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An introduction and a 6E7 leaf spring question

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  • Frame / Springs: An introduction and a 6E7 leaf spring question

    I recently bought a 1961 stude champ, or 6e7. Despite the truck being in generally poor condition i've been using it as my daily driver. I am a 30 year old carpenter with a short commute. I have so far replaced much of the brake system, fuel system, and the timing gear. The timing gear failure was quite dramatic while crossing the bay bridge, managed to roll past the apex and to safety, a good story for another time. Anyway, I am intent to continue to do my own sort of restoration to the truck over the next year or so while using her. I use the word restoration in the sense that she will be "restored" to or near original reliablity, comfort, and appearance. I am by no means limited to what it originally was and I plan on doing things she wasn't. I apologize in advance if that offends.

    So, the suspension question. My springs are basically flat, somewhat rusty, and generally really tired looking. This is an issue because I use my truck to move tools and lumber. A full bed and she squats and is a little unweilding at any speed. I had a spring shop qoute me new leafs and hardware which came to $700 something in parts. I am wondering if there is any reason i cant retrofit a 1/2 or 3/4 ton set of leafs from the junkyard in? It seems to me its just cutting out the old, welding in new mounts, and bolting it all up again, right? I do expect having to run new brake lines, possibly a driveshaft extension, and some steering adaptation. Thoughts, concerns? Ideally i want to be able to make the load bearing, from a spring perspective, greater than stock. I dont mind a conservative lift and it would be great if I could use standard stuff from common junkyard trucks.

    Thanks for the great site!

  • #2
    Maybe you don't know that there are many original parts still available from group members here and other CA vendors ? I believe that original springs are still available from Studebaker International in Indiana....and I'll bet a torch, new clamps and u-bolts to your door is ahead of any retrofit.....probably a lot cheaper too. Wait for more responses...happy to help.


    • #3
      Thanks JackB, It seems that Stude Int. wants $1500 for the springs alone which seems pretty steep to me, secondly I would prefer a little bit more weight capacity if possible. That said, if factory springs came along at a reasonable id be interested.


      • #4
        O yello

        In your neck of the woods there must be a lot of businesses that cater to the large truck and 4X4 crowd. Take a spring in to them, they will measure it and tell you what's available and what you need for your use. Heck, In my small part of the world, my local truck supplier found and ordered a set for my Avanti and much less expensive than ordering them on-line. They should have everything you need available from their sources.

        And welcome, Bob


        • #5
          Try posting on Stude Truck Talk if the intent is to find a set of used springs. Many of the folks parting out Stude trucks tend to post there.

          I have a set of used two-stage rear springs from a 3R5, but have no confidence that they'd fit a Champ. I'm quite sure they're a different part number, and may be a different size as well.
          Skip Lackie


          • #6
            Hello O yello In the Bay area try Studebakers West in Redwood City 650 366-8787 or Bob Peterson in Hayward 510 266-2522. Then go online and find local chapter meetings join the International you will find what you need.


            • #7
              Welcome. Always great to have a real Studebaker driver aboard. Here's something I just posted on another thread here:

              One way to do it is try to put essentially a new rear suspension under it. Newer trucks often have three wide, thick spring leaves instead of the tall stack of narrow springs Studes used. They also have large diameter rubber bushings with steel sleeves. I wander through the U-Pick yard with a tape measure until I find a 1/2t truck with the same front half spring leaf length as the Stude. Get the whole package - springs, hangers, U-bolts, shock mounts, rear sway bar.

              Modern springs always have a longer rear section than the Studes. This requires relocating the rear spring mount, but that shouldn't be an issue if you know how much rearward room you've got on the frame.

              Also, some modern trucks mount the spring leaf on top of the axle. This is extra work, but it can be done. You know your capabilities. If you want it easy, get everything off a truck with the springs under the axle.

              jack vines


              • #8
                You should be able to find a Jeep place that has after market Jeep parts. For my Toyota T cab I took one front spring in and matched it up to an after market part for Willies/AMC jeeps. The rear you can do with a ton overload kit or you can mix and match and add additional leafs. With my project I used Ford heavy half ton rear leafs to add to the stock Stude oned to get the loaded height right. I also use the Half ton differential as the project trucks was shot. I have the suspension set up so that with a full load in the bed the body will be level but I wound up with a four inch suspension lift si I had to do a drop in the link from the steering box too. Once I got everything lined up I welded in the rear spring perches.
                If you car is ugly then it better be fast.....

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