Monday, September 28, 2015

Steering mostly better

It's been a while since the last update.  I finally have the steering under control.  As a result of lowering the truck, the front shackles became a major liability.  After beefing them up with some welded cross memebers (thank you Jeff Elsworth), I now don't feel terrified when driving over 45 miles per hour.

Nice note on Gizmodo about a 1905 Woods Electric vehicle.  Studebaker had them in 1902!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

A little progress, a little setback

It was a pretty good week.  The motor and electronics are working well, although there is a lot of jumping very slow speed.  That turns out to be play in the rear end, so I'm going to have Denny's auto repair in Stoughton fix it after I get some parts.

Next I'm going to rebuild the steering box.  I found a great video on line, actually for a model of Jeep that uses the same box.  I will replace the bearings and the pawl (which follows the worm gear) and it should be good again.  This guy, who has rebuilt several of them says that the worm gear is always OK.  I hope he's right because that is a major part.

Next Thursday I'll take the truck to Madison Spring to get their ideas on fixing the front end.  The extended shackles may be part of the handling problem, plus the front end bangs metal on metal when you hit a road imperfection.

Last Thursday I took the truck to bb7 to be photographed.  It gave a number of folks there the chance to drive it some which made me happy.  It's still not good over 40 mph, so their drives were limited.  Unfortunately, somebody got overenthusiastic about opening the door and crunched the passenger side door near the top hinge... one more thing to fix.

However, it's sort of to be expected.  Things are still rattling loose and I work to tighten them.  It's still a big project, but at least it's on the road again and great fun to drive.

Finally, I took it to the Stoughton Coffee Break car show Saturday.  A lot of smiles, a lot of curiosity.  It was fun, but will be more fun when it's finished.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Your mileage may vary

I drove the truck 53 miles yesterday and just finished charging.  Based on this the truck has the potential to go 140 miles between charges (57.6 kWh).  Of course that's running the batteries dry (a bad idea) and averaging 40 mph or so.  But it's a data point.  Here is a graph of the drives I've recorded (except for the max point (140 miles) which is an estimate based on the other data.

Friday, August 7, 2015


OK, OK, I'll post since I'm getting complaints...

Things are slowly getting better.  I have new tires, that reduced road noise and vibration.  I also removed the clutch and flywheel.

The flywheel was unbalanced and I was concerned that the motor bearing would go out.  After a bit of research on the internet, and speaking to my brother and Rick Beebe, I decided that I could remove them.  That still presented a problem of how to connect the motor to the transmission, but a little on-line hunting turned up the little item.  It's about 4" across, compared to the 12" diameter clutch assembly on the right.

Now it runs smooth as silk and I shaved 40 or 50 pounds off too.

Otherwise, Rick Beebe stopped by.  Rick was at EAA and has been watching the blog so he stopped because he was in the area.  He gave me a lot of good suggestions and we had a nice ride around the circuit. (pre-clutch removal).

This morning I took my first 'utility' drive to Stoughton to have breakfast with Kreg Gruben.  It's starting to get fun and I'm starting to trust it some.

On the agenda now is to take it to a local shop to look at the steering (still loose).  Finish wiring the turn signals.  Put in a new DC/DC converter. And lots of interior, windows, misc small stuff... oh yeah, and a parking brake.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Details, details

The slog continues.  Now that the truck is home, I can jump out and work on it easier.  This week I have been shoring up some of the essentials... like brakes and clutch.

During the drive home, I discovered that the brakes were not nearly strong enough.  They looked good while the truck was on jacks, only having to stop the wheel.  However, they did not do a good job stopping the truck!  Additionally, the clutch pedal broke off (!!) about the time we hit Stoughton.  Of course you don't 'need' a clutch pedal, but it sure does help.

I drove the truck to Ellsworth Welding in town and Jeff Ellsworth (who loved the truck) figured it had to be removed to weld.  So, I removed it the next day.  It was a bit of a puzzle, but came off easily after I figured that one out.

He did a great job of welding, and as a bonus, he reshaped the metal so that the pedals sit much better.  They had bent out of shape after all the years of use.

Notice the brake master cylinder under the floor

The pivot is squeezed between the cab hanger

The other major accomplishment was fixing a software 'bug'.  I was having trouble with the truck 'starting'.  Sometimes when I turned the key, everything was AOK, and sometimes it would only run the motor for a second before shutting down.

After several e-mails with Jack, I finally found the dopey mistake that I made.  You have to tell the controller box which outputs are hooked to where.  In my case I have outputs running to the two contactors, the main contactor and the pre-charge contactor.  I had them assigned to Outputs 3 & 4, but the wires were hooked to 4 & 5.  When it worked, it was just lucky that the output 3 came up in a state that happened to run the truck.  It shouldn't have worked at all.  So, when I fixed that, everything now comes up and runs very reliably.

Here are a couple of pictures of the controller software.  The guys at EVTV, Jack and Colin mostly I think (not sure), did a great job.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

On the road again!!!!

The good old Studebaker truck is once again on the road!!  

On Thursday I drove it home from bb7, 18 miles.  It was the best birthday present I could have.  There are three videos below.  Depending on your level of patience, you can watch the short (0:11), medium (10:00), or long version (17:00).

It was a great day, tremendous fun.  I want to thank the team at bb7 for all of their help.  When the truck is truly road worthy, I'll take it back for all to have a go at driving and enjoying it.

Greg Falendysz          Andrew Hawkins
Ben Paprocki              Bob Schofield
Bryon Sande               Duane Kaufman 
Jesse Ransom             Mark Begin
Mike Andrew             Peter Davis
Rob Podell                 Jason Henry
Dave Bauer                Ted Myers
Jon Mick                    Larry Holley
John Miller                John Smith

And perhaps some others that I missed... sorry if I missed someone

Short Version (0:11)

Medium Version (10:00)

Long Version (17:00)
by far the best!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Not as close as thought

Video blog this week.  Sorry for the shaky intro and crummy resolution... I'm working on it.  Cheers,