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40 Commander front end question

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  • Frame/Springs: 40 Commander front end question

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  • #2
    That does not look familiar to me. I do not pretend to be an expert on those cross spring front ends, but I have worked on them.
    Maybe it is a helper spring.
    Why not just remove the parts, clean the broken ends, weld them up and replace the parts?
    Gary L.
    Wappinger, NY

    SDC member since 1968
    Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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    • #3
      Suggest you put this into the main forum as folks there like Richard Quinn may be able to provide a quick answer. Of course, the Antique Studebaker Mob would also know I imagine.
      Last edited by avantilover; 01-01-2012, 06:51 PM.
      John Clements
      Christchurch, New Zealand

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      • #4
        Originally posted by avantilover View Post
        Suggest you put this into the main forum as folks there like Richard Quinn may be able to provide a quick answer. Of course, the Antique Studebaker Mob would also know I imagine.
        I've posted on the Antique forum and I will do as you suggest and post under General as you suggest. Thanks.
        sigpic

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        • #5
          Possible aftermarket helper spring to compensate for factory cross leaf spring sag?
          --------------------------------------

          Sold my 1962; Studeless at the moment

          Borrowed Bams50's sigline here:

          "Do they all not, by mere virtue of having survived as relics of a bygone era, amass a level of respect perhaps not accorded to them when they were new?"

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          • #6
            Originally posted by 1962larksedan View Post
            Possible aftermarket helper spring to compensate for factory cross leaf spring sag?
            Thanks, that agrees with my opinion in post #2 and Bob K's opinion on the other thread on this topic.
            Gary L.
            Wappinger, NY

            SDC member since 1968
            Studebaker enthusiast much longer

            Comment


            • #7
              I looked at my parts book and this spring is not in there. My guess is that your planar suspension has a couple broken leaves and this was somebody's fix. Notice the condition of your bump stop on that last picture. Looks like that has been hit hard more than once.
              That is an impressive buildup of crud on everything. Maybe if you pressure-wash or steam that off you will see more.
              The good news is that any spring shop (got to be one in St. Louis) can fix the springs and this can all go in the dumpster. If you don't have the parts books here is a link to a scan of the front suspension diagram:
              http://stude.vonadatech.com/images/F...plodedView.JPG

              Nathan
              _______________
              http://stude.vonadatech.com
              https://jeepster.vonadatech.com

              Comment


              • #8
                I am not familiar with the exact suspension on your car personally, but that does look indeed like an added leaf. On pick up trucks people install Add-A-Leaf to increase spring tension to carry more weight without as much sag....bad idea. But for whatever reason, i.e. broken/wore out springs. The center bolt looks to me like a pre-load adjustment. More tension on the cross over rod nuts should lift the ride height, albeit slightly I bet.

                Like others have said, I think I would be less concerned about that added spring helper, and more interested in the actual factory spring pack and the bump stops.

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                • #9
                  I believe everyone is correct about the part being an after market add on. And I have been doing research on the planar suspension and transverse spring. Unfortunately I can find very little info. The shop manual has almost nothing. One photo with info stating that if it is necessary to lift the car that the planar suspension should be kept in a loaded position and to use planar lifting tool F-15. And a very confusing entry in the index as follows: Unnecessary Replacement of Planar Front Springs (107)………………………..5 There is no information whatsoever regarding the Planar Front Springs on either of those pages. My concern now is what kind of job is this going to be. Will removing this transverse spring cause damage or collapse of the front wheels? Is this something we will be able to do or will we need to take it somewhere that has a lift to remove the transverse spring. Of course that ties up a lift until they can be re-arched. All in all I have not been able to find much info at all about the service and repair of this type of suspension.
                  sigpic

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                  • #10
                    Remember to put new "sheets" and "balls/pellets" between the leaves if you have them apart. They are necessary for proper, smooth movement.
                    Unless they are broken, I would leave them alone.
                    If NOS spring assemblies are available, that would be best.
                    Gary L.
                    Wappinger, NY

