Jump to content


AOAI Forum Members
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by Mel

  1. Not sure why you wouldn't want to add relays.  I wrote an article in the AOAI magazine, Issue 170, pg. 47, regarding, among other things, relays for the headlamps.  Mine are hidden up under the dash, below the fuse block, and take a lot of the load off the overhead switches.  The only 'original' wiring I had to disturb was to cut the two wires leading FROM the dimmer switch and attach the two cut ends of each of these wires to the relays.  (The two 'solid' color wires lead from the dimmer switch, the wire with the tracer leads from the overhead switch to the dimmer switch.  The article details how I did it and has a picture of the result.)

  2. Per the wiring diagram, the fuse for the trunk lamp is the same as for the front courtesy lamp and the two back seat dome lamps -- i.e., if those, or any one of them, is working that fuse is good and you should be getting power to the mercury switch.  Further, make sure your ground return from the trunk lamp is good.  With the fiberglass bodies, ground returns can be a problem.

  3. It's been years since I installed mine but, as I recall, the 'arm' indeed points toward the passenger side of the car.  I believe there are only five screws holding it in place and, if so, there is only one orientation wherein the arm would swing freely and not hit the sides of the tank.  And, I seem to recall there may be different spaces between the screw holes and, again, if so, there is only one way the unit could go.  Hope this helps.

  4. What year is your car and what engine do you have in it?  Right off the bat, I'm thinking your 'plumbing', or at least part of it, may have been part of a heat riser set up for choke operation.

  5. Hi Marc,

    Rather than edit the previous post, I'll just add another.

    The article regarding the headlight relays, kick panel vent doors, headlight reminder circuit, etc., is in issue 170, page 47.  (I'll suggest checking the vent doors as my factory doors had basically disintegrated and they leaked tons of air.)

    The article regarding the 'Ford' type solenoid set up is in issue 174, page 7.  Very easy to install.

    The article regarding the exhaust leak is in issue 175, page 35.

    If you decide to take the dash down, the service manual has the procedure laid out.  There is an article in issue 82, page 38, which the guy says is easier than the procedure as laid out in the manual.  Might be easier; I found it after I'd done the job.

    You can get back issues of all the magazines on disc; some good info.  They're pdf's but, again, some good info.  If you can get a copy of the '2018/2019 Membership Roster' from AOAI, that publication has not only the roster of all members (by state, by serial #, and owner alphabetic listing), it also has an index of all the articles written in all AOAI magazines.

    Keep us posted and be sure to post any questions.  This is a great community and folks are great about providing answers, experience and moral support.

    Good luck,


  6. As above, welcome.  These cars are, indeed, a joy.  I have a '66 (0108) and, as you, had fried wiring when I got it -- from your description, the same wires.  Like you, the instant I discovered it, the battery was immediately disconnected.  Mine came with the one wire set up; the regulator is mounted under the dash below the fuse block -- I retained that setup.  I had insulation melted and hanging under the dash and under the hood.  Not knowing how it looked inside the bundle, I decided to replace those wires and they had melted insulation all inside the bundle.  The Reader's Digest version is that I took down the dash and ran new wiring through the bundle.  I took this opportunity to do several things with the dash out:  change the defroster hoses (rotted and full of holes) and the hoses running from the cowling to the transmission tunnel (same), put in relays to control the lights, make new ventilation 'doors' (about as much air leaking as being blocked), etc.  If you decide to take your dash down, be sure to label everything.  It is not an easy task but it is certainly do-able.  Just do some thinking and reading about what you might want to do and do it all at once.  I wrote an article in one of the AOAI magazines which has several things listed regarding what I did.  I'm not at home right now but will find out in a couple of days what issue it's in and edit this post to include that info.

    As per above, I'd strongly suggest the Turner brake system, at least for the front.  I'd suggest putting in a fuel shutoff solenoid; the procedure, and why to do it, is addressed in the article.  I'd also suggest a Ford type starter solenoid set up.  These SBC motors apparently had solenoid problems in that, often when hot, you hear a clicking but the starter does not engage; the 'Ford' set up cures that.  Summit racing sells that setup as a kit, or at least they did a couple of years ago, for $20.00 which is probably cheaper than you can buy the individual parts (solenoid, heavy jumper wire, jumper clip, ...).  I submitted another article regarding this; I'll find that issue number also.  I wrote another article regarding exhaust odor; I'll find that one also.  Succinctly, mine had a hole in the heat riser which, apparently originally, had a tube which led to the choke to conduct heat from the exhaust to control the choke.  Plugging that hole quieted down the noise and removed almost all the exhaust odor when riding down the road.

