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Everything posted by Gary_Ash

  1. Gary_Ash

    Clutch Rebuild

    Ft. Wayne Clutch - Good quality, prompt, fair prices.
  2. I'm getting ready to have a 1937 Studebaker President 250 cubic inch straight 8 engine rebuilt. It's a flathead, valves in block. I have the cast iron head that came on the engine and also a nice-looking aluminum head that I would like to use as it has higher compression. It seems like a good idea to leak check the head for cracks and internal corrosion holes before I have the engine shop bolt it on. Besides a dye penetrant test on the visible surfaces, what other methods of testing can be used? It would be nice to pressure test it, but there are so many holes for studs and cooling passages that it seems I'd have to make a heavy steel blank-off plate to do that. Also, I'd like to polish the aluminum head. What types of buffing wheels and grit do I use?
  3. Gary_Ash

    How to leak check aluminum head?

    I talked to Bill A. at the Studebaker meet in Tacoma last month about the aluminum head. He said the foundry got the first one "almost right" - but not quite. It seemed a simple, solvable issue. At least the 3D CAD file exists for the head and core. The core was 3D printed, so it's a one-at-a-time, expensive process, but the market for aluminum heads for 250 cu. in. Studebaker straight 8 engines is pretty small - say me, him, and maybe two other guys. I put the head in my degreaser tub, scrubbed it with diluted purple cleaner, and power washed it. That made a good difference, but there are still some stained areas. See photos below for before and after. I'll go over it with some SOS/Brillo pads, maybe hit it with a little diluted ZEP-A-LUME truck wash. I can go buy a bag of glass beads, dump the Black Beauty out of my sand blaster cabinet, and go at it gently if it still needs more. I will resist the temptation to polish the head, thank you all! Stude17's leak test method is pretty much what is done for liquid penetration leak testing. A dye-containing solution is sprayed on the metal, allowed to sit, and then wiped or rinsed off. Then, a developer solution is sprayed on. Dye that oozes out of cracks can be seen against the white developer or under UV light. I think it's the best method for non-ferrous parts. The engine shop can do this for me. You can buy a kit to do this for about $60: For pressure testing, I would NEVER use compressed air because the part can fail and explode like a hand grenade [don't make potato guns out of PVC tube!] Better to fill the part with water with a pressure gauge attached to the part, shut the water inlet valve, and see if the pressure gauge stays the same over an hour or so. For these old engines designed with non-pressurized cooling systems, I'd be wary of going much over 10-30 psi for pressure testing. With pressurized water, if the part fails, you hear a little "ping" and some water drips out, but no flying shrapnel. I've done this on industrial parts to 3000 psi.
  4. Gary_Ash

    Unsung inventors

    I'll nominate Curt Saurer as an unsung inventor. One of his key inventions was rubber vibration isolated motor mounts, but his life story is very interesting. See the linked PDF for his story. was only a motor mount- Gary Ash.pdf
  5. Gary_Ash

    How to leak check aluminum head?

    Mark: I like that idea!
  6. Matt: The finish machined crankshaft is P/N 514773, used on 1935 Commanders and Presidents and on 1938-42 Presidents, according to the 1934-46 parts catalog. However, the 1929-40 parts catalog shows crankshaft 190818 used in 1935 and 1938-40. The 1936-37 Presidents used crankshaft part number 189517 - the two you have - don't know what was different. See the 1929-40 parts catalog. Have Andy Beckman check the drawing tree to see what the raw forging number would have been. The 176524 crankshaft you have is probably from about 1932. Dave Thibeault has cam bearings for these engines. The valve springs are P/N 188645 used on Commander 6's and Jet Thrust V8s. There must be some other valves that can be used, though your own Stephen Allen's website shows the 187169 inlet valve and 189820 exhaust valve in stock. Note that the original 1934-46 parts catalogs misprinted the exhaust valve number as 189120. Pistons can be supplied by Ross or Arias. I was told that crankshaft main bearings in non-standard sizes are NLA, but that old shells can be re-babbitted and line-bored to whatever dimension is needed. Read Ford Stoecker's article in Antique Studebaker Review, May-June 2000, about rebuilding his 1937 President engine.
  7. Gary_Ash

    Modern castable Bakelite replacement material needed

    How about using Devcon Plastic Steel Liquid? It is pourable, gets hard and strong, will take the heat and hot water, is machinable, and can be polished and painted. It might be better to cast the liquid over the threaded brass part rather than trying to glue it in after casting. The mold can be made from flexible urethane or silicone rubber using your old part (cleaned and polished/painted) as a master. Don’t forget to use mold release before pouring the Plastic Steel.
  8. Gary_Ash

    Charging the breakaway battery?

