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Thread: 63 Lark and 64 Commander work started

  1. #1
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    63 Lark and 64 Commander work started

    Both Studebakers were delivered today! Out of 9 tires, two hold air . I have posted a youtube video showing what I have found so far: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4dCN5XsSwUE
    It looks like the Lark was better taken care of and will probably be the focus of the rebuild.

    I am working on a list of things that need to be replaced/sourced, but first I want to see if I can get one or both engines turning. I have put some Transmission fluid in the cylinders to lube the rings before I try turning the crankshaft. I then spent the evening washing the thick layer of scum and dirt off the cars. They are much more attractive after a bit of cleaning.
    20170210_161322.jpg20170210_134938.jpg20170210_161335.jpg

  2. #2
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    Quick update, the Commander engine is seized I will have to let the ATF sit for a while longer. In the meantime the Lark engine lets me rotate it with a 1.5" socket on the front. I will attempt to rebuild one of the water pumps, the alternator, carburetor and fuel pump. I will have to disassemble clean and re-assemble the starter motor as well, it turns but will not engage.

  3. #3
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    Started cleaning the water pumps and one of the starter motors. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbbS9f9e948
    I am a bit confused by tire sizes, are 205/75/15's the (modern) correct size tire to use on the 63 Lark?
    It currently has three P225/75B15 and a G78-15 tire.

  4. #4
    Golden Hawk Member StudeRich's Avatar
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    Your G78's are about 46 Years old, several GENERATIONS of Tire Size changes ago!

    Yes the P205X75R15 's are good, the next closest size: P215X70R15 is pushing the limit of the 4 1/2 Inch wide Wheels a bit, and any larger than those those two is WAY too much for those wheels.

    Many people error on the safe side and use Ford Crown Victoria or Big rear wheel drive Chrysler 5 1/2 or 6 Inch wide X15" wheels designed for Radial Tires. The "offset" needs to be 3 1/2 to 3 3/4 Inches to clear the front floor and front and rear Wheelwells.
    StudeRich
    Second Generation Stude Driver,
    Proud '54 Starliner Owner




  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by StudeRich View Post
    Your G78's are about 46 Years old, several GENERATIONS of Tire Size changes ago!
    Thanks! The G78 was also one of the only two that was holding air when the cars were delivered!

  6. #6
    Silver Hawk Member Milaca's Avatar
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    Looks like fun Aaron!
    Despite the two cars looking quite different, the front sheet metal of the '63 will bolt on to the front of the '64 (if you desire to mix and match).
    The first car I did body work on was a 1963 Lark 4-door sedan, I experimented with wire welding and sheet metal screws for patching the floors.
    Studebaker International has a water pump rebuild kit for $65 and they have starter motor brushes for $13.50 for a set of 4. Your brushes are probably fine however.
    The alternator on the Lark appears to be a Chrysler unit whereas the Commander has the proper Prestolite alternator.
    I believe that the oil bath air cleaner was a factory option for severe duty applications (lots of gravel road driving, for example). Typically they were equipped with a dry filter element.
    You may want to consider joining the national Studebaker club and then you can join a local Studebaker club chapter, that way you can meet local Studebaker enthusiasts whom may also have used parts available for cheap.

    In the middle of MinneSTUDEa.

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    I pulled the head off the Lark's engine to see if it had been damaged, so far it looks like it just needs a good cleaning. One thing that stands out is the gasket does not have the same size holes for some of the passages and is even missing some holes. I am going to pull the head off the commander which is still stuck to compare the gaskets. I think someone may have rebuilt the Lark and the available gaskets are wrong. The picture on Olsons Gaskets shows the style gasket that I took out of the Lark. Does anybody else produce the head gaskets?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TgCRbMeHYS0

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    Make sure you bring the head(s) to a good engine shop and have them fluxed for cracks. These engines are very prone to cracks. Also, hoping no cracks... have them plane as little off the surface to true up for install. Good money spent. GL Enjoy your posts...There are tons of NOS engine kits out there where everything fits. Might want to replace rubber...

