View Full Version : Just when you thought we gave up.....

John and Tracy Smith
02-02-2009, 06:02 PM
We have been a little too busy lately to work on Karl (sick kids, grouchy husband, and ever chipper wife. Oh, please!). Today we decided to get back to work. I'm sure a few of you know by now that a certain somebody started the car while it was running for the first time in ten years and caused damage to the starter. We are pleased to say it has been tested and the bendix repaired ($35.00) as earlier reported. We have not reinstalled it yet. John decided to try to figure out once and for all if the oil pan was truly cracked.


As you can see below, it definitely is! So, here are our questions:

Do you recommend these cracks being repaired, or the oil pan replaced?

What do you think was the cause of the cracking? We were concerned that maybe this damage came from the control arms rubbing/sitting too close to the pan? It does appear that the front end of the car was damaged in an accident at some point.

In order to get this pan out, do we have to remove the engine or just all of the steering elements?

As always, thanks in advance for any advice and/or recommendations you might have. We appreciate the help!


John and Tracy Smith
Queen Creek Arizona

[IMG]http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f352/studebakertruck/IMG_3130.jpghttp://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f352/studebakertruck/IMG_3159.jpg http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f352/studebakertruck/DSCN5167.jpg

02-02-2009, 06:21 PM
You might want your local body guy to look at that front end. Don't want to tear up oil pans or tires, or worse, lose control on the road![:0]

Charles Eck
Essex, MD

'57 Commander 4 door sedan, 'Bluebird'
'66 Ford F-250
'66 Ford F-100
'53 John Deere 50

Studebakers were made to drive! (Besides, they don't get lost as easy in the Wal-Mart parking lot!)

02-02-2009, 06:22 PM
Seems to me you should be able to repair that pan,I had one that was stuffed up real bad by a floor jack and I straightened it out easy enough.though mine did'nt need any welding you could have that mig welded.but if the car haveing been in a preivious accident had anything to do with this damage I'd be looking for more things needing repair/replace(just a thought)

Joseph R. Zeiger

Chucks Stude
02-02-2009, 06:25 PM
Judging by the bottom of the pan, it does not look like the pan was hit from below. Look to see if your frame has been straightened. That is probably the cause. As far as fixing it, just take it off, and have it welded. I have lived with welded pans, on engines that came out of a junk yard, no problem. They came out of cars that had been wrecked, and were cut across the front like that. Be sure and beat it out, before welding.
It might be easier to pull the engine to get the pan out. You need to change the pan gasket, and it might be easier if the engine is out. Others may have other views, and I yield the floor to them.......

02-02-2009, 06:39 PM
:) Does not look good, John and Tracy. Karl needs an appointment with a good body shop that has a frame rack.

Tell them before you go, that the car was involved in a frontal collision years ago and you are concerned that the frame may not be straight. If it is an old shop, they may have dimensions available. If not, you'll have to get them from your Studebaker Shop Manual (you do have one, right?) and take the dimensions in for their use.

There may not be anything terminal, but you need to have it checked before you spend any more time or money on the car.

At the least, it surely needs new engine mounts on all four corners. Perhaps the weight of the engine just sheered or distorted the engine mounts upon impact.

As others have said, that pan can be welded and made useable. :DBP

02-02-2009, 07:23 PM
I pulled an 259 engine out of a '62 wagon years ago. The car had been used and abused as a painter's hack. In the course of it's life, ALL FOUR motor mounts had rotted away! This left the engine to flop around in it's bay and there was a gash far worse than what's seen here. It was at least an inch across at it's widest point and the only way it could've gotten that big was proloned driving with the bellcrank end gnawing away at the oil pan! Must've been a b*tch to steer, but it appearantly didn't hurt the engine or run it dry of oil. Although I was apprehensive about taking the engine once I had it hoisted up, the fact that I could turn it by hand was promising.
What I surmised after disassembly was that the edge of the ever-growing gash kept turning inwards and helped to keep it from losing too much oil.[B)]
I ended up using that engine after converting it to a 289 with .080 over slugs. I used it for awhile and pulled it when I sold the Lark it was in. Last I heard, it was being prepped for use in a '64 by a young fella here on the forum.
Anyway, point is, it could be just totally rotted motor mounts![:0]

