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  • Front Axle / Front Suspension: Control arm rebuild tools

    I need to rebuild the control arms on a 51 champion but do not have the spreader tools listed in the shop manual. My question is this, is there any other way to do this? I can devise a tool that will spread the arms but would like to be sure this is ok. Any help would be great. Thanks

    doubledaddy
    sigpic
    Barn Find
    1950 Champion
    Before I started
    Jim Berry
    Midlothian, TX

  • #2
    What is the number of the tool recommended in the shop manual?
    Milt

    1947 Champion (owned since 1967)
    1961 Hawk 4-speed
    1967 Avanti
    1961 Lark 2 door
    1988 Avanti Convertible

    Member of SDC since 1973

    Comment


    • #3
      Bob Johnstones Studebaker Tech Site has a picture and info on building a homemade "suspension spreader tool".
      Is that the tool you are looking for ?
      South Lompoc Studebaker

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      • #4
        Chuck Collins at studebakerparts.com has the spreader tool available for $35.00.
        Frank van Doorn
        Omaha, Ne.
        1962 GT Hawk 289 4 speed
        1941 Champion streetrod, R-2 Powered, GM 200-4R trans.
        1952 V-8 232 Commander State "Starliner" hardtop OD

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        • #5
          I have to replace the upper control arm bushings in a GT this weekend. Just replaced them 15 months and 13,000 miles ago but made the mistake of installing NOS bushings. Two of the four are now trashed, so I'll just replace all the uppers (lowers still OK).

          This is probably my 20th set of bushings installed, so I've kinda got it down. Tools I use: air chisel with dull chisel to get the old ones out. Combo of 1" drive sockets & extensions, baby sledge, and a vice to install the new ones.

          Better believe repro bushings will be used. I am done with 50 year old, NOS rubber.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by JoeHall View Post
            I have to replace the upper control arm bushings in a GT this weekend. Just replaced them 15 months and 13,000 miles ago but made the mistake of installing NOS bushings. Two of the four are now trashed, so I'll just replace all the uppers (lowers still OK).

            This is probably my 20th set of bushings installed, so I've kinda got it down. Tools I use: air chisel with dull chisel to get the old ones out. Combo of 1" drive sockets & extensions, baby sledge, and a vice to install the new ones.

            Better believe repro bushings will be used. I am done with 50 year old, NOS rubber.
            Now for weird: I bought a set of new lower control arm bushings for my (late) 1962 Lark from NAPA of all places about one year ago, yet they had no listing for the uppers. Supposedly; 1964-72 Chevelle uppers will work but don't quote me on that.
            --------------------------------------

            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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            • #7
              There are several tools listed in the 51 shop manual. It states both ends of both arms must be spread .015" when installing the shaft bushings to prevent binding. Even if I could find all of these I suspect the cost would be a bit more then I can swing. Any thoughts?


              J-4677 For the lower arm inside
              J-2044 For the lower arm outside

              J-3957 For the upper arm inside
              J-3957-7 Adapter for above
              J-3957-8 Adapter for above
              sigpic
              Barn Find
              1950 Champion
              Before I started
              Jim Berry
              Midlothian, TX

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by doubledaddy View Post
                There are several tools listed in the 51 shop manual. It states both ends of both arms must be spread .015" when installing the shaft bushings to prevent binding. Even if I could find all of these I suspect the cost would be a bit more then I can swing. Any thoughts?


                J-4677 For the lower arm inside
                J-2044 For the lower arm outside

                J-3957 For the upper arm inside
                J-3957-7 Adapter for above
                J-3957-8 Adapter for above
                After re-reading your post, I now see you are talking about the OUTER, metal, screw in bushings, instead of the the INNER, rubber, press-in bushings. I only have a 1959-64 Shop Manual, which lists only one part number (J-2044) for one tool to spread the arms .015" for the outer bushings. I have always heard 1951 and up suspensions are the same, but do not know for sure. If they are the same, the J-2044 is the one someone else referred to for $35, and will work for you. It is hard to substitute that tool, so you may have to spend the $35.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by 41 Frank View Post
                  Chuck Collins at studebakerparts.com has the spreader tool available for $35.00.
                  Yep, I too had success with this tool.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I have a step-by-step how-to on my blog, with photos, if that might be useful to you. Here's the link:

                    http://studeblogger.blogspot.com/201...ld-series.html

                    It's really not as hard as it sounds. Just read the shop manual, and get the J-2044 tool - that's the only special "Studebaker" tool you'll need for this job.

                    Clark in San Diego | '63 Standard (F2) "Barney" | http://studeblogger.blogspot.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      doubledaddy...if the various posted comments don't seem to apply to your car, it is because they don't realize that a '51 has threaded steel INNER pins and bushings as well as threaded steel outer pins and bushings.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Studebakercenteroforegon View Post
                        doubledaddy...if the various posted comments don't seem to apply to your car, it is because they don't realize that a '51 has threaded steel INNER pins and bushings as well as threaded steel outer pins and bushings.


                        so sorry...

                        Clark in San Diego | '63 Standard (F2) "Barney" | http://studeblogger.blogspot.com

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I have attached pictures of the needed tools. Hopefully this will help you devise your tools. If you want measurements etc I will be glad to provide them. On the first two spreaders, the one end moves out on each of them. I am sorry but I no longer loan out any of my tools.


                          Click image for larger version

Name:	kent moore j4677.jpg
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ID:	1678571 Click image for larger version

Name:	kent moore j3957.jpg
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ID:	1678572 Click image for larger version

Name:	kent moore j2044.jpg
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ID:	1678573
                          Milt

                          1947 Champion (owned since 1967)
                          1961 Hawk 4-speed
                          1967 Avanti
                          1961 Lark 2 door
                          1988 Avanti Convertible

                          Member of SDC since 1973

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thanks guys, I understand later cars use rubber bushings. I have two 50 and one 51 Champions, all basket cases, and a 50 two door in very good condition I just bought. I have the chassis from the 51 I have pretty much restored including the motor that was built by Bill Cathcart and a rebuilt DG150 automatic and rear axle. The motor has oversized pistions, valves, reground cam, duel intake and exhaust and a high compression aluminum head. It looks very cool with two oil bath air cleaners. Nothing like sticking a 350 or something in it but it is still a flathead 6 and all Studebaker. My intentions are to sit the new 50 body on the 51 frame. The only thing that does not bolt up is the front mounting holes for the front fendesr are not the same, but it looks like the 51 fenders will fit the 50 body and still accept the 50 grill. I'm going to find out later today. Anyway enough rambeling from me. Thanks again.
                            sigpic
                            Barn Find
                            1950 Champion
                            Before I started
                            Jim Berry
                            Midlothian, TX

                            Comment

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