Well, my son and I started prepping the Lark for engine removal yesterday by sucking the oil out of its crankcase. I've always hated changing oil because of the mess, but I got something cool that makes it all easy: the Pela Oil Extractor. This little puppy is a hand-pumped vacuum with a 6-foot tube that you stick down your dipstick tube. Pump it a few times and you suck the oil right out of the car - no removing the drain plug and getting drenched in black gold; it all comes out and goes into the jug. No mess.
Anyway, as soon as we started pumping, the oil coming thru the tube was full of obviously metallic sparkles. They were present for at least the first two quarts; after that, it was just plain black dirty oil. I'm almost certain that those sparkles are evidence of one of the reasons we have to rebuild the engine in the first place: toasted thrust bearings.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, my Lark has over 1/4" of crank endplay, which probably means the the Babbitt-faced thrust bearing on the ends of one or more of the main crank bearings has been worn off.
So, we'll find out more as we go along. I think the next step will be to drain the coolant and remove the radiator, fan and water manifold.
Speaking of fans, I finally found a Viscous Fan Drive for the car. What's on there now is the common old fixed 4-blade fan bolted right to the water pump pulley. In fact, it isn't even the right fan; it's an oversize piece that's about 6" diameter larger than the stock fan (probably in an attempt to better cool the car). Whoever did it even had to remove the brazed-on fan guard from the top radiator tank (and made some messy tank repairs because of it).
One of the members on the SDC forum posted this Viscous Drive fan for sale on the newsgroup. I pleaded and begged to buy it (he was going to take it to a regional swap meet) and so now it's mine :)
Studebaker put clutch fans on cars with heavy-duty applications, like police cars, cabs and any of the hi-po V-8s that went into the Avantis and R-powered Hawks & Larks, but they're beneficial to any applications. Glad to have gotten this one -- into the box it goes to wait for reassembly.
Labels: Engine, My Lark, Repair