Engine out!

Engine stand base. The cross pieces to hold the front and rear supports are not shown.

The hood has been removed and the engine hoist is in place. My plan was to remove as little as possible, but I ran into problems. I attached the lift chains to the rear intake manifold bolts only to find that the bolts were offset so the lift might want to twist.

So off with the carb and valve covers. I needed to replace the Chevy head bolts with longer Studebaker units in order to attache the hoist properly.

To fit the narrower pickup points I adjusted the hoist to its smallest size.

A small lift and I was able to roll the car back (by rotating a front wheel) a bit to start the engine out.

A block in place under the rear of the trans in case the hoist can’t balance the engine plus the trans.

The engine is up enough to remove the engine frame mounts. This gives more wiggle room for the removal.

I raised the engine more to get the pan over the bellcrank and happily the balance was good enough to keep the trans from dropping to the floor – quite an angle, but still OK for removal.

Just a matter of rolling the body back.

After measuring the width of the pan I was able to set up the front support for the engine. I then lowered to where I had a support block for the trans in place and then let the engine come to rest on the front pan supports. The top of the front supports were cut down to 3/4″ so that the blocks sat inside the pan lip and rested on the pan bolt heads. It is a narrower support than what I have used for Stude engines. I usually use the engine mount brackets for the front support, but the ones on the 283 aren’t suitable. They are set on an angle. So I will run some metal straps from a suitable point on the upper engine to the outside of the dolly to be sure it doesn’t roll off. Notice I have the lower rad and heater hoses in place. I didn’t drain the block when I drained the rad so I needed to put these in place to keep the antifreeze in the engine until I could take it out.

I will be removing the trans from the bellhousing and keeping that unit for the JT engine. I want to keep the cable throttle control so that I can keep the suspended gas pedal. Other wise I would have to drill a hole in the firewall, install a floor mounted gas pedal to use the throttle bellcrank to operate a mechanical trans throttle control. Also these transmissions are water cooled.

Next – the engine is out and hidden problems come to light.

Just about there

Just about ready to pull the engine. The rad support frame was a bit hard to get out. It obviously was assembled before the ‘dog house’ was installed. I had to jack each inner fender up just enough to clear the right and left frame mounting brackets. I’ll modify the brackets to ease the re-install some. I still need to remove the hood and loosen the frame mounts to ease removal. The closer I can come to pulling the engine and trans out straight, the better.

One big item I had to remove was the bat wing. The trans pan hung below the bat wing. It wouldn’t be an issue if I removed the trans first. With this out of the way I should be pretty well a straight pull out with little lifting. When doing the install I’ll put the engine and trans in place with the front engine insulators in place. I’ll then support the rear of the trans while I re-install the bat wing and rear engine mounts.

I’ll be into some major cleaning once the engine is out.

The Big Job begins

65,148.3 Miles on the original Studebaker Thunderbolt 283 V8. It was not taken care of over the years but, it still ran well.

The ’66 Commander finally in the garage for the transplant operation.

An excellent motor that I have driven over 20,000 miles without any big problems. Just improved the ignition with a Mallory (ACCELL) conversion and changed the oil and filter regularly using 15W40 diesel with STP and Lucas oil additive with each fill-up.

Here are the components removed from the Thunderbolt Delco window distributor. I picked up a Studebaker ‘Delco’ from a ’60 Lark some years ago and I’ll use it in the JT along with the Mallory electronic ignition. Not shown is a matching Mallory high voltage coil.

Stutter wheel and pickup in place. No points to wear out!

Parts starting to come off. I plan to remove all the front sheet metal and grille. I’m going to try to re-and-re the engine and trans all together. Just too difficult removing the trans from the bottom and then trying to get it to fit when it is time for the re-install. To to this I will remove the radiator support as well as the radiator.

As parts are removed they go in the box. If they are not easily identified – like bolts and screws – they are bagged and tagged.

Same with wiring. Each connection is tagged. In the past this has really helped speed up re-assembly.

Next the tear down continues.

Bellhousing mis-allignment!

In my last post things all of a sudden went south. The alignment wasn’t too bad with the screws in place and the attachment bolts tightened. Next I needed to be sure all was good so I loosened all the attachment bolts and removed the screws. Next I put the screws back in place, snugged them up and then tightened the attachment bolts. The alignment changed and was way out of wack!

So back to square one with a new plan.

First thing to do was to put lock washers behind every attachment bolt. This hopefully would stop bellhousing movement when I tightened things up once the alignment was OK.

All went OK. I aligned it up again and the bellhousing didn’t move appreciably when I tightened up the attachment bolts. So the washers made a difference. I decided that I had to go back to the idea of new locating pins. The best I had on hand were a couple of 3/8″ cotter pin type pins. I drilled a 3/8″ hole in a piece of stock and the pins were a loose fit. Next I drilled a 23/64″ hole. The 3/8″ pins were altogether too big. What I needed was a Goldilocks fit – not too big and not too small 🙂

I whittled down each pin with bits of sandpaper and and lace. After a few goes the pins fit tightly in the sample hole.

At this point it was time to drill out the old bellhousing alignment holes. This was a touchy point. I had all the attachment bolts torqued down and the alignment from the top clockwise was 0,0,-.0005, -.001 With my wife helping me to keep the drill reasonably straight I cut out the two holes. It was a bit scary how quickly the drill tore through the metal.

Sorry for the blurry photo. I put the right pin in first. The fit was too tight for my liking, but I left it in place for the time being. Next I sanded down the left pin a bit more and it went it with less effort. I was concerned about splitting the bellhousing or the block. Once I got the pin in I checked the alignment and all was about what I had before.

I removed and re-sanded the right pin and got it back in place. I used never-seize to ease the pins in and out. The pins can be pushed out from the front with a narrow drift.

Finally the big test. I removed the pins and loosed off the attachment bolts. I then inserted the pins and re-tightened the bolts. Even with all this care things actually moved a bit. Final tally was, from the top, -.0005, +.002, 0, 0. Thankfully still well within the .004 limit.

Glad to have gotten over this hump. I’ll leave to engine alone until l get a donor torque converter. Next I’ll move on to the removal of the old Studebaker Thunderbolt 283.

V8 Bellhousing Alignment Fun

To start I bolted the bell housing to the block. I tightened the blots only lightly at first, but I had to snug them up to better control the bellhousing movement as I tapped it back and forth.

Basic tools needed for the job. 9/16″ socket for the bellhousing mounting bolts, a large socket to turn the crank, a sturdy hammer to tap the bellhousing and a dial indicator tool.

This is the little tool you need to align the bellhousing to the crank. The rear opening in the bellhousing determines the position of the centerline of the tranmission input shaft. This shaft should be very close to the center of the crankshaft rear flange. The tolerance should be as I understand it, .004 or less.

The parts I will use are the base with its magnet and the gauge with its adapter for the base shaft.

Here it is in place. As I turn the crankshaft (using the big nut on the front of the crank) the dial will slide around the smooth trans mounting surface. I’ve oiled the mounting surface slightly to make it smooth for the gauge tip. Also I only turned the crank in its normal direction – clockwise.

It took three attempts to get the job right. First attempt: I got the up-and-down set and then tried to get the side-to-side set. Of course the up and down got messed up. Tried this a couple of times and I couldn’t get it to work. Second attempt: I set the top to zero and then moved around the circle 1/6 of a turn at a time tapping the housing to bring the dial back to zero each time. Went around a few times, but couldn’t get it in line. Third time lucky: I sent the up-and-down close to zero. I then tightened the top center bolt on the belhousing to stop any further up-and-down movement. I then moved the dial to the 3 o’clock position and set it to zero. Then over to the 9 o’clock position and tapped the housing sideways to get to zero. Then back to the other side for any slight adjustment. Worked well and I have the tolerance down to less than .002.

Next I tightened up the bellhousing bolts and rechecked that the tolerance hadn’t changed.

I considered increasing the alignment pins to 3/8″ and using new pins, but I didn’t have any pins that were a tight fit in a 3/8″ bore. When I aligned the bellhousing on my 185 engine project I used roll pins. Unfortunately I didn’t have some larger (bigger than 1/4″) roll pins on hand. So I decided to do it by drilling and tapping for 5/8″ screws. I have a friend with a’57 Golden Hawk who did it this way.

Cast metal is not too hard to drill with a hand drill. I drilled two new 9/16″ holes in the bellousing block flange.

I drilled and tapped both sides inserted the bolts and checked the alignment. Something must have moved a bit because now it read less than .001 all around.

Next – problems!

Studebaker interuptions

My JT project has been delayed by summer chores and events and a brake problem with my ’54 Champion. As part of the new 185 engine project for the ’54 Champion I upgraded the front brakes to 11″. I put them together with new everything. But I started having problems with the right brake grabbing. I pulled the drums and found that the backing plate paint had been bubbled by a leak from near the wheel cylinder – on both sides. You can just see the track of the brake fluid down from the lower end of the wheel cylinder.

First thing to blame of course, was the wheel cylinders. Closer inspection showed that the leak was coming from behind the wheel cylinder between the wheel cylinder and the backing plate.

It appeared that small amounts of brake fluid leaked out from between the brake flex hose and the wheel cylinder over the winter. So I removed both flex hoses and replaced the copper washers that fit between the hose and the wheel cylinder with a new pair.

Then it was just a matter of sand blasting the shoes to remove any contamination and reassembling the brakes. Pretty straight forward. Job done.

One brake reassembling bug-a-boo is trying to get the top springs to go over the center pivot. I have been using a small set of vice grips to grab the spring and then pull enough to get it over the top post. This time I found a much better way. It involved using a small wood crafting chisel.

I have a complete set and from it I chose one with a shallow curve to it. I slipped the chisel through the loop end of the spring and then hooked the curved end over the center post. Using a screw driver doesn’t work that well. It tends to slip off the center post. Using the chisel as a lever the spring slipped into place quite easily, didn’t slip off and I didn’t even damage the chisel!

This is an item I picked up a few years ago. Just loosen the bleeder screw, attach the hose and using the magnet, attach the bottle to the bottom of the brake drum on the outside. Works a charm. Just pump the pedal enough times to fill the bottle to between half and three quarters and you have cleared out most of the old fluid from the lines as well as the wheel cylinder. The brake fluid remains in the line when your done so that no air gets back into the wheel cylinder.

I’ve been using DOT 3 fluid for years, but I think it’s time to change. When I’ve used up my reserve of DOT3 I think I’ll move to either Dot 3 synthetic or Dot 5 full synthetic if I’m at a point where I’m redoing the complete system.

Next it’s time to dial in the bell housing – when I get a bit of time!

Engine transfer

Before I get started on the engine transfer, here’s a piece of junk I bought from a national auto and mechanical parts, etc supplier who gets most of its stuff from China. The bins began to break away from the back almost right away – and especially in colder temperatures. I guess it was really meant to store chocolates or marshmallows and maybe gummy bears!

A friend in our car club showed me a shelf he made with re-purposed milk cartons. I thought it was a good idea. So I collected up a wack of empty milk cartons each with a large oval cut out of the front side. I then made up a shelf out of 2X6″ project wood I had lying around. The shelves are out of 1X4″. And voila I have and excellent place to store all my different kinds of nails, etc. I wrote what the bin contained on the white carton top.

Now on with the engine transfer. I moved out our ’54 Studebaker Champion to make room to move around. I then pulled out the folding engine hoist. The engine hoist and engine stand I should say came from the vendor mentioned above. Not professional quality, but good for the hobbiest – also made in China.

The engine hoist assembled and the hoist tackle in place. I bolted the hoist tackle to the 4 intake manifold end screw holes.

I lowered the engine so that the mounts just rested on the two uprights. I then aligned the engine so it was lined up with the stand and marked the uprights through the motor mount holes.

I predrilled the uprights where they were marked and started lag screws in the holes. I did this so I could easily start them with the engine in place. Those are body washers – large but with small holes.

This is the setup to hold the back of the engine. The uprights are trimmed to 1/2″ so they fit inside the pan lip and up against the pan bolts.

Resting nicely on the stand. Now I can fit the bellhousing, torque converter and trans. I intend to install it all as a unit. I’ll need to remove all the front end metal between the fenders including the radiator support. It will be much easier than trying to wrestle the trans into place under the car which will only be as high as the jack stands can take it.

But first it is time to dial in the bell housing.

Power Steering Pump completion

The never ending painting goes on. PS pump and parts on the left, PS reach rod, R1 pan breather tube w/dipstick tube, PS bellcrank, PS ram frame mount and breather tube support.

Installing the pump brackets. Surprisingly there are no lock washers for the pump bolts. They are all course thread as well. So I assembled with a bit of blue Loctite.

Brackets installed and bolts tightened to 25 ft. lbs.

New O ring gaskets over the two openings under the reservoir tank. I did touch up the bolts heads in black before mounting the pulley.

Reservoir installed with the large nut torqued to 35 ft lbs. I use an inch pound torque wrench so I convert the specs to inch pounds – 35 ft lbs equals 420 inch lbs. I like using the smaller torque wrench for lower torques as I feel it’s more accurate than my ft lb wrench.

I installed the cover stud with double nuts. the torque is quite low so I just hand tightened with a short wrench. I figure I’m pulling about 12 ft lbs on a short wrench by hand and with moderate force.

Thought it might look a bit nicer two-toned rather than just all black like the engine block. I used Rust-Oleum silver wheel paint. Goes on nice and it has a lot of metal flake in it. One thing I would do differently next time – I painted the parts in primer by brush thinking I was going to go with brush painted satin black. The final coats of silver would have been a bit smoother had I primed with a spray bomb.

On the engine with a new belt.

After installing the pump I rigged up a connection between the high pressure outlet and the low pressure return using a bit of hose and the old high pressure fitting cut from the old hose.

This allowed me to flood the pump with fluid to keep it in good shape until it’s brought into service which will be some months away. I spun the pump a few times and the fluid pumped back up into the reservoir.

Now it really is time to get the engine off the engine stand and onto its dolly.

Power Steering Pump assembly

A little blurry. I’ve started the new pump seal in place by hand and with a little tap using a piece of wood to get it started straight.

There are times when I could use a shop bench press. Here the housing and seal are in my bench vice which works good as a press for small jobs.

Seal evenly seated. Sweet!

The shaft looks real good except for the area where the new seal will seat. You can just make out where the old seal ran on the shaft.

A little run around with a piece of 1500 sand paper followed by crocus cloth (using a wide shoe lace) and the shaft is nice a smooth for the new seal.

Here the smaller pin is in place to hold the pump outer cam ring from turning.

Type F automatic trans fluid is what I’ll use in the pump. I built a pump for my ’54 Champion and I used regular power steering fluid by mistake. In an earlier blog I showed a photo of the pump reservoir filled with pink foam. I had to drain the system (not a fun job) and refill with ATF. I used type F because I was also using it in my ’66 Flight-O-Matic. Seems to work fine. The folks on the Studebaker forum recommend other types of ATF if you can’t get Type F for Fords.

The instructions with the kit and in the shop service manual instruct the builder to be careful when installing the pump shaft so as not to damage the seal. With that sharp lip on the shaft there is no way to push it through from inside without damaging the seal.

It can be easily pushed in from the outside without seal damage.

I did install the pump outer cam ahead of time. Here I have fitted the larger pin into the slot in the pump shaft for the inner part of the pump. I tried to use ATF in the assembly process, but it didn’t work all that well. Although the ATF is an oil it isn’t a slippery lubricant. In fact, it seems to resist putting together tight fitting parts like the pump cam in the pump body. I ended up wiping it off to get part to fit. So if I was to do it again I would do the job dry and just flood the pump once it is together.

The inner pump rotor slipped into place over the recessed pin in the shaft quite easily and then I put the new rollers in place. The big and small ‘O’ rings are in place with a coating of ATF.

I put together the two pump halves and snugged it up with three bolts. I will do the final torque when I attach the two mounting plates. Here the pump flow control valve and spring is just going in. I torqued the nut with the a O ring to the recommended 35 ft lbs.

All cleaned up, sanded, and ready for painting.

Next, getting the engine mounted on the dolly.

Power Steering pump disassembly and cleaning

New seal kit and pump kit.

Everything came apart easily except for the seal. I used a long drift and small hammer. It finally broke loose – see the raised lip – and then it came off easily.

The old pump parts looked really good so I wasn’t sure I needed the new kit. Just in case I got out my good calipers and checked the rollers. Turns out the old one on the right is about .003 smaller than the new one.

The new kit is on the left and the rollers are slightly further down in the used unit. So I decided to go with the new kit.

Time to give all the parts a good cleaning and then a blow dry with the air hose.

All cleaned up and blow dried.

I tipped up the spool valve to show a small bleeder hole. Behind it is a check ball and a strong spring. The air gun was able to blow out the cleaning fluid OK. Also there are holes in the side which can be used to blow out the fluid around the spring.

On the bottom right is a (blurry) snap ring and two tiny round cylinders. Easy to loose the small one. It fits inside the pump barrel and holds the pump cam in place. The other fits in the shaft to hold the pump gear in place.

One thing the kits don’t include are new bushings for both halves of the housing. The shaft is just shiny and I can’t see much in the way of wear so hopefully the old bushings will last for awhile yet.

Next I’ll attempt the assembly in the correct order!