Sunday, January 30, 2011
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Scotsman Stickers reproduced
Scotsman pickups were so stripped down, in fact, that even the Studebaker nameplate that usually adorned the hood of the truck was deleted in favor of a decal, possibly the first such use of adhesive graphics on production automobiles. These decals were, given the limits of 1950s technology, understandably fragile and have not weathered the years well on surviving trucks - especially given the harsh use and environments trucks are generally subjected to. The decals have been unavailable for years.
Henry Votel, a Studebaker Drivers Club member, took it upon himself to research and reproduce these decals, both for the hood and the cab sides. They've been lovingly re-created using the best surviving originals as guides, even down to the slightly non-symmetrical shapes and hand-drawn nature of the graphics.
read it all here. If you have a Scotsman pickup and are interested in obtaining a set of these decals, you can contact Henry at:
6015 190th Street N
Forest Lake, MN 55025
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Nobody wants to smell your gas. Or: where's that coming from?
The hose on my car was pretty soft, way more than I thought it should be. And every time I bent down to sniff, the gas was strong there. Studebaker International has all the hoses and gaskets needed to renew this connection, so I sent off for everything and a couple of days later came the little box that meant I had bits to install.
I slid on the new rubber hose to keep any dirt from falling into the neck of the fuel tank, and spent a few minutes cleaning up the sealing collar. The PO had tried to seal the torn original factory rubber sheet gasket by shoving weatherstripping foam in the cracks and covering it all with what appeared to be roofing tar or tar-based caulk, probably straight out of the Henry's can. It took a while to clean off.
|Nice rubber, eh?|
From there, it was just a matter of tightening down both tower clamps, adjusting the new floor gasket so its holes lined up with the screw holes in the trunk floor, and then screwing the collar back down to the floor. Done!
|Ahhh... much better.|
Oh, and don't forget to reconnect the fuel sender wire!
Although I had also obtained a new cork gasket for the fuel level sender, intending to re-seal that as well, since it could also have been a potential place for vapor leaks. But, applying my Durante-quality schnozz to the area, I found no trace of odor. And besides, I had no wish to disturb a good seal, although the gas gauge has a tendency to read empty with half a tank left, so I may need to tackle it one day. But that day was not today ;)
The real test, of course, is whether this repair and renew takes care of the fuel smell in the cabin. Leaving the car locked up over night, I waited until about 10AM, after the sun had ample opportunity to warm the tank, and opened up the door... success! There was a faint odor, but that was obviously just the remnants of months worth of gas vapor permeating the upholstery. Opening the trunk, I found no smell of gas at all. One more project checked off the list!
Woot! That was easy!
Ah... one in the "win" column :)
I changed out the headlamp switch first and tested it; headlamps worked! Awesome! Then I swapped out the old ignition switch for a new replacement from SI. Put it all back into the dash, turned the key - car fired right up. Yay! Tested the headlights - no lights. Boo.
I had to go to church so didn't have time to figure out what was wrong, and just disconnected the battery for the night. Looking at the wiring diagram, I think either the headlamp breaker opened or... well, that's really the only thing I can figure. I'll have some time this AM, so it's back to laying on my back in the floor again :)
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Nate Vonada's '41 Champion
Check Nathan's car and stories out at http://stude.vonadatech.com .
Monday, January 17, 2011
With 500 miles on the clock since commissioning his rebuilt engine, it was time to change Barney's break-in oil. For break-in, I had run a load of precious Service-CI4 formula Shell Rotella T (with a full load of ZDDP to protect the solid lifters in the Stude's engine), accompanied by a pint of GM Assembly Lubricant for extra break-in lubricity (ooh! $5.00 word!).
Oil changes, the traditional way, are messy, dirty jobs. You pull the drain plug from the pan, get splashed with hot, dirty oil, lose the plug in the bucket of hot, dirty oil, realize you forgot to pick up a new package of plug gaskets... So a while back, I purchased a Pela oil vacuum specifically to avoid all of this.
So we're ready to pour in the new oil -- uh, no. Gotta change the filter first.
Some guys just use the old screwdriver-jammed-through-the-can tool to remove old oil filters. I've tried that - once - and didn't like it. Too messy. Plus, the cans tend to tear; bad scene there.
Remember, that thing's full of dirty dino juice, so be sure you have a tub under the filter when you loosen it. A goodly amount of greasy goop will spill out once you undo it, too, since the system is under pressure.
You can probably get the filter off without raising the car (if you're skinny enough), but I like a little more elbow room. I chocked the rear wheels, lifted the front, and rolled under with my creeper in comfort.
Notice in the photo above that the oil filter can is located directly over the passenger's side exhaust pipe. This is significant, because it means that --
The good news is that, while I was down there, I found the two nuts that hold the flywheel inspection cover to the bellhousing were a bit loose, so I tightened them up. Don't forget to put a few drops of oil on the gasket of the new filter, and remember to spin it on hand-tight (not finger-tight!), or you'll wind up with a big grease spot on your driveway in pretty short order.
The guys on the SDC Forum have confirmed this quirk. Perhaps it was a misprint, or a holdover from the old days when oil filters were accessories. Whatever the case, if you're doing a full oil and filter change, you'll need 6 quarts.