1957 Transtar 1/2ton
1963 Cruiser
1960 Larkvertible V8
1958 Provincial wagon
1953 Commander coupe
1957 President two door

02-02-2009, 07:38 PM
Looking at the angle of the picture, it is hard to tell if the bell crank is still touching the pan. The tie rod end on the drivers drag link is missing the rubber dust cover and that needs to be taken care of anyway. I have dropped the pan by removing one of the links and turning the other out of the way. I agree with others that the pan can be welded, but a unmolested replacement would be "purtier"(southern drawl ya' know).;)

John Clary
Greer, SC
SDC member since 1975

02-02-2009, 07:45 PM
If those engine mounts turn out to be totally shot John & Tracy, that could be the only cause, they also could have been torn and replaced, not as likely. [^]

02-02-2009, 08:00 PM
Second the suggestion to have the frame checked. If the frame turns out to be bad, you may wish to reconsider any further work on the car, contingent on the possibility and cost of frame repair.

But most likely it is just bad motor mounts. To drop the pan:

1. remove the grease fitting from the bellcrank pivot casting. It can be found about 2 inches above the top right corner of your picture, recessed in a hole in the back face of that big front cross-member. You will need a socket.

2. Undo and remove the pinch bolt that holds the bellcrank to the pivot shaft.

3. Remove the four capscrews that hold the bellcrank pivot casting to the crossmember. The pivot assembly should then fall right out, although sometimes the bellcrank will need to be pried loose.

Once the pivot assembly is removed, the entire bellcrank with tie rods attached can be dropped or shifted enough to permit easy removal of the oil pan. While the pivot assembly is out, you can take it apart, check the bearings (or bushings, depending upon year) and renew them if necessary. Sloppy bellcrank pivots can account for looseness in the steering. It's an easy and inexpensive thing to fix, but gets neglected a lot. Most "lubrication technicians" are blissfuly unaware of that grease fitting (which you had to remove in order to get the casting out).

Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

52 Ragtop
02-02-2009, 08:31 PM
Check with a reputable Collision Center with a computer measuring system, They can do comparative measurements, length, height and width. It does look like maybe the engine mounts broke and the engine lerched forward into the bellcrank. But, for 2-3 hours for a set up and measure (frame rates vary from state to state) it would be worth it.
Just my 2 cents worth


02-02-2009, 09:30 PM
Second everything that has been said so far. The oil pan can be repaired, however you should be able to find an undamaged one on eBay for a reasonable price, or I have a spare I would be happy to sell. If you are interested, shoot me an email and we can figure out something.

02-02-2009, 09:38 PM
I'm wondering how much movement is needed to put the pan against the bellcrank?and could the engine move that much without harming the function of the transmission linkages?

Joseph R. Zeiger

02-02-2009, 09:50 PM
Something seems odd about that oil pan. The size of the sump looks bigger than that normally used on passenger cars. Perhaps its just the angle of the photo, but doesn't the pan normally sweep up towards the front. Did they make a larger sump oil pan for trucks?

Dan Peterson
Montpelier, VT
1960 Lark V-8 Convertible
1960 Lark V-8 Convertible (parts car)
1961 Lark Crusier
1962 Lark V-8 Regal Convertible

02-02-2009, 10:03 PM
J&T, I don't remember the front of your car looking that smashed up enough to bend that frame. A little on the abused, rusty front panel, but didn't look repainted from an accident. Am I right? Does the frame look bent anywhere under there on either side? Gord already beat me to the oil pan drop idea. I agree with Biggs, new mounts make a huge difference. Every vendor near you has those and maybe even some extras here on the forum.

Anyone know if they had access to a cherry picker and since they are replacing all four mounts anyway, perhaps they could disconnect the exhaust & accelerator linkage enough to then lift the engine up enough to pull that pan out. Not sure if it would then be enough room.

02-02-2009, 10:30 PM
I'm with Dan P on this one wrong pan. You got my curious up. When I go to barn in the morning I'm going to look.

7G-Q1 49 2R12 10G-F5 56B-D4 56B-F2
As soon as you find a product you like they will stop making it.

