Friday, September 27, 2013

A Small Update

I'm waiting for a few more parts to arrive, but I haven't ignored the Stude completely. First, I finished mounting the power steering ram and the mounts for the anti-sway bars.

The sway bar is on the floor, so appears a bit small. I'm going to need a hand installing that.
Then I re-connected the brake pedal assembly and started to re-connect the clutch pedal, but since I'm not happy with the angle of the engine/transmission assembly and since I need to modify the inner mount against the new transmission, decided it is best to wait until I lower the front of the engine. So I'm ordering shorter motor mounts for the front. They should be on the way.

And, since I'm a bit closer and I found a 15% off sale, I ordered a new carburetor--an Edelbrock 1403, which is a good match for the size of my engine.

I've talked to the body shop, and I'll have it with me a while longer; the goal is to have it go into the body shop for a quick turn-around this time. So I'm going to get as much done as I can with the car during the time I have it until they have an opening. So more updates soon!

Saturday, September 14, 2013


Today is International Drive Your Studebaker Day.

I don't think I'm going to make it. But I did get the adapters that fit on my spindles so at least the car is rolling again. So, in honor of IDYSD, I rolled it out of the garage for a pic.

Happy IDYSD everyone.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Keeping busy

Sunday found me heading out to clean up the garage a bit. First, I put the old, flat-head 6 that came in the Stude on my engine stand so I have a bit more room on the garage floor. Then I headed under the car to bolt down the mounts.

It was then that I discovered that while the front motor mounts had slipped into place, the studs on the rear mount (on the engine bell-housing) were still resting on top of the cross member. Ah, I figure, they're really close to the holes--I'll just grab the tail end of the transmission and wriggle them into place.

It wouldn't budge.

I discovered that the back of the transmission where the shifter connects was resting very, very firmly against the transmission tunnel. Easy enough to fix: I need to cut a hole out of the tunnel for the shifter anyway. So out with the cut-off discs.

It was easy to wriggle the trans into place after that; notice the little half-moon shaped area at the front of the cut? I needed to remove that to have enough clearance to move the trans, but now that it is in place, I'll fill that in with a bit of sheet metal just to make things pretty.

This evening I finally got the engine and trans securely bolted in place. And since my new front shocks arrived, I went ahead and installed them.

That's a shock in there. Honest.
Next up, I put the flywheel inspection plate in place...

Apologies for the blurry picture, but to be honest, it really isn't all that exciting.
And then I installed the new, shorty starter.

That's enough work for a Monday.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Heavy Lifting Saturday

It was a busy day. I started the day by threading the horn wire through the steering column and then installing it and the pitman arm with its attached power steering control valve and reach rod into the car.

Next, I hooked up the leveler to the engine, pulled out the hoist and got the engine off the stand.

Then I installed the flywheel. When I was torquing the flywheel nuts, I noticed the pilot bushing was still in the crank. Hmm. Well, that shouldn't be a problem, I'll just grab my little hooked screwdriver-like tool I made to clean out the coolant passages in the block and get behind the bushing and pop it out.

Not so much.

Then I tried the old hydraulic method. I packed the opening with grease, slid in a tight fitting dowel rod, and hammered on the end of it. Has always worked like a charm for me before, but not this time. Time for more drastic measures.

I went to Auto Zone and borrowed a pocket hole puller. Took more time to put the tool together than to pull the bushing. What is that saying about having the proper tool?

After that old bushing was out of the way, it was on to the clutch and pressure plate...

Then the transmission is matched up. I always struggle with this a bit, but after a great deal of wriggling, wailing, and whining, it came together.

And now for the fun part--that needs to go into the car. First, of course, I had to remove the shifter. Then it was just a matter of getting it to the right height at the right angle.

With the transmission attached, it was a very tight fit. More cursing ensued, but 30 minutes later, after several adjustments of the angle and height at various stages, I was able to maneuver it into place.

I really need to get that ugly old fan out of there.
Today I'll get everything bolted down--then there's some cleanup to be done around the garage.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Quick status update

Had a fairly productive weekend.

First, I got the freshly rebuilt control arms/kingpins/spindles installed along with the new progressive springs. I had a bit of a struggle with this, until I read on the Studebaker Driver's Club forum where some people unbolt the bottom of the kingpin instead of trying to align the four bolts on the inside of the lower control arm. This helped considerably, and assembly was quick and straightforward.

Note the safety chain--car springs can kill people!

Next, I started to install the new front sway bar assembly--if you recall, I ordered a high performance/heavy duty front and rear set. Installation of this on my car is difficult at best--and requires quite a bit of force. Without the engine in, I discovered that I was lifting the car off of the front jack stands trying to get it in place. So I've decided to wait to put that on when the engine is in and the front end is back on the ground.

You'll also notice that a disk brake rotor/hub is still on the ground--modifications tend to take time. I had forgotten that the front disk assembly requires a specially machined piece to heated and then pressed fit on the spindle. Unfortunately, those special pieces are on the old suspension! I'll have to order a replacement pair (I don't think it is worth the effort to try to remove those--they should be inexpensive to replace but, I imagine, nearly impossible to remove from the old spindles.)

And my brand new shocks for the front don't fit my new lower a-arms. 

So my modifications are slowing me up a little. That's the nature of things.

I did go ahead and put a new shaft and new bearings in the bellcrank--the center around which the steering components spin--sorry no pics, but it really was simple to do. I then installed the tie rods (complete with new ends), and cleaned up the steering box.

That's what the inside of an old-school steering box looks like!
And that's where things are for now.