I always get a little knot in my stomach when I first fire up the engine after an oil change. There's always that little bit of apprehensiveness; the engine is spinning but the pressure gauge shows zero... and then, after a couple seconds, the needle shoots to its accustomed 60 pounds and stays there, the relief valve open and engine purring. Ahh... success :) Time for a drive!
Sunday, January 16, 2011
Better turn signal indications.
A Forum search turned up several threads on the subject, one of which is here. Folks in that thread recommended some other bulbs that would fit the space and provide more candlepower, so I tried those out and found them still wanting - I can barely see Barney's turn indicator when the signals are on.
So my Jameco catalog came and as I was leafing through it, I found LED replacements for bayonet-mount panel lamps - 12 volts at .30 milliamps. Unfortunately, searching their site turned up availability in only red or yellow LED colors, but a Google search found the white-light versions at Grainger. Grainger shows the LM-1012MB as a direct replacement for the 1445 bulb - for only $20 per item! I may not be a genuine CASO, but that's a little stiff for me.
Finally, another web search on the part number turned up a place called Bulb Town, whose site lists the LED "bulbs" for $13, a much more amenable price. So I ordered a couple, which arrived in my mailbox last Thursday.
You'll notice that the package size of the LED is longer than the 1415 bulb that the factory used, but for in-dash lighting this is not a problem, as there is plenty of room in the gauge cases. I popped the LED bulb into the socket for the turn-signal telltale, and it was indeed notably brighter than the 1415, and very similar in brightness to the 1816 incandescent bulb that others have used. OK, one problem solved!
That left me with only one other issue: the flasher unit and its audible indication, of which there is barely any. Studebaker specified a 552 flasher can for this application. These are of the standard, bi-metallic strip design: A strip of metal inside the can, made of a laminate of brass and steel, is fastened at one end and makes contact with a stud on the other end. As electrical current passes through the metal strip, the steel side heats up faster than the brass, and the strip flexes, breaking the circuit. It cools, and contact is re-established. The cycle continues, and this is the way the blinking of the turn signal is accomplished. It's really a dirt-simple mechanism. I can only imagine, however, that the construction of these units has changed greatly since these cars were made, because the 552 unit I purchased new was 1) inaudible - no "tick tock" blinker indication, and 2) too fast - the first flash would be 1 second long, until the bimetal strip heated up, and then the flash cycle settled into a rapid blink of about 4 per second.
Woo hoo! Complete success! I now have an audible turn signal indication with a visible dash tell-tale, and turn signals that flash at a steady, noticeable rate. What a difference this makes! My son was a bit nonplussed by my enthusiasm for this improvement (maybe I did get a little too excited), but it sure is cool to have something that once again operates the way it was designed to.
As to the Flight-O-Matic indicator: the LED bulb package (and that of the 1816 bulb) is too large to fit into the lamp cover housing, so the solution to that problem eludes me for now.
Sunday, January 02, 2011
Head Bolt Torque, Revisited.
Specifically, the heads should be re-torqued when the engine is cold, and should be loosened slightly before tightening. Says Forum member Mike Van Veghten:
Always cold...at least 4 hours since the engine was run, cold.
This is important because the Shop Manual gives conflicting instructions, saying that one should warm up the engine "to stabilise the temperature" before checking head bolt torque. Mike explains that this is outdated thinking, and the reason to torque when cold is simple: the first few bolts torqued after running the engine will be to spec, but the engine immediately starts to cool, causing the metal to begin contracting. Bolts torqued after this process begins will be tightened to a different value than the first bolts you worked on!
Therefore, all bolts should be torqued to spec only when the fastened assemblies are cold. This includes valve adjusters.
Furthermore, Mike says:
Back each fastener out about 1/2 turn (one at a time), then re-tighten to the proper torque value. If you do not back the fastener out, you will not get the proper final torque put into the new tightening operation.
Now (as the saying goes), you know... the rest of the story!
Saturday, January 01, 2011
Happy Stude Year!
Been pretty quiet here on the blog, as Winter in California has kept me from doing anything but driving the car lately - not that that's a bad thing! It's been a lot of fun driving Barney around; the looks he gets are priceless. Some know what he is and will shout something appreciative. Others have no clue and just kind of gawk as we growl past.
But the rain has let up and now I'm starting to think about things I need to accomplish this year. My son, Reed, will be driving in June, so the car has to be ready for him. So here's what's got to get done in 2011:
- Rear springs and frame bushings installed
- Replace old tapered axle shafts with new splined
- R&R windshield and backlight and install new gaskets
- Adjust valves
- Install new exhaust system
- Track down and eliminate gasoline fumes in trunk
- Install new steering wheel and connect horn circuit
- Swap old ignition switch for new
By the way, these past few chilly weeks have given me ample opportunity to evaluate the effectiveness of my heater rebuild (chronicled here). I'm pleased to say that the heater works beautifully now, providing ample warmth; in fact, I can usually just open the air intake and slide the heat control down a little bit to keep my feet toasty - don't even need to run the blower! Well, that's one thing checked off the list, at least.