1946 Studebaker M5 Pickup ongoing restoration.

Restoring the Studebaker pickup has become a daily process.  In removing and cleaning the bed, I find that it is also in exceptional condition which goes along with the rest of the truck.  The rear bed crossmember required a bit of straightening as it had been obviously hit in the past, and the bed sides were slightly slanted left in the rear.  So that issue is corrected now too.

The bed floor is in very good condition with only minor dents and dings but all the ribs are as strait as they came from the factory. The underside displays a lot of the original red oxide primer and behind the rear fenders, the original paint looks almost new.

I did sandblast the surface rust and recoated it with red oxide epoxy primer. Here's the new epoxy red oxide on the bottom side.


1946 Studebaker Pickup Truck Restoration Interior

 Some would say that restoring the interior, dash, and doors/windows is like remodeling your bathroom.  It is probably the most labor intensive part of the job when it has been cobbled up like a lot of them  with nonfunctional windows, cowl vent, heater/defroster, horn button/wiring, with no horns, no wiper motors, and with the aftermarket replacement odd ball headlight switch, and non matching heater switch. 

I was lucky to acquire a pair of original wiper motors, a NOS headlight switch, a NOS ivory colored starter button that I installed in the dash to eliminate the poor design switch that was activated with the clutch pedal arm, and a heater switch that matches the original knobs on the dash. I installed a pair of horns on the existing mounting bracket and of course, rewired the system for those, all the way from the horn button. I also installed a very nice period correct self canceling, 7 wire turn signal switch, that I completely restored back to the hammered finish, reconditioned internal switch, new wire, and NOS TungSol flasher, that is actually the same color as the existing heater/defroster that I restored as well.

I replaced most of the cardboard interior pieces with the exception of the headliner and sun visors that I repainted back to original color.

The door windows are working again with replaced clutch springs in the regulator and new run channels etc. The risers were rusted and in need of replacement as well so I rebuilt them and painted as necessary. One wing window was de-laminated severely, so that one is new now.

Here are some before and after shots.

I got a new key cut by the code from a blank that I picked up on eBay.  The original key was so worn that it would fall out of the ignition switch and barely worked it the door. Cutting it by the code was essential in getting it back to the original un-worn point.  I also haven't painted the NOS radio delete plate that I installed in place of the original that was drilled full of big holes. I am still looking for a nice gear shift knob too.


This is the second Yankee 960 Turn Signal Switch that I have converted to a 12 volt 7 wire unit.

For those of you who aren't informed about the difference between the original 4 wire and the 7 wire....  The 7 wire switch allows you to use your existing brake lights as turn signals rather than adding extra lights to accommodate the turn signal function.

  I'm really satisfied with how well it works and I'm relieved that it is finally finished.  I couldn't count the hours spent on this conversion but I started back on it first thing this morning and have about 7-1/2 more hours into it today.

I told myself after the first one that I wouldn't do another.  I'm having those same thoughts again cause I should have spent the day working on one of the other half dozen projects on my list.

The price tag on this one is $500  SOLD

I do have another one in my collection of switches and it is a NOS switch. I'm thinking that I may just stick it back on the market and hope to recoup my money on it, rather than going through the process of converting it.

Here are some pictures.

Here is the NOS switch that I mentioned. I need $500 for this one. It is complete with clamp, flasher, and original wiring.

Well this is the first one that I converted and I polished it and installed a glass jewel as well.   SOLD


1946 Studebaker M5 More on Patching the door bottoms

 The right side patch is on the skin and the skin is back on the shell. 

Notice the drain slots in the door bottom just like original.
The door fits perfectly with uniform gaps.

1946 Studebaker M5 Pickup Truck Door Patch Panels

 Patching the bottoms of the doors requires removal of the skin.  It's best to cut it at the bottoms of the window openings because they can be welded back together there with minimal distortion. Drill the spot welds with a spot weld drill and then carefully bend the flange to a 90 degree relation to the skin. 

Patching the bottom of the skin without removing it, would end up a real mess.  It's impossible to get to the back side of the weld to work it.  I suppose you could cut an access hole in the inner part of the shell but that would compromise the finish product.

I went ahead and acid washed the surface rust on the back side of the panel before I welded the patch into place.

Then I thinned some POR15 with lacquer thinner. It doesn't take a lot when you thin it, to cover a pretty large area. It soaks into the rust and seals it very well.


Before I put the skin back on the door shell, I'll need to finish welding the bottom in the shell, as it is only tack welded at this point. I'll also spray some weld through primer on the flange areas where the skin will be spot welded to the shell. The rest of the area will be coated with a good oil base enamel.

This will make it better than it was originally.

1946 Studebaker Pickup Truck Turn Signal Conversion Up Front

 I converted the front park lamps to double filament sockets and got one side fired up today, along with my new Trippe headlight. 

A couple images here with park lights on and with turn signal on.

1946 Pickup Truck Studebaker Restoration

 Well I finally got some 20 gauge sheet metal to patch the door skin bottoms, so I'll be working on that tomorrow.

I spent the day today leveling up the cab and mounting the front sheet metal. The body mount pads were in pretty bad condition so I made some new pads and got the cab sitting right on the frame.