02-02-2009, 10:36 PM
yeah, I would have guessed "wrong pan" myself. I think some early C-Ks had a longer pan maybe?


55 Commander Starlight

02-02-2009, 11:48 PM
Really hard to see in the pic. but it appears to be a 58 up pan by the drain plug location and size. But something sure looks wrong with that drivers side inner tie rod end.

John and Tracy Smith
02-03-2009, 12:44 AM
Okay, here is a picture of the damage to the front end. It appears to have been in the process of being repaired. There is a hole from what we think was most likely a dent puller (OR THE COOL OPTION, BULLET HOLES!). The frame appears to be square from underneath, but we understand that looks can be deceiving. Yes Bob, we do have a complete set of Studebaker Shop Manuals (thanks to BarnLark!).
Thank again for your input. We would not have the confidence to continue to go forward without you guys.

P.S. We have the wheels turned slightly so we could take a picture of the oil pan. It's not stuck that way.


John and Tracy Smith
Queen Creek Arizona

[IMG]http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f352/studebakertruck/IMG_3130.jpghttp://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f352/studebakertruck/IMG_3159.jpg http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f352/studebakertruck/DSCN5167.jpg

02-03-2009, 04:37 AM
If/when you have the frame checked, look for the shops labor rate (it should be posted). Pay no more the 2.0 hrs labor for them to set up and measure the frame. Computerized frames are nice, but you would also be assuming that a Lark is in the frame system's database (unlikely). It should still give you measurements to compare to the factory specs.

Keep in mind it is reasonable that frame time is a different rate than body time (like MI) or may be the same time (like FL). Also try to set up a time (appointment to have this done). Some shops are slow and will appreciate the business while others my be extremely busy and look at this as a nuisance and treat it as such. I'd like to think you can have this done for $100 or less (repairs extra).

Tom - Mulberry, FL

1964 Studebaker Daytona - 289 4V, 4-Speed (Cost To Date: $2125.60)

http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i280/Swifster/rollingpi.gif http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i280/Swifster/The%20Daytona%20File/Avatar%20Size/01-01-05TheStartingPoint.jpg http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i280/Swifster/The%20Daytona%20File/Avatar%20Size/07-17-07FrontClipRemoved.jpg http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i280/Swifster/The%20Daytona%20File/Avatar%20Size/04-11-08CoolingFan.jpg

02-03-2009, 04:40 AM
quote:Originally posted by John and Tracy Smith

Okay, here is a picture of the damage to the front end. It appears to have been in the process of being repaired. There is a hole from what we think was most likely a dent puller (OR THE COOL OPTION, BULLET HOLES!).

Okay dude and dudette, personaly i think your going at this puppy a little backwards.

Goals (i won't talk sensibilities here as there is none when it comes to cars. There's probably not a soul on here that hasn't put $20 in a nickle car. It's what we do).

1. Do i really want to
2. Yep i bought it and it's a keeper good bad or ugly. After all he has a name and it's KARL not car.

If 2 here's my humble

If it was me (yeah i know he's at it again) I would pull the hood,bumper, and fenders off. Your going to have to do it sooner or latter to replace them with decent ones, and you have to do the grill and surround anyway since you have a replacement for that. Maybe i can find two good fenders on my way home.

This is going to make all the other work much more accessable, and give you a better view of the frame horns. I personaly think it was, or is a motor mount problem, bad steering linkage, or wrong pan.

After you get that done clean the front of the car as much as possable of gunk slime and various residuals. Then locate a replacement pan and gasket set. (i've had 50/50 with welded one's and prefer not to use em unless i have too.

That said, let me ask another question. when ol Karl is sitting awhile and is full of oil. how many different spots of oil in on the floor under neath. one in the front of engine, one in the middle, one in the rear, some under the trans?

I await your response of course, of course you may not be awaiting mine. By the way thats some ugly looking steering linkage. When it up in the air on jack stands how much play in it when one of you watchs and the other wiggles the steering wheel.

02-03-2009, 05:41 AM
Some good fatherly advice there, guys. You do have to decide on how far you want to go. Nothing we've seen is a huge problem; but there sure are plenty- and there are plenty more you have yet to discover, and plenty more yet to develop. It's just the nature of old cars.

