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About Gary_Ash

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    SouthCoast, Massachusetts
  1. Colored Pre-War Photos

    Those are great photos, love to see more of them. Probably Kodachrome (1935-2009) - the best film ever! I still have my Kodak Flash Bantam folding pocket camera that used 828 roll film, paper-backed 35 mm Kodachrome unperforated stock, that made 40 mm x 28 mm images, much bigger than standard 24 mm x 36 mm film used in "35 mm" cameras. The 828 images have the equivalent of about 200 megapixels, so the images can be greatly enlarged. I still have lots of Kodachrome slides that have not faded, even after all these years. They even show my hair as reddish-brown, not like the gray color I get with digital cameras now. Mama, don't take my Kodachrome away!
  2. Early 1920s Studebaker ?

    Bernie: Your hubcaps look like they have two flats, not the usual hexagon or octagon shape. Try Google Images for "smooth jaw wrench" to see some options for large adjustable wrenches/spanners that you can buy at a local plumbing supply store. For the ones sold here in the U.S., the smaller Reed adjustable hex wrench is good for 2-5/8" (66 mm) and the larger ones for 4.5" (114 mm). It's hard to tell the size of your caps from the photo. Bring a large dead blow hammer as a persuader. Once you get the car home, you may want to have a steel shop cut a special spanner from 10-12 mm steel plate. Meanwhile, can you just inject some "Slime" into the old tube to seal it up enough to get the car on the trailer? See Surely, they have Slime-like stuff in Melbourne at autoObarn, etc. Try this:
  3. 1932 Studebaker Indy car build

    Yes, Dale, it's because I am trying to move the body skin along and it's not going well! After getting the hood pieces and side panels formed and louvered, I started in on the pieces for the cowl and cockpit area. These need to be "saddle" shaped, so the metal has to get stretched two ways. I (naively) thought I could just use the angle iron cockpit frame as the form, but I didn't really have enough to get the sweep over the cowl and around to the sides. Recognizing I was over my head, I got in touch with Fay Butler in Barre, MA, and drove out there to discuss the issue and enlist his help. Fay has a great shop, teaches metal forming, does projects, and trains apprentices. What he suggested - and we began - was stuffing the cockpit frame with blocks of 2" rigid insulation foam and using a pneumatic sander to shape it to the curves. I need to add on enough rigid foam to make the curve in front of the driver. I have to convince Fay that I am not really a candidate to become an apprentice body former at my age - I just need to get THIS body done. Fay told me about how Harley Earl introduced the concept of precision sweep curves to body design and showed me his sets of curves. These are number such that a #11 curve has a depth of 11/8" over a 60" length. A steeper #50 curve has 50/8" or 6.25" depth at the midpoint of 60" sweep. The trick is to use the sweeps over most of the surfaces and then blend the curves together. While I have a wood body buck allegedly used for the restoration of the tail of the #37 car, he urged me to also fill in this form and use some sweeps to blend the surfaces. I'm going to have to reconstruct and entirely new body buck to do this. In order to get more detail of the cowl shape, I went back to visit Bob Valpey's #37 car last week, took more measurements, and lots of photos. I hope I got enough photos to reconstruct the cockpit and rear body area using some 3D modeling software (Remake). Meanwhile, life has intervened and I've been distracted by serious house remodeling projects, demanding consulting clients, and some health issue of my in-laws. Anyway, here are some photos of Fay at work and the front cockpit frame partly filled with foam. I also included a shot of Fay's giant Yoder power hammer, the one he uses for serious metal shaping. It will stretch or shrink rapidly.
  4. Early 1920s Studebaker ?

    When Mark Bennett was describing to me his restoration work on his 1923 car, he said he had used a door from another car because the sheet metal was in better shape than the original. However, he kept the original door handy to illustrate how Australian rules about "local manufacturing content" were implemented. He said the door skins were probably shipped from Canada in a flat pack and attached to locally-made wooden frames. As evidence of this, the original door was framed in Bunya pine, a tree that grows only in the Queensland part of Australia. [You have to watch out when walking in a forest of Bunya pine trees because they can drop a 10-40 lb pine cone on you from 100 ft up!]. Cars shipped from Canada to Australia would have avoided some import taxes because both countries were part of the British Empire at that time.
  5. Early 1920s Studebaker ?

