff[8D]


                quote:Originally posted by Captain Billy

                The car seems to be close to the build sheet, 64 Wagon V8 with sliding roof and A/C, and did have a trailer hitch when I bought it.
                Because of the A/C + V8 it should have had heavier coils in the front? And because of the trailer hitch perhaps heavier leafs were ordered as well, but that is not indicated on the build sheet. Now, when it comes to installing lowering blocks in the rear, what do i use and where do I get them?
                Thanx
                HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)

                Jeff


                Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain



                Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)

                Comment


                • #9
                  What Jeff said, plus...

                  NAPA here stocks lowering blocks that fit Studes. Yours may also.

                  Also, when cutting front springs, I like to flatten the cut end a little with the grinder to help that end of the spring fit in the pocket. You can overheat the metal with the grinder also, so watch that. Cut LESS than you think you'll need to. It's much easier to cut again if you have to than to add material back to the cut spring.


                  Dick Steinkamp
                  Bellingham, WA

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    My two-cents up front: If you're gunna swap to shorter coils, it'd be a good idea to go with something stiffer as well. From my own experience; (failures as well as successes) you'd benifit from a little extra stiffness to make the most of your remaining travel. I also have it on good authority that a proper length pair (or quartet) of Bilstiens will compensate if you've cut and reinstalled your soft coil-springs.

                    My two-cents out back: If by chance you do discover that a previous owner has added leaves for trailering, (as suggested) you could experiment with losing them. If it 'comes down' to lowering-blocks, so be it. I'm a firm believer. Less travel still works -- if it's good travel. Once it's sittin' where ya want it, I'd suggest measuring for Bilstiens all around -- then get an alignment done.

                    Extra two-cents: SLAM IT!

                    Faster than a rusting bullet... Gopher Grove, CA

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      didn't someone post a while back that you could lower the front of a Stude by making some steel spacer blocks to lower the attachment point of the lower control arm?

                      As for shocks... the Gabriels are the only direct fit ones, but AFAIR it's been mentioned that 70's Camaro shocks will work with minor mods.

                      nate


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

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        quote:Originally posted by N8N

                        didn't someone post a while back that you could lower the front of a Stude by making some steel spacer blocks to lower the attachment point of the lower control arm?

                        As for shocks... the Gabriels are the only direct fit ones, but AFAIR it's been mentioned that 70's Camaro shocks will work with minor mods.

                        nate

                        55 Commander Starlight
                        http://members.cox.net/njnagel
                        Just brainstorming here......would another potential option be to cut the spring pocket area of the lower control arm out (cut out a circle), and then 'lower' this area by utilizing a piece of schedule 40 pipe that matched the diameter of the piece cut out, and properly welding it all back together? This maintains the spring length and thus the same spring rate and ride quality, but lowers the car by moving the lower control arm up in relation to the frame and the bottom of the spring. It also maintains the stock shock length. You could not go way low, but one or two inches should be obtainable.

                        Paul

                        Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at: http://hometown.aol.com/r1skytop/myhomepage/index.html
                        Paul
                        Winston-Salem, NC
                        Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at: www.studebakerskytop.com

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          "Toto??"

                          Faster than a rusting bullet... Gopher Grove, CA

                          Comment

                          Working...
                          X