I finally have some significant progress to report on the Stude. Over the past few winter months, I really haven't been working too much on the truck. Its was too damn cold. But the last month and a half I have been able to get some. Over the winter my little brother Ike drew me the picture above, a future drift Stude. Notice the roll cage peaking out the back and the shorter appearance...
I say shorter because I shortened the frame by 8 inches. The trucks wheel base has gone from 117" to 109" The stock Studebaker wheelbase for this model would have been 113".
Here is the rear clip completely removed in order to prep the frame and get ready to weld. I have used the Z cut in order to add some strength to the frame after the cut, plus I will weld a reinforcement plate on the inside of the frame, covering the cut entirely, plus it will have the boxing plate the entire length of the frame. Overkill? a bit, but it will be strong enough to take lots of stress.
Notice something missing? I cut out the back of the cab to make room for the roll cage that will extend out the back of the cab and attach to the frame where the coilovers will be mounted. It was only slightly painful to make this cut.
I am also doing the same 2x1 tubing around the cut out of the cab just like I did on the floor in order to make a good flat mounting place for the cab. This will make it removable, and make a good place to seal the inside from the elements. At this point the roll cage had to be removed.
Here is the finished and welded 2x1 frame for the cab. when the back of the cab was cut out I had took out the cab supports as well. This new frame is much stronger and ties in better.
Here is where the roll cage extends through the cab and too the rear of the frame. The holes in the 2x1 were kind of a pain, and I have some work ahead filling in the gaps. I will attack it when I am doing all the final welding on the cage.
Here is a good side shot showing the newly shortened frame, and the rear roll cage extensions. I think it looks pretty cool.
The lower left picture shows the boxing plate cut and tacked on the passenger side. The frame is just a hair thicker than 1/8" so I opted to go with 3/16" steel for the boxing plate.
While waiting for welds to cool I put together a little mock up of how the bare roll cage/chassis will look. Its not to scale, and its not perfect, but it looks pretty cool. Can't wait to see the real thing all together like this.
Drivers side boxing plate welded on top and partially on the bottom. Did I mention I hate hate hate welding upside down. welds didn't look as nice but they will do the job.
Also made the X cross member after the final welding on the boxing plates. I will also get rid of the ugly, round, and stock transmission cross member and mount the tranny to a removable one built off of the new X bars.
Another big focus on this project in the quality of my welds. I have been practicing, and trying different techniques before doing the actual welding on the truck. I want all of them to be as strong as possible as well as good looking. I may also buy a TIG in the future if I have some extra change, but for now the trusty Lincoln MIG will have to do.
through all of the above work there was only one small casualty on my thumb. Many more updates to come now that the weather is getting warmer every day.
used in this build: