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  • Shocks: Ready for spring

    I have three questions, I need help with!!
    I have a '53 Commander "c" coupe; mostly exterior stock. However I installed a GM350 crate with a 700R4 tranny. Also replaced the interior with 50s style roll and pleat.
    ?1 = I rewired the car for 12v system. Will the current light switch 6v with resistors work ok with the new 12v system for long durations?
    ?2 = I need to replace the rear shocks, I do not race just cruise, what type and size shocks do you recommend for my mod?
    ?3 = The car was originally a 259cid with automatic transmission, what gear ratio would have been factory, how do I verify the gear ratio? Do you have any knowledge of how the factory gearing works with the 350 and 700R?

  • #2
    Yes, your light switch is good with twelve volts. Those are not resistors, but circuit breakers, and they will be good.

    Monroe makes a replacement shock. I got a std gas for my rear. I can get u a part #

    Your car was not originally a 259. It was a 232 C I. To be sure, on the ratio, might be the easiest to pull the rear cover. Course you can turn the pinion and count the turns it takes for one wheel revolution (be sure both wheels are turning).
    Nothing says the rear end is the original or not.
    Last edited by Flashback; 02-17-2014, 08:08 AM.


    • #3
      Sounds like a fun car. For question number 1, (I don't have a '53, so, I am assuming the light switch is similar to others I have.) The light switches of the era often had a fuse or circuit breaker mounted on the switch. If you make sure to use the appropriate rated fuse...the switch itself should be just fine.

      Can't help with question number 2 except to say that a modern gas filled shock rated for the weight and sprung travel length of the originals should do fine.

      On question number three I will defer to many other well qualified forum members who have experience in matching and tweaking gear drives.

      One thing about living where you have a true four season climate...each lasts long enough to make you appreciate the next! Good luck with your car.
      John Clary
      Greer, SC

      SDC member since 1975


      • #4
        Assuming that your differential is the original one, it is most likely a 3.54:1. What does the build sheet indicate? Have you checked the differential for a tag indicating number of teeth or ratio? Jack it up and count the revolutions.
        Gary L.
        Wappinger, NY

        SDC member since 1968
        Studebaker enthusiast much longer


        • #5
          Thank you for the helpful info. Happy cruising. Jim


          • #6
            Thank you Gary. As soon as the snow and cold is gone I will do as you suggest. Happy cruising. Jim


            • #7
              Thank you John. I have had 4 50s era Studes in the past but this is my first attempt to integrate an engine from "them". It is a fun project albeit expensive and time consuming. but that is the fun of it, huh? I got good responses from all my ?s, not bad for a first time forum user. Happy cruising. Great pics! Jim


              • #8
                Without a tag on the differential it's pretty hard to guess the exact rear ratio by turning the wheels and watching the driveshaft. Is it a 3.07, 3.31, 3.54 ??? To know for sure you will have to pull the cover, mark the ring gear and count the gears, then mark the pinion gear and count the gears. Divide the numbers and you have your gear ratio. Not a bad idea to pull the cover and service the differential with new gear oil anyway. If it is a posi don't forget to include the additive when you change the gear oil.

                1964 GT Hawk
                PSMCDR 2014
                Best time: 14.473 sec. 96.57 MPH quarter mile
                PSMCDR 2013
                Best time: 14.654 sec. 94.53 MPH quarter

                Victoria, Canada


                • #9
                  Originally posted by studebaker-R2-4-me View Post
                  /Cut/To know for sure you will have to pull the cover, mark the ring gear and count the gears, then mark the pinion gear and count the gears. Divide the numbers and you have your gear ratio./Cut/Allen
                  OR, just pull the rear cover and rotate the Ring Gear until you see the Mfg. date and Ring and Pinion tooth count stamped into the Ring gear, easy peasy!
                  Second Generation Stude Driver,
                  Proud '54 Starliner Owner
                  SDC Member Since 1967