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Early 1920s Studebaker ?


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Thank you Scott

It is now down-loaded and safely stored in my Studebaker File. I will keep you informed when I start the re-wiring. We have a local firm that will knit a "sock" for the loom once I have it finalised. 

 

I have just received this photograph from the Auctioneer's Office showing the Studebaker prior to the "Clearance Sale" at Merrigum in Central Victoria (Australia) In October 2012. 

 

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Slowly little pieces of information comes out. It now has been confirmed that it had been rescued from a "Chook" chicken house prior to going to the farm at Merrigum where it remained from "sometime" in the Seventies until 2012. Perhaps one day the full story will be known, while unimportant to many people I do like to, be able to piece together the history of the cars that pass through my hands. I generally like them to be in better condition than how I find them too.

 

Bj.

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At last after something of a struggle, after all as my dear wife reminded me I will turn 81 in less than two weeks and I DID have spinal surgery 12 years ago, I finally managed to remove the dash board after disconnecting all the rat eaten wires and other fittings.  The original dash has had a number of extra holes made in it so before I do anything else I will have to make a new one. 

We now come to the difficult bit. I know what "Stude Light" will think and he will quite possibly never talk to me again BUT having worked in the furniture industry for a fair portion of my life, I have a real and on going love of natural timber.  This mornings task is to drive across town to the local Cabinet  Timber Importer and buy a suitable piece of American Walnut, the timber represented by the faux timber finish no the metal facing of the original dash-board. There is something about the thought of a painted tin dash that offends my sensibilities.

Below along with the photo of the original metal dash is another photograph of the dash I made from a now almost unattainable Australian "Black Bean" timber, made in 1979 when I was restoring the Lagonda.

I know that comparisons are said to be odious but I know which I prefer.   

Perhaps it is fitting that at the time Australian Black Bean was the timber of choice for senior management "office furniture".

For the benifit of those with enquiring minds, the four little enamel badges are, at the top from left to right The FIVA International Rally to celebrate the first 100 years of the Britiah Motor Industry, The Rapier's 75th Anniversary, and the Australian Mille. (1,000 miles in Four Days)

The round blue badge at the bottom is a "St Christopher Medallion" (Go your way in safety) issued by the Lagonda Club to celebrate 100 years of Lagonda in 1999.

Everything else on the dash has a purpose and is in working order. Hidden behind the rim of the steering wheel is a dual gauge for oil pressure and radiator temperature.

For the Studebaker I will use the original instruments but reverse the order moving the Ignition/light switch to the right hand (drivers) side and the fuse "box" to the left. The useless "Extra air" control (the five holes on extreme right) will be left out. I do have a small round badge celebrating the Silver Jubilee of the AACA and will think about finding a space for it.

 

On second thoughts, before buying anything I may look at some of the other beautiful Australian "cabinet" timbers, we will have to wait and see.

 

Bernie j.DSCN5658.thumb.jpg.f8318bed300335eca138e0890323760c.jpgDSCN5657.thumb.jpg.b28f0a1d2379bcd4cd7fb295ab2caf08.jpg

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)
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Bernie requested that we upload information on our dashboard. 

 

Reference  Book - The Studebaker Corporation of America (South Bend, Indiana, Detroit, Michigan Walkerville, Canada) Studebaker Light Six sales manual Open-Car Refinements - (Page Twelve ) - "The instruments are conventionally grouped on a walnut-finished steel instrument board reinforced with wood to prevent noise" 

 

As our car is an original  Canadian Cycle and Motor Agency, Queensland version of the Australian Colonial, which was originally exported from Studebaker Walkerville Canada as a CKD kit.  At the restoration beginning, on close inspection of our original dashboard, it  revealed behind the cowling timber patterning on the steel, together with the information within sales manual we were able to establish that our car dashboard matched the manual.  This also showed the technique which was used on cheaper cuts of timber by roll stencilling a more desired timber grain such as Burr Walnut.  We were in touch with a vintage piano restorer, who sourced the correct veneer, we then applied under the guidance of a retired Master French Polisher, to resurface and maintain its vintage look.  The original family owners of the car were also involved in eye matching to their memories of how it looked.    Two sides of this family say the car now looks just as it did when they drove around as a family.

Studebaker Manual - Page 12.pdf

Studebaker Dashboard.jpg

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Thank you Aussie Studie

The "Bur-walnut " certainly adds some class to your car. As I explained I am too old to be a slave to total originality and will be doing my own take on the dash-board but that has still just a little way to go. I had hoped to get to, look at some "cabinet" timbers today but some other things got in the road. Perhaps tomorrow or perhaps next week, Now have the dash out and all the instruments sitting on my desk. One thing that took up a little time was grinding down a glass taken from another scrap instrument using an oilstone to bring it down to size. The oil-pressure gauge is now all cleaned up and just need the glass together with the rim re-fitting. The amp meter and speedo are ready to go and are just waiting for the new dash to materialise.

I still have a bit more to do on the fuse-"box" and the ignition/light switch.

It is interesting to note that Mark's 1923 door handle/latch is totally different to my cars 1920 version. Perhape he can show us his outside door handles too.

 

Bernie j.

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12 hours ago, oldcar said:

I know what "Stude Light" will think and he will quite possibly never talk to me again BUT having worked in the furniture industry for a fair portion of my life, I have a real and on going love of natural timber. 

 

Wait, wait, yes I am a purist at heart but not a snob. Besides, who am I to talk about dashboards?  Mine is an oak veneer, not even close to original.

 

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Alright, you got me.  I have another dash and am planning to restore it correctly to the original painted walnut design.  These are the best photos of an original dash I have:

 

DSC04642.thumb.JPG.0cbb1ecb5cb3d2c7055686f96ab0c88d.JPG59ef1fe935c06_Early1920LightSixDashfromRogerHadfield.thumb.jpg.468ac64232552dd36fcf4e8c9e2d0644.jpg

 

Bernie,

A real piece of walnut will look really nice.  Just be very accurate on your gauge hole size, particularly on the speedometer as the gauge is attached from the back and a clearance fit to the dash board hole.

 

Mark,

That seat you are sitting on just doesn't look comfortable, especially in short pants!

 

Scott

 

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Scott, 

 

Thanks, mate, can rely on your constructive comments!   You have to come and experience an Australian Summer sometime.  Yes earlier days in restoration, even displaying some Australian timber frame.  Spring was more comfortable than the milk crate that was there previously.

 

Mark

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Thank you both for your helpful input.  I will feel much more relaxed about the minor changes I have in mind to incorporate into my car's Dashboard. (purely for ergonomic reasons)

Earlier I had made reference to the difference between the inside door handles on Mark's car and the ones on my Light Six. 

Mark assures us that his car has an Australian built (assembled) "Colonial" body which may explain the difference. Either that or perhaps as with all things related to old motor-cars two or three years can make a huge difference.

Another thing that is apparent in both Scott and Mark's photographs is the elaborate (plated) fitting to support the steering column while my "earlier" car has a much more simple (almost agricultural) fitting. Perhaps Scott, wearing his "Stude Light" hat can explain the differences.

Very slowly the story of my cars "Life" is comming out one crumb at a time. For instance I now know that it was before being moved to Merrigum that it had spent time in the "Fowl shed" at Springvale* almost 100 miles away. What I have difficulty in understanding is, that having pulled the car out of it's hiding place among the chickens and transported it so far, why no attempt to even clean the debris away from the splash trays under the bonnet (hood) was made. That it was simply pushed into another albeit somewhat cleaner shed and left standing on 'blocks" for another thirty plus years to gather even more dust. Unfortunately the reasons behind these things may never be fully understood.

 

* Springvale, while now a thriving suburb of Melbourne, in those years both prior to and immediately after WW2 would have been a predominantly "market garden"  area given over to the production of fruit and vegetables.

 

Bernie j.DSCN5659.thumb.jpg.5fa55fc80e30654fbcd81beb0f04325d.jpg

 

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Edited by oldcar (see edit history)
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I should explain that while I was born in November 1936, by the early 1950s I was already well infected by the "old car" bug! 

My lifelong passion for "interesting" automobiles was already affecting my thoughts and deeds while I was still a young boy just starting secondary school.

The attached photograph shows me at age 18 or 19 in what was then my daily driver, a 1937 Morris 8/40 "Special" largely of my own making. The Riley saloon belonged to my older brother.

The Legal age to possess a Driving Licence in Victoria Australia was 18 years old. I obtained my "Licence" aged 18 years and one day.

I had already been driving for two or three years.

 

Bj

Mowog Special Mk1081.jpg

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)
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Bernie,

Your interior door handle is correct for a Light Six and many other cars of the day.  The door latch is very typical of a Light Six wood bodied car.  The exterior door handles are the same for all years.  The steering shaft attachment to the dashboard is correct for the early Light Sixes (1920-1922).  For 1923 and 1924 they changed to the aluminum bracket you see pictured on Mark and my dash boards.

Scott

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Thank you Scott

That is what I had assumed but I am sure that you are familiar of the warning asscoiated with that word "assume" .

i.e. that it makes an ass of u and me.

All this detailed knowledge of Studebakers is a sharp learning curve for me and I make it a rule to learn all I can about my current "project car".

I attempt to remain as broard minded as possible, despite being brought up in a car culture,

based on the superiority of the products commonly available in what was once the British Empire.  

How things have changed, earlier I mentioned the Melbourne suburb of Springvale. Springvale these days has a majority Asian population and today,  in the busy streets that were once market gardens, you would  be hard pressed to hear a word of English spoken or to find a  fair haired, blue eyed person.

Australia today is indeed a multi-cultural society. Among the current generation of car enthusiasts the majority would look at you blankly if you mentioned an Hillman or a Vauxhall, let alone exotic things such as a Jowett Javelin or an Armstrong Siddley.

I have on my bookshelf a well used copy of the book, Culshaw & Horrobin; Complete Catalogue of British Cars, yet among my younger grandchildren I doubt that even one of them could recognise or name a single car mentioned within it's pages.

 

Bernie j.

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Thank you Robert

Really my car is very complete and original and as it has only ever done 36,000 miles nothing is worn out.

The only thing I am missing is the top frame. This was taken off, five years ago, by the previous owner and left in the country town of Euroa with someone known only as Lance. The previous owner is for some reason reluctant or incapable of telling me how to contact him.(Lance)

He keeps promising me that he (the previous owner) will deliver it (the top) to me but so far in almost three months he has failed to even produce a phone number.

If anyone knows a person called Lance who lives in Euroa, a country Victorian town in Australia who has a spare 1920 Studebaker top I would love to hear from him.

 

Bernie j.

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It was probably being transported either on an open trailer or on top of a "tilt-tray" transport and was being blown away.

I will know more if I ever get to see it. When last seen it still had the original material on it. At that time it would have been 75-85 years old.

 

Bernie j.

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That saved the hood if it was tilt tray transported. A failure to the hood and frame happened to my Nine when the DPO had it transported on a tilt tray with the hood up. And it is still like it now.

Hopefully there are no dramas with retrieving the hood, Bernie.

Matthew

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I  have just received a re-assuring email from the previous owner who tells me that, "it is all under control". The hood (top) is in safe, dry storage and in relatively good condition. He hopes too retrieve it in the not too distant future and deliver it to me.

All I need now is to go back to Sunday School to refresh the lesson that should have taught me, "that every thing comes to he who waits".

If, as I believe it is, still the original fabric* it would be a great pity for it to be destroyed. Hopefully any damage that it has sustained can be repaired without being too conspicuous.

* Certainly the side screens that I already have are the original and are all is either good condition or readily repairable. The clear window sections have all discoloured or are broken but nothing that cannot be easily repaired/replaced.

My whole aim is to keep the car in its existing "time-warp" condition, or as far as feasible. 

I am just not sure if I should leave all the snail shells on the splash trays or not.

I could very carefully lift them all out, give them a coat of clear epoxy to re-inforce and protect them before carefully putting them back in position again. I will need to take a series of photographs to be sure that they go back into their correct locations.

 

Bernie j

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)
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I have now cleaned up & replaced the glass in the oil pressure gauge and dismantled and cleaned the ignition/light switch and put it back together and only have a small repair to do on the fuse box. The speedo too is now all cleaned up, I still have to make a decision about the dash-board material. Hopefully I will know when I see the correct finish. I have a small collection/stock of suitably aged enamel key fobs (medallions).DSCN5672.thumb.jpg.e5d711454501dc00da98fcddc6123d44.jpg

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I am surprised that you ask that question. Perhaps Stude Light can confirm but I would doubt that Studebaker would have sold many cars into Europe in 1920 requiring a speedo calibrated in KPH

It is within my memory that Australia changed to metric measurements. If you are refering to the Lagonda Speedo it is also in Miles per Hour.

Many people are confused by the French sounding name for Lagonda. This in fact goes back to Wilbur Gunn's first cars and motorcycles in 1899. Wilbur Gunn was in fact an American living in England. The Lagonda name comes from the Lagonda Creek that ran past his father's farm in Springfield,  Ohio in the 1800s. To see just how far the Lagonda name goes back in the USA look at http://lagondachapterdar.org

 

Bernie j.

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It has been said that we should "never look back" . Despite this stern warning I have just been doing that. 

In Stude Light' s post #209 he included the attached photograph. I am not sure why it did not grab my attention at the time but on looking again I saw that the ignition switch was virtually the same as the one in my 1920 Light Six made by Briggs and Stratton specifically for connection to Magneto ignition. Perhaps Scott can confirm that the car with this switch is  1/. 1920 and 2/. If it also has magneto ignition? I also have noticed tha it has the same steering column support as my 1920 car. 

Also attached is this morning's photo pof the rear of my ign switch clearly showing (without their grubb screws) the two terminals linked to the Key switch. marked "Mag" and "Grd" the latter being an abbreviation for ground (earth) It  is  also interesting to note that while the front of the switch is marked "Dim Off and On"  the terminals on the reverse side read "Head and Read".  I really need to look again at the internals of the switch to see exactly how the current is routed through the switch.  This is the only other photograph of a dash containing this particular B&S switch that I have seen. The  final terminal partially obscured if for the Horn. Unfortunately this has the lugs to hold one end of the fuse missing but in the past had had a short piece of fuse wire linking it.DSCN5670.thumb.jpg.8443218122c33329acdd646195d5b0bf.jpg DSCN5681.thumb.jpg.578d4cd1ec28830421f405496aaca372.jpg59ef1fe935c06_Early1920LightSixDashfromRogerHadfield.thumb.jpg.468ac64232552dd36fcf4e8c9e2d0644.jpg.14c75aa70bf8ffda87c0b7a5482b3fcd.jpg

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Bernie,

Yes, that was from a 1920 Light Six. The upper photo had the coil and the lower had the magneto.

 

The switch wiring is easy. When the switch is off, the magneto is grounded and no power to the lights. When selected to on, the magneto is not grounded and the headlight and tail light (rear) is connected directly to 6 volt power. When dim is selected, the magneto is not grounded, the tail light is connected directly to 6 volt power and the headlights are connected to 6 volt power in series with a resistor internal to the switch.

Scott

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Hello Scott 

I can follow what you are saying completely and I do not doubt your word for one minute but , I have had my switch totally dismantled and cannot see anything that remotely looks like a resistor. The switch is quite simple in construction. For the purpose of this photograph I have not removed the actual key actuated lock mechanism.

The smaller(central) of the two rotating connectors is activated by the key and is solely related to linking the Magneto and Grd (Earth) in the off position.  

The main body of the switch is designed so that it can only be assembled in the one way. There are three pins that engage with cut out locations in the body of the switch, these are placed at three unequal spaces. 

The "Light"switch has three positions labeled Dim, Off and ON.

In the "Dim" position the current is taken from the "Horn" terminal which is connected to the Positive (Battery) through the fuse, only to the "Rear" terminal and the "Head" terminal is isolated . In the "On" position the current is taken from a  Second terminal  also linked to the Horn through the fuse connecting both the Head and the Rear. When in the "Off" position both the "live" terminals are isolated. I hope that you can follow this explanation.

With-out the dismantled switch on the bench in front of you it is difficult to visualise. BUT it is evident that in the Dim position only the horn and rear light have current going to them. The way the switch is asembled it can only be put together in the one way. The the ignition "Key" operated segment is at all times isolated from the live current. It is apparent that for a car fitted with Coil Ignition it would only require the centre section to be changed in order to link the Battery to the coil when switched on.

 

Bernie j.

 

 

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After talking about lights and light switches, I am reminded that one of the very few parts missing from my Light Six is an original rear lamp (tail-light)

If anyone has one surplus to their requirements I would be very interested to hear from them. At this time I do not even know what I should be looking for so some photographs could be of great help. 

This may also be an opportune time to ask again, if anyone has an original horn suitable for the 1920 Light Six I am still looking to buy one.

 

On the subject of buying things, 

I have just ordered on eBay an 18mm Sparkplug "hole" repair kit. I should have it within a week or so. Hopefully I will then be one step closer to having the motor being ready to start. More on this later.

 

Bernie j.

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Hi Scott

After you look at the photograph of the internals of my light switch, can you please point out to me where the "resistor" is located. 

Perhaps, like so many other things, as an Australian delivered car, it used a different B&S switch and wiring.

 

Meanwhile I will just keep on muddling along.

 

Bernie j.

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Bernie,

I understand your switch explanation. Guess I'm at a loss since I have no experience with the magneto design. My headlight dimmer on my Remy switch is mounted externally to the back of the switch and the switch has three glass tube fuses that mount to it.

 

Doesn't your car have the dash mounted "fuse box"? It should have three fuses, which got me to thinking that perhaps the back of your switch had a resistance coil instead of a fuse or ? Sure enough, the parts manual calls out a switch resistance coil (p/n 44337) for your switch assembly (p/n 44051).

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Tail lamp. This is what you need...except it probably goes on the other side of your car. The stop lamp was added by the original owner back in the 20s.

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Thank you Scott.
We are never too old to learn. I am very much of the school of thought that we learn something new every day.

As I have been at pains to stress, I am a new chum when it comes to Studebakers. 
I simply looked at the existing plugs, that have been presumably in the head for a very long time, Champion D16.

That is what I have just bought six new ones to match but have not until today attempted to screw into the Head.

Perhaps this goes to some extent to explain the stripped thread in one cylinder.

Certainly the new plugs have a fraction longer thread and screwing one  in by hand, it start to "bind" before it is screwed completely in.

While "Ignorance is no defence" Looking back through my threads, this seems to be the first time there has been any reference to Spark plug type.

It seems a trap for young players, BUT neither the original "Information on the Care & Operation" owners hand book or the "Service Manual" actually disclose the type, thread specification or heat range of the Spark plugs. No where in all its 268 pages does my NGK Spark Plug "Bible" mention 7/8 -18 thread plugs.  I must also confess that over the last 60 something years my involvement with Veteran, Vintage and Clasic cars from 1912 onwards, American made cars are definitely in the minority. Amounting to just three, the 1922 Dixie Flyer, a 1922 Packard Single Six and now the 1920 Studebaker. Looking at the Photograph below It shows on the left one of the existing Spark Plugs I have just removed from the cylinder head and on the right one of the six new spark plugs I have only just now removed from the pack of six I purchased a week or two back.

The thread on the new (right hand side) spark-plug is slightly soilde from when I attempted to screw it into the head by hand.

