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Original Tire Size... '58 Commander

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  • #16
    Really cj, borrow a set of bias plys from someone to get that "experience" for a day or two. Then put your radials back on so you can ENJOY driving the car instead of having it follow every irregularity in the road
    The stock drum brakes will surprize you, as Rich says. N8N says something about after the 3rd or 4th stop, but bear in mind that for Nate, "driving" means going down the road (where everyone else is just driving) as tho he was back in the pack at Road Atlanta and trying to work his way to the lead![}]
    Yes - after about the 4th panic application of the drums (in rapid succession) to drag you down from 60 or 70, you might notice a lessening, but for sane cruising, the drums will be there for you.

    Miscreant adrift in
    the BerStuda Triangle


    1957 Transtar 1/2ton
    1960 Larkvertible V8
    1958 Provincial wagon
    1953 Commander coupe

    No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

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    • #17
      quote:Originally posted by Mr.Biggs


      The stock drum brakes will surprize you, as Rich says. N8N says something about after the 3rd or 4th stop, but bear in mind that for Nate, "driving" means going down the road (where everyone else is just driving) as tho he was back in the pack at Road Atlanta and trying to work his way to the lead![}]
      I wish it were like that, it's more like driving in a demolition derby some days it feels like everyone's gunning for you... the beltway is evil, evil, evil!

      nate

      --
      55 Commander Starlight
      http://members.cox.net/njnagel
      --
      55 Commander Starlight
      http://members.cox.net/njnagel

      Comment


      • #18
        Above comments about drum brakes are pretty accurate, but for 2 exceptions: 1) coming down off of 11000+ foot high Loveland pass (on old Hwy 40) in overdrive on a hot summer day. If you weren't careful you could really be standing on the brake pedal for all you were worth and getting ready to throw out an anchor, also. You learned to stop at the top and pull out the overdrive handle! The second is that if we didn't have the drum brakes to complain about and come up with hair-brained schemes to replace, the forum would have 50%? less to talk about. I noticed StudeRich carefully mentioned 1954 and up Stude V8 brakes. If you tried to bring a 1951 thru 1953 Stude V8 car to a dead stop from 85mph you would usually fade the brakes out before getting stopped!

        I learned a lot fast about brakes and tires when I replaced my 59 Stude hawk (which had the smooth drums) for a 1961 Porsche 356B (which had large finned aluminum-clad drums and radial tires). European brakes and radial tires were so far ahead of American bias ply tires and brakes at that time that you couldn't get an American driver to even understand what you were telling them. Even my 1956 Porsche Speedster brakes were far superior to nearly all American brakes in 1964 when I was driving it on the street.

        The safety issue is such an important factor I don't understand why any sane person would want to drive bias ply tires on stock (NARROW, with NO SAFETY BEAD) Studebaker wheels on today's highways. If you want to trailer a car to a show with bias ply tires, that's one thing, but risking your car, your and your family's lives, and the increased stopping distance of bias ply tires isn't safe or smart! Pay attention to Mr B's suggestion, try a set of bias ply tires, then put on your set of radial tires, hopefully mounted on more modern rims with AT LEAST a 5-1/2" rim width.

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        • #19
          I raced a Triumph TR6 successfully with the SCCA. I understand the importance of good brakes and great tires. This car isn't going to get anywhere near the treatment that the TR6 did! I'm going to keep the stock wheels on it, but will try the radial vs. bias ply thing for sure. I'm going to go all stock with it and upgrade if I really think it needs it. For the most part I really just want to keep the car as original as possible. If I start modifying it, it won't stop and it'll have a 460 wedged in it with a full tube chassis etc etc.... I know how I am.

          Thanks for the suggestions though, i'm definately going to try some of the things suggested by you guys.

          Cruisin' the Stude is still safer than riding a motorcycle.... [^]

          Chris Salisbury
          Hutto/Austin, TX

          1958 Commander Starlight Hardtop

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          • #20
            Have you ordered a back glass yet?

