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Thread: 57 Commander in garage for 38 years

  1. #41
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    The Commander is now a vehicle with a running engine and transmission that seems to be working, the car is on jackstands.
    Photo04031556.jpgPhoto04031525_1.jpg
    Tomorrow start on the brakes and today I also talked to the glass installation place and he is ready when I am ready.
    All the heater hoses need replacing and that is quite an arrangement.
    Happy Easter,
    Jay

  2. #42
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    Hello, the Commander's rear brakes are in place and has a new master cylinder, the rear mounting bolt for the master cylinder fought all the way out. The front brakes are next. Each day after doing mechanical work I play for a bit cleaning things.

    The masking tape is impossible. I have the right front fender cleaned a bit but no photos.
    I have been firing it up every day and letting it run until warm, all the gauges work, no turn signals but I haven't looked under the dash yet.
    I saw some Goodyear radials at Walmart that were reasonably priced and looked like a good size, I believe I will take them five wheels.
    Jay

  3. #43
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    The Commander is off the jackstands temporarily and went for a few rides around our property totaling about three miles. Everything in the driveline seems to be working OK, now I need to make a tailpipe and do some rust repair, then it gets new tires and the rear window installed.

    Jay

  4. #44
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    You are extremely lucky the paint was in such great condition under all that grime. My '57 Clipper came from SOCAL so the paint was virtually non existent. You have done a fine job restoring the old girl.
    Bill

  5. #45
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    Thank you, the paint is coming back nicely(original driver quality, of course), I try to make what is there as nice as I can. The rt. front body mount needs replacing as it isn't doing any supporting, the left front is in fine shape and I will use that for reference.
    With some more cleaning and polishing it will much better but there are many bruises that will remain.
    I am looking forward to posting before and after photos of the cleaning but there hasn't been much cleaning time available.
    Photo04251557_1.jpgPhoto04251557_2.jpg
    Looking forward to posting(soon) the after photos of these.

  6. #46
    President Member 57pack's Avatar
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    Hi Jay, she has cleaned up nicely!
    I may have a driver quality unbent front bumper for free if you're interested.
    I'll check in the attic tomorrow to see if it's still there.
    1957 Packard Clipper Country Sedan

    "There's nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer"
    Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle
    "I have a great memory for forgetting things" Number 1 son, Lee Chan

  7. #47
    President Member 57pack's Avatar
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    Hi Jay, Bill here again. I had to look in the attic for my Wagoanaire alternator adjustment bracket. While up there I shone the flashlight over in the corner where I thought I left the bumper. And saw the light reflecting off the 57 bumper, so I have it if you want it.
    If you or anyone you know vacation at the Jersey shore, I can meet you or them at the Farley Plaza on the AC Expressway and you can have the bumper. It's in fairly nice condition, some slight rust on bottom edge in spots but chrome is nice. Not bent. Can't beat the price, let me know.
    1957 Packard Clipper Country Sedan

    "There's nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer"
    Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle
    "I have a great memory for forgetting things" Number 1 son, Lee Chan

  8. #48
    President Member acolds's Avatar
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    My two brothers and I installed the rear window on my 57 Clipper ourselves we saw the manual said to use rubber mallets didn't like that idea we used the palms of our hands mostly just pushed in direction we wanted glass to go per manual instructions . Worked rather well once it started in went just like book said. Used the 3M sealer in the groves no leaks.

  9. #49
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    Yes Bill I would love to have the bumper and am most appreciative of your offer. I have a few close friends in Ocean City and Bringateen (sic). You can call me or email me (570) 325-3476 or jlew@ptd.net.
    Thanks,
    Jay