    I had a 700R4 GM transmission put in mine; they originally had the Borg Warner 3 speed which is, of course, one to one in high gear.  The GM transmission has a torque converter lockup and an overdrive.  Mine has the 3.07 differential and the GM lowered the rpm's at 70mph from about 3100 to 2200, or so.  Saves the engine, better gas mileage, and you can talk with someone riding with you.  The cars are certainly light enough and the engine strong enough to handle the overdrive.

    I'll edit this post in a couple of days to point out the articles.

    Again, welcome.


  7. When I got my '66, it had no rake at all.  A quick look revealed the rear leaf springs had sagged quite a bit.  A new set of springs from Eaton raised it back up.  When I ordered them, the guy at Eaton asked if I wanted 'heavy duty' springs, at no extra charge.  Basically, they just added one more leaf.  It actually raised the rake up to what I felt was too high; I then put on a set of 1 1/2" lowering blocks which brought the back end down.  To do it again, I'd probably not get the 'heavy duty' springs.

  8. The manual should tell you what weight engine oil to use, but be sure to use oil with zinc in it -- e.g., Valvoline VR1 -- or, add a bottle of the ZDDP when you change oil ; these flat tappet cammed engines like zinc and modern oils do not have zinc it it.  O'Reilly's sells the VR1, or did, but the last time I bought some they had to order it.  Check back at this forum often as there is always something new to learn about these 'older' cars.  Good luck!  These cars are a joy!

  9. I took the car to Myer's in Ohio; Michael has done several of these.  The total for everything -- transmission and rebuild, kits, adapter plate at the end, lines, drive shaft modification, labor, fluid, -- was about $2600.  And, he gave me $100 for the Borg-Warner.  I've been very pleased with it.

  10. Regarding your comment about overdrive, I had a 700R4 transmission put in mine which lowered my RPM at 70mph from about 3100 to 2150, or so.  This lets you hear your passenger and think as you ride down the freeway; saving the engine and better gas mileage are plusses.  I have the 3.07 gear and it handles the OD fine; I'm sure your lower 3.54 gear would have no trouble.

  11. I would definitely go with the Turner conversion on the front.  As noted above, if you replace everything on the front, the difference in price probably won't be worth worrying about.  And, if you've ever tried adjusting and shimming up the original disk setup, you definitely will not worry about any extra cost -- it's painful.  Plus, an added bonus, the pads on Turner's setup are quite a bit larger giving much better braking.  Doing the conversion is not difficult at all.

  12. Per WayneC above, get the wiring diagram.  If you don't have the diagram, I'd probably start fault tracing by checking, with a meter, to see if you have power to the overhead.  Being you had taillights, and now don't, I would guess you had power to the overhead, at least initially.  If you don't have power now, you may have blown the circuit breaker on the fuse block.  If you do have power to the overhead, proceed at your own risk, but I'd try eliminating the switch from the circuit -- i.e., try jumping wires together to see if you can get headlights, parking lights, ... to light up.  Basically, the set up is that the switch on the left side supplies power to the switch on the right (e.g., left - power on/off to the lights, right - headlights/parking lights; left - power on/off to the instrument lights, right - instrument lights dim/bright).  You should have two wires coming off the (headlights/parking lights) switch on the right, one leading to the headlights, the other to the parking lights.  You can put power to either of these wires, either from the power to the overhead or directly from the battery, and the headlights or parking lights should light up.  Again, proceed at your own risk.

    Being you had the tail lights working, I doubt you have a 'short' but probably an 'open.'  Look inside the switch and you'll see, as I recall, it's not a rock-solid setup and these switches do get dirty.  I just looked in Studebaker International's catalog and did not see a listing for them.  You might try Nostalgic Motors if you need switches.  The headlights switches, particularly, have quite a bit of amperage going through them and a relay set up routes most of the current away from the switches.  (See AOAI magazine #170, pg. 47 for a circuit and write-up.)

    You might want start with making sure your bulbs are good and you didn't blow them when you shorted the switch, initially.

    Keep us posted.

  13. Not many of us '66's; mine is RQA 0108.  Your car looks very nice in the pictures.  There is always something to learn about these cars.

    Yours should have the 327/300 Corvette motor.  Be sure to put a bottle of the ZDDP in your oil when you change oil, or, use Valvoline VR1 racing oil which has zinc in it.  Newer blends of oil do not have zinc and the flat tappet camshafts like zinc.

    I had a GM 700R4 transmission put in mine which, with the torque converter lock-up and overdrive, lowered the engine RPM from approx. 3150 to 2200 at 70mph which allows you to think and talk to your passenger on the freeway.  Less stress on the engine and better gas mileage are bonuses.

    If you don't have the Turner Brakes , at least on the front, I would.  Shimming up the pads on the original set up is a pain and the pads are much smaller, and hence have less stopping ability, than Turner's set up.

    Perhaps I should not have volunteered the three items above until you indicated what you have done to the car, what you plan to do, etc.

