Eric W

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Everything posted by Eric W

  1. Parts car item #13 - radio. There's a threaded hook through the firewall at the back of the radio, and 2 special bolts near the front that engage plate nuts in the bottom edge of the dash. No power to it, but I don't expect it to work, just replace the blank-off plate and give the antenna on the RH fender at least a logical if not functional reason for being there.
  2. Chris - I'm not sure when Studebaker changed from 1-piece to 2-piece glass. Google images of 1947-1948 Studebakers, and they're almost all (but not all) 2-piece glass. As an "independent" car maker (not Ford / not GM), Studebaker would use the same body stampings for more years than Ford or GM. They used this same basic body from 1947-1952. So when the one-piece glass came along in 1949 or so, it isn't fully curved, but rather 2 flats with a relatively sharp bend right in the center, so it would appear it could fit any model from 1947-1952. One piece glass may have been an extra-cost option at first, or only offered on certain higher-level models. I saw something in their marketing materials about eliminating the center trim strip as a visibility improvement, but I don't really notice it when driving. I don't know if I'll move that glass over from the other car, since the center strip on the coupe also now is an attach point for the visor support (but I'll probably hold onto the one-piece glass & trim). When this windshield change was made on my car, I don't know if they harvested a center strip from an older Studebaker or just made something up. I haven't looked that closely at it. I think they were wise enough to use automotive safety glass when this was done in the late 70's / early 80's. The pest control operation, even back then, had locations across the entire southern U.S., and they cycled hundreds of cars through the shop. The mechanic I spoke with said the company owned two auto transporters - one based in Tucson, and the other in Florida. When they wanted to rotate cars between cities, the Tuscon transporter would go as far as Dallas. The one from Florida would also go to Dallas, and the company's cars would be transferred all the way across the country. Some photos of hot-rodded / street rodded Studebakers of this vintage show 2-piece glass with just a thin seam of sealant at the center, but the angle must be enough that one piece of flat glass can't be used. Thanks Paul - that location is about 2 miles down from my house. Really feels like it's out in the country at that spot, though there's houses all around.
  3. Some outdoor photos to show off the "new" front chrome.
  4. This particular one has very little originality left to it. At the Studebaker club meeting, I met one man who owned the car in the early 1970's. He confirmed that it had always been in Tucson (based on paperwork he found in the car when he got it). Even back at that time, there was documentation that the engine is not original - it's at least a '53 engine, if not later. He attributed that to bad cams in the '51 - '52 engines that required many of them to be replaced. He sold the car to a local pest control company who used many old cars as marketing for their brand. Also at the club meeting, I met a man who worked for the pest control company as a mechanic. He told me he'd painted this car maybe 5 times. He said it was originally something near this light green color, but also in the layers of paint it was dark blue metallic, tan, red, and the present light green. Given that the pest control company's purpose was to locate the cars around town (they hardly need to start and move a little), when something broke, they "fixed" it with whatever was available, without worrying about whether it's original. The mechanic still has a key to my car's ignition on his key ring - because many of the company cars were changed to the same ignition switch / key! What I've found so far on the dash that isn't original is the ignition switch, headlight switch, horn switch, starter switch, and a manual switch was added to bypass the automatic overdrive. The turn signal lever also isn't original. The windshield glass was replaced by this same mechanic with 2-piece flat instead of the original 1-piece curved because when it got broken, it was quicker/cheaper to cut 2 pieces of flat glass rather than hunt down an original curved glass. I went through the brakes in earlier posts, but when I got the car, it had later ('54-up) rear drums with the '52 fronts. This would not be a safe combination to drive because the rears would have proportionally more stopping power. The fronts were missing a lot of the self-adjuster parts. So rather than hunt down the numerous (and expensive) missing parts in the '52 fronts, as well as down-grade the rears to '52, I found a pair of '57 front drums and loaded backing plates and got the brakes going that way. The engine doesn't have the original fuel pump because people have told me they were more difficult to get parts for, and possibly less reliable - anyway the engine is later, and it appears to have come with a fuel pump that mounts to a different boss. Not sure why there's no oil filter - maybe it was lost in the engine replacement. All Commanders were supposed to come standard with an oil filter. The exhaust manifolds have been cut up and re-welded to make the dual exhaust. The hill holder brake valve (also standard on Commander) is gone. When I replaced the brake line I could see a small splice where it would have been. It appears there never was a radio because there's a radio blank-off plate at the bottom of the dash. Though the car has a radio antenna, the wire is coiled up - not strung across the dash as though it ever connected to something. The mechanic also told me that all of the glass was broken out including the curved back windows. I believe this was a fairly common result for these marketing cars - they still use them around town to this day, and I've seen them with the windows broken out. The entire interior is replacement. Seat fabrics, headliner, side panels, door panels, kick panels - all replaced. The door handle rings are missing. Sun visors weren't reinstalled when the headliner was replaced. Headliner wasn't reinstalled per original. There's no windlace around the door openings. The door sills are bent up flat metal (not original). So what's original to this car? Not a whole lot. I'm just trying to make it look better, keep it running, and replace things with original parts where I can.
