Bob's Studebaker Resource Website

Ford Aerostar front suspension on a Studebaker

//// Has anyone completed installation of the aerostar suspension kit on a Transtar or Champ? I searched our forum and the web in general, found a picture with a big V8 in a Stude truck frame (tried to analyze detail with a magnafing glass) and a debate or two on the merits of the aerostar suspension on the HAMB and some Ford truck sites, But no "I bought this kit, here's how it went together, here's all the quirks but I love anyhow" type answers.

Also, if one does the aerostar conversion, what do you do about the differences in wheel lug patterns between front (4x4.5) and back (4x5), use the auto rear hubs? or buy dual pattern wheels from Wheelvintiques.

Even new cars come with different wheels for the front and back. Some even have FOUR different wheels. Just carry a small spare that fits either + an adapter. Or a unilug wheel. A lot of spares are unilug. Or get one for the front and redrill it for the rear. I wouldn't redrill a front. Or put an Explorer 8.8 rearend in it. (best)

Aerostar adapters

Aerostar uprights

//// A picture is indeed worth a thousand words:)

Since I am not that adept on Aerostar engineering, does that ford crossmember assembly unbolt or does it need to be cut from the van?

If one would use a six (which I have a few) would the Studebaker front crossmembers need to came out?

One ford site said that a conversion like this would take about 20 hours, is this on the mark?

For those who never saw the initial advert in turning wheels or past threads, How much is the kit? What all come with the kit? (sure there are pictures but I have to ask) Any additional accessories or parts list/instructions available? Are you going to be vending at Cedar Rapids this summer?

I think I have thought of nearly everything:)

oh, Nice looking kit:)

Jeff T.////

The aerostar crossmember unbolts with the same six bolts used to hold it to the adapters. The adapters use shorter bolts. Only the driver's side 45 degree angled piece needs to come out and a new bracket constructed to support the engine on that side. Some holes need to be drilled in the frame for the sway bar straps. Your inner fenders have to be cut to clear the upper aframes. The steering column has to be adapted. Brake line with SAE to metric adapter. (or compression union) Also, it's less headache if you drill holes in the lower aframe and run threaded rod up to the coil spring housing flange (already has a hole) to hold the spring compressed before you remove the crossmember from the weight of the van. That makes it easier to hook up the upper aframes. The adapters are marked for position (left, right front, rear. and it's a simple matter of bolting them to the frame using existing Studebaker holes.(two on each side)

I dont know about the later Champs, but the early ones (60 & 61) used the same brake setup as the disc brake equipped cars, so you could use those rear drums & wouldnt have to worry about different size wheels or adapters.
////// Two more questions. How does the track width compare with the original set-up? And is there a kit for the M-5 model?////

It's one inch wider than the Camaro. So it fits great. A lot better than MII (way too narrow) but not as wide as say a chevy truck. I bet you guys don't know what your front even measures. I'll look for a pic I had of the front tire as seen thru the headkight hole. I know an aftermarket 15 X 6 was centered in the opening. Aerostar wheels fit in a lot closer, a lot of offset (opposite of reverse). No M1 setups. These are all I do.

SDC Forum Thread - May 2009