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My Half A$$ Studebaker Rebuild

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  • My Half A$$ Studebaker Rebuild

    Hi folks! It would seem to be prudent to start a rebuild thread of my car instead of my incoherent ramblings of non thread subjects on my Vin Identification thread. So all my future posts, related to Studes or not should end up here. Full disclosure, I've never restored a car, can't weld, can't paint, can't do upholstery, but everything looks perfect in my mind, but probably not in reality. So here we go.

    I bought this car from a really nice guy, Jimmy in Central CA.

    He's helping me hook up the car to a come along. I saw the car on CL and the price was within my budget, so I called and bought it over the phone after a few questions. I had to arrange a Uhaul car trailer and get my truck ready and he held the car for me a week before I could get it. He had received calls after we agreed and was offered more to sell it to them. He told him no, the car is sold. He was raised proper and I really appreciated his honesty.

    As you can see, I had to buy a set of late model Jeep wheels to put on the Hawk due to sidewalls being blown out with dry rot. I thought about getting some bald tires and throwing them on, but this way seemed to save effort of breaking down tires and airing them up again.

    Finally home.

  • #2
    It has a fuel leak in the tank as I see a wet spot and fuel smell which eventually went away. I'm sure the tank is empty now. I was going to remove ii for a boil out and repair, but this is in the way.

    Welded in and I'd have to cut it out to get the tank out.

    It also has air(less) shocks and I hate to imagine what he towed with drum brakes.

    This was under the hood. As well as the oil filter.


    • #3
      So a quick check of things: It has old, but clean oil, no coolant, engine frozen, battery shows it was installed in 96, last registration also 96. 91K miles on the speedo.


      • #4
        It looks like you are in for quite a learning experience. One piece of advice if I might. Tackle the car in small projects with getting it running and brakeing first. Don't start tearing it apart en mas because it's easy to look at a pile of parts and get discouraged.

        BTW, you will get discouraged but taking small steps at a time will help moderate that and you will see progress. Take on the body last. With your limited skills currently, and they will improve with time, the brakes and running are doable. Once you have crossed that bridge, look over what you have and plan from there.

        In my mind, your first step is the car wash with a pile of change clean the heck out of it. A powerwash would work also.

        Welcome the this world. Done in small steps you will be rewarded by what you accomplish.



        • #5
          So the engine could not be budged by hand and seems there are locking tabs on the crank pulley bolt that prevents a socket from being placed on the bolt. So I started charging the 22 year old battery and sprayed my ATF/Acetone mixture into the cylinders. I figured I have nothing to lose. 5 days later, I hook up my remote starter....


          • Rafe Hollister
            Rafe Hollister commented
            Editing a comment
            Oh Baby! What a beautiful sound!
            Rafe Hollister

        • #6
          Welcome to the Stude world. This is the place to find information on just about anything related to Stude's. Bob gives you excellent advice, so don't be afraid to ask questions. Most questions have been asked several times in the past and this forum has a "search" option that you can search for info. It is the "advanced search" box in the upper right hand corner of this page. Most everyone on this forum is knowledgeable and freely gives advice that will be of help. Good luck and keep us up to date. Pictures are always welcome. Bill


          • #7
            Thanks Bill and Bob, it is good advice. I am in the gathering and puttering stage. Doing a little here and there. It's a long term project of which I am not in a hurry since in a couple years I will be retiring. This car was to be my retirement project if I get bored without 40+ hours a week of work getting in the way. My goal for this car is to make it a driver, not a show car, so I can be less than perfect on it. Since I know it has a fighting chance of actually running, I move on to trying to get it in running condition. As with any project car, it needs pretty much everything. As a former British car owner, I know it involves brakes, fuel (flushing, lines, pump, tank cleanup, repair, carb etc), cooling system, electrical. Body, as Bob recommends, last.

            I took the oil filter apart.

            This was in there..

            New filter elements.

            Last edited by Topper2011; 07-08-2018, 09:47 AM.


