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1920 Studebaker Big 6 Touring questions

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I just inherited this car from my father who passed away quickly before he could show me these things and I now have a couple basic questions that I can't seem to find answers to. It's a nice mostly original survivor that's been in my family mostly since new. 

1) The spark advance lever, How do I use it and which way is advanced vs retarded?

2) It runs well but when I stop and shut off the engine, it pukes out a lot of anti-freeze. The radiator temp gauge says the temp is fine.

3) Struggling to figure out the clutch. so far I just start in 2nd or 3rd and leave it there but it would be nice to shift. I've tried adjusting the linkage but nothing seems to help. Double clutching does not help nor does pressing the peddle only half way. If I take it out of gear while using it, I need to stop the engine to get it back in a gear.


The oldest car I've ever owned previously was a 39 Ford coupe so this car is completely alien to me. I have a huge learning curve ahead of me.

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Welcome aboard and sorry for your loss.  I can help you with #2.  This is an open non-pressurized cooling system.  If you overfill it it will dump the excess overboard.  On my car if I fill it much beyond 1/2" over the radiator tubes it will do exactly what you describe.  It is possible you have a compression leak or something but I would let it puke until it stops, see where it is, then keep an eye on it.  I bet it is fine from then on.  

#3 sounds like the clutch is not disengaging.  Does the car roll free in gear with the clutch depressed?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Spark is retarded with the lever in the down position. Take up the front floor boards and the toe board. Your car should be equipped with a cone clutch. There are two levers on the frame with springs. Kind of an L shape. They should have a facing material on them. I used several layers of harness leather  flesh side (rough) to the disc in the center.  Oil as described in the manual.  In the clutch section.  Secondly  release the clutch. Take note if you see the cone or the input of the transmission drop. You may need to rebush the cone. See manual again for disassembly. Big spring in clutch.  The transmission bearings are externally adjusted.  Turn  the inner most nut out to take up slack. Hope this helps. PM me if you need more information. 

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