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  • Writer Needs Help

    Hello,

    I am an as-yet unpublished writer working on a novel with a character who is repairing a Lark (probably a 1960). I know nothing about repairing and restoring, and I would be very grateful for any guidance and wisdom you folks could offer.

    The Lark has been sitting in a barn in Massachusetts since 1965. While wasps have made nests inside it, it has otherwise been pretty much protected from the elements of nature. My character just wants to get it up and running so he can drive it around town--it doesn't have to be fully restored, just driveable at this point. What do you think he would need to do to get it going? What would be the biggest challenge? How long would it take to get it on the road? What might go wrong once it's on the road?

    If anyone has pictures of an early 1960s Lark, I'd love to see them, especially the interior so I can get a sense of what it would be like to sit in the front seat.

    Any help you can send my way is much appreciated and if you know of any books on repairing mid-century Studebakers, that would be great too!

    Thanks so much

  • #2
    Having done a bunch of barn car, here some normal issues.

    Rebuild the brake system with all new rubber hoses, rebuild the master and wheel cylinder. Drop and clean the ryst out of the gas tank, rebuild the car and fuel pump. Add new plugs, points and condensor and battery. Change all fluids. Add oil to all the cylinder and spin the engine over.Change belts and hoses, replace dry rotted tires.

    Once you get it running and driving see what else shows up. Not unusual to have to lube the window regulators, maybe clean a few switches, maybe rebuild the wiper motor.

    Here's a 61 Lark (pretty much a plain Jane)



    Studebaker On The Net http://stude.com
    64 GT Hawk
    64 R2 4 speed Challenger
    63 R2 4 speed GT Hawk
    63 Daytona Convert.
    53 Street rod
    JDP Maryland

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks for the quick and detailed info and the pics. I love that two-tone upholstery--not plain Jane at all.

      About how long would it take you to do all that work, if you had the time for working on the car every day? And if you have any pics of a typical barn car (any model) before it's restored and cleaned up, I'd like to see what that looks like, too.

      Comment


      • #4
        Where are you located? I would think some Stude guy in your area could put you behind the wheel of one, and relate to you what you want to know.

        Dave's Place
        Studebaker Emporium
        www.davesplaceinc.com
        sigpic
        Dave Lester

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        • #5
          Great idea. I'm in New York City, though, and people here can hardly find parking spaces, nevermind extra cars to restore. But if there is anyone--maybe out in Brooklyn--that would sure be helpful.

          Comment


          • #6
            Took me about a weeks labor to get this one driving, another 6 months to restore it all the way.




            Studebaker On The Net http://stude.com
            64 GT Hawk
            64 R2 4 speed Challenger
            63 R2 4 speed GT Hawk
            63 Daytona Convert.
            53 Street rod
            JDP Maryland

            Comment


            • #7
              That's impressive--what an eyecatcher! Thanks again.

              Comment


              • #8
                I once got into a '52 Stude that had been sitting for years. I was trying to salvage the chrome trim off the lower edge of the dash. This required my reaching behind the dash with a stubby screw driver and undoing the screws that held the pieces of chrome on.
                The last little piece was located such that I had to lay across the remains of the front seat (just old, rusty springs really!)to facilitate getting my hand behind the dash just right. I started to slide my hand up between the cables and wiring but my way thru the tangle was blocked.
                Wanting to see just what I was up against, I lowered my head to where I could see a bit up under the dash. Man, you talk about your blood running cold![:0][xx(] What I saw was about 50 pairs of eyes watching me intently - flipping their wings nervously as I froze in terror! To this day - I don't understand why that nest of wasps didn't jump my carcass BIG time! And I'm allergic to their stings too. Had a couple of hornets zap me once in Georgia and I woke up in a hospital later.
                Yeah, wasps, ants, mice, spiders, possum, ferrel cats, I've done plenty of evictions thru the years.

                When you get a barn car that's been stored a long time, first thing is to see if the engine's stuck, there's any critters to deal with and whether or not the flat tires will hold air at all.
                Figure on changing EVERYTHING that's made of rubber - belts, hoses, tires... and you'll need a new battery of course.[:I]
                Check out the ignition stuff (rats probably chewed up the wires over time) and figure you're gonna hafta go thru the carburetor because all it's seals and such have shrunken with age.

                Miscreant at large.

