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Scott
09-14-2005, 11:36 AM
My 1966 Cruiser - which is becoming locally quite well known among the shops and parts houses, is continuing to give me fits. I had the points, vacuum advance, rotor, cap, plugs, wires and coil replaced with new parts, the 2gv carb has been professionally rebuilt, the PCV valve and hose and fuel filter has been replaced, the gas tank has been checked and is clean, the motor has been timed (but maybe needs it again), but I still have the following symptoms with the 283 motor:

1. Car is hard to start - must be pumped. The float level has been checked and I am told it's OK. The accelerator pump works fine.
It's hard to start whether it's hot or cold. The choke is set correctly and opens correctly.

2. Hesitation on medium slow or faster acceleration while OUT of gear. We changed the dwell of the points and that helped a little, but there is still some hesitation. Before the points were adjusted again we had a backfire (with flames!) through the carb during one quick acceleration. All this is while the car is sitting - out of gear.

3. There is a point when the car will idle nicely (don't touch the pedal!), but there is evidence of a very slight miss on one of the cylinders.

4. The engine dies easily when put into gear. The idle speed is at or already above specs. Even if it's all warmed up, it dies easily in gear. The last time I drove it I had to pump madly and put it in low gear to keep the thing going so I could get up a small hill.

The car used to run OK before the carb was rebuilt until one day when it SUDDENLY started running horribly half-way home from a gas station where I had put in more gas. The other components had already been replaced. So I was told it was the carburetor. It did need work, but it did not really fix what happened.

I don't understand, I've spent lots of money and the car is still not really drivable [V]. Could it all be timing? The breaker plate moves, but maybe it's not moving well? I don't know. :(

bige
09-14-2005, 11:45 AM
It could easily be the timing. What is your setting at idle with the vacuum advance disconnected?

I have a Delco window on my Stude motor and I noticed that the rotor, when tightened dowm was limiting the centrifugal advance. That wouldn't really effect off the line acceleration, but it is something to check.

Is your vaccuum advance connected so that it is full vacuum at idle or ported vaccuum, only active when the carb opens?

R2 R5388

BobPalma
09-14-2005, 11:50 AM
The choke may not be working as well as you think, Scott.

Here's what can happen on those old Rochester 2GVs: When you install the air cleaner and tighten down the wing nut, the bridge across the top of the air horn (on which the stud is mounted) can pull in slightly on the sides of the carb, especially if you crank down hard on the wing nut...or if it has been cranked down previously, repeatedly.

The air horn body pulls in on the sides just enough to squeeze the choke plate so the plate binds in the air horn and doesn't work right. Of course, when you spin off the wing nut and remove the air cleaner assembly to take a look, the choke appears to work fine because that slight pressure on the air horn sides has been relieved.

On one of those carbs, I had to remove the choke plate and slightly file on the sides of the plate, making it a little narrower to accommodate the fatigued carb air horn. That let the choke work properly, fixing the car.

There may be other problems, too, of course; I'm not saying that's all that's wrong with your car. But it is a place to start looking that is out of the ordinary. ;) BP

Dick Steinkamp
09-14-2005, 12:05 PM
If you've changed the dwell, go back and check the timing. One degree of dwell is about equal to one degree of initial advance.

Sounds to me like most of the problem is with the fuel system if "it used to run good before the carb was rebuilt". I'd take the carb back to the professional rebuilder. A check ball could have been left out, for example.

I'd also look for proper fuel flow. Check the output from the fuel pump.

Check compression. Might need a valve job if one or more cylinders are very low (although unlikely that this would create a SUDDEN problem)

Check for vacuum leaks.

Get Dwain G. involved. He could most likely diagnose this one telepathically (even though it is a Chevy <g>)

-Dick-

Mike Van Veghten
09-14-2005, 01:06 PM
As Bige says....timing, raise it a bit.

Second, the carb. rebuild...........
Just because a "professional" did the work...doesn't mean squat.
Years ago, my grandmothers Pontiac Tempest, 326cu.in. with a two barrel needed a tune-up. I did'nt have time so she took it to the dealer she normally went to. They "replaced" the original with a "professionally" rebuilt carb.
She called me complaining....
Hard to start, hesitations.

Through a LONG process of trying to figure it out. I narrowed it down to the "professionally" rebuilt carburetor! After buying "five" carburetors.....I mixed and matched parts for two weeks. I finally hit upon the "combination" of parts that got the car down the road at 99% correct.

All that is to say...when a rebuilder gets carburetors from...Caifornia, New York, Florida....Colorado... All these require different carburetor calibrating....other than just jetting.
The rebuilder takes'em apart...tosses the parts in like part boxes, clean all of it, grabs any part that'll bolt up and tighten the screws. One part from CA., one from CO....you get the idea.

You my need to do some playin with it.

Scott
09-14-2005, 01:48 PM
I should mention that the professional carb rebuild was done by a well known Studebaker vendor on the east coast. I'm in Minnesota, so shipping the thing back and forth is time consuming and expensive. I believe I asked him about the check ball and other things that could be wrong. He not saying it's impossible there's something wrong with the carburetor, but he does say that the vast majoroty of problems pinned on carburetors turn out to be electrical issues. He also says that the 2GV is so incredibly simple as carburetors go he can't think of anything that would result in some of the symptoms I'm describing.

It does have a one year warranty, so he is perfectly willing to have another look at it. Too bad I don't live closer.

