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Everything posted by Gary_Ash

  1. Gary_Ash

    1926 Big Six Clock Pic Wanted

    George: Is this the one?
  2. I've been working on restoring the instruments for my 1932 Studebaker Indy car replica. I tried using some fine polishing compound very gently on the radimeter face but ground through the black paint without turning the numbers white. I've drawn up new artwork for the speedometer face and radimeter and printed out some decals. Anyone else need these? Unfortunately, the capillary tube for the radimeter was broken off right at the gauge so it will be a bit difficult to fix. I don't have the bulb, nut, or the well. I'm using a 1937 President block and head.
  3. Gary_Ash

    Mounting an ingition coil -- orientation?

    Some, though not all, of the old coils were designed to run horizontally or inverted. New coils, not so much. If the windings are not fully immersed in oil, they may arc and destroy the coil. Old NOS coils are also in danger of insulation failure, even if they were designed to run horizontally or inverted. With a new coil, it's probably better to run it with the high voltage output facing up. Will it work in a different orientation? The only way to find out is try it and see. Carry a spare coil in case it doesn't work out. I went through a couple of expensive NOS inverted coils in my 1948 Studebaker truck before giving up and mounting a new coil right side up. It's been fine now for a number of years.
  4. Gary_Ash

    christmas cards

    Here are a few we have done over the years. 2007 with the 1948 Studebaker M5 truck: 2009 with the 1965 Studebaker Wagonaire: 2011 with the chassis and parts of the 1932 Studebaker Indy car replica: 2018 with the M5 again at a local farm stand: Seasons greetings to all!
  5. 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
  6. Gary_Ash

    1932 Studebaker Indy car build

    I got the drilled Grade 8 bolts back from the machine shop for the spring eyes. The bolts will be inserted into the bronze bushings in the spring eyes and the chassis mounts. Each bolt was cross drilled with a 1/8th inch drill about halfway down the unthreaded length, then drilled down the center of the bolt with a 1/8th inch drill to intersect the crosshole, and the bolt heads tapped for a 1/4-28 grease fitting. The machine shop spent about 3 hours drilling the ten hard bolts. I'll be able to grease the spiral grooves in the bronze bushings (from Eaton Detroit Spring) and distribute the grease along the bearing surfaces. The bolts are way oversize at 3/4" diameter, so I'm not worried about compromising the strength of the bolts by drilling them. My plan had been to use aircraft-grade NAS bolts with even higher strength, but it wasn't easy to locate bolts with the right unthreaded length; and, at $50 or so per NAS bolt, the standard Grade 8 cap screws were a bargain at 10% of the NAS price. I did learn about the differences between loading bolts in tension (clamping) and loading them in shear, as in spring mounts. The key is to avoid having an extended threaded portion (more than 2 threads of 3/4-16) in the hole so that the threads don't chew up the metal. The hex cap screws have tightly controlled diameters on the unthreaded length, better than regular hex bolts, so there won't be slop in the bushings. I'll use nylon-insert locknuts, though the exposed threaded length could be cross drilled for a castle nut and cotter pin. Each bolt will have a hardened washer under the head and under the nut. To allow clamping with less than 2 threads in the bushing or mount or too many exposed threads for the nut to clamp, washers will be selected from the NAS-style ones in .032" or 0.090" thickness or SAE-style ones of .134" or .188" thickness. Ideally, no more than two washers should be stacked on outer end. In principle, Grade 8 hex cap screws are available in 1/4" increments, but odd lengths are tough to find in bolts over 4" long. Ziegler Bolt and Nut has a good selection at fair prices. All in all, Grade 5 bolts would have worked just fine for this, and original bolts would not have been even Grade 5 and they would have been smaller in diameter. But, anything worth doing is worth overdoing!
  7. Gary_Ash

