Announcement

Collapse

Get more Tips, Specs and Technical Data!

Did you know... this Forum is a service of the Studebaker Drivers Club? For more technical tips, specifications, history and tech data, visit the Tech Tips page at the SDC Homepage: www.studebakerdriversclub.com/tips.asp
See more
See less

1961 Front End Rebuild

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Front Axle: 1961 Front End Rebuild

    I'm going to try to rebuild the front end on my 1961 Lark. I'm pretty good mechanically, but have never done a complete front end before. I've got a few questions. Is this something I should try to do in my home garage? Also, should I buy and replace all the parts that are replaceable that SI sells, or are there certain items that should still be good? My springs have been heated to lower the front end before I got the car, so I know they need replaced. The bushing rubber is about one third gone. I'd like to do the best job I can, but parts alone are going to cost $1,000 plus if I buy the whole kit. What are your thoughts??

  • #2
    Clark, showbizkid, has a nice writeup in his blog. Here's the first one and you can find the rest in his blog. http://studeblogger.blogspot.com/200...uild-pt-1.html

    This is my post on the tools I fabricated to do my Avanti, same as your Lark. http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.c...l-Replacements

    Look them over and you'll have a good idea of what you are getting into.

    Bob

    Comment


    • #3
      Do you have a shop manual and a chassis parts manual? Those would be the first purchases on my list.

      You can take the suspension off the car with a floor jack. As far as changing the bushings, you might bring the parts to an automotive machine shop.

      When I did the several that I have done, I took the front suspension off the car, took the brake systems off the suspension parts, and had Studebakers West do the removing, rebushing and pressing.
      RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

      17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
      10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
      10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
      4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
      5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
      56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
      60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

      Comment


      • #4
        Shop manual and parts manual is a MUST. don't short cut the shop manual, you can home make the special tools such as the braces to eleminate bending the "A" arms when you press in the bushings. Air tools 1/2 impact while may not be necessary will save you some work. You'll need access to a hydraulic press as well.


        Originally posted by wwogg View Post
        I'm going to try to rebuild the front end on my 1961 Lark. I'm pretty good mechanically, but have never done a complete front end before. I've got a few questions. Is this something I should try to do in my home garage? Also, should I buy and replace all the parts that are replaceable that SI sells, or are there certain items that should still be good? My springs have been heated to lower the front end before I got the car, so I know they need replaced. The bushing rubber is about one third gone. I'd like to do the best job I can, but parts alone are going to cost $1,000 plus if I buy the whole kit. What are your thoughts??

        Russ Shop Foreman \"Rusty Nut Garage\"
        53 2R6 289 5SpdOD (driver)
        57 SH (project)
        60 Lark VIII 2dr sd (driver)

        Comment


        • #5
          I'm in the process of pulling the front suspension off of my '55 president right now to rebuild. Depending on how rusty your car is will determine how much you really need an air impact tool for things like the shock mounting & sway bar bolts. Do you think someone really torch lowered your springs, or are they just collapsed from going bad.....lark springs were bad about sagging. I took a torch & heated up some of the coils on my springs just to take some of the tension out of them to make removal easier.

          Agree that your money ahead to pay a repair shop to replace the A arm rubber bushings, unless you plan on restoring a lot of studebakers & want to make the tools.

          I purchased all of the parts for my rebuild at the national convention last year in the swap meet area & I ordered the springs from the local autozone store (the mid-90's springs the guys on this site are promoting). I saved a lot of money vs ordering them all thru S.I.
          Mike Sal

          Comment


          • #6
            Is your car a six cylinder or V8? If a six, the MOOG springs mentioned above are too strong. If a V8, the MOOGs are the cheapest, and second to none in fit and performance. I was so impressed with the first set, I later installed them in all three Studes (2 GTs and a 56J).

            As for the rebuild, with time, patience, and Shop Manual in hand, you can do the job, including tool fabrication.

