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studeclunker
07-16-2005, 03:34 PM
I am having (yet another) a problem with my sedan.[V] It has a 259 V8. The timing is off and I tried to adjust the distributor accordingly. The problem is that I have turned it clockwise so far that the vacumn advance is against the firewall. It then will run, poorly. Turning it the other way causes it to run so badly as to stall out. I'm scared sick of the answer to this one...:(

Lotsa Larks!
Studeclunker
A.K.A: out2lunch

whacker
07-16-2005, 04:19 PM
This is a simple problem. You have the plug wires one socket off! Move the distributor to the proper position, and unplug each plug wire and plug it into the next socket. Do this for all the plug wires, all the way around. You will then have moved each of the plug wires over one, and gained 45 degrees of swing for adjustment. I did the same thing once.

studeclunker
07-16-2005, 04:26 PM
I'll try it. It seems important to point out that the plug wires have'nt been touched for several years. The car was fine two weeks ago.Lotsa Larks!
Studeclunker
A.K.A: out2lunch

whacker
07-16-2005, 04:30 PM
Another thing to check - if you are absolutely sure the wiring is right, put the engine on top dead center for cylinder one, and pop the cover off the distributor. The rotor should be pointing straight at the front of the car. Not off to the right or left even a little, but right straight ahead. If it is off even a little, you probably have the distributor in 180 degrees backwards. Remove the clamp screw, lift the distributor about 5/8 inch, and rotate the rotor 180 degrees. Reinstall the distributor. You should see the rotor now aimed STRAIGHT to the rear of the car, and cylinder number six is ready to fire. The engine will run (sort of) with the distributor in backwards, but it has no power and cannot be timed. Try this test before you move the wires over one socket.

curt
07-16-2005, 07:00 PM
Sounds like a distributor off 180 degrees. Let us hear the final cure.

studeclunker
07-16-2005, 08:57 PM
How do I know that the motor is "top dead center for Cylinder one?"

And can the distributor just jump like this on it's own?

Lotsa Larks!
Studeclunker
A.K.A: out2lunch

curt
07-16-2005, 09:24 PM
Is the vacuum advance disconnected, is the car at a slow RPM? What did you do before checking the timing, new points,etc ? I do not see the timing changing on its own, Could the timing chain be the problem? I know not the answer or if it is a possible culpert. Did you pull the distributor out? Just thinking out loud.

whacker
07-16-2005, 09:29 PM
To find top dead center on cylinder one, rotate the crank until the mark on the harmonic balancer is lined up with the indicator pointer. This will occur once in each revolution, both times are top dead center for cylinder one and cylinder six. The one you want is the one where the distributor rotor is pointing towards the front of the car, thats the one where cylinder one is going to get the spark. If the distributor hasn't been out of the car, or if no one has messed with the distributor recently, the chances of this being your problem are pretty slim. The distributor needs to be lifted about 5/8 inch out and replaced 180 degrees before it is reinserted. If no one has messed with your distributor recently, and it was running OK in the recent past, this isn't your problem. Go back to moving the wires over one station to get slack for adjustment.

curt
07-16-2005, 10:00 PM
Could it be only a few wires on the distributor reversed and others in proper place?

curt
07-16-2005, 10:07 PM
Do you have the timing light on the # ONE Cylinder??

Transtar60
07-16-2005, 10:07 PM
I use a little piece of shop towel jammed in the #1 plug hole for finding the TDC on the compression stroke. When I bump the starter around using my remote starter switch, the piece of shop towel will puff out. Then its usually very close to the TDC mark, further adjustment by hand.(Disconnect leads to remote starter switch first!).

curt
07-16-2005, 10:08 PM
# ONE is the front Drivers side on the V8.[:I]

buddymander
07-16-2005, 10:42 PM
okay, it can't be one-eighty out and still run. If the distributor hasn't been lifted out at all, then I would think one of your advance mechanisms is stuck or not working. Sounds like your mechanical advance could be stuck in the advanced position.

studeclunker
07-17-2005, 03:41 AM
Ok, here's the whole story... I ran out of gas with the car two weeks ago. The car remained parked for a week. Put fuel in it last week and started driving it again. Noticed that it was running rough. The roughness got progressively worse. On top of that the thermometer here has been topping 100 plus. Now she is running hot as well. The hotter the engine gets the rougher it runs. The rougher it runs the hotter it gets, etc...