    I have wondered how to maintain the breakaway battery during those months the trailer doesn’t get used. At my local trailer dealer recently, I saw that he had assembled a piece of plywood with some bolts marked + and - , connected them via a pigtail to a round 7-pin receptacle like you would have on the back of tow vehicle. Then he could hook up a battery charger to charge any trailer-mounted batteries. I think I’ll assemble one of these and use a small solar charger to keep the break-away battery topped up. My trailer gets parked a long way from a convenient AC outlet.
  9. Gary_Ash

    rear diff ratio's in 1931

    Rex: No, I don't have a 3.09 gear set, only the 3.31 gears. I think that may limit the top speed of my Indy car replica to about 110-120 mph. 😁
  10. Gary_Ash

    rear diff ratio's in 1931

    The 1928 Commander GB and EW cars had 3.31 ratio as standard, 3.09 available as an option. These cars has the slow-turning old 6 cylinder engine, but the Victoria coupes and small sedans could handle the lower ratio for decent speed. The Studebaker Indy cars of 1931-33 used these axles with 3.09 ratio to go 120-140 mph on 18" or 19" tires while turning 4000-4400 rpm. Now all you have to do is find one of these axles and fit it to your car. A more-modern Dana 44 axle might also fit and provide a choice of ratios. On the other hand, an overdrive transmission might be all you need to cruise at 55-65 mph. Jerry Kurtz might be able to convert your transmission. The Warner overdrives had a 0.7 ratio, so even a high numerical ratio axle delivers decent speed. My 1948 M5 truck with 4.82 rear end cruises nicely at 60-65 mph with overdrive.
  11. Gary_Ash

    1932 Studebaker Indy car build

    This weekend's adventure was a shocking experience - so to speak. While moving some things in the garage, I stumbled across some steel pieces that I had obtained from the laser cutting shop a long time ago; they were the parts to make the mounts for the front shocks. They were cut from 3/16" steel plate, and some pieces were formed to align the mounting tabs. I figured it was time to weld them together before they got lost. I dug out my collection of large Houdaille shocks and some shock links. These were used on early 1930s Studebaker Presidents and other large cars of the period. It's hard to find the right ones, though the smaller ones, as used on Fords and 1940s Studebakers, are common enough and even reproduced. The largest pieces for the mounts bolt to the sides of the frame rails using the bolts for the radiator support. I carefully laid out where the mounting holes were to go and drilled them about .008"-.010" oversize. Fortunately I got the holes in the right place so the bolts slipped in easily. The tab goes into the top of the frame rail and that had to be aligned vertically, as well. There is a front plate to attach the shock with two 1/2" bolts and some gusset pieces for strength. All in all, it took a lot of welding and grinding to put things together. While I don't have the exactly right links, I put two links in place to see how things aligned. I think the arms need to be cut down from 7.25" length to 5", and they may need to be bent forward or backward so that the links line up with the axle holes. Those old links hadn't been disassembled in 85-90 years, so the old grease was hard and dirty. I'm planning on sending the shocks to Apple Hydraulics to be rebuilt and to have the arms cut, welded, and bent to shape. With luck, they will have some links that can be used. The rear shocks will mount directly on the frame rails, but the arms may also need some mods. If you have some adjustable shock links that fit these shocks, I do need a few more.
  12. Gary_Ash

