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  • Air Dams

    I have put this off for a long time, because my car does not run, "hot." But... it does... at times... run warmer than I like.

    I have a Rodney Red aluminum radiator, custom built for the car, backed up by a Vintage Air electric, thermostatically controlled, "Monster" Fan.

    Over the years, I have had folks tell me that adding an air dam below the lower air intake helps to push hot air out of the engine compartment.

    Some have 'splained to me that, "It's not a matter of getting cool air into the engine compartment of a Studebaker C or K, but rather, the real problem is to get the hot air out of the engine compartment."

    These same folks have gone on to 'splain to me that this can be accomplished by simply adding an air dam below the already existing (what appears (to me) to be a quite capable air dam) below the front bumper.

    I am not yet convinced, or I would have done so 10 or more years ago.

    I'm now retired, bored, and willing to fart around with the concept of adding an air dam to the car, if enough folks can convince me it would lower the operating temperature of my car on a hot August day, while cruising the Interstate at 75mph, with the AC on full blast.

    If you think an air dam would help, what make & model of car do you think I should secure said air dam from?

    Thank you for your support. <G>
    Last edited by Studedude; 08-25-2013, 12:03 AM.
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    Dave Lester

  • #2
    I know You're talking C/K here, but thought I'd mention that I installed an air dam on My '83 Avanti this summer. This car never ran hot, but I figured it couldn't hurt. Anyway, the air dam did not effect the engine temp one way or the other, but, as I painted it the body color, (white) I think that it looks kind of nice!

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Studedude
      Boy, I sure hope this doesn't lead to some sort of an argument!
      Only would if I had 'blacked it out' which, of course, would be INCORRECT!!!!!!

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      • #4
        Originally posted by SN-60 View Post
        Only would if I had 'blacked it out' which, of course, would be INCORRECT!!!!!!
        I understand where you are coming from... but, I'm perfectly content with the appearance of my car... I don't see an air dam being an enhancement in that regard... for me, on my car... I don't have an opinion regarding how what you did influences you, or your car.

        And, I certainly don't see an advantage in hanging something even lower to the ground than what already exists, unless there is a definite off-setting benefit.

        (I already have to cautiously approach high curbs, parking blocks, etc.)

        "Incorrect" is an overused, abused term. If it's your car, and you like it, it's correct. Period. No debate. Period. End of discussion.

        Hope you can leave it at that, but bet ya can't.
        Last edited by Studedude; 08-25-2013, 12:33 AM.
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        Dave Lester

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Studedude View Post
          I understand where you are coming from... but, I'm perfectly content with the appearance of my car... I don't see an air dam being an enhancement in that regard.

          And, I certainly don't see an advantage in hanging something even lower to the ground than what already exists, unless there is a definite off-setting benefit.

          (I already have to cautiously approach high curbs, parking blocks, etc.)

          "Incorrect" is an overused term. If it's your car, and you like it, it's correct. Period. No debate. Period. End of discussion.
          I would not add one to a C/K either...just don't think it would look right. Avanti II's are a different story, as the 'dam' tends to cover up a bit of the front suspension.

          Oh!....on the 'INCORRECT'... hope You'd understand that I wrote that in jest, as a response to Your (what I thought was amusing) post!--SN-60

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          • #6
            Originally posted by SN-60 View Post
            Oh!....on the 'INCORRECT'... hope You'd understand that I wrote that in jest, as a response to Your (what I thought was amusing) post!--SN-60
            I didn't understand that at first, but now that I do understand, I can only hope that you understand my response to your response.

            I'll forgive you, if you'll forgive me.

            Aw, shucks, I forgive ya, anyway!

            It's bed time for Bonzo.

            See ya tomorrow.
            Last edited by Studedude; 08-25-2013, 12:44 AM.
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            Dave Lester

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Studedude View Post
              I didn't understand that, but now that I do, I hope you understand my response to your response.

              I'll forgive you, if you'll forgive me.

              It's bed time for Bonzo.

              See ya tomorrow.
              There's nothing to forgive.........and this 'bonzo' is now heading for dreamland also!! See You later.

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              • #8
                It seems to me that the C/K models have plenty of air entering the engine compartment, but as you said above, the air needs an exit strategy. The inner fenders can be louvered to allow the air to move through the engine compartment rather nicely. I remember a friend who had a Sunbeam Tiger which was modified for more power which had trouble running hot. He installed venting through the inner fenders and that solved his problem rather well. I can't imagine it not working as well on these cars.
                sals54

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                • #9
                  Over in my Sunbeam Tiger world there are issues about getting the heat out of the engine compartment too. From the way it has been explained to me the air dam causes a negative pressure under the car. The net effect of the negative pressure is that it causes the air to be drawn out from the engine compartment.

                  One of the Tiger owners created a simple air dam out of garden equipment. He took black, vinyl garden edging and put a slit down the top of the round tubular section. This allowed him to slide the edging over the sway bar. He then cut a few appropriately space slots just below where the tubular section meets the flat vinyl. He used a few hose clamps through these slots (and around the slit tubular section) to secure the edging to the sway bar. the Tiger sway bar mounts very much like the Studebaker (at least my '64 Daytona). Removing a section of the tubular area allows it to bend and follow the bar. If I can find a picture I'll post it later.