By the way, he rebuilt my original core to factory specs. I didn't trade my core in for another unit that was already rebuilt. So I know this one was working (even though it was a mess) before. The suddenness of the rough running before I had the thing rebuilt really makes me think it can't be the carburetor at the base of my problems. Of course, wierd things often happen in cars, so who knows? I will be limping it back to the shop that worked on it so they can have another look. I've done about as much as I can at home, I think...

bige
09-14-2005, 02:36 PM
What you can do at home is advance the timing. If you don't have a light, mark the present position of the distributor, if you have a light hook it up and note your starting point. Loosen the distributor and move it in the direction that makes the engine rpm increase. A movement of 1/2 an inch at a time would be safe. Snug it back up and see if your condition improves. I'm assuming that you aren't using a timing light, so if it improves, leave it alone and have your technician concentrate on the timing. If there is no change at all in your symptoms, move it back to where it was originally. No harm, no foul.

Your sudden change in performance could be something as simple as a loose distributor moving while you were driving.

The other thing I thought is a vacuum hose, broke or popped off and you are running way too lean, but my gut tells me it's in the distributor/timing.

R2 R5388

studegary
09-14-2005, 04:43 PM
It sounds like a vacuum leak to me. It could be at the carb. base, a small hose that was left off, a cracked hose, etc.

tbredehoft
09-14-2005, 07:04 PM
Lets go back and read the IP.

"one day when it SUDDENLY started running horribly half-way home from a gas station where I had put in more gas."

I didn't see anything about cleaning out the tank, could it be a case of bad gas?

Tom Bredehoft
'53 Commander Coupe
'60 Lark VI
'05 Legacy Ltd Wagon
All Indiana built cars

Scott
09-14-2005, 09:01 PM
Hi Tom,

The idea of bad gas came up, but I've put in more since then and it still runs oddly. It might have contributed to it, but I would think it would be mostly gone by now. The really strange thing is how healthy the engine can sound at times when it's warmed up a little, even revving it, but put it in gear and it goes bad really easy and dies after a few feet of moving the car. I forgot to mention that the fuel pump and plugs are also new.

I'm going to try advancing the timing when I get a chance, but if my Studebaker luck holds like it it has the last few years nothing I do will make a difference. I guess I'm pretty discouraged, but eventually the problem should be found.

I also considered that maybe the rubber part of the tube that feeds the vacuum to the advance is collapsing. I might just replace it and see if that makes a difference, too.

I wonder what effect the intake and exhaust valves can have on the system. My mechanic thinks it could be something to do with the valves. I'll probably have him do a compression and leak test. A compression test was done last year and I believe it was ok, but maybe things have changed since then. The car sat unused for at least 2 years, I think. Maybe something was already marginal.

N8N
09-14-2005, 09:48 PM
Do a compression test. I'm thinking fiber gear going, and cam timing off by one tooth?

nate

--
55 Commander Starlight
62 Daytona hardtop
http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel

bige
09-14-2005, 10:31 PM
You aren't anywhere near New Jersey are you? I would love to fix your car for you.

Vacuum advance won't cause the problems that you are describing. The only thing I would say to check re the vacuum advance would be that any adjustments should be with it disconnected.

The valve diagnosis scares me, last resort and shoud be verified by good diagnostic technique.

If you would like to call me at work I could walk you through some things to check. 973.992.9100 ask for Ernie 9am-9pm, Thurs and Friday.

R2 R5388

hank63
09-15-2005, 12:39 AM
I had a similar problem once. It baffled me for days, until I started the engine at night and lifted the bonnet. There it was, I could see electrical arcing from one plug lead. When increasing engine revs, I could see more arcing from another lead.
Found it by sheer accident, but new leads and better routing (away from sharp edges) solved my problem that time.
It's easy to check, so give it a go. Just maybe ..............
/H

Transtar56
09-15-2005, 12:09 PM
You have checked fuel pressure right?
I don't know if your running a mechanical unit or electric,but bad fuel pumps have caused me a lot of greif,and a lot of the symptoms you describe.
Just because its"brand new", or rebuilt,don't mean squat.Ive had new ones fail withen the first few miles.
It may be getting all the fuel thats needed,untill the engines put under load.
Get a good pressure gage,that reads from 0-30 psi.Install it right at the carb,after the filter,and watch it as the engine is reved.
You should have 6-9 psi,any less than 6 and your probaly starving,and going over 9 is not good either.

Dwain G.
09-15-2005, 01:18 PM
Your Rochester carb originally had a small filter located inside the fuel inlet fitting on the carburetor top. A load of bad gas could partially plug that filter. Lacking a filter, some junk may have gotten into the carb. jets.

Dwain G.

gordr
09-15-2005, 02:24 PM
Well, I've read this whole thread, and nobody has suggested the use of a vacuum gauge. Go get one, and hook it up to a manifold vacuum source, and see what kind of vacuum that engine will pull at idle. You should be seeing 16" of vacuum, if the engine is healthy.

If the vacuum is too low, say well under 12", or unsteady, no amount of fiddling with the carb will make it run right.

From you description of the situation, I'd be inclined to think that your McKinnon engine has jumped a tooth on the timing chain. A vacuum gauge reading will verify that. Advancing the ignition timing will help the engine run a LITTLE better, but it won't run right, and the next time it jumps a tooth, it won't run at all.

Another timing chain check: with the engine off, rotate the crankshaft until the timing mark is in the middle of the scale. Now "rock" the crankshaft pulley back and forth to the limits of the slack in the timing chain. You will find that the crank turns pretty easily until the chain comes tight and starts to move the cam, and then you feel strong resistance. The magic number is 13...if the slack is greater than that, chances are the chain has already jumped, or will do so at the slightest provocation.

