Salt on the roads and it’s time to take ‘Moody Blue’ the ’66 Studebaker Commander off the road for the winter. I’ll be switching between the Chevy and the Stude over the winter. I need to do work on the doors and a the hood. Also I’ve decided to put the front bumper back on and see if I like the look better.
The engine and the AC worked flawlessly over the summer. I was able to switch back to the original primary needle springs and still not get any hesitation. Bumping up the timing from 4 to 8 degrees did the trick. It eliminated both the take off hesitation and the sluggish acceleration from stop when the AC was on.
Meanwhile back at the Chevy my startup after the carb job and a new fuel pump was a failure. Spun the engine over many times and no fuel. Put a little fuel down the carb and it started right up. Did that a number of times and still no fuel. Good side is that when it did start for a brief time it ran at a nice fast idle. It should be OK if I can get the fuel up.
Nothing for it but to pull the pump and check it out. The old short fuel pump isn’t correct for the ’79 model. Hard to see, but the pump arm on the new pump is further out from the mounting face. Could this be the problem? I’ll take the pump back and get a new one in case it is faulty.
Next: more on the pump and a bit on the Studebaker.
Extra long end to the fuel line. I’ll cut that later when the carb is in place and I can check that the curve of the rubber line to the carb won’t kink.
Finally found the correct choke pull off diaphram – Standard CPA141 – I got this number from Rock Auto and gave it to the local parts store and they were able to get it next day.
All hoses and linkages in place.
One problem I did have was with the trans throttle control cable. It is a different style from the original and the top was high enough that I couldn’t run my PB vacuum line – it had to pass through the grommet on the lower right and pass over the throttle cable. Fortunately the bracket opening is square and I only had to file a new alignment cutout on one side to allow me to turn the fitting 90 degrees. That gave me the clearance needed.
I thought it would be a good idea to put a bubble at the end of the fuel line like most factory parts. I used my double flare tool and just went about half way on the first stage which gave me a nice bubble. I did the same for the short line coming out of the carb.
Fuel line hooked up and I’m just about ready to test it out. I’ll need to set the trans throttle cable and unhook the PS belt from the pump. I earlier opened the line to the gas tank and no leaks so far. I also replaced any hoses that had become stiff with age and heat.
A failed attempt to match the curves in the original fuel line from the fuel pump outlet to the carb. Even copper\nickle is hard to bend using a pipe bender when the curves get too tight. I tried making the curve longer which worked pretty good until I tried to make the second curve upward.
The old fuel pump has a flared fitting built into the pump. Not so with the new replacement. It is built with a pipe thread fitting.
I’ve put together some fittings that will eliminate the need for a sharp curve around the fuel pump before it heads upwards toward the carb. Now I have a pretty straight run upwards. It’s a tight fit, but just enough room.
I straightened the old line I messed up and used it to get the general shape needed for the new line.
I borrowed a better pipe bender from a buddy and was able to form a new line. Not a job I like doing. I moved from beneath the car to the top at least 20 times before I got the fit right.
The Quadrajet carb unlike some others put their choke fast idle mechanism behind the choke rather than on the other side with the throttle linkage. The secondary linkage is also swapped over to the primary throttle linkage side. this setup just makes it a little more difficult trying to work on the fast idle behind the choke housing.
All the settings were OK, but the choke pull off vacuum – to the right of the choke housing – is defective and doesn’t pull the lever all the way. I located one locally and should be in today.
To follow the carb rebuild instructions you need a couple of special tools which I don’t have. One is a degree scale and the other is a tool to bend the various tangs to meet spacing specifications.
Fortunately the service manual includes a page showing the matching inch-thousandths measurement for readings on the degree scale. In some cases I could then use a matching drill shank, a caliper setting or even a small piece of stiff paper/plastic of the right size.
As I said earlier this is my first Qjet rebuild. I’ve done numerous one,two and four barrel carbs including Carter AFB and Edelbrock square bores. Of all those carbs this is the most difficult. The linkages are more complicated and harder to work on. Especially trying to bend the various tangs. Rather than try to correct some settings I left them as is because of the difficulty of trying to bend tangs without damaging other linkage parts since I didn’t have the correct tool. The carb seemed to run fine before except that the fast idle system wasn’t working properly. It was one of the two problems I found. The fast idle control arm was seized on the throttle shaft and the second was the choke pull off system.
The carb is now ready to be installed (once I add a new choke pull off – bottom centre). I now need to bend a new fuel line from the fuel pump to the carb – should be fun! I bought a length of copper nickle 3/8″ fuel line for the job.
Before I test the carb I will finish re-installing the PS parts and then take the PS belt off. I’ll start the car and get the carb working properly before I connect the PS and check for problems there.
This is my setup to keep the carb up off the bench while I do the assembly and adjustments. Looks a bit wobbly, but with a couple of nuts on the top of the threaded rods it is quite steady. Here I’ve just put the carb together to see if the threaded rods were long enough.
Carb parts all ready for the install plus a new kit bought off Amazon. The kit covers a number of Quadrajet carbs so there are extra bits and double mid and top gaskets.
Here the carb has been assembled with new gaskets. There are no adjustments to this point except the float level which was bang on even with the new needle and seat. I follow the instructions in the service manual and only check the kit instructions when needed. On the left are the old mid and top gaskets. Good that I didn’t toss those since I used them to select the correct gaskets from the kit.
Last task before checking the settings is to install the rear vacuum port adapter. I used some Permatex thread sealant for the job.
My 1-1/16″ X 18 tap and die arrived. A sturdy chunk of hard steel!
It was a bit fussy getting the tap to start in the end of the control valve, but once it started it ran to the end OK.
The threads look nice. It did remove a bit of material, but it should still be fine as the pinch bolt will keep it tightly together.
While I was at it I cleaned out the pinch bolt hole as well. Every amateur builder needs a complete set of taps and dies for the common fittings.
Same chore with the male end of the control arm. It took a bit to get the die started correctly. The threads were quite damaged and are diminished on the outer end. Still should be OK with all the threads screwed in and a pinch bolt to hold them together.
With the control valve screwed onto the rod the original aligning marks (highlighted in silver) don’t line up. This is a far on as I can get it on by hand. The control valve is butted up against the flange on the control arm. I suspect that it was wrenched around at the factory and that caused the threads to distort and when I tried to re-install, the threads didn’t align properly and where damaged.
So I backed it off about 3/4 of a turn until the marks aligned and the groove lined up for the pinch bolt. The gap was about 1/64″ which shouldn’t cause any problems.
Control valve on and all ready to be installed.
I’ll continue with the carb re-build before I return to the PS install. That way I won’t forget how I took the carb apart!
This is the pin holding the seat back to the seat bottom bracket. The C clip comes off the pin groove very easily and is a problem to put back on – that is if you can find it!
My answer is to drill the pin for a small cotter pin and replace the washer with a thinner unit.
I also had to reverse the pin to move the cotter pin to the outside so it wouldn’t stick in the upholstery and being hidden by the hinge bracket, is a neater look. The sucker ain’t gonna come apart now:-)
The fuel line has been broken off and a rubber line run from there to the carb intake. It was a bit messy at the end so I cut it off and sanded down the rust for a better connection.
When I finished sanding down the fuel line I found gas all over the floor. The fuel line was rusted bad enough that the slight movement at the fuel pump end broke the line. Bummer, but good that it happened now in the garage and with the car on the hoist.
Local CarQuest supplied and new pump, 3/8 copper/nickel and fuel line.
The new pump is much deeper than the old model. It is the style sold for the ’79 Chevy by parts shops and Corvette specialty suppliers. I’ve changed fuel pumps on Studebakers and it was a piece of cake compared to this install.
Trying to fit the new carb with the old fuel pump screws was impossible for me. Jut not enough room to get the screws in place. The screws weren’t quite long enough without pushing the pump inward which in turn moved the pump upward so the screws didn’t align with the holes in the block. It was impossible to push the pump inward and down enough to align the holes. It would take four hands to do the job and I only have two hands and two feet – maybe if I was a monkey – hahaha!
So decided to try studs instead of screws. Now when I try to push the pump inward the pump arm on the pump shaft forces the pump upward which binds the pump on the stud threads!
So in desperation try using studs that are a bit longer than the original screws. Fortunately I was able to use these to get the pump up to the block and then I pulled one at a time and replaced them with the original screws. This all had to be done with ratchet extensions and wobble shafts from inside the wheel well and through the bottom of the inner fender – not fun but finally done!
I used high temp gasket maker to help with the sealing. Problem was that the gasket wanted to move around when I was replacing my studs with the original screws. Hopefully it will still seal OK.
Finally in place 🙂 I’ll bend and install the new feed to the carb when the carb’s all done.
The bottom of the drivers seat is toast. Time to visit Molond’s corvette salvage and parts yard near Bridgewater. Only about an hour and a half away.
A successful trip. Found a seat, air cleaner, door escutcheon and new rad overflow bottle cap and gear for the drivers window that doesn’t quite make it to the top.
The seat bottom cleaned up nicely. I had hoped to find an ivory seat bottom and back, but that was a bit too much to hope for. So I took this seat which is the style that I would like – vinyl with cloth inserts. This will be a good example for the upholster when the time comes.
The carb base came out nice enough, but the linkages need attention. The only way to get them separated is to remove the butterflies. I’ve done it in the past, but unless I really need to I’m not going to try and remove those small screws that have been peened to stay in place and then try to get the butterflies back in their correct position. The linkage is working fine it’s just ugly.
Ditto for the choke and secondary butterflies. Not pretty. Just cleaned with a scotch brite pad. they’ll be hidden under the air cleaner 🙂
More bits and pieces that have some corrosion. I’ll just clean them up with a wire brush and leave them as is with a nice patina. This car sat, likely outside for many years and so a lot of the exposed metal under the hood corroded. Parts that I can’t clean up with a wire brush will get sandblasted and painted.
Primer coat on the base plate linkage, springs, etc – other parts are hanging to dry. I’ll give them a coat of gloss black which should look presentable even if they are a bit rough from corrosion.