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oil - or the lack of it - for fan pulley & hub - 1937 President engine


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When my engine for the Indy car got rebuilt, Jerry told me he had put special break-in oil in the crankcase.  What he didn't tell me was that he had not put any oil in the hub for the fan pulley.  So, when we were in Indianapolis last month, the engine started to make some loud screeching noises, scared the dickens out of me.  Today, I had a car buddy come over to stare at the engine and listen while I started it up.  It didn't make noise for 10-15 seconds, then screeched loudly.  He signaled to stop the engine immediately.  The noise seemed to come from the fan pulley.

 

I removed the fan pulley and disassembled it.  I don't have fan blades on the pulley because I installed an electric fan since there wasn't enough clearance for blades below the radiator hose.  There was not a drop of oil in the hub, and there were signs of metal-against-metal rubbing.  I think I can polish the marks out in the lathe, not serious damage.  To be fair, I had not gone down the lubrication chart checklist or I might have seen that the hub wanted 20 weight oil.  How much oil does it take?  There seems to be a lot of front-back play, but I don't see how it can be adjusted.  Can it be shimmed?  Is it normal that the pulley can move 1/16" or more? 

 

It's a very interesting design, too bad I had never taken it apart myself.  The shaft is held stationary in the fan mount while the pulley rotates.  The outer end of the shaft has a plate with a spiral groove on both front and back, and the section of the shaft inside the pulley housing also has a spiral groove.  I guess these are to pump oil onto the faces of the plate and along the shaft.  There is a small screw which serves as a plug for a filler hole in the hub.  No sign of a seal for the back end of the shaft.  This design was used on 1932-37 250 cu in (and smaller) straight eights.

 

1357149985_fanpulleyapart.jpg.dde798ea4cebbe4812fb7a68517a9ec0.jpg  Fan pulley, hub, and shaft disassembled.

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The good news.......we make new CNC hubs, with sealed bearings to eliminate the factory oil pump and slinger set up.......it will continuously toss oil on the engine and all under the hood......been there, done that. I have seen dry hubs stall engines.........and eat radiators. The fill plug is placed at 9 or 3 o’clock and you fill the hub to half way, and watch it leak everywhere. I did my first redesign of that thing in the 80s. We probably have sold 300 of them over the years........That design was used 1929 to 1938........John and I are off to Hershey........till Friday. Ed.

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Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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I have repaired several of these.  That back is a dipper that feeds oil in that spiral shaft.  Studebaker had many bearing designs that were bad.  This was very good if you had oil in there.  That shaft is very hard but you can clean it up in the lathe.  If the casting is worn it can be bushed.  Of course John Cislaks mod is nice.  

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Rex:  How much slop is there supposed to be front-to-back?  Can it be adjusted?

 

The parts should clean up OK with some fine emery paper, say 600-1500 grit or finer.  The shaft fits OK in the housing, just the front and back surfaces of the housing are scratched, but not too deeply.

 

I think I bought a turkey baster with a long needle years ago to squirt oil into small holes, just need to find it in the garage to fill the housing half full as Edinmass suggested.  I do need to remember not to inject the Thanksgiving turkey with 10W40...

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My 32 owners manual says    Every 1000 miles:   " remove oil plug and fill with 30 W oil.   Rotate fan   ( just 180. ) until oil drains out"  "replace plug'.  

 

 It sounds like they want it oiled, but not too much. 

Edited by (S)
clarity (see edit history)
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Don:  Not exactly the same.  On the Dictator/Commander 6 the fan hub is mounted to the water pump on the front of the engine.  However, there are two grease fittings listed in the parts catalog.  I don't know where they are exactly. I better find out their locations, as my 1941 Commander will be the same, and I've never greased the water pump.

 

My straight 8 block has the water pump on the side of the engine, driven by the generator shaft.  

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10 hours ago, Gary_Ash said:

Rex, I'm going to need my x-ray vision to know when oil is just below the shaft.  I didn't see anything in the shop manual about how much oil to put in.

Don't worry, if you fill to much it will leak out.  Put the fill hole about 2 to 3 oclock.  

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2 hours ago, studerex said:

Don't worry, if you fill to much it will leak out.  Put the fill hole about 2 to 3 oclock.  


 

No doubt about the leak. 

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Gary: Several years ago, I dealt with this same issue on my '36 President Coupe: a steel shaft running in a steel bore; some wear on both, and no front oil seal (or way to incorporate one). My solution was to make a sealed bearing unit and eliminate the entire old oil slinger and shaft. A local bearing supply house a had double-shaft sealed bearing that allowed me to do the machine work on the front of the "keeper" shaft before cutting-off the unwanted shaft.

 

The sealed bearing is a press-fit into the new aluminum hub; shaped so it will fit into the existing pulley housing. Fan blade mounting holes drilled into the flange match the original. (The old oil filler plug must be removed to allow the new hub to fit inside the pulley housing). Once installed, the unit appears from the outside as the original (except for the eliminated oil filler ).

 

Four photos show several views of the "upgrade." 

 

Bill in Tacoma.

new hub1.JPG

DSC04442.JPG

DSC04481.JPG

DSC04486.JPG

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Bill:  Great work!  Have you got sketches/drawings for the parts and the bearing part number?   I'll re-assemble what's here for now, but I'd be interested in making one like yours.

 

Did you re-tap the holes and keepers for 1/4-20 or 1/4-28 threads?  I started to pull some hardware from my spare fan hub, noted that one of the 8 screws was missing, one was a 12-24 thread, and the other 6 were 10-28.  I couldn't find any 10-28x1 hex head bolts on line so I am making two of them, nearly done.

