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gordr
10-18-2008, 08:18 PM
Just back from a good Studebaker day. Purchased and brought home the '38 Commander 4-door, and '55 C-Cab truck that were at Heavy Metal Auto Wrecking east of town.

Got the car on the trailer all by my lonesome. Used my tow strap to pull it out of the row, then put a Chevy 1/2-ton rim and tire on the left rear, where there was only a bare rim. Then I backed the trailer up to it and sucked it on with my little 12 volt winch. Nice that I was able to find a suitable tire in the tire pile only a few steps away from where the car sat.:D

The car rolled quite well, other than for the fact the left-side tie rod is bent to a hairpin shape, causing it to have major-league toe-out. I needed some stronger tools to disassemble the front body clip, so I towed home what I had, and returned. The weather was cool and cloudy when I set out, heavily overcast, and a bit of corn snow flying. After noon, the sun came out, and it became quite pleasant for this time of year. Maybe about 55 degrees.

I dropped the car off at home, with it offloading from the trailer easy as you please. I returned with some better wrenches, and was able to separate the two front fenders from the rad support/grille unit. All the crews that went into captive nuts came out easily. Not bad for 70 years old, eh? I broke a few 5/16 capscrews that had regular hex nuts on them. Oh, darn!

The grille on this puppy is nearly perfect. No bars missing, and only 1 or 2 tweaked a tiny bit. Nothing that could not be readily made good again. The two front fenders have a little rust in the lip around the wheel opening, and maybe a little on the flange where they attach to the body. Also a few stress cracks. They would be an easy fix, with no serious collision damage or filler in evidence. Ditto for the rear fenders. Radiator is there, but looks like it wants work. Engine is there, complete with carb, starter, generator, water pump, and distributor. Oil in the pan, but it is stuck. How bad, I don't know. Carb throat is still covered with a coffee can.

Dash instruments, steering wheel (3-spoke black rubber), and shift lever is there. I think this car has overdrive. Front seat frame is there, but all the wood is rotten, and any rubber and soft trim is completely toasted. Fuel tank is there, as are all four brake drums. Planar suspension, too. Trunk lid is present; but off the car, and the hinges are there. Ditto for the hood. The licence plate light is there, but the glass lenses within it are busted. Tail lights are there, but I think they have generic clearance lamp lenses on them.

Looks like most of the window garnish moldings, interior and exterior door hardware, and body trim stainless strips are there and reasonably intact, or better. There are 3 hubcaps, but they are pretty crusty.

It would be a very ambitious restoration, to make it like the stock W3 trim level car it was. It'd be a super street rod or rat rod candidate, because most nearly all the trim is there.

I will try to get the engine un-stuck, and if I'm successful at that, I will try to make it run. If I can make it run, I'll try to make it motivate. If the engine is hopelessly stuck, or has other serious problems, like bad bearings, I'll sell off the good mechanical parts, and probably eBay the car as a rod candidate. I know somebody here, from Florida, I think, expressed interest in the transmission. If the engine is toast, that individual has first dibs on the tranny, provided it's good or rebuildable. If the engine runs, and moves the car through the transmission, then I'd prefer to sell it as a complete vehicle.

The other vehicle that came with this car is a '55 C-cab pickup, short box model. The box is pretty decent, with a decent tailgate that's had some so-so repairs, but would be readily made perfect. Rear fenders are mostly intact. Front fenders have had some half-ass rust repair by welding patches on the rear racing stripe, but could be made better. We have all seen plenty that are worse! Cab and doors are pretty poor, though, and a former owner cut the entire dash

bams50
10-18-2008, 09:01 PM
Sorry you're under the weather, friend:( but thanks for sharing!

Here's Gord's previous thread about these vehicles:

http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=21302

Robert (Bob) Andrews Owner- Studebakeracres- on the IoMT (Island of Misfit Toys!)
Parish, central NY 13131

"Some people live for the rules, I live for exceptions"- 311

"Do they all not, by mere virtue of having survived as relics of a bygone era, amass a level of respect perhaps not accorded to them when they were new?"

gordr
10-19-2008, 04:35 PM
Well, I'm feeling much better today, which is a good thing, as I have to go to work again. Got all the parts and tools out of the Suburban, and have some of my wellsite kit loaded already. I couldn't resist futzing a bit with the '38 Commander, though. The engine is locked up. I pulled out the spark plugs, and all but #6 were OK. #6 was rusty, and when I put my blow gun into the port, a mess of water came out. So I pulled the head off, took next to no time with the air impact.

