The original pitman arm is on the left. It appears to be the same as the PS arm but, it is a few thousandths larger. Also it has four aligning bumps that fit into slots in the pitman arm shaft. The steering box in the ’54 is a Saginaw type S. That box, or a version of it was also used in the ’59-’60 V8 models with PS. So I needed a pitman arm from one of those models. Happily I found one of those in my box of PS parts I have collected over the years from Gary Payne’s salvage yard (see more about the salvage yard below).
This is the new donor pitman arm I marked the alignment bump that is visible
This is the pitman arm I tried to use. It has even teeth all around.
All I need do now is disassemble the used unit, clean and paint the arm and I’ll be back in business.
Looking ahead I need to clean up parts for the front end rebuild. 64 years of grunge on the A arms. Not the fun part of restoration work but, it has to be done. Scraping, bushing removal, de-greasing, sand blasting and finally paint and installation of new bushings. The work will be worth it all if the squeaking stops and only the rumble of the exhaust can be heard when Baby Blue drives onto the show & shine fields.
Gary Payne’s Salvage yard
Here’s the old house at Dorchester Cape, New Brunswick. Gary stored parts in the old house, when it was in better shape. One room had cranks and other heavy iron, one had chrome trim, another sheet metal, another brakes, etc. He sold parts for all makes but he had a special place for Studebakers. In the mid-’70s when Studebaker dealers were switching to other brands he purchased remaining Studebaker inventories from a number of dealerships in the Maritimes and northeastern US. He also made a number of trips to buy car loads of parts from SASCO in South Bend.
He sold NOS parts and salvage parts up until 2000. The yard was the only place to get local Studebaker parts.
By then the salvage cars were sunk into the ground and the exposure to the elements had destroyed much of interiors and body sheet metal.
A little while later Gary sold the remains of his inventory to me as buyers had pretty well dried up. My plan was to put the inventory on the web and sell to Studebaker lovers everywhere.
By 2012 all that remained in Gary’s salvage yard was his Studebakers. He decided that it was time to clear the yard and put the land up for sale.
It was sad to see them go. Don Preiss and me quickly collected all we could while the crushers were at work. A number of parts and a few engines and transmissions were all we could save. There were still many many parts that could have been saved but, it was impossible to save it all and to leave the cars to deteriorate further in the outdoors would ruin whatever was left. The salvage yard is now gone and there have been a number of times that it would have been nice to return to the salvage yard for a needed part.
Gary helped Studebaker owners for over 25 years. He is a valued member of the local Studebaker Club – the Atlantic Canada Chapter – and he remains our best source of Studebaker repair and maintenance information.