    The guy you need to meet and talk to is Mark Bennett and his wife Lynne. He lives in a suburb of Toowoomba, Queensland. He has a gorgeous 1923 touring car that we got to see back in February. Mark told us that he bought a lot of 5 or 6 cars of that vintage. He will probably have all the parts you need and can guide you on restoration. His car was assembled in Australia when new. No wire wheels, but nice wood spoke ones. The car looks very similar to yours. His engine does not have the magneto setup, but maybe one of his parts cars does. To get hold of him, see his website where you will find his mobile phone number and email address:
  6. Put them on a pallet, lash then down well, and take them to the YRC terminal in Ocala to be shipped to the YRC terminal in Santa Rosa (32 miles to Cloverdale) where they can be picked up. Be sure the freight classification is "used auto parts". YRC will unload/load from your vehicle with a forklift for free but will not provide any manual labor. It may be even cheaper if you build a box on top of the pallet with 1/2" plywood, 2x4s, screws and glue, and tell YRC that they can stack other loads on top of the crate. Your cost should be well under $300, and they should get there in about a week. Door-to-door and lift gate service from a residence adds lots of money to the cost. I sent 900 lbs of engine, transmission, and driveshaft from Mass. to Kansas for under $200 that way. They charge by the cubic ft, not weight, for auto parts.
  7. 35 Studebaker Dictator Tie Rod Ends

    We need a little more info about your beautiful car. Is it a Model 1A Dictator with solid front axle or 2A with planar suspension (transverse leaf spring)? What's the serial number, because the part numbers changed mid-year on 2A's. Left or right hand drive? In a pinch, measure the taper of the ball stud (large end diameter, small end diameter, length between large and small end) and the thread size (probably 1/2" or 9/16") and stud length. Also get the thread size length where it joins to the tie rod. There may be ends from another car that will also fit. Ends from 1990s Jeep Wagoneers fit my 1929 Studebaker President axle. Moog lists some dimensions of their modern parts on their web site, but will not provide a drawing with all the dimensions nor will they tell you what else might fit due to liability concerns. Here is a list of Moog parts by size and design: You can buy reprints of the 1928-40 Master Chassis Parts Catalog from Studebaker International and other vendors. I attached one page from the book.
  8. How to polish reflectors?

    Try cotton balls. They are very soft, won't scratch. Don't use polyester puffs, too abrasive! If the lampblack doesn't do it, try just a little Bon Ami ["Hasn't scratched yet!" is their motto] and water with a drop or two or dish washing detergent like Dawn. Your grocery store may have some silver wipes which can remove tarnish using mild abrasive and a little chemistry, but keep that as a last resort, as you don't want to remove too much silver. Rinse thoroughly in warm water and pat dry with a soft cotton dish towel. Whatever you use, go slowly and gently, and quit when it's good enough, not perfect.
  9. 1914 SC-4, An Introduction and a Request

    Call the Studebaker National Museum in South Bend, IN and talk to the archives people. If you can give them a part number for the impeller, they might be able to supply a copy of the original drawing. That would make your repair job much easier. For a price, they can have a museum volunteer search the part number and drawing. Part drawings from the 1920s and later are usually there, but I'm not sure about ones from the 'Teens. The Horseless Carriage Foundation may have a copy of an old parts price list for a 1914 SC-4 that might have the part number for the impeller. I can't get their web site to show me how to order it, but maybe you can work it out. See and their home page at A call to their office might work. This might just be a case where 3D printing one stainless steel part could be justified compared to machining one from a hunk of steel using traditional methods. But, you need the drawing first. Good luck!
  10. Independent Makes with a Following

    The Studebaker Drivers Club has over 12,000 members, that for a brand that stopped making cars 51 years ago. I believe it is the largest single-make club. There is also the Antique Studebaker Club with about 1200 members focused on pre-war cars and trucks. The AACA Forum here tends to serve owners of pre-war Studebakers, but the SDC Forum ( has over 9,000 signed-up members (not necessarily SDC members) with more than 1100 of them actively posting. There are more than 1,000,000 posts in about 100,000 threads on the SDC Forum, mostly about post-war cars and trucks, plus more than 17,000 posts here. Additionally, the Studebaker Truck Talk forum, not affiliated with any club, is a very active site for owners of Studebaker trucks of all types and ages. The SDC International Meet in Rhode Island last year drew 300+ cars and 850 people. I'd consider those indications of strong support and following.
  11. Why do we never see original schematics?