  10. #50
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    Some rust repair was necessary and I needed to see, a four foot florescent light suspended on ropes works well.
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    Seeing is not a problem, here is what needs fixin.
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    The new mount is welded in but the bottom of the new mount is made from one piece of 3/16" steel verses the original which appeared to be two pieces of thinner stock.
    Had to rush home so no photos of what got done yesterday but it was a good day of progress. I wasn't sure what i was going to use to replace the mount but there is quite a pile of cut-offs that are kept for these problems. A short piece of 2" X 4" steel tube cut up provided the uprights for the mount. The rounded corners of the tubing closely match the radius of the original mount.
    I thought about putting the rear window in but reading the manual I can imagine the mess I would have, I would most likely have sealer over everything and the fellow who owns the glass shop seemed liked he looked forward to doing it he has everything necessary at his disposal and I don't want to disappoint him.
    Jay
    Last edited by luckydog; 05-23-2015 at 09:14 AM. Reason: photo placement

  11. #51
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    Photo05231151.jpgPhoto05231151_1.jpgPhoto05231205_2.jpgPhoto05231218.jpgPhoto05231259.jpgPhoto05231300.jpgPhoto05231316_1.jpgPhoto05231344_1.jpgPhoto05231400_1.jpgPhoto05231502.jpg
    The body mount is only 1/8" and not 3/16" and the piece used for the floor measured .072". I got a good weld along the pinch weld just in front of the door and tied as much surrounding metal as possible into the body support.

  12. #52
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    Underneath needs a bit of dressing up then primer and undercoating. The piece of angle just happened to have holes in it ready for plug welding
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    This wasn't welded under here this is weld penetration from the top
    Photo05231423.jpg
    Not exactly as South Bend made it but it is solid and should last awhile
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    The rear floor mat is cleaned and has had three applications of "armor all" the felt underneath is in OK shape, I want to repair the tear so it doesn't get worse, don't know how just yet, suggestions. Also I would like to get a carpet for the front floor does anyone know of a source short of taking the car to an upholstery shop.
    Photo05231525.jpgPhoto05231525_1.jpg

    Now I Know this isn't going to go over too big and I was hoping it would look a bit more presentable but you can run your hand over it and it is smooth you see the rust but can't feel it. I will look for replacement fenders and have them with the car for future restoration. It would be silly to repair these fenders properly when new fenders are available so for now here is what we have.
    Photo05231513.jpgPhoto05231513_1.jpg

    Jay

  13. #53
    President Member r1lark's Avatar
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    For the floor mat, you may want to try a super glue made for gluing rubber (like O-rings). There is a Loctite Super Glue that is sold at Lowes that specifically states it is for rubber (as well as a lot of other things). I used the gel type to repair some tears in the rubber piece that attaches to the firewall where the steering column goes thru the firewall. Glue the tears an inch or so max at a time since you need to be able to hold the joint carefully together for 30 to 40 seconds (using some pressure). Once the all the tears are glued together, get some bulk rubber and use the super glue to glue reinforcements to the bottom side. A good place to get the rubber for the reinforcement is at a industrial place that makes gaskets - they should have plenty scrap pieces for low cost. Another option would be tire tubes for big trucks.
    Paul
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  14. #54
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    Thank you Paul, I'll be looking for that stuff, I went to get seam sealer and undercoating thinking the passenger side floor repair was done and looking just below the firewall insulator pad i didn't like what was there so the trusty chipping hammer came out to reveal what wasn't solid.
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    after cutting out the bad a piece of 1/8" plate happened to be just about the correct size, one saw cut later and some welding
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    Now the interior can get final cleaning and put back together
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    Only allowed ten photos at a time but I'll post some of the underneath, I didn't grind the welds smooth they are visable and sound.
    Jay

  15. #55
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    Spent about an hour and a half yesterday, washed, compounded, polished and waxed about one-quarter of the roof. I do this by hand, mostly so I don't have the compressor running and once I tried using an air polisher with a buffing pad(it was a pad bought at a flea market and it was new but "old") I had white-dust particles everywhere that I had to leave the shop
    Photo06071056.jpgPhoto06071147.jpg

    Here are some before and after shots so far, I have driven the car about three miles around our property all on the flat we have a very steep hill which is the ultimate mechanical readiness test and the Commander hasn't gone down the hill yet.
    I have some transmission suspicions, if I back it into my shop and stop just when the front wheels have to go over a bump to get onto the concrete apron leading into the shop the car doesn't want to pull, if I step on the gas the engine won't rev and the car will just sit there and kind of shudder, the choke is not hooked up so maybe the engine wasn't warm enough to make power, other than that I have driven it in reverse on the flat for quite a distance with no problem
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    I want to get the car clean then it goes to a shop for a tailpipe to be made and the rear window installed.
    Jay

