Sunday, January 18, 2015


Here are some relevant numbers

1960 Studebaker Champ
  Model: 5E12
  ICE: 259 cu in V8, 180 HP @ 4500 RPM, 260 ft lbs @ 2800 RPM
  Wheelbase: 122"
  Clutch: Borg & Beck 1448
  Clutch Torque: 290 ft lbs (40 kg m)
  Pressure Plate: 1929 lbs (875 kg)
  Propeller shaft wall: 0.065"

  Axle: Spicer 60, 5000 lb ground rating, 4.27 gear ratio
            Hypoid floating banjo

  Front springs: 9 leaves, 950 lb normal load, 275 lbs/inch
  Rear springs: 14 leaves, 2100 lb normal load, 420 lbs/inch

  Steering: Gear = Ross  Axle = Clark
  Turning radius: 24'8"

  Transmission: Warner T98  (6.4, 3.09, 1.69, 1.0)
  Torque capacity: 260 ft lbs

  Tires: 7.00 x 16
  Wheels: Kelsey Hayes - 8 studs, 16x6L standard

  RPM = (MPH * Gear Ratio * 336) / Tire Diameter
  RPM @ 65 MPH = 3216 = (65 * 4.27 * 1.0 * 336) / 29

UQM Powerphase 100
  Max Torque: 0 - 3000 RPM
  Peak Torque: 221 ft lbs (300 NM)
  Avg Torque: 110 ft lbs
  Peak HP: 134 HP
  Avg HP: 80 HP
  Peak Power: 100 kW
  Avg Power: 60 kW

  Length: 10.9"
  Diameter: 11.25"
  Weight: 110 lb

  Length: 16.5"
  Width: 15.5"
  Height: 7.1"
  Weight: 61 lb
  Normal Voltage: 300-370 VDC
  Operating Voltage: 270-425 VDC
  Min Voltage: 230 VDC
  Max Input Current: 400 Amps

Batteries, n = 100
  Model: CALB CA180FI
  Type: LiFePo4, Lithium Iron Phosphate
  Voltage: 3.2 VDC
  Power: 576 Watt Hours
  Weight: 12.4 lbs
  Total Power: 57,600 Watt Hours
  Total Weght: 1,240 lbs


Tim has replaced the rear leaf springs and has the bed hinged.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Getting closer on the paint

 Here are a few photos of the paint job.  It's looking great!

 Click to enlarge.


After speaking to the management team, we have decided to turn this into an internal, bb7 spare time project.  I'm excited to be sharing the project and am looking forward to how this will shape the final outcome.

In other news, the painting is complete and Tim is reassembling the truck.  I'm still waiting on replacement leaf springs for the rear suspension.  They are due today.  Tim will install them, finish the sand blasting and then finish his portion.

After that we will bring Stu to bb7 and squeeze him into the shop for the next phase.

One of the concepts Jason and Rob have come up with

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Out with the old

I started researching electric vehicles by talking to my brother Tim.  He had converted an S-10 pickup truck several years ago.  He gave me some internet links and some practical knowledge.  His conversion used lead acid batteries so his range is fairly limited.

No turning back now
While I was researching EV (electric vehicles) I started dismantling my truck.  Fenders off, ICE (internal combustion engine) out.  It had been a long time (35 years) since the truck was dismantled.  Quite a lot of rust had settled in.  A grinder came in handy to make short work of seized up bolts.

Getting edumacated in EV has been difficult.  There is so much stuff on the internet.  Quite a bit of it is getting dated.  Additionally, quite a few people converted their vehicles for very short trips.  While this is pretty cheap, it doesn't serve my purpose which is to use it as a daily driver, April - September.  Since my commute is about 40 miles round trip, I started looking at fancier solutions.

I also started looking into body shops.  Although I've become more skilled at building and repairing things over the years, I have also learned to realize when I'm in over my head.

For the quality of restoration I wanted, I needed a pro.  The first quote was $25,000!  Yikes.  However, I was then led to a much more reasonable body man.

New floorboards and undercoating

I have nothing but good things to say about Tim Everson.  He is doing a bang up job.  He has cut out all of the rust and welded in new metal.

Back together for fitting

Dents are removed and he blocked the whole truck.
Starting reassembly
Here's Tim

It's looking great.  Tim will be wrapping up his work in the next week or so.

Kicking things off

In November, my friend Juice & I brought my 1960 Studebaker Champ truck to its new home at Walnut Bank.  After replacing the fuel pump and battery, it started right up, after sitting for five years in Juice and Judy's back yard.  I drove it to Stoughton and back and by the time I was home it was smoking like crazy due to oil leaks and such.

I backed it into the garage, opened the hood and pondered.

At the Walker reunion - 1985 (That's Adam in front)
The truck and I have been together since the summer of 1977.  I pulled it from the back lot of my families' International Harvester dealership in Bargersville, Indiana.

The truck was a farm truck, rode hard, and put away wet.  All the windows were broken, the floorboard was pretty much gone, the cab sagged, the brakes were bad.  In short, it was perfect for a 19 year old kid.

Tim adding auxiliary seating

My buddy John and I fixed it up, the best that we knew how.  I rebuilt the engine, replaced the brakes, new windows, sand blasted, painted, learned to weld and patched the floorboards.  Being kids, we didn't really know what we were doing.  We got 'er done, but it was a pretty crummy job.

Over the years, I've fixed up several times.  Each time a bit better.  It's been stored in numerous barns.  It's been up to its carburetor in a flood.

Adam after learning to drive the truck
Neil after learning to drive the truck

Ready for surgery
When Adam turned 16, we brought it Wisconsin and fixed it up yet again.  We replaced the clutch, put on new safer brakes and added seat belts (like that would help).

1960 model 5E12 Studebaker Champ
  • 3/4 ton
  • 259 cu in V-8
  • 140 HP
  • Spicer 60 rear axle 4.27 gear ratio, 5000 lb ground rating
  • Warner T98 4-speed transmission, ratios: 6.4, 3.09, 1.69, 1.0
  • Turning radius 24'8"