The question is if you have a true grasp of what you're into with this car. I don't know your experience level, but it's easy to see the list of needed repairs growing so long it overwhelms you, even to the point it sours you on the hobby- and that would be the worst thing!

You already know I love Larks; and hopefully you know I'm rooting for you and old Karl. I'm just saying, look at the amount of work fixing this latest problem (not an easy fix no matter what the cause!) and decide how much you really want to do. It may be preferable to stop here, sell the car, and save up for a better example.

Please don't think I'm in any way trying to discourage you! Like everybody else I'm behind what you're doing- to the point that I'm thinking big-picture, based on having been down that road plenty of times.

Of course if you soldier on, you know we all will be here for you!

Robert (Bob) Andrews Owner- Studebakeracres- on the IoMT (Island of Misfit Toys!)
Parish, central NY 13131

"Some people live for the rules, I live for exceptions"- 311

"Do they all not, by mere virtue of having survived as relics of a bygone era, amass a level of respect perhaps not accorded to them when they were new?"

02-03-2009, 08:24 AM
That damage doesn't look too bad, however the accident does appear to have been bad enough to maybe push an engine backward that had been sitting on dried up, weak engine mounts and maybe even torque the steering linkage to rub on the back of the pan. Maybe both happened. That pan looks just like the one on my '60..without the holes.;)
Father Bams is right, could be time to cut bait. You have very little in it, though. I know of a solid little four door, light blue 1960 Lark in California about which Ross posted recently. Just as cheap. There may be more out there with a sure, straight frame and not all the problems that go with that serious issue. Interesting dilemma, a car that tracks straight is awfully important.
Not sure what it would take to weld those small rust spots on the other fenders you are storing, as opposed to repairing that bent one, but we can discuss that. There is the exact same gauge steel right there to use on the dented one. It may work out.


02-03-2009, 09:21 AM
What a resource of info, help and encouragement. It certainly adds to love of our cars and trucks to know we're not alone.
My 2 cents worth, in addition to all the things to look at and check is; real sloppy bellcrank pin and trans mounts. I've gotten them where the pin bearings worn so badly and pinch bolt loose it would pitch tie rods up to the pan. Trans mounts get so soaked with oil(from the factory option of leaks) and sag. The drivers trans mount is supposed to have real thick washer between crossmember and bottom of mount to help shift linkage line up and throttle pressure. I'd put a block of wood on a floor jack and raise tail shaft and see what happens.In addtion to oil pan question, I'd look at these 2 items as they don't cost nuttin.
Don't get discouraged, it's part of the fun and requires patience and perserverance.
Hope this helps,

02-03-2009, 09:42 AM
:)Ok Folks lets keep this positive. If I remember correctly, only about 14 bolts, and the entire front of the car can be lifted off. Or if you usually work alone like me, it can flop off nose first like one of those “Funniest home Video’s” moments. Just take your time and label your parts as you go. I use sandwich bags and terms like “P-side” for passenger side, and “D-side” for driver side, etc. For electrical connections, I use little tags available at office supply stores that come with strings attached so that they can easily be tied to terminal ends. Use a permanent ink pen and note the location in simple terms you understand.
With Karl’s private parts exposed, it opens up a whole wonderful world of opportunities for Karl’s recovery and restoration. Keep your camera handy so you can back up your bragging points at future car events. In my years of doing this, it seem that the most critical folks we encounter, are those with the least experience! Those among us that have done enough of this stuff to earn the right to be critical …wouldn’t dare! I have found the most difficult part of these jobs is to transition from the “thinking about it stage” to the “doing it stage.” Just dive in and go for it! Before you know it, you’ll be driving down the road grinning from ear to ear singing “I did it my way!”


John Clary
Greer, SC
SDC member since 1975

Chucks Stude
02-03-2009, 09:59 AM
After seeing the pics, I agree, motor mounts.

02-03-2009, 12:17 PM

I am probably the nieve one here due to my lack of Studebaker experience, but I'm having trouble believing that the damage shown is responsible for a major shift in the frame given the lack of significant damage.

