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Front end swap on 58 transtar

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  • Front Axle: Front end swap on 58 transtar

    FOREWORD: I am VERY NEW at this

    I'm not there yet on restore but just thinking ahead and planning my attack. I have been reading a lot about a front end swap on classic trucks using a crown vic and haven't come across anything about doing it in c-cab. Pros/cons? possible? worthwhile? Just looking for any info at all, also, if not the crown vic is there a more suitable option.... any information will be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks,
    D

  • #2
    Do a search on this forum for Ford Aerostar front clips on Stude Trucks. The Crown Vics may be too wide. Check the track specs on each.
    sals54

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    • #3
      A lot of trouble for little gain. That Transtar front end is as good as beam front axles get. Plenty of mods to make them better, but if you want something different use a front clip off of a late 70's through 90's Toyota half ton with torsion bars.

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      • #4
        Thank you gentlemen, reading on the Aerostar conversion now. Haven't made my mind up one way or the other, just wanting to gather info... Seems like the hassle will outweigh the benefits. Will likely keep the original front end and plan modifications (if any) from there.

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        • #5
          Not sure what your motivations are/were, but (in case you didn't know) Turner Brake offers an excellent disc brake conversion kit for half-ton Stude trucks.
          Skip Lackie

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          • #6
            Skip, I came across his product this week and I'm gonna go that route, decided against the IFS conversion... Gonna try To go as close to original as I can manage but will do the disc brake upgrade.

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            • #7
              Again, just FYI: be aware that the Stude truck brake drums have a ridge that matches up with the OEM wheels. Unfortunately, some folks find the OEM wheels to be too narrow, and that ridge prevents other wheels from matching up solidly. But GMC/Chevy truck wheels have the same bolt pattern and can be adapted if the spindles are machined to accept the GM hub/brake drums. Bob Johnstone's site has the details.
              http://www.studebaker-info.org/rjtechoct2014p1.html
              Skip Lackie

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              • #8
                Originally posted by djtisme77 View Post
                Gonna try To go as close to original.
                Yes, after considering all the possible modifications, I elected to keep the solid axle and leaf springs.

                No, they're far from perfect. One upgrade which might be worth the time and money is new main leafs. The OEM Stude small diameter soft rubber bushings are junk and will inevitably pound out if the truck is driven many miles and years. Our local spring company was very reasonable in fabricating new main leaves with larger diameter bushings having a steel sleeve center bushing. They'd last pretty much forever.

                Maybe, you'd like to see what's behind the third door - keeping it leaf springs, but with a difference.

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                These are fiberglass springs from a GM Astrovan, shortened and ends from Vette Brakes added. It requires a spacer to widen the rear mount and welding a wider mount on the front.

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                BTW, the shocks are Koni, designed for motor homes.

                jack vines
                PackardV8

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                • #9
                  That Composite spring set-up is sick!

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                  • #10
                    Yeas back a friend put a Chrysler torsion bar front end on his 1950 Stude truck. He also put a big Chevy in it so it took a little experimentation to get the bars right, but after a try or two, it was a nice driving truck. Even did a 120ish mph stint for about 2 miles going to a Bakersfield race (from the Redondo Beach area) with no problem.

                    Mike

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                    • #11
                      120 in a Stude truck? Mine is loose parts flying in tight formation at 80.

                      JT

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                      • #12
                        Jack, that looks AWESOME!!!

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