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Thread: 1939 Commander coupe

  1. #41
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    Says it all!! Keep posting
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  2. #42
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    Motor mounts ready for final weld. I am so sick of grinding parts to fit... luckily I'm done for a while now.

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  3. #43
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    That is going to be a beautiful car. Thanks for keeping us posted on the progress. I will be eagerly looking for each new post. What other cars do you have? I saw a Mercury in one picture.

  4. #44
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    13524405_1271286929548452_1019235403980127263_n.jpg12990865_1185448781468425_7081955319515435393_n.jpg

    1956 Mercury Montclair. Its chopped 4 1/2 in the front and 9 inches in the back with a 50 merc back window section.

    And we have an all original 1957 Desoto Firesweep that was a barn find. We got it from the daughter of the original owner. She thought it was scrap metal, but I had it running 2 hrs after I got it home. Its a dream find.

  5. #45
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    Its been kind of slow going in Texas the heat, but I now have all the motor mounts in. My exhaust manifolds are in the machine shop having 40 year old studs drilled out. I guess someone didn't know right from left, or used too long of a bolt.
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    Also I am going to be able to use the original brake pedal assembly with a brand new Willwood master cylinder 7/8 bore and a 3 bolt to 2 bolt adapter from Honest Charley's speed shop. I'll post pics of the brake set up soon.!

  6. #46
    Golden Hawk Member BobPalma's Avatar
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    Nice work and an interesting build! Thanks for the updates. BP
    We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

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  7. #47
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    14079846_1327964633880681_4130525523850672777_n.jpg14054988_1327964680547343_1416434749598869989_n.jpg

    Not much progress except finally getting the super crusty hood hinge bolts free without any damage.
    I have been held up by machine shop delays.
    Hemi Exhaust manifolds had studs broken off and I had to modify my steering column drop.
    Apparently the Cadillac tilt column is the odd man out when it comes the statement
    Fits "Most" GM and aftermarket columns.
    But parts are finally back in my hands so I can make sure the steering works around the exhaust now.
    measure often, drill and cut once
    Last edited by HemiCoupe; 08-25-2016 at 11:41 AM.

  8. #48
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    Still busy collecting parts, but the body is off the frame now. Pretty interesting since I was by myself on this part. Lots of jackstand moving.
    I also ordered boxing plates for the frame rails today.
    Hopefully there will be some real progress now that I'm to this point.
    Exhaust on the drivers side may prove to be tricky due to using the original brake pedal.

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  9. #49
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    Its not glamours, but the frame is boxed and just needs a few more feet of welding. All in all I added about 15 feet of 1/8 plate to the close up all the C channel areas. Its so much stronger now I can't even believe it. I did have to open up the holes on the frame for the 3 bolt to two bolt adapter so I can add the Willwood MC but its going to be super easy. The bolted in pc of 1/4 plate is my rear transmission cross member for the 700R4 now also. I wanted it to be removable to make it easier to remove engine / trans from the bottom in the future. And the little V cuts on the outside frame rail boxing plates are for access to the body to frame bolts. I wasn't sure what I was going to do there, but this seemed the easiest. Really glad I did this BEFORE welding it all in place.
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    Last edited by HemiCoupe; 10-12-2016 at 09:34 AM. Reason: spellin

  10. #50
    President Member r1lark's Avatar
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    Good progress! And keep those pictures coming, we like pictures.
    Paul
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    Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at: www.studebakerskytop.com

  11. #51
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    I finally have all the down and dirty chassis work done. I finished up the rear air ride mounts yesterday and finished up the POR 15 paint job on the frame.
    This is my firs time using gloss black. I usually use Satin or flat but it never looks clean. I'm pleased with the glossy look.

    If any of you ever decide to go with an old HEMI the HotHeads stuff is terrific! This GM transmission adapter and flywheel are top notch. But Beware! These old Hemi flywheels and crankshafts have 8 non threaded bolt holes. you have to use special bolts and nuts and this only goes on one way. The hole pattern is NOT evenly spaced, and its a light press fit to boot!



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    Last edited by HemiCoupe; 03-13-2017 at 02:50 PM. Reason: spelling

  12. #52
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    Its been kinda slow going lately, I had welder issues but Im back at it again.
    I have the exhaust done and the 38 tail lights have been updated to dual filament bulbs.
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  13. #53
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    Well I got sidetracked on 42 Ford project for for a few months but its finally up for sale so its back to work on the 39.

    The Studebaker body is back on the frame now. The WillWood MC fit perfectly in place of the original with the help of a 3 bolt to 2 bolt adapter.
    I am able to use the original pedal and brake rod. I just reduceed the thread size on the original rod from 7/16 24 to 3/8 24 and joined them together with a coupling nut. Easiest brake conversion yet!
    I picked up a 37 Stude banjo steering wheel so that is the next project. Building a steering column. Also the swap meet bench seat from a 48 ford coupe is a perfect fit. More photos later this week of that stuff.