    1932 Studebaker Indy car build

    I'm in the middle of building a replica of a 1932 Studebaker Indy car. There was a prototype in 1931 (Hunt-Jenkins Special #37) and four more factory-sponsored cars in 1932. Most of them still exist, in one form or another. One (#22) is in the Indy Speedway Museum. I had a frame made by Charlie Glick in Paris, IL. He did a very good job copying the chassis of the car in the Indy Museum, but there are a few niggling details that I need to adjust. I've been drawing the car in 3D CAD to get the parts placement right. This week, I discovered, several years after getting the chassis, that rear frame end is about 7 inches low compared to the original cars. The photo of #22 below shows the rear spring shackle eye at about the same height as the top of the frame rail. The other cars look about the same. Here's a plan I am thinking about: I can live with moving the rear spring shackle eye up about 3 inches or so, don't need all 7 inches. However, any change at all involves cutting the frame about where the kickup is highest over the rear axle. The chassis is basically a "C-section" there about 4.6" high with 2" deep flanges top and bottom. 1/8th inch thick steel. I think I can cut a pie slice out of the chassis rails about .6" wide at the top flange and narrowing to a point at the bottom flange, but leaving the bottom flange uncut to keep things aligned. Then I can rotate the back 20 inches or so of the frame upward about 7.5 degrees and re-weld it. I can bevel the cut edges, weld on both sides, grind it smooth, then weld on a 1/8"-1/4" thick gusset or fish plate on the back side of each rail where it won't show. Has anyone cut and re-welded a chassis like this? I don't like butt welds for this but I don't see any other choices, and an overlapping gusset plate should restore the stiffness. The rails are mild steel, not high strength alloy. They make stretch limos and re-weld the frames, but usually the frame rails don't show - mine do, so I can't gusset both sides or box the rails. Any suggestions? More pictures and info about the project on my web site at
  13. Gary_Ash

    1932 Studebaker Indy car build

    Here's one more shot of the wired edge to show the back and underside. For as complex as the curve was, both Wray and I were surprised that it came out smooth, without wiggles. All the filing and sanding took away any last wrinkles and bumps from shrinking the metal by hammering it down against the wire as it was folded over. I've seen adjustable, curved body files with curved teeth before, but he also had a fixed one with about a 10" radius and another fixed one with about a 6" radius that curved 180 degrees. I'll have to get a photo of those on my next visit. Incidentally, Wray has been playing with gas mixtures for TIG welding aluminum, claims that a 50-50 helium/argon mixture makes a hotter, more controlled arc using his Everlast 210EXT welder. [I have the same welding machine at home.] He has his machine set up for 250 Hz AC excitation with 6-8 pulses/sec, AC balance at 35%, uses about 80 amps for 0.060" type 3003 aluminum. The TIG electrodes are 2% lanthanated tungsten, 3/32 diameter. For butt welding, he does tack welds with the pulse off at about 90-100 amps, then welds both sides at the lower current. When there is zero gap between the parts, these welds are done as fusion welds without feeding filler rod. They are very smooth and as strong as the parent metal, no cracking even when bent back and forth many times or beaten with a mallet on a sand bag. Impressive!
  14. Gary_Ash

    1932 Studebaker Indy car build

    Once the cowl welds were smooth, I bent up an 84-inch length of 1/4" hot rolled steel rod to match the cowl contours for wiring the edge. It took several hours to get the 3D curve close enough to match the aluminum cowl without too much strain. I then trimmed the edge to allow 3/4" width to wrap around the wire. Wray used the acetylene torch to lay down a layer of soot, then turned on the oxygen to heat the metal where the soot was. When the soot burns off, the metal is warm enough to be annealed. He did the process twice to be sure the metal was fully soft, then used some parallel-jaw pliers to start bending the edge around the wire at the center of the cowl. Once it was trapped, he turned it over to me to work the bends out to both sides and crimp the edge tight to the wire with some special pliers along with a hammer and dolly. When everything was tight, I used a set of coarse body files to take off remaining lumps and bumps, then hand sanded it smooth with 80 and 120 grit paper. Basically, the wiring process took a day and half - and that's with Wray's 13-hour work days, all hand work without machines. I - and Wray - are happy with the resulting wired edge. Lots more to on the sheet metal, but we're making real progress.
  15. Gary_Ash

    1932 Studebaker Indy car build

    The trailer is an EZ Hauler brand from Alcom, built in Maine in under 3 weeks, all aluminum, about 2200 lbs. It towed very well behind my Expedition EL (6000+ lbs). This was the first trip. We finished off the welds on the cockpit, sanded them down smooth, planished the seams to level them. I’ve been trimming the lower edge of the metal to get a good, tight fit over the framing. I also ran the hood pieces through Wray’s big English wheel to smooth out some rough spots. Wray says he can feel bumps or hollows of 0.004” by running his fingers over the metal. They look much better now. It’s good to have the whole car in the shop to make things fit. Work days at Wray’s start at 9:00 am, end at 10:00 pm, a long day for us old guys!
  16. Gary_Ash