I also second Dwain's suggestion that you check the bronze filter in the carb inlet, but I do have a hunch you are looking at timing chain problems. Fortunately, timing sets are cheap at local parts houses, and are not especially hard to change.

Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

Transtar56
09-15-2005, 07:13 PM
Gord,Ive got a 259 that I can't seem to get that little pipe plug out on the left side of the engine that I normally use to hook up my vaccuum gage.
Where else can you get a reading under the throttle plates.?

Alan
09-15-2005, 07:26 PM
Trans 56, don't use where the pipe plug is on the intake manifold the vacuum will pulse there and you would think you had a bad valve. BTDT.

Scott
09-15-2005, 10:22 PM
Thanks to you all. You've got some great ideas for me to try! I've been out of town all day on business and might get to try some of these things out on Friday night, or at least this weekend. I'll post what I can about what I could find out.:)

Bige, I'm in Minnesota - not close enough to N.J. to take you up on the offer, but I might call you up depending on how things go!

Why is it the guys with the most know how always seem to be 500 miles or more away from me? Makes me want to move to the east coast or Indiana, or several other spots!

curt
09-15-2005, 11:15 PM
How does a crack in the carb show its self? If compression is off it could be a valve. The electric sparks at night sounds like a good possible power robber. That happned to me once.

Transtar56
09-16-2005, 07:38 AM
Alan,where is the proper place then to get non ported vaccuum?

Buddy1944
09-16-2005, 08:19 AM
I believe the problem to be the power in the spark....!!! Two items to look at... 1.. Is the Distributor grounded. 2.. Is the coil grounded. The primary side of the coils get's it's ground from the points, the secondary side of the coil must get it's ground from the coil caseing. The points must get it's ground reference from the distributor touching the engine or the clamp. Low voltage into the coil, low voltage out of the coil. When you give it gas the compression goes up and the plugs will not fire with low power. Hope it's an easy fix...

Buddy...'54 Champion 2dr

1949commander
09-16-2005, 10:22 AM
Hey I have a friend that has a 66 with 283 and it has the same problem. He was driving home one day and it started to run rough and kept getting worse. It won't idle at less than 1500 rpm and it has a miss. It act like 2 or more cylinders are misfiring. I am going to check those plug wires on his. With the crazy routing I could see them grounding out or shorting between each other.



Restore it, don't replace it.Keep the Studebaker reproduction industry going

Scott
09-16-2005, 10:59 AM
I think this system has ported vacuum, and I don't know where I can get non-ported vacuum to measure. Any thoughts?

I would think the ground to the coil would be OK, since it ran better once up on a time with the same coil, but I'll check it.

Someone had asked where the idle was set: I'm pretty sure it is set at about 600 RPM, but when it first starts up the idle is probably at about 1500, which I think is too high. It really roars.

One other kind of odd thing is that when the car comes of high idle I can punch down the accerator and sometimes it comes down to maybe 600 rpm, but then I can push it again and when I take my foot of the pedal the idle will be up around 800, or 1000. It's kind of erratic. I don't think it used to do that either. I checked the linkage and lubricated it, but the only place that's a little sloppy is right at the point at the end of the linkage arm where it joins the horizontal post coming out from the carb's linkage. I don't think it's catching, and the return spring seems adequate (maybe a little stronger one would help).

BUT I have feeling it may not be the linkage at all, but something else again - probably realted to the other issues.

Alan
09-16-2005, 03:12 PM
Trans 56, under the carb in the plenum area, when you get out to the port runners it is influenced by one cylinder,#7.

Scott
09-17-2005, 06:42 PM
OK, I just got done fiddling with the Cruiser and this is what I've found out:

1. The plug wires are in the correct places on the distributor.
2. Checking in the dark there is no evidence of arcing from the plug wires or anything else.
3. The rotor had not been replaced as I thought and it looked OK except it's made with a thin sheet of metal under the main edge contact (the thin sheet is bent down under the contact, but in this case it also extended PAST the end of the contact). This thin bit of metal is the piece that makes the contact to the center of the cap.
-I replaced it with a new rotor.

4. I advanced the timing slightly (with the vacuum advance disconnected)- a few degrees and found the engine liking it. I tried the other way and it didn't. With that adjustment and the new rotor the car is easier to start but still requires a little pumping and the idle is still erratic after pressing the accelerator pedal. Sometimes fast sometimes slow after I let up on the pedal. It almost feels like the linkage, but it's just too erratic to tell. I think one time the car started without pumping, but died right away. I don't remember now if the engine was cold or warm. I think it was on the cold side, because I think I had already run the engine for a minute.

I have not put the car in gear yet, but I suspect it will still die easily. I did not adjust the points after rotating the distributor. Does that need to be done again?

I could not check the fuel pressure or the vacuum, since I don't have the equipment to do it.

There is still a bit of a miss and quite a lot of moisture on the ground under the exhaust pipe opening after some mild revving. The oil has been checked and it's not milky. It looks OK. No white smoke, either.

Just wanted to update you all that are interested.

bige
09-17-2005, 06:55 PM
Scott,
Don't need to adjust the points just because the distributor is moved. Do try advancing it further you can't hurt anything at idle. The engine will let you know if you've gone too far, ultimately the points should be checked again with a dwell meter and the timing with a timing light.

The moisture from the tailpipe is normal and a slight miss may be attributed to some gas fouling on the plugs because of all the fiddling that's been going on. If you get it to a point where the idle is ok enough to let it run for 20 minutes or so you might find that the miss went away.

Intake manifold air leaks can cause misses that seem to come and go, but concentrate on the timing and distributor first. Once that is properly adjusted you can begin to look for the miss if it's still present.

