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My Half A$$ Studebaker Rebuild

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  • Today I worked on an unhappy job, the bushings on the leaf springs. Luckily, I was able to get the bolts out without the sleeve getting stuck in there.

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    I was too lazy to go down to the hardware store for some all thread, but after two hours wasted fighting this, it was a bad investment.

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    So after all that effort, I still have to get the outer sleeve out. I still have 3 more to do just for the rear shackles. Hats off to the people that have done this job.

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    FEDEX came and brought me these.


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    They are fiberglass and I have no clue how I'm going to attach these. Panel adhesive? Or should I just deal with the steel weatherstrip channels? What says the more experienced folks?

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    • Well, Im going to try to get the back panel piece to fit in somehow. In my usual fashion, I charged head first into something I don't know anything about.

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      I started by tack welding the top to the existing inside panel and hoping the trunk still latches and more importantly, seals.

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      I actually think I'm getting better at tack welds. I realized with this sheet metal, it doesn't need a big hole, 1/8" seems to work here and no blow throughs. Anyone paint with those spray cans of paint with the second section as the activator/hardener?

      https://www.spraymax.com/en-us/technology/

      Local paint shop can mix the paint I need and put it in spray cans. About $30 a can.

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      • I also cut off the right side trunk weatherstrip channel to see how either the fiberglass panel or the metal channel fits.

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        I cut it up to the corner reinforcement. Geez, this car is rusty....

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        • Well, this panel is giving me a fight. Just seems all the folds are off angle just enough. As if it's one size up, like an original one was used as the sample, but overlaid on top of it, so it's actually bigger, not the exact size. Probably not making much sense. I'm fitting the parts to the "new" trunk lid now.

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          I had to cut off all the tack welds I did earlier to reset the back panel. So after another gazillion adjustments and test fits, this is the best I can get it and not really happy with the results. The bead you see just below the trunk lid should be tucked under.

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          Cut off the piece I installed first with the three holes.

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          Well, now that it's in, the lid closes ok, but the floor now needs reworking.

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          • So the panel you’re wrestling with is one I need to do on mine... what I’m sensing is that I’d be better off just finding some flat metal pieces and making something up, rather than buying the repro part if it really isn’t shaped right...
            Attached Files
            Proud new owner of a 56 Power Hawk!

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            • Originally posted by Daan View Post
              So the panel you’re wrestling with is one I need to do on mine... what I’m sensing is that I’d be better off just finding some flat metal pieces and making something up, rather than buying the repro part if it really isn’t shaped right...
              Yea, I wish I had thought of that before as well. Still, my panel was pretty rotted, so I can't say that's a bad thing to replace. Just kind of wish it was a better fit.

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              • Ok, I'm going for broke!

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                I'm cutting the rest of this fender close to my marked lines. Hope i didn't screw up my measurements as I'm a cut twice, eyeball measure type of guy. Hey, i've got welder, so I can just stitch it back together.

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                As you can tell, I'm not using the fiberglass pieces I bought earlier, but they make a great template.

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                Fitting the channel to match and mark the lid and channel for location.


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                I think this panel is going to need some shrinking. Anyone have luck using MAPP gas and a wet rag to shrink 18ga?

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                • I got my bushings, but the outer diameter is a little large, best Prothane could do with the Studebaker's measurements.

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                  They are made a little tight for the proper preload on them.

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                  I know I have some emery cloth somewhere, but ended up using a file as it was close at hand. Still needs a bit more grinding to fit the eyelet, but it's lunch time.

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                  • “I’ve cut this piece THREE TIMES, and it’s still too short!”
                    Proud new owner of a 56 Power Hawk!

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                    • I should have paid more attention to Trev!

                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1liRlo4FjU

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                      • Ok, just to prove the build title applies, here is another example. Working on the Prothane bushings for the shackles and needed to cut it down from over 1" to 7/8" diameter. Doesn't sound like a lot, but the file just wasn't working. We need to get more aggressive and use a rasp!

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                        It was still a tight fit.

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                        Both bushings in and guess what? when I tried to install the sleeve, it pushed the opposite side out. So after hours of working on it, grinding it down some more, I finally got it in.

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                        That was a lot of unsatisfying work. It was the easy one too

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                        • While I'm puttering around, I needed to check something that was bugging me.

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                          Ok.........

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                          What the??? When I have time, I've got to check the original lid to see if it has a bow at the edge also.

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                            Well, the old one has this bow as well. Guess I really do have to curve the new channel.

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                            • Using air to cool in the shrink process leaves a better finish. So no wet rag.
                              Kim

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                              • Originally posted by kamzack View Post
                                Using air to cool in the shrink process leaves a better finish. So no wet rag.
                                Kim
                                Thanks, I'll give that a try.

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