            Miscreant adrift in
            the BerStuda Triangle


            1957 Transtar 1/2ton
            1960 Larkvertible V8
            1958 Provincial wagon
            1953 Commander coupe

            No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

            Comment


            • #21
              Not as of yet [V]

              I'm waiting for someone to buy my Mustang I have for sale, so i'll have enough space to work on the car, and enough money to invest in it. That's first on my list though! Followed by tires, brakes, and engine triage. I'm going to have to find where to get a rear window seal. I haven't tried calling SASCO just yet (because i'm not ready to purchase), but I haven't had luck finding it on their site. I have a really really good auto glass connection here in Central Texas that can probably find another solution for the rubber. I'm not too concerned about it. There's so much to do on this car, that it's almost hard to find 1 point to start and stay dedicated to that 1 point without getting distracted by anything else.[)]

              Chris Salisbury
              Hutto/Austin, TX

              1958 Commander Starlight Hardtop

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              • #22
                I suspect, but can't actually confirm, that the rubber may be the same profile as another more common rear window gasket, so if you can find one with the same profile (C-K maybe?) that is longer, you could cut it and glue it together... just a thought...

                nate

                --
                55 Commander Starlight
                http://members.cox.net/njnagel
                --
                55 Commander Starlight
                http://members.cox.net/njnagel

                Comment


                • #23
                  That's what i'm thinking too. That's a really good idea you have about finding a similar weatherstrip. The only thing that I think is going to make this window seal hard to locate amongst more modern seals, or even other models of Studebaker, is the chrome trim that lays flush ontop of the seal... I definately have some research ahead of me...

                  Chris Salisbury
                  Hutto/Austin, TX

                  1958 Commander Starlight Hardtop

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    I'm currently running P215R15s on my '56 wagon. They're the tire size recommended for the President models and give a wonderful ride. I was around in 1956 and I do remember what it was like riding and driving around in these cars with biasply tires. Take it from me, radials are the cat's whiskers.

                    You know, I remember when Mum put radials (Tiiiiger paws!!) on her wagon for the first time (way back in the sixties). Everyone kept telling her they looked low. Drove the Gas Station attendants nuts (LOL)! 'Course, those attendants never could find the gas filler on that old '56 Chevy!


                    Home of the famous Mr. Ed!
                    Lotsa Larks!
                    K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
                    Ron Smith
                    Where the heck is Lewiston, CA?
                    Home of the famous Mr. Ed!
                    K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
                    Ron Smith
                    Where the heck is Fawn Lodge, CA?

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      As far as the bias ply vs. radial tire discussion goes. I'm leaning more and more towards the radials. Honestly the only thing I had against the radials was the bulgy non stock look. I'm sure with more research I could find some close to stock looking tires in a radial. Besides, once this beast is on the roads and all the gremlins sorted out, it's going to be my daily driver. All 2k miles a month I typically drive.

                      Just to think I was doing the same thing with my ratty '49 Willys Jeep. In all of it's 50 mph top speed glory.

                      Is it bad that I know all of the minimum speed limits per road by heart in my area??? [8D]

                      Chris Salisbury
                      Hutto/Austin, TX

                      1958 Commander Starlight Hardtop

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        The way I see it, having to make 3 or 4 panic stops in rapid succession means you're following too closely or driving way too fast. Now going down the mountain on a 10% grade is certainly something else but using the brakes you have correctly is more important than what kind of brakes you have. Apply them firmly until slowed down and then release them totally, giving them a chance to cool off. Riding them lightly never gives them a chance to cool off and even disc brakes will get hot enough to boil the brake fluid and turn it into a compresssable gas. Since gas compress, that means no brakes. And no, this isn't just one of my hairbrained therories. Just ask my father-in-law what happened when he rode the brakes on his Chrysler Laser going down the west side of Independence Pass. Fortunately they made it to the bottom in one piece after one very fast, wild ride. However, I think he would have found going off a cliff and dying preferable to the butt chewing his wife gave him after she was able to talk again. Maybe that's just a coincidence, but that's the last vacation they ever took....

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                        • #27
                          Thanks John for your additional comments about braking - intermittant versus "riding" the brakes is another issue lots of people don't understand.

                          I guess I am not getting through about radials and stock Stude wheels. DON'T PUT RADIALS ON THEM - they are too narrow, and the narrownness may contribute to the "fat" look that is apparently so objectionable. Radial tires require a wider rim than bias ply tires! If you are determined to keep stock Stude wheels and daily drive the car for 2000 miles per month pile the Stude wheels beside your driveway (or preferably in a cool dark place) and go get a set of wider wheels with safety rims! Mount radial tires on them for daily driving. You can go to a wrecking yard and get a set of 1960 or 1970's dodge/chrysler or even ford 5-1/2" wide wheels for $50.00. They will fit under the fenders of most 1951 and later Studes. I know, some people on this forum would rather go special order a set of alloy wheels for $150.00 each, but you don't HAVE to do that. I recently got a full set of 1998 Ford Ranger 15" wheels (6" wide, I think) with good tires for a little more $. They fit fine under the fenders of both my hawk and lark. Studebaker full size hubcaps can then be used on these off-brand wheels to keep a very near stock look. So, with a nominal expense you can keep your Stude wheels, and have a second set of safer, smoother-riding, safer-braking wheels with radial tires for daily use.

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