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1932 Studebaker Indy car build


Gary_Ash

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I haven't checked the compression, but the engine had been rebuilt before, clearances were good, pistons were knurled a little, and new rings installed.  It should be OK.  At some point, I'll test compression, but for now, if it runs, it will be just fine.

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27 minutes ago, Gary_Ash said:

I haven't checked the compression, but the engine had been rebuilt before, clearances were good, pistons were knurled a little, and new rings installed.  It should be OK.  At some point, I'll test compression, but for now, if it runs, it will be just fine.


 

Just fine? I was hopeful for a chance to “drive it like I stole it”..............Laguna  Seca and Monterey Historic's are calling me to do a few speed runs. Still have my sanction card. I say let’s drop the hammer and max it out!

 

I haven’t done a four wheel slide in an open wheeled car in fifteen years. 👍

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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33 minutes ago, Gary_Ash said:

Ed:  It might happen at Lime Rock first.  You know the way to get there.


I have lots of experience with street racing in Hampton County! Never been caught....yet! 😝

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There were nasty jobs to do today.  I needed to check the tappet settings and set the distributor timing.  I pulled all the spark plugs so I could look into the combustion chambers.  In the Studebaker straight 8, you can see the edges of the valves through the spark plug hole but you can't see the piston.  I knew where Top Dead Center was from marks on the flywheel - and that I transferred to the vibration damper.  With the car in gear, I could push the car to turn the crankshaft, opening and closing the valves.  It isn't easy to tell when the lifters are off the cam lobes.  A couple of months after Jerry Kurtz had rebuilt my engine, and just before he disconnected from the world with Alzheimer's, he sent me an email saying he thought he had adjusted the valves wrong and I should check them.  His email included the tip, "When the exhaust starts to open, adjust the intake valve; when the intake closes, adjust the exhaust valve."  With that advice, i could slide the feeler gauge in to set the tappets.  Fifteen of the valves were within .001" of the 0.016" specification.  The exhaust on #8 cylinder didn't seem to have any clearance at all.  Staring at lifter and valve spring, I saw that the U-shaped lifter spring had slipped out of position and was caught up under the bottom of the valve spring.  Once that was cleared, the setting was easy to do.

 

Then I had to set the distributor timing.  The Delco-Remy 662M distributor has dual points but uses only a single ignition coil.  The guy who rebuilt the distributor had adjusted the points and synchronized them, saving me the hassle.  He also removed the vacuum advance because he thought there would not be enough vacuum to be useful, so all of the advance (22 degrees) is now mechanical.  He suggested starting with the points opening at 16 degrees before TDC.  So, I pushed the car back and forth to align the vibration damper there.  As I started moving the distributor to adjust when the points opened, I could see that the rotor was not pointing to the #1 position on the cap: it was 180 degrees out.  I thought I had fixed this earlier, but apparently not.  

 

The cam sits low on the right side of the block.  A spiral gear in the middle of the cam drives a shaft that goes down to the oil pump gears and up to the distributor.  There is a coupling with an off-center slot at the top of the shaft to engage the distributor shaft.  I had the wide part of the coupling facing to the outside of the block when it was supposed to be facing the inside, towards the cam.  Having fiddled with this before, I knew there was only one, ugly solution:  drain the 7 quarts of clean oil, undo the 32 screws holding the 20 lb pan in place, drop the pan, remove 4 bolts from the oil pump, lower the pump to the floor, turn the shaft 180 degrees, and reverse the process.  Easier said than done.  Because of the spiral-cut oil pump gears, the shaft has to be rotated about two teeth before installing it, so that it rotates into the correct orientation as the gears engage.  I got it right on the second try.  Then it was do a one-handed lift of the heavy pan while trying to install a couple of bolts without messing up the cork gasket.  Having a helper would have made all of this much easier.  I eventually got it in place, gently tightened the bolts, and poured most of the oil back into the engine.  About a pint spilled, ran over the chassis, steering box, and into the drip pan I had placed for such an event, and on me.  Setting the timing after this was an anticlimax.  I need a hot shower to get the rest of the oil off of me.

 

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Delco-Remy 662M distributor with dual points.

 

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Side cut-away view of engine showing valves and cam positions.

 

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Front cut-away view of President 8 engine.

 

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Cam timing chart.

 

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Cam lobe profile.  Studebaker used this profile on its straight 6 and straight 8 engines through 1960.

