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View Full Version : need info on head for flat 6



gotti210
12-08-2005, 10:35 PM
okay as you may know i receantly asked about a chevy small block conversion for my 50 champ

the reason for that question is my lil flat 6 is running weird and im thinking it has a blown head gasket or a cracked head

let me run you through the problems and see what kinda thoughts you guys might have

i recently (2 weeks at most)
changed the points in my stude because it just seemed like the thing to do (had a small miss at highway speed and hadnt been done in god knows when)
and shortly there after i started getting a heavy miss at operating temp

for instance this last friday i took off to go cruise the local hop
car was running beautifully
imediatly got on the highway and after about eight miles of about 55 mph it started to develop hesitant miss every now and then

i exited my exit and stopped at one stop light once the light turned green i drove off like any other day (car running beautifully )

i stopped at another stop light, reveed the motor a few times during the course of waiting for the light to change (1500-2000 rpms max)

when the light changed i drove off but the car was missing and hardly had any power
it stayed like this for the rest of the evening
in fact it barely had enough power to driv it up the small incline into my garage

the next morning i went directly to the garage and started the car it was running beautifully (keep in mind i hadnt touched it from the night before) that day i checked all my plugs, wires, fuel lines, fuel filter, i evan went as far as dissmantling the carb and making sure nothing was stopped up

reinstalled everything and drove it around the block (car again was running beautifully) then decided to go for a saturday morning cruise , the farther i got from home the worse the car ran

well yesterday i was sick and had no fall back car so i drove the stude to the pharmacy and when i started it to back out the garage it was running beautifully again and once again the farther i drove it the worse it ran



now im blown away by this it seems to get worse as the operating temp rises it has never gone over about 190 degrees during these epsoides

i myself am thinking blown head gasket or worse(cracked head)
but not all the syptoms are there for a typical blown head gasket (i dont think, but im real unfamliar with a stude 6)

help me out guys cause i dont wanna attempt this sbc swap yet im having to much fun driving my stude right now (when it runs right)
to have it torn down for a month or two

royvaldez
12-08-2005, 10:48 PM
If you cracked the head, you will or might see water mixed into your oil. I had that same problem awhile back. It turned out to be a fuel filter.

gotti210
12-08-2005, 10:58 PM
well ithought of that already cause im having alot of trouble with my tank being dirty ( didnt clean it very good during build process)

but i already changed the filter and blew out all the lines
and problem persist

Roscomacaw
12-08-2005, 10:59 PM
Have you tried a different coil??? Sounds like a coil to me. Gets warm and starts to break down internally.
When you changed the points, did you change the condensor too[?][?]

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

gotti210
12-08-2005, 11:21 PM
see two people at my work told me check to see if the coils breaking down

how would i check that

and no i did not change the condensor (evan though it is a thought in the back of my mind

what you think biggs i know your the guru here

Roscomacaw
12-08-2005, 11:50 PM
You know, I seem to recall that there were coil tester machines around some years ago. But I don't know how you'd PROVE one was giving you trouble now without changing it out. I suppose a good engine analyser (scope) could diagnose it.
Condensor's can be tested with a Volt-ohmeter. An analog meter anyway. Condensors are really cheap tho. :p
Since it sounds like neither of these have been changed in the time you've owned the car, I'd be willing to invest in them if it were mine.:D Get a new cap while you're at it. The cap and condensor are part of a real tune-up anyway.;)

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

gotti210
12-08-2005, 11:55 PM
thanks biggs
these ideas are probably a lot cheaper and easier than pulling the head for inspection or evan a sbc swap huh

hey thanks again ill let you know the outcome

gordr
12-09-2005, 01:19 AM
Gotti, a few thoughts come to mind. First, do check the coil and condensor as Biggs says. Cheap and easy to do. Always do the cheap and easy stuff first!

If the problem persists, do a compression check COLD, record the readings, and then do another when it's warmed up and displaying the trouble symptoms. Could be you have valve guides sticking when warm (varnish) or maybe the valves are just set too tight, and you are eating up the clearance when the engine warms up.

Check the heat riser valve on the exhaust manifold below the carb; if it is stuck in the closed position, you will experience driveability problems when warm.

Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

N8N
12-09-2005, 06:17 AM
i will bet this is fuel related but go ahead and check the ignition anyway. Also check to see if your fuel pump has an internal filter; I had this exact problem on my '55 and that is what it was.

nate

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

curt
12-09-2005, 08:14 AM
Sounds a lot like a Kaiser I had. It was the gas tank and the pick up tube plugging up. Let it sit and enough gas could 'soak' in. Drive and the fuel demand was to great for the pluggin tube to supply. I had the tank cleaned , end of problem.

garyash
12-09-2005, 10:40 AM
I would go back and look at the distributor again. You said that you changed the points just before this happened. I had a similar problem once. The car would run fine when cold but lousy when warmed up and sometimes just stop once it got really warmed up. I replaced all kinds of parts over months. Eventually, I took the distributor apart, found the little ground wire under the breaker plate had a corroded connection to the distributor housing. A little clean-up and all was wonderful. Your problem may be electrical.

Gary Ash
Dartmouth, MA
'48 M5
'65 Wagonaire Commander
'63 Wagonaire Standard
www.studegarage.com

studegary
12-09-2005, 03:59 PM
IMHO, the coil is breaking down as it heats up. This is not an unusual failure mode for '50s cars.

jackb
12-09-2005, 06:25 PM
Check your (plug)wire from coil to distributor...make sure it is not parted or torn...

gotti210
12-09-2005, 11:27 PM
well guys
i went out and bought a new 12 volt coil and installed a balace resistor
bought new cap & rotor & condensor

installed it all and guess what problem is still there

also someone spoke of the flapper in exhaust manifold closing
well i inspected it with the motor running and reveed it a couple of times and it seemed to be working fine but just to be on the safe side i tied it open with a piece of wire but problem still exist

plug wires are brand new accels
new plugs the only other thing i can think to try is tomarrow im going to go thru the carb again , put on another new fuel filter and blow out all the lines and see what happens


this just blows me away
what else could it be guys

N8N
12-10-2005, 03:58 AM
if this is a 50 champ you should not need a ballast resistor... unless you have converted to 12v... also if you bought a "12 volt" coil it probably has an internal ballast so you still don't need the ballast resistor, there is no such thing as a coil that works on 12V without a ballast, they all either have internal resistances or are marked "use with external resistor" (and the latter will probably work OK on a 6V car *without* the resistor)

nate

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

N8N
12-10-2005, 03:59 AM
almost forgot, if this is a +ive ground car, did you hook the coil +ive to the distributor, not the wiring harness? that can cause a weak spark, if you hook it up like a "modern" car... polarity does matter

nate

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

gotti210
12-10-2005, 11:01 AM
explain that alil better nate i didnt understand

it needs an external resistor (said so on side of coil)

and i hooked the pos side to bat
and neg side to dist (lil post on side of dist where it was hooked when o bought car)

and car has been converted to 12v


i found i kinda funny that the old coil was hooked up backwards
neg side to bat and pos side to coil
but i figured it was that way cause the car was originally pos ground

like i said explain last entry i did not comprehend

Roscomacaw
12-10-2005, 01:06 PM
What you did with the ignition pieces sounds good. OK, so I guess we should consider Gord's & Gary's suggestions. Gary's idea about the grounding wire for the point mounting plate is easiest to start with. I have personally had this problem in the past. That little (usually bare) wire can fatigue after years of working every time the point plate moves. It's not easy to see and it's under the plate the points mount to.:( But it's worth checking!;)

Checking the valves. Do you know how to set the valves???[:I] And let me ask if you've alrady done a compression check on this thing. Have you? Have you done it hot? (the engine hot, not you[:p]) I don't see where you've mentioned doing that in this thread.:)

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

gotti210
12-11-2005, 02:28 AM
no biggs i have not done a comp check yet

fact o the matter i dont have a comp guage yet but a much needed trip to habor freight monday morning will remedy that particular prob

so i need to check the comp cold
then go drive the car let the prob occur then do another comp check
compare the info of the two

and if one or more cylinder is majorly different then this will tell me if ive got a blown head gasket or worse

correct or incorrect

and from there i should pull the head (check for blown gasket)
and take head to a repable engine mach shop and have magnafluxed to check for any possible cracks

and if there is cracks then what

N8N
12-11-2005, 06:56 AM
If your head is cracked just call SASCO and get a new one. they still have some...

Alternately, you could call Catchcart and get a new high compression (well, relatively) aluminum one for a little more $$$

good luck

nate

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

Roscomacaw
12-11-2005, 07:11 PM
Well, I concur that it would be good to do compression checks both cold and hot. But I'd also check valve adjustment before I'd be quick to assume a bad gasket.

As Nate says, new heads are available and cheap.;)

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

N8N
12-11-2005, 07:37 PM
y'know, Biggs has a good point, if someone set the valves too tight either using the "hot" specs cold or else kept tighening them up a few thou in an attempt to make the engine dead silent, it's possible that you could reach a point where the engine would run OK dead cold but might bleed off compression when hot. I know OHV engines tend to close up their valve clearances when hot; not sure about flatheads, worth checking.

I didn't initially think of this possibility as I keep all my cars adjusted by the book, tending to err on the side of looseness as I'd rather hear valves rattle than fall apart.

nate

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

Roscomacaw
12-11-2005, 09:18 PM
Most of your old time mechanics will tell you that they like to hear a bit of the ticking as opposed to making it perfectly quiet!:D

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

gotti210
12-12-2005, 01:44 AM
okay guys the stress is over i fix by a simple process of elimination


i had a plug wire that was jumping fire because the center core was simply thread bare on number six cyclinder

i guess when it was cold and the demand was that great it work fine
but when it got hotter it made it harder for the spark to jump

i dunno i fixed the plug wire and bingo run like a champ

no pun intended


thanks guys for the help i really appreciate everyone input

at least i know now the cars had a damm good tune
(new plugs, plug wires , cap, rotor, condensor, points and fuel line cleaned out and new filter installed )

and on top of all this would you believe that all the ignition parts were 100% original
hey not bad for a 55 year old car huh

thanks again guys

Roscomacaw
12-12-2005, 11:07 AM
That's good news. I've seen plug wires crossfire on those Champions where the 6 wires run together thru that loom.
Anyway's - Happy Cruzin'!:D

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

DilloCrafter
12-12-2005, 03:55 PM
Okay, Gotti. Now that your car is running well, I'll have to come visit you in San Antonio, so you can let me hear that hollowed out muffler. Maybe that will give me an idea what to expect if I have that done as a dual muffler setup on my soon-to-be hopped up champion engine.

1955 1/2 Ton Pickup
http://rocketdillo.com/studebaker/misc/images/current_AvaCar.gif

gotti210
12-12-2005, 10:20 PM
sounds good to me dillo

just email me when youre ready

oh yeah if you have another stude or a streetrod or anything fixed up you could come one friday evening and we could cruie the local cruise spots

whatever or whenever just email and we can work something out

DilloCrafter
12-13-2005, 01:10 AM
Excellent. I'll be in touch before long, but the truck will not be cruiseworthy for several months. Maybe I can talk my friend into driving me down there in his 64 Corvair convertible. Although it's not an orphan, most people treat it like one. Otherwise, I'll just show up in my really cool Toyota Corolla :D

1955 1/2 Ton Pickup
http://rocketdillo.com/studebaker/misc/images/current_AvaCar.gif

gotti210
12-13-2005, 06:29 PM
sounds good

Transtar56
12-14-2005, 12:32 PM
Now that you found the problem,Id yank the whole set off and return them for a refund.
NAPA plug wires are gaurnteed for life,or untill you sell the car,so always keep the reciet.