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Studebaker Electric Wagon Restoration

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  • #61
    Regarding the body being painted black: Could you 'fudge a little' and leave the 'bed floor' natural but, painted in a nice varnish or clear verathane type product so the wood grain shows through. I was looking at an old '42 Dodge pick-up the other day that was 'restored' with new paint on the outside and new very nicely finished boards in the bed. No one can see the nice wood grain bed floor looking at the outside of the vehicle...what do you think? An 'old/new' combo? Thanks for the new pictures with text!!
    Last edited by JimsLeadCommander; 05-07-2012, 04:32 PM.
    JimsLeadCommander

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    • #62
      Try these guys. They can remake solid rubber tires: http://www.cantonbandag.com/index.ph...rman%20Cushion and http://www.cantonbandag.com/index.php?page=Home. They are in Canton, OH. Good luck!

      Also see this page for a picture of white tires they have done: http://www.manta.com/cp/mr5wwkz/4ef3...-and-new-tires.
      Last edited by Scott; 05-07-2012, 05:09 PM.
      "Madness...is the exception in individuals, but the rule in groups" - Nietzsche.

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      • #63
        Thanks for the lead Scott. I haven't tried them and will contact to see what they can do.
        They mention sending the wheels to do them and don't mention having embedded wires like the ones used (usually sold by length).
        Shipping of the wheels from eastern WA to MT shop was $540 one way, so I don't want to ship 2 ways back east if the rubber can be installed where it is.
        Black rubber is available from the Wheelwright where it is at a reasonable cost.
        Coker can only do custom order black solid rubber tires made and you have to ship your wheels out to Tennessee. Installed Rubber cost is $1,298 each (plus the shipping).
        I don't want to spend over 12K (more than most of our cars) on getting the wheels/tires done. The wheels still have to be painted and pin striped when they return.
        Hopefully they can provide the needed white rubber to the shop in Montana where it can all be finished and returned.
        We were also hesitant shipping the brake drum hubs and sprockets, if anything happens to them would be irreplaceable, but needed for proper mount on spokes.

        Thanks,
        James
        Bells Studebaker Diner & Museum
        Bellingham, WA.

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        • #64
          Just bumping this thread for a year-end update.

          Merry Christmas!

          Tom.

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          • #65
            To quote the Britcom: "ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS!!!"
            1957 Studebaker Champion 2 door. Staten Island, New York.

            "Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think." -Albert Einstein

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            • #66
              One word, Amazing!
              I remember Curtis Publishing (Saturday Evening Post)
              of Philadelphia had a electric truck they used to take magazines to the Post Office with.
              Don't know if it was a Studebaker or not but, remember the Westinghouse plate near or on the motor.
              Thing was huge, but then I was a small kid.
              sigpic1957 Packard Clipper Country Sedan

              "There's nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer"
              Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle
              "I have a great memory for forgetting things" Number 1 son, Lee Chan

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              • #67
                Another update as we roll into 2013

                The wheels have been at the wheelwright in Montana for some time now and we are anxious to get it rollin.

                The spokes were old:







                Hubs were carefully dismantled to check condition:



                The rear wheel brake drums with sprockets removed:



                The Hubs had to get bearings removed:











                The bearings were disassembled, cleaned, hubs & sprockets sandblasted & painted.
                One rear hub was pretty battered on the back and had to machine the lock ring groove to get it back in. It was so pinched that they weren't sure they were going to get the lock ring out, to clean the bearings.






                Checking out the spokes, most required new ones to be strong and true:





                New Spokes were made and installed:














                After a year of helping us search for correct original white solid rubber, they were able to locate some 2 1/2" white solid rubber!!!
                I couldn't believe it. Back in someones warehouse they found 48' of it, plenty to do our wheels.
                Although black rubber would have worked fine, they didn't have black rubber when this wagon was originally built.

                Once the rims and rubber are finished, the wagon will be a rollin, rollin, keep those wagons rollin!

