Trials & Tribulations

Problems occur in threes right?  Well I’m a good example!

Thinking about the start I thought it might be a good idea to disengage the PS pump so that it wouldn’t get started at 1500 rpms from a cold start. I removed the belt completely from the engine.  I have an electric fuel pump with an oil pressure cut off and with a bypass button to prime the carbs.  I primed …and primed but, she didn’t want to catch. Unusual as this engine starts really well.  Problem #1 the car is on jack stands and the rear is down a bit.  Since I forgot that I parked it with little fuel in the tank now I needed some gas to immerse the fuel pickup tube in the tank.  Off to the local garage – 15 minutes away for us in the country – for some premium gas.  When I did my engine rebuild I attempted to up the compression to 9 to 1 but, it seems I got a little more than expected and now I have detonation issues unless I use premium.

The engine started right up and I had good oil pressure.  I checked under the car for leaks and at that point there were none noticeable.  I stepped the throttle down and let it continue to warm up.  I went to check the oil pressure at the dash and it was just above zero.  Now Studebakers don’t have good oil pressure at idle but this was a bit too low.  Shut off the engine immediately.  A peek under the engine told the story.  Problem #2.

The culprit was an old problem and not one that you usually associate with spin on oil filters.  I always check my ’66 Commander which has the old canister type filter to be sure I have the old oil seal out. For some reason I didn’t twig that the old oil seal didn’t come out with the old spin on oil filter.  When was the last time a oil seal didn’t come out with the new style filters???

Cleaned up the mess of oil and ZDDP, put in new oil and ZDDP.  Started the engine up and all is well.  I ran it until it warmed up and dropped to a slow idle.  Those flatheads are so sweet at idle.

OK, fit the PS belt back on and tension it properly.  Start the engine at slow idle.  All seemed good and no squirting power steering fluid.  Turn the wheels left and right – all OK.  I was a bit concerned that I might have switched the lines to the ram.  I assume I wouldn’t be able to turn the wheel if that was the case.  Turned the wheels a couple of more times and the pump starts to whine – what now!

No leaks so I take off the reservoir cover and it looks like a bowl of soap suds – Problem #3 for the day.

Off to the wonderful world of the internet and specifically the Studebaker forum – great source of information.  Turns out that the foam may be caused by using ‘proper’ power steering fluid. Studebaker PS pumps like automatic trans fluid – Type F being the best.  Checking my records I see that I used Type F ATF in my Avanti PS setup a few years back.  Too bad my memory didn’t go back that far.

So I will now drain all the PS fluid out and replace it with Type F.  I’ll then start the car and circulate the new fluid.  I’ll then drain that out and refill again with the Type F.

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