            As for parts, I'd replace only what is necessary. Besides the springs and bushings, everything else is a maybe. If its a six cylinder, components are far less likely to be worn out. If a V8, and has been lubed regularly, most components may still be serviceable. Another consideration, your plans for the car. If you plan to drive it a lot, replace anything questionable, i.e. moderately worn kingpins. If unlikely to ever drive it 5,000 miles, new kingpin bushings & bearings may suffice, unless the kingpins are totally worn out.

            With a little luck the parts should not be over $300, unless you need kingpins. The last NOS set (late style) I had to buy was around $300, IIRC. You could also use the earlier style, and never know the difference, performance wise. They are usually more plentiful and cheaper. Nothing wrong with good, serviceable but worn kingpins either, early or late style.

            I am coming upon 300,000 miles on the 62GT's kingpins, and about 150,000 miles on the 56J's. Lubed every 5,000 miles or so, I believe they will last indefinitely.
            Last edited by JoeHall; 04-22-2014, 08:08 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks everyone for all the advice. I have the manuals, the MOOG springs, and an electric impact wrench. I assume the springs were heated. They have 2 twist in spacers in each, and the car still sits about 2 inches low. The coils with the spacers between them are the only ones not touching. Should be easy to remove. May just have to buy the whole kit. Rather have it and not need it than the other way around. I'm retiring in 2 years and plan to drive it a lot then.

              Comment


              • #8
                I would recommend a good micrometer to measure kingpin diameters, a good set of feeler gauges for shim selection and setting the bottom "O" ring seal and a good air hammer for driving the kingpins out of the lower arms if you are changing kingpins. I used one of those HF ball joint presses and a socket to press the old bushings out and the new ones in.

                Comment


                • #9
                  You could also use the earlier style, and never know the difference, performance wise.
                  Joe and I will have to agree to disagree on this one. I can always tell when driving a Stude with the earlier kingpins; they wander more. The later kingpins have more caster forged in and thus are more directionally stable at highway speeds. Of course, this assumes both were correctly aligned.

                  jack vines
                  PackardV8

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    When I got my '55 there were 4 twist in spacers on each spring, and a NOS oil pan on the motor where the PO bottomed out & must have crashed the original pan. The front air dam (below the bumper) also suffered damage due to the car sagging so much.

                    I picked up some more jack stands yesterday so I can support more the car while I decompress the springs so I can get the suspension off tonight (read I have too many cars already up on jackstands....).
                    Mike Sal

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Mike Sal View Post
                      When I got my '55 there were 4 twist in spacers on each spring, and a NOS oil pan on the motor where the PO bottomed out & must have crashed the original pan. The front air dam (below the bumper) also suffered damage due to the car sagging so much.

                      I picked up some more jack stands yesterday so I can support more the car while I decompress the springs so I can get the suspension off tonight (read I have too many cars already up on jackstands....).
                      Mike Sal
                      If your 55 is a V8, it sounds like it could use a set of the MOOGs. If you do an archive search here, you can read all the raves posted about the MOOGs.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by PackardV8 View Post
                        Joe and I will have to agree to disagree on this one. I can always tell when driving a Stude with the earlier kingpins; they wander more. The later kingpins have more caster forged in and thus are more directionally stable at highway speeds. Of course, this assumes both were correctly aligned.

                        jack vines
                        I have a 56J with early style, and two GTs with late style, and cannot tell the difference going down the road, fast or slow, good roads or bad. As JV would say, "your results may vary..."

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I use an Internal Spring compressor such as this:



                          Easy to use and a one person operation at that point.

                          Some Pics of my suspension update:

                          http://s1286.photobucket.com/user/R2...9%20Suspension

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Should I pull my front fenders? How hard is it with inner and outer fenders still in place?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              You do not need to pull the fenders - unless you really want to. All the bolts are easily accessible. Did you read the procedure in the shop manual?
                              RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

                              17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
                              10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
                              10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
                              4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
                              5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
                              56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
                              60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X