The Studeblogger

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Wait for the kicker.

Recently Jim McCuan, one of the regulars on the Studebaker Driver's Club Forum, acquired a pristine, 7,900 (yes, seventy-nine hundred) mile '63 Avanti with the supercharged R2 engine. (The car was found on Craigslist Seattle by another Forum member; if you want to read the car's whole story, click here.)

Anyway, Jim just put a video on YouTube; he set his camera beside the road and captured a few high-speed passes. Listen to the sound of a low-mile, blown Studebaker winding up and watch it get plenty of rubber! (Oh, and stick around for the surprise ending.)

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Sunday, August 24, 2008

I'd love a garage like this!

Dick Steinkamp is one of the senior members of the Studebaker Drivers Club Forum (that's not a comment on your age, Dick!), from beautiful Bellingham, Washington (where cars don't rust - they mold!).

A little bit ago, Dick posted a video walkaround of his garage with various Studies in progress. Worth sharing - so here it is!

More progress.

It's getting closer to Firing Day! I'm getting work done catch-as-catch can. There's not too much left to do now.

A couple of weeks back I began installing the intake manifold according to Jeff Rice's tutorial on the SDC Forum (thanks Jeff!).
Jeff's method allows for removal and replacement of the intake if necessary without tearing up the manifold gaskets. In a nutshell, here's the process.

Jeff recommends using Permatex Ultra Copper for its heat-transferrance properties. Using the thick composition (not metal) gaskets, you put a bead around each of the ports (intakes and heat stove crossovers) and press it onto the intake. You want to use enough of the Permatex to make a seal, but not so much that you have globs of it running all over the place! A light touch is desired here. Press them down tight a wipe off any squeezin's.

Once they're pressed onto the intake, let them set up overnight. You might note from my photo that I have the early-style intake with the sealed tube for the choke heater; this style may require modifying the gasket slightly to allow the tube to be positioned properly. I had to gently remove some gasket material for a good fit here. In Jeff's tutorial, he blocks the heat passages using the Permatex to adhere a piece of sheet steel; I elected to leave mine open.

The next day, smear a light film of chassis grease onto the gasket and the heads, taking care not to get any in the bolt holes, and torque down the intake, going clockwise and starting with the middle bolts (the ones that use the steel clamps.) It doesn't take a lot of torque; I think the manual calls for 24 - 28 lbs./ft. Why the chassis grease? It helps form the needed seal but makes it so that the manifold can easily be removed if need be without tearing up the gaskets. Smart trick!

Speaking of those clamps - two of mine cracked upon installation. I guess the 50-year-old metal just couldn't go any further; luckily, NOS replacements are available from Studebaker International. A few days later, I had a handful of shiny new clamps (well, they were shiny after I cleaned them) that I shot with engine black and bolted on.

So the engine compartment is looking a lot more full now. Carb is mounted (it was working well when removed, so I'll do the rebuild after she's running again), throttle rod in place, and new battery cables are on. More to come!

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