R2 R5388

Scott
09-17-2005, 07:22 PM
Well, I ended up setting the distributor at about halfway between where it was and where it is so advanced it dies. I might be able to get away with advancing another degree or so.

I wonder if the idle mixture should be looked at again, since I've changed the timing some.

Any ideas on the erratic idle besides the linkage? What does the choke break do, by the way? That's the plastic thing on the side of carburetor that looks a little like a vacuum advance.

Scott
09-17-2005, 08:27 PM
I decided to try out the Cruiser before it got dark with the new distibutor setting (advanced) and drove it around the block. The good news is that it started up easily after only pressing the accelerator down once to reset the choke before I turned the key (yay!). I did have to press down the pedal a bit to help it out after the initial 2 or 3 seconds. The engine should have been mostly cooled off, but the idle was not especially high initially like I would have expected it to be and there seems to be a lot of surging going on.
I drove the car a few block and it didn't die on me a single time (yay, again!). Right now the only bad news is that it runs kind of rough, still, and there is the erratic surging of idle - and also surging when maintaining a constant speed. I don't know what that's all about. That's a new phenomenon.

Dick Steinkamp
09-17-2005, 08:33 PM
quote:Originally posted by Scott

I did not adjust the points after rotating the distributor. Does that need to be done again?

and quite a lot of moisture on the ground under the exhaust pipe opening after some mild revving.


Hang in there Scott. You'll get it fixed. Some of these probs can be tougher than they should be.

Changing the dwell (point setting) changes the timing, but changing the timing does not change the dwell. You don't have to reset the points. (BTW, I assume you are using a dwell meter and the allen screw under the distributor "window". It's more accurate than setting the points with a feeler gauge).

Water on the ground under the exhaust pipe is normal when starting a cold engine. (Check out your daily drivers).

Good luck,
-Dick-

bige
09-17-2005, 09:25 PM
Until you put a dwell meter and a timing light on it I wouldn't be worried about the surging. You've found the root of the problem, timing, now it needs to be set properly and also checked for proper centrifugal and vacuum advance.

The choke vacuum break is designed to open the choke about 3/8" when the car is started cold. The choke closes through the action of the thermostatic spring bolted to the manifold, it opens the choke as the car warms up, but without the "choke pull-off" there wouldn't be enough air coming in. That little opening is critical to cold engine performance, too little and it idles rough because it's running too rich and too wide and opening the car stalls. It's also a source for hidden vacuum leaks so the minute the car is running it should move.

The high idle cam will either have it's own idle screw or a tab that is bent to contact it to achieve higher idle when the choke is first closed.

Thoughts on the surge are that you may have a vacuum leak, an engine running too lean will surge and if it's a big enough leak, it will miss. I'm not sure what vacuum accessories are on your car. If you're feeling daring grab some spray carb cleaner and with the air cleaner attached spray around areas that could be the source of a leak. Base of carb, hose connections, where the intake manifold and the head meet.
'

R2 R5388

curt
09-17-2005, 11:25 PM
Watch the spray carb cleaner. I sprayed toooo much( got carried away spraying ) on the carb of a hot running engine. Fire was the result. No damage but potential was there and I was scared for a few moments.

Scott
10-01-2005, 06:48 PM
Well,
I borrowed an old SUN dwell meter - with other functions, and put it on the 66 Cruiser. The points were at about 15. They are supposed to be at 30 +/-2. The best I could do was 28 wihtout it dying. The hesitation came back (in Park), so I thought to try to advance the timing some more. The results were at best inconclusive. Sometimes it runs OK, but most the time it still takes a pump or two on the pedal, even when warmed up, to start it again. Sometimes the idle is higher than other times, too. I didn't fiddle with the carburetor.

Now, I switched on the function for point resistance and the meter pegged immediately to the BAD side! I'm not 100% sure this old meter is good, since I sometimes had to tap it when reading the dwell to get the needle to start moving, but the way the needle pegged itself to BAD on the resistance makes me wonder.

I read a little on the internet about point resistance and my symptoms seem to match what happens when point resistance goes awry. I don't know enough about the stuff to make any sense of it and I don't know how to check the resistance any other way. Could this be the crux of my problem?? I'm getting more suspicious, too, because they way my car started running horribly so suddenly (before the carb rebuild) reminded me more of an electrical issue than a fuel issue.

So, my car still runs erratically, although a little better, still hesitates, is still harder to start than it should be and ...

By the way, I do not have a timing light, so I was playing with the advance in a rough way by listening to what the engine was doing. I think I varied it enough to tell me that I'm not going to find that magic spot. There's something else going on.

studeclunker
10-01-2005, 06:56 PM
Scott,

If you ever find out what the problem is, let us know... Inquiring minds would like to know![:I] Though yours is a Cleveland motor, it's from the same era as mine. Let us know what you come up with.

By the by Curt, that's why the instructions on the can say short bursts! But then again, what normal human male reads the instructions first?[:I]

Lotsa Larks!
K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
Ron Smith

gordr
10-01-2005, 07:04 PM
I've never used a points resistance meter; if I'm in doubt about the condition of a set of points, I take them out and file them, or pop in a new set.

Chief function of the points resistance meter is, IMHO, to enable the tech to convince customer to buy a new of points.:) In other words, it simply demonstrates that which a good tech should already suspect.

By increasing the dwell from 15 to 28, you also retarded the timing by about 6.5

Dwell is defined as the time fraction the points remain closed, expressed in terms of crankshaft degrees. If the dwell increases, it means the points are closing sooner, and opening later. The point-opening "event" is what creates the spark, so "opening later" means retarding the spark. Ups hot of that is, in the course of a tuneup, set the dwell FIRST, and then set timing, and don't monkey with the dwell after that.