If it was there, the damage should be visible in the frame rail behind the massive front crossmember.

If it were mine, I'd put the car on good jackstands and get under it and look. I tend to agree that engine mounts etc. could be responsible for the issue.

To keep the build CHEAP, which I assume is your goal. Drop the pan and take it to a local weld shop. Tell them to reweld a new metal section in the front of the pan about 1-2 inches farther back and put it back on the car. This will give you clearence for the steering.

Get the car driveable and put it on the road enough to see if it steers and stops.

If you still love Karl, continue on your learning curve.

You folks appear to be a great couple with limited mechanical knowledge. What a great car to learn on. Continuing to bring it back to a good driver should not cost much. Use it as a learning experience before you kick it to the curb, you may end up with a great car for little investment.

Most of we seniors on the forum learned to work on cars when money was tight and our labor was cheap. You folks have the same opportunity here if you don't try to rush the issue.

Bob :D:D


John and Tracy Smith
02-03-2009, 01:10 PM
We wanted to say thanks to everyone for your advice and words of encouragement. This little Lark has kept us hopping, all right. Most of you probably know that this was our way of trying to find an inexpensive way for Tracy to have her own driver someday. We've both been involved with the truck, but she really wanted something of her own. With the economy being the way it is, we have been taking the CASO approach and are trying to keep costs to a very bare minimum. After all, this is a hobby and our family needs obviously must come first. That being said, John has become very discouraged with our recent findings (mostly due to our lack of experience and skill with cars). We actually had a talk this morning and were headed in the direction of realizing that we had most likely gotten in over our heads on this one and might need to pull the plug on Karl. Well...then Bob's last post came along and we decided to try a few more things first. Right now our goal is to remove the oil pan and have it welded. We will then try to drive Karl down the road to the mailbox (keep your fingers crossed!). We will assess steering/alignment/brakes and make our decision from there. If we can do it without going broke and/or pulling all of our hair out, we will give it a try. If the stress of trying to pull it together outweighs the enjoyment of the project, we will have to abandon ship. Wish us luck! We really want to give Karl a chance!

John and Tracy Smith
Queen Creek Arizona

[IMG]http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f352/studebakertruck/IMG_3130.jpghttp://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f352/studebakertruck/IMG_3159.jpg http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f352/studebakertruck/DSCN5167.jpg

02-03-2009, 01:23 PM
Oh for the love of Mike!:( Will you guys give the frame damage thing a rest? Really, it is a possibility and that's all. Likely the problem is just worn front end parts and mounts. Really![V]

John, Tracy, please remember, none of us here are experts. Well... there are actually a few. Biggs, for one and Jeff are experts, In My Humble Opinion. Well... may...be Bob too. Beyond that, the rest of us are just expounding our guesses and past experiance.

As to the car in question? That damage hasn't even creased or buckled the trim! The front bumper even looks good!:D So PUH-leeeeze, give the frame damage thing a rest till hard evidence presents itself.

John, Tracy, pull the front clip and give it a good look. You'll likely find it's just a CASO who didn't fix a worn front end and broken engine mounts.;)

Also, one thing you need to know, Studebaker V8s are [b]very well known to snap off the engine mounts all by their lil' ol' selves. They're quite torquey engines and they do this. I've switched all mine to Rover Series model engine mounts. They're much tougher than the standard Studebaker mounts. Not very expensive either.:D

http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b18/Studeclunker/december%2006/HPIM0234.jpg http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b18/Studeclunker/56%20Parkview%20Wagon/56wagonleftfrontclipped-1.jpg
Home of the famous Mr. Ed!
K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
Ron Smith
Where the heck is Lewiston, CA?

Dick Steinkamp
02-03-2009, 01:30 PM
I like Sweetolbob's approach...but there must be a good used oil pan somewhere nearby. It would be easier, quicker, and probably cheaper to have the gaskets in hand and just do a swap. Have you contacted members in your local club for one?

