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danasgoodstuff
02-17-2005, 12:25 PM
Hi! I've been looking at a 59 Lark I want to buy and wondered if you had any suffestions about problems to look for. Thanks

Roscomacaw
02-17-2005, 01:54 PM
That's a pretty general request. I'd say, look for rust. Rust in the floorboards & trunk floor, rust in the fenders and doors and rustout of the frame if this is a "Salt Belt" vehicle.;)
Does it run? If so does it smoke or knock or leak? Pretty basic stuff really. How badly is it disadvantaged cosmetically? Any mechanical costs can pale when compared to the costs of paint & body work.[}:)]
What body style and powertrain does this Lark have?[?]

Miscreant at large.

danasgoodstuff
02-17-2005, 03:51 PM
It's a Lark 4dr, 259 V-8 with AT, no visable rust, worn & chipped origianl paint but straight. Rebuilt engine, interior and brakes. AT has had new seals and fluid but not rebuilt. Runs well but a little noisey (2bl with dual exhaust, not standard?). Drives OK on a short run but brakes engage kinda near the floor. Handles better than I expected, "heavy duty springs" and new shocks, not noticably nose heavy (contrary to everything I've read). Seller has paperwork, it was a project with his late grandfather. He wants $4,800.

Sonny
02-17-2005, 07:06 PM
quote:Originally posted by danasgoodstuff

It's a Lark 4dr, 259 V-8 with AT, no visable rust, worn & chipped origianl paint but straight. Rebuilt engine, interior and brakes. AT has had new seals and fluid but not rebuilt. Runs well but a little noisey (2bl with dual exhaust, not standard?). Drives OK on a short run but brakes engage kinda near the floor. Handles better than I expected, "heavy duty springs" and new shocks, not noticably nose heavy (contrary to everything I've read). Seller has paperwork, it was a project with his late grandfather. He wants $4,800.


Hi and WELCOME to the SDC forums. My favorite Larks are the 59 to 61 cars. I have a '60 hard top.

The dual exhaust isn't standard equipment on the car, but when you say "noisy", do you mean mechanical engine sounds? The little Larks are great handling cars, and if you went with heavier sway bars, front and rear, you'd really be impressed! I'm not sure where you read that the early, V8 Larks were nose heavy, but nothing could be further from the facts. I find the early V8 Larks to be very well balanced, excellent handling cars. I will say that without the heavy sway bars, heavy springs and shocks, they do tend to lean into the turns when they have some mileage on them.

If the car is in as good and solid a condition as you've described, I don't think the price is out of line.

Once again, Welcome and hope we hear that you're Studebakering in a V8 Lark soon! [^] Keep us updated will ya?


Sonny
http://RacingStudebakers.com

N8N
02-17-2005, 07:11 PM
definitely check the brakes out, but I don't believe that year had self adjusters, it might just be time for an adjustment (and chassis lube at the same time) or loose wheel bearings (easy to fix)

My '62 had a 2bbl 289 w/dual exhaust from the factory, FWIW. Again, define "loud" - my car is definitely loud, but most of that is due to glasspacks and an open air cleaner :) You will get a little clatter from the solid lifters but other than that shouldn't be too many mechanical sounds from under the hood. Another potential noisemaker is the heat riser, if it's worn it will rattle.

good luck

nate

--
55 Commander Starlight
62 Daytona hardtop
http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel

Sonny
02-17-2005, 07:31 PM
The '59 cars definitely had self adjusters Nate, but not all cars were so equipped. Also, this is a '59 and unless the car was specifically optioned with duals, they're aftermarket.

As far as the solid lifters, if the engine isn't too worn and the lifters are adjusted properly, you should not hear them. However, loose settings are always better, and by "guess-timating" when setting them cold, you're usually rewarded with the "tappity-tap-tap" "music" associated with that procedure. [:p]

The reservoir for the brakes is under the drivers floor. Check the fluid level and for Sure, get under it and looks for leaks. If the adjusters are loose and free, it's an easy task to adjust them. Have the owner get the brakes right before you buy it. That's not an unreasonable request for the price.....