Have you tried putting a vacuum gage on the engine yet? You ought to be able to get a cheapie at Pep Boys for under $10. It will shed a lot of light on what's going on. You speak of having to pump the accelerator a bunch in order for the car to start. That does not sound like an ignition-related problem to me.

Have you checked for slack in the timing chain yet? If the chain has jumped, your ignition timing will be off alright, and you CAN adjust that. But the cam timing stays wrong. I hate to belabor these points, but until you have verified that you DON'T have a cam timing or vacuum problem, no amount of tweaking the ignition or carb will do any good.

Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

studegary
10-01-2005, 08:24 PM
Does your 283 have about 100K miles, or more, on it? That is about right for a timing chain/sprockets (commonly erroneously called gears - Studebakers have gears, Chevys don't) wear problem on early Chevy V8s. If you have a lot of slop in the chain/spockets or if you jumped a tooth, you would get timing and drivability problems. On non-cat. convertor cars, I diagnose these by listening to the exhaust. I don't know how to tell someone how to do this and your car is too far away for me to hear it <G>.

Scott
10-01-2005, 10:47 PM
Just to answer a couple questions: no, I haven't tried a vacuum gauge yet - I still need to buy one. I'll very likely take this thing back to my mechanic, since there are also other diagnostics he can do with his equipment; I was told by the original owner that the engine was rebuilt about 40K miles ago. It's obvious that the carburetor was not done at that time, and I don't know about the heads. I'm not sure if he'll remember, but I might try to contact him again.

It's not fun, but at least I am learning how to do some things on my own!

Bunzard
10-02-2005, 02:00 AM
I would check the entire system for a vacuum leak. Since it started suddenly an old line may have cracked or split. A second possibility is a 'flapper' in your exhaust system--something loose in a pipe or muffler that partially blocks ex gasses. I also had the experience of a blocked screen in the gas inlet to the carb which became so bad the engine wouldn't even idle. Good luck.

52hawk
10-02-2005, 09:59 AM
I'm with Studegary on this one.Also,Gordr brought this up some time ago. Timing chain. To start at the beginning,bring the crankshaft up to #1 on the compression stroke.Turn the distributor so that the window faces straight forward,[or parrallel to the cowl]then pull the distributor cap off.The rotor should be pointing very near #1,or slightly ahead of it.If it is much at all behind #1[behind it,counter clockwise]you need a timing chain.
I've seen at least one chevy run pretty good after jumping a tooth,[with a little extra advance added it was driven for almost a month before the chain finally jumped again]but usually they run just about as you describe.
Also,if this is the problem,a compression check on all cylinders will show compression way low,due to valve timing being late.


Home of the Almostahawk

bige
10-04-2005, 09:14 PM
Something's wrong if you can't get the points to display a dwell reading above 28. The rubbing block may be worn or off completely or the points aren't set in there right. You should be able to adjust to well over 30, even though you don't want to, the points are bad, mis-aligned or installed improperly.

And, after the points are adjusted timing needs to be reset.

I never had a meter that didn't peg the resistence scale, ignore it.

R2 R5388

1949commander
10-05-2005, 08:57 AM
I have a friend that is having a similar problem with his 66 283. I spent an hour the other night changing spark plugs since I found one that was fouled. Wow what a B*** it is to get to those plugs. Why Chevy ever put the plugs under the manifolds is beyond me. I have to say that I think Chevy built better oil leakers than Stude did. The main seals and the chain cover leak like a sieve.I started it up and it would run but it just sounds funny, it has a airy sound in the exhaust. Once it warms up it starts backfiring through the carb. When it shot flames out the carb it about gave my friend a heart attack. Would a slipped timing chain cause the backfire through the carb????

Restore it, don't replace it.Keep the Studebaker reproduction industry going

bige
10-05-2005, 05:10 PM
RE: the timing chain and gears...while it is a possibility, if the engine was rebuilt 40,000 miles ago the replacement cam gear would be an all metal gear. The originals were fiber and metal and the fiber would deteriorate and break off. The aluminum gear, sans the fiber, was sometimes enough to keep the car running, alas not very well. The replacement components used in normal day to day driving rarely cause any problems.

R2 R5388

Scott
10-05-2005, 06:35 PM
Thanks Bige and all the rest with your suggestions. I haven't had anymore time this week to work on the Cruiser. I'd like to check out the timing chain idea. It's probably a slim chance that's what's wrong, but I should look at it.

I think the chances something (like the points) weren't installed correctly or something else in their just wore out makes more sense.

By the way, this car came with the stock electronic ignition setup. The original owner told me that many years ago (probably in the 70s) he had trouble with the ignition and the mechanic couldn't make sense of those new fangled things like electronic ignition, so he cut it out and made it a traditional points system. It would be fun to reconnect the old ignition system and take out the points, but I've heard the old electronic ignition system really wasn't that good...

Roscomacaw
10-05-2005, 07:07 PM
Going back and reading all this - I gotta say that if you can get the points to read 28, it should run OK like that - not with the surging you talk about.
From what I read here, it sounds to me like you might have a vacuum leak. A vacuum gage might well give a clue as to what's going on here.

Back to the points - they SHOULD be able to be adjusted to the specified setting. I wasn't suggesting that 28 was good to go - only that the engine should run decent with that amount of dwell.;)

Miscreant at large.

1957 Transtar 1/2ton
1960 Larkvertible V8
1958 Provincial wagon
1953 Commander coupe
1957 President 2-dr
1955 President State
1951 Champion Biz cpe
1963 Daytona project FS

curt
10-05-2005, 07:27 PM
I'neady to say fuel line/tank plug and unplugs, back and forth .