 

 

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I had ordered the leather hood straps with interesting springs from a Model T Ford supplier.  These seem to be what the original cars used.  After all, they were readily available and cheap, worked just right.  I cut slots in the hood panels by drilling a pair of 1/4" holes, then used the HF air saw to saw out the slots, finished off with a little hand filing.  I used #12 oval head screws with finish washers on the outside, flat washers and nuts inside.  The lower edges of the hood panels mate with a U-shaped recess in the side panels.  I don't think the panels will blow open at any speed I'll ever reach.  The look matches the photos from 1932 and appearance of cars #18 and #37 currently.

 

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Hood panels in place with leather straps and springs.  Straps are reproduction Model T Ford parts.

 

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Close-up of strap and spring.

 

 

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I've  avoided putting the belly pan in place because I wasn't sure how I was going to lift it in place from the garage floor and secure it in place.  Like many tasks that hang over our heads, I eventually had to face doing it.  I jacked up the back axle and put three slabs of 2x8 under each wheel to raise the chassis enough to get the belly pan under it.  I then built a couple of 8" tall cradles or bridges from 2x4's to raise the pan up to within an inch of the bottom of the chassis rails.  From there, I was able to lift one corner of the pan at a time enough to get some big clamps under the flanges on the pan and above the frame rails.  I marked a couple of places, drilled a #7 hole through the pan flange and frame rail, enlarged the hole in the pan to 9/32", then tapped the holes in the frame rail for 1/4-20 threads.  A 1/4-20x1" bolt got screwed in from the top side, and a nut and washer pulled the pan into place, did this in three places.  One side is done, tomorrow the other side.  I only knocked my head against the steering gear once, but I got a good knock on the head.  I hate these jobs that require lying under the car and working overhead.  A lift would have made my life easier, but the ceiling is too low.

 

The UPS guy brought the last of the vinyl graphics today, so they are ready to install after paint - whenever that is.  They look just like the images I posted a few days ago.  The UPS guy told me his father had driven a '34 Chevy with a '57 Olds V8 in it, had been a real hot rodder.  He enjoyed the tour of the garage.

 

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Posted (edited)

Knock in the head........

 


“If your not bleeding, your not working.”  Phil Harris.

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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Edinmass has reminded me that the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) now has laws that require fenders or mud guards on all four wheels for cars built after 1949.  In my dreams, the RMV will accept my car as a 1932 Studebaker.  In reality, it will wind up as a replica or kit car built in 2021.  So, I will plan on making four fenders that can be quickly installed or removed, much like the headlights.  The rear fenders can be supported by 1" x 3/16" steel brackets that mount to the frame rails with a couple of bolts.  I think I can mount the front ones with the support brackets attached to the 3/16" steel plates I welded on the back of the brake backing plates.  That way, the fenders will turn with the wheels, but won't hit the body or frame.  Each fender will weigh about 2.3 lbs made from 0.062" thick aluminum.  Oh, well, another task added to the to-do list.

 

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Computer rendering of wheel and fender seen from the front.

 

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Computer rendering of the wheel and fender seen from the back side with skirt for part of support and stiffening.

 

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Front wheel backing plates with 3/16" steel adapter plate welded on.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Sorry to add to your work load! Don't forget stop/tail lights/turn signals/horn/mirrors............emergency brake, windshield wipers/washers. The problem is its a never ending saga.............it's probably worth your time to go to the HAMB and ask what currently is sending them into delusional fits.............they hate it when a car passes on the first try. Don't forget DOT approved tires.............🤭

 

PS- Plate light and bracket! And I'm sure some other things I forgot.........like a two stage master.........

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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Oboy, I thought you guys lived in the U.S.A where everything are allowed in the entusiast automotive world. Sounds more like Norway all over; rules and regulations.... Best advice; get all required b&w correctly done accoding to regulations, after approval; remove the unwanted elements and enjoy the wind in the hair down the road hauling ass in a 1932 Studebaker. No one will have second thoughts, by the looks it is original built by Studebaker.....by spec it is 😊👌

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We don't need no stinkin' windshield wipers when we don't have a windshield, Ed!  The rest is all covered.  I've tested the tail lights, stops lights, turn signals, emergency flashers, horn, and hand brake.  Without a windshield, I'm not sure where they will want to put the inspection sticker as it usually goes inside the windshield facing out, LOL.  Motorcycles must have the same issue.  The left tail light does have a white light shining down to the license plate; so does the right tail light even without a plate below it.  The Coker Stahl Sport radial tires are DOT approved, speed S rated for over 112 mph.  I have the rear view mirror, just need to make another $#@&*! bracket to mount it.  The Wilwood master cylinder is a dual reservoir-type for independent front/rear actuation.  If only I can get the leaky line fittings fixed!  I have the small copper gaskets to put in the fittings, should stop the leaks.  I spent [i.e., mostly wasted] my working life managing engineering projects and was an unwelcome visitor to many project meetings because I would always anticipate problems that nobody wanted to deal with.  Nobody ever wants to hear, "I told you so."

 

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On the 1897 Haynes, we stickered it under the guidance of RMV and the state registrar. That car needed a bunch of waivers...........we put the sticker on some plexiglass, and zip tied it under the hood. Be sure to have goggles and a DOT helmet with you in the truck or trailer. I wouldn’t bring it in with me, but if they ask you can say you have it in the truck. I think if you are very prepared, dress nice, and are laid back in your approach with everything you have, you got a decent chance. I would also suggest a YOM plate on it when you go....and imply you plan on running it. It will take them from “modern hot rod” to historic vehicle. I wouldn’t put the numbers on it...........or stickers. Too much like a strictly off road car. 

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Good news......you don’t need air bags. Seems your limited to 3000 miles per year. And you need to apply for emissions exemption! 😎

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Posted (edited)

Good News.......out of all fifty states, Massachuetts is rated at number 50 for being the most difficult to own, register, insure, and title a antique or custom car! 👍 More good news.......that rating was from Haggerty’s article just last year.

 

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Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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Gary.....upon investigation, it looks like the state has upgraded its laws and now you have a clear process......that’s a definite plus from years ago. Documentation is going to be key, along with photos. It’s clear you will get a titled issued. The race car configuration may be a problem where you get a title, but an off road limited one. It’s going to be a judgment call at the inspection facility. ..........bring coffee and doughnuts!

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Of such stuff that Ed has detailed, nightmares are made!  I'm hoping to have most of the issues addressed before I go for a title, and anticipate being sent to the Mass. State Police facility to inspect for "stolen parts".  Are there many stolen front axles from 92-year old cars?  How about engines from 1937 Studebakers?  I should take Ed's advice and bring donuts and coffee, maybe bottles of gun oil, since they seem to pack big guns on the hip.  About ten years ago, when my younger daughter - at 5'2" and 125 lbs - had to go to West Texas oil rigs and tell the hulking roughnecks where and how to drill, she would show up for 6:30 a.m. site meetings with a box of breakfast burritos to calm the savage beasts.  It seemed to work, as she survived and prospered.  OK, Dunkin' Donuts and coffee...

 

Today was a warm, sunny day here in southeastern Mass.  Having put in the studs to support the belly pan on the front section, I pulled out the pan after having marked where the "wings" were to go for the supports in the back end.  I marked where the wings were to be located, drilled the holes and put in Clecos as I went, then installed 32 more 5/32" aluminum rivets.  Each one required drilling the holes, pulling off the wing to de-burr the holes, remounting with Clecos in alternate holes, then using the ATS 3X rivet gun and heavy tungsten buck to seat the rivets.  Now that I have put 102 rivets in the belly pan and 200 more in the rest of the body, I'm getting pretty good at this - just as there are no more rivets to do.  I'll have to add a couple more studs or bolts at the back section of the pan to draw the pan and tail together, but that should be simple enough.  We'll see how the joint between the tail and belly pan comes out when it's all together.  Except for the new requirement for fenders, all the sheet metal work is now done.

 

I have the tail section sitting on the chassis, so with the belly pan off, I started on mounting the attachment metal for the seat belts.  This is another job that requires me lying on my back under the car and even welding overhead - not my idea of fun!  In principle, a seat belt should withstand 9,000 lbs of force to meet DOT requirements.  At that level, your body wouldn't survive in one piece, but so be it.  But, even with weak steel, about 1/3 of a square inch would meet this requirement in tension.    A Grade 8 bolt in shear is way above this level.  So, I have some 1" square tube with 1/8" wall thickness, cross drilled the ends for a 1/2" bolt for the seat belt fittings.  The tubes are welded to 1/4" steel plates on bolted pipe clamps on two rear cross members.  Once the seat belts are bolted to the square tubes, I figure I'll be long reduced to goo before the belts come loose in a crash.  I had to poke some 3" x 3/4" openings in the seat backs to feed the belts through to the attachment points, and I bent the edges over to prevent abrasion of the belt material.  The belts are 3" wide nylon with military aircraft-style release handles.  I'm hoping that I can reach one hand and a wrench through the existing 12"x12" hole in the belly pan by the rear axle to attach the seat belts, else I have to make more holes and cover plates.  Anything worth doing is worth overdoing!   Now I need to order a crash helmet and goggles as Ed suggests.

 

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One wing set up with Clecos before riveting.  The other wing has already been riveted.

 

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The riveting finished on the belly pan.  The U-shaped openings are for the rear axle.

 

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The belly pan ready to go back under the car.

 

 

 

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I finished the fabrication of the seat belt mounts and got them painted today.  The mount arms were made from 1x1x1/8" square tube, grade A500.  Since it's very difficult to bend square tube without special dies, I had to slice a wedge out of three sides of the tube, bend the 4th side (heated), and re-weld the joints.  The tricky part was aligning the arms with the pipe clamps, seeing where the bends needed to be, and being sure to leave clearance for the rear axle up/down movement.  I had to crawl under the car about 6 times for each arm - ugh!  I think I left enough room, but I had to make a number of cuts and welds in the tubes.  Since I wasn't sure I could get two arms and two wrenches through the available openings, I welded a 1/2-20 nut to each of the four arms.  Now I only need to stick the bolt through the belt end and into the arm, then use one arm to turn the wrench.  Between the 12" x 12" opening under the axle pumpkin and the U-shaped openings for the axle, I think I can get the bolts in all four ends.

 

I panicked for a moment wondering if the belts had some kind of official approval, was relieved to find the SFI label on them, though they are only good for two years.  That's because nylon left in the sun degrades quickly.  I won't be leaving the car outside, but the belts will go out of date for any club racing events.  I guess they are cheap enough.

 

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The seat belt mount arms made from 1" x 1" square tube with a 3/4" x 3/4" cross brace.

 

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Seat belt arms painted.  My favorite rattle-can paint is Rustoleum Professional glass black.

 

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Seat belt in place in passenger side, 3" x 1" holes visible on driver's side.  The hole edges are folded over to prevent abrasion.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

I got the seat belt mounts installed in the chassis, looks like there will be enough clearance for axle motion without hitting.  I can move the rubber bumpers down a 1/2" or so, if needed.  The buckles won't pass through the 3" x 1" openings, so I will have to reach through the openings in the belly pan to bolt them in.

 

I remembered that I needed some protection around the drive shaft.  There were two issues:  1.) having the rotating drive shaft near my legs or a passenger's legs and 2.) if the front U-joint broke, the driveshaft could be flopping around under the thin aluminum seat and my legs.  Some of the competition motor sports organizations require driveshaft hoops and give specs for what is required.  I'm not going into heavy-duty drag racing, but the NHRA specs at least give good guidance on what works, namely 1/4" thick metal at least 2" wide or heavy-wall tube.  The local steel shop cut a piece of 5-inch Schedule 40 steel pipe for me.  It's 5.563" o.d and 0.258" wall.  I bent up four legs from 1" x 3/16" steel bar, drilled 3/8" holes for bolts from the back flange of the transmission, and welded them together.  The drive shaft is now covered, at least until it is well under the seats, and the U-joint can't go anywhere.  Is it overkill?  Of course, but anything worth doing is worth overdoing!

 

The to-do list is getting shorter.  Time to deal with the leaking brake fittings.

 

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The seat belt mounts installed.  I made the first one (right side) to go over the axle, tried going around the axle pumpkin for the second one.  Both were complicated.

 

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Driveshaft and U-joint before putting the cover in place.

 

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U-joint cover in place.  There should be enough room for the driveshaft up/down motion as the axle moves.

 

 

Edited by Gary_Ash (see edit history)
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  • 2 weeks later...

The brake lines gave me real problems, so I did lots of other little tasks while I thought about the problem.  I had the 3/16" Cunifer tubing, I had the $300 FedHill 007 double-flare tool, I'd done steel brake lines before, but at least half of the double flares I made leaked badly.  I remade some lines, still got leaks.  I cranked the nuts up REALLY tight, no joy.  Based on some comments over at the Studebaker Drivers Club website, I bought some soft copper conical gaskets made for inverted flare fittings.  I backed out the flare nuts, pulled out the tubes a little, inserted the gaskets into the female fitting, pushed them into place with the tube end, and screwed in the nuts.  That stopped every one of the leaks, and I didn't have to tighten the nuts very hard.  I had installed Speedibleeders with check valves on the wheel cylinders, so I was able to bleed the brakes alone.  The brake fluid is Wilwood 570 glycol-type with a very high boiling point, good for racing.  It does have very low viscosity, so it will find the places that leak.

 

I dragged out my digital microscope to have a look at a gasket that I had used as a test.  The convex side that sits in the double flare on the tube end showed a narrow line of contact.  The concave side that goes against the cone that sticks up in the female side of the fitting showed a broader area of contact.  I'm not sure what that means, but I suspect I pushed the double flare in too much.

 

My to-do list has gotten very short.  I went to the auto parts store today and bought green antifreeze, Pennzoil Synchromesh fluid for the transmission, a funnel with a metal flex line for filling the transmission, and a cartridge for the grease gun.  One more stop at the gas station to get 5 gallons of gas.  The moment of truth will arrive very soon...

 

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A sample brake line flare with a conical copper gasket.

 

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The convex side (tube side) of the test gasket showing a narrow ring of contact.

 

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The concave side of the gasket showing a wider contact ring.

 

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Fluids ready to go in the car.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

I started pouring the 50-50 mix of coolant into the radiator, used up the 2 gallons of concentrate I had plus some more, about 17+ quarts to fill the engine and radiator.  Maybe just a bit more as I had left the block drain open and had a green puddle in the drip pan below the car before I heard it splashing into the pan.  Then i started on the transmission oil.  The shop manual said the original 1937 cars, from which I took my engine, held 3 pints, but it took almost 4 pints before it ran out the filler hole.  

 

As I was putting the transmission oil in, I noticed a green drip coming out of the bell housing.  "Huh?", said I.  I was mystified because there shouldn't be any coolant there.  The drip was coming from a tapered dowel pin that locates the bell housing on the block.  I think my engine rebuilder modified the hole in the block for reasons I don't understand.  That dowel pin goes in much farther than the other two.  I suspect the hole got drilled through to the water jacket.  The hole for the dowel pin, as shown on the original Studebaker drawing, is supposed to be 23/64" diameter x 7/8" deep.  There should have been about 3/8" of cast iron between the bottom of the hole and the water.  Unfortunately - and sadly - I can't ask my engine builder about this as he now has severe dementia.  I wonder if he had begun his descent during the time he had my engine.  I'm crossing my fingers that I don't find other things astray.

 

Now I have to remove the cowl and the belly pan, drain much of the 17 quarts of coolant, take out the new drive shaft shield and drive shaft, pull out the handbrake and clutch linkage attached to the transmission housing, remove the generator and transmission, drop the bell housing, and pull out the dowel pin.  Then I can see what I'm dealing with.  As there are two other dowels (maybe one of those added by my engine builder), enough to locate the bell housing, I can live without the third one.  Maybe I can tap the hole for a 1/8" socket head pipe plug, maybe I have to clean the hole thoroughly and fill it with Plastic Steel, JB Weld, PC-7, or similar epoxy-steel mixture.  The radiator cap is a 4 lb pressure cap, so there won't be a lot of pressure on whatever gets used to plug the leak.   But, I only want to do this once.  I was all ready to pour gas in the tank and try the starter button, so this is a little disheartening, but we'll get through it.    

 

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Adding coolant mixture to the engine.  The cap on the radiator shell is now just a dummy as I put in a remote fill.  An overflow tank is shown on the lower left.  The Meziere thermostat housing is to the right of the remote fill.  

 

2073083041_addingtransoil.jpg.8025a26c20e2a4124dbd415fe1334415.jpg

Adding Pennzoil Synchromesh fluid to the transmission.  Red arrow points to dowel pin where coolant weeps through.

 

 

 

Edited by Gary_Ash (see edit history)
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Sorry to read this Gary. This kind of show stoppers are not easy to accept when your are at the very end of a great build. Kind of weird that a third dowelpin has been specified by Studebaker beyond the two common pins on each side of the bellhousing. Any attempt to remove pin without removing bellhousing/transmission are probably not optimal, especially if a threaded plug are to be installed. Pin is hardened and from the pictures not really accessible without removal as described. I would go for a NPT or any similar coned plug prepared with liquid sealant. Use a brass version based on the remaining non-cast iron accessories on your engine to avoid the post-issues having something acting up materialvice on the corrosion side. 
 

At least you got this alert early, not later when engine was hot any you had enjoyed the thrill of speeding about the track somewhere. And you are getting really good tinkering the cars mechanics. 

 

Even if this is one bad feeling now, it builds character. We all know from experiences. To well Gary. 
 

You will fix this👍

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That really sucks. I would vote for the pipe plug, with some sealer on it, either shellac or maybe Loctite. Shellac is extremely effective on coolant, but everything needs to be really clean.

 

I would believe the shop manual more than the plug for the transmission oil. On many cars of that period you did not fill all the way to the plug. You stuck your pinky finger in there, bent it down 90 degrees and if you could touch the oil it was full. It might very well be overfull.

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Posted (edited)

It took 3-1/2 hours to remove all the parts needed to get the bell housing off.  A lot of it required me to be prone on the garage floor.  The transmission is 80-100 lbs and the bell housing is probably 30 lbs.  The last time I pulled the transmission, I dropped the bell housing on my thumb, took 6 months to grow a new thumb nail, so I was very careful today, used the floor jack to lower the parts.

 

The hole for the tapered pin was bigger than an 1/8th inch pipe plug, so I drilled it out to 7/16" and ran in a 1/4" pipe tap.  My local Ace Hardware store had a short brass 1/4" pipe plug with recessed hex drive.  After drilling the hole about 1" deep and running the tap mostly in, I tried the brass plug.  Wouldn't you know that the hex drive is bigger than 1/4" and smaller than 5/16".  I have LOTS of Allen wrenches, but none of them fit.  I guess I need a 9/32 or 7 mm hex bit.  I'm hoping the local industrial supply place has one in stock, because the big box stores don't show them in stock.  Maybe I'll be able to put things back tomorrow.

 

When I put the vacuum cleaner hose up to the hole to remove the drill and tapping chips, I suddenly sucked out a lot of coolant - much to my surprise.  I guess the hole got drilled clear through during the rebuild.  The old blueprint shows the hole was supposed to be 7/8" deep, plus the drill point, but I measured the depth at 1-5/8".  A pipe plug is certainly needed.  I'll put it in with some sealant.  

 

1793437748_partsremoved.jpg.ed10d253c20522d07091b97c4e0abfe0.jpg

Some of the parts I removed over 3-1/2 hours.

 

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The bell housing after removing the transmission.

 

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The 2-3/4" long tapered pin.  It went all the way into the water passage.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Gary_Ash (see edit history)
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Quite a bit of work to access the pin hole. For the invert socket pipe plug and installation, just ensure sufficient time to allow the sealant cement to dry up prior filling with coolant. And not to over tightening the plug causing a abnormal local stress hotspot. And I am sure you will top up the engine collant system before re-assembly. Just to be on the good side.

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Posted (edited)

I finally got the hole in the block tapped deep enough for 1/4" pipe thread that I could get the plug in and have the outer surface below the back surface of the block and rear plate.  It didn't go quickly.  I cleaned out the hole as well as I could - without using the vacuum cleaner again - and tried to dry up the coolant in the hole.  I had made a trip this morning to Home Depot to pick up a 10-piece metric Allen wrench set with a 7 mm key, set me back $5.87.  I coated the threads on the plug with pipe joint compound, and cranked the plug in tight.  With the coolant poured back in, no leaks!  Yay!

 

Then it was reverse the process from Tuesday and put things back.  I eventually remembered that I had used the engine hoist to put the transmission in last time, so I hoisted it on a nylon strap, inserted two extra-long 1/2" bolts through the transmission to guide the mainshaft into the throw-out bearing.  Most of the stuff went back pretty well, but a bunch of parts needed to be pulled out and re-inserted because I forgot about clearance issues and assembly order.  I should probably write a manual for the car because someday [not soon, I hope] someone else will have to deal with this stuff. By the end of the afternoon, I had all the basic mechanical bits back in place, just the belly pan and cowl to put back.  So, that was three days that I don't want to repeat.  I was just lucky that my engine guy only drilled through the outer water jacket and not through the #8 cylinder wall - but I could see the mark where the tip of his drill hit it.

 

80434860_tappedhole1_4pipe.jpg.60e8d442ee24da36e09001e5b4691077.jpg

Hole tapped for 1/4" pipe plug (right side hole).

 

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Brass plug installed and sealed.

 

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Lifting the transmission into place.

 

 

Edited by Gary_Ash (see edit history)
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Posted (edited)

Gary.......just remember.......you do this for relaxation and enjoyment! All will be forgotten when you do a four wheel slide at Lime Rock at 85 mph and mash the throttle and break the back wheels loose! Have your fire suit, helmet, gloves, and other assorted safety items yet?

 

PS- you need a fancy shift knob for that thing! 

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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I have the Snell-approved helmet and goggles, approved safety belts, not sure I need the fire suit for VSCCA events.  I will have to take the VSCCA driving school at Lime Rock, but maybe that will be next spring, as I wasn't ready for the event they had a few weeks back.  For VSCCA hill-climb events, less equipment and qualification is required.

 

Having dealt with the leak, I made myself a nice Luksusowa vodka martini (Polish potato vodka) tonight, settled in for dinner on the deck on a nice warm evening.  My body was aching after a few days crawling under the car and lifting heavy parts.  As we finished dessert, we spotted our first viewing of the season of the little brown bats circling overhead and gobbling up the bugs.  We're always happy when they return from wherever they go for the winter - Florida?  Ah, summer!

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Posted (edited)

There wasn't much left to do, so after mounting the belly pan and the cowl, I poured 5 gallons of gas in the tank.  No leaks with everything off.  I took the hood off so I could get fast access to anything, and put the fire extinguisher next to me - just in case.  We rolled the car outside with the help of the landscapers who were here today.  Battery switch on, ignition off, fuel pump on - uh oh, big gas leaks at the carbs. It turned out that my carb rebuilder - who may get named here - put in the wrong size red fiber gaskets on the jet plugs in the bowls.  They were 1/2" bore gaskets instead of 7/16", so they moved sideways when the plugs were tightened, creating leaks.  I quickly cut four new gaskets and that solved that problem.

 

After checking that there were no leaks with the fuel pump on, I hit the starter button and the engine coughed a bit.  It ran for a few seconds, then wouldn't start.  I fiddled with the distributor, nothing was sounding like starting.  Oh, some damn fool had turned the fuel valve off to work on the carbs: me!  Fuel valve open, fuel pump on, ignition on, hit the starter button.  Bingo!  The engine started and ran, it even ran pretty well and I let it idle after running it at 2000 rpm for about 10 minutes.  Oil pressure gauge works, ammeter works, electric fan eventually came on as it should.  I was going to drive it around the driveway but it seems the clutch doesn't release completely, so I can't get it in gear.  I did turn the engine off, put it in first, and started the engine.  It was rolling forward and the clutch was still not releasing, so I had to turn the ignition off to stop.  The brakes worked.  Anyway, it runs!  It feels good.

 

Here's the link to the video on YouTube, about 90 seconds.  I put the link on the main forum page, too, because not too many people come to this thread.

 

https://youtu.be/EoAyQuAKsv4

 

614214294_firststart-up052821.jpg.7e4539485442c548fe9b59dff3d0e245.jpg

Edited by Gary_Ash (see edit history)
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That is quite simply..........FANTASTIC!

 

👍👍👍

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Posted (edited)

The upholstery needs to be done.  I want real leather upholstery, like the original cars, but the problem is how to describe and show the upholstery guys exactly what I want and provide a pattern.  I sprung for 4 yards of cheap black vinyl ($10/yard), some upholstery foam, and some thread, less than $100 all told.  I held up some red flooring paper to the body, traced out the shapes for patterns, and cut the fabric.  Sewing it together proved more challenging, even as I had allowed for seams and overlaps.  In the end, it required more hand sewing than I anticipated, but it came together well enough to serve as a model.  Some years ago, I bought a small Singer sewing machine at Walmart to do household work; surprisingly, it was able to deal with the vinyl fabric, even in two and four layers.  My late mother taught me to fix and use her old treadle-operated Singer machine back in the 1950s, and to hand-sew some seams.  Thanks, Mom!

 

One of the aspects of sewing vinyl and leather is that it's important not to make too many holes with the needle or the material will tear easily.  Normally, in other fabrics, you can back-stitch to lock the thread in place so it won't pull loose.  That's too many holes in vinyl or leather, so I had to pick each seam and pull the opposite thread through, then tie it in a knot.  Of course, I chose to use 100% polyester thread which doesn't knot easily; it's like a fly-fishing leader.  I wound up having to use multiple surgeon's knots or fly-line knots to keep the seams from unraveling by themselves.  Time consuming and hard on my ancient, arthritic fingers.  I had to use my 5X eye loop and tweezers to grab the threads and knot them.  After sewing three sides, I cut the foam padding to shape, stuffed it in, and tried the fit in the car.  All the fourth sides still need to be sewn, but I want to keep some flexibility for some patches to be sewn to the seat backs.  

 

Eventually, though, I got all the seams sewn, and installed Dot snaps on the body and the vinyl.  There are still a few more upholstery parts to do, but I'm getting there.  It was emotionally challenging to drill a bunch of 1/8" holes in the aluminum body to install the bases of the snaps, but it had to be done.  The snap bases have #8 sheet metal screws.  They seem to hold well and the good news is that I figured out how to put the snaps in the vinyl to match the locations of the bases in the body.  For a small fee, I will tell you how it's done!