    1932 Studebaker Indy car build

    I made another foray to Pro Shaper for more work on the tail section and some bits for the cockpit. Wray finished up some of the welding on the right side of the tail, then ground the welds down, leveled the surfaces with dolly and metal slapper. While I'm getting better at using the English wheel, Wray is the artist who can see every ripple, hollow, or bulge and make them disappear with just a little more wheeling. He makes the finished surfaces mirror-like - much of the secret is keeping the aluminum and wheel clean and polished with 600 grit or better. I got the last four pieces for the very back of the tail shaped and fitted pretty well. Maybe next visit will see them welded to the rest of the tail. Along the way, Wray showed me where the "flow" of the wire form buck was poor in the back third, so I and a another attendee cut , re-bent, and moved several of the 1/4" diameter steel wires to obtain a smoother surface without hollows. This will make joining the pieces together into a smooth surface easier. I also made some L-shaped pieces for the bottom edge of the cockpit skin. These will get riveted to the lower edge of the cockpit skin, and a few studs with acorn nuts will hold the cockpit to the angle iron cockpit frame and the chassis side rails. I had started a pair of these ells on a previous trip to Wray's and had planned to fold over the outer edge to make a 1/8" high lip to cover the angle iron. Wray pointed out that it wasn't possible to bend a lip that shallow on the .062" thick aluminum and that I had to remake the pieces (sigh!) with the horizontal leg at least a 1/2" overlength. The L pieces are a little more complicated, as there is a 10 degree bend near the back ends to follow the frame rails. I tried using the tipping wheel machine (like a bead roller) on a test piece, but wasn't satisfied with the result, so I used a pneumatically-powered press brake to make a sharp bend after using the tipping wheel to start the bend at the angle. This illustrates why I am working at Wray's: he has all of the sheet metal tools anyone could dream of plus lathes, milling machines, big band saws, 500 assorted vise grip clamps, etc. Of course, this puckered the material at the angle, so it had to be annealed and hand bent and shrunk to get the shape right. Then I sawed off most of the excess material in a bandsaw and ground to final size with one of Wray's favorite Harbor Freight angle die grinders and 80 grit abrasive paper. Then I hand sanded with progressively finer grit to smooth out the worked surfaces. Two simple pieces: 4 hours elapsed time. Now I have to trim the bottom edge of the cockpit metal and rivet the pieces in place like the original cars. It's taking a long time to make the body, but it will be excellent when done. I get frustrated that it takes me a long time to make what Wray can do in a few minutes, but I am getting better and we are making progress. I'll go back again after Thanksgiving. For anyone interested in learning how to form aluminum or steel sheet metal for car bodies, airplanes, architecture projects, or art work, I highly recommend Wray's classes - just be prepared to work your butt off every day!
  8. Gary_Ash

    17" aluminum steering wheel for what?

    Probably a product of American Hard Rubber Co., Butler, NJ. See this blog for some interesting info:
  9. Gary_Ash

    Want to buy

    I wondered if one of those covers could be 3D printed. It is difficult to make truly transparent objects that way, but offers parts in VeroClear resin which is pretty close to transparent, slight blue tint maybe in thin parts, say 0.040"-.060" thick. The finished part has properties about like Plexiglas. I didn't know what the actual size of the cover is but I assumed about 6.6" across. Just for fun, I laid out the part in my TurboCad Platinum program, added a rim about 0.3" wide, made the thickness 0.06", then did "pressure loading" to deform the central area by about .25". It's easy to change the "pressure" to obtain a bulge of the needed height. I uploaded the file to Sulpteo and they gave me a price of $128 and a shipping time of about 2 weeks. The price didn't change when I made the thickness 0.040", so it must be based on area and other things for a part like this. I think a 3D printed part would still need a lot of hand polishing, perhaps working your way up to about 2000 grit. See this page about VeroClear: Stratasys VeroClear. The computer-generated images attached show about what it would look like. I made the model in "blue glass" so it could be seen. If nothing else, a 3D printed part could serve as a master for making a silicone mold for casting multiple parts. Interesting, eh? You would still be better off finding an original glass.
  10. Gary_Ash

