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    I am new to this forum and have a few questions...I have a 1955 Studebaker Preident Hardtop. My Dad bought it new in '55 and it has been sitting (mostly inside a garage)since about 1984. He had overhauled the engine in '76 and only put about 7000 miles on it before he died. He painted the engine block Chevy red and the intake blue.. The valve covers and the breather are still gold. My first question to you guys out there that have been through it, is what are the original colors and is there a website somewhere that I can go to that would have pictures of these engines in there original condition? I have just started this project and expect I will run into a few more little things before long... like where is the best place to get parts and stuff like that... Thanks in advance... Rockfoot

    1955 President one owner

  • #2
    Google "studebaker performance engines". There are around 135 pictures of stude engines. There are some excellent pictures showing all the original colors. Tex

    Tex E. Grier

    Comment


    • #3
      Studebaker blue block, gold valve covers and air cleaner. (the correct engine paint is available from Studebaker International.




      JDP/Maryland
      63 R2 SuperHawk (Caesar)
      spent to date $54664,75
      64 R2 GT (Sid)
      spent to date $62,839.60
      63 Lark 2 door
      51 Commander
      39 Coupe express
      39 Coupe express (rod)

      JDP Maryland

      Comment


      • #4
        Flashback and JDP, that's perfect... Thank you very much!! JDP, I hope that I get mine looking half that good. When my dad rebuilt this engine in '77, I remember him complaining about the rings not seating. He said that he was afraid that was going to happen because he used chrome rings instead of steel rings. I am gonna open her up and see what is going on in there. I am not sure that he even mic'ed it as I was off in the Navy when he did it and I know we never owned a set of mic's... I have everything I need, tool-wise, to check this thing out. I will keep this site posted with progress and questions... another question that I keep wondering about is the fuel thing. Gasoline has changed so much since "the day". I was wondering about clearances in the piston to wall and ring end gaps with the higher temps (?). The newer engines have such closer tolerances. I know there is a problem with the valves, although I am not sure what the solution is.

        1955 President one owner

        Comment


        • #5
          Robert,

          Welcome to the Forum.

          If you join SDC, you will receive TURNING WHEELS, the monthly magazine of SDC. It will provide more vendor information than you will ever need.
          "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.
          '33 Rockne 10,
          '51 Commander Starlight,
          '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée",
          '56 Sky Hawk

          Comment


          • #6
            The shop manual specs are fine, just follow them. BTW, the cast rings seat faster and they are all I use unless the block has been bored.

            JDP/Maryland
            63 R2 SuperHawk (Caesar)
            spent to date $54664,75
            64 R2 GT (Sid)
            spent to date $62,839.60
            63 Lark 2 door
            51 Commander
            39 Coupe express
            39 Coupe express (rod)

            JDP Maryland

            Comment


            • #7
              rockne10, thanks for the invitation... my dad was a member..the sticker is still in the window... he had at least 5 studebakers when he died. He told my Mom to sell them when he dies and get a new car so that she wouldn't have to work on them all the time... I think he had a 66 Lark Daytona, 58 Scotsman, a 62 Lark, 55 President, a 58 big blue thing (Lark?)... and a bunch of Corvairs....that was in 84..so the cars were getting some age on them...he kept a wrench in his pocket...
              JDP, Yeah, my Dad told me that he had regretted putting those chrome rings in there. I just got the engine apart and there are not any hone marks (or ridges)in the block and the original paint is still in the inside of the block... I take it that means it was never acid cleaned... I can imagine him wrasseling that thing around on the ground like we used to do....I think I am just gonna hone it, pressure wash it, put new rings and bearings and gaskets. I have a valve grinding machine so I will probably do the heads as well....other than the excessive use of oil, the engine ran real good... one question that I would like to ask is.. is there umbrella seals out there for these valve guides.. and do the valve guides have to be cut to accept them? Thanks again....


              1955 President one owner
              Moncks Corner, SC

              Comment


              • #8
                There is a Ford seal that does not require machining, but the application escapes me at the moment, but I think it's a four or six cylinder.

                JDP/Maryland
                63 R2 SuperHawk (Caesar)
                spent to date $54664,75
                64 R2 GT (Sid)
                spent to date $62,839.60
                63 Lark 2 door
                51 Commander
                39 Coupe express
                39 Coupe express (rod)

                JDP Maryland

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'll get one of the valves out and head down to the Ford place...Once I get the head stripped. I will be able to see how much room I have in there ...under the spring...I think stock seals are just those O Ring looking thingys...

                  1955 President one owner
                  Moncks Corner, SC

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Found it:


                    Use Ford 2.3 liter 4 cyl. engine seals. (2 sets)

                    JDP/Maryland
                    63 R2 SuperHawk (Caesar)
                    spent to date $54664,75
                    64 R2 GT (Sid)
                    spent to date $62,839.60
                    63 Lark 2 door
                    51 Commander
                    39 Coupe express
                    39 Coupe express (rod)

                    JDP Maryland

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The stock seals are actually umbrella type, but the rubber material they are made of is... not so good. There is I think a GM application that uses identical looking seals but made of Viton or other better material, Fairborn Studebaker sells 'em.

                      nate

                      --
                      55 Commander Starlight
                      http://members.cox.net/njnagel
                      --
                      55 Commander Starlight
                      http://members.cox.net/njnagel

