oldcar

Early 1920s Studebaker ?

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With the 9-14-20 engine block casting date and knowing that Studebaker liked to age their blocks at least a few months, this may be a 1921 model engine which still does not explain why it has an oil fill that wasn't available until 1923.  Maybe the original fan mounted oil fill location broke and they had to replace it with the new design fan mount so they had to add the new oil fill? A lot can happen in 97 years.  Also not sure about the hood louver count.  I do like the pin striping on your louvers. 

 

Considering Light Six production started in April 1920 at 1,000,001 (car serial number) and ended the year somewhere around 1,007,000, if your car is truly 1,002,350 that doesn't quite align with your engine block casting date which should put it closer to the end of the year.  There are typically casting dates on the aluminum head and timing chain cover that may provide additional clues.

 

The starter looks like a Wagner gear reduction drive which probably means you also have a Wagner generator.  I do have one of each of those left.

 

Wow, that cylinder head of yours has been welded a few times huh? There is a new casting on eBay but not cheap....you can always make an offer though. http://www.ebay.com/itm/STUDEBAKER-CYLINDER-HEAD-lite-six-alluminum-1922-1924-/172481971118?hash=item2828ba03ae:g:SOYAAOSw7NNT08VL&vxp=mtr.  If you get into a bind with the cylinder head, I may have a solution for you.  Keep posting pictures and we can keep piecing together the story and get you up and running.

Scott

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Hi Scott

Fortunately the head on the engine appears to be OK but I will not know until it is off and cleaned up. The welded one came in the rear seat. I am still waiting on the AOMC ( Assn of Motoring Clubs) the organisation that has all the early Registration documentation archived. This was originally all hand written on a card index system. They have discovered that at some time in its early life the car changed its Registration number. Hopefully they will discover the date of its first registration and the name and address of its first owners. As with many old hand written records, tracking them can take some time. We are lucky that they have not all been destroyed. I have seen some of them and even to be able to read the writing is a bonus. Not all were legible, some are even written in pencil. The Registration actually expired in December 1941. One possible explanation is that at some time the engine has been swapped for a later one, something we will not know until I can read the engine number.

 

Bernie j.

 

 

So far, we have found that:
-   Registration 103981 was issued in 1926 for a Morris 
-   At some time later it was issued to the Studebaker
-   103981 was cancelled in Feb 1942.
-   but prior to 103981 the vehicle was previously registered as 74593
-   we are still working on 74593.
 

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Hello Again.   HELPPPPPP!

 

Having cleaned off the engine number I can confirm that the number shown on the Registration label is the correct one for the engine in the car ( 2350 ) How that fits in with the dating of the Chassis-plate Serial Number can now hopefully be ascertained, having cleaned this properly I have to ask  if the one I thought I had read in the half light last night 1002350 or the one that I can read in the full light of day having washed the Chassis plate off with a rag wet with petrol 100  3 ?

I am sorry but I really do not know. What I do know is that IF correct this must make the whole story of the car even more confusing.

Was it just wishful thinking  that the engine number and the (chassis) Serial number would be so similar.  

 

Bernie j

 

DSCN5588.thumb.jpg.c39d731ecc20eea8656c675d4fc143c4.jpg

Reg Label .jpg

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Perhaps it is like a Ford, which seemed to use whatever parts were available that day. Of course someone could had been swapping engines or parts to keep a vehicle running. I would imagine during WWII parts and cars would have become very scarce forcing mechanics to become very ingenuitive, utilizing mix an match parts to create Frankenmobiles. :)

 

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Hello Again

Having cleaned off the engine number I can confirm that the number shown on the Registration label is the correct one for the ENGINE in the car (2350) How that fits in with the dating of the Chassis-plate Serial Number can now hopefully be ascertained, having cleaned this properly I have to ask,  Am I going mad or what?

This is a new photograph taken after cleaning the plate and going over it with pencil. The next option would be to remove the plate from the chassis to see if there is anything more definite when viewed from the back. This is something I would sooner not do. By working on the contrast and shade in photoshop results in the second photograph, this shows the 22  slightly more clearly defined and the next figure could be either a 7 or a 4.  How this effects the month and year it was built I will leave to the experts. Perhaps when the AOMC can give me the date that the car was first registered in Australia, this may help to arrive at a year. 

DSCN5589.jpg

 

DSCN5588.thumb.jpg.3ff6c0b58f0504c5231b55cab2abda27.jpg

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)

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"I would imagine during WWII parts and cars would have become very scarce"

 Prior to WWII during the late 1920s and 1930s Australia had the "Great Depression". That the car was taken off  the road in 1941-2 could have been the result of War time Petrol Rationing and possibly the owner going into the Military  Services.

 

Bj.

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)

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Bernie,

Now that we have the actual chassis tag, I can revise the original guess in my first post. The chassis serial number should be 7 digits and what I read is 1,002,243.  So more than likely it is a 1920 car.  I would agree that would make it one of the earliest survivors, if not the earliest. This makes a lot of sense based on your car's body.  I had to do a bit more digging in my early Series 19-22 parts book and found that the early cars did not include the side lamp markers (parking lamps) on the cowl until serial number 1,035,003.  Combined with the fender design, windshield, lack of cowl ventilator, dash design, the fact that it has a magneto system, etc. - these all agree for 1920-21 cars and your serial number says 1920.

 

If all is in order, your engine serial number should read EJ  2350.  The chassis serial numbers typically do not match the engine serial numbers. The first Light Six had engine serial number EJ  1 with chassis number 1,000,001 but as cars were built the engine numbers gradually mismatched so your 2243 body number and 2350 engine number would make a lot of sense as they are very close.  My 1923 Light Six also has an engine serial number that is greater in value than the chassis number also.  Keep in mind that as the factory had to make replacement parts (including engines) the engine serial numbers would grow faster than the chassis numbers.  With a 1920 casting date on your engine block it is very likely you have the original engine - now we have to wait for you to verify :unsure:

 

Your car is a really great find and looks to be in nice shape. Hope you can get it on the road soon.

Scott

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My dad, an experimental flight test mechanic for The Boeing Company during WWII (He was a test engineer on B17 certification flights).  He also had a part time job at a tire re-tread plant in Seattle, WA.  He told me that only re-treads were available for civilian cars during the war and even those were rationed.  He told me that many old cars were taken off the road as you could not get casings for them to re-tread.  People even cut down tire treads and wired them to the old casings.  After the war, tires were still in short supply, and they did not make them for the 20s and 30s cars.  My 1928 Buick was put in the barn in 1951 because the tires were so bald you could see thru them to the tube.  I wish I would have saved them when I bought new Lester tires in the mid 80s.

 

 

Here are a couple of rationing links.  

 

 

http://www.ameshistory.org/content/world-war-ii-rationing-us-homefront

https://www.ilfb.org/history/gangler/gangler.html

 

 

 

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Hello Scott

It certainly my intention to get the Studebaker going and on the road with the least possible amount of disturbance. Having said that, unfortunately I will have to do something about the seats, door trims and the top, all of which are in tatters or non existent. Likewise the wheels were in desperate need of some paint and tires. On the purely practical side I will need to do some rewiring, with cotton covered wire. Perhaps you can tell me if Studebaker worked to a particular colour scheme for wiring in the same way as Lucas did in English cars?

One other question. Was there a key for the ignition combined with the light switch? If so what did it look like. With some other makes the magneto ignition often had a seperate switch. What did Studebaker do? At present there is an old domestic light switch tucked away behind the dash board and a couple of wires protruding through a hole in the dash. I have not yet got around to tracking where some of the other loose wires go to. Years ago the law here stated that tail lamps must have a switch at the rear of the car. The idea was that if being chased by the police you could not turn off your rear lamps so they could not see where you had  gone. You had to stop the car and get out to turn it off. The down side was that on wet, cold winters nights people would not stop and get out to turn them on!

 

Hello John

I am glad that you can keep track of my various moves around the Forum. If you would really like some bald tires, I have some here you can have, unfortunately the side walls are misshapen and cracked where the car has been standing on them while flat for more years than you could imagine. Getting rid of old tires here is a real problem. Especially large ones that don't qualify as "Car" tires because of their size.

 

Bernie j.

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Just an aside on the subject of Petrol Rationing and Petrol saving devises, the early owners of the Light Six were so concerned about saving petrol they had fitted an after market fuel saving device, An AAA "Automatic" Petrol Saver. Popular additions in the 1930s, these devices worked by admitting extra air directly into the inlet manifold via a slide valve. These soon fell out of favour as the almost universal result from their continued use was burnt exhaust valves. Over a great many years I have seen two others. One on the first car I owned a very long time ago, an 1918 Austin 20hp. The next one was a 1925/6 Dodge 4 that I did not own but I was shown on a farm in North Eastern Victoria (Aust) It was mainly notable because it had a large Oak tree growing up through the rear floor should have been. The one fitted to the Studebaker does not have the slide valve, but it has the hole complete with thread tapped into it on the "inlet manifold" . The slide valve has been taken by a souvenir hunter at some time in the past. I am not too disappointed and will simply have a suitable plug made to screw into the hole.

 

Bj

 

 

DSCN5599.thumb.jpg.c762bbdb6ba097e95d845ffb21c0379a.jpg has three positions, Off, On and Brake. In the Brake position the valve was fully open to let in the maximum amount of air while decending hills with the car in gear running against compression.  Sometimes refered to as an "Air brake". I will leave the hand control on the Studebaker's dash as otherwise there would be another hole to fill and it is an interesting conversation starter.

 

Bj.

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After reviewing three sets of original Light Six wiring harnesses the best I could tell is they used white covered wires, black covered wires and maybe brown. They also used the armor covered wires. I can send you the list I created when restoring my car with gauge and wire covering for each circuit maybe send me a PM with your email.

 

Regarding keys, the later Light Sixes used a key for the ignition/lighting switch and the same key for the transmission lock. You have the earlier switch used with the magnetos. I'm not familiar with that one.

Scott

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We also have a hard time with disposing of tires. Our trash pickup service will take them if they are cut into quarters or smaller.

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So that's the reasonfor that switch at the rear of the car!  In my earlier post I mentioned that there are two rhd 1926 Standard Sixes here (British Columbia).  The sedan has one of those taillight switches on the left side where the body meets the frame - it must have been the passengers job to turn it on?!  The roadster doesn't because it originally went to Hong Kong.

 

Terry

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It is interesting that looking at the rear on the light/ignition switch the key actuated section is labeled "mag & grd". This indicates that there were switches dedicated to cars with a magneto. The other terminals are labeled  "head, rear, horn and battery" with a fuse between battery the three accessory terminals. The bayonet fixing holding the rear section onto the main body of the switch are set at unequal  spacing so the it can only go together in the one location. The key section has the number 39 stamped into it so at least I know that this is the "combination" key that I am looking for. If any of the other 1920's Studebaker owners have a key stamped with 39 I would love to get a copy. While many local locksmiths have the Lucas "NRM" combinations in their computers I doubt that any would have the 1920's Studebaker dedicated combinations.

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On 8/7/2017 at 11:16 PM, oldcar said:

IMG_4527.thumb.JPG.656a16caceed28e7384d140379d59eee.JPGOops

Having been back to have a quick check on the Studebaker it is not a switch but the cover for the fuse box that is missing from the Light Six's dashboard. even a photograph or a drawing would be helpful. 

Right now I have an even more urgent request. One reason for todays visit was to inflate the tyres so that it would be easier to load the car onto the tilt tray tow truck. One tyre refused to inflate which brings me to the point. I now urgently need a wrench/spanner to remove the hubcaps so I can repair/replacee the tube in that tyre (tire). Even a drawing so I could have one made would be good. 

 

Thank you

 

Bernie j.

 

IMG_2620.jpg

 

From my service manual

Scott (Lightsix)brought a trailer load of early Studebaker parts.

I will try to take pictures of these hundreds of nice usable parts together with the many parts I already had from the 29 Studebaker dealer inventories.

Robert Kapteyn

studebaker@mac.com

 

Edited by rbk (see edit history)

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Hello  Robert

Thank you for your interest, I now have discovered the wheel spanner that was hidden away in a box of other things in the rear of my car. I now have all the whels off and away being sand blasted and primer coated. I should get them back later this week when I can paint them and fit some new tires. My aim is to get the Studebaker going and drivable before I start doing anything else to it. Even then I shall NOT be stripping off the original paint or pulling it all apart. It distresses me to see nice original cars being destroyed by over enthusiastic people. 

One of the things that is missing is the ignition key. The combined Ignition and lighting switch is the original Briggs & Stratton unit. The Key that I am looking for is a number 39. If anyone has one I would be happy to pay to have a duplicate cut and posted to me. Meanwhile I will also talk with a local locksmith and see if they can cut one for me without destroying the lock.

 

Bernie j.

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On ‎20‎/‎08‎/‎2017 at 4:51 PM, oldcar said:

Hello Scott

It certainly my intention to get the Studebaker going and on the road with the least possible amount of disturbance. Having said that, unfortunately I will have to do something about the seats, door trims and the top, all of which are in tatters or non existent. Likewise the wheels were in desperate need of some paint and tires. On the purely practical side I will need to do some rewiring, with cotton covered wire. Perhaps you can tell me if Studebaker worked to a particular colour scheme for wiring in the same way as Lucas did in English cars?

One other question. Was there a key for the ignition combined with the light switch? If so what did it look like. With some other makes the magneto ignition often had a seperate switch. What did Studebaker do? At present there is an old domestic light switch tucked away behind the dash board and a couple of wires protruding through a hole in the dash. I have not yet got around to tracking where some of the other loose wires go to. Years ago the law here stated that tail lamps must have a switch at the rear of the car. The idea was that if being chased by the police you could not turn off your rear lamps so they could not see where you had  gone. You had to stop the car and get out to turn it off. The down side was that on wet, cold winters nights people would not stop and get out to turn them on!

 

Hello John

I am glad that you can keep track of my various moves around the Forum. If you would really like some bald tires, I have some here you can have, unfortunately the side walls are misshapen and cracked where the car has been standing on them while flat for more years than you could imagine. Getting rid of old tires here is a real problem. Especially large ones that don't qualify as "Car" tires because of their size.

 

Bernie j.

So the reason for the taillight switch being on the rear of the vehicle was to stop people turning off the rear taillight when being chased by the police.  I was always told it was a safety issue in that you had to physically get out of the vehicle and turn it on and at the same time you would check that it was actually working.  Guess I was misinformed.

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Hello Agaain Scott

In the words of the old song "it aint necessarily so" I too have heard about having to cjheck that it was working too. I guess that being chased by police sounds more dramatic and makes a greater impression on a young boy.

 

I remem,ber having been asked/told to get out in the rain and turn the tail light on in my father's 1934 Standard Nine. Sitting in the rear seat I was closer to the switch.

 

Bj

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Earlier I mentioned I was looking for a ignition key, #39. Having looked at the back of the switch I was mildly surprised to discover that these were made by Briggs & Stratton. I have now, on an off chance, contacted B&S's help line by email, to date I have had two replies to inform me that they were still looking for one. 

I don't know how long B&S supplied Ignition switches to Studebaker for or how many variations of the key combination there were, presumably at least 39. 

I do know that it was a long shot that one of the other Light Six owners would have the same number key that they could have copied for me. Hopefully my friends at B&S have more luck. There is no great rush as it will be some time before I need to turn on the ignition.

 

Bernie j.

 

 

From: "Carpenter, Rick" <carpenter.rick@basco.com>
Subject: Re: 1920 Briggs & Stratton Ignition Key?
Date: 23 August 2017 at 11:18:00 PM AEST
To: Bernie Jacobson <twooldlags@gmail.com>

We're working on it....

On Tue, Aug 22, 2017 at 5:57 PM, Bernie Jacobson <twooldlags@gmail.com> wrote:
Good morning Rick

Thank you for taking the trouble to reply, anything you can find out for me would be appreciated.

Regards

Bernie Jacobson
On 23 Aug 2017, at 8:46 AM, Carpenter, Rick <carpenter.rick@basco.com> wrote:

Let me check with some people.

On Mon, Aug 21, 2017 at 7:02 PM, Bernie Jacobson <twooldlags@gmail.com> wrote:
Good morning Rick
This is a genuine enquiry, I am currently re-commissioning a 1920 Studebaker Light Six that has been unused since 1941. It is fitted with a Briggs & Stratton combined ignition and light switch. Unfortunately the key (number 39) has been lost. I know that this is a remote chance but would it be possible to obtain a replacement key.

Thank you

Bernard Jacobson

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)

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I may have an original lock set, just haven't had a chance to go look. I'll try tomorrow.

FYI - The door latch mechanism on the 1923-24 Light Six Touring car is also a Briggs and Stratton assembly.

Scott

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Hi Scott

As I said in my earlier post, there is no great hurry, it may be some time before I need to switch on or perhaps with a magneto switch off the ignition.

 

For those ignorant of how a magneto switch works. When you "switch on" you are infact opening or breaking the circuit. When you "switch off" you are closing the circuit or "grounding,"sending the current generated by the magneto to directly to earth. When this is done the current is directed away from the "distributor" and/or the spark plugs. Electricity is basically lazy and will always follow the path offering the least resistance. i.e. to earth.

 

Bernie j.

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)

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Magneto switch I'm used to :D:

 

Magneto.JPG.39847a0d88fd66b2ae77a7e4f2eb1742.JPG

 

Positions - Off (grounds out both magnetos), Left (grounds out right magneto), Right (grounds out left magneto), Both (no grounding applied - both magnetos working).  The left and right are used to ensure each ignition system is working independently before taking off.

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Thank you Scott' I prefer to keep both feet on the ground. however your comments regarding having two magnetos reminds me of the Lagonda LG45 I owned some years ago. It was fitted as standard with two Scintilla Vertex mags each firing its own set of six spark plugs, you could in the same way isolate either mag.

I apologise for the quality of the photograph but it was taken some years ago. The young boy first in the line of spectators is about to have his 50th Birthday. He is, Paul, the eldest of my three sons. The LG45 is 1936, Six Cylinder, 4.5 Litre.

LG45.thumb.jpeg.bbb4f0ad3370e3c16b4545ce2b14d2d6.jpeg 

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)
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