Dick Steinkamp
Bellingham, WA

http://i149.photobucket.com/albums/s66/ddstnkmp/Stude-a-mino%20old%20pics/oldpics6asmall.jpg http://i149.photobucket.com/albums/s66/ddstnkmp/finished044.jpg

Warren Webb
02-03-2009, 01:47 PM
Ok, here are my 2 cents worth. I am a former body man so I have done frame work more than once or twice in my life.
First thing I would do is switch the position of the tie rods so that the cinch are on the outer portion next to the steering knuckle. Thats what gouged the pan in the first place.
Next I would replace the motor mounts & if someone would post the Land Rover part # or application I would use those mounts being that they are most likely stronger.
Then, if there still suspects a clearance issue, I would cross measure the frame with a tape measure using the same holes on both sides to check for square. I.E. l/f to r/r & r/f to l/r. You dont have to go any farther than from the cowl area to the front frame horns, that should be sufficient, but I dont think the frame is an issue. If anything, the front main engine crossmember would have to be narrower at the top for the engine to be lower & that crossmember is pretty heavy duty & would have a noticeable buckle(s) in it.
Keep us informed! I really enjoy all your posts.

60 Lark convertible
61 Champ
62 Daytona convertible
63 G.T. R-2,4 speed
63 Avanti (2)
66 Daytona Sport Sedan

02-03-2009, 02:06 PM
quote:Originally posted by John and Tracy Smith

We wanted to say thanks to everyone for your advice and words of encouragement. Okay sports fans here's some final advice from your friendly ol gray haired daddy, about this limo scene.

Remember what i said about choice 1. and 2. You've got enough advice to make that choice and the choice is yours. If it was me i'd bag it and tag it. (says the man with four stalls full of projects)

But if you want to push on then i'll help you with it as much as possable. So if your going to go forward remove the front sheet metal. And clean the front as much as possable, gather your parts. Motor mounts, gasket set, REPLACEMENT PAN, and steering parts.

By that time i'll be back in AZ. and will be able to assit you with it if i get some real tacos for lunch. Then you can test drive the old boy before you go any further.

02-03-2009, 03:06 PM
Here's another thread you might want to look into:

I'll be there this next weekend and will keep a lookout for parts that you might want. You might also like to contact Rosstude yourself to inquire about parts. It's always nice to have extra parts, such as water pumps, starters, oilpans, etc...

By the by, that job looks great on your starter. If it works as good as it looks, wow...:D [8D]

http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b18/Studeclunker/december%2006/HPIM0234.jpg http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b18/Studeclunker/56%20Parkview%20Wagon/56wagonleftfrontclipped-1.jpg
Home of the famous Mr. Ed!
K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
Ron Smith
Where the heck is Lewiston, CA?

02-03-2009, 03:42 PM
J&T, If you do find any parts you need from Ross, I may be traveling back through AZ with sheet metal parts and a car hauler within a month or two. I'd be glad to help.
Good luck on your project no matter what you decide to do. It may feel daunting right now, but it isn't that far off of getting it right enough to drive. Great learning experience. Good common sense stuff above, it's probably more simple than it appears. Remember, with Studes, nothing is ever easy. :D

02-03-2009, 04:33 PM
Lord knows I'm no mechanic (there are several children of mechanics in college...I suspect med school...because of that fact) but let me ask a question.

If the car drives and stops straight, and is SAFE for use, what's the problem?
If the front end is tweaked just enough for the control arms to hit the oil pan, is that really a problem worthy of spending a lot of money on, or a death sentence for Karl...parting out the car?

We're talking a very inexpensive Lark here, not a late model luxury car of high performance anything.
After all, I'm pretty sure John & Tracy aren't heading for Bonneville or the autobonn anytime soon.

63 Avanti R1 2788
1914 Stutz Bearcat
(George Barris replica)

Washington State

02-03-2009, 04:42 PM
"If the car drives and stops straight, and is SAFE for use, what's the problem?"

John, I think it has only been towed straight so far, but you're right. Karl's this close to being saved by these two. I hope he gets to breathe again...well, from the video, maybe everyone should be able to breathe better soon! :D;)

02-03-2009, 04:50 PM
Let me say this, I have been watching your progress , but have neglected to ever say anything. I know that you want to get the thing going as quickly as you can, and for as cheap as you can, but let me stress one point (that many of those here may have hit on):

Be patient.