Sonny
http://RacingStudebakers.com

danasgoodstuff
02-18-2005, 02:19 PM
Thanks for the feedback, I'll let you know what happens...

raprice
02-18-2005, 04:09 PM
The way you describe the car, it sounds like a good buy. If the engine and transmission are in good shape, the price is reasonable. If the mechanical valves make noise when cold, see if they quiet down after the engine warms up. Otherwise they might need to be adjusted. I own a '59 Lark Regal hardtop and have owned it since 1991. I love the car. It's roomy and rides beautifully. The only drawback with mine is that it's a VI with Flightomatic. It's slow to accelerate, but once it gets moving, it's not a problem. Keep in mind that the Flightomatic is one rugged transmission.
The brake parts are available, including the master cylinder. \
Above all, if you buy the car, by all means join the Studebaker Drivers Club and a local chapter if one is near you. You won't be sorry.
Best of luck.

Roscomacaw
02-18-2005, 07:38 PM
I agree with studeeroger's & Sonny's assesment of this car. But I think the price is too much.;)

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studegary
02-19-2005, 03:52 PM
I agree with Bob (Mr. Biggs). Considering the condition, you are getting up in '59 hardtop price range. A four door should be considerably less. The four door is a good car, especially with a 259 V8 and automatic, but the market does not drive high prices for them (yet).

danasgoodstuff
02-24-2005, 01:20 PM
I tried running the VIN in one of those online services but it was too short, any suggestions?

Roscomacaw
02-24-2005, 01:26 PM
What are you hoping to discover by "running" the VIN#?

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kelmbaker
02-27-2005, 01:16 AM
Whewww, $4800 for a four door sedan? Shop around. Watch E-bay. Must be a pristine car with a pedigree for $4800. The hundreth thousand Lark (Wagon), in poor shape went for a quarter of that. Don't equate Ch--vy or F--d prices to Studes.

Kelly J. Marion

danasgoodstuff
03-12-2005, 09:59 PM
So, I bought it and drove it home roughly 100 miles. Everything's good but the transmission fluid is about a pint low. I bought some Dexron III Max Life ("for cars with over 75,000 miles"). Before I put it in, is this OK? I think the low fluid was just from the filler cap being loose. The oil pressure was 50+ psi all the way home and the temp was just barely on the high side of half way between H & C. The tranny shifts a little hard, but then it's the only Studebaker of any kind I've ever driven.

Thanx for all your advise, more later.

imported_n/a
03-12-2005, 11:10 PM
Congratulations for what seems to be a great car Dana.:D Wow! A hundred miles one way? Well, I'd say thats a good shakedown![8D]

lotsa Larks!

Ronald K. Smith

Roscomacaw
03-13-2005, 09:16 AM
It's OK to run Dexron in that car. But since you don't know the history of the tranny, you might wanna drain it completely and refill it with new Dexron. If it's truly had new seals put in it in fairly recent times, I doubt you need fluid "for high-milage" transmissions. Regular old Dexron III will do just fine. And if you DO opt for a fluid change, there's a drain plug on the torque convertor as that needs to be opened for draining as well as draining what's in the tranny pan.;)
That said, I doubt you'll have any problem from topping up with the stuff you bought. Make sure you're checking the fluid in proper fashion tho. The tranny's gotta be warmed up, engine at idle and in "D" (drive) while you check the fluid level. Of course - you have to have someone hold the brakes while you check.[:I]

Miscreant at large.

danasgoodstuff
03-24-2005, 06:09 PM
Got it back with the brakes much improved last night just in time to go to the NW SDC meeting here in Ptld, OR. Nice people. Maybe I'll get to meet some of you in Spokane this summer. I think the leaky master cylinder was a blessing in disguise considering how much better the brakes are now and how serious brake failure could have been.