Crank install

Crank installed.  Not much to this part except for coating everything in assembly lube and carefully installing all the bearing caps.  I should have taken a couple of shot of the rear main seal install.  I basically followed the directions with the seals including using a thin coat of high temperature silicone sealant on the two butting surfaces.  I also put some around the two rubber extensions. Studebakers like to leak so the more precautions taken the better.

The main bearing cap bolts on #4 are different.  This is an R1 engine so there is a windage tray (I think that’s what it’s called) inside the oil pan to keep the oil from flying around too much at high rev’s – not likely to happen too much with this engine. The cap bolts have threaded ends on them to accept the tray.

Now the hard part starts.  I need to correctly combine crank shims to give a .003 to .006 clearance for the crank to move back and forth without binding.  The shim is first to go on the crank snout, then the key has to go in place, then the crank thrust spacer and finally the crank gear.  If you have the correct Studebaker tool you can determine the correct clearance without having to install the key, plate and gear each time you change shims.  Unfortunately I don’t have the tool

Of course the cam gear is a tight fit and needs to be installed with another special tool.  No tool so I cut a short piece of pipe to fit over the crank snout and using a hardwood block and small maul I carefully tapped the gear in place snugly.

You shouldn’t be bashing the crank back without some sort of setup to hold the crank from hitting the bearing flanges.  Here I used a wooden wedge.  This didn’t work.

You really need one of these tools to do this job right.  I picked it up some years ago to work on my 6 cyl builds.  I got used it off Ebay for a real reasonable price.


Here is another necessary tool.  It actually is a Lisle steering wheel puller.  It is hefty enough to handle this job.  Each time I tried a combination of shims (.003,.005, .007) I had to use this to pull the gear off prior to trying another combination.

Here is the gauge set up per the service manual.  I tried a number of combinations of shims but the clearances were going all over the place. Up when they should go down and the other way too.


Finally I guessed that I wasn’t setting the gear firmly back enough.  To do this I had to use a couple of big chisels to firmly hold the crank forward so that I could give the crank gear a final rap to seat the gear and thrust plate against the shim(s).


The clearance numbers then started to make sense.  When I added shims the clearance went up and visa versa. The manual says that a big screwdriver is the tool to use to move the crank back and forth.  I thought I’d use a pry bar instead, but in the end I pulled out my big screwdriver and it worked best.  With a .007 and a .005 shim the reading was about .0035.  Good enough for me!

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