Dick Steinkamp
10-05-2005, 08:07 PM
quote:Originally posted by Mr.Biggs

Going back and reading all this - I gotta say that if you can get the points to read 28, it should run OK like that - not with the surging you talk about.
From what I read here, it sounds to me like you might have a vacuum leak. A vacuum gage might well give a clue as to what's going on here.

Back to the points - they SHOULD be able to be adjusted to the specified setting. I wasn't suggesting that 28 was good to go - only that the engine should run decent with that amount of dwell.;)

Miscreant at large.


Could be the timing was already a little retarded when the points were at 15 degrees dwell, and cranking the dwell to 28 degrees retarded the timing to the point that it wouldn't idle.

-Dick-

bige
10-05-2005, 08:37 PM
No question it should run OK at 28 degrees, Mr Biggs. Because it doesn't makes me think something is not right in the distributor, along with the inability to adjust the points any further.

The point set could be in there a little off, not flat against the breaker plate, one screw a little loose etc. Putting the points in without removing the screws is common, but that big Delco point set can sit in there on an angle, but look right.

I've seen where the breaker plate connection to the vacuum advance wasn't down on the vacuum can linkage properly. In fact, it's not hard to lift the breaker plate up enough in the course of changing or adjusting the points that it pops off the linkage. Just trying to get an allen wrench in there can disrupt things.

I was in the gas station business in the early 70's, made every one of these mistakes at least once. I did so many GM tune ups I can still rattle off the part numbers (G).

R2 R5388

Scott
10-07-2005, 10:44 AM
I guess I didn't mention that it appears the surging went away after the dwell was set to 28. I checked the cam (or rubbing block) and it's fine. I checked all the screws I could see in the distributor after taking off the rotor and they all seemed tight. There was one screw missing on the breaker plate, but I figured out that was where the condenser was supposed to be mounted and this new type has the condenser mounted directly with the points. I couldn't quite see the alignment angle on the points, but from what I could see it was OK.

I did tighten down the carburetor base to the manifold. It was probably fine, but I was able to turn the nuts a fraction of a turn. I also checked the tightness of the fitting for the vacuum advance and PCV valve and they were tight or very nearly so. I only ran the car for about 20-30 seconds, but at least while cold there was still hesitation. It took many revs before I was able to get enough gas in the system to start it (I assume). Probably almost half a minute of engaging the starter. Too long, but the timing is still probably off. I'm going to try and time it with a timing gun this weekend, and then we'll see where I am. Chances are next week I'm taking it to the shop to have them do a vacuum check, compression check and maybe a leak test, as well as looking at the distributor and timing chain. I really wonder if the breaker plate is moving the way it should. It seems to need excessive force to move it.

Of course, some of the carburetor settings could be off as well, now that I've been monkeying around with the ignition.

Roscomacaw
10-07-2005, 12:14 PM
Be sure to tell us just what fixes this thing. Other folks will benefit in the future.;)

Miscreant at large.

1957 Transtar 1/2ton
1960 Larkvertible V8
1958 Provincial wagon
1953 Commander coupe
1957 President 2-dr
1955 President State
1951 Champion Biz cpe
1963 Daytona project FS

Scott
10-08-2005, 03:42 PM
OK, I got the timing light on the car and found the thing was WAY advanced. I found the place it liked best was where the mark lined up with the top edge of the marked A-R metal piece attached to the block. That's about 1 inch "above" the center line of the metal piece. There was sometimes hesitation, sometimes not depending on how fast I punched the accelerator. Except for the slight miss I've mentioned earlier it actually sounded pretty healthy compared to how it's been. I found that if I had a little luck on my side that the car could be restarted just turning the key, but it didn't always.

Now the bad part: as soon as I put it into gear the thing runs rough. Rough enough you can see the car jiggling. I put it into gear and it's, well, pratically undrivable. The idle is already set a little above where it should be, so it isn't that the idle is set too low. I didn't change any carburetor settings. I don't think that's the issue, but what do I know?? I going to have it towed back to the garage. On top of that the brakes seem low and I've had most of that stuff replaced, too!!

I've gone as far as I can on my own with this ^%#*@!* thing. It's going to the shop. Anyone want a decent restorable 66 Cruiser for about $2000? I'll even throw in the NOS front fenders I bought for it. I'm just a little P.O.'d at the moment, but I really would consider selling if anyone's really interested...

DEEPNHOCK
10-08-2005, 05:29 PM
Take a deep breath..
Don't get po'd...
Lot's of good info tossed into the salad here...
Tuneups are not magical, but to do it right you have to be methodical.
One step at a time.
Here's my method, and it has served me well for many decades...

1) Points (file them, or replace them).
But look at them first. Are they pitted with a peak on one side of the points and a matching valley on the other? Is one side worn more than the other? If so, then change the condensor too.
Is the rubbing block worn down a little, or a lot?
Set them at .015" for now.

2) Dwell
Using a dwell meter, set the dwell at 28 to 32 degree's. I like to set them at 28 degree's if the points looked good. The rubbing block wearing down will decrease your gap, which will increase your dwell, so setting them on the low side will allow the engine to run 'through' the acceptable dwell range. Always set the dwell first. For every two degree's you change the dwell, you change the timing one degree, so always dwell first.

3) Timing
Using your timing light, set the timing to the factory spec (for now).

4) Hook up your vacuum guage to manifold vacuum.
A vacuum guage is a must have to do a good tune up.....period.
Adjust your idle mixture screws until you get the highest vacuum reading at idle (which usually also means the highest idle rpm).

