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1963 Lark Wagonaire auto shop project

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  • #76
    Wonderful endeavor!

    As a former teacher, I am happy to hear of your project!...we need more of this kind of teaching/learning...you are commended for your time and effort--a very good thing!.....Marie

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    • #77
      Session 13

      We had our 13th class on March 18th.

      The whole class was in attendance this week (somewhat rare) so we started with a class picture.

      I thought I've seen pictures of these open-roof wagons hauling big loads in the back, but I'm here to tell you that four teenage boys pretty well bottomed out the suspension.



      This week we focussed on the interior - sanding rust off the ceiling, installing the seats, putting in seat belts, cleaning up the rear cargo area.

      I set Kris loose with the sander and had him clean up the ceiling. It was a dirty job, but he stuck with it and then took the sander to the cargo area when he was done.



      Kris was making a lot of dust, so we were all wearing masks... Here's Ransom doing the easy side of the rear seat belts. Ian is underneath the car turning the wrench.


      The seat frame and hinges are all cleaned up now and installed. We'll probably take some sandpaper to the wood on the seats and then put some kind of finish on it. Somehow we ended up with a brown rear seat and a green front seat (that matches the rest of the interior).


      It's not Studebaker related, but Ransom drove his grandpa's 48 Ford to class to show it off. It's really a nice truck.

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      • #78
        Originally posted by olivepick View Post
        We had our 13th class on March 18th.

        The whole class was in attendance this week (somewhat rare) so we started with a class picture.

        I thought I've seen pictures of these open-roof wagons hauling big loads in the back, but I'm here to tell you that four teenage boys pretty well bottomed out the suspension.

        ]
        I installed the factory optional rear air shocks on my 1963 Wagonaire. They helped a lot with both load carrying and handling.
        Gary L.
        Wappinger, NY

        SDC member since 1968
        Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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        • #79
          Coming along nicely. Your back seat looks fairly close to the one in the 60 Longroof in our Garage. Keep up the good work!
          1960 Lark VIII Regal Wagon

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          • #80
            Session 14

            This week we had class on Saturday so that we could take the Stude to an exhaust shop near by that is willing to let the whole class into the shop.

            The car already had a Y pipe on it, so we just ran a single pipe back. I know some will say we should have put on dual exhaust, but we're on a tight budget.





            With the car up on the rack it was obvious that the front end alignment was WAY off, so I did a quick adjustment of the toe in. We still need to adjust the camber as the tires are leaned in.

            Someone pointed out that lowering these cars can be a bit hazardous, and indeed we are getting a little tire rub on the fender if the wheels are turned when you come to a stop.

            Now we're off for a couple weeks for spring break, then back at it with only four more classes left.

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            • #81
              your tire slant and you rubbing is likely due to weak front springs...

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              • #82
                Session 15

                I've had a lot of irons in the fire lately and have been slacking on my updates...

                Our 15th class session was back on April 22nd, and we only had two students. We spent the bulk of the time cleaning up the body. We tried to remove the roof so we could wash it down with CLR, but it was being stubborn so we decided to wash it in place.

                I've seen other build threads where guys wash down rusty old cars with CLR and then clear coat them, so I was excited to try in on our car. Ken and Ian used Scotchbrite pads and then upgraded to steal wool for the really tough stuff.

                You can see the puddle of rust in the driveway.



                Unfortunately, the roof seals are not good...

                After it was clean, Ransom put in some time with the buffer and Ian worked on cleaning the surface rust off the rear quarter so we could shoot it with some primer. We also welded in a patch on the driver's door sill that we never got around to doing when we patched the floor.

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                • #83
                  Session 16

                  Our 16th class session was on June 6th and we were lucky enough to have a Studebaker collector that I know from church come to visit and teach a little.

                  We mostly worked on the interior today. Ian reinstalled all the trim in the rear cargo area while Kris masked off the ceiling so we could paint it.



                  Our original spare tire cover had long since rotted away, so Ransom and Zach got to do a little wood working.



                  Ben also gave a lesson on how carburators work and helped us diagnose some carb issues with our car.

