View Full Version : My first Stude! Was running but now won't start!

10-03-2006, 03:00 PM
My first post here. I'm excited about my new Hawk. '62 GT. Just had it delivered yesterday, and it's a beauty!

It started very easily, and the delivery man had no problem, nor did the previous owner, in LA.

Last evening I revved it up, and abruptly took my foot off the accelerator. It died. And now it won't start, last night nor this morning. Not flooded. Electric fuel pump is on and making noise. Starter spins the engine fine. Just won't light up.

Is it perhaps that the distributor has slipped a gear? I took the cap off and nothing appears wrong.

I want to show it off, but not when it's dead!

Walt B

10-03-2006, 03:41 PM
I feel your pain, Walt [:I]

If your distributor had jumped, you'd likely be running rough and backfiring, but running. What you describe suggests total lack of spark.

Pull one of the spark plug wires and have an accomplice spin the engine. Hold the end of the wire near the block and see if you get a spark jump. If you do, you've got spark and something else is the problem.

But by your description, I'd bet the points froze. Pull the distributor cap and check the points; make sure they open and close easily. If they are stuck together, you'll need to force them open with a flat-blade screwdriver, then polish the point surfaces with a fine file or emery board. (You'll probably need to adjust the gap too.) Check the rotor while you're in there.

Of course, the coil could've suddenly died too, but I'd bet on points first.


Clark in San Diego
'63 F2/Lark Standard

10-03-2006, 03:50 PM
Don't discount that there may be a lack of fuel also. I have never had a car with an electric fuel pump, but do have a track loader that has one. It only clicks as it is drawing fuel up prior to starting and once the system is loaded it slows down and stops making noise completely.

Take off the air cleaner and pull the accelerator linkage to see if you get fuel. If not, pull the line to the carb and have someone turn on the car and see if you get any. If not, you are not drawing from the tank and probably have trash in the line.

If you do have fuel at the line to the carb, then the pump could be bad or you may have a dirty screen or blocked port. If the car has been sitting any length of time the gas could be bad or you can have trash and rust in the tank.

Guido Salvage - "Where rust is beautiful"

Studebaker horse drawn buggy; 1946 M-16 fire truck; 1948 M-16 grain truck; 1949 2R16A grain truck; 1949 2R17A fire truck; 1950 2R5 pickup; 1952 2R17A grain truck; 1952 Packard 200 4 door; 1955 E-38 grain truck; 1957 3E-40 flatbed; 1961 6E-28 grain truck; 1962 7E-13D 4x4 rack truck; 1962 7E-7 Champ pickup; 1962 GT Hawk 4 speed; 1963 8E-28 flatbed; 1964 Avanti R2 4 speed; 1964 Cruiser and various other "treasures".

Hiding and preserving Studebakers in Richmond, Goochland & Louisa, Va.

10-03-2006, 04:50 PM
Ok, both good ideas. My son is arriving from across the state tonight and we can work on it tomorrow. I expected to smell gas from turning it over trying to get it to start, but no smell. So could be fuel. The electric fuel pump clicks continually, does not stop clicking.

The spark is easy to check, and I've cleaned points before, so will try that first.

Walt B

10-03-2006, 04:55 PM
If the pump doesn't stop clicking it has to be out of fuel.

John Kirchhoff
10-03-2006, 04:57 PM
If you pull the fuel line and turn on the key to see if it's pumping fuel, be sure to catch the fuel in some sort of container. The last thing you want is a stray spark igniting the fuel and your new Stude going up in flames. That'd be a really bad day! Sure, the chance of a connection somewhere sparking is pretty remote, but stranger things have happened. Like when I was a kid driving the old '63 Chrysler. The fuel line on the pressure side of the pump sprang a leak, squirted gas on the exhaust manifold and suddenly I had flames coming from under the hood. I jumped out, threw open the hood and beat the flames out with my shirt only to have it repeatedly re-ignite from sparks after the insulation had been burned off the wiring. Fortunately I had a wrench in the back seat and got the battery cable off before the whole works went up in flames. Don't ever take chances when dealing with gasoline and electricity.

10-03-2006, 11:07 PM
Ok, got it! Thanks, guys.

A gallon of gas didn't do it. Next easiest was to check the spark, and there was none at the plug, so I checked from the coil, no spark. I fiddled with the points, and that did it. Don't know why, but after I got a spark by manually opening and closing the points, it started right up.


Walt B

10-04-2006, 12:57 AM
Your points were most likely welded closed, you might just want to replace the points, condenser, spark plugs and wires. If you only want to do it once install a new Pertronix breakerless ignition, then no more replacing points :D

http://im1.shutterfly.com/procserv/47b6ce23b3127cce8d0f1fc7bd4900000000400CcNWTlozYsb http://im1.shutterfly.com/procserv/47b6dc03b3127cce970d7aafd15f00000010100CcNWTlozYsb
Studebaker Fever
60 Lark
51 Champion
Arnold, Missouri

10-04-2006, 08:52 AM
I'd suggest pulling the distributor,not difficult to do. watch where the rotor cap/button is pointing after having lifted out a few inches. pulling it out makes it sooo much easier to service the dist., you can accurately set points, not nearly as apt to lose tiny screws. Makes it easier to check counter weight springs on the advance mechanism, check for bushing wear. I spray everything with carb cleamer and after it evaporates, lubricate everything. All this accomplished by putting it gently in a vise. Sometimes it requires a little patience reinstalling back into engine, has to drop in just right. I've owned a 62GT, they're long in the engine bay and makes it easy to damage painted surfaces by continually laying over fender.Hope this helps.

10-04-2006, 10:23 AM
Glad you got her running, Walt, and welcome to the forum!


Clark in San Diego
'63 F2/Lark Standard

10-04-2006, 10:37 AM
Thanks for the really helpful ideas, and warm welcome. I hope this doesn't become too enjoyable -- I also have to make a living. The Hawk is parked right outside the window where I'm working, at home. Pretty tempting. Haven't finagled insurance, yet. I don't have a locked garage available, and every insurance company so far wants that, or to insure all my vehicles, at $800 more. But that's another topic, in another category.

Thanks again.

Walt B

10-04-2006, 10:42 AM
Can you save me some search time and suggest a source for an electronic ignition? Pertronix breakerless ignition?

Walt B

10-04-2006, 12:42 PM
Fairborn Studebaker has a Pertronix kit that will drop into your distributor. Check out www.fairbornstudebaker.com (check their product page carefully - I think they have it spelled "Pertonics"). I have one in my Lark :)


Clark in San Diego
'63 F2/Lark Standard

10-13-2006, 07:47 PM
quote:Originally posted by Alan

If the pump doesn't stop clicking it has to be out of fuel.

Not necessarily. I bought a pump from CarQuest several years ago. When I turned it on it never stopped. I was worried that it was pumping gas into the engine. It wasn't. There are some kinds of pumps that do run continuously.


Paul Johnson
'53 Commander Starliner (since 1966)
'64 Daytona Wagonaire (original owner)
'64 Daytona Convertible (2006)
Museum R-4 engine

John Kirchhoff
10-13-2006, 09:47 PM
When it comes to filing points, it's a good idea to do what the old timers used to do. After you file them, drag a piece of heavy paper (white business cards work great) between the points to clean off any fine dirt or crud. I've actually had to use the card trick after filing points to get them to function as they should. Incidently, 20 years ago, many manufactures went to tungsten (I think) coating the contacts which greatly extend the wear. If you filed them, you destroyed the coating and could expect accelerated wear. For all the good it did knowing that, I did file many of those points. However, after doing so it was a regular chore from there on.