A little closer, but I hit a bump.

19 Sep

Well the bump really isn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. The line that I purchased was a little bit too small and I have to get it into a fitting to go into the manual fuel pump rather than taking the mechanical pump out it’s very difficult to get back in in order to bypass the mechanical.

I also somehow drained the battery, which is probably just me leaving the switch on. Besides all those other parts mentioned above, I have to buy new spark plug wires.

I have a feeling that in the process of restoring this car I’m going to hit quite a few bumps, but if restoring a car were easy, everyone would be doing it.


New fuel pump for Athena

17 Sep

So I decided to buy a fuel pump for Athena as the mechanical one doesn’t actually do its primary job of pumping fuel. I bought the only 6v pump that Napa Auto Parts had, which was a Carter. I’ve been so busy with school that I haven’t had much of a chance in the past 3 weeks to do much of anything to anything except routine maintenance (very important!) So I decided that any progress is still progress. Even putting one spark plug wire on per day is still more than not doing anything, yet people seem to think that progress is only made when you do something large to the project. I have yet to actually install the pump in the car, but there will be a day for that, and then connecting the power to the pump, or the pump to power. 

I thought strongly about having Athena running by International Drive Your Studebaker Day, but it just wasn’t possible with the time I was devoting to studying. I also looked on the Studebaker Driver’s Club forum and didn’t see a whole lot of talk about IDYSD (which honestly was a little disappointing), so I thought “eh, if it’s not such a big deal, I’m not going to kill myself trying to get Athena working by the 14th.” I would rather do things right than do things in haste and have something go wrong. I also have a daily driver that I have to keep working well for when the snow arrives and Athena won’t be the best choice to drive. Especially not in the parking garage for light rail where it seems it turns from a parking garage to an inclosed drifting course for students and people whom should’ve left for the train a little earlier. One of the nicer things I think about is how Athena is built so tough, out of really thick body panels. I almost fantasise about the day where someone opens their car door into her’s and ends up doing monumentally more damage to their new car than Athena’s. Of course in reality I probably wouldn’t be too happy about that.


The end of a good restaurant

12 Sep

Sadly Steak ‘n Shake in Englewood, Co has closed die to franchise violations. It was a nice place to eat whilst meeting other car enthusiasts, if even only for a short time.


My new Studebaker!!

10 Aug

So after months of looking and searching online, I finally found a really nice (in relation to age and storage method) blue 1953 Studebaker Commander Starlight. I found it on an odd sight, which I wasn’t expecting. Anyways after some negotiation, well not much really. I paid for the car sight unseen, and had it transported from Ca to Co. 

When Tom at Dragon Transport unloaded the car I was ecstatic! I still didn’t know the full condition of the car and the man whom sold it to me gave me a good idea of what needed repairs, but of course the full extent was unknown. It took me about 3 days to really get into the car and see how much rust it really had. Thankfully because I had joined the Studebaker Drivers Club (SDC), I knew a basic amount about it. 

I found that the car really hadn’t been modified much beyond having headers which are just a really fancy exhaust system coming from the engine (and homemade headers at that!) 

I had no idea if the engine would even turn over. That just means that the pistons inside the engine would even reciprocate. So I had some self proclaimed “geezers” come over whom I meet at a local mostly classic car meet up do some basic diagnostics to the engine to see if it would actually turn over, and a couple other things like testing for a spark in the spark plugs, and cylinder compression. 

We discovered that the spark plugs produced no spark, which meant the points were bad. So after watching quite a few videos on Youtube, I found out what points were, and how to replace them. Thankfully most of the parts for this car in comparison to a late model vehicle are relatively to very inexpensive. Only bad part is most of them aren’t found at your local auto parts store, although I’m discovering something that I learned from the SDC forum which is Studebaker didn’t change basic parts or body/chassis configurations often so a wide range of other parts from other cars including non Studebaker parts will fit Studebakers. For example if you want say a disc brake setup for the car, you can actually buy parts from Ford and Chevrolet, install them with perhaps a few specialised mountain brackets from a couple aftermarket companies and they will work perfectly. 

The interior on this car is also destroyed, it came without keys (not fun), and a battery. It uses a 6 volt positive ground electrical system, which was phased out apparently right after this car was built, or at least from what I’ve heard about from 1953 on. Vehicles today use 12 volts, so finding anything in the latter can be difficult. 

A lot of the trim on this car is either rusted, dented, or broken. Most of which can be repaired, or some replaced. However, replacing trim parts for this car is where it begins to dive into the price range of new vehicle parts. Simple reason for this is supply and demand. Whilst the prices of many of the engine parts are relatively common, body parts are not. So if there’s any way you can salvage something such as a grill for the front of the car, instead of paying close to $400 for a new one, which might not look exactly wonderful, a better idea to me is see what new skill you can learn  repairing/renewing the original part. 

I’ve seen Studebakers at some car shows, and many of them because they’re so rare and such a unique body style compared to the big three of Ford, Chevrolet, and Chrysler, get a lot of attention. 

I’ve been uploading photos of my build progress at Facebook.com/spanner.bird as for the moment it’s easier to simply post photos, rather than to need to write commentary. I do however love telling the story of the journey of restoration. My current goal for this car because I don’t see many like it is an original restoration. From there (if I make it without getting an itch to do something more fun) I’ll then begin possibly modifying it. A 140 horse power 232 3.8L V8 might sound fun, but a much larger and more powerful/maybe fuel efficient engine also sounds as such. 


Stude is on it’s way here!

20 Jul

So after doing business with shipmycarnow.com I finally have the Stude on the auto transporter. I have a few pics from the guy whom had the facility where it was stored, and sent them to me, not only because I’m still losing sleep over Stude, but for insurance and damage control/watch purposes. I just hope that when it arrives, the amount stated in the contract is the amount I’ll be paying. I was told about some horrour stories with auto transport companies and how they can rob a person. One of ways is to pick a car up for a specific price, and then deliver it, but not unload it, demand a bit more cash, and not unload it until that amount extra is paid. I really hope is transporter is not that way. I was informed that companies which do that usually aren’t in business for more than 2 years. The contracted price was $800, but we had to push that up by $50 because no one was responding to the transport request. An hour after the car was relisted for the increased/new price, the transporter whom is hauling it agreed and picked it up. However, I had to pay the broker company (shipyourcarnow.com) a fee for doing the “work.” 


Stude on the transporter

20 Jul

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Stude on the transporter from Cali to Colo.

Black weather stripping

1 Jun

I’m one step closer to getting that panel on, and since I think this is a bit much of a play-by-play, I’ll only post on the actual repair, and not so much the parts involved. Unless the parts are hard I find or I found a little secret to doing something. Yeh so much for the secret.