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  • Question About Dash on '51 Champion

    I finally got my '51 Champion sedan from Florida, after what seemed forever trying to find someone to transport it. I have a question about the dash, though-is there supposed to be a panel underneath the dashboard, or is it just supposed to be open underneath there? Mine is open, so that the wires and all inside the dash are more or less exposed. There is also a little silver toggle switch that says "off" and "on" on the right side of the dash, just a bit right of center, and I cannot find any pic or diagram in the shop manual that came with the car that says what this is for!

    The car has to have the chrome restored, and some paint touch-ups, though I will probably just have it repainted eventually because I'm just not wild about that off-white color, but other than that, it looks good. One window is cracked, but it's not all the way through, and I have to get a rear-view mirror for the driver's side(I could kick myself for not picking one up at the SE Regional meet down in Mount Pleasant, SC, a few weeks ago). The car starts like a dream and runs strong with no smoke at all, and the engine looks clean. I do have to hook up the wires that control the rear turn signals; they're just hanging loose underneath the car right now. I was surprised, though, at how bright the headlights and interior lights are, considering the car still has the six-volt system in place! My headlights on my Toyota RAV-4 aren't that bright!

    I also still need to find out how to restore the logo and rim design on a set of wheel covers, which have the Studebaker "coat of arms" on them. Some of the design has either been rubbed off or scratched. Is that design put on there with regular flat enamal paint, or what? I want to put these on the Champion, but I want to get them looking good first. I can re-paint or touch them up if it's just enamal paint that does not have to be "fired".

    pitbulllady

  • #2
    Yes, it's open like that![:I] As to that switch, it could be someone's addition for manually actuating the overdrive. Of course, "On-Off" could be for any NUMBER of things. I doubt it's original.

    As to those wheelcovers, there's a fella making vinyl peel-stick decals to recolor Stude hub caps. He sells on ebay and I think, advertizes in TW. I don't know if he makes a "kit" for this particular style of wheelcover. SI offers NICE NEW covers like this, but they aren't cheap![:0]

    Miscreant adrift in
    the BerStuda Triangle


    1957 Transtar 1/2ton
    1960 Larkvertible V8
    1958 Provincial wagon
    1953 Commander coupe

    No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

    Comment


    • #3
      Yes, it's open like that![:I] As to that switch, it could be someone's addition for manually actuating the overdrive. Of course, "On-Off" could be for any NUMBER of things. I doubt it's original.

      As to those wheelcovers, there's a fella making vinyl peel-stick decals to recolor Stude hub caps. He sells on ebay and I think, advertizes in TW. I don't know if he makes a "kit" for this particular style of wheelcover. SI offers NICE NEW covers like this, but they aren't cheap![:0]

      Miscreant adrift in
      the BerStuda Triangle


      1957 Transtar 1/2ton
      1960 Larkvertible V8
      1958 Provincial wagon
      1953 Commander coupe

      No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

      Comment


      • #4
        It would be helpful if you could post a picture of it. On my 52 Commander someone had bypassed the floor starter button and placed a starter button on the dash at the left side of the glove box door. I didn't know what it was until I tried to start the car and had to trace the wires to see where the starter button was.




        Leonard Shepherd, editor, The Commanding Leader, Central Virginia Chapter, http://centralvirginiachapter.org/

        Comment


        • #5
          It would be helpful if you could post a picture of it. On my 52 Commander someone had bypassed the floor starter button and placed a starter button on the dash at the left side of the glove box door. I didn't know what it was until I tried to start the car and had to trace the wires to see where the starter button was.




          Leonard Shepherd, editor, The Commanding Leader, Central Virginia Chapter, http://centralvirginiachapter.org/

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks; I just thought it looked sorta strange, and the ones I'd seen at shows didn't seem to be like that, or maybe the restoration was just so good I didn't notice.

            I've seen the wheel covers for sale, for $100.00 each. I paid $75.00 for a set of five. They arent' in bad shape, and are still shiny, but like I said, some of the design is either faded out or scratched.

            The toggle switch doesn't look added-on, and the OD switch is actually a pull-type thing right next to the hood release. The toggle switch is just to the left of the glove box, if anyone wants to take a stab at what it might be.

            Also, anyone know if there are locking gas caps available for this model car? With gasoline prices like they are, even leaving a vehicle parked in the yard under a garage overnight is taking a risk of waking up to a drained tank nowadays. Unlike the new model cars, which have gas cap releases inside the car, which can be locked to prevent(or at least slow down)access to unwanted intruders, these old cars don't have that. Back then, the occasional theft of gasoline from a car's gas tank was more of a nuisance or prank, but now it's pretty serious.

            pitbulllady





            quote:Originally posted by Mr.Biggs

            Yes, it's open like that![:I] As to that switch, it could be someone's addition for manually actuating the overdrive. Of course, "On-Off" could be for any NUMBER of things. I doubt it's original.