The engine ran well up till it ran out of gas. There has been crap in the fuel tank since I got the car. I installed fuel filters right away and change them regularly. It has always burned a little oil with no smoke. The engine has been strong and performed very well till two weeks ago. Now it won't run worth sh--!

I thought that adjusting the timing might help with the roughness. The plugs looked good, so I thought why not? Moving the distributor actually helped quite a lot. Unfortuneately I can't move it sufficiently to fix the problem. So that's where I am now.

So the questions are, should I move the wires for more movement (increased rotation) of the distributor, Where is #1 plug supposed to be, etc... This by the way is a totally stock setup.

Oh yes, one more thing, I have'nt got to the timing light yet. I wanted to see if the adjustment would help the problem. Then the plan was to get out the light and fine tune it.

Lotsa Larks!
Studeclunker
A.K.A: out2lunch

Transtar60
07-17-2005, 08:47 AM
If it was running good prior to running out of gas, now you have to move the distributor to make it run better, sounds like maybe something crapped out in the distributor during the engines last gasp on the then empty tank(a violent last firing of one or more cylinders) or maybe something corroded over the period it sat. Didnt you say you lived in Oregon or there abouts. Has it been raining??

Before moving any wires around, I'd go back and check the points(if your still running points)if they are still good, and for corrosion on connections. You may also have something crapped out in distributor.

Again , if it ran fine before you ran outta gas, then turning the distributor is only masking the real problem.

whacker
07-17-2005, 08:59 AM
Given this scenareo, I vote for the stuck advance weight theory, especially if this is a Prestolite distributor. Prestos are known for advance weight problems due to the cheapo rivet bearings they use. After 50 years even a Delco can wear out though. If you can get the advance weights back in place and lubed with a light weight oil, you may be able to get it to work OK again. I'd say you should look into rebuilding that distributor in the near future if this does turn out to be the problem.

Danarchy
07-17-2005, 09:25 AM
my money is on a Bad rotor(or dist.cap)
Is it a Prestolite Dist?

Dallas,Texas

hank63
07-17-2005, 10:57 AM
Check all wires leading to and from both coil and distributor. All should have good, clean connections and not have any insulation damage.
/ H

whacker
07-17-2005, 11:05 AM
Just to be sure you cover all your bases, change the fuel filters, all of them, and be sure there is nothing that has made it's way to the carb float bowl. If you were having sediment problems before you ran out of gas, running out of gas will make them worse, and a filter can look fine and still be plugged. Once you have done this, go back to looking at the distributor if you still have a problem.

Sonny
07-17-2005, 02:26 PM
Well... It sounds like you've got a bunch of great suggestions here 'clunker, but me tinks dat you may have made a big foo-paw when you moved the distributor, especially moving it without a timing light.

It sounds to me like you sucked a load of crap into the fuel system, probably fouling carb. and the filters that you put in. As a good way to troubleshoot, if you have a known problem with your car, (in this case you knew that there was crap in the tank), you should always start with the known problem, i.e., change all the filters, blow out the fuel lines, pull the carb. and clean it out, before you move on to another system that may/may not be a problem, thereby eliminating the obvious.

If the carb can't get it's full measure of fuel, the engine will be running in a lean condition. An engine running in a lean condition will run hotter. If timing is "adjusted" to compensate for a lean condition, (setting the timing to help the engine cope with less fuel), it actually worsens the conditions, (usually runs hotter, badly).