    1932 Studebaker Indy car build

    I'm off for a long weekend at Wray Schelin's ProShaper shop, hoping to get the cockpit section finished and most of the tail section done. I finally broke down and bought a 20 ft long enclosed trailer (see separate thread in main page) that will hold the Indy car and my 1948 Studebaker pickup (6'-6" tall). My wife and I rolled the chassis out of the garage, down the sloping driveway, and into the trailer. We gradually moved some wood blocks ahead of the car so it wouldn't get away from us. With the car only 14 ft long, there is lots of space in a 20 ft trailer with Vee nose. This will get easier once the engine is rebuilt and I order the radiator. I hoping to enlist some helpers at Wray's to knock out the aluminum pieces needed for the tail. Incidentally, I painted the trailer ramp with Rustoleum oil-base paint with some grit mixed in for wet-weather traction and installed some of the Elite Garage Floors 55-mil polyvinyl flooring inside to catch the grease and oil that I know the cars will leak. I'll post some photos of the session at Wray's.
  17. Gary_Ash

    WHAT IS IT ???????

    Looks like an early version of the Burgess air cleaner. The cans were scientifically designed with baffles to damp out the sound made by a carburetor at wide open throttle. The air cleaner part used cellulose fiber (wood shavings?) soaked in oil to trap dust. The Burgess Silencers were part of the Burgess Battery Company. The shapes evolved in the 1930s to something we would recognize more easily. Wasn't this covered a year ago?
  18. Gary_Ash

    Followup to having curved glass windows made

    Windshields are normally laminated by placing a thin layer of polyvinyl butyral (PVB) between the two glass sheets, placing the assembly in a vacuum bag made of high-temperature plastic film and breather sheets of non-woven material. The bag is placed in a large autoclave where each bag is connected to a vacuum pumping port. The air in the bag, especially between the glass and PVB layer, is removed while the glass is cold. The autoclave is then heated to about 285 degrees F and the pressure raised to about 225 psig for 20 minutes or so, then allowed to cool. This should produce a highly adherent assembly without bubbles. The bag/autoclave process works on any shape glass, whereas heated rollers might not be able to cover all the surface of a complex shape. An autoclave is typically a large cylinder, say 6-10 ft diameter x 10-20 ft long, made of heavy steel. Be prepared to spend $500,000 or more to have one in your garage. About 40 years ago, I was responsible for developing a process to dye the PVB material specific colors for filtering the light from very large TV tubes used for FAA radar displays, early computer screens, and similar applications. The FAA tubes needed laminated glass so that an exploding/imploding tube wouldn't send the electron gun into the face of the guy staring at the tube. It took special dyes to obtain the right colors without non-uniformity, similar to the dyes used for the dark bands at the top of windshields. The consultant who helped most was the guy who developed the process for making Technicolor movie film. He got very wealthy from this, had a big mansion in San Marino, CA. I developed the basic dyeing process in my home washing machine, didn't make the (ex) wife happy. Unfortunately, I didn't get rich from this, but it sure was fun!
  19. Here is a photo of nine guys on the Studebaker Indy team, apparently just after the 1933 Indy race ended. Each car had a driver and riding mechanic, so there should have been ten guys, but only nine are in this photo. Fortunately seven of the nine are wearing their Studebaker shirts with their initials, so they are easy to identify. I'd like to pin down who the other two are and name the missing guy. Here are my nominal identifications, left to right: AG = Anthony "Tony" Gulotta, driver #34 JL = Jimmie Lowden, mechanic #47 CB = Cliff Bergere, driver #6 ? = possibly Luther Johnson, driver #46 WT = William Tucker, mechanic #46 ? = possibly L. L. Corum, driver #47 VL = Vern Lake, mechanic #6 WM = Walter Mitchell, mechanic #9 ZM = Zeke Meyer, driver #9 missing = Carl Riscigno, mechanic #34 Those are the names of the ten guys who took part in the 1933 race. The questions are really which one is missing and which are the two guys without initials on their shirts. All the photos of the cars in 1933 show these guys with their cloth racing helmets, so it's tough to pin them down. What do you think?
  20. Gary_Ash