                  Tom
                  '64 Lark Type, powered by '85 Corvette L-98 (carburetor), 700R4, - CASO to the Max.

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                  • #10
                    It's worth a shot, with a but.....

                    One of the reasons it's so effective on the Avanti, is the front clip of the Avanti is all one piece, and made from fiberglass. The engine bay is pretty tight, and doesn't allow for a whole lot of air to come in, except from the radiator through the scoop, or under the car. The only pickup is the large air scoop under the bumper, to which an air dam can be installed. The profile on the front of the car, the restricted area in the engine bay, in conjunction with the air dam lets a partial vacuum to be generated when the car is at speed. The C/K's are built like this. They're assembled in typical passenger automobile production methods, where the fenders, front grill, and basically the front of the car, are bolted together like a drafty, sheetmetal doghouse. There is a lip under there, which sucks air up into the lower part of the radiator. Therefore, I don't know how effective a small air dam like what's installed on the Avanti would work, but if someone's up for doing some messing around, an extended lip off of the pickup underneath, that extends out to, or past the bumpers, might be interesting. What's even more interesting is to do what many racecar builders might do; construct a lip that extends out from the pickup, and only sits an inch off of the pavement, which might provide some of the same effects that the Saturn air dam might provide.

                    Meanwhile, I myself have visions of a fiberglass cowl induction hood and ram air cone filter pickups for my C/K, but we're still in the design phase for that one!!
                    1964 Studebaker Commander R2 clone
                    1963 Studebaker Daytona Hardtop with no engine or transmission
                    1950 Studebaker 2R5 w/170 six cylinder and 3spd OD
                    1955 Studebaker Commander Hardtop w/289 and 3spd OD and Megasquirt port fuel injection(among other things)

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                    • #11
                      It's all pretty easy: hot air raises & wanna go upwards, so LET IT!

                      On my -62 Fury I drilled (if I remember right) 5 1inc holes/side in the upper/rear corners of the hood & that sure made loads of difference & not only for cooling; especially in higher speeds when at least some air went out there instead of under the car & that meant less lift = better grip.

                      If you look at real sport-cars already in the 50's (& maby earlier) they all had air outlets behind the front wheels, so why can that be...?

                      I'm gonna open my front fenders in the top rear corners (they're so awfully rusty anyway) & make outlets there with tunnels so it doesn't go back down & close of under the radiator to the balk to avoid extra lifting air coming in.
                      & if that doesn't make much difference I'll make some more...

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                      • #12
                        Dave

                        I'm going to build a hood for the Avanti with vents and Ram Air setup like PBR2 suggests. I'm not quite sure what it will look like yet but I have the spare hood.

                        Why not get a spare hood and noodle around with a design. There are a lot of aftermarket scoops that could be bonded into the hood and if you don't like them just put the old hood back on. The late 60's and early 70's Mopars had some nice air vent setups or you can pick from this assemblage. The raised center portion really gives a design start to add to just like the Mopars. https://www.google.com/search?q=vent...h=604#imgdii=_

                        Get movin' man there's time awastin' 'cause you'll end up with a neat looking, unique hood that will work and look great.

                        Bob
                        Last edited by sweetolbob; 08-25-2013, 08:42 AM.
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                        • #13
                          Click image for larger version

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ID:	1683361 my Avanti had these vents when i got her. i also added a Saturn SC-2 (i think) air dam, and a 160 thermostat. no overheating at speed or in stop & go traffic.
                          Kerry. SDC Member #A012596W. ENCSDC member.

                          '51 Champion Business Coupe - (Tom's Car). Purchased 11/2012.

                          '40 Champion. sold 10/11. '63 Avanti R-1384. sold 12/10.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Corvanti View Post
                            [ATTACH=CONFIG]26885[/ATTACH] my Avanti had these vents when i got her. i also added a Saturn SC-2 (i think) air dam, and a 160 thermostat. no overheating at speed or in stop & go traffic.
                            The hood treatment on Your Avanti is interesting, and no doubt effective in getting rid of some of that engine compartment heat.....but You know something? (You may not agree with this!) I've NEVER seen an Avanti with a modified/scooped hood that has 'complemented' the design of the stock hood. That may be because of the raised hood area being 'off center', and a centered scoop just doesn't fit in right....But I feel that with an Avanti hood...if at all possible....LEAVE IT ALONE!!!!!!

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                            • #15
                              Since getting the hot air OUT is the name of the game, why not try a little custom trick, Dave? Remove Sheba's stock hood hinges, and make up some mechanized devices that can act as ordinary hinges, but, when you flip a switch, a motor, like on a window lift, jacks up the rear of the hood about an inch. An inch gap right across the rear of the hood would let a lot of air escape.

                              I know this would be a darn tricky thing to design and build. I also suspect an air dam, and vents in the inner fenders would help, as would a louvered hood.
                              Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

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