If you come to a place to where you are ready to pull out the gun and get it out of your misery; take a step back...breathe....give yourself a break. Take all the time you need. It may be a day, it may be a week, it may be longer (just don't give up TOTALLY, or have it turn into that project you are always meaning to work on, but never do;))

I bought my Lark in running order, but I must say, the more I get into her for small repairs, the more I find wrong. I fix one thing, then I take a break. Then, I get up the nerve to fix the next thing.

I realize that you may think that it is easier for me 'cause I can still drive mine, but a few months out of last year, she was grounded for repairs. It gets fustrating, indeed, but it is the best way to do things, especially if it is not a car you have to rely on to get to work or the doctor or something. Take it easy, and she will drive again!


1963 Lark, waiting for spring...

02-03-2009, 05:21 PM
There is a ton of good advice here. Patience . . one step at a time . . . drive it once before you lose the motivation . . . all good ideas.
After the winter show at Gold Canyon, I realized I couldn't keep driving my 60 Lark without some repairs (it leaked and smoked 2qts in 90 miles!)
The advice you got to take the pan off is great. I followed the manual to the letter, and had mine off in about a half hour. Then I pulled the head, found someone had just been in there (23 years ago!) and fouled up an easy ring job. The new parts and gaskets are in the mail. I hope to be driving it in a couple of weeks, smoke and leak free.
So for what it's worth, look at the bright side. Motor mounts are cheap, a pan can be found, getting greasy under your car is FUN!
And for sure, keep up the progress pix and blog, you guys have contributed a great thing to this forum!

JohnP, driving & reviving
an early Lark

02-03-2009, 05:55 PM
I have to agree with Warren Webb. Measuring the frame from holes made by Studebaker in the same location on each side should help you decide on straightness. From the looks of the body damage, it doesn't appear to be enough to cause distortion. I may be wrong, but measure yourself at home first. Joe

02-03-2009, 06:31 PM
Well, J&T, I haven't chimed in here because I am a sucker for lost causes and you need to make your own decisions. Personally, I would go for it. Use it as a learning experience and when you get discouraged, walk away for awile. Take a drive in the truck, take the kids to the beach, do whatever it takes to relax a bit. I think Karl is worth saving--I mean you've named him so he is a part of the family, right? Remember that shiny paint can hide a huge number of expensive problems on anything you might buy from an unknown source. At least you can see Karl's problems and learn from fixing them, and you both seem pretty good at fixing things.

Just my 2 cents worth!


Jeff Jones
Tucson Arizona
1947 M-5

John and Tracy Smith
02-03-2009, 10:30 PM
All right, we went out and spent a little time with Karl trying to figure out the lingo in the manual compared to what was staring us back in the face (Pry off what, how? Smack WHAT with a hammer?). We cross-referenced sections and diagrams...this was not an easy task for a pair of novices joined by 2 small children who were simultaneously rearranging the tool box (it will never be the same again!). That LOOK came back into John's eyes again (you know, "Off with Karl's head!"), so Tracy brought him in, fed him dinner (slipped him a sedative), and quoted him all of the positive advice from the forum (she'll talk to her father-in-law later, thank you very much...tacos, indeed! He'll be making her some mango salsa instead).

On top of the positive support we received here, we also heard from several members of our chapter with words of encouragement and offers of help. One member even took time to sit down with John over the phone and explain the process of removing the oil pan while looking together at the pictures we had posted in the forum. We have figured out how to remove the oil pan and we even have a replacement pan waiting! We can't thank everyone enough for their support. JohnP...sorry to hear about your Lark, but glad it was a relatively easy fix (we're curious...how did you know that it was exactly 23 years ago that someone had been in there?). We look forward to seeing it again soon.

John and Tracy Smith
Queen Creek Arizona

[IMG]http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f352/studebakertruck/IMG_3130.jpghttp://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f352/studebakertruck/IMG_3159.jpg http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f352/studebakertruck/DSCN5167.jpg

02-03-2009, 10:55 PM

Glad to see you're back on track. The reason I suggested the welded oil pan was to give the ballcrank enough room to move without gouging a replacement pan. That will get you the freedom to make the rest of the moves you need to determine if Karl is a dream or reality.

