Hemi Studebaker Fabrication Continues!

Last time we posted, this car didn’t look like much of a car. Now, the car has some very important features fabricated and installed, including a set of SRT Chrysler 20 inch wheels. The front fenders are trimmed temporarily to show generally how the new flares will look to fit the widebody stance. The flares will be smooth and accent the lines of the Studebaker body. There will be no box flares on this car! Stay tuned for more on the flares… As for the front end, the hood clears with about an inch of clearance in the front. The radiator mount is currently underway and will be about the tightest fit in the whole car with less than half an inch on all sides. Take a look at the progress below! We’re excited to see the car progressing over the next months! The front strut towers have custom braces that surround the rear of the engine so that the drivetrain can be serviced and removed without hassle. The new firewall mates the 2009 Dodge air conditioning unit, steering column, brake booster and pedal assembly, and throttle pedal to the Studebaker body. The fenders are trimmed to clear the shock towers and new front mounts are tacked in place to support them. In the trunk, new sheetmetal allows the frame space and will give place for a spare tire and a custom fuel tank. We appreciate some eye...

Front Suspension: Hemi Stude

The 2009 Dodge Charger front suspension is now at home in the Stude! After measuring the Charger’s front suspension dimensions, Brad cut the new strut towers out of 3/16″ steel using the CNC plasma cutter. The plates had alignment nubs on them, making assembly a breeze. Once the tower location was triple-checked, he welded the towers to the frame. As it sits the suspension is simply mocked up, nothing tight, but we can nonetheless see how everything is fitting. The stock strut cartridges are too long and don’t allow for enough travel, so a new set is in order. The right side front axle is in place and confirms that clearance here is not an issue. The next step is to modify the firewall for driver controls. Once that is completed, there will be a strut tower brace installed to enhance rigidity and strength. More to come in the ensuing...

Hemi Studebaker AWD Chassis Part Deux

In the spirit of keeping things simple, we used the front and rear sub-frames from the 2009 Charger R/T AWD to locate the engine/front suspension and rear differential/suspension to the custom Studebaker chassis. Once the tedious process of checking squareness, levelness, and angle of the sub-frames was finished, we designed and fabricated the mounts to join the sub-frames to the new chassis. Clamps removed, we installed the engine and transmission, to find that the measurements made on all sides checked out. With the engine’s front mounts in place on the stock Charger sub-frame, we set the height on the rear of transmission. The drive shaft was lifted into place and temporarily installed to confirm that it fit, and thankfully it did! The next few steps are to build the transmission and driveshaft support mounts. As soon as those are completed, the body can be cut for the frame rails and lifted onto the chassis. More to come on those steps, but for now, enjoy the progress photos below of the chassis with the...

Hemi Studebaker Chassis Part One

With the frame table set up for the Studebaker, we’re ready to move forward with chassis construction. The interesting thing about this project is that we are using the subframes from the Charger as well as constructing a new frame. The new frame will act as the liason between the ’09 Charger drivetrain and the ’55 Studebaker Body. This way, the owner will be able to service his ’55 Studebaker at any Dodge Dealer, because all drivetrain components will be serviceable using factory replacement parts. The drivetrain has already been removed from the 2009 Dodge Charger R/T AWD and we have it close at hand for the fabrication work. Once the frame is welded together (you’ll see the frame is partially welded below) we can fabricate the mounts for the front and rear subframes. Once the subframes and secured to the frame, we will begin to mount the engine, transmission, and front suspension from the Charger into the new frame. At that point, the body is ready to be modified and set onto the new frame. Take a look below at the drivetrain being removed from the Charger and the new chassis construction for the Studebaker. More to come in the weeks...

Metal Dipping = A Bare Bones Stude

Last time you saw the Studebaker, it was still rust clad and the purple paint never looked more ready for removal! Rest assured, because both of those negative cling-ons received proper treatment. Our friends at Metal Works in Eugene Oregon, with their impressive metal dipping operation, took the body and worked magic on it. Their process began with paint removal/stripping (which took off undercoating too), followed with acid treatment to kill the rust, and finished with a coating of organic rust-inhibitor. The three-part process yielded incredible results, which makes our work much easier and the results much more enduring. The bare metal body is now ready for panel replacement and mock-up with the new chassis. We’ll be putting in the order for the new chassis rails this week, and when they come in, in the next few weeks, we’ll start the chassis mock-up. Once the new chassis is set up with the 2009 Charger R/T drivetrain, we’ll fit the body mounts and situate all mechanical aspects before the paint and assembly stages. Take a look below at the Studebaker in transport and the latest photos of it in raw metal form. It looks like it just came from the Studebaker factory (well, minus some swiss cheese from 55 years of...

Stude Tear-down Part Deux

The Studebaker is now completely disassembled (body). With the aid of our hoist, we simply lifted the body off the chassis and mounted it to our body dolly for transport down to the dip tank. Today we will be removing as much body undercoating as possible so that the dipping process is successful. The dipping process is superior to other processes, because the body is completely submerged in a tank for paint and rust removal, then it is coated with a rust inhibitor. When the body comes back to us in about a week, we will have a bare steel body ready for tin repair and chassis mockup. The original rolling chassis is now up for grabs to the first buyer. Let us know if you need a 1955 Studebaker chassis with engine and power...