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  • Engine: Silver Hawk Major Modifications

    I recently purchased a very nice 59 Silver Hawk. I bought it for my 15 year old daughter (it was the car she wanted). Before I can let her drive it I plan to make many modifications. Mustang II cross member w/power disc brakes, Chevy 350 w/700R4 trans, center console with shifter, bucket electric seats. The car must be dependable and safe and she has to be able to get it fixed wherever she might go. It currently has a perfectly good running original V8 with good two speed automatic which will be removed and sold. My plan was to take pictures and document the transition for others on this site who might be interested. I know that some members here will say "leave it original!!", but the only way my wife will let my daughter have the car is if has a newer drive train, power disc brakes, overdrive trans and shoulder harness seat belts (another modification). Oh yes, modern AC unit, it's very hot and humid where we live. As per my daughter's instructions I plan to keep as many of the original body parts as possible because she really likes the original look of the car.
    I'm posting here today to see if there is any interest in what I am about to do. If there is sufficient interest I will do my best to document everything and post it all here. I will post pics of the car as soon as possible.


    PS - I couldn't find a title that read, "Engine/Transmission swap", could the moderators help with that??? Anyway, I had to select "Engine" for the title.


    treblig

  • #2
    Congrats on the Silver Hawk
    I love those cars. I think you'll find some who will try to deter you from the avenue you've chosen. I believe, to each his own. Chevy swaps have been done to these cars since the Chevy V8 was created. I don't think you'll have too much trouble finding info about the "how to". You should be able to search the tech side of the forum and find numerous places where the parts and pieces are to complete the job easily. I've got a local fab shop who will do the Fat Man front end swap for an LS transplant for about a grand. Your daughter will have a blast with this car. Good luck keeping the boys away with her driving the kooolest car at school. Better keep your shotgun close by.
    sals54

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    • #3
      Welcome to the forum.
      I like those Hawks. I think it sounds like a good plan but I think I would look for a better choice than a forty year old design like the mustang II front suspension. A disc brake conversion is even available for the Studebaker designed front suspension and it does work with this car, although the steering has a lot of extra parts and can get loose. I would also want a different rear axle to get away from the tapered axle design.
      Whatever you decide keep us updated with pictures and lessons learned. These projects don't often follow a direct course.
      Rob

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      • #4
        I would keep the car original and if your daughter still wants it after driving accident free for at least 5 years then give it to her. Lots of young drivers have an accident during their first few years of driving. You can give your daughter a newer car with built in air bags and crumple zones, etc. I've never felt a heavily modified car was more reliable than a well restored car.

        Comment


        • #5
          This general type of modification ( i.e. modern engine , suspension etc) has been done many, many times .
          There are usually some of these for sale , within any reasonable time frame . There's a fair number of them ,all things
          considered . 2-6 weeks on eBay , and other sites will give a choice . Ask around your local SDC Chapter too .
          The bugs if any will mostly have been worked out by the seller.

          Much better brakes ,modern overdrive automatic etc, for the Stude engine , as mentioned above ,are available.

          Why not wait , and check out some of these , rather than cut up a nice car, that has good value , as original ?

          Good luck .
          Bill H
          Daytona Beach
          SDC member since 1970
          Owner of The Skeeter Hawk .

          Comment


          • #6
            I say yes to documenting the process. It would be nice to have the complete drive line makeover in one series of posts where it can be found by others. The title to your thread should be chosen carefully to make it easy to find. Thanks, and good luck with your conversion.
            I don't know if the pictures will be of any help but thought I would post them. First, is a 700R4 behind a stude engine. The second is a Vintage Air unit.
            These are in a 1955 Speedster which may not have the same clearances as the Hawk.
            Bob Johnstone's Studebaker website would be a great place to post the process. It would also be full of useful information for you. http://www.studebaker-info.org/rjtechoct2014p1.html
            Attached Files

            Comment


            • #7
              I looked for previously modified Silver Hawk for over a year. Everytime I found one it had already been sold. My daughter will have her driver's license in 6 months so I had to go ahead and but a car in original condition. My daughter will be required to drive one of our other newer cars for 6 months to get plenty of practice under her belt before she gets the Silver Hawk full time. I built a 46 Chevy Coupe for my son, he started driving it when he was 17. That was 3 years ago and he's has loved every minute of it!! He's super careful and always watches out for the gawkers.

              Treblig

              Comment


              • #8
                Rob, Thanks for the encouragement!! I have a Chevy 12 bolt waiting in the wings (just in case). I thought that a Mustang II (new version) would be the best since I have used them before for other Hot Rods. The car is extremely hard to steer in tight places. My daughter would never be able to maneuver the car in a school parking lot. Will post some pics today as the transformation has already started.

                treblig

                Comment


                • #9
                  Eng/Trans swap

                  Here are some receClick image for larger version

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                  Treblig

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                  • #10
                    Yes, I will definitely keep the shotgun close!!! As it was when my friend was hauling the car to my house from Alabama he had a few really good offers on the car (way more than what I had paid). Then when it finally arrived at my house (in Texas) we couldn't unload the car for all the people stopping next to the trailer to ask about it. My daughter doesn't know what she's getting into but I'm sure she'll figure it out like my son did with his '46 Chevy Coupe.