5) Idle speed
Set it to spec. (600 rpm in drive IIRC...a/t)

After you have succesfully done thes steps, then you can tweak your timing to get the best accelleration, ping reduction, etc.

If the vacuum gauge gives you shaky readings, look up how to read a vacuum guage.
It will tell you a lot about your engine.

It really is a simple machine that wants not a whole lot from us.
Just good gas, clean oil, and a lot of use. They are meant to be driven a lot.

Hope the info helps.
Jeff[8D]



quote:Originally posted by Scott

OK, I got the timing light on the car and found the thing was WAY advanced. I found the place it liked best was where the mark lined up with the top edge of the marked A-R metal piece attached to the block. That's about 1 inch "above" the center line of the metal piece. There was sometimes hesitation, sometimes not depending on how fast I punched the accelerator. Except for the slight miss I've mentioned earlier it actually sounded pretty healthy compared to how it's been. I found that if I had a little luck on my side that the car could be restarted just turning the key, but it didn't always.

Now the bad part: as soon as I put it into gear the thing runs rough. Rough enough you can see the car jiggling. I put it into gear and it's, well, pratically undrivable. The idle is already set a little above where it should be, so it isn't that the idle is set too low. I didn't change any carburetor settings. I don't think that's the issue, but what do I know?? I going to have it towed back to the garage. On top of that the brakes seem low and I've had most of that stuff replaced, too!!

I've gone as far as I can on my own with this ^%#*@!* thing. It's going to the shop. Anyone want a decent restorable 66 Cruiser for about $2000? I'll even throw in the NOS front fenders I bought for it. I'm just a little P.O.'d at the moment, but I really would consider selling if anyone's really interested...


DEEPNHOCK at Cox.net
'37 Coupe Express
'37 Coupe Express Trailer
'61 Hawk
http://community.webshots.com/photo/42559113/426827941Lsvfrz
http://community.webshots.com/user/deepnhock

tstclr
10-08-2005, 05:41 PM
I have a Triumph Spitfire that runs a delco points distributor. I got fed up with points and condensor issues and bought a Pertronix point eliminator kit. It was the BEST thing I ever did for that engine! I had the carb rebuit in the spring and it still didnt run right. I put in the Pertonix and set the timing and the difference was HUGE-better acceleration, gas mileage, easier starts and even my wife said the engine sounded different! Just my 2 cents. My 63 Lark will have electronic ignition-either a later Delco distributor or Pertronix. It only took 10 minutes to install too. Might be worth a shot.

Todd
63 Lark 2dr post

Scott
10-08-2005, 05:47 PM
Deepnhock, thanks for the tips. The points, rotor, cap, condenser and vacuum advance are new; the dwell is set at 28. I tried higher than that, but the engine didn't like it. I don't have a vacuum gauge and don't know where to hook it up anyway. That's one reason I'm going to have it towed to the garage.

Tstclr: how much is a Pertronix system? I've heard they are easy to install.

Scott
10-08-2005, 07:15 PM
I tried a couple more things on the Cruiser today. I turned the idle mixture screws 1/4 turn counterclockwise to make the mixture richer (that's the right way, isn't it?) and put the car in gear again. The idle was a little smoother than before, but as soon as I took my foot off the brake and applied a little gas to move the car, there was hesitation a rough running galore. It's still not drivable.

I also took some starting fluid and sprayed around the carburetor base and hose connections. There was no noticeable change in how the engine runs.

It did start up quite easily, though!

That's it for today's installment of "As the Engine Turns".

bige
10-08-2005, 09:23 PM
scott, did you remember to pull the vacuum advance hose off when you checked the timing? And, was the idle set fairly high when you performed the timing check? Now that you can idle it down some check the timing again.

R2 R5388

Scott
10-08-2005, 09:38 PM
Yep, I took off the vacuum advance hose and plugged the tube. I think I checked the timing at two different levels of idle and the mark was in the same place. It jumps around a little - say a degree or two while I watch it, but isn't that typical?

tstclr
10-09-2005, 10:04 AM
Scott,
The Pertronix for my Triumph was about $150. I would expect your would be cheaper as the Chevy small block is much more popular. I'd try to determine what year Chevy had that same engine (64 Impala?) and call your local speed shop and ask for a quote for that car. It sure gets rid of a lot of headaches! And, if your Pertronix ever failed, you can easily keep the old points/condensor in your toolbox just in case. The Pertronix units are quite reliable however.
Todd

bige
10-09-2005, 10:46 AM
It should be pretty steady but a little movement doesn't cause your problem. It could indicate a worn distributor shaft bushing or something called "spark scatter". That is a signal to the number one plug from another spark plug wire or inside the distributor cap.

The fact that the line doesn't move could be a clue to the problem. It should move as the engine RPM increases. At 1200 RPM or so you should see that line advance. Ultimately it should end up around 30-36 degrees at 3500 RPM. Those are general numbers. High Performance engines like to be 34-36 at around 3,000 RPM.

R2 R5388

Dick Steinkamp
10-09-2005, 11:11 AM
quote:Originally posted by tstclr

Scott,
The Pertronix for my Triumph was about $150. I would expect your would be cheaper as the Chevy small block is much more popular. I'd try to determine what year Chevy had that same engine (64 Impala?) and call your local speed shop and ask for a quote for that car. It sure gets rid of a lot of headaches! And, if your Pertronix ever failed, you can easily keep the old points/condensor in your toolbox just in case. The Pertronix units are quite reliable however.
Todd



I'm running a Pertronix in my 327 Chev powered '54. Two types are made for a Chevy...one that senses off a disk placed under the stock rotor, and one that senses directly off the dist cam. Both are around $70. Check your Studebaker vendors (like Phil Harris - Fairborn Studebaker) first.