    Ring Gear RIvets

    Rivets are used in a lot of places where bolts will loosen over time. Bolted joints subjected to alternating shear loads, as in starts, shifts, and stops on a ring gear, will turn the bolt heads or nuts and loosen the grip. We never see bolts get tighter over time, only looser. Additionally, if the old rivets were drilled out, the holes may be oversized and not round. When a rivet head is peened over, the shank of the rivet grows in diameter to completely fill the hole, something a bolt can never do. The two pieces can never shift if the rivet is put in correctly. Car manufacturers used rivets for good reasons. These guys know all about rivets for cars: If you must use bolts, omit lock washers, use red Loctite on the threads, and torque to full recommended value. The socket head cap screws recommended bu Friartuck are good. Pick an unthreaded body length that allows no more than 1-2 threads inside the holes in the rear gear or plate, cut off the excess threads leaving 1 or 2 threads exposed. If part of the unthreaded body goes all the way through, use a hardened washer under the nut, but only one washer.
  11. Gary_Ash

    Want to buy

    I hope you can find one, because making one would be complicated and probably expensive. It takes a mold, ceramic or iron, of the shape you need. I flat piece of glass is placed on top, the mold and glass heated in a kiln to about 1200-1250 degrees F for about 10 minutes, then a slow cool to anneal the glass. Maybe you could find a local glass artist to do this for you. On the other hand, if you can live with a plastic lens, you could cut out the opening shape in two pieces of plywood, clamp a piece of acrylic (Plexiglas) between the sheets and use a hot air gun to slowly heat the plastic until it slumps enough or do it in a kitchen oven or toaster oven. Good luck!
  12. Gary_Ash

    1935 Commander starter motor

    Chris: I sent an email about a distributor.
  13. Gary_Ash

    1932 Studebaker Indy car build

    By Monday night, the group was pretty exhausted, and the pace slowed after dinner. We did get the front 2/3 of the tail section welded together, though the welds still need to be sanded down and dollied to level everything out. To me, it's amazing that a few light taps with a hammer on the outside and a dolly on the inside can bring up weld metal to the surface where a slight recess existed. After a little sanding, the weld is invisible to the eye and the probing finger. Wray has been using his Everlast 210EXT TIG welder a lot more rather than his ancient Miller unit, fine tuning the settings to allow fusion joints without adding filler rod metal when the two edges are in direct contact or only have a small gap, i.e. less than .005"-.010". He starts in the middle of the section to be welded, working his way out to either end of the joint. Because of shrinkage of the metal at the weld spots, small gaps get closed up as he goes. He tacks the front first, fully welds the back side, then goes back and fully welds the front. I keep practicing my TIG techniques, but I'm letting Wray weld for now because I don't want to burn holes in the panels. The four pieces for the end of the tail cone are 90% done [see earlier post #183], need to be welded together, and joined to the front section. Hopefully, that will happen on my next visit. Other sections that need to be built include the 6" deep belly pan from the bell housing back, the "wings" that support the tail on the frame rails, and the seat area. P.S. Note in the bottom photo the Harbor Freight English wheels on the left in the background. You can see how Wray modifies them to turn the C-frame upside down so that the position of the large wheel is adjusted from the top. This gets the adjuster stem out from under the working area so that larger, curved pieces can be worked easily. He also dispenses with the tilting mount for the lower wheel. He sells a kit for this conversion, though the kit costs more than the HF wheel.
  14. Gary_Ash

