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'53 Stude - Air Over Leaf Install - cont - Mar 4, 2007

First step was to install the lower bracket on the spring. This required loosening the U-Bolts and lifting the axle housing so the bracket could be placed between the spring and housing. This did not leave much of the spring bolt sticking up to position the rear end on the spring. There was enough to get it in place though. I fastened the bottom of the air bag to the lower bracket before installing and offset it one hole to the outside for proper positioning. Once that was done, I place the upper bracket on top of the air bag and positioned it against the frame. Because of the shape of my frame I was only able to line up 3 of the 4 holes on the bracket and have it mounted anywhere close to square. I have confidence that 3 bolts should be sufficient to hold it, but if it proves otherwise we will weld it in place. Once I had the bracket positioned, I clamped it in place and the installed a tire to check clearance. The tire would not even go on, so I took the swazall to the bracket and trimmed off the unneeded portion and checked again. This time there was adequate clearance, so I cleaned up any rough corners and edges with the grinder and gave it a shot of black paint. Next I drilled holes one at a time and bolted them in place to maintain position. Studebaker has a boxed frame and I thought I was going to have to drill all the way through, but there is an access hole right where I neded it so I was able to reach inside the frame to install the nylock nuts and get a wrench on them to tighten them up. I then repeated the operation on the other side. In the pictures below, you can see the installed air bag with the axle lowered and no air, then the airbag with the axle raised and no air, and finally the airbag inflated supporting the weight of the car. I should have dusted the filings from the drilling off for the pictures, but I guess I was over anxious with excitement!
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