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  • Frame / Springs: 50 Commander shocks

    I was looking at the shop manual last night and noticed that the Champion and Commander suspensions are similar. Is it possible and or desirable ( at least from an availability \cost perspective) to convert the Commander to conventional shocks?

  • #2
    You would have to fabricate shock mounts. This is not an unknown in the automotive world. The 46-48 Fords came with lever action shocks and many were converted to airplane type shocks. J.C.Whitney used to sell the kits, which included the shock mounts.

    You just have to get the math/geometry right, especially around travel and angles. And you have to be able to weld and fabricate.

    Since 50 Commanders are relatively rare in the grand scheme of all the antique cars out there, there might not be a lot of information about this particular modification. If there is any information, this is the place to get it.
    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

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    • #3
      Does anyone specialize in rebuilding the original knee action shocks for the 1950 Commander?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by TWChamp View Post
        Does anyone specialize in rebuilding the original knee action shocks for the 1950 Commander?
        Oh yeah. In looking for info on rebuilding these, I came across someone's article about what he did to rebuild his knee action shocks. He referenced this company for parts: http://www.classicautoshocks.com/


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        • #5
          Here's his .pdf: http://www.antiqueautoarchive.com/fo...compressed.pdf

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          • #6
            Here's another operation referenced on the HAMB: http://nosimport.com/

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            • #7
              I have installed the front suspension from a 50 land cruiser parts car in my shop in my 50 champion. To install airplane shocks you will need the lower mounts that bolt to the lower control arm from a 50 champion and drill holes to mount them. There is a hole in the top of the frame for the shock. Also the trunnion nut behind the knee action shock will have to be replaced as it has no grease fitting. The hardest part is removing the spring to drill the holes.
              sigpic
              Barn Find
              1950 Champion
              Before I started
              Jim Berry
              Midlothian, TX

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              • #8
                I will be calling Five Points in Santa Ana tomorrow and will report my findings.
                I also have a 50 Commander and would like to convert over to a coil over spring setup.

                Question: Is the upper mount the same in both the Champion and Commander? If so, I only need to fabricate the lower mounting bracket??

                DT Holder
                1950 Commander
                327 small block with turbo 350 trans
                Bakersfield Ca.
                DT Holder - Bakersfield CA, USA
                1950 Commander ("Resto-Mod" in progress)

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                • #9
                  Your old shocks may just be out of adjustment, or low on oil. You DO know that they are adjustable don't you? This is why we always say get the shop manual for your car FIRST, then spend (waste) money after.!
                  Bez Auto Alchemy
                  573-318-8948
                  http://bezautoalchemy.com


                  "Don't believe every internet quote" Abe Lincoln

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by bezhawk View Post
                    Your old shocks may just be out of adjustment, or low on oil. You DO know that they are adjustable don't you? This is why we always say get the shop manual for your car FIRST, then spend (waste) money after.!
                    Well of course I did NOT know they were adjustable. (thanks) To my credit I did post here first.

                    I did not see any information on this in the service manual and I have all of the manuals on order from Studebaker International. (on CD)
                    I will look into adjusting them. They may very well be OUT of oil. Does anyone have a reference on this procedure???

                    Note: I have owned this car for 4 days.
                    DT Holder - Bakersfield CA, USA
                    1950 Commander ("Resto-Mod" in progress)

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                    • #11
                      I just checked my lube chart, and the 50 Commander has 51 places to lubricate, 39 of them being grease fittings.

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                      • #12
                        Info: I called Five Points in Santa Ana and they do still refurb the Studebaker shocks for ~190 each.

                        Sooo, adjust and oil you say.
                        DT Holder - Bakersfield CA, USA
                        1950 Commander ("Resto-Mod" in progress)

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                        • #13
                          If you need new shocks I have many N.O.S. units some back to 1939 and a few earlier , not all are available
                          These are brand new in the original boxes for $95.00 each.
                          Robert Kapteyn
                          studebaker@mac.com
                          Text to 815 212 2389

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                          • #14
                            SI used to have a lot of the front ones in NOS condition
                            Milt

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

                            Member of SDC since 1973

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                            • #15
                              Place called Apple Hydraulics.com has add for lever Shocks and sleeving brake cyls in oldcarsweekly.com

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