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  • Broken down in Battle Mountiain

    I had to think a while before I wrote this post because frankly, I am embarrassed. We are sitting in America's Best Value Inn while STU COOL is sitting patiently on a rack at the local Tire Factory waiting for a new master cylinder. We left Wendover in the wee hours this morning hoping to make Reno before noon and avoid the heat. Coming down some of the steeper passes I noticed that I had less and less braking power. So finally I pulled off in Battle Mountain, and not a moment to soon. While trouble shooting the braking issue we also discovered badly worn front tires, on the inside of the tread. This indicating a serious toe out or negative camber situation. Trouble shooting the brakes we finally figured out that the master cylinder was not releasing when the pedal was lifted, taking it apart and cleaning did not solve it. Not sure why it is happening it is a fairly new unit. No real shame in that, things go wrong some times. But the tire issue I should have noticed much sooner, just by doing a thorough inspection every day, either at the end or before setting out. Had I done that I could have had the alignment issue addressed in South Bend on a convenient schedule instead of the middle of the desert. Not sure what the issue is yet, everything checked out tight in the front end. Will know more after the master cylinder issue is resolved when a new one arrives tomorrow and we can put the car on the alignment rack with its new black wall tires.
    n
    Anyway, I felt I needed to post this because we have been celebrating my fun and successes on this trip, so it's only fair to share the short falls. I hope the lesson I have learned about travelling in an old or modified car will be of benefit to others. I have become so used to driving our modern cars where we usually just gas and go and change the oil once in a while. I should have known better than to act that way with my Studebaker. Actually I am thanking God that we did not have a blow out or total brake failure and injure my wife or me, or damage the car. We are inconvenienced at the moment, and this will be expensive. Shop labor is $78 an hour plus buying tires that I will have to replace later. (Perhaps I will use them on the Conestoga). I did prepare well and even had the front end checked before leaving home. Maybe it was some of the bumps and pot holes in I-80 that knocked it out of whack who knows. So we are hoping to have repairs completed and be on our way to Reno tomorrow.

    Red faced, but lucky Pat

    PS, Just on case you did not already know, the desert is hard on cars. 3 others, modern cars, came in whlie they were workiig on ours
    Last edited by Pat Dilling; 08-08-2012, 03:15 PM.
    Pat Dilling
    Olivehurst, CA
    Custom '53 Starlight aka STU COOL


    LS1 Engine Swap Journal: http://www.hotrodders.com/forum/jour...ournalid=33611

  • #2
    It must have been all of the passes at the drag strip that caused your front end issues!!!!!
    Jamie McLeod
    Hope Mills, NC

    1963 Lark "Ugly Betty"
    1958 Commander "Christine"
    1964 Wagonaire "Louise"
    1955 Commander Sedan
    1964 Champ
    1960 Lark

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    • #3
      this problem has been addressed in some recent mags I received. 2 causes were 1. return spring missing to bring petal back far enough to return fluid to master cylinder. 2, not enough clearance on petal rod to allow master cylinder to back off master cylinder enough for fluid to return. Another thought, If you recently changed master cylinders,could the hole in back not be as deep as the old one? if different,that could change the ability to drain back. Just thought it was items you might check.
      Last edited by rodnutrandy; 08-08-2012, 04:10 PM. Reason: second thought
      Randy Wilkin
      1946 M5 Streetrod
      Hillsboro,Ohio 45133

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      • #4
        Gotta be frustrating. Broken down in the heat and that close to home. And yet you have a great perspective and attitude about it all. Well done.
        KURTRUK
        (read it backwards)




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

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        • #5
          Oh, thank you for posting this. I thought I was the only one who became clinically embarrassed when something goes wrong with one of my Studebakers. Being that I have to look in a mirror to fuss eye-ball to eye-ball with the mechanic...you know...hard not to take it personal. Thing is, you have to make an extra effort to realize that things could go wrong even if you paid the best professional to do your work.

