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Thread: preparing to build a road race Wagonaire

  1. #1

    preparing to build a road race Wagonaire

    trying to figure out what kind of leaf springs I should use in the rear and what else I can do to front suspension. The rear leads are trashed. Trying to keep it a low budget build. I figure hopefully should be able to do it for $5-6000. It has four wheel discs a 9" rear already. The motor and trans is already done. Before I swap out the steering system was looking for ideas. Just want it to handle as best as it will being a station wagon. Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Golden Hawk Member DEEPNHOCK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Brooklet, GA, USA. Planet Earth
    Should handle as well as any other vehicle.
    Put good springs and shocks and add a properly sized front and rear sway bar.

  3. #3
    Your building a road race worthy Studebaker. Just curious what kind of engine does it have? And what kind of racing are you looking to get into?

  4. #4
    President Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Union Gap, Washington, USA.
    Leave the steering and suspension Studebaker and use taxi cab coils up front and hd leaves in the rear and add that custom traction link set up. If your 9 inch differential is a posi then use it if not then you should use a Dana 44 posi.
    If you car is ugly then it better be fast.....

    65 2dr sedan
    64 2dr sedan (Pinkie)
    61 V8 Tcab
    63 Tcab 20R powered
    55 Commander Wagon
    54 Champion Wagon
    46 Gibson Model A
    50 JD MC
    45 Agricat
    67 Triumph T100
    66 Bultaco Matadore

  5. #5
    Take a look at most ANY other suspension that's setup for racing/(true preformance driving), and copy it..!

    You need to do your homework on suspension design. Learn what does what. How the different upper and lower control arm angles effect what the car does in a turn.
    Parallel control arms are NOT good for perfromance.
    Learn what different pinion angles do to acceleration, etc., etc.

    Rear spring sliders are a reasonably good addition to the back of the car. They remove most all side to side movements that the shackles allow (yes, even short ones).

    Be carefull, heading off into "he did this" or "they did that" territory can get you into trouble without some good knowlege foundation for any changes.


    P.s. - Like I posted a week or three ago, there are many suspension design programs on the internet, both free and fairly cheap. These can go a long way in designing a good suspension.
    But again...nuthin's free. You need to know where you are starting. As they say garbage in...garbage out. Good/accurate...measurements are required to begin any task like this.

  6. #6
    Silver Hawk Member jclary's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Greer, sc, USA.
    Well...according to our "age" poll...I can't claim youth as a reason for ignorance. But, I did not know there was a road-racing class for Station Wagons. Of course, I should not be surprised, if someone built it...someone will race it! Sunday night, during my Sleep-Lab exam, they had a television in the room. Not being used to their cable service/channel selection...I stumbled across a "Chuck Wagon" race.

    Post some pictures, and keep us updated. I'm intrigued.
    John Clary
    Greer, SC
    SDC member since 1975

  7. #7
    Speedster Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    waukesha, wisconsin, USA.
    The Buick spec cargo coil (Moog CC655) might work well. It is a about 330 LB/IN average rate. The Studebaker HD coil is 300 LB/IN rate. The variable rate helps cornering because as the outside spring is being compressed the rate is rising. On the inside the rate is dropping plus there is less stored energy so the inside is less likely to lift. It helps the car stay flatter in a turn. I would use the Blake era HD (increased size) Avanti front and rear sway bars. An Avanti bar will easily fit a Lark frame. It makes tail pipes a little more difficult to fit. Keep the car as low as possible. Hd replacement rear springs will work possibly with a 1" lowering block. Another option is to build a triangulated 4-link using the front leaf spring mount as a mounting point for the lower bars. The upper bars go from the top of your 9" housing out to brackets welded to the frame. A tubular crossmember replaces the shock crossmember and is a mounting point for coil overs. The coil overs mount to the back side of the rear end housing.
    Good Luck.

    james r pepper

  8. #8
    President Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Glendora, California, USA.
    Look for Dan Miller



    He is road racing with a 64 Challenger and you might get some ideas from his car. Your car is 4" longer but has the X-member chassis, which could be an advantage in some respects.

    If you read post #44 in the post below it mentions no wagons allowed. That was back in 2008.



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