            As to those wheelcovers, there's a fella making vinyl peel-stick decals to recolor Stude hub caps. He sells on ebay and I think, advertizes in TW. I don't know if he makes a "kit" for this particular style of wheelcover. SI offers NICE NEW covers like this, but they aren't cheap![:0]

            Miscreant adrift in
            the BerStuda Triangle


            1957 Transtar 1/2ton
            1960 Larkvertible V8
            1958 Provincial wagon
            1953 Commander coupe

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks; I just thought it looked sorta strange, and the ones I'd seen at shows didn't seem to be like that, or maybe the restoration was just so good I didn't notice.

              I've seen the wheel covers for sale, for $100.00 each. I paid $75.00 for a set of five. They arent' in bad shape, and are still shiny, but like I said, some of the design is either faded out or scratched.

              The toggle switch doesn't look added-on, and the OD switch is actually a pull-type thing right next to the hood release. The toggle switch is just to the left of the glove box, if anyone wants to take a stab at what it might be.

              Also, anyone know if there are locking gas caps available for this model car? With gasoline prices like they are, even leaving a vehicle parked in the yard under a garage overnight is taking a risk of waking up to a drained tank nowadays. Unlike the new model cars, which have gas cap releases inside the car, which can be locked to prevent(or at least slow down)access to unwanted intruders, these old cars don't have that. Back then, the occasional theft of gasoline from a car's gas tank was more of a nuisance or prank, but now it's pretty serious.

              pitbulllady





              quote:Originally posted by Mr.Biggs

              Yes, it's open like that![:I] As to that switch, it could be someone's addition for manually actuating the overdrive. Of course, "On-Off" could be for any NUMBER of things. I doubt it's original.

              As to those wheelcovers, there's a fella making vinyl peel-stick decals to recolor Stude hub caps. He sells on ebay and I think, advertizes in TW. I don't know if he makes a "kit" for this particular style of wheelcover. SI offers NICE NEW covers like this, but they aren't cheap![:0]

              Miscreant adrift in
              the BerStuda Triangle


              1957 Transtar 1/2ton
              1960 Larkvertible V8
              1958 Provincial wagon
              1953 Commander coupe

              Comment


              • #8
                Map light switch??

                quote:Originally posted by pitbulllady

                Thanks; I just thought it looked sorta strange, and the ones I'd seen at shows didn't seem to be like that, or maybe the restoration was just so good I didn't notice.

                I've seen the wheel covers for sale, for $100.00 each. I paid $75.00 for a set of five. They arent' in bad shape, and are still shiny, but like I said, some of the design is either faded out or scratched.

                The toggle switch doesn't look added-on, and the OD switch is actually a pull-type thing right next to the hood release. The toggle switch is just to the left of the glove box, if anyone wants to take a stab at what it might be.

                Also, anyone know if there are locking gas caps available for this model car? With gasoline prices like they are, even leaving a vehicle parked in the yard under a garage overnight is taking a risk of waking up to a drained tank nowadays. Unlike the new model cars, which have gas cap releases inside the car, which can be locked to prevent(or at least slow down)access to unwanted intruders, these old cars don't have that. Back then, the occasional theft of gasoline from a car's gas tank was more of a nuisance or prank, but now it's pretty serious.

                pitbulllady





                quote:Originally posted by Mr.Biggs

                Yes, it's open like that![:I] As to that switch, it could be someone's addition for manually actuating the overdrive. Of course, "On-Off" could be for any NUMBER of things. I doubt it's original.

                As to those wheelcovers, there's a fella making vinyl peel-stick decals to recolor Stude hub caps. He sells on ebay and I think, advertizes in TW. I don't know if he makes a "kit" for this particular style of wheelcover. SI offers NICE NEW covers like this, but they aren't cheap![:0]

                Miscreant adrift in
                the BerStuda Triangle


                1957 Transtar 1/2ton
                1960 Larkvertible V8
                1958 Provincial wagon
                1953 Commander coupe

                Russ Shop Foreman "Rusty Nut Garage"
                57 SH (project)
                60 Lark VIII 2dr sd (driver)

                Russ Shop Foreman \"Rusty Nut Garage\"
                53 2R6 289 5SpdOD (driver)
                57 SH (project)
                60 Lark VIII 2dr sd (driver)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Map light switch??

                  quote:Originally posted by pitbulllady

                  Thanks; I just thought it looked sorta strange, and the ones I'd seen at shows didn't seem to be like that, or maybe the restoration was just so good I didn't notice.

                  I've seen the wheel covers for sale, for $100.00 each. I paid $75.00 for a set of five. They arent' in bad shape, and are still shiny, but like I said, some of the design is either faded out or scratched.