            • #8
              I know this seemed like a silly idea, but it will make sense in a bit.

              When a door on a Studebaker falls off the jack when the last bolt gives, it hurts when it hits you in the head. I had to drill out all six on the door side and will have to do the same on the bulkhead side. All the bolts are oxidized welded to each other.

              Decided to gut this door instead. It's an original door, the driver's is a replacement I'm guessing because of the green paint. I am planning on refurbishing the rubber bits, weatherstrips and cleaning and lubing all the mechanisms as they were pretty frozen. The driver's side hinge pins need replacing as the door never closed properly and slamming it isn't good for any part.

              Some rot I'll try my hand at fixing.

              and the reason for the door removal, access.


              • #9
                I'm a little motorcycle heavy and sold a pretty nice GS1100E to help finance the Studebaker.

                Jimmy's father, (the guy I bought the Hawk from) had this in his garage.

                I really want this bike and Wyatt is more than willing to sell it. It's a Suzuki Hustler 250. People used to race these in the day and it has a bobbed fender to emulate that. Being that I am in the CJMC (Classic Japanese Motorcycle Club), I have a fondness for old Suzuki's. Speaking of which, here is one of my Club Member's only "car"

                He drives it everywhere and I commend him.
                Attached Files
                Last edited by Topper2011; 07-08-2018, 09:39 AM.


                • #10
                  Congrats on your new challenge. I've always said this old Detroit (Southbend in this case) Iron just needs half a chance and will usually run with a few preparations which it looks like you have done. I would suggest using a remote fuel can for now until you can determine what lurks in that old tank. There is no point in adding contamination to your fuel system. As stated by Bob and Bill, lots of good info right here. Keep us updated and don't hesitate to ask questions. A shop manual will prove to be invaluable. Check out our vendors on the Studebaker Driver's Club website as you can obtain just about everything you'll need from knowledgeable suppliers at reasonable prices.
                  PS: I haven't seen one of those oil filters in decades.


                  • #11
                    Very cool.
                    The man is a Buell fan too.
                    Another orphan vehicle.

                    Have fun with your build.



                    • #12
                      Thanks Bill, yep I have a Service manual from Ebay and a catalog from Studebakers International. I also went to the Studebakers West Swap Meet.

                      While I was messing with my transmission, I realized I only have neutral and second. I took the shifters off the transmission and could not budge the shifter lever for 1st and reverse. So it's locked up there and not in the column. I was able to get a reportedly good replacement at the swap meet.

                      Why it's painted orange, I'm not sure, perhaps the previous owner was a Chevy owner and had some paint left over. I will repaint it black as Rich had recommended.


                      • #13
                        Decided to get rid of the rotted tires, too bad as they had plenty of tread on them and if the air had been kept up, who knows.

                        I was able to get into the trunk through the back seat. Nothing more fun than to smell pee while crawling through a car sitting in a field for years. I can only imagine what critters made this car home.

                        Goodies! Looks like I have a start on my disc brake conversion. I also discovered there aren't any hinges on the trunk lid nor springs. Anyone want to part with a set?


                        • Danny
                          Danny commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Considering the cost of new or re-sleeved brake calipers, you might want to buy a Turner Disc Brake Conversion. With jim Turner's system, you will have better braking and won't need a booster.

                      • #14
                        Originally posted by Mike Van Veghten View Post
                        Very cool.
                        The man is a Buell fan too.
                        Another orphan vehicle.

                        Have fun with your build.

                        Thanks Mike, I went to Erik Buell's 25th Homecoming in Wisconsin in 2008 and he signed a poster for me as it was also my 25th Anniversary year as well.


                        • #15
                          I'm done!

                          Actually, this was my inspiration. My sister gave this to me and it started the wheels turning in my head. I am so glad it wasn't a tri-five!

                          Cleaning out a box in my garage I had when my father passed away in 2001 and we were cleaning out the house. I don't know if newer ones are still made in the USA, but this one is. I believe I bought this for my then girlfriend's 69 Mustang and never used it. Circa late 70's.