                James Bell
                Bells Studebaker Diner & Museum
                Bellingham, WA.

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                • #68
                  Well done James and all.
                  John Clements
                  Christchurch, New Zealand

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                  • #69
                    I am absolutely fascinated by the wheel work. I am also pleased to know there is a "wheelwright" business still available and that the manufacturing art is not lost. While in Indiana, I attempted to visit an Amish wagon builder, but when I got to his shop, he was closed.

                    How about the pictures showing the craftsman using those lock ring pliers and a tiny shirt pocket screwdriver while servicing the bearings? It shows the respect, craftsmanship, dedication, and delicacy required to restore this vintage machinery. Once the job is completed, what will be the process for controlling humidity to protect these wheels from the swelling and contracting cycles wood goes through? Also, will the vehicle be supported to keep the rubber tires off the ground to prevent acquiring a "set" (or flat spotting) from setting long periods of time? My '55 truck bounces down the road for a few miles every time I drive it after leaving it setting for a few days. After the tires warm up, they return to their "roundness," but it is a pretty rough ride for the first few miles. On a large heavy vehicle like this, with those solid rubber tires, I'm thinking that "flat-spotting" could be permanent.

                    Great work. Keep the updates coming.
                    John Clary
                    Greer, SC

                    SDC member since 1975

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                    • #70
                      Hats off to all involved with this project. I LOVE your perseverence in searching for white rubber tyres! But the whole thing has been great to watch as it comes along. Where the heck did you scare up that horn and light?
                      No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

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                      • #71
                        Originally posted by Roscomacaw View Post
                        Hats off to all involved with this project. I LOVE your perseverence in searching for white rubber tyres! But the whole thing has been great to watch as it comes along. Where the heck did you scare up that horn and light?
                        It's actually not a horn, but is the other side lamp.

                        They were high-tech, with electric side lamps and an electric bell with foot switch.



                        One of the lamps had a crushed top and were missing the bottom round peice.




                        The top peice has been straightened and brass polished, but they require full dismantle and restoration.






                        Unfortunately the wagon body doesn't look as good having paint cover all that nice woodwork on the body, but were trying to keep original.





                        Originally they came with a rod that acted as a key to shut off power and prevented theft.
                        You would insert it under the seat and switch it on.
                        The final plate will be brass and the key will have a round ball on it.



                        Jerry is a Master Craftsman and he made the entire mechanism from scratch along with the adjustable rachet power shift unit he made.





                        The tiller steering handle will be made out of this brass stock.



                        The frame and mechanical's have more to do, but you can see where the battery trays will be under the frame.






                        James
                        Bells Studebaker Diner & Museum
                        Bellingham, WA.

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                        • #72
                          That is just amazing James, to say Jerry is a Master Craftsman does not begin to describe a man of that talent.
                          It is going to look wonderful and work really well also.
                          StudeRich
                          Second Generation Stude Driver,
                          Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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                          • #73
                            Originally posted by StudeRich View Post
                            That is just amazing James, to say Jerry is a Master Craftsman does not begin to describe a man of that talent.
                            It is going to look wonderful and work really well also.
                            Yes and Stephanie is working on the lamps with Mike Yeakel who has one of the best early model vehicle collections in Bellingham.
                            You may have seen his 2 cylinder Caddilac, or others.
                            David Engle is working on the wheels.

                            James
                            Bells Studebaker Diner & Museum
                            Bellingham, WA.

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                            • #74
                              Not to be picky, but wouldn't the original finish have been gloss black that's smooth with no grain showing at all? I thought a smooth, polished gloss finish was the mark of high standards of workmanship. Just wondering.
                              "Madness...is the exception in individuals, but the rule in groups" - Nietzsche.

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                              • #75
                                Scott,
                                Those beautiful smooth finishes on the electric coaches, coupes and landaus were typical for the electric cars. Even the leather fenders were tight enough to appear as steel. I suspect a delivery wagon did not require that mirror finish.
                                "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

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