The Studeblogger

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year from Barney and all the rest of us!

Just a quick post to let you know how things have been going and give a hearty "Happy New Year" to my online friends!

Barney is doing very well and I've had him on the road nearly every day, at least for a short trip. There are some things that will need attention in the coming year, such as:
  • The turn-signal switch. It's defective, and while it signals properly, it doesn't pass signal to both brake lights as it should - the right side lights up with the brake pedal, but the left does not. New switch needed.
  • Replacing the steering wheel. The stupid aftermarket Grant wheel not only makes it hard to turn at low speeds, but does not operate the turn signal cancel cam or the horn. I've collected the parts and will do this when I replace the turn-signal switch.
  • The rear springs. They're worn out and nearly flat, even when the car is on the lift. And the frame bushings are so worn out that the rear end "clunks" as it moves from side to side whilst turning corners - there's no rubber left in them. I have a new pair of springs, obtained from SASCO just before they shut down, and those will be going in as soon as possible. 
  • Post-break-in valve adjustment. I've never adjusted valves before, so this will be a learning experience!
  • Reconnecting the heater. The whole heating system has been rebuilt; I just need to reconnect the hoses and fill the system.
  • The doors. Both doors need new rubber and window seals, as well as interior hardware. I replaced the driver's side window regulator last year with a used part from eBay, but the gearbox clutch is weak and the window vibrates down as you drive. I have a new vent window for the driver's side to replace the munged one that's there, as well as new cat-whiskers, NOS door handles and door locks that've been re-keyed, all waiting to go in. I'll probably need a new set of side-view mirrors as well.
  • Headliner & windscreen seals. My headliner is a homebrew thing that droops horribly, and I've found that the windshield seal is leaky in one place - a small dribble of water has made its way down the inside from the header. The backlight rubber seal is cracking badly in the corners as well. These two things will have to be addressed together, since replacing the headliner requires pulling both windscreens.
So don't think that just because Barney's back on the road, there'll be any end to this blog - I've still got plenty to do, and I'll be writing about every bit of it!

Now, as to the photo that heads this post: today I packed my wife and son into Barney for the first time, and we tripped on down to the 101 Cafe, a classic diner / drive-in on Highway 101 in downtown Oceanside, California. We had lunch and came back home, but it was fun parking the Lark in front of this iconic location and watching folks stare and point as we ate :) There were plenty of classics on the road today, and while at the 101 we saw a '69 Cougar convertible, a '63 Bel Air convertible, a '67 Fairlane 4-door, a '65 Austin-Healey and several nice old Harleys. It was a good Studebaker day! Unfortunately, I forgot to get a pic of Barney in front of the restaurant, but we'll get it next time.

Thanks to all of you who've written and commented on my posts this year - I appreciate each of your questions and encouragements. Happy 2010 - see you next year!

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