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Thread: 61 Champ V8 259/ hasn't run in 20 years

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    61 Champ V8 259/ hasn't run in 20 years

    First, I would like to say I'm so glad I found this forum, so many of you that know the studebakers and so nice to know there are still so many of you that understand the older cars/trucks I've read so many post and it has taught me a lot already.
    I bought this 61 Champ for my business venture, it hasn't run in 20 plus years, the oil still looks new however I will change it. The points, condenser, rotor,distributor cap, oil/filters and plugs/wires had all been changed before it was placed in storage and all still look new. I have pulled the plugs and a few days again I added marvels mystery oil in each cylinder, I have removed each value covers and both sides are oily/clean looking. The radiator appeared empty when I looked inside however I pulled all hoses to replace them and there was antifreeze still in the lower part. Now I have read that I should hand crank the engine or turn the crankshaft bolt, and then some say not to use a breaker bar on the crank shaft bolt that is might break- I have also read where I should remove the distributor and use a drill to circulate the oil from there? Or am I understanding this correct? I have removed the radiator and front grill so I could get to that crankshaft bolt- I can not manually move that crank pully- I removed the belts thinking this would help. Should I be able to turn that pully by hand? This also has the Flightomatic automatic transmission in it. Would it make a difference if it's in park or neutral to move that pully?.
    Today I will drain the oil might check the pan to make sure it's clean before I add new. I have also read where I should do all brakes first- well I added brake fluid to the master just for fun, pumped it up and they are still holding, no leaks no runner rot? Is this normal- I will still look into new brakes I just really would like to see if I can get this truck started.
    Thank you all for being here- you have already helped this old lady out by reading your post. Yes I'm a 56 year old woman doing this so go easy on me. Have a great day.

  2. #2
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    Where are you located in Indiana?
    There maybe someone close that can help you.
    Is it a V8?
    http://www.studebakerdriversclub.com/ss_39.asp

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    I'd pull the dizzy and use the drill to circulate fresh oil till it shows pressure on a gage. It is OK to turn the engine by the crank bolt as long as you don't exceed the maximum torque for said bolt. Don't rush the unsticking operation if the engine is stuck.
    Lots of advice on this board for that problem.
    Never trust 20 year old brakes. They will let you down. I know this from experience. I should have learned that the first time.
    Where in Indiana are you.
    JT

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    Champion Member chief915ky's Avatar
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    I'm just across the river in KY.

    It sounds like you've got a great start at what you need to do to get it running again, you're going in the right direction. You may have already done this...but look down into the carburetor and make sure a mouse or mud dobber hasn't built anything in there. If so, and you start cranking the engine, that stuff could get sucked into the engine. Also, make sure your throttle is free and snaps back to idle when you take your foot off. I would leave the plugs out for now and try to turn it over.... you can use a socket and bar on the front of the crank or put a battery in it and use the key. If it turns, you're in luck! At this point, if it's turning over, I'd change the oil. Then, I would also crank it with the key for a good 15 seconds or so, let it sit for a minute, crank it again for another 15 sec, let it sit, etc..... I would do that cycle 5 or 6 times. That will circulate and pressurize the oil system, get everything limbered up again so to speak, and spread the oil you've put in the cylinders around, etc.

    Once that's done, you're ready to put the plugs back in and see if she'll fire up! You're going to need to rebuild the carb too.... after 20 years of sitting it's going to need it. I'd definitely pull the wheels off and take a look at the brakes before you take off in it. You're probably going to end up needing to replace rubber hoses (fuel line and brake hoses) before it's "roadworthy".
    Lee
    1959 Lark VIII

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    rkapteyn, yes it is the V8 I'm in Valparaiso Indiana thanks for the reply .

