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mmagic
12-28-2011, 09:24 AM
Although I want my Stude to be generally original in appearance and drive train, when it comes to safety issues, I will not hesitate to modify.

In re-doing the Champ I quickly became aware of how far vehicle electrical and brake systems have come in a short 50 years. I assumed that disc brakes had become the norm in that period but was surprised that dual master cylinders had not yet become standard in 1960.

As for the electrical, I was reminded that the transition from generator to alternator had not yet taken place but I was surprised at the lack of a central fuse panel. Only after I had downloaded an electrical schematic did I realize that much of the original protection was by breakers internal to the switches leaving only a few visible in line fuses. My initial reaction had been that nothing was fused !!!

Realizing that with this design those 50 year old breakers were of unknown condition and may or may not actually provide any protection, as I re-install the dash I'm adding a $10 blade type fuse block further protecting all circuits.

As for the headlights, one of the memories that I'll have long after cremation was on a dark night on a gravel road in Northern Indiana in my '55 President. I fortunately wasn't going very fast when I sensed I saw something, perhaps a deer, move in front of me and hit the brakes. When totally stopped I realized it was a moving freight train about 20 feet from my front bumper.

Since that time I've kept the brightest headlights possible in my vehicles including replacing them before they fail as halogens in particular lose brightness over time. Back to the Champ.... Yesterday I ordered the simple "APC Universal Halogen" $19 kit (including relays) yesterday (ebay) to convert the Champ to H4 Halogen's. Universal 7" Glass headlight shells are only $23 each.

I came across the following at another post this AM. While I am not sure of the accuracy, intuitively I would believe it to be right.
"Think about this. Assuming that 12.6 volts where you receive 100% of your light output, look at this quick comparison chart showing light output percentage as compared to the voltage the lights are receiving:

12.6 V = 100%
11.5 V = 75%
10.3 V = 50%
8.7 V = 25%

According to the chart, you’d only be getting approx 50% of your possible light output at 10.3 Volts!"
By using the kit with relays that take power directly from the battery, you avoid power loss from weak connections, undersized wires, worn switches etc. while facilitating the much brighter lighting that Halogen's provide. We've used these kits on the Cherokees we've restored and they are well worth the money and literally plug and play.

Plans for the Speedster include the above items, dual master with remote fill, disc brakes and 12 volt alternator conversion.... Sorry purists but I want this car to road worthy for another 50 years.

mausersmth
12-28-2011, 01:41 PM
Sounds like you got a good plan going there.
Turner Brake (http://www.turnerbrake.com/) is the one I turn to for disk conversions and master cylinder info.
Bob's Studebaker Resource Website (http://www.studebaker-info.org/rjtechx3.html) has a huge amount of information about restoring or modifying any part of a Studebaker. Electrical mods, alternator swaps, seat belts, brakes, and more!
I'm sure others can recommend additional sites.

Chris_Dresbach
12-28-2011, 02:13 PM
Looks like you are doing well on this project. One of the first thing I did to my car was add a modern fuse block to it. To date, I think it already prevented at least one electrical fire. (just look up the car grounded out by a lug nut thread) If you don't already, there are also way to add turn signals without adding any "new" lights. My '40 didn't have any turn signals when I got it, and it was from the factory like that. We spliced into the tail light wires with turn signal wires that run to the flasher and the turn signal; so the running lights, brake lights, and turn signals all run through the same wires and the same two bulbs. The turn signals just over ride the brake/running lights when they are in use. You can do the same thing with the front parking lights. This dosen't sound like it should work, but it does. It's also completely legal as well as safe. This is one of those things that somehow we figured out, but I'm really not sure how... Hopefully Jim Maxey can chime in about it, he showed me how to install it.

kurtruk
12-28-2011, 03:13 PM
I fortunately wasn't going very fast when I sensed I saw something, perhaps a deer, move in front of me and hit the brakes. When totally stopped I realized it was a moving freight train about 20 feet from my front bumper.

You can always tell the difference between the two by checking their tracks.:D:D:D

JRoberts
12-29-2011, 09:44 AM
One of the modifications that has been done to my Cruiser is a complete rewire using a Painless Wiring kit. Also an under the dash flip down fuse box from a Taurus is being used. As far as brakes go Turner brakes are the way I went. The car has not been on the road since the installation of the brakes, but that installation went well. I have never spoken to anybody with Turner brakes that didn't like them.

I am interested in your headlight conversion. I'll have to check into such a conversion not only for my truck, but an adaptation for the Cruiser as well.

ST2DE5
12-29-2011, 10:00 AM
If you do all these conversions then it won't be original it will be modified.

Sdude
12-29-2011, 10:08 AM
If you do all these conversions then it won't be original it will be modified.

Not that there's anything wrong with that....

Corvanti
12-29-2011, 11:33 AM
If you do all these conversions then it won't be original it will be modified.

you'll have some leeway there when it comes to safety issues.

rockne10
12-29-2011, 09:42 PM
I would also add intermittent wipers and four-way-flashers.

stupak
12-29-2011, 09:49 PM
I guess the guys with the 1915 Fords go nuts making all the safety changes! stupak

mmagic
12-29-2011, 11:07 PM
I am interested in your headlight conversion. I'll have to check into such a conversion not only for my truck, but an adaptation for the Cruiser as well.

Mine came today and the packaging looked like it had laid in the back of a South Bend Foundry for years, but the contents were shiny new. Here is the unit: http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-APC-UNIVERSAL-H4-HALOGEN-HEADLAMP-UPGRADE-HARNESS-/370568391890?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&vxp=mtr&hash=item564798ecd2

Basically your current headlight sockets plug into the harness and trigger relays. The relays are connected directly to the battery (provide your own fuse) providing a very good strong power source directly to the halogens. You need to pickup Universal 7 inch lenses. The system will handle 100/90 watt bulbs although it comes with 65's. The harness is compatible with both 2 and 4 light systems.

SilverHawkDan
12-30-2011, 12:33 AM
mmagic,
Just so you know there are companies out there that can convert your generator into an alternator while retaining your generator case. So it will look like a generator but will work like an internal regulator style alternator. Just as there are companies making modern dry (think Optima) batteries that look like the old ones. Even 6 volt style.
Dan