 

 

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In Australia we have one word to cover this situation I believe that the French use a translation of the same expression.

 

MERDE!

 

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)
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Thank you again for the photographs of the tail lamp and the horn At least I now know what I am looking for. Also Attached is a photograph of the dash mounted fuse box. The Three fuses are labeled "Heads, Rear, Horn & Dash, all of which seems self explanatory. I think that the Horn and Rear Lamp need to be somewhat patinated rather than looking "Brand New". 

This is especially so as rather than a "frame off" restoration I am attempting to make the car appear to be its age but unspoilt, to treat it as sympathetically as possible. 
While it has not covered a great number of miles in the last ninety seven years it has suffered total neglect for much of that time. That along with some obvious mis-use and abuse. At 81 I am not about to embark on a 20 year restoration program. If that is what is required I better start looking for a new owner for it now.  One of my oldest VSCC Friends keeps telling me that what I should have is a 1923 Austin Seven Chummy, just like the one I had when I was 18

At the time it was my drive to work and every day transport. But that was more than 60 years ago!

You can tell that it is a very early (1923) car by the six inch diam brake drums and the holes for the hub grease caps in the wheel centre.  The headlamps should be mounted on the little brackets at the base of the windscreen pillars. The steps between the front and rear mudguards have been removed and the bonnet strap fitted to add to its "sporting" appearance.

 (Oh to be 18 again).59f93a3512c9e_Austin7hp_074.jpg.edd596e7c68d08add2d6d9eea1382ab9.jpgDSCN5685.thumb.jpg.48d28fe2d93f626bc40004c385e9e940.jpgDSCN5684.thumb.jpg.6c8d6c716ed5538ab2c67ade1abf6518.jpg

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Oops! In reviewing #233 I have over looked that I have also owned in the past no less than THREE Dodge Fours.

I could be excused for overlooking these as not many people would readily recognise them as anything as plebian as a Dodge Four!

Bentley 3 Litre drivers beware!

The car in the top photograph, and with a new adventurous owner, was a regular and successful competitor at the South Australian "Salt Lakes" speed trials.  All were fitted with highly developed engines, all with 2inch SU carburettors and outside exhausts. The SLOWEST of the three,  the middle car with "Le Mans" style body was good for over 75mph

 

Bj.59f951cf0d861_1919Dodge113.thumb.jpg.0764f79dab09a9b82ad05113266ea538.jpg

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12 hours ago, oldcar said:

While "Ignorance is no defence" Looking back through my threads, this seems to be the first time there has been any reference to Spark plug type.

It seems a trap for young players, BUT neither the original "Information on the Care & Operation" owners hand book or the "Service Manual" actually disclose the type, thread specification or heat range of the Spark plugs. No where in all its 268 pages does my NGK Spark Plug "Bible" mention 7/8 -18 thread plugs.  I must also confess that over the last 60 something years my involvement with Veteran, Vintage and Clasic cars from 1912 onwards, American made cars are definitely in the minority. Amounting to just three, the 1922 Dixie Flyer, a 1922 Packard Single Six and now the 1920 Studebaker. Looking at the Photograph below It shows on the left one of the existing Spark Plugs I have just removed from the cylinder head and on the right one of the six new spark plugs I have only just now removed from the pack of six I purchased a week or two back.

My friend, please go back to post number 135 ;)

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Thank you Scott,

I have now copied your "Spark Plug Recommendations Chart" to my 1920 Studebaker File. And I now know exactly what I should be looking for. Yesterday must have been special or something, It will go down in my history as FIM day. (Foot in mouth) I really do appreciate all the help and support that you offer. I really do not know how I could have overlooked anything so important.

 

Bernie j.

 

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Thank you Scott

All I need to do now is to rescue the Light Six.   Perhaps not quite as simple as it may look.

I have now discovered a source of 7/8 Spark Plugs here in Australia but still have to repair one stripped thread in the cylinder head.

 

Bj.

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