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Thanks, Gary: I started with a 3.75" diameter round of 6061 aluminum, about 2.75" in length. You can get a feel for the cuts involved by comparing the new and old hubs in the first photo; basically matching most measurements from the original hub. My eight mounting screws are 12-32! Don't know where the "32" came from, as "28" is UNF for a #12 screw. Doubt metric, as 5MM and 6MM are too far away from my screw diameter of .214". These measurements are as I got the fan;  I didn't modify any fasteners.  

 

The bearing is an NSK water pump water pump bearing #885820. 

 

You're welcome to call or email if anything doesn't make sense.

 

Cheers, Bill. (It's nice not having to clean-up fan oil constantly thrown around under the hood)!

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Until I can make a modified hub, I'm putting the original one back.  I went searching in the parts stash, found the hub assembly from the other engine.  Taking it apart, I noted that it used 12-28 x 1 hex head bolts with four nut plates while the screechy hub had 10-24 slotted head screws and individual hex nuts, apparently installed during the engine rebuild.  The spare hub had only 6 of its 8 bolts, but I couldn't find any bolts like that online, so I made two out of 1/2" diameter 12L14 steel rod.  I turned the shafts and threaded them in my 7x16" HF lathe, then made the heads into hexes in my mill-drill.  Of course, in order to do that, I first had to tune up the lathe to get all the backlash and wiggle out of it, then make an adapter plate to mount an old 3" lathe chuck on the 4" tilt/rotary table I bought from The Little Machine Shop.  With the shaft of the bolt in the chuck, I machined 1/16" off the side of the head, turned it 60 degrees and repeated the process five more times.  All this took a few days, but now I have eight of the correct bolts in place.  I cut and punched two gaskets from 0.020" gasket sheet.

 

I found the turkey baster/injector with a big needle which I had bought years ago to fill Delco-Lovejoy shocks and never used.  I calculated about 3 ounces of oil would be about right, so I put that into the re-assembled fan hub.  Rex was right, as usual, the excess oil just drips out the back end of the shaft.  I let the hub drip for a few hours, then installed it on the engine.  I think 2 ounces of oil is about the right amount.  I'll see if any more oil drips out before starting the engine, but I think things are well in hand now. 

 

1318190221_fanbolthead.jpg.bd60beb48d8e014fbdaea7af54386237.jpg

Machining the hex head for the 12-28x1 bolts.

 

1106690529_fanboltsnutplates.jpg.91c6ac2706ec251c2f5ae2785287d54f.jpg

Six old bolts, two new ones, and the nut plates to hold the fan hub together.

 

1366715806_fanhubfill.jpg.384ea655aa55b21d76a4ccf452e27a7c.jpg

Fan hub re-assembled with the "turkey baster" for injecting oil into the small filler hole.

 

1993268803_fanhubreinstalled.jpg.d1295f8331e07dac64273c58bd49a5af.jpg

Fan hub re-installed on the engine.  No fan blades because of radiator hose clearance issue, electric fan installed.

Uh-oh!  I looked at this photo and saw that I had forgotten to put the cotter pin through the castle nut, will go do that!

 

 

Edited by Gary_Ash (see edit history)
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As a follow-up, I did start the engine , let it warm up, and revved it up above 3000 rpm. Thankfully, no noises and no oil spray from the back of the shaft.  I feel much better now. 

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  • 8 months later...

@Batwing-8:  Good Morning, 

 

My 1937 Studebaker 3C radiator fan pulley failed (shard photo) over the weekend after 85 yrs. of use. Reading several posts, I found a solution you shared.  In your 5 October 2021 (above) you shared a solution for fixing the pulley.  You wouldn't happen to have an extra one for sale?

 

Cheers 

 

Will 

Kent, Wa

 

borrowed photo

image.png.c845e8cce3ec4e19583b59008cab539b.png

Edited by wborh (see edit history)
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  • 4 weeks later...

No, I didn't make the modifications that Batwing8 did.  For a start, I couldn't find a source for the bearing that he used, now listed as obsolete.  There are, however, many similar bearing and shaft assemblies that could be used.  I just cleaned up the shaft, re-assembled the pulley, and put in some oil.  Perhaps I should have had the shaft magnafluxed for cracks, but I didn't.  So far, it works.  I don't have any fan blades on it because I have an electric fan on the radiator, so there is less stress on the pulley.  The fan belt now drives only the rebuilt generator and coupled water pump.

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You can buy new modern units with sealed bearings from John Cislak..........

Screen Shot 2022-07-17 at 12.13.15 PM.png

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Studebaker had a Band-Aid for those pesky oil leaks from the fan hub.  Pictured is Studebaker part number 189733.  It is described in the parts manual as a “Pan, fan drip” and was installed on ‘37 Presidents after car #7110031.  That’s the 31st President down the line in ‘37

 

I think it was mounted on one of the timing gear cover bolts and I assume was intended to divert leaked oil away from the crank pulley and fan belt.

 

”Well, we know we have a problem with oil leaking, and we can’t figure out how to stop it, so let’s at least try to make less of a mess”

 

Tom

E304D509-7961-479C-BEA3-337DC5B7D524.jpeg

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The oil slings in a 360 degree mess……….so I’m  guessing that only helped out by cutting down the smell of burning oil off the engine………

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@37S2de -

 

I've seen the oil catcher shown.  I remember watching grandpa make them from the tin Budweiser cans he kept in the garage.  He was pretty much a shade-tree mechanic.  It took him 3 or 4 cans before he had the right shape, so he said.  😎

 

 

@edinmass

 

Thanks for the contact. Much appreciated 

 

Cheers

Edited by wborh (see edit history)
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