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                  • #84
                    Thanks for the updates.
                    With the name of Ransom, he should be working on Oldsmobiles <G>.
                    Gary L.
                    Wappinger, NY

                    SDC member since 1968
                    Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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                    • #85
                      Here's a shot of my '63 Wagonaire. The upolstery was originally vinyl, but the original owner in CA replaced it with this cloth because using it as a daily driver he said the vinyl was too hot.

                      As a retired teacher, I think this project you are doing is great and I applaud you for doing so. I've been following your progress since the beginning and am impressed.

                      Mine is a 259 V-8, 3speed O/D, AC, no PS or PB. It was restored by Westmoreland Studebaker in Blairsville, PA.


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                      • #86
                        Dan, the work your class is doing on this car is just magnificent, as is also your sharing this story with us. I read this thread every time a new post comes up, and have kept up with it from the first.

                        Congratulations on such a great job!

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                        • #87
                          Originally posted by JWW View Post
                          It was restored by Westmoreland Studebaker in Blairsville, PA.
                          Ah, Blairsville!

                          That's where Vale Tech used to be. They used to have a pretty intensive Auto Mechanics/Auto Body school there. One could enroll for 7 months to be trained as a mechanic or a body guy or enroll for 14 months and get trained in both skills. In the summer of 1969 I'd just graduated from a two year auto mechanics training program in New York and had enrolled at Vale for the fall of 1969 but never attended. I was straight out of high school, in love with my high school sweetheart, and just old enough that my parents could no longer tell me what to do. Like an idiot, I got married instead. (As Bugs Bunny would say, "Whut a maroon!") That fall, I went instead up to SUNY at Delhi and enrolled in a mechanics program up there. That was that program's first year and they didn't even have the shop equipped yet. We students spent most of our time doing what a bunch of state employees should have done before we got there - setting up the shop and equipment, instead of learning anything. I dropped out a month later and went to work for an Oldsmobile dealer.

                          That was the first of three marriages. The third stuck - been together 34 years. I sometimes wonder what I'd be doing today if I hadn't gotten married and had gone on to attend Vale Tech.

                          olivepick,

                          What you are doing is great. I'm also in the Seattle area (Kenmore). The Seattle area is a great place to help kids develop their interests in automobiles. There is so much high tech around here that most of the focus seems to be on moving on to computer or medical technologies and the trades aren't really attracting many students here. It's too bad 'cuz there is a lot of car activity going on around here.

                          I was a professional mechanic from 69 till 75 and then I went into the military for nearly 21 years. Back in the 70's I was a pretty darned good mechanic; but while I was in the miltary automotive technology passed me by and today I'm not real familiar or comfortable with all of the modern computer-controlled doodads in newer cars. I've always been good at the mechanical end of it though and as a retired Master Sergeant I'm skilled at teaching young adults. If I can help in any way, give a holler.
                          Mike O'Handley, Cat Herder Third Class
                          Kenmore, Washington
                          hausdok@msn.com

                          '58 Packard Hawk
                          '05 Subaru Baja Turbo
                          '71 Toyota Crown Coupe
                          '69 Pontiac Firebird
                          (What is it with me and discontinued/orphan cars?)

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                          • #88
                            Originally posted by hausdok View Post
                            Ah, Blairsville!

                            That's where Vale Tech used to be.
                            Mike,

                            When Craig was doing the body-off of my Daytona convertible back about 1990, he was approached by the school to take a student for co-op. I think it was Vale, but could have been the HS. Craig was hesitant because these were customers' cars with high expectations in the quality of the work. He agreed to meet with the student. Liking him he said ok, and Greg did a lot of work on my conv. Following graduation Craig hired him and he still works for him.

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                            • #89
                              Fascinating thread. These young men are learning skills that will pay lifetime dividends. Cheers to you and to them.
                              One little comment ( forgive me - I'm an employer ); the lack of eye protection in some of the photos gives me the shivers. Sitting in a hospital emergency room waiting to get a tiny piece of metal out of an eye is a tough way to learn a lesson. I know they can be a nuisance but nowhere near the nuisance of a permanent loss of sight. All the injuries I've seen over 45 years around a workplace using tools have one thing in common - nobody expected it. Best of luck with the ongoing project.

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                              • #90
                                Originally posted by hausdok View Post
                                Ah, Blairsville! That's where Vale Tech used to be.
                                Still there; now part of Wyoming Tech.
                                "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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