I wish we were closer, I'd modify the front of the pan. Save the good pan and gasket until the problem is solved.

Hang in there, it looks like help is on the way from the forum members.

Just don't accumulate a lot of parts before you make each step. Weld up the pan, use black silicone to put it on and try to drive Karl.

As you progress, judge what needs to be replaced, ask questions and proceed.

BE PATIENT, the turtle did win.

As other members have said, you will have ups and downs but the self satisfaction of looking at the finished product is worth the effort.

Avanti (Forward in Italian)

Bob :D:D


02-03-2009, 10:56 PM
Sounds like you got John to take a good deep breath and the local cavalry has come over the rise. Great plan. [^][8D] The Ute is done, so sorry, I guess we all need something to cheer on and to watch from the stands again. At least I do. My car is tucked a half an hour away and I can't even stare at it every now and then to think up things to fix. :(


02-03-2009, 11:07 PM

In fact, now that I have reached my state of enlightenment with my nightly glass of Calif Merlot, Let me suggest that instead of welding the pan if it is expensive to do in Arizona you just hammer it a little deeper to miss the ballcrank. Then you can wire brush it to clean metal and use JB Weld to fill the voids.

This should keep most of the oil in the pan until you can determine the best way to attack the problems.

Bob :)


02-04-2009, 03:47 AM
quote:Originally posted by John and Tracy Smith

(she'll talk to her father-in-law later, thank you very much...tacos, indeed! He'll be making her some mango salsa instead).

Okay, i see you've taken choice number two. As you know i've taken it more times than i can count.

So here's the deal, give the old boy a transfusion by puttin on the new pan (with or without me and tacos). Then if you decide to continue you know i'll help.

If you decide to stop, i'll buy the old goat from you and instead of building my indy car clone. I build a circle track dirt racer clone shades of Tucson in the mid sixties. Karl would look good in stock car trim, wire screen winshield,(keeps the rocks at the globe track out of your face) with some fatties on reversed rims, radiused wheel wells, and a six pint cage etc.

Then all he has to do is drive on and off the trailer at a car show (may have to muffle the headers so the antiquities don't complain) And sit there behind my pickup quietly while i tell lies about how many races we won at the old 1/4 mile track.

Either way he'll be saved. And your friendly ol gray haired d-inlaw will be your hero.

02-04-2009, 03:52 AM
That would be a six point cage, one should never mix pints with race cars. Geez i'm excited just thinking about Karl the dirt track hero witha J/T plumbing sponsership.

02-04-2009, 10:04 AM
quote:Originally posted by bridgegaurd

Geez i'm excited just thinking about Karl the dirt track hero witha J/T plumbing sponsership.

:D The story behind the story, your visions of something different should keep them determined to finish Karl their way. But if there mood turns south, be ready to pounce.:)

Kidding aside.
Another thing while your getting ready to do the pan.....since its going to be on jack stands is go ahead and check the brakes, and start pricing some brake parts, with that car sitting for so long its almost a given that those rubber parts will need to be fixed, post some pics of the brake shoes for evaluation.

As to those sedatives, mix up the dosages you don't want anyone building up tolerances to certain amounts.[:p] Hang in there, it runs keep that in mind, that's a HUGE step.


Steve T
02-04-2009, 11:58 AM

Like this, but less beat-up and without the roof ornament??
...seen late summer 2000, Mosquito Speedway, Nolalu, Ontario. Nolalu is in the middle of nowhere and the speedway, a small dirt oval, has long since closed; no idea whether this 63 Lark dirt-tracker is still mouldering away there...


02-04-2009, 02:13 PM
quote:Originally posted by Steve T


Like this, but less beat-up and without the roof ornament??
Thats what i'm talking about, but yes Karl would have much less competition body panel adjustments. And yes that roof wing would have to go! I think there is better ways to get side bite. I do find the air dam on the front interesting, i diffinetly think the mud build up would give you front end down force.

Okay J/T let your imagination run wild here. Karl the dirt track hero. Could be famous! And you all could find that 60 Lark wagon i've always wanted you to have AKA Karl JR..