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Discouraging 2R5 Revival Attempt

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  • Discouraging 2R5 Revival Attempt

    I have become very annoyed at my attempt to resurrect my 1949 2R5 truck that was last driven in 1988. I started working on it around the middle of 2012. I started at the back, cleaning and painting the underside of the body and taking the rear axle apart.

    I found a listing for the seals from a vendor on this site. I ordered what the vendor told me that I needed, but when they arrived they were the wrong size. The vendor was helpful and pleasant. I returned them, and another set arrived that also did not fit. I returned these also, and in returned I received the ones that did not fit the first time. At that point I realized that I was not going to get useable seals from this vendor, so I just thanked him for his trouble and gave up on that as time and money thrown away. I still have those seals.

    From there I went to my local CarQuest store. It took a couple of tries, but they did find the inner seals. A local valve repair shop made the felt seals for me.
    Adding the cost of the first set of seals, the second inner seals, the second felt seals, and the cost of twice returning seals to the first vendor shows me having spent just under $107 for nothing more than rear axle seals.

    During this time I had the rear cylinders resleeved, and I bought a replacement parking brake cable. Both of these purchases went well, and I am happy with those transactions.

    I then installed the seals and reassembled the axle. When I went to reassemble the brakes I learned that the pads had de-laminated from the brake shoes during the year and a half they sat in a box out of sight. These pads had 1 /4 inch of pad remaining and were smooth and evenly worn. I was not pleased that I now had to spend more money just because the glue got old and failed.

    A vendor that had already provided good parts offered a relining service, so I sent the shoes (just for the rear axle) to them. In return I received shoes with new pads that were only 3/16 inch thick. I have already learned from seeing it on another car that if the brake shoe pads are too small for the drum diameter that you will have mushy brakes, and the pads will crack to look like a dry lake bottom over time, so I questioned why I received 3/16 pads in place of the 1/4 inch pads that I sent. The answer was that their vendor just puts the original thickness on. The parts or the repair manual does show 3/16 for new pads, but that would not be correct for my drums which have been turned to 11.06 inches. They told me their vendor would put 1/4 inch pads on, but I would have to buy them again. I agreed to do that and sent them back. They received them on 1-21. After not being able to get information about the relining I began sending messages on 2-5 asking for them to just be returned as is. On 2-28 they told me that they were ready. I received them yesterday, and I am not happy about it. The bill was for the relining, which I agreed to, but for this case they added $12.5 shipping to and from their vendor then again to me for a total of $37.50 shipping cost. The best part is that now the shoes are lined with 1/8 inch material. Attached are pictures of each of the three thicknesses.
    So, this has become a joke. Adding the cost of the first relining, the second relining, and the cost of twice returning the shoes to the vendor shows me having spent just over $221 for the relining of brake shoes, just for the rear axle, to half the thickness they originally were.

    Adding that $221 to the $107 for the seals and $94 for the wheel cylinder resleeving puts me over $400 just for brakes and seals for the rear axle.

    The vendor should not have replaced 1/4 inch pads with 3/16 inch, and when I agreed to pay them to fix it, they should not have replaced the 3/16 inch pads with 1/8 inch pads. It makes me picture them rolling with laughter and waiting for me to pay them to go even thinner the next time. The vendor who I was speaking to seems to have joined in the fun by tripling their shipping charges. I am not happy about having paid for all of this joking at my expense.

    All this trouble is for a truck that was well cared for when it was being driven and is still a nice truck. When I put it away in 1988 I ran the fuel out of the carburetor, put it on blocks, and put a car cover on it. In 1992 it was moved indoors and stayed on blocks and covered. It will be waxed again when I can roll it outside.

    When I put it away it had maybe 1/2 tank of fuel. At the time I thought that a good thing to keep the tank from rusting, but I now know that with the alcohol fuel the opposite was true. In 2012 it turned out that the tank and the sender were not just leaking but were disintegrated. Bob Peterson graciously provided me with a good replacement. However, with that cost plus the cost of lining this tank before I install it I will have spent another $200 just to accommodate the damage that was caused by our current fuel. And I have not looked for a sender yet.

    It appears that when the brakes were put on (before I bought the truck in 1980) oversized pads were installed that were then cut while on the vehicle to match the diameter of the drum which made a good fit and a very nice braking feel. I have not checked to see if that can be done in my area because it cannot be done until the truck is driveable. I do know that the local brake pad reliner is no longer in business.

    This rate of cost is not sustainable for what really is a toy for me. Being at the end of my line on this issue, and no longer caring, I will use the 1/8 inch pad shoes for the rear and just get on with it. I took the front drums off when I found the rear shoes had delaminated to look for that problem on the front. I thought at first that it might be good to get them relaminated because their bonding is just as old as the bonding that failed in the rear shoes. Now I know that cannot be done properly, and I no longer care. If they do not appear to be delaminated when I get ready to reassemble the front drums, then they will be used as is.

    I recognize that costs must be paid for any good or service What I am having trouble with is doing my part with the paying before the product is shipped, not getting what I paid for, having to pay for each shipping return then, in the end, not getting what I paid for at all. This problem is certainly not limited to fixing cars, but in this case it is preventing a very nice Studebaker from returning to service. What do others do to keep themselves from paying without receiving in return?

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  • #2
    The pads on my shoes are tapered at the end where you are measuring. I cant tell if yours are or not. If you want to have the correct pad installed I can give you contact info for a local company that did mine. Mine are riveted and maybe bonded also, not sure on the bonding but I know he can do bonded shoes. I wont even start into what all we have gone through here to find one or two people that do specialized stuff well. From our experience there are no mechanics left doing business in SC. Literally, every vehicle I have sent to a repair shop in SC came back worse than when it went in. The Honda dealers here even believe a new Honda is supposed to shake like a dog sh**ing BBs until it warms up (its not missing sir, its supposed to do that) and those front axle bearings are supposed to whine and vibrate going down the interstate (Honda builds that into their cars to keep you from going to sleep) . Steve


    • #3
      Just a few thoughts are restoring a vehicle, and you need to expect set-backs, they happen all the time, and are simply part of the game/hobby. When you find points in your build where you are not having fun because the forward steps are out numbered by the backward steps, then put it away for a while. Take a rest, maybe hours, days, weeks...whatever, then get back at it. This winter has been a rough patch between me an my Stude, and I have not even achieved one of my 5 objectives of the winter season...and I figured my goals were very reasonable. The weather has forced me into a two week rest, so now I'm ready mentally to get back after it. I think a lot of your frustration could be minimized by having better communication so that both you and the vendor are crystal clear on what you require, and what you actually receive. Most vendors want you to be satisfied, and the more info you provide, the better the chance they have to get it right. Give them as much detail as you can, inculding measurements when chasing parts, and if you have any doubt or questions, communicate, communicate, commuicate until you are satisfied before you plunk your $ down. Remember that it is not just a hassle for you to get the wrong parts and have to re-ship...I'ts a hassle to the vendor too! I have learned this lesson many times, and to this day still make the same mistake...slow learner I am. As I said, just a couple of observations. Hope the rest of your build goes better. Cheers, junior
      1954 C5 Hamilton car.


      • #4
        Here in the Portland, Oregon area we are fortunate enough to have a shop that still specializes in re-padding brake shoes and I even found a shop in my small town outside of Portland that has a shoe arcing machine, and someone who know how to use it. I have had bad experiences with some shops and I just don't go back to them. I ask for referrals and those usually pan out. As it is, I have identified a number of good shops that specialize in and are good at certain things like suspension, brakes, carburetors, electrical, exhaust, etc.. I have given up on finding one shop that can do it all. That is okay. We just need to find more young people who want to learn how to work on the old cars before they all become museum pieces.
        Hang in there. Keep shopping around. Learn to ask good questions and make sure you can get good service and a refund on parts if things don't work out right. Trust your fellow Studebaker enthusiasts. Many of them have years of experience and have good contacts. Use the forum as you have here to ask for advice. We are dedicated to sticking together and helping each other out.
        Ed Sallia
        Dundee, OR

        Sol Lucet Omnibus


        • #5
          It is always best to have a Studebaker parts manual for your truck and order the parts by part number. I have a bunch of truck seals and when I inventoried them I was amazed by the number of different seals used in trucks. The shop and parts manuals can really help you identify such things as what type of rear end do I have, what type of transmission do I have etc.

          1947 Champion (owned since 1967)
          1961 Hawk 4-speed
          1967 Avanti
          1961 Lark 2 door
          1988 Avanti Convertible

          Member of SDC since 1973


          • #6
            Thanks for the advice all.

            I have had a repair manual for years, and I bought a parts manual after I bought the axle seals. Yes, that parts manual is a big help.

            This is definitely not the first time I have had problems. I am one of those who were just recently mentioned somewhere on this forum who can only redo one car per decade. It works for me. My first one, in the seventies, has given me no trouble since then, and I still enjoy it today. However, I just last summer threw away the interior door weatherstrips that I bought for it back then. They were so much smaller than the originals that they did not come close to making a seal. Etc., etc. through the decades. The difference this time is that money spent for nothing in return is so high on the very first mechanical part I touch. I still have the rest of the truck, but the money for my toys is not as free as the gobbling of it is. I always communicate with vendors by e-mail. I still have the messages, and I have checked. I did not accidentally ask that my shoes with 1/4 inch pads be returned with 1/8 inch pads. I am at a loss as to how to be more clear.

            There are good sides. I received pedal pads from Mr. Studerich. I ordered on a Friday and mailed the check on Monday. I expected him to mail after he received my check, but it turned out that he mailed the day I ordered. Also, Bob Peterson and the parking brake cable vendor, mentioned in my words above have given service that I am very happy with. In addition, my local CarQuest store has been very helpful in finding parts.


            • #7
              I haven't yet run into this with my studebaker, as I haven really dug in, and my car is a builder, not a car that sat and is being resurrected. But my Datsun sat for 13 years, and I've been in the same mess with my datsun. My advice, quit counting, it'll only make you sad. Maybe its time to leave the back end for awhile and get under the hood, for a bit. Look at it this way. You bought the truck 34 years likely for way less than its worth now. So many think back and say "I wish I hadn't sold that old truck" you didn't and saved a ton right there, so your money ahead from someone that wanted to have a studebaker like they had in the eighties, and had to buy one back in todays market, and then still blow 200 dollars on a 50 dollar repair.


              • #8
                Here is an update to the message I started above. There is progress. I started only two years ago, and the decade is not yet half gone, so I still plan to drive the truck this decade. I received a surprise message from the vendor who I asked to reline my brake shoes a few weeks after I had moved on from that problem. She told me that she had demanded, been following up on, then finally received a refund from the one who had made such a joke out of relining my shoes. I now have a store credit on file with that vendor. As I noted above, I have had good service from this vendor in the past, and I expect to continue to use them. My complaint was with the work of the secondary vendor, and I do not know who they are.

                I have the rear brakes assembled, the dual master cylinder setup is installed, and the lines are connected to the back. The front cylinders were re-sleeved and arrived this week, so I have all I need to reinstall the front brakes and lines. I will do that when I get the time. When the wheels are back on, and I have working brakes, I will look at the motor, although I did put a rebuild kit in the fuel pump.

                I started the motor in 2000 and changed the oil. I started it again in 2002, in 2004 and in 2006. It would not start in 2008, and I have not tried since then. Before I try in 2014 I will put in new tune up parts.

                My son got his driver's permit last December, and he is enjoying driving my cars. He is anxious enough to drive this one that he has actually done a little work to it. Here is a picture of the brake line from the master cylinder to the front junction block being installed.

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                • #9
                  Love the grin on that boy's face! He seems to be really looking forward to driving that old truck!
                  It's been three years now with Bess. We started with the transmission (twelve hundred to rebuild and it still leaks) and moved on in a variety of directions. Mr. Thibeault has finished with my carb and I have yet to send payment to him for a job likely better than well done. So... I can sympathise with you somewhat. Although, I seriously doubt my vehicles look anywhere near as nice as yours, judging from that front end over the boy.Click image for larger version

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ID:	1690681 Best of luck with your project. I do hope the rest of it goes smoother.
                  Home of the famous Mr. Ed!
                  K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
                  Ron Smith
                  Where the heck is Fawn Lodge, CA?