Saturday, October 26, 2013

Rear sway bar installation

This morning I decided to install the heavy duty rear sway bar.

My car did not come with a rear sway bar; fortunately though, it was an option, so the holes were already in the frame for it. And since the new heavy duty front sway bar is about twice the diameter as the stock one, I really need to have a matched one in the rear to make the car handle normally.

So, car safely on jack stands, I head under to remove the metal plate that holds the rear axle and springs in place. First off comes the shock, and the four nuts holding it on.

Then the new plate, with the extra tab for the sway bar drop links, is bolted into place.

Next up, the bushings and mounts are put on the sway bar (the hardest thing I had to do during this procedure.)

Then the sway bar is bolted in place...

In the top center of the pic you can see the back of the transmission, visible through the center bearing housing.
Then the drop links are added, completing the job.

And yes, the front pinion seal on the differential is leaking.  :(
 Much easier than I had anticipated, although having recently swapped out the rear end made it much easier. Careful observers will note that the rear shocks are missing; I have to replace those with newer models that match the new plates. There is always an unexpected price to pay for modifications.

And speaking of the unexpected, I was removing a bolt on the top of the frame to clear the opening for the sway bar bushing mount. I put a hand wrench on the top of the bolt, and, since it was resting against the frame and seemed to be secure, I left it in place while reaching for my socket wrench. When I turned back around, the hand wrench came flying off, landing tip first (unfortunately, not the box end) on my forehead. There was a bit of swearing, followed by more swearing when I realized I was bleeding. A quick run inside to clean it up, apply pressure and a butterfly, and I was back out to finish up the job.

One of the many costs of building a restorod

Sunday, October 20, 2013

A little this and that

Just a quick update: I'm still in waiting mode for a couple of things, but my short motor mounts and the remainder of the pieces I needed to bolt down my valve covers arrived, so I got those things taken care of this weekend.

I didn't take any pics of the motor mount install, but it was very simple--attach the engine hoist to the two forward most bolts on the intake manifold, remove the nuts on the mounts, raise the engine, remove the mounts, slide in the new ones, lower into place, tighten things back up. Pretty easy, and I'm very happy about the angle of the transmission now--it looks like I can get by with using a two-piece drive shaft so I won't have to remove that cross member.

New mount in place

Today, I had some chores to take care of around the house, but did have a chance to get those valve covers buttoned down. The breather caps are stock Studebaker, down to the STP stickers.

The engine is a little dusty from sitting so long, but I think it is looking pretty good.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Progress report

Things have slowed considerably.

This is mostly due to modifications I've chosen for the car: had I kept the car stock, it simply would've been a matter of putting things back on the way they were removed. But first, let's show some accomplishments:

I took a trip over to Studebaker John's last weekend and picked up a few parts--a new fan assembly (shown installed in the picture above) some gas pedal linkage (installed but not visible in the picture) and a frame strengthening component known as a "bat wing" in Studebaker circles. Right now, that looks like a long, rusty piece of metal--I'll do some before and after pics when I install that.

So, since I'm still waiting for my "short" motor mounts to arrive, I decided to work on some other things. I experimented with a few clutch actuator rods, but didn't quite find one that was the right size: I'll either have to modify one, make a new one, or find the right one from a used parts vendor.

Since that was a bust, I decided it would be a good time to install the rear anti-sway bar (mainly because I was tired of tripping over it in the garage.) This started well--there were already holes in the frame for the mounts. But I'm missing a couple of pieces: the pieces that link the bar to the rear axle plates and the axle plates provided with the kit were for a newer Studebaker than mine, so my shocks won't match up. I'll give the guy who makes the kit a call this week to see if I can get those things shipped my way. Fingers crossed, I won't need to change out my rear shocks since they're brand new.

The moral of this story is modifications might be nice in the end, but they sure add a bit of time to a project.

Thursday, October 3, 2013