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Craigs 59 Lark Build

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  • Craigs 59 Lark Build

    Seeing as how so many others have done an ongoing list of updates on their build, I have been inspired to do the same. So here goes.
    I have a 59 Lark 2 door Hardtop. It came to me with a Chevy 350/350 setup.
    The paint is interesting, it has had many colors:
    1. Tahitian Coral
    2. Metallic flake bronze
    3. White
    4. White top, blue below the beltline
    The interior was redone in a denim fabric sometime in the 90's I believe. Its falling apart now.

    It was running when I got it, and my plan is to get it mechanically sound, upgrade some things, and then give it a decent paint job. Im not following any sort of logical process for what I am working on next, other than what makes sense in my mind.

    Here is what it looked like when I got it, to set the baseline.

    Click image for larger version

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  • #2
    First thing that needed fixing: the steering and suspension. Steering was really loose, and a lot of the bushings had disintegrated.
    I had a shop take care of that, as that was beyond my skill level.
    http://www.studebakerparts.com
    was instrumental in providing the parts for this.
    I also got new front springs from Eaton Springs https://www.eatondetroitspring.com/

    I dont have pictures from this, as I didnt to do the work.
    After these were installed, steering was much better. Not the best in the world, but I didnt feel like it was drifting all over the place, thats for sure.

    Comment


    • #3
      That is a Good start! it appears that someone Reupholstered the Interior in Blue to go with the Blue Paint.
      Probably better than the Tan, maybe Cloth Interior that went with the Tahiti Coral Paint.
      StudeRich
      Second Generation Stude Driver,
      Proud '54 Starliner Owner

      Comment


      • #4
        Next, the windows and doors. Two of the window cranks were skipping, so I took them out. I noticed how much gunk was in the bottom of the doors and window cavities for the rear windows, so I took all the mechanisms out for all 4 windows and used a vacuum, wire brush, cleaners, and lots of banged up elbows to get those cleaned up real good. I made sure the drain holes were cleared (stick a hacksaw blade in there, its the perfect size to clear anything left in there). This was also a chance to assess how rusty the bottoms of the doors and back windows were from the inside, and see if any of those were completely eaten away. Luckily, they were not falling apart. There is definitely some rust eating through, but its not as bad as I was expecting. So I took some POR15 to the bottoms of the doors and the rear window areas and sealed them all up. Then, I got some 3M cavity sealant and sprayed everything in there. The spray can comes with some really long straws to get deep into crevices. Its kind of a waxy sealant, and seemed to work well. We'll see if things stay that way.

        I replaced 2 of the cranks that were no good, and cleaned up the other ones and put it all back together.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by StudeRich View Post
          That is a Good start! it appears that someone Reupholstered the Interior in Blue to go with the Blue Paint.
          Probably better than the Tan, maybe Cloth Interior that went with the Tahiti Coral Paint.
          Yeah, its pretty cool. If it wasnt falling apart from sun damage.....

          Comment


          • #6
            I was having a problem with overheating, so I took my radiator to a shop to have it re-cored. That didnt seem to help much. Since this is a Chevy engine , the fan doesnt sit as close to the radiator as it probably should. So I bought an aluminum cookie sheet, some aluminum angle metal, and made a fan shroud. It works great, and I havent had a problem with overheating in Los Angeles freeway traffic in the summer since...

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by creegster View Post
              I was having a problem with overheating, so I took my radiator to a shop to have it re-cored. That didnt seem to help much. Since this is a Chevy engine , the fan doesnt sit as close to the radiator as it probably should. So I bought an aluminum cookie sheet, some aluminum angle metal, and made a fan shroud. It works great, and I havent had a problem with overheating in Los Angeles freeway traffic in the summer since...
              Looks like a good job, and well thought out. You have done basically what Studebaker did on the R-powered Larks and Lark-types in 1963 & 64. Their fan shroud was steel. The last I knew Dave Thibeault had some of those re-manufactured and was selling them. If anyone wants pix of those factory fan shrouds let me know.
              --Dwight

              Comment


              • #8
                It helps to know which Chevy 350" you have. They were used for many years in a variety of vehicles. The tune-up specs vary, especially after 1972, as the OEMs were trying to cheap out on meeting emissions regs. I've cured many SBC overheating problems by converting the distributor and carburetor back to 1970 specs.

                jack vines
                PackardV8

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by PackardV8 View Post
                  It helps to know which Chevy 350" you have. They were used for many years in a variety of vehicles. The tune-up specs vary, especially after 1972, as the OEMs were trying to cheap out on meeting emissions regs. I've cured many SBC overheating problems by converting the distributor and carburetor back to 1970 specs.

                  jack vines
                  Yep, an Edelbrock and a good dizzy will fix quite a bit.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by creegster View Post
                    Next, the windows and doors. Two of the window cranks were skipping, so I took them out. I noticed how much gunk was in the bottom of the doors and window cavities for the rear windows, so I took all the mechanisms out for all 4 windows and used a vacuum, wire brush, cleaners, and lots of banged up elbows to get those cleaned up real good. I made sure the drain holes were cleared (stick a hacksaw blade in there, its the perfect size to clear anything left in there). This was also a chance to assess how rusty the bottoms of the doors and back windows were from the inside, and see if any of those were completely eaten away. Luckily, they were not falling apart. There is definitely some rust eating through, but its not as bad as I was expecting. So I took some POR15 to the bottoms of the doors and the rear window areas and sealed them all up. Then, I got some 3M cavity sealant and sprayed everything in there. The spray can comes with some really long straws to get deep into crevices. Its kind of a waxy sealant, and seemed to work well. We'll see if things stay that way.

                    I replaced 2 of the cranks that were no good, and cleaned up the other ones and put it all back together.
                    Those Door should have drain holes in the bottom, don't block them, or it will hold water.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Corbinstein0 View Post

                      Those Door should have drain holes in the bottom, don't block them, or it will hold water.
                      Definitely: I made sure that those holes were still open after all the sealing and painting I did. :-)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Corbinstein0 View Post

                        Yep, an Edelbrock and a good dizzy will fix quite a bit.
                        It has an Edelbrock 650. Im not sure which 350 it is, or which distributor it has. Another thing to add to the list!

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