                    Treblig

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by 5brown1 View Post
                      I say yes to documenting the process. It would be nice to have the complete drive line makeover in one series of posts where it can be found by others. The title to your thread should be chosen carefully to make it easy to find. Thanks, and good luck with your conversion.
                      I don't know if the pictures will be of any help but thought I would post them. First, is a 700R4 behind a stude engine. The second is a Vintage Air unit.
                      These are in a 1955 Speedster which may not have the same clearances as the Hawk.
                      Bob Johnstone's Studebaker website would be a great place to post the process. It would also be full of useful information for you. http://www.studebaker-info.org/rjtechoct2014p1.html


                      Nice pics!! Every picture helps!!! I was initially going to just swap out the trans for a 700R4 but the wife was adamant about upgrading the whole drive train for when my daughter goes off to College. We don't want her to have any trouble finding a mechanic to work on the car.
                      I found that a 2000 Cavalier has a stand alone console was just the right length/width complete with drink holders and an arm rest (storage). I wanted to use the complete shifter mechanism off of the Cavalier but my daughter wanted a chrome shifter handle (like the old cars). I also own a 69 Barracuda and had a spare shifter so I'm modifying the Cavalier shifter mount brackets to hold the Barracuda shifter handle. I welded some threaded studs onto a plate then bolted the Cavalier shifter mount section to the plate, this way I can remove it at any time for maintenance. There are also some pics of the console in the Silver Hawk.Click image for larger version

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ID:	1696418 Once the shifter and console fit together properly I can easily attach the studded plate to the trans tunnel then bolt on the shifter bracket with the shifter assembly and slide the console into place. Since the shifter brackets came off the Cavalier they retain the mounting screw holes for the console. I can easily install the console and screw it down onto the original brarckets attach points making if very solid. Will post more pics as I go along.

                      As for the AC, my daughter really loved the factory (dealer) installed AC evaporator so I plan to get the evaporator rebuilt and use the R4 Chevy compressor with the Chevy serpentine set-up.

                      treblig

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by 5brown1 View Post
                        I say yes to documenting the process. It would be nice to have the complete drive line makeover in one series of posts where it can be found by others. The title to your thread should be chosen carefully to make it easy to find. Thanks, and good luck with your conversion.
                        I don't know if the pictures will be of any help but thought I would post them. First, is a 700R4 behind a stude engine. The second is a Vintage Air unit.
                        These are in a 1955 Speedster which may not have the same clearances as the Hawk.
                        Bob Johnstone's Studebaker website would be a great place to post the process. It would also be full of useful information for you. http://www.studebaker-info.org/rjtechoct2014p1.html

                        Here are a few pics of the interior with and without the console. It's a real shame I had to remove the front seat, it is beautiful!! I'll probably sell the seat, here are some pics. Are you allowed to sell items in a thread like this??
                        Also you can see the beautiful Evaporator under the dash. I had planned to replace it with a modern "hot rod" aftermarket unit but my daughter loves the way it looks and wants to keep it in the car. The bucket seats will be re-upholstered of course, they are electric with built-in arm rests and have the built-in shoulder harness seat belts.

                        TrebligClick image for larger version

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                        • #13
                          My suggestion is; since you plan to replace almost everything Studebaker on the Power Train, Suspension, Steering and Brakes,
                          BE SURE YOU have a good, complete list of the GM, Ford, aftermarket and whatever PARTS, so anyone working on this Hybrid would have a clue what is going on with it.


                          By the way, the A/C is aftermarket, not Studebaker but does have the '50's '60's era look.
                          StudeRich
                          Second Generation Stude Driver,
                          Proud '54 Starliner Owner

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by StudeRich View Post
                            My suggestion is; since you plan to replace almost everything Studebaker on the Power Train, Suspension, Steering and Brakes,
                            BE SURE YOU have a good, complete list of the GM, Ford, aftermarket and whatever PARTS, so anyone working on this Hybrid would have a clue what is going on with it.


                            By the way, the A/C is aftermarket, not Studebaker but does have the '50's '60's era look.

                            StudeRich, Yes I figured it was dealer installed (or something like that) but it is pretty nice. You are 100 percent correct about keeping a log book on all parts/materials. I started a small binder early on to document the engine, serpentine system origin, front end parts, trans, electric seats, power brakes/booster, console/shifter and anything else I eventually install. I did the same thing with my son's '46 Chevy Coupe, it's a long list but it's in his glove box and when I'm long gone he'll be able to get almost any good mechanic to fix his car.


                            Thanks,
                            treblig

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              It might be easier to put the hawk on a S-10 chassis.
                              StudeRick & Johna
                              Sacramento CA

                              1964 GT Hawk, 1963 GT Hawk, 1962 GT Hawk
                              1957 Silver Hawk
                              1963 Avanti
                              1961 Lark Wagon
                              1963 Lark Daytona

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