Getting the body level is important to give the vehicle that "standing proud" look.

I also went back on eBay and purchased some left hand lug nuts and a left hand threading die to clean up the studs that are messed up. 

I'll make up some wire harnesses for the front park light/ turn signal lights tomorrow too. I converted the park lights below the headlights to double filament sockets. 

That cool US Pioneer self canceling turn switch will be sending current to the signal lights up front and dividing the brake lights in the rear, making one side and the other flash on demand and self cancel as well.

I can hardly wait to get the Trippe lights that I purchased on eBay, that will take the place of the standard headlights. I think the "cool factor" will be over the top with those! They're coming from Canada so it's probably gonna be a couple weeks before I receive them.

Rust Repair on the Door Bottoms of the 1946 Studebaker Pickup Truck

I don't know if there are any pre-formed patch panels out there. I find that those that are available, all need some finish forming to make them work. It's easier for me to just make the panels myself. Then they fit like they should. I've formed the lower parts of the door shells and have one tacked into place. It's very important to keep the door fitting to the opening during the rebuilding process.

Bolting the door on and taking it off again will happen numerous times during the process. If you skip that process, it won't fit in the end. Trying to bend it into shape at that point will result in some ugly distortion and a completely disastrous finish product.

After I am finished welding the shell together, I will check fit again, and then at point I will form the outer skin which I have already made pattern for. The skin will get tacked into place, joining it to the existing skin, and then the whole skin will be removed from the shell at the bottom of the window opening.

I'll be showing the rest of the process in the next posting. Stay tuned.


Restoration of Guide 6004 Turn Signal Switch

Restoring the Guide 6004 Self Canceling switch. I had this switch body painted from before when I did a batch of switches. I recently picked up a parts switch on eBay that had most of the components I needed to make a good switch assembly.

Good cores are getting expensive and even then you're taking a bit of a chance if you don't see inside the switch assembly.

Here is what you will need to do the project, after you have acquired a good core, disassembled , bead blasted, and refinished it. Not shown here also is a surfacing system to deal with the internal switch contacts, which are nearly always in need of attention. Even the NOS switches need to be resurfaced. There being the reason they never got used.

After resurfacing the contacts in 2000 grit, and lubricating with a little dielectric grease, you're read to reassemble the internal switch.

Solder all your wires on and you're ready to start assembling the components.

It's easy to snap the little retaining tabs off the bulb holder so I keep some push on retainers on hand because it is important to get good ground. 

Solder your 3 prong flasher connector on, and don't forget to lubricate all the moving parts in your assembly. Oh, and make sure you get the spring installed in the right position. It only goes on one way. Super glue around the edges of the lens on the inside of the body and hit it with accelerator to set it. 

Usually the little grounding clip is missing or broken. I find that using a little piece of sheet metal screw to cut into the paint on the switch body and steering column works well. If it is not grounded, your indicator light will not work.

So this 7 wire system is designed to split the brake lights internally allowing the use of rear brake lights as signal light too.

If you are proficient at these tasks, and set up with the proper equipment, and materials, you should be able to complete the restoration on about 4 to 5 hours.


1946 Studebaker Truck Right Mirror Arm

For those interested in making a mirror arm for the right side of the 46 Studebaker pickup, I'll show how I went about copying the left side arm.

This is what I started with. This mirror arm came with a 5"round non glare mirror head that I bought on eBay for the truck. I have no idea what the arm was for, but it was a start. I first made a template off the drivers door for the outer skin and another for the front of the door shell, flipped those patterns and market the right door, cut the hole in the skin and then went to the next step.

After heating bending and hammering the arm into the right shape and welding the hinge mount part into shape and cutting the extra length off the end. I hammered and shaped a round for the mirror head to mount on. I cut two pieces of plate and welded those to the arm and together. Then I ground the weld to shape.

After fitting the arm through the hole that I copied from the left side door, I drilled through the front, holding the arm in place and made a mark in the mirror where a 1/4" countersunk oval head screw will go. I then removed the mirror arm and drilled that hole and threaded it 1/4-20. I bolted the mirror arm in with one hex head bolt and then drilled the other two holes into the arm slightly in order to achieve a precision fit for the finish bolts. I then removed the arm again and drilled and tapped the rest of the holes and then recessed those hole to allow for the countersunk screws. I then bolted the arm into place with some sacrificial screws and heated the hole in the door shell, and ran the screws in while it was red hot, in order to create the countersink. 

The process actually took me about 6 hours to complete, using a die grinder 3" cutoff wheel,  oxy-acetylene torch, hammer, anvil, vice, drill press with several size bits including one to recess the holes like the original, a 1/4" tap, and impact driver. I had some flat stock in my inventory for the mounting part. I used a mig welder to make it one piece and used a thicker cut off wheel for grinding the weld as well as a roloc disc and a rotary file in the die grinder. I hammered the areas that show that were "too smooth" in order to give it the natural cast look.

I since ordered and received some oval slot head finish screws for the final assembly. I'm pleased with how it turned out, and can now have a right side mirror. 

Here is the 1937 Chevrolet Pickup Right Mirror Arm that I made.