fh4ever

new member here....39 commander resurrection

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fh4ever    2

hi folks, I posted on the SDC forum and thought I would do the same here.  

I am trying to get my 39 commander roadworthy again after owning/storing it since 1985.   It runs great but needs some mechanical restoration.    

I have sourced some items already but I am still looking for 191393 inner spring control link rubber bushing.

Can anyone tell me which specific year Ford front brake wheel cylinder is used for the 39 commander front brakes? and any details on the piston mods to make it work?

Any other wheel cylinder that works on the rear?   

Just getting started on this and I am sure I will have many more questions.

thanks  

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fh4ever    2

Hi Spinneyhill, I see shrockbrrothers does have this part...thanks.

on the wheel cylinders, they probably could be sleeved, I had the master cylinder done 10 years ago, Just trying to find a cheaper alternative and the Ford cylinders are cheaper..  I can handle a little lathe work if that is what it takes to make the  Ford cylinder work.   I thought someone here may have done this mod before with pictures. 

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rbk    10

1948 Ford front cylinder

You have to use your old pistons but everything else is the same.

You can machine the Ford pistons to fit.

There is no good sub for the rears.

 

Robert Kapteyn

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fh4ever    2

I got the front wheel cylinders in and it looks like I can handle the mods required to make them work.

Now for the rear, looks like I may have to sleeve the rear wheel cylinders....$$$$   

Edited by fh4ever
correction (see edit history)

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fh4ever    2

hi folks

About 10 years ago, I was sold a NOS "right hand drive" hill holder (no LH drive hill holders were available) so I could get the ball cage out of it.   The rubber sealing valve (in the ball cage) in mine was bad and I was told I the cage was the same but the cast housing was different.  Fast forward to today.... I dug this hill holder out of storage and started to disassemble it to get the cage out of it and I noticed the entire hill holder assembly looked identical.  I was expecting a mirror image of the casting and its ports.  The castings even had the same wagner # .  The only difference is the so called RH unit had a small screw on it as if it were a bleed screw (??) see it in the picture and the original did not.  My question is....were the castings the same? Do I have a left hand drive unit?  or is the cage in it upside down to make it a RH unit?

The "round nut " is so hard to get off in order to get the cage out, I prefer not to disassemble it if this hill holder is a LH unit and can be used as is.  My new  unit is at the bottom of the picture.  Any help would be appreciated. 

IMG_20161205_203101310[1].jpg

 

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fh4ever    2

while I am at the rear corners of the car....anybody want to chime in on how to grease the rear axle bearings properly? There is a grease fitting and I can see if you put too much grease in it, it could push out through the dust seal into the brake drum. Looks like this is best done with the hub off so that the excess dirty grease can be wiped out and while being careful putting the hub back on, you dont force even more out through the seal. correct?

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r1lark    47

fh4ever, you probably won't like my opinion, but you asked about how to grease these bearings properly, so here it goes. The proper way is to pull the axles out, clean the bearings with kerosene or similar, clean the races, and inspect the bearings and races closely. Then if they pass inspection, hand pack the bearings, reinstall the axles, and check for the proper axle end play. More than likely it has been decades (many decades?) since this was done, and the grease may be hard, bearings may have damage, etc.

 

Now, if you have just done all this recently, you are good for at least 5 years and 10K miles. I'll check and see if I can find the frequency and number of 'shots' to put in, and post later today.

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fh4ever    2

hey Paul, ....I do like your opinion!!   Treat it just like a front wheel bearing!  In fact I think now I will pull the axle instead of just pumping grease.  The hub/drum are already off so it should not take much more effort if I am correct.  Isn't it just a matter of taking the rest of the backing plate, etc off?  and then the axle with bearing will come out?  No danger of anything falling off of the other end is it (shims, gear, etc)?   Is there any preferences on the grease?

And since I am at the rear axle, how about diff gear oil preferences ?  regular 90W?   

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Spinneyhill    204
On 7/12/2016 at 1:55 AM, fh4ever said:

hi folks

About 10 years ago, I was sold a NOS "right hand drive" hill holder (no LH drive hill holders were available) so I could get the ball cage out of it.   The rubber sealing valve (in the ball cage) in mine was bad and I was told I the cage was the same but the cast housing was different.  Fast forward to today.... I dug this hill holder out of storage and started to disassemble it to get the cage out of it and I noticed the entire hill holder assembly looked identical.  I was expecting a mirror image of the casting and its ports.  The castings even had the same wagner # .  The only difference is the so called RH unit had a small screw on it as if it were a bleed screw (??) see it in the picture and the original did not.  My question is....were the castings the same? Do I have a left hand drive unit?  or is the cage in it upside down to make it a RH unit?

The "round nut " is so hard to get off in order to get the cage out, I prefer not to disassemble it if this hill holder is a LH unit and can be used as is.  My new  unit is at the bottom of the picture.  Any help would be appreciated. 

 

 

My 1939 RHD NoRoL looks like your LHD one, RD 4211. It does not have the extra screw on top. They do have a different part number, which includes the lever attachment. The difference might be in the lever? Ours mounts on a bracket.

Edited by Spinneyhill (see edit history)

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Spinneyhill    204
1 hour ago, fh4ever said:

In fact I think now I will pull the axle instead of just pumping grease.  The hub/drum are already off so it should not take much more effort if I am correct.  Isn't it just a matter of taking the rest of the backing plate, etc off?  and then the axle with bearing will come out?  No danger of anything falling off of the other end is it (shims, gear, etc)?   Is there any preferences on the grease?

And since I am at the rear axle, how about diff gear oil preferences ?  regular 90W?   

 

I expect you will need a puller to get the axle and bearing out. You may be able to use the hub. Slip it on loosely, put the nut on the axle a couple of turns and gently use the hub to tap the axle out. Take care not to drag the spline at the other end through the seal - it could cut it and render it useless. If you have diff. oil in the bearing it will need replacing anyway.

 

When you put it back, you must check the end float as per the shop manual p. 86. Note the requirement that the sides should not be more than 0.005" different in shim thickness. Again, take care not to damage the seal with the spline. I made a cardboard template to fit on the end of the housing to keep the axle central.

 

Yep, 90W hypoid oil (most are, now) will do it.

Edited by Spinneyhill (see edit history)

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fh4ever    2

hi Spinneyhill, if yours is a RHD, does your NoRol unit mount to the left or right hand side of the master cylinder?  mine is mounted to the left side of the master cylinder and the rod/llever is on the bottom...if yours is too, then there must have been no difference between RHD and LHD..??  Mine is now mounted and I am quite convinced the ball cage is oriented properly.  But the cam that pulls the cage could be reversed, it can rotate 360 degrees...there is one flat side on it that the cage should rest against.    I probably will find out if its right when I get fluid pressure on the system and see if it works.  

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r1lark    47
2 hours ago, fh4ever said:

hey Paul, ....I do like your opinion!!   Treat it just like a front wheel bearing!  In fact I think now I will pull the axle instead of just pumping grease.  The hub/drum are already off so it should not take much more effort if I am correct.  Isn't it just a matter of taking the rest of the backing plate, etc off?  and then the axle with bearing will come out?  No danger of anything falling off of the other end is it (shims, gear, etc)?   Is there any preferences on the grease?

And since I am at the rear axle, how about diff gear oil preferences ?  regular 90W?   

 

I've attached a picture of the Parts Manual for the '34 thru '46 Studebaker cars, showing the rear axle that you would have in the '39 Commander. This is a Dana rear axle, installed in millions of cars for many years, with minimal changes.

 

Yes, you will have to take off the backing plates. Be careful because on one side there will be shims that are used to set the axle endplay. I have a slide hammer with an adapter cobbled out of a nut that fits the threads on the axle, and just use that to pop the axle out. Some people put the drum on and just put the axle nut on a turn or two, and they use the drum as a slide hammer -- as I just noticed Spinneyhill said :). You can also use a puller as Spinneyhill mentioned. Use a good quality bearing grease that you would use on front tapered axle bearings.

 

Note that there are two axle seals on each side -- an 'inner' one behind the bearing (closer to the center of the axle) that keeps the rear axle lube out of the bearing, and an 'outer' one that keeps wheel bearing grease out of the brakes. The original inner seals were leather, so look at them close to make sure they are not as hard as a rock. When you are reassembling everything, slip the drum back on temporarily (gently, so you don't get the hub stuck on the taper and have to use the drum puller again to get it off) to center up the outer seal, then carefully remove the drum/hub and tighten the four bolts that hold the seal/shims/backing plate.

 

As far as gear oil, I use a normal hypoid rear axle lubricant in all my Dana rear axles, available at any parts store, WalMart, etc.

 

As Spinneyhill mentions, follow the Studebaker Shop Manual procedure for checking and setting the axle endplay.

39_commander_rear_axle.jpg

Edited by r1lark
added info (see edit history)

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Spinneyhill    204
5 hours ago, fh4ever said:

hi Spinneyhill, if yours is a RHD, does your NoRol unit mount to the left or right hand side of the master cylinder?  mine is mounted to the left side of the master cylinder and the rod/llever is on the bottom...if yours is too, then there must have been no difference between RHD and LHD..??  Mine is now mounted and I am quite convinced the ball cage is oriented properly.  But the cam that pulls the cage could be reversed, it can rotate 360 degrees...there is one flat side on it that the cage should rest against.    I probably will find out if its right when I get fluid pressure on the system and see if it works.  

 

Our clutch pedal is still on the left of the brake so I expect it mounts on the same side, but mine is still in a box in the garage and I haven't looked at the system for 20 years so I am struggling to know the difference between LHC and RHC. Mine is attached to a bracket so maybe it is not mounted on the master cylinder in service.

 

When you look at the inner oil seal on the rear axle, it is looks at all ragged (not a sharp edge) it should be replaced. The wearing surface on the axle could be a little rough too, in which case you need a Kwik-Sleeve or Ready Sleeve or WearPro sleeve or ? sleeve on it.

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fh4ever    2

hi spinneyhill,   a little more info on the No-Rol....The No-Rol lever will spin 360 degrees in one direction only, the other direction will stop when the internal cam rests against the hole in the cage.  see pic of my old unit...

 

 

IMG_20161224_183046646[1].jpg

 

I checked this rotation with the so-called LH unit and it is the same....spins 360 in the same direction and stops in the other direction....therefore, I am convinced the No-Rol is identical.  Perhaps the difference in the part number is because of the RH version now has the boss with the bleed screw?    It is now installed and hooked up.  

Edited by fh4ever
error (see edit history)

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fh4ever    2

update...its been 5 months now since I started resurrecting the '39 commander,  So far the front suspension and steering rods are all rebuilt, clutch/flywheel is rebuilt, new or repaired clutch linkages, rear axle bearings cleaned packed and new wheel seals and fresh oil, tranny rear seal and fresh oil, all new brake lines/ cylinders/shoes,  all new fuel line and gas tank repaired/cleaned out, new battery.  

Currently working on the glass, the window channels, and will start the wiring soon.  Its been a busy winter!  But now I can fire her up and move her again under her own power ....and I have brakes!!  Later I will need to cover the seats and think about a headliner.  still a lot to do...hope I can keep up the momentum.   thanks folks for helping me along the way!

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