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Great... thanks, nate... I've got the engine apart. I started reading the specs and it says to use a scale and drag the piston through the hole with a 1' wide,.002" thick shim between the piston and the cylinder. I have never done that... does anyone know the min.- max. piston to wall clearance? I am sure if I send it down and have it bored, the guy at the shop ain't agonna be dragging no piston with a scale..lol. Right now, I have an average of about .004" (one is about .008"?) on the piston to wall. Big question: can we get first (1st) oversize rings for these old cars?? If so, where. In the meantime I am going to be checking those links you guys provided. Thanks

                        1955 President one owner
                        Moncks Corner, SC

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          +.020
                          +.030
                          +.040
                          +.060
                          and, perhaps others, available from many of our great vendors.
                          "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.
                          '33 Rockne 10,
                          '51 Commander Starlight,
                          '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée",
                          '56 Sky Hawk

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Welcome. Congrats on the car, you'll love it. No other car from 55' compares to the sleek lines on that hardtop. Park next to a Chevy or ford from that era and the cars will get jealous and the owner will try to keep from drooling. Join the SDC and your local chapter, and go to events. I joined but waited to go to events until after I restored my car, what a stupid idea that was. I have learned tons and tons of stuff and it would have helped me get my car done sooner and better if I had only hung out with the stude crowd more.

                            Oh, very important if you don't have these already: Get a shop manual (tells you all you need to know), a chassis parts book (for part break down and numbers), a body parts book ( parts break down and numbers). You can go for originals of these on ebay or get reprints from stude vendors -they're high quality and do just fine.

                            On the engine color schemes. JDP's picture is very good but not quite perfect. The oil filler cap should also be gold -a generic gold flake type paint at any hardware store is surprisingly close to original. The block AND tranny are blue as mentioned -from stude vendors. The oil filter housing color is dependent on model, as some came standard with the oil filter and housing and some were post-production add ons. The models that it came standard on, such as for the 55' hardtop speedster, the housing would be blue like the block -since it was put on at the factory prior to painting. If is was not standard, but rather a dealer or owner add on, then it should be mute orange with black lid, OR sometimes were solid black, as seen in JDP's picture. The powersteering pump, radiator shroud should be painted Gloss black, not flat or matte finish. The powerbrake unit, if you have one, is either bare metal or black.

                            Valve seals, as mentioned, and pistons, etc., are readily available. The valve seals are umbrella and available in the viton material ones as they will last longer. I just did them on my 55', got them from Fairborn studebaker, for $20. They just slip on, no machining of the guides. Fairborn is great for engine and mechanical parts and helps you out lots for advice. Other places also have parts, such as SASCO, Studebaker International, Dave Thiebault, Jon Meyers. That rounds out the major suppliers, and between them they should have anything you'll ever need.

                            On the engine, there are a few differences to be aware of when rebuilding studebaker engines. Do a search on the forum and read some of the older postings. One thing I'd mention up front, is that Studebaker used replaceable valve guides, unlike some of the other major manufacturers. So if you take the heads into a shop, make them aware of it or even just supply a set of guides and do them -not very expensive. What happens is shops will do the usual method of knurling or boring and bronze bushing them and that's not needed, they're replaceable -push out the old and push in a new one; it's easy, cheap and works better than those other methods. Other little things to investigate that I won't elaborate on now since they've been talked about before are: setting of the pinch bolt on the piston pin, the oil pressure valve and spring (the setup is a bit unique to stude, be sure to clean it, check the spring and install correctly), if you clean the block or a shop does be sure the oil plug in the distributer shaft area is reinstalled (often forgotten, make pressure real low and dangerous), check the oil pump for clearances (studes tend to run kinda low on oil pressure and do just fine, but while the engine is apart it helps to make sure the pump is up to specs, most have some wear that needs attention)....I think that's about it for now.

                            Good luck and keep us posted and ask questions if you need help.

                            Best Regards,
                            Eric West
                            "The Speedster Kid"
                            Sunny Northern California
                            Where the roads don't freeze over and the heat doesn't kill you.
                            And an open road is yours to have -only during non-commute rush hours 9am-4pm and 7pm to 7am (Ha, ha, ha)
                            55 Speedster "Lemon/Lime" (Beautiful)
                            55 President State Sedan (Rust
                            Best Regards,
                            Eric West
                            "The Speedster Kid"
                            Sunny Northern California
                            Where the roads don't freeze over and the heat doesn't kill you.
                            And an open road is yours to have -only during non-commute rush hours 9am-4pm and 7pm to 7am (Ha, ha, ha)
                            55 Speedster "Lemon/Lime" (Beautiful)
                            55 President State Sedan (Rusty original, but runs great and reliable)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Well, Thanks for that, studeman55... I remember most of the color scheme for the engine but when my dad rebuilt this thing back in '76, I had just drove in from San Diego in my '70 ElCamino with a brand new 350 that I had just dropped in a month before and he really liked that orange block... sooo, he painted the '55's block Chevy orange... I just wasn't sure if he had painted anything else. Turns out that the rest of the engine is as it is supposed to be.. The oil filter and filler were blue from the day he bought it, as was the lifter valley cover, the timing cover and the intake manifold. The oil filler cap is gold, the air breather and the valve covers are also original gold. I remember the gloss black on the radiator cowling. That was something else other cars didn't have back in the day was a tight cowling over the fan. I remember that being the point to let off the gas; when the fan went into the radiator shroud. Other guys would chain their engines down so they wouldn't torqe over like that but my dad would have killed my brother and me if he knew what we were doing. It also really needed traction bars. It kept you from really showing off!!(and getting in trouble). I am 59 yrs old now and I learned to drive in that car and am really looking forward to building it back into a driver, at least. I will probably join the SDC real soon. Thanks for the encouraging words and information. RB

                              1955 President one owner
                              Moncks Corner, SC

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