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1964 Daytona Hardtop Rescue Effort

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  • Finally getting up to date on these reports.

    Here is the curved piece for the cowl post tacked in:
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    ...........and then welded with some rough finishing done (will need a little body filler on this):
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    A few more views of the repair of the cowl post:
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    Here is the floor, with the plug welds and butt welds ground down, ready for primer:
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    Last thing to do is a small odd shaped patch on the inner part of the cowl (before welding):
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    Yes, the patch is flanged and will be plug welded in. I've found that the original steel is not the easiest (at least not the easiest for me ) to butt weld, so since this will be hidden the flanging/plug weld path was chosen.

    Ok, these posts are now up to date (Yea!!) with where the project actually stands as of today. Tomorrow will weld this patch in, prime the floor and inner cowl post. Then the most of the rest of the floor needs to be wire brushed (big cup brush on the angle grinder) to get ready for POR-15 application.

    As an aside, I scored a really nice Hurst Competition Plus shifter on eBay last week for this car. Been watching the listings for about a month to find a T-10 shifter in good condition for a low price, and one finally came up. If anyone has a linkage kit for a T10 (Lark, Hawk) in decent shape that they want to sell, let me know. Here's the shifter:
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    Not sure If I'll cut off the Hurst handle and weld a stock Studebaker shift handle to the stub, or get one of the fairly new Hurst repro round bar shifter handles, but have some time to figure that out.

    With the coronavirus caution, I was told to work from home, so had to set up a temporary 'office' down in the basement. Room for the 'puter and blueprints and a recycled old office chair, and a floodlight clamped to the floor joists above are all I need, so put this together with two cheap plastic sawhorses and scrap wood:
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    It's actually not to bad, plus saves me an hour total per day of driving.

    Stay safe and wash your hands..................
    Attached Files
    Winston-Salem, NC
    Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at:


    • Well, I see it's been about a month since the last update. Been quite busy, grass cutting and yard work coming on strong, working on non-Studebaker drivers, and of course 'real' work. Since I have what is termed an 'essential' job (power generation), I'm still working but from home. My assignment was supposed to finish up at the end of April, but looks like it will continue into May. Plus, with all the economy uncertainty, I'm trying to scare up some additional work but doesn't look promising so far.

      Anyway, work has continued on the Daytona hardtop.

      Got the drivers side floorboard area that was replaced coated with Rustoleum primer, and then the original floorboard area coated with POR-15. For those who are wondering, I don't like to use POR-15 on new unrusted metal. Since this pic was taken, the whole floorboard has been coated front to rear:
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      One thing I've been putting off is to paint the underside of the Daytona's roof. Had already scraped off the 'tar paper' that was applied at the factory, and wiped it all down. I cleaned the whole roof with red Skotchbrite pad:
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      I've been wanting to try some of Eastwood's Rust Encapsulator, so ordered a quart of the 'new improved' version:
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      It went on easy, and only needs one coat if brushed on. Here is the finished roof:
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      Did a lot of research on what to use on the roof as a sound deadener/heat barrier, and finally decided to go with Eastwood's X-Mat Underhood and Headliner product (no, this is not a Eastwood commercial, and no Eastwood did not give me these products free) :
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      I haven't put this on yet, but will report on installation when I do it.

      Another small job was to pull all the body mounting bolts inside the car's 'cabin' to clean or replace them. Had quite a time with several, but went slow and got them out without snapping any. Had to replace just a couple; threaded the replacement bolts on up further to match the original, and beveled the ends on my hand lathe (ie, pedestal grinder):
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      The one shown was the worst one, but most were fine to reuse after bead blasting and a couple of coats of self-etching primer:
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      The threaded holes in the frame were chased with a thread chaser, and the bolts will get a liberal coating of Anti-Seize when installed. Why do all of this? Two reasons - first, having the body bolts tightened in an old car will make a difference is the various creaks and shakes (try it!). Also, the body bolts will need to be loosened as part of the door/door gap/door-to- rear quarter alignment process, so now is the time to get them cleaned up so they will loosen easily.

