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BirgerBuilder Reader
8/1/21 9:01 a.m.

Hey everyone!

     I've been off of the forums for a while now, but not because I've been unproductive, I've started a new project and have some backlogged photos, (and a lot of video)

so let's play catch up, here she is coming home

Has some quality 'Patina'

Now, the body certainly needs some work, what am I going to do about the frame...

Why, it's the same wheelbase as a 1980's dodge d150!

So after some boring rust repair of the floor and body mounts, I set the old frame free. 

If anyone needs a studabaker straight 6 that spins freely and wants to drive to Maryland to get it, let me know! (or any other frame parts)

Well that's the first installment in my blasphemous destruction of a classic car (come at me bro) And if you want to see actual details on the project, you might want to check out the video series!



wvumtnbkr GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
8/1/21 9:11 a.m.

Keep going!

obsolete GRM+ Memberand Reader
8/1/21 10:03 a.m.

Ooh, I like this.

ultraclyde UltimaDork
8/1/21 11:33 a.m.


garethashenden New Reader
8/1/21 6:28 p.m.

I saw your reddit post and felt a little sad about it, always liked those Studebakers. But seeing these other pictures I realize just how far gone it is, so I'm glad its found a home and will live on.

Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
8/1/21 6:50 p.m.

Im hoping for 4x4 and 37s....

Ognib Reader
8/1/21 7:22 p.m.

That's a very cool car!

Greg fleury up in Minnesota built one called it"frankenstude". Really nice car. Probably pics on line if you're looking for ideas & inspiration.

ShawnG UltimaDork
8/1/21 7:56 p.m.

You're not destroying anything with that car.

It can only get better from the state it's in.

Glad you're doing something with it.

ShawnG UltimaDork
8/1/21 8:00 p.m.


Put the body on the chassis backwards.

The running joke with those for years has been "Studebaker put the front end on the back".


Stampie GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/1/21 8:05 p.m.

Repeat to myself "Must not become an engine whore!"

paddygarcia GRM+ Memberand Reader
8/2/21 7:19 a.m.

Movin' right along. Footloose and fancy free, until their world crumbled and the cities exploded.

On the roads it was a white-line nightmare. 

In the roar of an engine and a smear of green, he lost everything and became a shell of a bear. A burnt out, desolate bear. A bear haunted by the demons of his past. A bear who wandered out into the wasteland. And it was here in this blighted place that he learned to live again.

DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) UltimaDork
8/2/21 7:27 a.m.

In reply to paddygarcia :

BirgerBuilder will have to call the car "Fozzy" now.......I think that would be cool on a personalized license plate on a Stude.

BirgerBuilder Reader
8/2/21 3:22 p.m.

License plates... a guy can dream. 

Speaking of which, anyone know how to use the Vermont loophole when you don't have a vin number? It's only got like a 7 digit serial on the chasis. 

TurnerX19 UltraDork
8/2/21 3:37 p.m.

In reply to BirgerBuilder :

That 7 digit number is the serial number, and Vermont should recognize it, nothing had 13 digits in 1950. It should also appear on a plate on the body shell somewhere, I can't remember exactly where on a '50. I will ask another Stude geek with a deeper knowledge of bullet noses than me and get back to you on that. Also a capital letter I is used for the number 1 on a Studebaker chassis or engine number. By the way, the Studebaker Drivers Club welcomes modified cars, they have very few irritating originality dweebs.

BirgerBuilder Reader
8/3/21 3:23 p.m.

Ok... So the Serial number is only on the body already, in the engine compartment. Neither the old frame nor the dodge frame has a Vin of any kind. I have a bill of sale but no vin number to write down on it. It sounds like Vermont may accept the Serial number though? Should I just write the factory serial number down in place of the vin? All the instructions I found said you needed a vin number and many said to have the bill of sale stamped by a notary public or the vin verified by the state police. 

TurnerX19 UltraDork
8/3/21 10:09 p.m.

Serial number and VIN are the same thing. The term "vehicle identification number" did not exist prior to 1967, and did not become standard nomenclature until 1981 along with 13 digits. If the number is on the firewall that answers my question that I have not had the opportunity to persue with Studie geek.

More Tools Than Sense
More Tools Than Sense Reader
9/6/21 1:17 p.m.

It's the first Sunday of the Month so that means it's the arbitrary time to post a new video about the project!

So, I actually started rebuilding the engine before I started on the frame swap but it didn't feel right to kick off a video series about a car and not include the car in the first video. But, I digress. 

Here is the beautiful specimen of an engine I had to work with. 

It came for free with the D-150 frame I bought for the same number of dollars, and was worth every penny. 

The frame itself was in pretty good shape though, coming off of a 2wd truck it was clearly spared the salt treatments. 

But just look how clean that oil is!

Anyway, I pulled it the rest of the way apart assuming it would only be good for decoration, but the crank ended up looking pretty good. 

So I stupidly pressed on, good thing I have a vertical mill and no idea how to use it!

Well, I'm late for the cookout so I'll have to ad more details later, if you can't wait that long, just go watch the whole video! 


More Tools Than Sense
More Tools Than Sense Reader
9/7/21 1:48 p.m.

Ok, so first I cleaned up the heads with a sandblaster and wire brush. The valve guides were in good shape so I plugged them up with bolts and o-rings before the cleaning.

I ported and polished the heads to the best of my ability, having never done the job before... I guess I did ok? How do you tell except on a dyno?

Anyway, the valves were trash so I had to replace them and clean the seats and why not add bigger valves!? This means I also have to cut bigger seats.

These were like 150$ on ebay I think and they were very ok at their job. They cut pretty well but the guides were not straight at all. I ended up making a new guide on the lathe in order to make them cut properly.

Last thing to do before diving into the Block was to balance the pistons and rods.

The scale was cheap but getting it to work accurately took some doing. Eventually I got all the rods and pistons within 1/2 a gram of each other.

Machining the block is a whole other story, especially because I've never rebuilt an engine at all, let alone doing all of the machine work myself, but you know, stupid is as stupid does.




Mr_Asa GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
9/7/21 2:15 p.m.

Do you have someone looking over your shoulder to help with the engine stuff, or are you just teaching yourself as you go?

More Tools Than Sense
More Tools Than Sense Reader
9/7/21 2:51 p.m.

In reply to Mr_Asa :

Well, I have a friend who has been a machinist for over 30 years but he has only been over to help out a handful of times. I'm mostly learning through the wonderful process of donking it all up then tearing it apart to do it again!

More Tools Than Sense
More Tools Than Sense Reader
9/9/21 9:27 a.m.

So I did get some help for this next step, my buddy Bruce (the machinist) came by and generously donated this solid bar of 2" steel that fit the main bearing caps. He also let me know the best way to get everything set up and dialed in. I machined some flats on the round bar and bolted it all together.

You can also see the jacks I made that are holding everything in place and allow me to make adjustments to the angles to get everything square.

After that I just centered the cutting tool, quadruple checked all of the measurements and gave it a full send.

I cut The deck as well but only about .012" off of the top. I thought about Zero decking the block but I would have had to take another .050" off and that would mess up the geometry of the heads and intake. So I kept it simple and left the engine relatively low compression. Isn't there still something good you can do with and engine that has lower compression pistons in it...?

All in all, this could have gone way worse. I ended up with some variances between the overall size of the bores but only about .001" after I hit them with the hone.

And more important than that, no more than .0005" of variance in each bore from top to bottom. This could have been a real issue since the mill I am using does not have a long enough stroke to do the entire bore in one go. So I had to set it and cut the top 4.5" and then raise the knee of the table and cut the last 1.5 inch by repeating the steps.

Now, I am sure that this is far, far from perfection, (or probably even good by machine shop standards) But damn it, I did this myself. And I'm gonna be proud of it.

And I'm sure I'll get to see my hard work again when I pull the engine apart to fix what I did wrong. (Yeah, pretty heavy on the foreshadowing)

bgkast GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
9/9/21 9:52 a.m.

Wow. This is awesome.

MadScientistMatt UltimaDork
9/9/21 10:16 a.m.

I can't wait to see how this turns out. Is that a 318 or a 360?

Shavarsh Reader
9/9/21 10:52 a.m.

Rad! Looking forward to seeing the rest


AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
9/9/21 11:08 a.m.

Hey, that machine work looks really nice, way to go for it and try new things. 

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