                    SDC member since 1968
                    Studebaker enthusiast much longer

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Take a look at the picture in the link on my last post on this thread. In fact take a look at my suspension rebuild website:
                      http://stude.vonadatech.com/2010FrontSuspension.htm

                      Your car is very similar to my 41 Champion so these pictures should help sort everything out. The planar suspension basically uses a transverse leaf spring as both the spring and the lower control arm. It probably also acts sort of like a sway bar. It was a clever way to do independent front suspension (sort of) in the physical space designed for a solid axle. That big front spring both locates the front wheels and acts as a pivot point for the bottom of the king pin so don't try and take the spring loose with weight on the wheels. It is pretty easy to work on and the parts are all out there. Assume you will have to replace every bushing and rebuild the king pins.

                      I made a "F-15" tool with a 4x4 post. Using that picture in the manual I measured about how long it should be then cut some notches in the end to keep the spring centered. However it is not really that useful. Studebaker intended that so you could align the suspension without a lift. It is a handy way to pick the car up and still be able to turn the front wheels though.
                      _______________
                      http://stude.vonadatech.com
                      https://jeepster.vonadatech.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        For the record: many if not all 1984 to present Chevy Corvettes used a transverse leaf spring for both the front and rear suspensions and the 1963-82 Vettes used 'em in the rear.
                        --------------------------------------

                        Sold my 1962; Studeless at the moment

                        Borrowed Bams50's sigline here:

                        "Do they all not, by mere virtue of having survived as relics of a bygone era, amass a level of respect perhaps not accorded to them when they were new?"

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by nvonada View Post
                          Take a look at the picture in the link on my last post on this thread. In fact take a look at my suspension rebuild website:
                          http://stude.vonadatech.com/2010FrontSuspension.htm

                          Your car is very similar to my 41 Champion so these pictures should help sort everything out. The planar suspension basically uses a transverse leaf spring as both the spring and the lower control arm. It probably also acts sort of like a sway bar. It was a clever way to do independent front suspension (sort of) in the physical space designed for a solid axle. That big front spring both locates the front wheels and acts as a pivot point for the bottom of the king pin so don't try and take the spring loose with weight on the wheels. It is pretty easy to work on and the parts are all out there. Assume you will have to replace every bushing and rebuild the king pins.

                          I made a "F-15" tool with a 4x4 post. Using that picture in the manual I measured about how long it should be then cut some notches in the end to keep the spring centered. However it is not really that useful. Studebaker intended that so you could align the suspension without a lift. It is a handy way to pick the car up and still be able to turn the front wheels though.
                          Sounds like you know your stuff on the planar suspension. Nice website and a lot of good information. I’m hoping we don’t have to go to the extent you did. I have a couple of questions. What shop manual do you have? The one I have does not in anyway go into those kind of details. Are there rebuild kits for the shocks or are they available? Thanks.
                          sigpic

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                          • #14
                            BubbaBear,
                            I am far from an expert but they are pretty simple once you see how it works. The shop manual more or less goes into detail on stuff that a 1940's mechanic would not know off the top of his head. So it is good for clearances, capacities, and special procedures. The parts books are actually more useful because they have excellent diagrams and pictures. Also handy for finding parts! Most Stude vendors have reprints or you can get all years/models on CD. The Chassis manual is more useful if you only want to buy one.
                            https://www.studebakerparts.com/stud...t_id=227.26026

                            The shock bushings and hardware are at Studebaker Intl. They MIGHT have shocks as well but that is unlikely. They found one for me but it took them a while digging. They show up on e-bay now and again or you can have yours rebuilt by Apple Hydraulics (might be others but I have heard they do good work). Finding good shocks was the hardest part of my rebuild.
                            Nathan
                            Last edited by nvonada; 01-09-2012, 05:28 AM. Reason: Missed a question
                            _______________
                            http://stude.vonadatech.com
                            https://jeepster.vonadatech.com

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Thanks again. We have the shop manual but it looks like we need the others too. One more question if I may. We are starting work on the brakes. Should we make this F-15 tool or how would you suggest keeping the front two wheels up while we work on them?
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