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John Byrd

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  1. Still fiddling with our 55 Studebaker coupe after the transmission change. Yesterday I worked 3 or 4 hours removing the gas pedal linkage bar off the back of the engine and learned two things.... look at the manual 1st, and look at the manual 1st, ha ! I had a lot of trouble reaching into that tight, greasy space, removed 2 bolts, tried to remove a huge bolt, and learned that to remove it, you just loosen one of the bolts behind the engine on the linkage bracket, then remove the rear lower head bolt ( !!!! ) that holds a piece of the bracket, and pull it out. The "huge" bolt I couldn't get loose turned out to be the water temp sending unit, and when I removed the two rear bolts that I didn't need to, it fell out and my floor got covered with water. Hmmm, who said working on old cars was fun ?, ha ha ! It actually was fun, and all the guys at the car club breakfast got a big laugh out of my story and asked me why I didn't look at my manual 1st..... Oh, now I have to find a simple, normal, easy to use, functional gas pedal that operates the carb by a cable or a simple straight rod.... so I had to ride my 50cc scooter to breakfast since the Stude is still laying in the garage.... but it idles great, ha ! ( the pic is from when I still had linkage, ha ! )
  2. Guess my stories area little boring to some of you, but they sure hit the WOW trigger with me.... When the Studebaker/ Packard dealer my Dad worked at got in a big 56 Packard Carribean convertible, they told him he could drive it in our little town's Christmas parade and haul the beauty queen, but he could also let me ride along. I had just turned 9 years old, and the "blow the dust out of it" ride before the parade, the way it would level itself when loaded on the back, (they demonstrated that often) and getting to be IN the parade was just fabulous. My 1st "scary" speed ride was in an old 56 Ford Victoria ( not a Crown ) that my buddy ( with me helping ) turned into a drag racer. It had a 406 with 3 carbs, he fixed the home-made 3 speed floor shifter linkage to where 1st gear was where reverse should be, then down to 2nd, back up to 3rd, some kind of wobbly home-made straight axle front end, and it honestly seems like he told me the steering shaft was made from a "rope-drive" Tempests drive shaft.. The 1st ride we took was out of town to a straight country road, turn around, and he rev'd it, dumped the clutch, and we were all over the place seems like forever !!! When he finally let off, he simply said, "yep, that'll do it" and we delivered it to the owner. I lived, my buddy lived, but can't remember about the owner, ha !
  3. Hooray ! Got the 55 Studebaker back home from my pals garage, and what a fabulous difference that 200 4R transmission made ! I now have a few things to do to finish up little things like getting a speedo adapter, a neutral kill switch, getting the column indicator to read right , making the throttle open all the way, and spent yesterday afternoon and a while this morning cleaning off the grubby hand-prints and shop dust. VERY thrilled with the transmission change tho'. No one here was the least bit interested in the old DG 250M cast iron transmission, so I had to go to our only local scrap dealer to get rid of it....300 lbs and 15 bucks payment lighter, I'm a happy boy ! Now to get out there and start fooling with details and continue cleaning it up, but it really acted nice driving to the club breakfast and "cruising our in town coast" this morning.
  4. I'll sure be glad to get back to some of "MY" car stuff, especially since today I have been making, painting, and hanging curtain rods making a new miniature ironing board, and doing way too many computer things, ha ! Think I'll jump on the scooter and go to Outback for lunch with some of my buds, check on the 55 Studebaker progress at the shop, go to the bank, and whatever else my bride thinks up for me to do while I'm "not doing anything else", ha !
  5. Trulyvintage, we have a little 89 year old lady friend that lives here now that sold her house and another one there. She had been there 70 years, and one of her sons still lives there I think. She even had a fishing business there and said she was the 1st pregnant person to be flown off the island for an emergency delivery, ha ! Funny little lady and totally full of stories !
  6. Str8-8-Dave, you definitely win the most interesting stories to this ole' boy !!!! That Comet wagon must have been a hoot with the 289 Hi-Po, I had a Hi-Po engine for years (65 thru 2010) that I used in 5 different cars ! Glad you mentioned the painter, our home town painter was not a neighbor, but used one of the yellow and black Sun Valley ( ??? ) Mercuries (54 I think) with the glass top taken out for his paint car.... but boy oh boy, was his daughter beautiful ! Ha !
  7. My "What I Am Working On" list had a great finale' today ! Got the 2007 Mini's 2nd power window replaced, all trim back on, the car cleaned up really good, and sold that thing to the 2nd caller on the 1st day of our F-Book ad !!! Never again will a BMW Fake Mini grace our place, this was the 2nd one, and the 1st one was trouble too. Both of these were my brides cars and she is a picky caretaker which made it all worse. (it was a REAL good deal...yeah, one of those, ha !) . I'll stick with my 63 real Mini and the 55 Studebaker. Lesson learned, BMW apparently means something like "Bring More Wallet", ha ! It did look and run good tho'....
