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View Full Version : Why Do We / Have We Break or Broke Down



jg61hawk
05-01-2013, 08:22 PM
We are a DRIVER'S CLUB! Yeah I've heard it, lived it, and do it....but I still have to get my nerve up to drive from N.J. to Gettysburg,Pa. Rutland,Vt. Marlbourgh,Ma. etc. So I'm asking in the funniest of all terms why should I worry?

Truth be told my Hawk was my daily driver for many many years. It never "broke down". It went on fire several times, but never really left me stranded. Once, however, around 1981 at Reedsville Pa. (not daily use) the wrist pin in the distributor snapped and the result was it wouldn't start. I kind of had that coming to me because at some point after buying the car as junk I put a non hardened wrist pin in the shaft because it had broken ( why..I do not know). Anyway I found a distributor at Reedsville, and a fellow stopped and put that in for me, set my timing and wouldn't take a dime for his time.

So the question is: What has happened to you, could it have been prevented, and do you worry?

PackardV8
05-01-2013, 08:47 PM
Studebakers are among the simplest and most reliable transportation devices ever built. However, most have been run many years and miles far past any reasonable expectation of reliability.

FWIW, I had this discussion with my son recently. He was bemoaning the cost of maintaining a used Audi. "How much per month to drive a new one with warranty?" I asked. He said, "Well, about $750 a month." There's your answer; any month you spend less than $750, you made money.

Somehow, we SDCers expect to spend a few thousand for an old car and drive it once a month with never any problems, maintenance or expense. Rust and entropy never sleep. Even an old car used infrequently needs regular maintenance and replacement of parts.

For example, one Stude which has been through three local club owners in thirty years recently lost a front wheel when the spindle broke. Upon examination and discussion, the wheel bearings had never, ever been greased.

jack vines

63 R2 Hawk
05-01-2013, 09:09 PM
In seven years and about 14,000 miles, the only failures I've had are two "Press your luck" alternators going out, one during a local SDC tour. Didn't keep me from getting back home before dark. Probably my fault as I hadn't been diligent about hooking up a float charger for longer periods of inactivity.

57pack
05-01-2013, 09:10 PM
Was driving to work years ago in my 1947 Champion, it began to sputter and then stopped.
Along came another SDC member who stopped with his brand x truck and helped me get the Champion off the road. we diagnosed the problem, no fuel getting to the carb. No, there was full tank of fuel. After about fifteen minutes, she started right up! I thanked him profusely, his name was Mr. Higbee, hope he's still a member.
I drove on to work, after work I found wheat grains had gotten into the tank while the car was apart. They would get sucked up and would stick to the pickup screen, eventually cutting off the fuel flow.
Many thanks to a fellow SDC member for taking the time and helping me!

JoeHall
05-01-2013, 09:28 PM
About 15 years ago, tooling along in the 62GT on I-10 near Los Angeles, I looked down and saw zero pressure on the oil guage. I immediately cut the ignition and pulled over, and found the rubber oil line coming off the block had broken. I looked alongside the road and found a nail, and used it to plug the leak. Oil was not showing on the dipstick, but I happened to have two quarts of oil in the trunk. After adding those two quarts, it barely reached the bottom of the dipstick. I proceeded slowly to the nearest place to buy oil, then went on my merry way.
Since then and until today, I always carry a rubber oil line in the "insurance items" tool box in the trunk of each Stude.

Milaca
05-01-2013, 10:04 PM
Back in 2009 at the Cedar Rapids meet, I nearly lost the fuel tank in my '63 Hawk. The right-side fastener pulled through the floor (where the factory indentation is for it) due to rust, thus leaving the fuel tank resting on the exhaust tail pipe. Making do with what I had, I bridged the rust hole with the bumper jack base and 'borrowed' a battery hold-down J-hook bolt from the engine bay and used it to hold up the fuel tank. I made the 350 mile return trip home with no additional problems. If nothing else, mechanical problems make for interesting stories. :)

