Friday, November 20, 2015

700R4 Crossmember

I purchased an early chevy truck crossmember kit  for the stude. I wanted a unit with a 2" drop simply for exhaust pipe clearance. I don't like dealing with powder coated components when fabricating but the price was right, and I can grind off the PC.

A lot to consider in this step, measure, measure and measure again. Then cut!

Te first step was to locate the output shaft in the center of the original x-member. The original center passage is centered between the frame rails regardless of Studebaker's right and left offsets.

Measure AND optically locate the trans.

Notice that I am holding the rear of the engine/trans with a heavy ratchet strap. We know that the Stude frame is flexible, are we distorting it with the strap?? Yes we are! I placed a stand under the trans and removed the load from the strap and the frame expanded 3/8" (wow). The original stude transmission cross member would have prevented this, but it will not fit without modification (later step).

Measure, measure, make no assumptions with my Studebaker. 

I cleaned and modified the mounts in the kit (nice radius that matches the frame rail) and re-drilled for me. Mocked up with two bolts through the frame flange and one through the frame with a supporting tube. The front bolt actually replaced one rivet in the body mount support plate. This mount is offset to the rear matching the new xmember.

I may be loosing it but I always try to template before cutting (thanks, Dad). This is a top view template of the xmember. It proved its value as it pointed out cut angles and 1/4" offset in the mount location that I did not see.

Measure, measure, trim template, and then throw the sacred chicken bones on the floor and CUT IT!!

One extra trim for angle, and tacked in place. 

This xmember setup is nice since it sits in a tapered portion of the frame and simply slides out to the rear for future service.

We be done!

I have 1/2" of spacers between the trans mount and the crossmember at this time. The trans can move up and down as the drive shaft and carburetor orientations require as we move along.

The rear axle assembly is absolutely centered on the leaf springs. The pinion is of course offset to the passenger side. Studetest # 17 is the fact that the wheels are not equidistant from the fenders or the frame??? No answer to this one. Today I am going to shift the axle assembly 1/2" to the driver side.

I have no other answer to this. The original axle is also centered so I guess the offset was factory??

I will check the wheels first to be sure they are identical, and then move the mounts. The spring mounts are not welded to the housing yet pending drive line angle requirements.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

The Good, The Bad, and The Wonderful

After 55 years of fooling with these junks, I just spent the best $40 on a tool in a long, longlong time!

No more manhandling a 652 lb. engine and trans assembly with chain locations and strong arm tactics. If you don't have one of the levelers, get one....they are the wonderful!

The good were the spacers. I will not have to lower the shroud as they specified nor did I have to cut the mounting pads to clear the engine mounts.
On initial installation loading, I have 7/8" !!!!!! clearance between the 8" harmonic balancer and the steering bellcrank with only 3/4" of machined polyethylene spacer. It will probably be slightly less when tightened and settled. 

Click to enlarge any photo.

The leveler tilts and levels the load as necessary, I never touched the firewall.

At the point above, I learned that the blank fuel pump mount casting hit the original mount come the sawsall!! 

About five minutes later, 1/2' of the pad was on the floor with my sacred chicken bones. I will box in and weld the gap when its up in the air. No stopping now!

The motor is level and straight and the 700R pan seems to be level with the bottom of the frame when the output shaft is aligned nicely with the center crossmember. I'm just mocked up at this point and a transmission support xmember will be next. There seems to be plenty of room for lines and linkage as well as ample floor clearance.
I must admit that the specified mount location was correct and I was wrong. I ended up using the front hole set instead of the rear as I expected. Moving the mounting hole forward did allow for the 1 3/4" lower section of the early ford mount under the mounting pad.

Things are looking good but what if I didn't have a spacer prepped ahead of time, about a 4 hour delay.

Friday, November 13, 2015

SBC Engine Mounts

The Studebaker/SBC engine mounts that we purchase are not Studebaker specific. These are actually universal mounts to off set the Chevy engine 2" or 3 1/4" rearward in stock or roundy-round cars (racing). Will they work??? yes. 
One might find the instructions a little vague at best. 

These are 9/16" slots for 1/2" bolts. The rear holes are a 2" setback and the fronts are for 3 1/4" set back.

Using the original Stude mount (1" tall, 3/8" stems) leaves a lot of slop in the assembly.

I have experience in ripping the older style mounts in half under heavy load so original mounts are not used here.

 The early Ford style mount is the same height and thru bolt mounted for a much stronger cushion assembly. These are sold as sets for a very reasonable price. They ship these with the wrong size and style of bolts. Discard the 7/16" and use 1/2" as they were designed for. A     1 3/16" hole is required for the correct interlocking installation.          
The engine mounts that I purchased require a minimum 19 1/2" width between the center of the mounting holes. Center your layout in the chassis. No right/left offset. 

Click on pictures for full view

The black rear location is as provided in the instructions (kinda). The red hole location is what I think I need. The yellow location is the 3 1/4" setback hole (front). 
My location should give me 1" clearance behind the GM HEI distributor and is 1 3/8" forward of the recommended mounting. It is also the recommended engine location if I used the front pair of holes. Clear as mud right?? If I mount in the 2" offset holes, the engine is forward of their recommendation but if I used the 3 1/4" holes, the engine is actually where they recommended.

The white dots are 19 1/2" apart and where I want them to be to have distributor clearance. Measure 10 times and drill once. I also throw sacred bones on the floor and read them for confirmation. 

Remember that the stude firewall distributor cavity is offset to the driver side and the chevy distributor is offset to the passenger side.

I was fortunate to inspect a '54 coupe with a chevy installed as my instructions specified. All was peachy except the harmonic balancer appeared to be 1/4" above the steering bellcrank. I want more clearance than that.

Kicking this around, I want more clearance on the bellcrank, If I space the mounts up 1", I won't need to lower the radiator shroud, and I will not have to trim and box the frame mounting pads since they then clear the engine mounts? This is the way I am going to go.

I am actually going up 7/8" with this 3/4' high density polyethylene spacer that is milled to the contour of the pad and counter bored to interlock with the lower insulator half and the upper metal cup plus one 1/8" stainless washer. The pad is interlocked but I added a 1/4-20 flathead machine screw as an additional locator.

All of this is "the plan" I will know soon if it all "comes together".

 This is the mount assembly interlocked in place. It looks tall but is actually only 3/4" taller than the original stude mount.

Now as ready as can be with the "plan".

The '93 chevy 350/700r4 is ready for a test fit. I'll let you know if the "plan" is valid.