With that said, I WOULD NOT INTRODUCE ANOTHER VARIABLE AT THIS TIME INTO THE EQUATION. Your car should run very nicely without a Pertronix. Get it to that point first, then think about the Pertronix upgrade.

-Dick-

Rosstude
10-09-2005, 01:17 PM
Have you checked the plug wires? I have a 66 with the 283, and the plug wires have been an issue due to the routing. Check it out in the dark, look for a light show when running.

Ross.
57 Provincial
58 Transtar
66 Wagonaire

Scott
10-09-2005, 02:50 PM
Yes, I did check the wires in the dark. No arcs or sparks.

Unfortunately, I didn't think to watch the timing mark using the light while I revved up the engine. I had the car towed this morning back to the shop. Good thing I have a gold membership with AAA. Now I have 3 tows left through next September. I hope I don't need them.

I suppose the rebuilt carburetor could be the problem, but I've been trying to eliminate other possibilities first. The true test to see if it's the carburetor would be to stick another 2GV on the car and see how it acts. Anyone got one I could borrow for a test?

Dick Steinkamp
10-09-2005, 02:54 PM
quote:Originally posted by Scott

The true test to see if it's the carburetor would be to stick another 2GV on the car and see how it acts. Anyone got one I could borrow for a test?


Where are you Scott? I've got a spare. I'm in Western Washington State.

-Dick-

Scott
10-09-2005, 03:42 PM
Hi Dick,

I'm in Minnesota. We'll see how the diagnosis goes this week. If we want to try another carb and you're willing, I could pay for the postage/freight and return it when we're done!

I feel bad now because my dad, who's an old-time Chevy guy is saying "How hard could this be to diagnose? This is about the simplest engine and mechincal setup on the planet!" But even he's not sure what's going on. Granted, he spent some time with me on it, but he doesn't have all the equipment needed to figure out the issue either.

curt
10-09-2005, 10:46 PM
I do not know this distributor . I have know a early 50's delco and one on a 1961 Fiat to have a wire short out on its routing inside the distributor.

Dick Steinkamp
10-09-2005, 10:56 PM
quote:Originally posted by Scott

Hi Dick,

I'm in Minnesota. We'll see how the diagnosis goes this week. If we want to try another carb and you're willing, I could pay for the postage/freight and return it when we're done!




Scott,
I'm happy to send it. It's a 2G, but probably a 2GC. Should work fine at least for a test. The 2G series of Rochester 2 barrels are probably THE most common carb around. Typically a buck or two at a swap meet. You'll probably pay more for postage than picking one up locally, but I'd be happy to help out if it is your best option.

Stick with this problem. When you finally hit on the solution, you will have learned a lot and have a good feeling of satisfaction in knowing you beat IT!

Regards,
-Dick-

Scott
10-11-2005, 04:58 PM
I talked to the mechanics at the garage this afternoon. So much for the borrowed dwell meter! They said the dwell was set at 10! My meter said 28. So they changed that and things improved quite a bit. There is rough running at or above about 3500 RPM in gear, and the thought is that might be from the points "floating". I think at some point I'll go for the Pertronix setup and put it in.

They also found that once the cable from the throttle linkage to the transmission was disconnected that the carburetor acted just as it should - so I don't think I'll need another carb to try (thanks anyway, Dick). The vacuum to the vacuum advance was working, as well.
My erratic idle speed is related to the cable and/or throttle valve system in the transmission. We're going to see which part of the system is sticking. I hope it's the cable. Something's not moving back the way it should when I take my foot off the accelerator.

That's it for now. I can't say I'm thrilled, but I feel like there is light at the end of this tunnel. Of course, the proof will be when I get behind the wheel and drive!

Scott
10-14-2005, 10:30 PM
The final analysis shows that the distributor was at the root of most of my problems. I decided to just replace the entire unit with a rebuilt one for a small block Chevy. After it was installed and the timing and everything checked the car ran MUCH better. It usually seems to require a pump or two on the accelerator when starting, but when running it idles smoother than it ever used to to and the hesitation is gone under almost all circumstances. There is a tiny bit sometimes when starting out slow from a stop, but even that's not all the time.

I suppose it could still use some tweaking, but I can now say the car is drivable and maybe even dependable.

There were two other things that were creating some of the issues I had at idle. That is, the kickdown cable is very, very stiff and sticky. We have temporarily disconected it from the throttle linkage and the idle is much more consistent now. Also, the choke seems to be working better. The other thing that had contributed to some of the rough running - but only in a minor way - was blockage of the heated air passage in the intake manifold for the choke coil. That has been cleaned out as much as possible without taking the manifold off.

I don't know exactly what when wrong with the old distributor, but the best guess is that the shaft may have worn to the point where it would jiggle as it turned, thereby throwing the timing and dwell off erratically. I have not inspected it yet.

There were no vacuum leaks and apparently the timing chain had not jumped.

I hope that this might help someone else with similar problems! Thanks for everyone who gave me their opinions. I learned a LOT!

gordr
10-15-2005, 08:55 AM
Scott,

Do see about getting that throttle valve linkage on the tranny fixed. It's not "just" a kickdown control; it also tells the transmission how much power you are demanding from the engine so that it can make a shift at the right RPM. The Flightomatic is a different beast from a Chevy transmission, so even if the engine looks like a Chevy, don't be fooled into thinking the tranny is too.

Could be the cable needs nothing more than to be cleaned and lubricated.

Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands