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Vent door

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  • Vent door

    I don't know where to search or what to call this vent door on the front fender of my 48, but it is obviously designed to accumulate mud, corrode and rust away, so I don't have to ask if others have the same problem I have. Thus, two questions:

    1. Is this vent door the same one used on the 53 and later cars?

    2. Is there a patch panel made to repair the fender? My door is in perfect condition, but the fender is rusted around the opening as seen in the photo. I can certainly fabricate this if I have to, but would rather not.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Trying to build a 48 Studebaker for the 21st century.
    See more of my projects at

  • #2
    Classic Enterprises reproduces a front fender vent area patch panel @ $95.00 + shipping for 47-52 cars.
    Frank van Doorn
    Omaha, Ne.
    1962 GT Hawk 289 4 speed
    1941 Champion streetrod, R-2 Powered, GM 200-4R trans.
    1952 V-8 232 Commander State "Starliner" hardtop OD


    • #3
      CE has sold a lot of those repair panels; and, there's a reason! I replaced both sides on my '53. And I would go for the assembly @ $195.
      Last edited by rockne10; 06-26-2014, 07:03 PM.
      "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.
      sigpic'33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight, '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée"


      • #4
        I appreciate the info about Classic Enterprises - I ordered the patch panel with the shroud and hinge assembly, cost me $209 including shipping. For that price I did not expect perfection, but I did expect it to be functional. If you look closely at the attached photo, you can see that the hinge bracket is welded off center of the raised area where it is intended to be, and that the spot welder apparently slipped and burned through the hinge bracket, welding it to the hinge rod. We managed to break it loose, but it will not move more than about 5 degrees and is very stiff. I will have to grind off the hinge brackets, clean up the rod , make new brackets and reinstall them. I assume Classic Enterprises would make this good, but I don't have time to delay my project waiting for more parts when I can fix it in a couple of hours work.

        The photos also shows that the shroud is rather poorly formed, not that it affects function. I think if Jeffry Heitz, Heintz, or whatever his name is, had spent that ten seconds checking for free movement of the hinge instead of signing his name, we would both be better off.

        I decided to repair the passenger side hinge instead of buying another patch panel, as it was in much better condition.

        Defective Hinge Assembly.jpgDefective Hinge.jpgPassenger Side Hinge.jpgHinge Repair.jpg
        Trying to build a 48 Studebaker for the 21st century.
        See more of my projects at


        • #5
          Repairing this patch panel assembly, I found that the bracket had slipped out of position as it was being welded, and jammed very tightly so that the hinge could not move.This can be seen in the first photos above. I formed a new bracket which allows free movement.

          A much more important problem was that the patch panel was FLAT, as can be seen in the first photo below. Unfortunately, the vent door and the fender are NOT flat. The patch panel is not very stiff, but the shroud has a flange almost an inch wide, and is very hard to bend. I used my shrinker as shown in the photo, but the aft side has the hinge in the way so it can only be inserted about 1/4 inch into the shrinker jaws. Reforming this to fit the fender was difficult and I ended up with more bondo than I would like to get the right contour.

          I strongly recommend that anyone buying these patch panels for a 47-52 should buy the panel and shroud as separate pieces, form to fit, install the patch panel and then weld in the shroud. Notice that these panels are apparently made to fit all models, and the Champion has short fenders, requiring the corner to be trimmed off as shown.
          Vent patch panel - as received.jpgVent door shroud - shrinker.jpgPatch panel after reforming.jpgPatch panel installed.jpgPatch panel - back side welds.jpg
          Last edited by 48skyliner; 07-27-2014, 02:56 AM.
          Trying to build a 48 Studebaker for the 21st century.
          See more of my projects at