M16 (old Studebaker farm truck)– big trip to the mainland

In the last 10 days I got the “new” intake and exhaust manifolds installed, the gas tank cleaned out and an inspection of the dragging right front brake completed.


New manifolds from Ted as old exhaust manifold had a large crack.


Generally this truck is super easy to work on but those big old wheels/tires are not light!


Time for either front wheel cylinder kits or possibly new wheel cylinders. I didn’t have time to deal with that before this trip but it is on the list for ‘soon’. 


Previous owner had had the tank cleaned and painted by a radiator shop which was great except that whoever put the tank back together used so much silicone sealant on the sending unit mount that all kinds of little pieces of dried silicone were loose in the tank and kept intermittently clogging the tank outlet.

All that work ended up happening in short order as I was preparing to use the M-16 to go pick up 38 bales of straw that will end up in the walls of a new structure we are building (slip-straw walls – a mix of straw and clay, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSApSrd8VwY if you are interested in how slip straw walls work).


I wanted to take the M-16 as it could easily hold all the straw in one load whereas if I took my F250 I would have needed to make 2 trips, possibly more, and the ferry costs over $100 per round trip.


Empty on the trip to the mainland for straw


38 bales of straw fit no problem


Straw all tarped-up for the ferry ride. BC Ferries considers straw or hay to be dangerous goods due to the potential for fire so the load had to be well tarped and I had to fill out the dangerous goods paperwork.


Safely home, rearranging the load so it will fit into the carport/tent.

The old Studebaker ran as smoothly as I could have hoped for although travelling at maybe 50 km/h (30 MPH) it takes a while to get anywhere. Only one person honked at me for driving slowly and ironically that was very close to a sign  requesting people to respect slow moving farm vehicles.


Also, it seems some fumes from the engine or gas tank are making their way into the cab so I ended up getting a headache by the time I was finished the about 60 miles of driving today. I did get pretty good at shifting without grinding the gears though (it doesn’t have synchromesh in any gears – transmission is aptly name a ‘crashbox’). Those fumes will have to be dealt with prior to any future long trips.

Oh, and regarding the sticking brakes: the pedal wasn’t returning when I took my foot off and after investigating many things it turned out to be sticky linkage. My M16 originally had power assisted brakes so the linkage is much more complicated than on my parts truck which had no power assist. Anyhow, after lubricating the linkage it was better but still not good so I added an extra return spring and it works nicely now.

Here is a photo of the structure which will have slip-straw wall insulation. (from a few months ago, it has a roof on it now). The clay for the slip straw was sourced locally: we just dug it out of the ground.



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2 Responses to M16 (old Studebaker farm truck)– big trip to the mainland

  1. Peter Sauer says:

    Ed was that Ted, Ted Jensen in NY??? or??? you can ask him questions as he has done it all as he only works on trucks no cars unless his own. I helped some folks in the Hat Creek Area work on straw and rubber tire houses, how I found out about them was I had around a thousand double pane windows for sale $15 each and these were the folks who showed up and they welcomed me to come and see them and how they built some of these places another chap used firewood logs and concrete or something like that to hold it all together for his exterior walls. That was at least 30 years ago, I have no idea if they are still up there in that area. Were on our way back from doing Mostly the Yukon, Alaska, and now BC we did a part of BC on our way up and now in Stewart, BC but spent a week in Atlin, BC as I have been to all these places 42 years ago when I worked in Rupert for the CNR. I had a job offer to run the Shell Agency here in Stewart back in the 70’s for Shell oil running the Agency here, but did not take it as my new wife said no way they get 20′ of snow there. Peter

    • edbee says:

      Hi Peter, yes it was Ted in NY. The STT community is great for information and help, where to get parts, etc.

      There are quite a few ‘alternative’ building options available. We looked into ‘hempcrete’ which is a mixture of hemp ‘hurds’ and lime. Hurds are fibrous parts made from the stock (the left over after they take away the parts they can use for making rope and cloth. In the end it made more sense for us to use slip straw as the main components are clay and straw and we have loads of clay on our land and the straw was available in Langley quite inexpensively. I’ve seen ‘cordwood’ structures and an “earthship” north of Kamloops made with tires in the walls (https://www.darfieldearthship.com/photos/ ).

      Sounds like you know BC pretty well! I was in Stewart once in the mid-eighties. It was August and it was pretty quiet there. I used to travel through Hat Creek area when I lived in Lillooet in the late eighties as I sometimes went to Kamloops from there.

      Happy travels to you!

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