’46 Studebaker M16 front leaf spring update

I ordered the leaf spring bushings from Studebaker International for a  reasonable $3 each (there are 6 bushings for each front leaf spring assembly) and they arrived fairly quickly.

Changing out the drivers side spring bushings and the rear ones on the front passenger side spring was fairly uneventful – actually I couldn’t believe how easily the fasteners came undone: lots of parts on my westy were more stubborn than anything on the Studebaker so far.

The passenger side front spring perch was another story though: it took a while before I decided the best approach was to get the entire assembly (there are only 2 pieces to it) from the parts truck as not only was there that giant bolt in place of the stud but the part of the perch that was riveted to the truck frame was pretty bent and 1/2 broken off of the frame (one rivet was completely broken and the the other 2 hanging on loosely).

On the parts-truck the spring perch in question was solidly affixed to the frame so I had to grind off the heads of 3 rivets and then drill out 2 of them to get the perch off. That went pretty smoothly.

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Removing the already partly-off spring perch on the good truck was a bit more challenging as I had to drill out the “blind” center rivet so I could put a bolt in its place and at some point the rivet started to spin.  Ended up using a small chisel to mangle it enough so it wouldn’t spin anymore and I could finish drilling it out.

You can see how bent the original spring perch was. (I gave the replacement parts a sandblast and paint.)

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Now ‘Clem’ (as the previous owner named the truck, named after one of the Studebaker brothers) has brand new front leaf spring bushings and a now solid spring perch so I am very interested to get him out on the road to see if the shaking at around 30 MPH is gone but… I really need to fix the off-idle hesitation as it is bad enough to seriously affect driveability. Plus it would be good to  get the headlights functional too and bleed the brakes before embarking on a trip back to the big city of Vancouver.

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One thing I can’t imagine is what sort of accident would have resulted in partly ripping off that spring perch without doing any other apparent damage. Maybe I’ll see if the guy I bought the truck from has the phone number of the farmer in Alberta he got the truck from…

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2 Responses to ’46 Studebaker M16 front leaf spring update

  1. albell says:

    Hey Ed,

    Good on you tackling this fun job. Weather getting warmer makes it less of a knuckle buster eh?

    I’m guessing the truck went into a ditch and tore the spring mount. As good as guess as any?

    Cheers

    Ab

    >

  2. edbee says:

    Hi Al,
    ya, ‘going in the ditch’ is likely what happened, although the direction it was bent it would almost have had to been the ditch on the driver’s side of the road (passenger side spring mount bent towards the outboard side). I am going to see if I can contact the farmer though as maybe he would be interested to know what’s happening with his old truck anyhow.
    Re weather – yup, gotta’ love spring! I went from working on a paved driveway in North Van to working on a gravel parking pad on SSI. One of these years I’ll have a shop 🙂

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