 

1002893511_Singersewingmachine.jpg.c1f1af93ecf23d937c60e36c291dfdc8.jpg

My little Singer sewing machine.

 

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A bunch of seams sewn.  It all has to be done inside out.

 

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I pulled the thread loop on one side, brought a loop through, and pulled the second thread through.

 

1978152079_threadpicked.jpg.f6131bc216b25852f12d6fd120d7ca9a.jpg

With two threads on one side, I could tie them in a fly-fisher's or surgeon's knot.

 

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A knot tied off and trimmed.

 

1213754489_leftview1.jpg.f0d41c55da4d2437eaf00b4354456483.jpg

Some of the upholstery in place.

 

552650402_Valpeyupholstery.jpg.7a50372334ad8b4adc66dbe08769e665.jpg

An original Studebaker Indy car with upholstery.

 

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View from the right side of the car with the new upholstery. 

 

1575372631_Valpeyseatsnaps.jpg.d54634cc50db4c1be510d3e257ff03fd.jpg

The right side of the original Studebaker Indy car (#37).

 

 

 

      

Edited by Gary_Ash (see edit history)
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CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!

I know you have to be over the top after this milestone. Come and race with us in the VSCDA pre war class at Road America, Augie will be there with his Studebaker car.  Stay Safe buy the fire suit.

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John, I checked the VSCDA rules, also the SCCA and VSCCA rules.  As a pre-war car, I would be exempt from a number of requirements, like fuel cells, roll bar, arm restraints, etc.  Installing a 5-point shoulder harness is a tough one as there is no steel structure above the frame rails, but maybe I could get away with big washers/reinforcing plates under the aluminum tail skin. The Nomex suit, gloves, underwear, socks, and balaclava can all be obtained, money solves it, say $500-$600.  Otherwise, I think I addressed all the requirements for a pre-war car during the build.

 

But, I’m not sure about competitive racing at that level.  I’ve been in Augie’s #34 car at speed, it’s quite a machine.  It bellows like a bull with the throttles wide open. I may give a try to some of the New England VSCCA hill climb events to see if I want to go further - and faster.  I’ll have to go to driver’s school at Lime Rock, CT or some other nearby track.  Road America in Elkhart Lake, WI would be almost 1200 miles of trailering each way. I’ll start with the trip to Indy in September. 

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"Trouble, oh we got trouble
Right here in River City!
With a capital "T"   
with apologies to "The Music Man"

 

The trouble is, I can't get the clutch to disengage.  All I get is gears trying to grind when I move the shift lever, even with the pedal pushed to the firewall.  I've adjusted the slack out of the pedal until there is only about 3/4" travel before it starts to engage.  The flywheel got refaced, the clutch pack rebuilt, a new clutch plate installed.  My now-dementia-afflicted buddy put it all together.  When I push the pedal, the shaft to the yoke rotates about 60 degrees.  That ought to be  enough.  Yes?  So, here are some things I think could be wrong:

 

1.  The clutch plate got installed backwards.

2.  The engine and clutch sat for 15 months before I started it, so maybe the clutch face is bonded to the flywheel.

3.  The clutch yoke is in the wrong side-to-side position and the throw-out bearing isn't hitting the clutch. 

4.  Something else.

 

Attacking the clutch means going though the whole procedure I did a week or so ago:  pull off the cowl, drop the belly pan, disconnect the drive shaft, pull the transmission, pull the bell housing, plus all the linkages, unbolt the clutch housing.  It's hours on my back under the car, so I want to get to the root cause as simply as possible.  Suggestions?

 

Otherwise, the car is all together, even the upholstery is finished.  I'm ready to drive, but can't.  Frustrating!

 

597542416_clutchdiagram1937Presidentsm.png.9a4014fed43f286b4b6262438af13f57.png

Clutch assembly from parts catalog.

 

flywheel_resurfaced.jpg.ecc5c52fc53f819f48998b35b90c0250.jpg

Flywheel after re-facing.

 

99706308_pressure_plateclutch_disk.jpg.1170dfe43218d3e7b8e517372bb66575.jpg

Clutch after rebuild at Fort Wayne Clutch and new clutch disk. 

 

1655207067_throw-outbearingspringinhousing.jpg.b5cecebd74c951ab9bd09d5e45e230c6.jpg

Bell housing with yoke (E8-1 in diagram above) and throw-out bearing (E6-1).

 

556635791_ujointwithcover.jpg.ae90a8667c00eb3d969116633e7f338f.jpg

Tansmission, bell housing, and driveshaft in place, plus hand brake linkage, speedometer cable, etc.

 

 

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