Saturday, July 30, 2011

I'm not sure I'm tall enough!

I put the engine on the stand today (finally) and wow, is that thing way up in the air.

Doesn't look nearly as filthy in the picture.

Back to the waiting game. Can't do much to it at this point until parts come in but at least I can move it around the garage.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


Not much to report. I'm still finishing up that bass guitar (the electronics are very complex for this one) I've been working on, so that's taking a good bit of my time. But I ran into a problem with that project that required some thinking time [a particular circuit was working but not as anticipated] so I decided I'd clean up the transmission and rear end.

Oh, I also went to a scrap metal recycler in nearby Albany this weekend to get some plate metal to use to attach my engine to my engine stand--they didn't have quite what I was looking for, but I found something that will work. Or at least should. But it is bigger than I need so will have to cut it down to size. I thought I should tell you about this so you'd know why I didn't start cleaning the engine yet.

But back to the cleaning. Yeah, they were dirty. I scraped years of crud off, then soaked it with a green-colored, non-toxic, biodegradeable cleanser followed up with a few minutes under my pressure washer. Once dry, I hit it again. I even painted the rear end (nothing fancy--not like it will be very visible, but it will keep it from rusting.)

You can tell a lot about the differential from this pic.

With new brake lines and hose attached. I'm not pleased with the quality of the line fitting, but more on that later.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

I loves the internets

I knew the engine I purchased was a late model studebaker since it was a "full-flow" block. [This basically means that all the oil in the car flows through the oil filter--it is easy to identify a full-flow block because it has a spin-on type oil filter located on the lower portion of the engine block just like a modern car.] But who knows, it could have been a 259 cubic inch motor from a lark put in there at a later date, instead of the 289 cubic inch motor I suspected.

So, after a visit to the Studebaker Driver's Club V-8 identification page to know where to look, I cleaned up the appropriate place on the block to find the ID stamping:

This stamping is found on the front left of the block right on the top.
The PK309 identifies it as a 289 cubic inch engine in a 1964 Hawk or Lark.  The K portion is the month  of manufacture (October) the 3 is the year (1963) and the 09 is the day.  So my engine was built October 9, 1963--an appropriate engine for the car. I suspect this was original.

Thanks to my buddy Jon, the booty shown below was quickly unloaded and secured in my garage. This evening I separated the engine from the transmission, then removed the clutch assembly and flywheel in preparation to place it on the engine stand--this will have to wait until tomorrow as, unfortunately, the hardware store (and pretty much everything else in the small town I live in) closed at 6 p.m. so I was unable to procure the longer,  hardened bolts needed to mount it to the stand.


The careful observer will notice springs, a rear end (with the nice-sized finned drums) and a drive shaft. The little bits, such as perches, nuts, bolts, etc., are in a box in the cab.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

"If you want to test a man's character, give him power"

Confession time. I was weak, and in response to Abraham Lincoln's test of character, I found power irresistible. But I'm starting this story in the middle.

Early in the week I received the July newsletter from my local chapter of the Studebaker Driver's Club, and like anyone in the endless quest of finding rare bits and pieces of an automobile (also known as "restoration") I quickly scrolled to the end of the file to the classified ad section, where I found this:

1964 Studebaker Hawk Running Gear. Very good running 289, 3 sp w/od, 373 rearend w/recent brakes and wheel cylinders.  Gets 25 mpg and has 60 pounds oil pressure going down the road. Come hear it run and go for a ride!
I called the number and talked to Jay, the owner. Jay, who has a trophy winning 53 Champion Coupe and is hot rodding a second, had purchased this car a couple of years ago but found it too rusty to restore; however, he did use it as a daily driver for the last year and a half. He's now ready to pull the dash and other electronic bits out of it for his hot rod Stude, and so is ready to pass along the parts to another club member.

So this morning I headed across the valley to go take a look. Jay started it (it started right up and ran like a sewing machine) and let it warm up as we walked around looking at his other vehicles. Then we hopped into it and he drove us down the two lane rural highways about 10 miles or so, then pulled over and let me drive back. The car maintained that 60lbs of oil pressure the entire trip, never skipped a beat, and, when we were back, had 40lbs of oil pressure at idle.

And it gets better. I crawl underneath and look at the rear end to discover that it is a Twin-Traction unit; the twin-traction is a Dana 44 limited-slip differential. It also has 11-inch, finned-drum brakes, which should be a better match to my front disc set up.

The price for the entire drive line was far less than half of what I'd spend on the go fast bits for the Champion 6-cylinder. . .

I'll be going back next weekend to pick up the parts.

The "new" powerplant, glistening in the sun after we removed the hood.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Finally--a little progress.

I took advantage of some down time in my other project (waiting between coats of paint) to work on the brakes. I've been anxious to get the brake lines in place, but thinking about it, I decided that I really needed to get the master cylinder in place first.

On a modern car, the master cylinder is typically located directly in front of the driver, just under the hood. Not so with cars from the early 50's. The master cylinder in my old studebaker is directly under the driver's feet, bolted to the frame.

It had been so long since my last post, that I didn't remember to take a pic until I had the master cylinder (above) almost out.
The shop manual is typically very accurate with instructions for going about this sort of thing, but in my case it failed to mention some pieces that I needed to remove to get to a couple of little clips (I suppose they thought if I couldn't figure it out I shouldn't be doing this sort of thing.) After a bit of head scratching, I finally got it out.

Old and tired master cylinder. Note the single hydraulic outlet at the back
Since I'm modernizing the braking system with front disk brakes, I also need to modernize the master cylinder. This requires a special bracket and dual master cylinder, which as you'll recall I got from Turner Brake, the same vendor who provided the disk brake conversion. Here's the bracket installed--it wasn't difficult at all.

Here's a crappy picture of a shiny master cylinder bracket.

One thing--I removed the hill holder assembly as part of this. I need to rebuild it. At this point, I'm going to set it aside, and get things running without it. It will be easy enough to plumb into the system at a later date.

Been a while; it sure feels good to be working on the ol' Stude again.