Usually I get the spring maintenance done in April but with my Dad’s passing and the pandemic I am WAY behind. Here we go..
It turns out that it was actually 2006 (14 years ago) that I did the front brakes. I put fresh parts in the NOS cylinders a while ago. But my Dad’s passing in the midst of a pandemic has meant the car has sat for a month. Today the weather was perfect so I took a day off of work to get this done. Since I have covered brakes before I thought I would go into a little more detail this time, especially because I forgot some stuff since 2006.
The front wheel cylinders I installed 12 years ago (!!!) are leaking. There is a kit to put disk brakes on this car but I have a set of new shoes and two NOS wheel cylinders so I will defer that decision (probably for another 12 years). But I need to rebuild those cylinders.
This is not really related to the Studebaker but I lost my father, Lt. Col. John Alan Vonada to a stroke on Sunday, April 19, 2020. He was 76 years old. Considering he taught me everything I know about cars I was surprised I could not find a picture of him with the Studebaker. But he was amazing and I really miss him.
At the Studebaker meet in Mansfield I scored two bumper guards for the rear bumper. One is used but nice, the other looks to be new. The chrome is not perfect but plenty good enough for now.
This year’s Studebaker meet is in Mansfield, Ohio about 60 miles from my house. So of course I have to take the car. Cleaning, checking water and oil, packing tools, washing supplies, tent, chairs, and the all-important cooler. Finally all was ready
Here is the car packed up and ready to go. The drive to Mansfield went well. I left Wednesday morning early and it was nice and cool. The car ran well but the oil pressure was a little lower than usual. I will have to check that out. I am running a multi-weight diesel oil and it may be a bit thin for this car. The brakes are also squealing again. I will have to fix that soon. I also tried to stay off the main roads so I was following a stupid-complex route. But I made it OK. Just to keep things interesting I found oil seeping out of the back of the engine. I might have a head gasket leak. No water in the oil or oil in the water and I can’t see any signs of a compression leak so it might be just oil leaking out. It is not a bad leak so I will just leave it alone for now.
At the show I parked next to a 41 Champion sedan. We stayed paired up for the whole meet. I was freaked out driving 60 miles and this guy drove down from near Buffalo. Yes, I am a wuss.
Thursday was half of the judging including my Division 1 (Pre-war). It had stormed overnight but I dried off the car and busted over to the judging building. Lucky I did because it backed up quickly. I was next in line at this point. I was waiting here about 30 minutes. I was pretty nervous, there are a lot of really nice cars here.
The judging itself went well. Most of the deductions I expected. I was surprised to get dinged for the backup lights not working. Also there is supposed to be a rubber mat in the back that I did not know about. But I could tell the judges were pleased with the car. In the I snapped the picture above while the judges were fighting with the iPad app they were using to do the judging. That really slowed things down.
I also took pictures about my favorite car of the meet. This 1935 President has it all. Folding top. Rumble seat. Sidemounts. Swooping fenders and grille. Straight-8 engine. I am really jealous.
Friday we ended up doing touristy stuff and did not go to the meet. But Saturday was the public car show. I did not count the cars but there were at least a couple of hundred. It stormed again overnight but Saturday the weather was perfect.
Finally at 2:00 there was the awards presentation. Much to my surprise the car won 1st place with 380/400 points! I was a bit excited…
After the awards I booked out of there and headed for home. When I checked out the car to go home I found the fan belt was loose. I tried to tighten it but ran out of adjustment. Running home the car ran a bit hotter than usual which is probably the fan and water pump slipping. I will have to replace the belt with a slightly shorter one. Driving home I took a straight shot down US-42 which was easier and faster. I got passed a lot but that is OK.
Back in the next. Good job car!
Time to start getting the car ready for the Studebaker meet in Mansfield and while I have no illusions about this being a 400 point car I want to make it look as nice as I can. That means touching up the engine. Back in 2010 I used hot engine oil to remove some paint from the head and now it is time to fix it. I removed the plugs and cleaned up the engine with kerosene and naphtha.
The engine has been cranking a little slow lately. I was all set to start cleaning all the connections when I checked the date on the battery and realized it was almost 10 years old. I will be going to Mansfield for the International Studebaker meet and I am not going on a road trip on a 10-year-old battery. Lets replace that.
The best deal I found on a 6V battery was at Rural King. It is an Excide battery and actually has a vintage look with the screw-in caps. This is the third battery I have put in this car.
New battery installed and ready to rock.
The old battery lives on in my Dad’s 1939 De Soto coupe. We are trying to get this car running after 50 years or so. This battery will be good enough for garage use while we work on the car.
66916.9 miles on the odometer.
The wrong bumpers were on the car for as long as I have known it. I found this rusty set of bumpers a few years ago and have been waiting for the time and money to get them chromed and on the car.