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    Oilnsteel, oh yes I plan on having all brakes done! I just was excited to see if the master would still hold. Valparaiso Indiana. Thanks for the reply

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    Chief 915ky, yes I have looked in the carb, I removed the Air filter canister and I am going to remove the carb and rebuild. I have a kit in order now. Yes I do plan to do all brakes hoses, lines-- I just got excited about testing the master for the heck of it--- I will take advise I will print and read as I go 😊thanks for the reply

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    Quote Originally Posted by oilnsteel View Post
    I'd pull the dizzy and use the drill to circulate fresh oil till it shows pressure on a gage. It is OK to turn the engine by the crank bolt as long as you don't exceed the maximum torque for said bolt. Don't rush the unsticking operation if the engine is stuck.
    Lots of advice on this board for that problem.
    Never trust 20 year old brakes. They will let you down. I know this from experience. I should have learned that the first time.
    Where in Indiana are you.
    JT
    What's a "dizzy"? πŸ€”

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    Oh distributor ? =dizzy

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    Champion Member chief915ky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kammy View Post
    Oh distributor ? =dizzy
    Yep, distributor.
    Lee
    1959 Lark VIII

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    President Member TWChamp's Avatar
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    I would follow Lee's advice in #4, but I don't feel it's necessary to pull the distributor. It's amazing how the oil will stay on the bearings for a long time......much longer than the cylinder walls. With the straw that comes with most of the penetrating spray cans, you should be able to spray penetrating oil around inside the cylinder pretty well, then let it soak for a few days. I would click the starter a few times each day to see if the pistons will start moving. In extreme cases you can remove the starter and pry on the ring gear teeth for much move leverage to try to get the pistons moving.

    One of my 1950 Champions I bought in 1980 with a stuck engine. After trying several times to free it up I finally removed the head, and was surprised how nice it looked inside. It was hard to believe that it was stuck.

    One more thing that would be worth checking is the valves, to be sure they aren't stuck. In 1985 I bought a 1959 Renault Dauphine with a stuck engine, however the crankshaft would actually turn some, but not all the way around, because it has some stuck valves.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TWChamp View Post
    I would follow Lee's advice in #4, but I don't feel it's necessary to pull the distributor. It's amazing how the oil will stay on the bearings for a long time......much longer than the cylinder walls. With the straw that comes with most of the penetrating spray cans, you should be able to spray penetrating oil around inside the cylinder pretty well, then let it soak for a few days. I would click the starter a few times each day to see if the pistons will start moving. In extreme cases you can remove the starter and pry on the ring gear teeth for much move leverage to try to get the pistons moving.

    One of my 1950 Champions I bought in 1980 with a stuck engine. After trying several times to free it up I finally removed the head, and was surprised how nice it looked inside. It was hard to believe that it was stuck.

    One more thing that would be worth checking is the valves, to be sure they aren't stuck. In 1985 I bought a 1959 Renault Dauphine with a stuck engine, however the crankshaft would actually turn some, but not all the way around, because it has some stuck valves.
    TWchamp- I am taking in everyone's advice makes me feel as if I can do this- I was told to keep adding a little more marvels to the sparkplug holes every couple days- would it hurt to spray something under those valve covers as well?
    I have confirmed that crankshaft bolt is a
    1-1/2" so I have one called in at the local parts store I don't have one that big-
    Thank you for the reply- also my dad had a dauphine renault- fun little car I loved the horns.

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    The distributor turns counterclockwise on a Studebaker V8.
    Is the oil pump designed to pump in either direction or does it have to be turned counterclockwise to build pressure ?
    South Lompoc Studebaker

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    KAMMY YOU ROCK!!!! We'll all get this baby running again!!!
    Jim Kaufman
    Kearney NE

    1952 2R10
    1953 Champion (sold it and still kicking myself)
    1962 GT Hawk
    1963 R3984 Avanti R1

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    Quote Originally Posted by Never Enough Studebakers View Post
    KAMMY YOU ROCK!!!! We'll all get this baby running again!!!
    Jim!! Thank you! With everyone's help and knowledge is so very helpful!

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    Champion Member chief915ky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 55 56 PREZ 4D View Post
    Is the oil pump designed to pump in either direction or does it have to be turned counterclockwise to build pressure ?
    It has to be turned counterclockwise as well
    Lee
    1959 Lark VIII

  17. #17
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    Kammy, if you don't have a shop manual at this time, Call Studebaker International at 317-462-3124 and order one. It will help you so much to have one. I have them on speed dial, LOL. http://www.studebaker-intl.com/
    Jim Kaufman
    Kearney NE

    1952 2R10
    1953 Champion (sold it and still kicking myself)
    1962 GT Hawk
    1963 R3984 Avanti R1

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    Quote Originally Posted by Never Enough Studebakers View Post
    Kammy, if you don't have a shop manual at this time, Call Studebaker International at 317-462-3124 and order one. It will help you so much to have one. I have them on speed dial, LOL. http://www.studebaker-intl.com/
    Jim, thank you I will look them up! πŸ‘πŸ»I do have a thick parts book that came with the old truck- and it has helped me identify some of these parts.

