Tag Archives: Studebaker

Athena’s interior

5 May

The interior on Athena is pretty shot. It looks like rodents gnawed through the corners and the drivers lower part of the seat, so it was time so say goodbye to every piece of cloth, and well everything down to the springs.

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The thing is there were only 2 places I could cut samples to send off to try and have upholstery matched.

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So I sent some off to be matched, and well received them. There are a number of samples and whilst most look really cool, some look questionable to me. 

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I’m also realising that the Athena’s colour isn’t the same thing listed on the build sheet/window sticker. So I asked myself why I had to have to “original” or whatever I think the original is. It is after all my car, and I can do pretty much any pattern and colour I want.  I contacted SMS Auto Fabrics, and the woman whom answered the phone laughed loudly when I told her how amased I was at the amount of samples sent. There’s really nothing anywhere stating exactly (to my knowledge) what was in the car when built. At this point since my car was supposed to be, or was at one time coral and beige my idea is to go with more of a coral orangish pink fabric than the variations of blue shown here. 

 

 

Fuel Filler Neck and the Cap is Toast!

2 Mar

I discovered that the fuel filler neck had a locking cap on it, and of course I wasn’t given a key for it. I can imagine that this might have been a reason why the tank was bone dry. So I decided to get my hands dirty, and crawl under Athena and see what could be done. It wasn’t a super easy job, but I managed to pull of the disintegrated rubber sleeve from around the back of where the cap sits, and after a few minutes of praying, finally gave way to the do-all utility knife, and said good bye to the hose connecting the filler neck to the tank. After all 50 or more years of use, I think she could use a new one.

Of course then I had to go to the local Napa Auto parts and buy a new hose, and see if they might be able to somehow remove the stuck on filler cap. They had the recommendation from one another of simply drilling the lock core out like most locksmiths would recommend after having a few home door locks re-keyed. Two guys jump on the neck, one holds it tight, the other rams a screwdriver in where the key goes, and both after a few seconds, give up. One guy takes it back to his station and tries the same thing, and then has an insidious smirk on his face, walks off to the back of the store. I’m thinking “Ok, he’s finally going to take a drill to the lock core”, but then I hear what sounds like a circular saw “I’m thinking to myself, that doesn’t sound like any drill I’ve ever heard”. Within a few minutes he comes back, and throws this on the counter, and made the comment “It’s off!”. I couldn’t stop laughing, and the guy was chuckling himself. I asked for a replacement, whole, and working, locking cap. These guys’ personalities being very logical and somewhat sadistic sense of humour in ways would’ve simply put the two pieces back together and handed it to me if I asked for a filler cap replacement.

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I also cleaned a lot of rubbish off the original filler neck, and scrubbed it with steel wool until it shined. I primed it, and am waiting for it to dry.  My next step after this dries is to paint it with (yes, over-the-top) black engine enamel.

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Here’s the new locking cap, and it has 2 keys! Doesn’t quite look the same, but way better than someone syphoning all my expensive fuel from the tank. It happened before when I lived in Cali, in the south bay.

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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.

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