TPO = The Previous Owner
IF you have read this far you know the original manual transmission has been replaced with a Turbo 350 automatic. What is weird is that TPO left the original clutch pedal??? It was just laying there flat on the floor.
TPO did lay carpet under-lament and actually worked it around the pedal arm. The return spring has been removed and again - the pedal is just laying on the floor. We also just want to point out that it was TPO that added the barefoot pedals but we do liked them.
We talked at length about what to do here. Some of the options were:
- Replace the return spring and have a fake clutch just to fool people.
- Re purpose the pedal for the high beam switch just to be goofy. (side note - my son had NEVER seen a vehicle with the high beam switch on the floor)
- Remove the pedal when we eventually get to the interior.
But then we saw THIS:
This is awesome! If we could find just two parts we could convert the clutch pedal to a bigger "original - automatic transmission" brake pedal. The pedal pad (1108-8 in the parts catalog) is part number 527755 and was found on studebakerparts.com. The pedal pad looks amazing. It looks brand spanking new!
The plate (1108-12 in the parts catalog) is part number 527753 and was a bit of an adventure. We found this on mystudebaker.com as well but while the part number was correct the description made it appear to be the pedal pad. Believing the part number and the price difference we ordered it. Danny from Stephen Allen's called back to confirm we wanted the plate. It appeared that their computer system, and shelf labeling, where both wrong and he wanted to confirm we needed the plate. (we have had the best service from all of the Studebaker Vendors we have contacted. [another personal note: Stephen Allen's seems to go just one step further in service.])
Both parts arrived in short order and we set about the task of removing the pedals. Believing we needed to get to the bolt that screws into the pedal arms we used a heat gun with a utility knife and eventually arrived at the bolt. (personal note: 68 year old rubber heated up is not a pretty smell)
This is the most low profile bolt head every. OK it may just be part of the pedal but if you look at the parts manual you will see it should be a bolt. We tried several wrenches, sockets, and were just about to cut a slot - so we would have an excuse for that huge screwdriver we purchased years ago. Then in a moment of thought (beer) and reflection (gin & tonic) we realized that once removed we had zero intention of keeping the original pedal. A quick measurement just to verify the larger pedal will fit and... Out came the 24" pipe wrench (read as attack!!!), with some penetrating oil and elbow grease we win.
Using some smaller diameter bolts, washers, and nuts (future proofing) we attached the pedal plate and pad and gazed at what we had achieved!
Now we know its not much and this could have easily gone easier (more lazy) and cheaper (again, do nothing) but come on, This is Awesome!
What we realized much later is that we did fail. In adding the weight of the clutch pedal arm and the new pedal we sorta overloaded the brake return spring. This was corrected by purchasing the clutch return spring and fighting to install the same. Now that both springs are in use the pedal works as normal.