    In addition to trade secrets, legal liability is a big issue these days. The makers of small airplanes got sued many times for the crashes of planes 50+ years old, even when the planes had been modified by owners, and accused of faulty original design. Eventually, the aircraft makers went bust, reorganized, and got congressional action to prevent future suits. For both cars and planes, we currently know a lot more about metal strength, fatigue cracking, etc., and we now have great computer tools for analysis and design. No existing manufacturer would want to turn over design and manufacturing drawings, no matter how old. Studebaker owners are fortunate that when the company stopped making cars in 1966, about 70 TONS of drawings dating back to the 1920s or earlier survived and are now housed in the archives building of the Studebaker National Museum in South Bend, IN. For a small charge, the Museum will extract a drawing by part number and make a paper copy. I've used this service many times, including detailed engine block drawings at actual size - they are almost as big as bed sheets. I got the 8-1/2" x 11" drawing for the kingpins for my 1948 truck, thought about reproducing them since the drawing included all the dimensions, material specification, surface finish, and heat treating process. Making a batch of 50 or 100 wouldn't have been too costly, but if any buyer ever crashed or had a steering problem, I would have been on the legal hook, so I didn't. On the other hand, during the 1966 shut-down, all engineering test reports and associated information were deliberately destroyed for liability reasons. A pity!
  12. 1935 Dictator steering peg replacement

    Most of the Ross pegs are pressed into a hole in the cam lever shaft, then welded on the back side. The peg wears where it contacts the worm. You can usually grind off the weld, press the pin out, turn it 90 degrees, and weld it back in place. Good for another 25 years! The cam lever shaft for 1A and 2A Dictators from 1935 is p/n 185554, used on both LHC and RHC cars. The same shaft is used on 1936 and 1937 RHC Dictators, so if you really need another shaft, you might have a chance from another car.
  13. Steering box numbers

    Here's one: 1929 President FH (LHC), s/n 7028315, had Ross box with casting 222982. I think this assembly is part number 158839. If you find out where casting 222994 was used, please let me know. I think this one had a roller bearing as the worm follower instead of a bare pin. Is there a specific one you are looking for? LHC or RHC?
  14. 3D scanning in color - making a mini-me

    I got some more practice creating 3D models. We went to the Collings Foundation museum on Saturday, June 17 for their Father's Day events. This is the only weekend of the year that the museum is open to the public to see the cars, airplanes, and military vehicles. I picked out a 1946 Studebaker midget racer that used the 170 cu in Champion 6 engine with a dual-carb setup. There seems to be no way to post the 3D models themselves from Remake, but here is a link to a 15-second "video" of the model I exported as an .AVI file (115 MB) then downsized it to a 7 MB MP4 video at 640x480 pixels. A photo of the real car is attached below. There were about 48 photos at 5 MB each to create the model. Unfortunately, I couldn't get behind the museum's ropes to capture the back of the car and the other angles, but the model isn't too bad. Video:
  15. 3D scanning in color - making a mini-me

    That file of the Austin Healey was generated from a very small die cast model, not a life-size car. That changes the spatial resolution and the way it is presented. Also, there was more control over lighting than taking photos outdoors. The results are also affected by how many photos are used and the quality level selected. To see all of the thin tubes on the go kart, it would take many more photos and the higher quality resolution - which requires that I pay $5 per file. That would be OK once I learn how to do this well. I did another practice session this evening just before sunset. I parked my Jaguar XJ8 on the driveway and shot about 27 photos using a Canon PowerShot Elph 360 digital camera with ISO speed set to 200. I should have shot more than 50 photos and edited them down to the 50 photos allowed for the free version of Remake. I got a fair representation of the car, but there were holes, etc. that needed to be filled by manual work, though that was quick and easy in Remake. There were also many distorted surfaces. I think it would have been better if I had taken a sequence while standing on a ladder to capture the roof and hood surfaces better. Remake does state that smooth, shiny surfaces are difficult to capture and render, so maybe no surprise. I'm still on Day 1 of the learning curve, so I think I will get better eventually. Here is a .png file of the 3D model. My current PC is a pretty good one, though now 4 years old. It has an Intel I7 processor, 16 GB of RAM, and an Nvidia GTX 660 video card with 1 GB VRAM. Even so, it's not enough to generate Remake files offline, as the software requires a video card with >2GB VRAM. I could buy a new video card for about $230, but what is really needed is a new $3500 PC with 64 GB RAM and a recent video card with 2-4 GB VRAM or more. It's amazing how many problems are solved by the application of cubic dollars!