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new to me '52 Commander

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  • Other: new to me '52 Commander

    I just got this running, barn find '52 Commander four door sedan. It is a one family owned car with 98,000 miles on the odo. The brakes are all new, as is the battery. The starter needs rebuilding and the fuel pump has a slight leak. Otherwise all seems good, mechanically. I plan on going through it to make sure it is safe and dependable and drive it!
    The air cleaner and the wheel covers are in the trunk. The owners manual is in the glove box. And yes, I know, someone has "customized" it by swapping the front bumper inner and outer guards around. I will swap them back like they belong.
    A couple of the wheels I got are missing the clips that the hubcaps pop onto. Does anybody offer the clips?
    Attached Files
    Last edited by thom; 04-01-2019, 09:54 PM.
    thom

  • #2
    It also has a Champion Hood Ornament and or Hood.

    I know it is impossible IF what you were told is true, BUT... I would still check the Car Serial Number and Body Tag Number to be sure it left the Factory as a "Commander V8".

    Hub Cap Clips and all Studebaker Parts are at: http://studebakervendors.com
    StudeRich
    Second Generation Stude Driver,
    Proud '54 Starliner Owner

    Comment


    • #3
      Here's the firewall tag. 3H says Commander, right? I can see no evidence of it ever having been monkeyed with and the hood doesn't appear to have ever been off the car so maybe just the hood ornament was changed. I guess whoever thought the front bumper guards looked better rearranged also liked Champion hood ornaments better than Commander hood ornaments. I'm just glad they didn't like Buick fender port-holes and Cadillac tail fins! I wish they had wanted some chrome valve covers though.
      Thanks for the sharp eyed observance StudeRich. That's what I like about this forum.
      Attached Files
      thom

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      • #4
        I suspect some people swapped the guards to make them work better for pushing other cars. Back when most cars had manual transmissions, it was not uncommon to see someone push starting a neighbors car that wouldn't start.
        "In the heart of Arkansas."
        Searcy, Arkansas
        1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
        1952 2R pickup

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        • #5
          Yeah, and these old Studebakers with automatics could be push started too due to the trans having a rear pump.
          thom

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          • #6
            Nice! '52's are my favorite year as my first car was my Grandma's '52 Champion with automatic! Yours might've had the hood replaced due to damage sometime in it's past.

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            • #7
              I have only had my car home since Monday evening, so two days now, and we were gone most of the day on Tuesday but I cranked it and ran it a little today. It seems to run great and shows 40 # of oil pressure with little or no engine noise. I found a few more small issues to deal with but I expected to as the car has been in a barn since 1994. The carb leaks, as does the water pump and the fuel pump. I knew the fuel pump leaked because the previous owner had installed a 6 volt electric pump, wired directly to the battery, bypassing the original, but leaving it in place. The previous owner, that bought it in 2018 and traded it to me on Monday had also rebuilt the brake system and had installed a new 6 volt battery, coil, starter solenoid, points, condenser, rotor, cap, spark plugs, and plug wires along with a fresh oil change. However, the owner prior to him, the original owner, has put in a 12 volt generator and regulator as well as some voltage reducers mounted in a custom bracket on the firewall. I have not yet checked the headlights or any other bulbs to see if they are 12 volt. The owner I got it from has disconnected the wires from the ignition and starter switch in the dash and has been "jumping" at the solenoid. I don't know why he put the 6 volt battery in it unless he did not realize the generator was a 12 volt one. I did not either until I looked closely at the tag. I want to get the leaking issues dealt with and get it cranking from inside again. I probably will install an alternator and a 12 volt battery.
              thom

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              • #8
                I have a 12v negative ground, 65 amp alternator with output beginning at 300 rpm. Delco housing with custom innards. The previous owner of my 51 Landcruiser converted to 12v shortly before I bought it. I’m going back to the stock 6V system, like my cars as built. $150 for the alternator, sells for $220 from the builder.

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                • #9
                  I found that there was not a problem with the carb as I first thought, going by what the previous owner said. I should have known not to pay much attention to his opinion, I guess. The carb was overflowing but it seems the electric fuel pump was making more pressure than the float/needle & seat could handle. I removed the electric pump, accidently crossing the wires in the process, and burnt it up. After I reconnected the original mechanical pump the engine ran great with no leakage at the carb but it poured gas at the fuel pump. I took the fuel pump off and took it apart and found the diaphram to be shot. It disentigrated completely when I took it apart so I will not be running it again until I get another mechanical fuel pump.
                  thom

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by thom View Post
                    I found that there was not a problem with the carb as I first thought, going by what the previous owner said. I should have known not to pay much attention to his opinion, I guess. The carb was overflowing but it seems the electric fuel pump was making more pressure than the float/needle & seat could handle. I removed the electric pump, accidently crossing the wires in the process, and burnt it up. After I reconnected the original mechanical pump the engine ran great with no leakage at the carb but it poured gas at the fuel pump. I took the fuel pump off and took it apart and found the diaphram to be shot. It disentigrated completely when I took it apart so I will not be running it again until I get another mechanical fuel pump.
                    I suggest rebuilding the pump that you have with new parts.
                    Gary L.
                    Wappinger, NY

                    SDC member since 1968
                    Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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                    • #11
                      I am now looking for the parts to rebuild it. I plan to attend the Autofair at the Charlotte Motor Speedway tomorrow. Maybe I can pick up one there. I also hope to find a water pump and a better air cleaner.
                      There are several other things I would like to have, like better headlight bezels, front tag bracket & '52 NC tag, some escutcheons that go behind the door and window handles, one door jamb switch, the pull straps over the rear doors (if it should have them), the supplement for the owners manual covering the automatic transmission, a new hood release handle & cable, a chrome gas door guard, the correct wheel covers, and maybe some other things that might catch my eye.
                      thom

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                      • #12
                        No luck finding anything at the swap meet today. I was unable to cover the whole thing and the part I did cover provided none of the things I needed. I did find out that there are two '52 Commander sedan parts cars here close by that I can probably get parts from though.
                        thom

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by thom View Post
                          I am now looking for the parts to rebuild it.
                          Those parts are just a phone call or email away if you have access to the vendor lists provided by the Studebaker Drivers Club.
                          "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

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