      There was a small amount of rust in the inner panel of the passenger side cowl (where the kickpanel goes) right down at the floor, so made a patch for that and welded it in:
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      For some reason, I didn't take a picture of the patch welded in, but I will. When the rusty area was cut out, there was a big blob of something inside the cowl post, on the floor pan:
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      That's the handle of a wood chisel (works great for scraping off old seam sealer) next to it to give an idea of size. After cutting a piece off, I realized it was a big old glob of the seam sealer Studebaker used..........anyone need any original Studebaker seam sealer? (Maybe put it on eBay, people are all the time buying crazy stuff there.)

      Decided to go ahead and pull the dashboard out again, and remove the heat duct/blower/heater core box for two reasons - to be able to put the new dash (firewall) liner in, plus to scrape off all the old seam sealer that is falling off the firewall seams. All this sealer has been scraped off, the seam areas cleaned, and new seam sealer applied (pics next time). Once it's dried, the firewall and the upper portions of the cowl panels will be primed and painted.

      I could not locate a replacement dash liner. Studebaker International has them back ordered, and I have seen posts recently about Ernie Loga having some health issues. So, in typical CASO fashion, I'll make my own. Already have interior board material, plus will use a more modern heat/sound deadening pad on the back side instead of the original fiberglass insulation. The pad should arrive today, and the Kilmat (butyl sound deadening material like Dynamat) that will be applied to the whole firewall area showed up yesterday. So far, the template for the dash liner is done; since the original dash liner was not in the best shape (partially my fault for breaking pieces off to check the firewall for rust), it was only partially good enough to make a template. That template had to be cut into several pieces and 'adjusted' when it was put up against the firewall. Next step is to cut out the board and see how that fits. No pics of all this, but am making a video of it to come later.

      More updates soon. Stay safe during this Coronavirus deal.
      Winston-Salem, NC
      Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at:


      • What material do you plan to use for undercoating your car, and how will it be applied? This thread has been extremely helpful. Thank you.



        • I enjoy the progress reports as well. Looks like great work, with no shortcuts. Maybe there is a light at the end of the tunnel called rust repair? Keep up the good work It will be interesting to see how the dash pad comes out. Also, good luck with your search for work.


          • Originally posted by r1lark View Post

            The intent was always to convert this car to bucket seats, but maybe the bench should stay. Back in the day, I guess guys that had girlfriends liked the bench seat........
            The reclining split bench would have been a premium.
            1964 GT Hawk
            PSMCDR 2014
            Best time: 14.473 sec. 96.57 MPH quarter mile
            PSMCDR 2013
            Best time: 14.654 sec. 94.53 MPH quarter

            Victoria, Canada


            • Justin, I'm glad this thread has helped you, that's the whole reason for doing this. (As an aside, there are a bunch of videos of not only this car but also our '62 GT Hawk on our YouTube channel here: http://<a href="</a>). As to the undercoating, the areas that had replacement metal installed, and also the areas where the original undercoating was loose (and subsequently scraped off), will be painted with Rustoleum and then undercoated with 3M 08883 undercoating:
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              tsenecal, thank you for your kind words. The dash pad will be a while, the old blue one will go back in for now. When the front & rear glass and headliner is replaced, the 'new' dash will go in then with all the new gauges, instrument face, etc.

              studebaker-R2-4-me, while I really like the split reclining bench seat, we have a NOS red interior for bucket seats for this car. The split reclining bench is actually 'on loan' from our '64 F-body Challenger.
              Winston-Salem, NC
              Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at:


              • Paul:
                Once again, a great, informative post. You continue to amaze me how you are willing to tackle a project I am terrified to attempt (removing the dash) in order to be sure that you do a complete job on the firewall. I wish I had your confidence and ability. Please keep up the good work and the great postings to help and inspire the rest of us!


                • Nick, thank you for the kind words. Knowing that these posts are informative and useful to a few folks is what keeps me posting.

                  Hopefully these posts show it's not rocket science, just thinking about what has to be done, and doing it, and making course changes along the way when issues/new information come up. Just dive in and do it, the worst thing that can happen is that something has to be done twice.............but the good thing is that you have learned from it.