                1957 Transtar 1/2ton
                1960 Larkvertible V8
                1958 Provincial wagon
                1953 Commander coupe
                1957 President 2-dr
                1955 President State
                1951 Champion Biz cpe
                1963 Daytona project FS
                No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Is that sort of like "I've got a friend, who has this friend...."

                  []

                  quote:Originally posted by ukulelejack

                  Hello,

                  I am an as-yet unpublished writer working on a novel with a character who is repairing a Lark (probably a 1960). I know nothing about repairing and restoring, and I would be very grateful for any guidance and wisdom you folks could offer.
                  ________________________
                  Mark Anderson
                  1965 Cruiser
                  http://home.alltel.net/anderm

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    When you actually start driving a "barn car," it's not unusual to find that the rotating accessories need to be disassembled, cleaned, new bearings etc. - on the car you mention likely the generator and starter. The points, both ignition and regulator, will likely be corroded and need to be "dressed" before the engine will run and the generator will charge. The water pump will likely go in a few miles as well and need to be replaced. The fuel pump will likely need to be rebuilt as the diaphragm will be shot from sitting, and the carb. may need to be cleaned as well. The fuel tank will likely be surface rusted unless it was full when stored, in which case it will still need to be removed and boiled clean.

                    If your character is a conscientious mechanic, he will replace ALL fluids before driving the car; engine oil, trans fluid (or gear oil, depending on if it's an automatic or manual) P/S fluid (if so equipped) brake fluid (actually, he will likely rebuild or replace the wheel cylinders, and repack the bearings as well) coolant, and gear oil in the rear end.

                    nate

                    --
                    55 Commander Starlight
                    62 Daytona hardtop
                    http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel
                    --
                    55 Commander Starlight
                    http://members.cox.net/njnagel

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      This is great info everyone--I guess my character has a lot of work ahead of him. (Yeah,65cruiser, it really isn't me in disguise as a friend of a friend --unfortunately, I'm totally green when it comes to car repairs. That's what riding the subway will do to you.) Thanks Mr. Biggs for the story about the wasps--it's those funny quirky details that really give it color. I was definitely thinking he might have a raccoon nesting in the backseat, too. Those seats weren't stuffed with horsehair by any chance, were they?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        No horsehair - foam rubber and cotton batting (which mice just LOVE to make nests out of! For more "flavor", don't leave out the faint aire of mouse pee.[xx(] Then there's the rat turds on top of the engine - Sheesh! Nothing like blowing them off with a hose and having some of it splash back in your face.[V] And believe me, there's ALWAYS rat turds on top of an engine after it's been in the barn a year or two.

                        Fact is, I had a neighbor ask me to come over and look at two old Fords his mom had stored in the family barn for decades. I lifted the hood on the black '50 Ford that set on four flat tires and a huge rat scurried over the fender and disappeared into the clutter of the old barn. Like ta soiled my drawers that day![:I]

                        Miscreant at large.

                        1957 Transtar 1/2ton
                        1960 Larkvertible V8
                        1958 Provincial wagon
                        1953 Commander coupe
                        1957 President 2-dr
                        1955 President State
                        1951 Champion Biz cpe
                        1963 Daytona project FS
                        No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Geeez JDP! I'm relatively young and have never been able to restore a car in 6 months let alone 6 years, even starting with a better car than you started with. But you do this full time, pretty much, don't you? Ack! I love what you can do, but talk about a blow to my sense of Studebaker accomplishment! Every time I see a before and after picture and the guy says, "Yep! I did it all myself for $250 and it only took 6 months", I just want to throw in the towel.
                          "Madness...is the exception in individuals, but the rule in groups" - Nietzsche.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            $250 to the 100th power.

                            Miscreant at large.

                            1957 Transtar 1/2ton
                            1960 Larkvertible V8
                            1958 Provincial wagon
                            1953 Commander coupe
                            1957 President 2-dr
                            1955 President State
                            1951 Champion Biz cpe
                            1963 Daytona project FS
                            No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              quote:Originally posted by ukulelejack

                              Hello,


                              If anyone has pictures of an early 1960s Lark, I'd love to see them, especially the interior so I can get a sense of what it would be like to sit in the front seat.
                              Here's a few pics of my '62. StudeDude had the best idea, however. Any New York Lark owners out there [?]

                              -Dick-




                              Dick Steinkamp
                              Bellingham, WA

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