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New Chassis?

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  • Frame/Springs: New Chassis?

    Couple of questions:

    I'm curious. Many chassis' that I've seen in 50's-era Hawks have looked pretty fragile. Is anyone manufacturing new replacement chassis' that outwardly look the same but are stronger for Studebakers? Would there even be a market for them?

    What's with powder coating? I can't remember anyone doing it when I was in the automotive trade 40 years ago, now it seems to be all the rage. Is it considered "appropriate" when restoring a classic car from scratch?

    Mike O'Handley
    Kenmore, Washington
    hausdok@msn.com
    Mike O'Handley, Cat Herder Third Class
    Kenmore, Washington
    hausdok@msn.com

    '58 Packard Hawk
    '05 Subaru Baja Turbo
    '71 Toyota Crown Coupe
    '69 Pontiac Firebird
    (What is it with me and discontinued/orphan cars?)

  • #2
    Art Morrison does them.
    Bill Foy
    1000 Islands, Ontario
    1953 Starlight Coupe

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi,

      Yes, I recall seeing an article somewhere that featured Art Morrison's shop but none of the chassis' that I saw being produced in any of those photos looked like they were recreating the stock chassis. I know that one can get frame builders to build replacement chassis using an old chassis as a template, and they are usually superior to the ones built by manufacturers because the custom chassis builder isn't trying to save every penny he can on the build the way that manufacturers do. However, what I was wondering about was companies building a chassis that when placed next to the stock chassis looks the same but is in fact heavier and stronger. It looks like the interior of the Studebaker enclosed frame rails would be the ideal place to add hidden reinforcement while still keeping the look of the original.

      Any opinion on the powder coating phenomenon?

      Mike O'Handley
      Kenmore, Washington
      hausdok@msn.com
      Mike O'Handley, Cat Herder Third Class
      Kenmore, Washington
      hausdok@msn.com

      '58 Packard Hawk
      '05 Subaru Baja Turbo
      '71 Toyota Crown Coupe
      '69 Pontiac Firebird
      (What is it with me and discontinued/orphan cars?)

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi Mike, as far as the powder coating goes, most people have had good luck with the POR15 coating on the outside and some have even used a sprinkler like wand to do the inside, this is in my opinion and many others, it's a more durable method than anything out there.

        My experience with powder coating may vary from yours, but when I had my Chrysler wheels done for a Stude. the powder did not penetrate into the tiny crevices like between the wheel center and the rim, causing rust later and it was not as durable as advertised either.

        Also keep in mind if you did not know, that 1962 and on Studebaker frames are quite a bit better than '54 to '61, except Lark 2 Dr. Sedans they are all 11 gauge.
        Last edited by StudeRich; 08-25-2011, 06:01 PM.
        StudeRich
        Second Generation Stude Driver,
        Proud '54 Starliner Owner

        Comment


        • #5
          I've been told by many that a GT Hawk chassis is almost a bolt on upgrade for the older C/K bodies. Can anyone confirm this.

          Comment


          • #6
            Many chassis' that I've seen in 50's-era Hawks have looked pretty fragile.
            With a bit of reinforcement to the front crossmember, they are sufficient unto the purpose. What are you planning to do with a '50s era Hawk which would require a stronger frame?

            jack vines
            PackardV8

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by PackardV8 View Post
              With a bit of reinforcement to the front crossmember, they are sufficient unto the purpose. What are you planning to do with a '50s era Hawk which would require a stronger frame?

              jack vines
              Hi Jack,

              Nothing really, they just look fragile compared to some other chassis' I've seen and I was wondering if anyone had ever produced a stronger look alike.

              Mike O'Handley
              Kenmore, Washington
              hausdok@msn.com
              Mike O'Handley, Cat Herder Third Class
              Kenmore, Washington
              hausdok@msn.com

              '58 Packard Hawk
              '05 Subaru Baja Turbo
              '71 Toyota Crown Coupe
              '69 Pontiac Firebird
              (What is it with me and discontinued/orphan cars?)

              Comment


              • #8
                I agree, Mike, they are more fragile than other brands. But as Jack says, thet will serve just fine for all but the most extreme uses. A few gussets at key spots on the front crossmember and you're set.
                Proud NON-CASO

                I do not prize the word "cheap." It is not a badge of honor...it is a symbol of despair. ~ William McKinley

                If it is decreed that I should go down, then let me go down linked with the truth - let me die in the advocacy of what is just and right.- Lincoln

                GOD BLESS AMERICA

                Ephesians 6:10-17
                Romans 15:13
                Deuteronomy 31:6
                Proverbs 28:1

                Illegitimi non carborundum

                Comment


                • #9
                  The Morrison chassis looks like this:
                  '53 Commander
                  Art Morrison chassis
                  LS6 ASA/4L60E

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ralt12 View Post
                    The Morrison chassis looks like this:
                    How is your project coming?
                    Any updated pictures??
                    Brian
                    Brian Woods
                    woodysrods@shaw.ca
                    1946 M Series (Shop Truck)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ralt12 View Post
                      The Morrison chassis looks like this:
                      Nice,

                      I guess if I wanted to create a daily driver restoration, I'd be looking at something like that from a safety point of view. How's the ride with that coil rear suspension compared to the original?

                      Mike O'Handley
                      Kenmore, Washington
                      hausdok@msn.com
                      Mike O'Handley, Cat Herder Third Class
                      Kenmore, Washington
                      hausdok@msn.com

                      '58 Packard Hawk
                      '05 Subaru Baja Turbo
                      '71 Toyota Crown Coupe
                      '69 Pontiac Firebird
                      (What is it with me and discontinued/orphan cars?)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by hausdok View Post
                        Nice,

                        I guess if I wanted to create a daily driver restoration, I'd be looking at something like that from a safety point of view. How's the ride with that coil rear suspension compared to the original?

                        Mike O'Handley
                        Kenmore, Washington
                        hausdok@msn.com
                        There's nothing unsafe about the stock Studebaker frame design! That would be no reason to go aftermarket.
                        Proud NON-CASO

                        I do not prize the word "cheap." It is not a badge of honor...it is a symbol of despair. ~ William McKinley

                        If it is decreed that I should go down, then let me go down linked with the truth - let me die in the advocacy of what is just and right.- Lincoln

                        GOD BLESS AMERICA

                        Ephesians 6:10-17
                        Romans 15:13
                        Deuteronomy 31:6
                        Proverbs 28:1

                        Illegitimi non carborundum

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          RE: using a 62 (and up) frame for an older C/K or hawk. I had to move two body mount pads from the inside to the outside of the rails and eliminate another pair. Only left me with 21 body mounts (lol). Also, the rear spring perches are different, so you need the offset rear springs from the 62.
                          Piece of cake, especially if you set them side by side.
                          Hardest part was aligning the body on the later frame. It seems each body is shimmed to fit a specific frame, so the shims you have now are irrelevant. Not rocket science, but for an old man without a lift, kind of a PITA.
                          Fairly easy to find. Sal offered me one for $100, but he was too far away. Found one close for the same price.
                          Well worth the money and effort.

                          Don't know when they switched from 2 piece to 1 piece drive shaft, but you would need to move the carrier over if you want to keep a 2 piece.
                          Last edited by oldguy; 08-26-2011, 08:33 AM. Reason: added note

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The 53 I am driving now is one of best drivers I have ever had. This includes all brands.
                            I have done body offs, to fixer uppers. I can have months of fun and buy a lots of gas
                            with what it would cost to make the frame purty. If it's not rusty or damaged, it's only
                            another "trick". More tricks- more trouble. Remember "weight is our enemy".

                            Comment

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