    1932 Studebaker Indy car build

    A four-day session with Wray Schelin is a real work-out: start at 9:00 am, work until 10:00 pm - but we learn a lot. I’ve been trying to get the tail section together. It takes a lot of pounding, shrinking, stretching, planishing, and wheeling to things to fit together and have the right shape. There are nine of us here this time, including a guy from New Zealand, two from Canada, others from AZ, NM, NC. The NZ guy is only 27, pretty skilled. There are two more in their 30’s, so we are bringing along some youngster. Wray was teaching how to make paper patterns, form curves over a piece of pipe, using a shrinking disk, hammer-and-dolly work, and other tasks. Good fun, Some of the students have been working on the build of the Virgil Exner design of a future car from 1947. It’s a complicated body, but it’s coming along.
  15. I have a source for new distributor caps (182349) and covers (182350) for wires exiting the side of the cap. These are for Delco 662M distributors and related versions. Does anyone else want one or more? I'm about to order, so please let me know ASAP.
  16. Gary_Ash

    Car phones in 1946

    See what the young lady is (barely) holding in the current posting from the AACA library:
  17. Gary_Ash

    Lincoln and Mercury accessories from 1978

    Can you please show Page 3 with the details about the "car phone" the young lady is holding in the Page 2 photo?
  18. Gary_Ash

    1932 Studebaker Indy car build

    Among the details I'm trying to get completed are the special greaseable bolts for the spring eyes. The springs have bronze bushings with spiral grooves so that they can be greased over the i.d. surface. To enable that, the bolts that go through the shackles are gun-drilled about half the length of the body, then cross drilled to let the grease out. A standard grease fitting goes into the head of the bolts. These are popular now with the off-road crowd, but it what was used on the Indy cars back in 1932, as well. While the cars back in the '30s may have used 1/2" bolts, I went with 3/4" because of the 1/8" diameter drilled holes. I'd make the holes smaller diameter, but it would significantly increase the chances of breaking off a drill or tap in the hardened bolts. The head of the bolt wants a washer under it, then one side of the shackle, the spring eye, the other side of the shackle, a washer, and a locking nut. In principle, the shank of the bolt should not have more than 1 or 2 threads inside the clamped stack, nor should there be more than 2 washers on the threaded side. I had planned to use NAS aircraft bolts because the shank diameters are controlled to within 0.001 inch, they are very strong, and are nominally available in increments of 1/8" of unthreaded body. If you are Boeing and buying by the thousands, no problem, but if you only want two of a given length, they are harder to find and pricey. I got a quote on the ten bolts I need, but they ran $40-$50 each. I settled on standard Grade 8 hex head cap screws (3/4-16) because they are strong, have shank diameters controlled to within a few thousandths undersize, are available in 1/4" length increments, and only cost $3 or $4 each. I'll take them to the machine shop I use to have the holes drilled and the heads tapped for the 1/4-28 threads of the grease fittings. Interestingly, the NAS/AN-960 hardened washers come in 0.032" and 0.090" thickness, while SAE-type Grade 8 washers are 0.134" thick. I'll add washers to make sure I don't have too many threads in the shackles but can still tighten the nylon lock-nuts to eliminate side motion. I'll probably cut off about 1/2" of the excess threaded end to leave only a few threads sticking out of the nuts. I can't believe how much time it has taken just to nail down which bolts to order and where to find them, plus learning how to install them correctly. They are on order now. When they come in, they'll go the machine shop where it will take carbide drills and taps to finish them off. Then I can pull out the hardware store bolts that have been holding things in place for a few years. This weekend, it's back to Wray Schelin's shop for more work on the body.
  19. Gary_Ash

    37 studebaker president

    The 1937 automatic overdrive transmission is big and heavy. Ask me how I know, LOL! Without the lockout cable, the only way to get it to drop out of overdrive was to step on the gas pedal - not a good concept in my book. There was a third transmission in 1937 (and was available in 1936): a simple three-speed without overdrive, but the overdrives were standard on Presidents that year.
  20. Gary_Ash

    Clutch Rebuild

    Ft. Wayne Clutch - Good quality, prompt, fair prices.
  21. 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?
  22. 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.
  23. 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
  24. Gary_Ash

    How to leak check aluminum head?

    Mark: I like that idea!
  25. 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.