I'm afraid the cure is a bit lengthy but something that you have to do. I'd highly recommend that you go back, do it right. I'd drop that tank, (easy as hell), clean and seal it, blow all the fuel lines out, change all the old rubber lines, open, inspect, clean out the fuel pump, pull the carb. and clean it out, just LOOK the distributor over, (do NOT pull it yet), for bad cap, rotor, points, metal shavings, etc., find TDC, (easy and we can talk you right through that if need be), set the dwell, get a timing light and reset the timing according to the service manual, (you do have a service manual, right?),

There IS an outside chance that something crapped out in the distributor, although we don't really know because the fuel system delivery problem is still a big question. We can really get down to brass tacks for ya if we can eliminate that fuel system as the problem. We must go through this step by step, in the right order, to get it fixed right for ya. Hope this helps...


Sonny
http://RacingStudebakers.com

studegary
07-17-2005, 07:17 PM
I agree with Sonny. I think that running out of fuel caused your problem. I think that your problem is fuel related and not ignition related.
To respond to Curt's post, a Studebaker 259 V8 does not have a timing chain.

studeclunker
07-18-2005, 02:16 PM
By light weight oil, are we talking about like, Sewing machine oil or 3-in-one?

Lotsa Larks!
Studeclunker
A.K.A: out2lunch

whacker
07-18-2005, 04:30 PM
Either 3-in-1 or sewing machine oil would be good. I think you need to be sure about the fuel delivery situation before you mess much more with the distributor.

curt
07-19-2005, 08:59 PM
I once made a gas can my fuel tank for test purposes . I gas can with rubber hose & an electric pump. Disconected fuel line at carb and connected the temporary gas supply to the carb. Now all must be grounded at all times to prevent static sparks, fire ,etc. I found out my fuel line/ tank was the problem.

curt
07-19-2005, 09:01 PM
My problem turned out to be a partial (on and off ) plug of the tank's pick up tube. I had tank steamd cleaned and pick up line opened, problem solved.

studeclunker
07-23-2005, 03:41 PM
Well, you guys turned out right. The distributor was backwards!! It's amazing that the motor ran so well for so long in such a state. Still, it never warmed up much, not running for long periods in winter weather or at night. So I guess it was'nt suprising that it gave me trouble in this really hot weather. ;) The distributor won't accept oil in the filler. So I suspect the vacumn advance is filled with dirt.:(

The whole engine compartment was a pack-rat's nest when I got the car. No, really! A pack-rat had moved into the car. He had built a floor by placing sticks across the valve covers to the fenderwells and built his house upon that. A fine rat house it was too. I felt awful removing it. It was like evicting Pattertwig (a C.S. Lewis character).[}:)]

I suppose the next step is replacing the distributor. I suppose a Prestolite would be the way to go. All I have to do is figure out how.[:I]

Lotsa Larks!
Studeclunker
A.K.A: out2lunch

curt
07-23-2005, 03:46 PM
We suggested so much, how could we be wrong? Glad you are in business of fixing instead of diagnosing.

whacker
07-24-2005, 03:22 PM
NO!NO!NO! Don't buy a Prestolite! If you really do need a new distributor, you have several options. Prestolite is the last one! If your current distributor is working now, you don't need to replace it. If you do need to replace it, get a Delco, or go with a Chrysler conversion. I have no first hand experience with the remanufactured Prestos from Dave Thibeault, but I have heard good things about them. He replaces the crappy advance weight rivets with real bushings and supposedly they work very well when he is done. If you want originality, that might be the way to go.

studeclunker
07-24-2005, 05:39 PM
Well... It turned out to be one of three things.

1- replaced the coil.

2- replaced the points (they were pitted and I did'nt have a point file)

3- replaced all the spark plugs with new. Don't know if this helped anything but my feelings.

4- Timing with light.

The plugs probably were'nt the problem. I just felt better replacing them.

Sweetpea now feels much better.[^] Thanks for the helpful hints everyone. Especially Sonny and Jeff.:D

Oh and Curt, Huh???, or is it Ouch!?



Lotsa Larks!
Studeclunker
A.K.A: out2lunch

studeclunker
07-30-2005, 03:34 AM
Well... looks like the vacumn advance is bad too.[:I]

Lotsa Larks!
Studeclunker
A.K.A: out2lunch