    Duesenberg watching

    Here's another Duesenberg, a 1930 Derham-bodied car that was built for Gary Cooper. We saw it Sunday, Sept. 16, at the Heritage Museums and Gardens in Sandwich, MA at their "Cocktails for Cars" event. EdinMass probably saw it the week before. The car had been in the Museum for about 50 years, but had never been run, so they cleaned it up and started it this summer, now drive it around the grounds a bit. The engine runs smoothly and sounds great. Also in attendance were a 1939 Bugatti, Cord Westchester, 1950 Allard K2, the Museum's 1912 Packard Victoria, a bunch of Porsches and Ferraris, Jag XKE, a 1984 Morgan, and my 1948 Studebaker M5 pickup - about 36 cars in all.
  21. I picked up the ALCOM/EZ Hauler enclosed 20 ft car hauler trailer I ordered - it was delivered from the factory in Maine to the dealer in Massachusetts in 2-1/2 weeks. I'm happy with the quality; the aluminum welds look good, the outside panels are screw-less. I did get two spare wheels/tires and a tire changing ramp. I put the 1948 Studebaker pickup (15 ft long) in the trailer to test the fit. With about 1 ft of space at the back, I've got 4 ft in the front, could throw a sleeping bag and mattress in there, if needed. The tires will mount in the Vee-nose. The truck is 6'-6" high, but I still have several inches of clearance at the door and under the ceiling light. The truck running boards are above the trailer wheel wells, so lots of side space. I can open the truck door and get out easily. It towed home easily, though it was empty. It will take a road test fully loaded to see how it really tows. With the trailer empty, my Expedition EL squatted about 1 inch; with the 2700 lb truck on board the hitch was down 1 more inch - I think that's OK. The ramp has a small fold-out piece to ease the transition and the spring-loaded cables make it comfortable to raise the ramp. The trailer wasn't as cheap as I wished, but the outcome was good. The paperwork that came with the trailer said the weight was under 2200 lbs, but I think I'll take it to a weigh station to check that. All of my cars will easily fit in the trailer. I'm going to need a lot of practice to learn how to back this thing up.
  22. Gary_Ash

    Custom enclosed car hauler - DELIVERED

    Yes, a weight distributing hitch will go on my shopping list quickly. Painting the floor will also get done. Moving the spare tires to the rear sounds like a good idea, too, as minimizing the tongue load would help. As for backing up, I'm OK at backing my flat-bed car trailer and small utility trailer. The big problem with the enclosed trailer is that I can't see behind it and can barely see around it. I'll need some new mirrors, too. Has anybody installed a video camera at the back of a trailer?
  23. After a week in Tacoma, WA for the Studebaker International Meet, we drove around the Olympic Peninsula and took the ferry from Port Angeles to Victoria. Getting on the ferry, we saw a 1957 Studebaker Golden Hawk getting off, must have been at the meet also, but I missed a good photo. Fortunately, we’ve seen lots of great cars in this dry climate. To name a few: a 1957 Cadillac El Dorado Biarritz convertible, a bright yellow MG BGT, a Volvo 240DL wagon, a Mercedes 450SL, an old VW bug convertible, and a 1968 Oldsmobile Delmont 4-door sedan, all on the streets of Victoria. We topped off the experience with a harbor tour in a little “pickle boat” water taxi and a visit to fabulous Butchart Gardens. Blue skies, 75 degrees, what could be better!
  24. After our visit to Victoria, we drove on to Port Townsend, WA, a town that had its heyday in the 1890s, but is now a funky place with old buildings and lots of good restaurants. Without having planned it, we hit the weekend of the wooden boat festival, so we were entertained by lots of antique boats. Nonetheless, we saw lots of neat cars, too. I saw another one of those 1957 Buick hardtops with the divided rear windows, but missed the pic. On the way into town, we passed some cars for sale: three Morris 1000s and a decent looking MG Midget. I didn’t see prices on the Morris cars, but the same guy is selling them. They looked restorable. Walking around the town, we found Bergstrom’s Antique and Classic Autos, a shop with an eclectic collection of NOS and used parts for sale and a few cars. One of the cars was another Morris Minor. Farther along the streets, there was a Fiat Spyder and a gorgeously restored Saab wagon. On our way out of town, there was one more Morris Minor parked in a drveway, well restored with a current plate. Strange to find 5 Minors in one little town!
  25. Gary_Ash

    Car spotting in Victoria B.C.

    Here are a couple more cars we spotted in Victoria. A nice 1957 Buick (I think) with the divided rear windows, couldn’t count the portholes to determine the model. A 1 hp carriage. A late Model T belonging to Butchart Gardens that is parked at the ferry terminal. Getting off the ferry from Victoria to Port Angeles, WA, we saw a couple of original Minis in company with a modern Mini - I liked the matching trailer! There were lots more cars we saw that I wasn’t fast enough to photograph.