Saturday, December 6, 2014

Front Bits

Started off this morning inventorying all the parts I have since everything had been scattered between three different locations. It is easy enough to misplace something in such a situation.

After a few moments staring at the repair and parts manuals, I started to fit the front pieces together. Halfway through just resting the parts in place, I remembered to take a picture:

During this process, I found a little dent on the piece that crosses horizontally through the center, so I will need to repair that before I bolt anything in place.

And as you can tell from looking closely at the above picture, I have a lot more room to move the radiator upwards than I realized without having the fenders in place.

Hard to tell from this angle, but I've got a good 1 to 2 inches that I could move upwards. That much upward movement may even allow me to position the electric cooling fan behind the radiator which I'd prefer.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Back home

Well, she's back home in the garage with a fresh coating of epoxy primer. Overall, the body work is good. The panels are very straight and the gaps are good. But it definitely is a "we're stopping where we're at" job. There are a lot of sanding marks and other minor imperfections. At least it is protected.

My plans at this point are to finish installing all the sheet metal so I know exactly where I'm at in the project. Then I'll decide what to finish up myself and what to have done by whomever I find to paint it.

I also need to figure out how to resurrect a dead AGM battery.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Change of plans

All the small bits
The body shop who was going to paint the Stude wasn't going to be able to get it done in the near future, so I'm looking for a new painter...

Friday, September 26, 2014

Quick update

Stopped by the body shop to check on the Stude, and there's been some work on it since my last visit.

First, both sides of the trunk rear panel have been epoxy primered and prepped:

The trunk lid has been epoxy primered and fitted as well:

And the front fascia has been modified to add clearance for my fan and was fitted as well:

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Northwest Art & Air Festival Car Show

A few shots from the car show this morning...

1957 Studebaker President
Dash view -- 1957 Studebaker President
Folks chatting in front of a 1964 Studebaker Commander

And it wasn't just a Studebaker show:

A Lamborghini Countach made an appearance

And a Volvo P1800ES
Plus a very nice '41 Packard 120

Sunday, August 10, 2014

More window prep

Today I decided to get the side windows out and start cleaning them up.

After some basic cleaning it was apparent the seals were perished and so the frame, which is only on the front and bottom edges, needed to come off.

There are two screws holding the pieces of frame together.

You're not seeing things, I'd already removed the lower screw.
The bottom of the frame slid off easily--I'd sprayed it before hand with a little penetrating oil, which I think helped.  But the front piece was not so willing to be moved. So it needed a little persuasion.

Please, tap very lightly!
Then it was time to really clean things up. So I cleaned up the stainless with 0000 stainless and wd-40, and attacked the lower frame with some degreaser and a scotchbrite pad. Next, I went after the window--after it was clean, I realized that what I thought was overspray on the outer edge was actually delamination, and the yellow paint from the last poor-quality respray had seeped between the edges.

Not good. Looks like it is time for new glass for the side windows (both sides are the same.)

Well, I needed to accomplish something, so I got out the rear wing/vent windows. The glass was in good shape, but the frame of one of them was very rusty--and actually had rusted through in a couple of places.

This is not good either.
Fortunately, I'd picked up a pair of complete rear vent assemblies earlier. I hadn't planned on using the windows out of them, just the latches. But after taking them out and cleaning them up, they were in fine shape. Plus, they're a little fancier than mine; the better-equipped models were stainless instead of painted metal.


 There is another difference--this window is lightly tinted. But since I'm replacing all the other side windows anyway, I'll just get them done in the same tint.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Wing Vents

The wing vents were a mess, and not only needed new glass (they were both cracked) but new rubber weatherstripping as well. So apart they come.

Here's the beginning state.
First, the two screws holding the top pivot have to be removed. (And who knew stainless could rust like that?)

Next I removed the bolt on the bottom pivot, along with the spring. I kept track of order of the washers and shims for reassembly

Now that I had a little more movement in the window, I could easily remove the top pivot by sliding the mount to the side.

Then, after replacing the nut on the end so I wouldn't damage any threads, I gently tapped the bottom pivot out and removed the inner window and frame.

There are two rivets on each end of the outer frame that hold the weatherstripping in place. These must be drilled out (or carefully filed off.)

The glass simply slides in place, but might be a little sticky after all these years. So I ran a razor blade around the edge on both sides, and then carefully slid a screwdriver in the ends and lightly pried to break the seal. Here it is finally broken down:

I won't bore you with the cleaning. First, the surface rust and crud were removed using a wire brush. The inner frame, since it was painted, was sanded and primed, then painted. The outer frame, since it is stainless, was polished using 0000 steel wool and a little WD-40.

Then it was time to install the weatherstripping. This was, by far, the most painful part of the operation. But with patience, a watered-down soap solution for lubrication, and a dull screwdriver to coax it in place, I was finally able to get it installed. If you end up doing one yourself, I found it best to start at the hole for the bottom pivot and work your way outward.

