Installing a cross member in a 63 Studebaker Avanti

A very common problem with the 63 Studebaker Avanti is the fact that the rear cross member that spans between the rear frame rails and supports the center of the trunk rusts out.  Here is how we replace it.

We start by measuring the width of the frame at the location of the cross member.  After that we cut the rusted one out and  remove the paint from the area where we will be welding in the new cross member.

We remove the paint from the other side also.

Here is the hardware for the rear cross member.

Using the square plate as a template we make a rubber gasket/isolator out of some thick rubber.

We punch a hole in the isolator matching the location of the hole in the mounting plate.

We mark the cross member at the cut locations and cut it to the proper length.  Be sure to cut off some on each end to maintain the location of the under trunk mount.

In order to fit the cross member in we had to undo one of the rear spring shackles.  This allowed us to spread the frame rails just enough to install the new tube.

We bolt the cross member into place before welding it to locate the hole correctly.


We use a ratchet strap to seat the cross member against the frame, setting the frame width that we measured before the old cross member was removed.


We then tack the cross member to the frame.


Once the body is off the frame we weld the cross member in fully.

Rust on this 63 Studebaker Avanti’s rear cross member shouldn’t be a problem for years to come.