Sunday, October 30, 2011

What's happening in Stud-e Land, you ask?

The next steps on my project are pretty major.

First, I plan on pulling the seats out, getting rid of the floor covering and, slowly and painfully removing the tar-like anti-rust coating (it has hardened, so this will likely be done with a heat gun and a putty knife--I'll experiment to see if I can find something quicker, but I don't have much hope that it will be anything but a tedious job.) The goal of this is to find any spots that have rust through, or thin metal that needs to be replaced. My initial looks have revealed only one small area that needs to be patched, but I want to be sure; the only way I can do that is to get everything out of the way.

Once the seats are out of it, it becomes difficult to hop in and drive it in and out of the garage when I need the space for other projects, of course.  Since my current daily driver needs some attention (rear brakes and a non-functioning temperature sensor for the climate control) the Stude has been moved outside for a bit. It'll probably be another couple of weeks before I have time to work on it again, so I apologize if things are a bit boring around here in the meanwhile. I'm sure there will be something Studebaker related that I can post up here during that time, though.

If you just visit my site for the pictures, don't worry! I just got back from a few days in Nashville, where I visited the Lane Motor Museum. The Museum has a very nice collection of mostly imported automobiles. You can view my pictures here.  If you're not familiar with the Tatra, a Czechoslovakian car, I think you might be in for a surprise.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Just one of those days

Ever have one of those days when things seem to be against you?

Fortunately, for me, it was just the house that apparently felt neglected and wanted a bit more of my attention. This morning began at dawn, snaking tree roots out of the sewer line after having the toilet overflow on the bathroom floor late last night. And then this afternoon while taking the pics below, one of torsion springs on the garage door broke (it made a surprisingly loud, gunshot-like noise when it did it as well.)

But that said, I had a fairly good Studebaker day. As you can see from the pics below, I have the engine mostly assembled. The machine shop took care of that broken stud for me in the rear main bearing cap, leading to a largely uneventful reassembly.

Please ignore the fan blade and the alternator--those are going to be replaced so I didn't spend any time cleaning them up.

Intake? Going to replace that with a 4bbl model, so might as well leave it off for now.

Valve covers are being prepped for paint.

Colors are close to original for a 53, with a little bling added here and there.

Right now, the valve covers are on it and it is wrapped in plastic on the stand, ready to spend its first night outside the garage. Given the weight of the beast, at least I'm not too worried about someone carrying it off. . .

Update: Garage door fixed, engine nestled safely in the garage. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

oh sh*t!

It was bound to happen eventually.

Tonight I went out into the garage to fit the oil pan side gaskets so I could put the timing cover in place. Being a responsible Studebaker owner, I decided to replace the rear main bearing seal while I was in there, even though the old one didn't show signs of leaking. To remove the rear main seal, I carefully removed the oil pump so I could access both bolts on the rear main bearing cap, then loosened the middle 3 main caps per the shop manual and then removed the rear cap.

Everything looked very good--there was little if any sign of wear on the rear main bearing, and the seal was still supple and sealing well. I carefully removed the seals halves, put in a new ones and torqued down the bearing caps.

I was snugging down the last nut on the oil pump with a small hand wrench when I heard a loud crack and the nut spun freely. I had broken the stud.

It really isn't rusty, that's just my old camera phone under fluorescent lights.
I made a quick attempt to remove the remains of the stud by carefully drilling a hole in it and trying a bolt extractor, but the metal was too soft and it couldn't grab enough material to back the stud out. So I'm not going to take a chance--it is off to the machine shop tomorrow to let the pros take care of it.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Upside down. . .

Busy weekend, but it might not look like it from this pic:

I'll get out the real camera and take a nice pic when it is all together.
I cleaned and painted the heads and got them installed (man, they're heavy--it wasn't worth getting out the engine hoist for just a few minutes of suffering!) Before installing the heads, I had to clean up the mating surfaces, chase out the threads with a tap to make sure they were clean (and I ran the head bolts though a die as well) and then make sure everything that would be inside of the engine was very, very clean.

I also installed the core plugs (aka freeze plugs), the oil filter block, and the motor mount assemblies. Of course, this also meant that I cleaned them up and painted them as well.  In addition, I modified the timing cover to take a more modern, neoprene seal instead of the old felt seal (instructions here, if you're interested) and I cleaned, painted and assembled the harmonic balancer and front pulleys. I also cleaned and started straightening the oil pan. It was a mess--dented, rusty, and of course, grimy.

I have to install part of the oil pan gasket before I can install the timing cover. I've never seen anything quite like it so I'll have to study up on how to do that properly. It is a confusing collection of 4 individual gaskets  made of two different materials. And although I've pretty much figured out where everything goes, nothing seems to quite fit just right.

It is getting there, though. At least there seems to be fewer parts on the floor.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Reverse disassembly

Starting to put the engine back together, cleaning and painting parts as I go. It is slow going, but this is no time to rush.
In 1953, Studebaker painted their engine blocks dark green.