  16. #56
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    Nice going Jay,metal work looks good in all aspects
    Joseph R. Zeiger

  17. #57
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    Hello, The roof and hood are almost done, I had to get an air sander and buffing-pad out for the hood it was too hard by hand, my methods I'm sure, would make professional detailers shudder, I try things out in conspicuous places. I have been laying rags soaked with vinegar on the old masking tape, that and a finger-nail used as a scraper seems to work best.
    After compounding the hood for the second time it needed to be washed to get all the residue off, while washing it I didn't like how rough the surface was so while it was still wet I wet sanded the hood with 1200 paper. Now the hood was as smooth as glass but I could see some shine was gone and I could see sanding lines.
    Next day get out ear-plugs, respirator, air sander and I polished the hood again, it is better and I got some shine back, it still needs to be waxed.
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    getting there slowly, the time I have available to work on the car is usually broken up to a few hours every now-and-then.
    Jay

  18. #58
    Golden Hawk Member StudeRich's Avatar
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    Very Nice Woodsmoke Gray, Jay good job!
    Woodsmoke Gray.jpg
    StudeRich
    Second Generation Stude Driver,
    Proud '54 Starliner Owner




  19. #59
    President Member r1lark's Avatar
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    2-1/2 year old thread Rich, and Jay hasn't accessed the forum for 1-1/2 years.

    But I agree, he did do a good job bringing that paint back.
    Paul
    Winston-Salem, NC
    Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at: www.studebakerskytop.com

  20. #60
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    It's really too bad that Studebaker (and all other car makers of the era) did such a non-existant job of rustproofing the backsides of the sheet metal. Twenty bucks worth of zinc chromate primer on the backsides, and cars like this would be rust free. And if they'd spent another twenty bucks per car on exterior acrylic enamel (which was available at the time), cars stored like this would still have pristine bodywork.

    Not a knock against Studebaker. All car mfrs at the time thought saving $40 per car was well worth it.

    Sit in on a 1950s Ford, GM, Chrysler, SP cost analysis. "$40 per car? Are you nucking futts? Sell the damned things. Three years for now, sell them another one."
    Last edited by jnormanh; 12-17-2017 at 04:48 PM.

  21. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnormanh View Post
    It's really too bad that Studebaker (and all other car makers of the era) did such a non-existant job of rustproofing the backsides of the sheet metal. Twenty bucks worth of zinc chromate primer on the backsides, and cars like this would be rust free. And if they'd spent another twenty bucks per car on exterior acrylic enamel (which was available at the time), cars stored like this would still have pristine bodywork.

    Not a knock against Studebaker. All car mfrs at the time thought saving $40 per car was well worth it.

    Sit in on a 1950s Ford, GM, Chrysler, SP cost analysis. "$40 per car? Are you nucking futts? Sell the damned things. Three years for now, sell them another one."
    Reminds me of Bob Bourke telling me that the mechanism for the rear quarter windows in K bodies was cost reduced by 50 cents each. The company did not want to spend $1 per car for a better mechanism.
    It isn't that people did not know how to make better cars. As you said, they were built for three years use by the original owner. As it was, Studebaker's build cost was much higher than it was for the big 3.
    Gary L.
    Wappinger, NY

    SDC member since 1968
    Studebaker enthusiast much longer

  22. #62
    Golden Hawk Member 8E45E's Avatar
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    Didn't we just recently see some nickel & dime cost-cutting with GM over a bunch of ignition switches??

    Craig

  23. #63
    President Member Stude Shoo-wop!'s Avatar
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    Nice one! Always refreshing to see the less popular Studebakers such as your 57 Commander receive their just due. I may get myself a sedan soon as well!

  24. #64
    President Member t walgamuth's Avatar
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    Congratulations on your find!
    Diesel loving, autocrossing, Coupe express loving, Grandpa Architect.

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