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    Is this the one that was for sale in your area a few weeks ago. One of the California State Studebaker Champs. Hope you have better luck than I did trying to free up the stuck engine. I soaked mine 8 month a with a mixture of acetone and atf. Ended up tearing it down. Had to drive the pistons out. Had to replace the pistons and rings.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DieselJim View Post
    Is this the one that was for sale in your area a few weeks ago. One of the California State Studebaker Champs. Hope you have better luck than I did trying to free up the stuck engine. I soaked mine 8 month a with a mixture of acetone and atf. Ended up tearing it down. Had to drive the pistons out. Had to replace the pistons and rings.
    DieselJim, it certainly could be? Did you know anything about this truck? I would love to find out more about it- I hope I have luck too in freeing it up- was yours sitting along time too? Thanks for the reply.

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    Kammy, use the KISS principle,TW Champ is on the good money with bumping the starter.if that doesnt work pull starter and pry on flywheel teeth with long pry bar or crow bar (Rooster Bar). on carb, main jets need special tool to remove, available from Speedway Motors. When you get round to brakes use the green coated line from FLAPS it will bend much easier. Keep asking questions we are here to help!!! Luck Doofus

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    Sounds to me like this unit was in a good state of tune when it was parked. Since this is one of the very best V8's ever made I'm confident it'll start up with a little TLC. Once she's running it's imperative that you completely flush the cooling system including the two rear drain plugs on either side of the block. You'll notice that this engine sits at an angle: lower in the rear. All the crud and debris builds up in this area and although the owner's service manual scheduled this drain yearly most chose to ignore it or did it but missed the two rear plugs or never bothered to read the manual in the first place. Don't overlook it as overheating will be the damaging end result. Best of luck!

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    Quote Originally Posted by doofus View Post
    Kammy, use the KISS principle,TW Champ is on the good money with bumping the starter.if that doesnt work pull starter and pry on flywheel teeth with long pry bar or crow bar (Rooster Bar). on carb, main jets need special tool to remove, available from Speedway Motors. When you get round to brakes use the green coated line from FLAPS it will bend much easier. Keep asking questions we are here to help!!! Luck Doofus
    I will definitely try that- since I pulled the radiator and front grill I did remove the fan and belts- I should put all that back on before I try to tap the starter correct? I will also look into that special tool for the jets too! Thank you for the help I so appreciate it. Happy Easter!

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    Quote Originally Posted by T.J. lavallee View Post
    Sounds to me like this unit was in a good state of tune when it was parked. Since this is one of the very best V8's ever made I'm confident it'll start up with a little TLC. Once she's running it's imperative that you completely flush the cooling system including the two rear drain plugs on either side of the block. You'll notice that this engine sits at an angle: lower in the rear. All the crud and debris builds up in this area and although the owner's service manual scheduled this drain yearly most chose to ignore it or did it but missed the two rear plugs or never bothered to read the manual in the first place. Don't overlook it as overheating will be the damaging end result. Best of luck!
    TJ, it's seems to have been put to rest in storage with thought in mind- I'm still trying to be very cautious not to harm anything I'm taking my time like others have suggested and wanting it to be correct. I will be sure to flush the cooling system out, of course I have to get back under that truck to find those drain plugs! πŸ™‚ Thank you for your reply and help too! Happy Easter!

  25. #25
    President Member TWChamp's Avatar
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    No need to reinstall any belts or radiator, just keep tapping the starter from time to time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kammy View Post
    DieselJim, it certainly could be? Did you know anything about this truck? I would love to find out more about it- I hope I have luck too in freeing it up- was yours sitting along time too? Thanks for the reply.
    I don't know the history of your truck. What color is the fire wall? I don't know how long mine set. I tried the bolt, starter, and bar on the starter ring gear. Nothing worked. Be careful trying to turn with a bar on the starter ring gear. To much pressure can shear off a tooth. I can assist in a engine rebuild if necessary. I will be around the National Meet. Would like to meet you. Cell five74-8 five o- 101 three. Jim

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    TW Champ- but I have the belt off the starter motor and fan shroud removed- shouldn't there be a belt on the lower crank shaft pulley?