sals54
05-01-2013, 10:34 PM
Our cars are of the era, where maintenance is a requirement of ownership and drivership. Use some common sense and drive your car. Cars work best when driven regularly. They are designed to wear out, so keeping up with them requires the driver to plan ahead and use your melon to head off any predictable break downs. Check your alternator/generator every year or two, just because. Oil changes are done commonly at 3 - 5000 miles. Lubes should be done at the prescribed intervals for whatever you're driving. Brakes should be checked regularly. Tune ups should be done as prescribed. Filters changed. Tires checked for wear. Are they wearing normally? Or are they showing unusual patterns. Find out why.
These are just some rambling notions of what, when and how to work with your car. Drive it, listen to it. Take care of it. I've been driving my 54 Coupe for over 40 years. I've never been stranded by the car. Although one time I had to do a roadside R n R on the fuel pump so it would get me home, but other than that, I've been taken care of by my car.
If you don't drive yours regularly, it still needs maintenance. Seals dry up when not used, oil still leaks when not driven, grease hardens when not warmed with use. Petroleum products seem to work best when warmed and cooled... warmed and cooled... warmed and cooled.. etc.
And finally, DON'T BE AFRAID TO GO ON A ROAD TRIP, FOR CRYIN OUT LOUD ! ! ! GO ! ! ! HAVE FUN ! ! ! LIVE THE ADVENTURE ! ! !
How else are you ever gonna have stories to tell ?????

JoeHall
05-02-2013, 09:20 AM
I SWEAR THIS THREAD JINXED ME ! This morning, stopped 5 miles from the house to gas up the 56J. Upon restart, it wouldn't hit a lick. Turning the key produced nothing, nada; nor would the electric fuel pump make a sound. Having replaced the ignition switch last night, I reached behind the dash and fumbled with the wires; nothing. I slipped the retainer/collar and pulled the switch down for a better look; used a short wire to cross the terminals; still nothing. Then turned the headlights on, and noticed the amp guage did not move. AHA ! Removed & leaned the battery terminals; the positive one was obviously corroded. Hit the key, and she fired right up. Was only a few minutes late for work. Glad it happened there, instead of between here and SB, or after frying the alternator.

Moral of this story, check battery terminals every six months or so, whether or not the car has been operated much.

Studerick64
05-02-2013, 09:33 AM
About 15 years ago my 62GT stalled and I found the carburetor was dry. I didn't want to leave the car beside the road while I searched for a fuel pump. The only quick cure I could think of was a heavy duty sandwich bag out of my lunch box! After I installed it between the fuel pump body and the diaphragm, it pumped like a Champ. I always wondered how long it would have worked that way.

Son O Lark
05-02-2013, 10:25 AM
About 15 years ago, tooling along in the 62GT on I-10 near Los Angeles, I looked down and saw zero pressure on the oil guage. I immediately cut the ignition and pulled over, and found the rubber oil line coming off the block had broken. I looked alongside the road and found a nail, and used it to plug the leak. Oil was not showing on the dipstick, but I happened to have two quarts of oil in the trunk. After adding those two quarts, it barely reached the bottom of the dipstick. I proceeded slowly to the nearest place to buy oil, then went on my merry way.
Since then and until today, I always carry a rubber oil line in the "insurance items" tool box in the trunk of each Stude. I think Jim Turner was remanufacturing these( The line to the oil pressure gauge). Cheap insurance to have an extra.

brngarage
05-02-2013, 10:46 AM
Jim Turner makes a braided steel replacement for the oil gauge line. Most of our chapter members are replacing the rubber one with the one from Jim. Probably no need to carry a spare now.

evilhawk
05-02-2013, 07:42 PM
Im kinda new to the forum and have no idea who Jim Turner is, but would like to contact him to buy braided steel oil gauge line.

Roscomacaw
05-02-2013, 08:54 PM
Go to Turnerbrake.com

stude-sled
05-03-2013, 06:15 AM
My problem was breaking axles and the model 44 rear that was under my Lark, fixed the problem with a 9 inch Ford swap.

sals54
05-03-2013, 11:29 PM
My problem was breaking axles and the model 44 rear that was under my Lark, fixed the problem with a 9 inch Ford swap.

Hey sled, I dig that. I changed mine to the Ford almost 30 years ago. Never had a problem since.