  8. Great topic idea, thanks ! When I was born and until 5 years old, my aunt had a 51 Buick and her hubby had a 49 or 50 Chevy, and my Grandad had a 48 fastback (Styleline ?) Chevy, then a 54 Chevy. My parents: nothing, but I had a Champ pedal car and a Railway Express tractor trailer I could ride on. We moved 36 miles away and my folks finally got their 1st car, a 48 Studebaker...well used. The only two neighbor homes, nothing. We then moved into "The Projects" got a 50 or 51 Studebaker (my dad was the Parts Dept. manager at a Stude dealer), and one neighbor lady had a new looking 55 Plymouth 4 door black and white sedan. Other neighbors ? No idea, but lots of cheap or run-down Fords and Chevys parked on the street. Moved again, no close neighbors, just still had our 50 or 51 Stude. Moved again, got a 55 Studebaker Champion 4 door, the neighbors in the trailer court that surrounded our house had the following: a 58 VW, a 59 DeSoto, a 57 Dodge, a 64 Plymouth, a 62 Fairlane, a 64 Galaxie, a 55 Chevy, a 64 Fairlane, a "mid 60s" Corvette, a huge Ford flatbed truck with a welder and other equipment, a Triumph motorcycle, a Renault Dauphine we pushed around a lot, a 50 DeSoto, a Sunbeam Alpine convertible, an MGB with the twin cam engine (lasted him about 2 weeks and he also got an old Triumph bike) and a 63, 64, or 65 Riviera. There was also a black 49 to 52 Chevy that set out in front of our house a lot, but we never did see who owned it, ha ! Also, the 55 Stude got traded for a 60 Lark, then a 63 Bel Air wagon, and I had my 1st three cars there...all in a 2 1/2 month span, (escorting wide loads at the 60s speed limits was death on my two Chevys, but dad's 63 was great!) a 56 Chevy wagon, then a 64 Bel Air 2 door post, then my dearly loved 63 1/2 Falcon Futura with a 260 4 speed !!! Too much moving, too many neighbors after that place ! Fun memories, thanks again TAKerry !!!
  9. What am I NOT working on would be a better question, lol ! Still have the 55 Studebaker in the shop with the tranny change waiting on the new driveshaft. Meanwhile, new plumbing and faucet for the master bath's tub, rock walls down each side of the house, replacing ANOTHER power window unit (right rear this time) in the "Fake" Mini... ( BMW's version ), putting a new battery in my wife's motorscooter, building shelf spacers for an old shelf that has the "droops", and more, but this is making me tired writing about it all, ha !
  10. Steve, this is not to condemn or recommend, but just an honest report of my experience with Dot 5. I had a 66 Sunbeam Tiger that we completely re-did from top to bottom, and a 63 Austin Mini ( still have it ) that I adapted a new complete disc brake setup to. Both cars had all new brake parts, were bled and broke in correctly, and both cars VERY quickly had to have the little screw-in brake light switches replaced twice before I pumped all the Dot 5 out and replaced with Dot 3. The brakes on both cars were "kinda" mushy or "soft" feeling with the 5, but never failed. This may be because it was several years ago and Dot5 was "the new stuff", or that I did something wrong, but I have done more cars since, with our 55 Studebaker being the latest recipient of a new disc brake "kit", and no problems ever with the Dot 3. Remember, this is just my experience, not a slam, as I have friends who use the 5 and are satisfied. Good luck sir !
  11. Back in my aircraft inspection days, we had a couple of "drive shafts" in the little starter/generators of the SAAB 340 that had crack-like indications when magnetic particle inspected. A Lucus rep arranged to come see if we knew what we were doing on a certain date, so I wore in my tee shirt that had a picture and logos of the "3 Position Lucas Switch".... dim, flicker, and off. He loved it and said he thought he had everything, but had not seen that, ha ! Great guy, and yes, they were starting to fracture, which never happened again after the new replacement parts or possibly a change in heat treat ( we weren't told what the fix was ) as far as I know.
  12. Gary, I've had great luck brush painting the Tractor Supply brand with a brush... but, this is a bit more mess, but since you'll not need much paint to cover the already painted part, have you thought about using a little "air brush" and minimal masking ?
  13. My "working on right now" has got moved back a few days as my 73 year old back and my 18 year old mind were not working sensibly together... BUT, when I'm all better, I'll be taking the monster cast iron DG250-M transmission out of my 55 Studebaker and putting in a GM 200 4R. Got everything ready except for the driveshaft mod if that's needed, even bought a new 3 ton floor jack as my two oldies gave up the ghost...or some such parts, ha ! I won't be using the smaller flex plate, just the one that came in the great looking adapter kit from Fairborne Studebaker in the box lid. I also already have a trans cooler I forgot to lay in the pic. Looking forward to this !!
  14. My first taste of "personal luxury" as it applied to my life style was my 2nd Falcon that had electric wipers, ha !
  15. Buick35, if I remember correctly, it was a Rover.
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