A follow-up with a couple of pop-rivets to lock it in place, and it was ready for reassembly.

And here's the finished product, ready for the glass.

Now time to lather, rinse, and repeat for the other side.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Air Cleaner

I picked up a fairly neat Air Cleaner the other day over at Studebaker John's--a mid-50's Packard air cleaner (I believe) that can be easily switched from an oil bath to a paper filter. Pretty cool.

sorry for the unsteady phone pic!

This said, it has a few problems--there are a couple of small dents and dings and since it had been sitting for a while it had managed to get a manageable size mouse nest inside of it. Unfortunately, since it was sealed there was no way to get into it to remove the nest or get to the backside of the dings to pound them out. So off comes the bottom.

I used a cutting wheel on a dremel--this would allow me to weld the bottom piece back in place later.

And somehow, those nests are always bigger than you expect them to be:

Now that I look at it (and the tubing that was inside this part) there really is a lot of restriction in this air cleaner. Might be better if I open/clean things up a bit:

no going back now
Since I did that, I needed a way to bolt the filter on. I could weld a piece of metal and drill a hole and tap it to thread in a bit of all-thread. But then there'd be this big piece of metal right in the way of the flow. Hmm...I wonder.

A little twist here and there...
And a couple of welds should make that a little better
And it is back together, ready to go be rechromed.

But first, I think I'll see if I can find a filter that will fit slightly better...

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Quick update

On Friday, I dropped my seats and center consoles (I have both a front and rear console) at the upholstery shop. I found an experienced and recommended person who has done numerous Studebakers; unfortunately, he lives 2 hours away. But it is worth it to me for that experience--it should save time down the road, and if I want to drive it on International Drive Your Studebaker Day this year, saving time is very important.

And, back home, I kept cleaning, sanding and painting small parts. My pile is growing:

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Orphan Car Show - Oregon City

Saw quite a few Studebakers today at the Orphan Car Show in Oregon City--some of my favorites:

Love the flamingos (Phoenicopterus plasticus) next to this pair of nice Larks!

That cream yellow Cord has nothing on the 38 Commander next to it.

I passed by this 50 Commander on the drive up here

A nice 50 Starlight Coupe -- the predecessor to my car

Nice 53 Starliner

And a pair of 63s, a Superchaged Avanti with a 4-speed and a very well restored GT Hawk

Sunday, June 15, 2014

heater blower assembly

The heater blower assembly mounts under the passenger fender, taking fresh air in from the fender vent on that side and then pushing the air back to the under seat heater core by means of a long tube, similar in size to the dryer vent in your home. Since my car didn't come with a heater, most of this assembly was missing and I'd purchased more than enough bits earlier on to piece together what I needed.

So going through my box of heater parts, I picked through what looked like the best of the lot, and started disassembling and cleaning things up. My first problem came when I discovered that the blower fan was stuck on the motor shaft. I couldn't even get it to release with a gear puller. So out came the dremel with the cutting wheel.

That done, I could remove the motor and replace it with a new one (Napa part #655-1020 is a direct fit.) A quick browse through my parts bin found another fan to replace the one I cut off.

Even though the parts aren't visible, I finished my clean up, removed the little bit of surface rust with a wire brush and wheel, and then painted them up--should be good to go for another 60 years.

Friday, June 13, 2014

And then more sanding

Stopped in on the way home from work to get some measurements for a temporary seat and saw that the car was back together and getting worked on. Good to see.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

The little bits...

Just because my car is off to the body shop doesn't mean there's not a lot to be done. There are still hundreds of little pieces that bolt onto it, and all those things need to be cleaned up, reconditioned where needed, and if they'll take it, spruced up with a little paint.

I decided a good place to start (largely because I keep tripping over them) were the horns.

The Stude has two of them, a high and a low pitched one (marked with the letters H and L) and while they work, the power wire coming out of the horns is a bit brittle. I figured how hard can it be to replace it? Plus they were just a filthy mess--years of travel under the front end of the car had left their toll; that, combined with quite a bit of overspray from previous paintjobs and they definitely needed attention.

So up on the bench. The cover, a sheet metal dome, is held in place by some bent-in tabs around the edge--by carefully prying those up with a screwdriver, I found out what the inside of an old horn looked like.

My inspection found the internal wiring to still be in very good shape--still supple and well connected. So I decided to just replace the power wire.

The power wire is held in place by a combination of a bent over tab and some solder. It took quite a bit of heat to finally be able to pry that tab open--called for a bit of patience.

After it was finally free, I pounded out the dents in the domed cover, brushed off the dirt and surface rust, sanded it down, primed and painted. Then on to the next.

Not perfect, but good enough for something you have to crawl under the car to view. On to the next bit.