                  The toggle switch doesn't look added-on, and the OD switch is actually a pull-type thing right next to the hood release. The toggle switch is just to the left of the glove box, if anyone wants to take a stab at what it might be.

                  Also, anyone know if there are locking gas caps available for this model car? With gasoline prices like they are, even leaving a vehicle parked in the yard under a garage overnight is taking a risk of waking up to a drained tank nowadays. Unlike the new model cars, which have gas cap releases inside the car, which can be locked to prevent(or at least slow down)access to unwanted intruders, these old cars don't have that. Back then, the occasional theft of gasoline from a car's gas tank was more of a nuisance or prank, but now it's pretty serious.

                  pitbulllady





                  quote:Originally posted by Mr.Biggs

                  Yes, it's open like that![:I] As to that switch, it could be someone's addition for manually actuating the overdrive. Of course, "On-Off" could be for any NUMBER of things. I doubt it's original.

                  As to those wheelcovers, there's a fella making vinyl peel-stick decals to recolor Stude hub caps. He sells on ebay and I think, advertizes in TW. I don't know if he makes a "kit" for this particular style of wheelcover. SI offers NICE NEW covers like this, but they aren't cheap![:0]

                  Miscreant adrift in
                  the BerStuda Triangle


                  1957 Transtar 1/2ton
                  1960 Larkvertible V8
                  1958 Provincial wagon
                  1953 Commander coupe

                  Russ Shop Foreman "Rusty Nut Garage"
                  57 SH (project)
                  60 Lark VIII 2dr sd (driver)

                  Russ Shop Foreman \"Rusty Nut Garage\"
                  53 2R6 289 5SpdOD (driver)
                  57 SH (project)
                  60 Lark VIII 2dr sd (driver)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Well, they didn't USE any toggle switches in '51, so I'm betting it's someone "cusstom" installation for whatever. Added lite(s)? Electric fuel pump maybe? See if you cqan SEE (since it's so EASY to see beneath the dash[}]where the wires go.

                    Tech-nick-ollie - that "switch" with the "OD" on it isn't a switch. It's a pull cable that when pulled out, actuates the OD lockout lever on the transmission. With that knob pulled out, there's no "freewheeling" effect and the car drives like any ordinary 3-spd manual transmission. As far as the OD goes, you typically put that knob where you want it and forget about it. There's no "glad-handing" of it like shifting thru the gears. the OD automatically engages when you're going over 30MPH with the handle pushed in. Probably 98% of the driving I do with my Stude truck is with the OD system engaged. Driving with OD quickly becomes second nature and I find I let off the gas over 30MPH without concious thought much of the time.

                    Miscreant adrift in
                    the BerStuda Triangle


                    1957 Transtar 1/2ton
                    1960 Larkvertible V8
                    1958 Provincial wagon
                    1953 Commander coupe

                    No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Well, they didn't USE any toggle switches in '51, so I'm betting it's someone "cusstom" installation for whatever. Added lite(s)? Electric fuel pump maybe? See if you cqan SEE (since it's so EASY to see beneath the dash[}]where the wires go.

                      Tech-nick-ollie - that "switch" with the "OD" on it isn't a switch. It's a pull cable that when pulled out, actuates the OD lockout lever on the transmission. With that knob pulled out, there's no "freewheeling" effect and the car drives like any ordinary 3-spd manual transmission. As far as the OD goes, you typically put that knob where you want it and forget about it. There's no "glad-handing" of it like shifting thru the gears. the OD automatically engages when you're going over 30MPH with the handle pushed in. Probably 98% of the driving I do with my Stude truck is with the OD system engaged. Driving with OD quickly becomes second nature and I find I let off the gas over 30MPH without concious thought much of the time.

                      Miscreant adrift in
                      the BerStuda Triangle


                      1957 Transtar 1/2ton
                      1960 Larkvertible V8
                      1958 Provincial wagon
                      1953 Commander coupe

                      No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        SI is now selling the wheel cover stick-ons.
                        The early '53 Coupe had a toggle switch in that position for the map light but I don't think the '51 did; probably best to trace the wire from source to result.

                        Brad Johnson
                        Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
                        '33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight, '53 Commander Starlight
                        "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

                        Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
                        Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
                        '33 Rockne 10,
                        '51 Commander Starlight,
                        '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée",
                        '56 Sky Hawk

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          SI is now selling the wheel cover stick-ons.
                          The early '53 Coupe had a toggle switch in that position for the map light but I don't think the '51 did; probably best to trace the wire from source to result.

                          Brad Johnson
                          Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
                          '33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight, '53 Commander Starlight
                          "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

                          Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
                          Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
                          '33 Rockne 10,
                          '51 Commander Starlight,
                          '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée",
                          '56 Sky Hawk

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            According to the brochure, that was the place for the optional cigarette lighter.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              According to the brochure, that was the place for the optional cigarette lighter.

                              Comment

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