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1955 Studebaker Commander 4dr Ultra Vista Regal

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  • Craig
    Engine in the bay.
    This 259 OEM engine was installed into the bell housing, The 3 speed trans tail was lifted with floor jack. The engine had the exhaust manifolds, distributor as shown, throttle linkage as shown, and gen bracket installed.
    I used a Harbor Freight engine leveler attached to the intake manifold bolts at each corner and I believe this leveler made the whole process of lining up possible.

    Of course the radiator was not in place, rad has just been set in to gauge the fan clearance if I move the fan forward with a spacer to provide room for a supercharger.

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    With a 1" fan spacer, fan blade contacts rad at bottom.
    Last edited by Craig; 01-04-2023, 05:40 PM.

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  • BobPalma
    Gosh, that is a pretty car. Keep up the good work. They're still out there! BP

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  • Craig
    Engine back in today while temps are nice.

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    Did not take any install photos.
    Rented engine hoist. $25
    Harbor freight engine leveler, $44

    Only 5000 pieces left to install exhaust, steering , cooling, electrical, sheet metal
    All just fun waiting to happen.
    Last edited by Craig; 01-03-2023, 04:01 PM.

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  • Craig
    Checked the "engagement " position of the fuel pump lever.
    stuck a small wood wedge to hold at this pump point, easy lever travel to this point.
    The pump actually begins a pump cycle after the lever reaches this level.

    how does this compare with a good pump?

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    Last edited by Craig; 12-06-2022, 12:48 PM.

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  • Craig
    Fuel pump as found on engine -

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    No flange stamping.

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  • Craig
    commented on 's reply
    This maybe another item to suspect as to why this Commander stopped on initial way home....and it seemed like it was out of gas.
    more gas at the time didnt start it, but it started in home shop and ran at idle for 10 minute sessions just fine.

    This fuel pump has an alloy stamped tag with-
    Last edited by Craig; 12-05-2022, 10:40 AM.

  • mbstude
    Craig, as much of a stickler as I know you are - you may want to ditch that new aftermarket fuel pump. The actuating arm on those pumps doesn’t have the correct angle and most of them don’t work when installed. And on the few of them that do work, they’re often missing the oil seal for the diaphragm shaft, and leak oil from the vent hole.

    If you have the OEM Carter pump with the glass bowl, send it to me and I’ll rebuild it, or I can send you a rebuild kit.
    Last edited by mbstude; 12-05-2022, 03:58 AM.

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  • Craig
    Had to back up progress to provide proper torque on cam bolt. Pulled pan, front drive hub and timing cover.
    Torqued cam gear, it was way under spec, maybe half.
    Replaced timing cover, front hub/pulleys and engine pan.
    Filled oil with 5qt jug of 20-50 Valvoline racing $37, only available oil.
    ran oil pump for a total of 15mins with 1/2" shaft and drill.

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    At drill speed easily achieved 60 psi, could hear relief valve bypassing oil/air.
    Dip stick was at oil add line, needs another quart oil.

    Last edited by Craig; 12-04-2022, 12:36 PM.

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  • Craig
    My plan is to move the idler pulley back into proper spacing to match the drive pulleys on the crankshaft. Probably several ways to do this. Right now I am thinking of shaving material off mount arm.

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    These two crank pulleys, I added the forward pulley, are side by side.

    Pretty sure the Sanden compressor can be mounted on the new bracket where ever it needs to go.
    I chose this AC compressor bracket system (Vintage Air) to avoid me becoming a welder.

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    Kit No. - 151590-SSA, STUDEBAKER 259-289 V8 W/O PS COMP BRKT, $209

    Might consider trading places with compressor and gen/alt?
    Last edited by Craig; 11-27-2022, 07:54 AM.

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  • 62champ
    Might not hurt to mount the compressor to see if it is in the same plane as the idler pulley. If so, you might need an additional crank pulley. Friend's original Studebaker with AC and power steering had a three pulley crank.

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  • Craig
    My Sanden compressor bracket arrived today. I quickly open the Vintage Air package and began trial fitting the compressor bracket.
    Also, unfortunately, I did not have record of torqueing the cam bolt to 22 ftlbs, so I had to take pan and timing cover off. Scraping away all the new gaskets and sealer. I don't have a pan set gasket in stock, maybe have timing cover gasket. Cam bolt needed correct torque. Too loose. Got to order pan gasket set!

    Anyway, Vintage air bracket seems to quickly fit 3 points (123) while two (45)are slightly off.
    Probably a matter of filing/grinding holes to get all five to fit.

    I was surprised to see a heater hose cut out.
    New water fitting or possibly roll the compressor slightly with some tabs?

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    I put in the correct spacer at no3 and easily got no4 to line up with no5 fixable.

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    However when I went to check pulley alignment, this system of brackets is too far forward.
    by about one pulley width, maybe 1/2".
    This idler pulley needs to be pulled back to align with the lower added PS pulley.....and to not hit fan blades.

    The four point idler mount lines up well and appears very strong. The lower bolt is out for resizing, it was too long

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    Last edited by Craig; 11-26-2022, 05:03 PM.

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  • Craig
    Made up guide pins for intake manifold by cutting heads off 3/8 x 16tpi bolts .
    Bought pressure gage, grease hose and fitting to connect off ebay. Installed them to see how they fit.
    Making up a 1/2" shaft (13" long with a 0.190" tongue on the end) to turn oil pump with drill .

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    Sorry out of focus , but close

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  • Craig
    commented on 's reply
    Speedo shows less than 12,000 miles. Seller said original. Paint sticker on glove box bottom (two tone green) does not match correct colors. Rust hole thru floor at passenger feet/body mount. Upholstery original and fair. Column shift components at lever totally worn out. Firewall paint is original. I am very happy with it.

  • mbstude
    Craig, that picture of the firewall suggests that you have an exceptionally nice car. Has it been restored, or a low mileage original?

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  • Craig
    Tracing wires on the firewall to establish what terminals go where. I thought I would remember, but been too long.
    Terminals 1 thru 5 need to go correctly.

    Terminals 1 and 2 same wire is coil + to distributor ... badly frayed needs replace.
    Terminal 3 seems to go to coil +...... don't know why.
    Terminal 4 goes to coil -.
    Terminal 5 goes to temp sender back of left head.

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    Last edited by Craig; 11-14-2022, 04:55 PM.

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