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Need Everyones Help!!! 49' Champion with 33,652 origional

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  • Need Everyones Help!!! 49' Champion with 33,652 origional

    I am new here and I joined to see if I can get help from some of you veteran studebaker nuts. This is the story. My fiancee has inherited a 49' champion with 33,652 original miles on it that has been in a barn for 30 years. I was her recent father's show car when he was our age who passed away on February, 2 of this year. I have been placed in charge of getting it fixed up and running again. She wants to get it running and driveable again by our wedding in September because that was what her parents drove the day they were married. We just pulled it out of the barn this past Saturday. We took pictures of us bringing it out and putting it on the trailer too for the first time in 30 years.

    So I am asking for everyone help/advice/experiences/etc to help me with this. I am pretty mechanically inclined but I have never worked on a studebaker before. I know as of now that it still has most of the oil in it. Don't know if it is locked up or not. Brakes are shot body is immaculate! Original wheels and tires. Tires shot though. Money is an issue too so if there is parts I need that you all know of a reasonable deal it would be appreciated. I am willing to talk on the phone to anyone also if that helps I don't care. I just want to get it road worthy by September.

  • #2
    Welcome the the forum, aj. If the rear wheels are stuck, a hub puller would be a big help. There are other methods and you can search the forum. As far as starting the motor, lots of people will chime in and help. I would suggest you disconnect the fuel line and use clean gas from a bottle until you hear it start. There's probably old gas and lots of particulate in the tank. See what's on the dipstick. Parts are available and easy to come by. SDC vendors are the best. Order the shop manual and the parts catalogues. Studebaker International has a great new catalogue. Posting pictures is easy after the first time and you'll be surpirsed what forum member manage to glean from a picture. Nice find.
    Dave Warren (Perry Mason by day, Perry Como by night)


    • #3
      aj86 E-Mail sent


      • #4
        Yes, welcome to the Forum! Don't be shy about asking questions - we're eager to help!

        Clark in San Diego | '63 Standard (F2) "Barney" |


        • #5
          Sounds like you've got two keepers there.
          I'm thinking, two cover girls.
          We expect updates, you know. And pics.


          • #6
            First allow me to welcome you to the SDC Fourm!!! I am in sorta the same baot as you. I recently bought a 1950 StudeBus that has not been on the road in nearly 20 years. One place I would 'surf' for tips on getting your car going is here~


            If that doesn't get you headed in the right direction- don't be shy- this place is the best place to ask for help. These guys either know the answer, or they know where to find it. Some will give you the shirt off their back if it means getting a Stude back on the road.

            Good luck!!!
            StudeDave '57
            US Navy (retired)

            3rd Generation Stude owner/driver
            SDC Member since 1985

            past President
            Whatcom County Chapter SDC
            San Diego Chapter SDC

            past Vice President
            San Diego Chapter SDC
            North Florida Chapter SDC


            • #7
              Welcome! I strongly suggest joining the Studebaker Drivers Club. It can be done from this site.
              From the home page of this site, there is an item on what to do to bring a car back that has been out of use for awhile.
              I told my wife, Cathy, about your story. Her parents' first car was a brand new 1949 Champion. Cathy has fond memories of it.
              Gary L.
              Wappinger, NY

              SDC member since 1968
              Studebaker enthusiast much longer


              • #8
                Welcome to the world of Studebakers! Lots of fun here.

                Two pieces of advice I always give to newbies:

                1. Don't rush into taking it apart. It's a hundred times easier to take something apart than it is to put it back together. many cars have been "lost" by taking them apart, never getting them back together, and then having the whole mess hauled away years later.

                2. research and find out what you have. Don't try to modify anything without knowing what you are doing. the original design worked fine for 60 years or so. if something is broken, fix it, don't modify it.

                Good luck!
                RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

                10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
                4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
                5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon


                • #9
                  First two things I want to address is getting the engine started and fixing the brakes. Is there a place to put a wrench on to see if the engine stuck? And/or should I go ahead and squirt some tranny fluid in the cylinders now and wait a week or two to try turning anything? As for the brakes I know they don't work. The pedal went to the floor and I'm pretty sure the brakes are maybe stuck do to the car is a little hard to move. Any input someone can give me on this? And also if you all want pictures that's ok. I just don't know how to do it. Thanks in advance.

                  Anyone have an idea of the value of this car?


                  • #10
                    I would soak the cylinders down with somthing. Marvel, WD40, or my personal favorite, A 50/50 mix of ATF and Acetone. Then you can put a big socket and pull handle on the front crankshaft bolt and see what happens. I usually take the starter off and pry on the teeth of the flywheel with a big screwdriver. But you must be very careful not to damage the teeth. When you can turn 360 by hand, put the starter back on and spin it with the plugs removed. After it spins freely put some fuel and fire to it and crank it up. Unless the valves are stuck open but they usually free up on there own.

                    My first car was a 48 Champion Convertible. Wish I still had it.
                    Neil Thornton


                    • #11
                      In your first post you say "it was her recent father's show car." Does that mean he took it to car shows as an original car, or does that mean it has been customized? Value very hard to determine (especially without pictures ). I will say you don't have a goldmine there. But the value is what it is. It was a family member's car. That's a really nice thing to have.
                      (read it backwards)

                      Nothing is politically right which is morally wrong. -A. Lincoln


                      • #12
                        The brakes were not a strong point on these cars, but can be made to work adequately if fully renewed. Familiarize yourself with tapered axles, and self-adjusters! Nothing wrong with them. You or a mechanic just may not be familiar with them. Don't modify anything at this point.
                        (read it backwards)

                        Nothing is politically right which is morally wrong. -A. Lincoln


                        • #13
                          Welcome to the forum and the world of Studebaker.

                          Here is my '48...

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                          But, before looked like this

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                          and this...

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                          Sounds to me like you Don't have as far to go as I did. There are three manuals available for your car. Shop, body, and is the best money you'll spend while getting the car going. Also, check in your region, state, and community. There could be some knowledgeable Studebaker folks nearby who would be willing to "eyeball" the car with you and speed you on your way to gaining a comfort level with the peculiarities of the car. Great to have you here. Good luck with it.
                          John Clary
                          Greer, SC

                          SDC member since 1975


                          • #14
                            This article has circulated in Stude circles for years; still the best advice on resurrecting any vehicle.

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


                            • #15
                              Welcome to the forum and the world of Studebakers.
                              Visit the Studebaker Drivers Club and locate some members from the Mid MO. Chapter. I know there are several members in the central part of the state that will be a great source of knowledge, advise and parts.

                              Gary Sanders
                              Nixa, MO