The finer points of Studebaker Batteries
Wow, can't believe it's been a year since I wrote anything here. I guess that's because Barney has been such a good boy that I haven't had to fix anything in quite a while. He's kind of in a state of stasis at the moment; there are things I need to attend to (a few rust bubbles, window seals, etc.), but he drives so well that I've just been enjoying the ride.
Summer, however, is when things get stressed on any car. One of the most common things to fail in the summer is the battery; heat and storage cell technology do not mix well. That's why, at least in the Southwest, batteries fail more often than any other time of year.
And so it went this past weekend. I'd been watching a slow decline in cranking power since April, but since I'm a tightwad (I drive a Studebaker, after all!) I put off doing anything about it... until last Saturday. I sat down and started to crank him over, and Barney...groaned. About 15 seconds of slow turn with no fire, and I let the starter rest; on the second try the engine made exactly 3 revolutions before the battery gave up for good.
The nuance of Studebaker batteries
Studebaker sedans from 1956 - 1966 use a pretty standard-sized Group 24 battery. Notice I said "Group 24" - not the more commonly available Group 24F.
(Also note that Hawks and Avantis use different batteries - Group 24 applies only to sedan-based Studebakers and Larks based on that chassis. Be sure to look up exactly what you need.)
What's the difference? On a Group 24 battery, the terminals are placed so that, with the positive terminal located at the rear, both terminals are located inboard of the fender, as shown below:
"No big deal", you say, "just turn the battery 180 degrees." Nope - won't work, and here's why.
So, it will take a little more effort to search out the Group 24 battery, as the F variant is much more common these days. And, even when the counter dude (or chick) hands you your battery, be sure you double-check it; they don't always know the difference between a Group 24 and Group 24F.
|Happy battery, happy Barney|
Barney is happy now with his new battery, and so am I - one quick flick of the key and he's off to the races. Which makes it yet another good day to be a Studebaker driver!