                  For example, the dash - the hardest part about pulling the dash is getting the wiring harness all disconnected in the engine bay. On a '64 to '66 it's even harder since the harness to the passenger side engine bay runs thru (inside) the panel that sits in front of the radiator. Only disconnect what has to be disconnected under the dash to pull it out - all the wiring stays attached to the gauges and switches. After you do it once or twice, it's not as daunting a task as it seems at first.

                  Like anything on an old car, just dive in and do it. Read the Shop Manual, look at posts on the forum, ask questions, and plan your work. Just make sure to keep your safety and the safety of others as your primary concern while doing the work.
                  Winston-Salem, NC
                  Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at:


                  • Daytona update................

                    Everything is seam sealed in the interior. All the original seam sealer was scraped off (most of it was pretty much falling off anyway) and the seams cleaned. I will say that, even though the seam sealer isn't pretty (for example, I didn't put down tape on both sides to make it perfectly straight and the same width everywhere ), it's much better than the slapped on factory sealer! This body must have been built/painted on a Monday or Friday. I used a brushable seam sealer, applied with a small 'acid' brush. Here are a few pics:
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                    Also cleaned up and painted some of the parts that attach to the firewall:
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                    Got the firewall area painted just this evening (and still not dry):
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                    As mentioned a few posts above, we are making our own dash liner. There will be a video on this , but here is a teaser pic of the interior board cut out. (It will be dyed/painted black.)
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                    Tomorrow evening, I want to get the X-mat installed on the bottom side of the roof. Also this week, hope to get the topcoat on the primed areas on the floor and firewall. Looking forward to getting this phase of the work done, and get the car driveable again.

                    Hope everyone is staying safe from this virus. I went out to a store today for the first time in about a week, with my facemask on and practicing my best social distancing and hand cleaning.
                    Attached Files
                    Last edited by r1lark; 04-29-2020, 04:15 PM. Reason: Fix the spellin'
                    Winston-Salem, NC
                    Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at:


                    • Originally posted by r1lark View Post
                      Daytona update................ I will say that, even though the seam sealer isn't pretty (for example, I didn't put down tape on both sides to make it perfectly straight and the same width everywhere ), it's much better than the slapped on factory sealer!
                      BETTER THAN FACTORY! You are so blessed to be able to work at your own pace. Although you are having to clean, cut, fabricate, weld, etc., you are not having to chase the car down a moving assembly line. Nor do you have to put up with cussing co-workers or glaring supervisors when getting behind and having to walk over and hit one of the "line-stop" switches so you could catch up.

                      I am enjoying your work. Keep it up.

                      John Clary
                      Greer, SC

                      SDC member since 1975


                      • Hahaha, Jclary, I worked on the Volvo line once... (& I can't work on Josephine slowly anymore since I sold Gaston/my other car a week ago, a bit "factory-feeling" at times.)
                        & now I'm getting nervous that this thread soon might be over, gonna miss it!


                        Champion V8
                        4d sedan


                        • Echoing Noxnbaker sentiment I have marveled at your progress and used this thread as inspiration for my own 64 Daytona. I have fallen far behind in my efforts due to what I hope are temporary heath issues. So as much as I enjoy your progress, I will to miss this thread when it done. Thanks for sharing, I know how hard it is to interrupt work flow to take pictures.


                          • Man, if you'd had anything to do with my HT before I bought it I guarantee I'd still own it. WOW.


                            • Not to worry, this thread won't be over anytime soon! Getting ready to do some fender repair (battery area, and hopefully just a small area at the rear vertical seam. Then put back the outer rear quarter panel, make some repairs to the NOS door and hang/align it. Then front end work (new springs and inner bushings at least, probably king pin bushings, etc. Lots of stuff still to do.

                              Whew, makes me tired just thinking about it.

                              Thanks for all the nice comments guys. As I have mentioned before, the whole reason behind the posts and videos is to help others do similar work to their own Studebakers.
                              Winston-Salem, NC
                              Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at:


                              • I want to take off my fenders in order to do some metal work. Im am worried that when I go to put it all back together, Im not going to do it right and the shims and alignment will be horrible. When you get to that point, can you please provide a video that explains how you did that and any tricks you may use? This will be a huge help to me. Thanks!