  5. Yes, I'll get to that roof sometime. Today was the grille transplant. Many more fasteners than I could ever imagine, but it's done.
  6. Parts car #8 - hood emblem. The "S" looked like NOS - never before installed. #9 - Rear valence panel - below the rear bumper & above the exhaust tips. Didn't even know that was missing from my car, but it does hide the gas tank (and rounds off the bottom of the body). Example photo shows a dual exhaust - not sure if this was ever factory, or if the panel is just modified. #10 - LH side air vent lever retention spring. I did know this was missing, because without the spring, the lever arm bounces out of the door, then the door won't open. I also found a little broken off piece of spring in there. It's kind of interesting to get the spring in or out of there because you can't grab the spring directly. Had to wrap a wire around the lever, grab the wire with pliers and lift the lever up, swing the door out of the way, then let the lever down. Then, there's no tension on the spring at all. Still had to hold the spring with pliers because the opening is too small to hold the spring by hand. #11 - oil filter, bracket & tubes. #12 - fuel pump. This will be for appearance - there's already a later fuel pump down the side of the engine, and several have recommended just going electric & not using the engine-driven pumps at all (but leave them in place for appearance).
  7. Plate frame says C. A. Bowen & Sons, Oakdale. The plates are 1963. I don't know if that was a Studebaker dealer.
  8. Similar views to when I first got the car, but to show the chrome on the headlight trim rings, the polished front bumper, and addition of the bumper over-rides. Maybe some of the paint polishing shows up too.
  9. Parts car project #7 - "clam digger" grille and radiator lower air guide "pan". The pan in the coupe has a big hole cut in it. Not sure why. But to get that pan out, the bumper comes off and the grille comes out. Since the grille on the coupe is painted (flat green), I'll swap in the chromed parts when the pan is ready to go in. With the grille off the parts car, I see a whole lot of '51 fender under there...
  10. Ash tray before / after - it will make more sense with a radio replacing that bottom center trim piece (radio blank-off plate).
  11. So far this week, parts car items #5 and #6 - use one of the wheels/tires for a spare, and move the ash tray across from the parts car because the chrome is better.
  12. Parts car project #4 - front bumper overrides. Polished the front bumper with Simichrome. I was surprised how nice that bumper really is! Harvested the bumper over-rides from the parts car. Sprayed them with Rust Kutter (from Tractor Supply). This really takes off the "bloom" of surface rust, as well as converts the metal at the areas where the chrome is rusted through. Not sure that this offers much long-term protection, but my 11% Relative Humidity indoor storage facility (my garage in the desert) will keep these looking as they do now pretty much indefinitely. Let the RK work for an hour or two, rinse off with water & dry. Also then polished these with Simichrome, though they're a little beat up from riding way out front for so many years. I really like the over-complexity of these mid-century chromed styling elements. First photo - trying to show the difference before/after polishing.
  13. Made it to a local Studebaker club lunch get together on Saturday. The sandwich shop is in the building that was the Studebaker dealership in Tucson in the 20's. Photo below of the inside of the shop - they have Studebaker-based murals on the walls...