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    I should be able to pull the engine on Saturday, assuming the weather is good. I finally have the shop manual in hand, I will see what info I can copy down for when I bring the head to a local shop. I still have to order the gasket set, I am waiting to see what the bearings look like before I put too much more into rebuilding this engine. The Commander engine is still seized but has allowed the ATF/acetone mix to leak down past the rings. In the meantime:
    bachelor_life_sm.jpg

  10. #10
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    Now that is a Stude Nut's breakfast Luck, Doofus

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    I have pulled the engine, I separated the engine plate from the bell housing and just picket it straight up, two washing's with foaming de-greaser and it still has a layer of grease. I will pressure wash it after I have it disassembled completely. I pulled one piston so far, the rings look brand new, but the bearing for the crankshaft is pitted and does not feel smooth. I have to figure out how to determine which size bearing set to order. It may be easier to order the standard size, platigage it then order the appropriate size bearing off of that measurement. What do you think?
    bearing.jpg

  12. #12
    Commander Member FleetMaster68's Avatar
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    Look on the back of the bearing shell, often they are marked in printed ink with the size. Several engines i have taken apart in the past, even with high miles, the numbers were still legible. Now, as to that bearing wear, better get that crank checked. Not a good sign.

    SK

    Quote Originally Posted by Garthok View Post
    I have pulled the engine, I separated the engine plate from the bell housing and just picket it straight up, two washing's with foaming de-greaser and it still has a layer of grease. I will pressure wash it after I have it disassembled completely. I pulled one piston so far, the rings look brand new, but the bearing for the crankshaft is pitted and does not feel smooth. I have to figure out how to determine which size bearing set to order. It may be easier to order the standard size, platigage it then order the appropriate size bearing off of that measurement. What do you think?
    bearing.jpg

  13. #13
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    https://www.studebakervendors.com/
    All parts are available through vendors.
    Many are still available through local parts houses.
    The vendors use Studebaker parts numbers so having the body and the chassis catalogs are needed.
    The shop manual will be invaluable to you.
    http://studebaker-info.org/
    South Lompoc Studebaker

  14. #14
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    I wouldn't take another step until I had the cylinder head checked for cracks..... All the lower end engine diagnosis/work/repair are all for nothing if you've got no head...remember: that's the weak link in your engine(s)....

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    Good advice jackb, I have the head ready to take to the shop, just have to find a day that I can be late to work. I did get the shop manual on CD, I have to read through it still. and it looks like all of the bearings are marked 1553946 B on the back. The second set looks better than the first.
    crankshaft.jpg20170313_183512.jpgpiston2bearings.jpg

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    I wish you weren't so far away... I've got some beautiful front fenders, hood, trunk and grill for the 64. I can't seem to give them away.
    sals54

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    I have a 259 in a shop with untrue connecting rods that caused excessive friction between the connecting rod and crankshaft, before reassembly have the big ends confirmed true.

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    ^will do,

    I figure it cant hurt to do some more prep work on the engines while I wait for a good time to get the heads checked. I'm looking for any obvious signs that I should abandon the block, right now my only expense has been tools and the stand.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJBpwNoPZus&t=72s
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUZ0gRGtiBk

  19. #19
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    Garthok,look hard at intake valve seats. they tend to crack toward spark plug hole from down in int. port. they seem to crack in the same place usually also. keep us posted on your progress. i have a head that looks OK and 185 crank that needs a new home. I'm in Ar so not to far. Luck Doofus

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garthok View Post
    ^will do,

    I figure it cant hurt to do some more prep work on the engines while I wait for a good time to get the heads checked. I'm looking for any obvious signs that I should abandon the block, right now my only expense has been tools and the stand.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJBpwNoPZus&t=72s
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUZ0gRGtiBk
    This is not like having a 'normal' engine head checked for cracks. Most will have cracks. Proceed accordingly.

  21. #21
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    Pulled the Commander's engine with transmission still attached, it wont come off! I was able to get the bell housing separated by ~1/4 in from the block but it appears that the transmission is stuck on the input shaft. I'm guessing its a bit rusted. Any Ideas on removing the transmission from the engine? I have sprayed oil into the housing through the hole up top hopefully loosens something.

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