#1 piston is missing a good chunk of its top section; you can see the top ring. #2 has a tiny chunk gone the same way. I dumped some magic solvent in the cylinders, and it has now soaked down past 4 or 5 of the pistons. I put a piece of heavy plastic sheet over the block, and placed the head back on top to retain it. The crank can rock to and fro a tiny bit, just enough to account for the bearing clearance on the seized pistons. I'll give it another shot in a week or so, when I get back from this job. I measured one cylinder bore at 3.30", so it sounds like this is a 226 engine with standard bores.

I've got all the stainless steel body molding strips except for one of the short pieces for the back end, and that might yet be found in the box of the old pickup.

Floors on this car seem to be pretty sound, though they are so cluttered, there could be hidden rust. Relatively minor rust in the rest of the body. It would not be hard to make a solid car of it once more, that's for sure. Looks like it does have overdrive, or at least free wheeling, since there is a Bowden wire cable running from the dash down to the transmission, although I did not see anything electrical. I took a few more pictures, but I won't post them until I get up to my work location.

I expect I will be pulling the engine out of this one. With one badly-damaged piston, there's no percentage in trying to make it run, even if it unsticks, which I think it will. I'm leaning toward the idea of a rat rod for this one. I have several extra Studebaker V8s, and I think there is room for one in there, and the spring would likely support the weight OK.

Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

gordr
10-19-2008, 04:35 PM
Well, I'm feeling much better today, which is a good thing, as I have to go to work again. Got all the parts and tools out of the Suburban, and have some of my wellsite kit loaded already. I couldn't resist futzing a bit with the '38 Commander, though. The engine is locked up. I pulled out the spark plugs, and all but #6 were OK. #6 was rusty, and when I put my blow gun into the port, a mess of water came out. So I pulled the head off, took next to no time with the air impact.

#1 piston is missing a good chunk of its top section; you can see the top ring. #2 has a tiny chunk gone the same way. I dumped some magic solvent in the cylinders, and it has now soaked down past 4 or 5 of the pistons. I put a piece of heavy plastic sheet over the block, and placed the head back on top to retain it. The crank can rock to and fro a tiny bit, just enough to account for the bearing clearance on the seized pistons. I'll give it another shot in a week or so, when I get back from this job. I measured one cylinder bore at 3.30", so it sounds like this is a 226 engine with standard bores.

I've got all the stainless steel body molding strips except for one of the short pieces for the back end, and that might yet be found in the box of the old pickup.

Floors on this car seem to be pretty sound, though they are so cluttered, there could be hidden rust. Relatively minor rust in the rest of the body. It would not be hard to make a solid car of it once more, that's for sure. Looks like it does have overdrive, or at least free wheeling, since there is a Bowden wire cable running from the dash down to the transmission, although I did not see anything electrical. I took a few more pictures, but I won't post them until I get up to my work location.

I expect I will be pulling the engine out of this one. With one badly-damaged piston, there's no percentage in trying to make it run, even if it unsticks, which I think it will. I'm leaning toward the idea of a rat rod for this one. I have several extra Studebaker V8s, and I think there is room for one in there, and the spring would likely support the weight OK.

Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

mbstude
10-19-2008, 05:10 PM
Gord, I have a buddy that would LOVE to have that OD tranny. In fact, he has a '38 Commander 4 door. Complete with original paint and interior. [8D]

He is also looking for a decent radio faceplate, as well as a thin piece of stainless that goes on the left rear door panel.

Matthew Burnette
Hazlehurst, GA
http://i280.photobucket.com/albums/kk179/1959S2D/quadraportle005.jpg

mbstude
10-19-2008, 05:10 PM
Gord, I have a buddy that would LOVE to have that OD tranny. In fact, he has a '38 Commander 4 door. Complete with original paint and interior. [8D]

He is also looking for a decent radio faceplate, as well as a thin piece of stainless that goes on the left rear door panel.

Matthew Burnette
Hazlehurst, GA
http://i280.photobucket.com/albums/kk179/1959S2D/quadraportle005.jpg