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    Last edited by HemiCoupe; 03-13-2017 at 02:57 PM.

  14. #54
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    Here is the swap meet seat and new LoKar nostalgia shifter on the 700R4
    I gotta get busy on the column so I can get have a home for the banjo wheel
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  15. #55
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    I just had to see how it was going to set to I threw some fenders on really quick and added a skirt.

  16. #56
    President Member t walgamuth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HemiCoupe View Post
    Attachment 56148

    And as to the color, Im thinking something similar to this, but with a dark charcoal interior. At least that is what I think today...
    I thought Dang that 39 commander coupe looks nice....subtle changes in the trim on the hood sides....then I realized it is a Lincoln....a step nicer than my Studie in styling.
    Diesel loving, autocrossing, Coupe express loving, Grandpa Architect.

  17. #57
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    And now im thinking of going back very close to the original maroon color.... I have no idea what color this thing will end up! I really like the way it looks now so it will run like this for a least a year while I repaint my 56 Merc

  18. #58
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    Just had to stop in and say that I really enjoy this thread and I hope to continue to see more of the work you are getting done HemiCoupe. I joined this forum recently because I wanted to carry out a similar project to what you're doing with a friend of mine. Due to our time constraints I'd say its going to be a two year project, but we're looking on settling on the studebaker model first before we lay out the rest of our plans. Just looking at your pictures and the amount of work you have put into it has really inspired me to get it done! Looks really awesome, I hope to see and learn more about it.

  19. #59
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    Thanks! this one hits the 2 year mark next month but I have done a few other smaller projects in between.. Time and money are the big issues on a complete ground up project. And these 39 Stude parts are not just lying around everywhere. It took a year and a half to come up with a pair of reasonably priced 38 tail lights. and Im still missing a few things that I have no idea what I will end up doing. I want an original trunk latch but I don't think its gonna happen. And I plan on removing the wing windows and having a full length door glass. I think the wing window really detracts from the flow of of the cars look.

  20. #60
    President Member t walgamuth's Avatar
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    I thought about removing the wings too, but note that the wing and side glass do not line up. It looked to me like the top of the door would have to be reshaped to accommodate the angle.
    Diesel loving, autocrossing, Coupe express loving, Grandpa Architect.

  21. #61
    President Member t walgamuth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HemiCoupe View Post
    I have two 341 Desoto Hemi engines. One disassembled but rebuild-able core for mock up and another completely built and ready to go in.
    Hothead's trans adapter and flywheel in the box ready to put the 700R4 behind it.
    I think all I need is a seat and that is the end of my parts search on this one. Im going to be running 38 tail lights and it took about a year but I finally have all the 1939 headlight parts. Those are pretty hard to come up with.
    I have 39 headlight assemblies available and 40 headlight assembly. The 39s I have multiple lenses in very good to excellent condition. The 40 trim is pretty pitted.
    Diesel loving, autocrossing, Coupe express loving, Grandpa Architect.

  22. #62
    President Member t walgamuth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HemiCoupe View Post
    Its been kinda slow going lately, I had welder issues but Im back at it again.
    I have the exhaust done and the 38 tail lights have been updated to dual filament bulbs.
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    I see you have domed tail light lenses. Mine are flat....they're glass though. They look great with halogen bulbs installed.
    Diesel loving, autocrossing, Coupe express loving, Grandpa Architect.

  23. #63
    President Member t walgamuth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by t walgamuth View Post
    I see you have domed tail light lenses. Mine are flat....they're glass though. They look great with halogen bulbs installed.
    You'll want to move that pipe so its not touching the frame though.
    Diesel loving, autocrossing, Coupe express loving, Grandpa Architect.

  24. #64
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    I have not even looked at the top of the door. I was so busy thinking about bottom of the window area where it comes up and what needs to be done there.
    Guess I better check into that area up at the top!!!
    Thanks for the tip

    Quote Originally Posted by t walgamuth View Post
    I thought about removing the wings too, but note that the wing and side glass do not line up. It looked to me like the top of the door would have to be reshaped to accommodate the angle.

  25. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by HemiCoupe View Post
    Thanks! this one hits the 2 year mark next month but I have done a few other smaller projects in between.. Time and money are the big issues on a complete ground up project. And these 39 Stude parts are not just lying around everywhere. It took a year and a half to come up with a pair of reasonably priced 38 tail lights. and Im still missing a few things that I have no idea what I will end up doing. I want an original trunk latch but I don't think its gonna happen. And I plan on removing the wing windows and having a full length door glass. I think the wing window really detracts from the flow of of the cars look.
    I know exactly what you mean. Some people I know have echoed the same sentiment, tracking down the parts takes up a good amount of time. But I guess once you find them and they work out well its worth it in the end, and also theres no rush, as long as you get it started. Looking forward to seeing the full length door glass if you go that route. Best of luck!

