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Trouble on the road to Branson

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  • Trouble on the road to Branson

    I have a friend who has his family motto in Latin on the wall, "It's always something". My previous trips in Studebakers have mostly been without incident, but this year was not one of those. At least I made it back home on Saturday evening in one piece.
    I had originally planned to drive my 52 Commander, but realized that the tires might not be up to the trip (irony here) so I decided the 52 pickup might be a better choice this year. I had been dealing with an overheating issue, but after modifying the radiator shroud it appeared to be fixed. On Friday morning Joe and I left for Branson for the Orphan Car Show and zone activity. All went well for the first several miles with the temp gauge showing just barely right of center, but after a stop the overdrive was slow to engage. After another stop the overdrive would not engage and I had to push the truck hard to keep from losing Joe's yellow truck that was leading me. Finally, the overdrive dropped in and all was well for several more miles. Then after another stop for traffic the overdrive refused to engage. I had to push the engine to 3,000 RPM and sometimes higher because of the 4:55 rear gears.
    We got to Harrison, Arkansas near noon and stopped at the rest area to eat some burgers. I checked my coolant level and the radiator needed a topping off. I also noticed that the flex hose to the oil pressure gauge was leaking a little. It was decided to cap off the line so we drove to the store I bought my battery last year and got a plug for the fitting. At this stop I noticed that the right rear tire was low. Only 12 pounds of air where 40 pounds was a few hours ago.
    We got directions from the parts store to a tire place nearby, but missed the place. We came out at the city air port. I bummed some air from a helpful man at the terminal and he told us how to go into the main part of town and find a tire store. Harrison is in the Ozarks and things are not in a nice grid, but we found a shop that looked like it had been there for many years.
    The arrival of two Studebaker trucks caused quite a stir among the employees and we were told 45 minutes until someone could look at our problem. The parking was crowded and we managed to find places out of the way. The place was busy, but no one seemed to be moving very fast. It was over an hour before a man came over and removed the tire. I thought we were about to get a repair and go, but it didn't work that way. The tread was separating and the tire was unrepairable.
    Now the search was on for a tire in my size. 15 inch tires used to be common, but not any more. There was a storage building full of tires, but few 15s. The only used tire in my size was ancient so I decided on two new rear tires. The problem was finding my size, but they located a set and we made a deal. After waiting for what seemed like forever the tires were mounted and we paid up and hit the road. I think we were there about 3 hours.
    Branson was only about 35 more miles and we made it very tired, but without further incident. It was great to see our friends and meet some new ones. This meet is like a family reunion only with neat cars. I don't think I really relaxed like usual because of concern about the return trip, but at least we were away from the house for a bit.
    We left around noon on Saturday which is a bit early, but I wanted to allow extra time. The trip back was made without any major problems, but I had to push the truck at about 3,000 RPM all the way. I did make an extra stop for fuel to be on the safe side. Fuel mileage suffered on this trip, but we made it and on IDYSD.
    On a side note. I think I had more waves and thumbs up on this trip that any other trip. That was a plus along with the trouble.


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    Last edited by 52-fan; 09-13-2020, 01:26 PM.
    "In the heart of Arkansas."
    Searcy, Arkansas
    1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
    1952 2R pickup

  • #2
    Good trip, glad you made it home safely! Probably just a little Poorer than you planned.

    So this Yellow Truck you trying to follow, is a '57/'58 Transtar V8?
    And your 2R is a 5? Or a 6? Stock 6 Cyl.?
    StudeRich
    Second Generation Stude Driver,
    Proud '54 Starliner Owner

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by StudeRich View Post
      Good trip, glad you made it home safely! Probably just a little Poorer than you planned.

      So this Yellow Truck you trying to follow, is a '57/'58 Transtar V8?
      And your 2R is a 5? Or a 6? Stock 6 Cyl.?
      The yellow truck is a 57 with a 289 and T-5 5 speed with 3:73 gears. My truck has a 259 with overdrive (when it works) and at this time it has 4:55 gears. Last year with the overdrive working the truck handled the steep roads in the hills with ease.
      I blame the Covid mess for my lack of preparation. I have to help my wife while she teaches the grandkids at our house and it seriously cuts in on my shop time. I just couldn't pass up the meet in Branson.
      "In the heart of Arkansas."
      Searcy, Arkansas
      1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
      1952 2R pickup

      Comment


      • #4
        Glad to hear that Howard, I don't think a 6 would have taken that 3000 RPM punishment and made it home!

        I remember when my Cousin Robert drove his '64 Chev. Pickup with a Granny Low 4 Speed and 4.56 Gears from Los Angeles (Hawthorne) to Sulfur Springs, AR to his Nieces place, at Highway speeds + and got back to Calif. to his Sisters place in Canyon Country (Saugus) but NOT back home to Hawthorne, because the bottom end of the 283 was DONE.
        Last edited by StudeRich; 09-13-2020, 02:50 PM.
        StudeRich
        Second Generation Stude Driver,
        Proud '54 Starliner Owner

        Comment


        • #5
          'Glad you made it home safely, Howard. BP
          We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

          Ayn Rand:
          "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

          G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

          Comment


          • #6
            As a side note, the trip home was more down hill than going to Branson. On the long hills I just let it go.... when I could keep from running over Joe.
            "In the heart of Arkansas."
            Searcy, Arkansas
            1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
            1952 2R pickup

            Comment


            • #7
              How old was the tire that failed?
              Gary L.
              Wappinger, NY

              SDC member since 1968
              Studebaker enthusiast much longer

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by studegary View Post
                How old was the tire that failed?
                Too old. I took those tires off my 89 Dodge pickup a few years ago and saved them for rollers. They went on the Studebaker because the ones that came on it were literally falling apart sitting in the yard. I probably should have replaced them by now, but with all the craziness the last few months I had fallen behind on maintenance. It serves me right.
                "In the heart of Arkansas."
                Searcy, Arkansas
                1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
                1952 2R pickup

                Comment


                • #9
                  Howard, a true CASO. Were the tires from this stash?
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by daytonadave View Post
                    Howard, a true CASO. Were the tires from this stash?
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                    No, that stuff outside was true junk. It is possible that I damaged the tire that failed by mounting it myself. I am still new at tire changing.
                    As a side note. Joe was moving that stack of wheels today and a possum fell out of the pile.
                    He let out a noticeable yelp of surprise.
                    "In the heart of Arkansas."
                    Searcy, Arkansas
                    1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
                    1952 2R pickup

                    Comment

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