  14. Parts car - 2nd & 3rd items - dashboard cigarette lighter & sun visors. Before, the lighter hole was covered with a sticker. Sun visors were missing from the coupe. These sun visors need some work, but the starting parts are there...
  15. If you must have a parts car, don't you want the best one you can get? It's a 4-door sedan, body style "W". No title. The parts I'll pull for the coupe would have taken who knows how long to track down. Some of them are '52 Commander specific. Some of them are '51-'52 V8 only. Parts car project #1 - chrome headlight surrounds...
  16. First photo - 3rd cruise night 10/26 - parked nose in to have the trunk open w/ candy for the kids. Next photos - parts car! '52 Commander w/ significant body rust, otherwise it was only slightly disassembled but seems to be pretty much all there. Last photo - another trunk-or-treat on Sunday, 10/29. When you think my coupe is running & driving - what does it need with a parts car - the more I look, the more it could use. It had been "restored" multiple times, and in some of that, quite a few original parts are gone.
  17. First cruise night last night. And the faster backwards jokes begin... Still too hot around here. Reached 100F during the day. Car made it there & back no problems.
  18. Thanks guys. I got the battery hold down installed. I had been discouraged to notice that the ammeter was indicating Discharge while driving. I mentioned this while picking up the battery hold-down, and I was told about "setting the polarity" by touching the "A" terminal on the generator to the non-ground battery terminal (in this case the "-" terminal, because it's a positive ground system). I did that, got a little spark at the battery terminal, and heard something click over by the generator. The click may have been in the voltage regulator that's right next to the generator. Anyway, that worked, and the generator is providing charge. Nice to fix at least one thing without more parts...
  19. Yes, I actually just got back from a local Studebaker collector's place where I picked up a battery hold down. Needs de-rust & paint, but should have that installed in the next few days.
  20. Swapped in the last few parts that I'd included in other parts orders - original type radiator hoses. Not only were the ones on the car generic "flex" hoses, no telling how long they'd been there. Anyway, I don't like to see the generic "flex" type hose when one that's molded to the correct shape is available. But in looking closer at the top of the engine area, I've figured out some more of the original parts are missing. I also am cleaning up the 14" rim that was in the trunk for a spare. I got a 15" (same size as the other wheels) at the salvage yard, but on removing the tire, I found that the rim is so rusted I'd rather not use it.
  21. Spent a while last night under the dash with electrical tape - a later headlight switch was spliced in somewhere along the way, and it was shorted. Received a replacement parking brake cable from Studebaker West (they had the right part number). Toughest part was getting the old one out. The threads at the back end were corroded to the point that I couldn't adjust the cable tight enough to work, and the clevis pin at the front didn't come out of the clevis either. But eventually got the old cable out & got the other one in and adjusted, so now the parking brake is working. Greased the front wheel bearings. Drove it up & down the street (to pull it out & sweep the garage floor), and right when I got back to the house, it stuck in first gear. Fortunately it was in a position to miss the other car in the driveway and get back to its spot in the garage. But something new to figure out. After it sat a while, my wife came back from the store & said the garage smells like gas. Found no major leaks, but the fuel pump is weepy. Someone else commented that it's nice to get something going & not immediately be faced with a major restoration, but these things seem to make their own to-do lists. But a couple more items and maybe it can at least make the 6 miles each way to the cruise night...
  22. Brakes are better than I expected. Since they'd sat for however long, there was a little corrosion on the inside of the drum at the bottom. I had scrubbed that off pretty well with scotchbrite & 400 grit sandpaper. I was prepared to have them turned, but they aren't noticeably more grabby as that spot goes around. I need to adjust the shoes to see if I can raise the point in pedal travel where the brakes start to grip, and I'll probably have some side-to-side adjuster tweaks as well. For the little drive that I've done so far though, there wasn't an obvious one-side pull. I just noticed in the video, right where the car passes closest to the camera, I can hear the click where I hit the overdrive switch.
  23. First drive photos & video from Saturday the 16th. 20170916_114349_9sec_vid.mp4 20170916_114308_5sec_vid.mp4