          Also, realize that few people, even with deep pockets, would be brave enough to attempt what you are doing. If that don't work...re-read the history of the Lewis and Clark expedition...you have it made! From where I am sitting, you are having a great adventure. Thanks for the entertainment.
          John Clary
          Greer, SC

          SDC member since 1975

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          • #6
            Where is Battle Mountain? Sorry to hear, but you did have fun. Anyway, I plan on seeing you in Reno. Let keep in touch

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            • #7
              218 miles east of Reno on 80
              70 miles west of Elko Nv
              Mabel 1949 Champion
              Hawk 1957 Silverhawk
              Gus 1958 Transtar
              The Prez 1955 President State
              Blu 1957 Golden Hawk
              Daisy 1954 Regal Commander Starlight Coupe
              Fresno,Ca

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              • #8
                Sorry to here of your troubles Pat.....I too suffered a similar tire ailment. I started to notice a vibration when we approached 65-70 mph...I checked the front tires in Ohio and one was showing some scuffing....checked them again in Penn Yan NY about a 100 miles from home, and gadzooks....the front left had scrubbed almost all the tread off the inside fifth of the tire.

                Through all this the car tracked straight and drove fine at 50-60 mph, we made it home intact.

                It was nice to meet you and see Stu Cool up close....hope you close the deal in Battle Mountain and make it home OK.

                Bill
                Bill Foy
                1000 Islands, Ontario
                1953 Starlight Coupe

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Anne F. Goodman View Post
                  218 miles east of Reno on 80
                  70 miles west of Elko Nv
                  Hey Anne...you warming up Gus for a rescue mission?
                  John Clary
                  Greer, SC

                  SDC member since 1975

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                  • #10
                    In '97 I had some exhaust work done right before the IM and did not realize the pipes were too close to the rear brake line. ( a good shop should always check this) Being picky, I noticed the rear pipes were not 'even' When the 'bent' the pipe forward up by the engine, they somehow leveraged agaist the starter Sol and broke it.

                    My first breakdown was in eastern montana- car wont start, not a solonoid in town at 5 o clock. SBC parts are not all that common as you think! Morning comes, got a call a local who had a USED soloniod . I made a sign and left it by my car with a phone number overnight otherwise a one day wait for the part. Got that fixed and left.

                    Later that day, coming down off the pass I blew a custom 1 way valve on my exhaust and it was pressurizing my engine, lots of oil loss. I fixed it by re routing the hose.

                    Later that evening, coming down off of a large pass into town, brakes fail in a contruction zone, rear hose melted! downshift, rev, downshift, steer around cars, bump a barricade, steer into fresh asphalt, , drop 1st gear, (really hard on a 700 4R!!) skidding, go for park, (also hard on any trans) skidding. Stopped 2 feet from a really pissed flagger lady and a roller machine.

                    After an hour of talking my way out of going to jail. yup State police and sherrif was also there, I got to a shop, go it fixed. Not a drop of DOT 5 in town to fill it up!

                    Ended up missing the show and staying in beatiful eastern Montana for a few days waiting for DOT 5 fluid!.......

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                    • #11
                      At least you didn't run into a pine tree with no one around to blame it on.
                      Neil Thornton

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                      • #12
                        Thanks for the encouragement and shared similar stories. Randy, thanks for the tips, those are llikely candidates for the problem. John, that mechanic in the mirror can be a real dolt some times huh? Roy, I hope to get to HAN Thursday evening. Call me to get your windshield gasket. (530)218-0641. Billy, glad you made it home safely. We were lucky huh? (S) that sounds like a scary ride and the very sort of thing I am thankful I avoided.

                        I'm glad I posted my story
                        Pat Dilling
                        Olivehurst, CA
                        Custom '53 Starlight aka STU COOL


                        LS1 Engine Swap Journal: http://www.hotrodders.com/forum/jour...ournalid=33611

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Don't be embarrassed. Things happen, mechanical things fail. You probably have helped someone in the future that does not have a failure because they looked over the car, before, during and after a lengthy road trip. Thanks for posting and good luck on the last leg of the trip.

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                          • #14
                            Nothing to be emabarrassed about, Pat. We had three Studebakers on our Caravan to South Bend from south easthern North Carolina and each one of them had some sort of mechanical problem on the trip to South Bend. Things happen. And yes it was great to see you put your car on the drap strip knowing you had quite a drive home. My hat is off to you.....
                            Joe Roberts
                            '61 R1 Champ
                            '65 Cruiser
                            Eastern North Carolina Chapter

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                            • #15
                              No need to be embarrassed at all. Mechanical devices break down/wear. It happens. I'm glad you noticed something was wrong and made the wise decision to pull over to get it fixed, instead of trying to brave it through.
                              Dave Nevin
                              Corvallis, OR
                              1953 Champion Deluxe Coupe
                              Stud-e-venture blog

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