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Thursday, 22 November 2012 00:00

Oil for your Studebaker Engine

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For over two years our GT Hawk has been off the road due to a tired engine. After $2500 in parts, machine work and with much assistance from Bill Patterson, the GT Hawk will be out on the road in 2008 with a superbly rebuild 289. I was talking to Bill the other day and he indicated that we should start looking for oil for the newly rebuild engine and I asked what he meant. Well to my great surprise proper oil for our Studebakers is getting very scarce with the news that the new standard for oil is “SM” which has completely eliminated the additive “ZDDP” (zinc dialkyl dithio phosphate). This additive has been present in oil for over 70 years in various content levels and greatly assists in the proper lubrication of camshafts and flat-top lifters in older stock engines (pre-1988) cars or trucks.

I have done much research on this subject and many on the internet have a lot of concern that that the oil companies have eliminated this additive. In 2007, they have removed ZDDP in most of our motor oils to meet new emission standards, while being no longer needed in modern engines and also ensures longer life for your catalytic converter. Without this “ZDDP” additive your camshaft and lifters in such cars as Studebakers, AMCs and many other similarly designed engines could prematurely wear out and will have to be replaced much sooner then necessary. Many antique or vintage car owners have different solutions for this problem but being in Canada does create some problems with the quick availability of any suitable additives or oil. Many major oil companies are still doing “research” on this problem which does little for us if our camshafts are prematurely wearing out.

So what do we do for the next oil change? Ensure to check the oil and don’t use “SM” standard or Energy Conserving oil unless supplemented with some ZDDP additive. On the market is an additive called “ZDDPlus” which is available on the internet at or at such Auto flea markets as York or Reidsville. I have just purchased six bottles at around $10 US per bottle. One 4 oz bottle mixed with any suitable oil which includes the “SM” grade will help ensure that your camshaft and lifters are properly lubricated. If you can track down some 4 Stroke motorcycle oil rated at “SG” or Diesel oil which is Heavy Duty rated such as straight 30 or 40 SAE oil then it should be suitable. Check the product label or their company website and the applicable product data sheet to see the Zinc or phosphorus content in the oil. If you have oil in your garage then see if it is in the “SH” to “SL” grade ranges which can still be used in our Studebakers with varied levels of success. Also some older bottles of STP oil Treatment or GM EOS reassembly oil have ZDDP in it. For myself, the best bet was to
get afew bottles of the ZDDPlus additive and let’s hope that the oil or additive companies can come up with readily available, alternative solutions to keep our Studebaker engines
properly lubricated and on the road for many years to come.

Final arrangements are in place for the Maple Leaf Tour, 2012 edition, October 12-14. The meet hotel remains The Village Inn, 39 Queen Street, Lakefield, 1-800-827-5678 at $95.00 per room, breakfast included. We have 20 rooms on hold until one month prior to the event. Arrive early on Friday to enjoy the quaint shops of the village core. Dinner will be off the menu at the Thirsty Loon Pub in the hotel. It is quite reasonable and there is entertainment Friday evenings. Manager Tina tentatively has a local old-time fiddle group and step dancers booked for Friday, October 12. Sounds like a hoot! The Saturday tour will run north from Lakefield, likely into the Burleigh Falls and Buckhorn area. The actual route will be set through the summer as we determine what is actually happening that weekend. We plan to arrive mid afternoon at the Peterborough Museum and Archives which has an extensive and interesting area history display, very well presented. During October, the program in the Special Features Gallery is a 1,500 square foot traveling exhibit from the Royal Ontario Museum called "Fakes and Forgeries: Yesterday and Today". I know one of the curators who put this together and he is quite ex-cited about it. Bill and Linda Hooper have graciously invited all of us to lunch on their horse farm at Indian River about noon. We, of course, accepted and decided that considering a feed of pub grub at the Black Horse later, we should eat lightly. There will be rolls, cold meats, potato salad, cheese, vegetable and fruit trays, coffee, pop, and home-made desserts on the menu. We are adding $5 per person which is now included in the registration, making it $10 each, or $20 per couple. Dinner Saturday will be at the Black Horse Pub in Peterborough, which is only a few minutes from the hotel. They have an "easy listening" group in from 5 p.m. and a dance band from 9:30. Our group rate is $25.00 including tax but plus tip. Choices are roast beef and Yorkshire Pudding, seafood pasta (likely shrimp), Chicken Supreme or vegetarian. Includes soup or salad, potato, vegetable, table beverage and cheesecake. Help us maintain fast service by marking your choice on the registration form. We have parking set up in the City Hall lot, one-half block north of the pub.

For more information please contact Verne at 705-454-3854

Wednesday, 04 July 2012 20:17

New Website!

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As you can see, we have upgraded our website. As the webmaster, I had committed to upgrading the site as the original had been built back in 2006. It was time for an update and we're glad that it is now live. Here are some of the new features of the site:

Wednesday, 20 June 2012 22:51

Final Farewell for Studebaker Plant in Hamilton

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The Studebaker Plant in Hamilton will be going under the wrecking ball this year and SDC members will be able to visit the Plant as a group to view it one last time. Date and Time to be announced as Stu Chapman will let us know when this will happen. I suspect sometime this summer after SMIC and hoping not during the International SDC meet in South Bend. Once we get a date and time, we will attempt to get a group of cars and members together to meet there. We will keep you posted!

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