  26. #66
    President Member t walgamuth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HemiCoupe View Post
    I have not even looked at the top of the door. I was so busy thinking about bottom of the window area where it comes up and what needs to be done there.
    Guess I better check into that area up at the top!!!
    Thanks for the tip
    Sorry I was unclear. The top and bottom of the window area appear to me to work against the idea of one piece of glass doing the job. The whole door, though it looks straight actually bows out.
    Diesel loving, autocrossing, Coupe express loving, Grandpa Architect.

  27. #67
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    I have decided to ditch the front air ride. going with springs in the front for that classic taildragger speedboat stance. I can always go back to the bags later, all that work has been done. But for the look I want I think springs are the way to go.
    Also been digging out the Hemi goodies.. Its about to start getting fun again.
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  28. #68
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    I finally got the 1937 Studebaker wheel mounted on a shaft. And the new Firestones with flipper caps are giving it the look I hoped for.

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  29. #69
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    Real Nice!

  30. #70
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    wow, love the theme. you're making good progress! cheers, junior

    1954 C5 Hamilton car.

  31. #71
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    You're getting the look just right!!!! Bob
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  32. #72
    Silver Hawk Member 52-fan's Avatar
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    I am usually not a big fan of customs, but that car is looking great.


    "In the heart of Arkansas."
    Searcy, Arkansas
    1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.

  33. #73
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    Been busy working on steering stuff. I finally found the horn button for the 1937 Banjo wheel. Im thrilled with the way it looks. These wheels are super cool and not nearly as expensive as the ford ones as they are much harder to use.
    They need a 7/8 tapered and keyed steering shaft. Most everything else is 5/8 or 3/4 shafts.
    For this I used a 1 inch steel rod as the bearings were so much cheaper for 1 inch ID.
    Grand total for the steering column here is 75 bucks.
    It was 45 for the 1 inch shaft stock. 20 bucks for the 2 inch OD muffler pipe and 5 bucks each for bearings.

    The Dash is off to paint this week. I was originally going to go with grey but with all the stainless and chrome on it I have decided to paint the glove box door and gauge panel black and the rest grey. The ashtray door will also be black.
    I have no idea what or where I will come up with a glove box lock but I will figure something out!


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  34. #74
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    its not been boring since the Dash and steering column are at paint. I have been dreading this part of the rebuild process since the day I got this car.
    The missing trunk lip and its compound radius channel bends. It took a lot of head scratching and a few pcs of scrap to get it all moving the right way but I finally got it make and tacked in. I need a shrinker disc for my hand grinder to shrink a few spots on the tail pan before I can finish weld it in place. But I'm super happy with the way it turned out.
    This is what I started with, or didn't start with depending on how you look at it.
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  35. #75
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    and then a few hours on the shrinker / stretcher and this is what I have now.
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  36. #76
    Silver Hawk Member 52-fan's Avatar
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    Looks really good. I especially like the steering wheel/column set up.


    "In the heart of Arkansas."
    Searcy, Arkansas
    1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.

  37. #77
    President Member t walgamuth's Avatar
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    Looking good there! Lots of remedial metal work.
    Diesel loving, autocrossing, Coupe express loving, Grandpa Architect.

  38. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by t walgamuth View Post
    Looking good there! Lots of remedial metal work.
    Thanks!
    You don't happen to have any extra 1939 hood chrome do you? I need the drivers side that goes on the hood itself. Mine is cracked and twisted.

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  39. #79
    President Member t walgamuth's Avatar
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    No but I may have given Ken Fedor in middle michigan an extra hood with some on it when I sold him the 39 commander.

    I have a glove box interior in condition which is only good enough to use as a pattern. I may be able to make you a drawing to build one from.
    Diesel loving, autocrossing, Coupe express loving, Grandpa Architect.

  40. #80
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    I let my pin striper get a little creative on the gauge faces. The speedo is too far gone to work so we decided to make it a little different.
    Hopefully one day I will run a cross a new mechanism and will be able to swap it out. The Gas has an in line RUNTZ 12v to 6v reducer and temp and oil are manual and work fine however I'm a little worried that the temp of the Hemi will exceed the gauge capability and it will appear pegged. I'm going to do a hot water test with the wife's kitchen thermometer. At least I can have an idea of what 195 will look like on the gauge before it goes in the car.

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