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    Diesel Jim, firewall is a dark brown color. I've not tried to turn anything yet- Ive put marvel oil in plug holes, removed front grill and radiator so I could get to the crank bolt- I don't have a socket to fit that bolt so- I think I'm going to try what TWChamp suggest and tap the starter- I have a new battery- I did change one of the battery cables and I noticed the cable was grounded to the block. ? I do have a long bar I will try that too- sorry yours wasn't a easy fix. As much as I'm looking forward in getting this truck started I'm not in a hurry and want to do all I can not to break something. Thanks for your cell- where is the National meet? Sounds fun! Thanks for the reply and help too! Happy Easter

  29. #29
    Golden Hawk Member StudeRich's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kammy View Post
    TW Champ- but I have the belt off the starter motor and fan shroud removed- shouldn't there be a belt on the lower crank shaft pulley?
    I think you mean you have the belt off of the Generator not the starter.

    No the Fan and Generator belts do not have to go back on to turn the engine.

    The Battery Ground cable can ground anywhere that is metal on the Engine, Stude. engines ground to the Water Manifold, but could go to a Starter mounting bolt if you want.
    StudeRich
    Second Generation Stude Driver,
    Proud '54 Starliner Owner




  30. #30
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    National Meet is in South Bend, May 10 to 13, car and truck show on the 13.http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.c...rnational-Meet

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    Being the fire wall is brown, it would not be a California service truck unless some one did a complete color change. Their trucks were orange.

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    President Member TWChamp's Avatar
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    I have my calendar marked for the South Bend National Meet being May 3-6, 2017
    Tom
    Last edited by TWChamp; 04-16-2017 at 06:48 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by StudeRich View Post
    I think you mean you have the belt off of the Generator not the starter.

    No the Fan and Generator belts do not have to go back on to turn the engine.

    The Battery Ground cable can ground anywhere that is metal on the Engine, Stude. engines ground to the Water Manifold, but could go to a Starter mounting bolt if you want.
    StudRich, you are so right! Generator not starter- not sure what I was thinking! Ok I will look at that cable again, just looked a bit odd where it was- I may move it over to the starter bracket/bolt. I think it would look nicer there. Thank you for the reply ! And Happy Easter

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    Quote Originally Posted by DieselJim View Post
    Being the fire wall is brown, it would not be a California service truck unless some one did a complete color change. Their trucks were orange.
    Well, Orange would have been pretty cool! No there is no sign of Orange that I have seen and I have been all over this truck 😊 The original color looked like a darkess brown/gray the dash I believe is the original color. It was missing a few pieces here and there that I have been able to find. It's pretty clean. Just lots of elbow grease. πŸ‘πŸ» I would like to come to the meet- I will check those dates!

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    Quote Originally Posted by TWChamp View Post
    I have my calendar marked for the South Bend National Meet being May 3-6, 2017
    Tom
    Ok Tom, you both have different dates! πŸ€” Hahaha
    I would love to meet you guys! Happy Easter

  36. #36
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    Out of curiosity, What's your business venture?

    JT

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    Kammy,
    The Studebaker Truck Farmers Dinner (very informal) is Tues May 2nd 4-5pm at Studebaker International. We would love to have you join us!
    Jim
    I was STUDEBAKER, when STUDEBAKER wasn't "KOOL".

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by TWChamp View Post
    I have my calendar marked for the South Bend National Meet being May 3-6, 2017
    Tom
    I stand corrected. Now I got one week less to finish my 59 wagon. Don't think I will make it.

  39. #39
    Silver Hawk Member Milaca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DieselJim View Post
    I stand corrected. Now I got one week less to finish my 59 wagon. Don't think I will make it.
    I feel your pain Jim, I have an unfinished 1963 Daytona registered for the meet but I may have to bring a 1963 GT Hawk instead.

    In the middle of MinneSTUDEa.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by oilnsteel View Post
    Out of curiosity, What's your business venture?
    I do license plate art- and hotdogs

    JT
    JT, I do license plate art- just sold one to another studebaker person for his shop! I also sell hot dogs - that's why I want the pickup to take to shows people over to take a look and buy a dog πŸ‘πŸ»

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