    Mel (North Carolina)


  14. Did you get it fixed yet?  I wrote an article which is in issue #170 which has a diagram for a 'headlights on' reminder circuit which I put on my '66.  The article has two circuits described; the one that may apply and be of interest to you begins at the top of page 48.

  15. One other item to be SURE to check is the 'universal joint' that connects the end of the steering wheel shaft to the steering box.  This is made of fabric impregnated rubber, of some sort, and if this breaks, as has been known to happen, you will have a WHOLE LOT lot of free play.

  16. You have to remove the two screws at the top of the cover plate.  Then remove the two knobs on the A/C controls with a small allen wrench and then the two nuts under the knobs; the plate will then come off.  Then you can get to the tabs on the back to remove the deflectors.  Hope this helps.

  17. '66 RQA-0108.  Have found the rear brake cylinder at a couple of sites for $89.50.  Considering how much I have in it, I'm not sure why I should try to save a few bucks but does anyone know of a cross-referenced replacement which is any cheaper?  I've tried to recondition the cylinder but the diameter is so small I can't get a brake hone in it and it leaks intermittently.  I have a repair kit that, I think, came from a Toyota but I'm not sure.

    I'm not sure if the brake lines have ever been changed.  Has anyone done this and how difficult is it?  Can flexible hydraulic lines be used and has anyone done this?


  18. As SilverStude said, you probably need a Ford style solenoid. Chevy starters of that era were known for having weak solenoids. Jon Meyer told me that GM had actually sent out a field notice around that time regarding the problem and weaker internal springs as a fix.

    Fred88 below noted the parts you need. In issue 174, pg. 7 of AOAI magazine, I noted that Summit Racing sells a kit for this problem for $19.97, Summit p/n SUM-G1750. The kit includes the solenoid and a bit of hardware but you'll also need a jumper to run from the new solenoid to the starter. I bought this jumper at Advance Auto for around $5.00 (This jumper is about 6-8 inches long and is probably #4 wire with a terminal on each end which is essentially a flattened piece of metal with a 5/16" (or so) hole drilled in it to allow it to slip on the starter and solenoid terminals. Hope this is clear.) I was always apprehensive about whether the car would start, particularly when it was hot, but I put this kit on and have not had a bit of trouble with it.

  19. Bill,

    You don't note what year your car is but, if an early edition (probably pre-1970 -- wiring color-code issue but I'm not sure) you can look in issue #170 on page 47 where there is an article I wrote up describing the headlight relay circuit I used; as noted in the article, it is essentially the same as on Bob Johnstone's website (but slightly different as noted in the article). I mounted the relays up under the fuse block and they are well hidden. I ran the main feed to the lights from the existing 20 amp breaker but, for high intensity lamps, you can certainly feed it from the main battery feed with a breaker or fuse in the line. As with any task under the dash of any car, the job was not hard at all but does require some dexterity. My headlights were dim and occasionally flickered; I've been real happy with the results. Good luck.


  20. The heat riser on my '66 ('67 GM motor) does not work. It is not stuck and can be freely rotated in the riser housing. The bimetal spring is in place and mounted to the rotating part of the valve but it is not attached to the housing of the riser. The end of the spring looks bent back an inch or so from original and does not seem to align properly any way I try it. Does anyone know if there is a diagram of this thing somewhere? Thanks for any ideas.

  21. Eaton made some rear springs for me. I haven't looked lately but when I bought mine, they listed two prices, basically one for wholesale and one for retail. I told the guy he could send them to a friend's shop or directly to me; he said he'd send them to me for the wholesale price and did. He also asked me if I wanted 'heavy duty' for no extra cost; I said 'sure.' I think they just added an extra leaf. The car sat up a bit high so I put in 1.5" lowering blocks which brought it down to a nice height. I wrote an article on 'electrical circuits', etc., which is in Issue 170 which has a bit about this. Good luck.

  22. In Issue 170, I submitted an article regarding electrical circuits, etc., and also included a hint on these air vents. I had the same problem in mine as the fiberboard 'flaps' disintegrate over time. Basically, you can push the pivot rod holding the flap upward and the bottom of the setup (plastic tube?) downward and pull the bottom of the flap inward. (You'd have to do this anyway to replace the setup.) I then drilled the rivets out of the mount and used paperboard to fashion templates and then used the templates as guides to cut aluminum plates. I'm not sure of the gauge but the aluminum was 0.125" (1/8") thick. I then riveted the plates to the original mount rods. It took a bit of trial and error to get the templates right but, once I got them right, I cut the aluminum plates and they fit very snugly -- probably as snugly as the original and they will not disintegrate. I painted them black right before the last placement and painted the grill covers at the same time. I've been very pleased with them. As I recall, I believe the flaps are the same but the mount rods may be different; i.e., I used the same flap template for both sides. Good luck.

  • Create New...