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  • Cannot fix this car...Ready to move on

    I have spent the last year thinking I could get the 51 Commander with auto to run and drive correctly. I have taken advice, tried things, replaced things, fixed things, added things, adjusted things, used the manual, forum, club and it has not improved but seemed to make things worse. I am not the best mechanic but I have always stuck to the cars until I had them correct. I cannot with this one. I have two choices. I have a running 289 with a Dg250 I can swap out. Did not want to do that since the numbers match. I do not have the funds to pay an expensive repair on this car, or I can shelf it and take a break and work on something else.

    It still backfires out of carb, replaced fuel pump, added electric fuel pump. rebuilt carb, adjusted float, change timing all over the place, added petronix, set and reset choke, change vacuum lines, checked for leaks in fuel lines, bypassed mechanical fuel pump and ran it on electric only, blown out lines, checked for spark> It does not help!!!

    Transmission now acting up. Shakes and rattles car when in gear when brake is on. checked fluid, adjusted the governor linkage in all different locations, checked manual, talked to experts, adjusted bands. The shakes just started.

    Each time I fix something something things happen. The back fire happened after I changed the fuel pump. But when I remounted the original pump it still backfires. Seems to be fixed and then it starts up again.

    Transmission started to shake after I bypassed the mechanical pump with electric. Car ran horrible. Would not idle. Went back to mechanical. Engines OK but now transmission shakes and rattles when in gear. This is 1 step forward 5 steps back.
    Last edited by lelshaddai; 05-01-2019, 10:48 PM.
    51 Studebaker Starlight State Commander Coupe
    53 Studebaker Starlight Regal Commander Coupe
    62 Volvo PV544 Sport
    59 Renault 4CV




  • #2
    Jim, don't give up on that car. Put it on the back shelf
    for a few weeks and don't even think about it. It's too nice
    of a car to give up on.

    Comment


    • #3
      Sounds a lot like the story of my 64 GT Hawk I've nicked name "Problem Child".....some times you just have to shut the garage door and walk away for a few days.....done that many times....but I haven't given up...I've now driven her 75+ miles since she last acted up.....I'm making progress....she is just too "purdy" to give up on....and she made all the way to the Studebaker Picnic yesterday...and back home....my confidence is growing!
      Click image for larger version

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      Originally posted by lelddai View Post
      I have spent the last year thinking I could get the 51 Commander with auto to run and drive correctly. I have taken advice, tried things, replaced things, fixed things, added things, adjusted things, used the manual, forum, club and it has not improved but seemed to make things worse. I am not the best mechanic but I have always stuck to the cars until I had them correct. I cannot with this one. I have two choices. I have a running 289 with a Dg250 I can swap out. Did not want to do that since the numbers match. I do not have the funds to pay an expensive repair on this car, or I can shelf it and take a break and work on something else.

      It still backfires out of carb, replaced fuel pump, added electric fuel pump. rebuilt carb, adjusted float, change timing all over the place, added petronix, set and reset choke, change vacuum lines, checked for leaks in fuel lines, bypassed mechanical fuel pump and ran it on electric only, blown out lines, checked for spark> It does not help!!!

      Transmission now acting up. Shakes and rattles car when in gear when brake is on. checked fluid, adjusted the governor linkage in all different locations, checked manual, talked to experts, adjusted bands. The shakes just started.

      Each time I fix something something things happen. The back fire happened after I changed the fuel pump. But when I remounted the original pump it still backfires. Seems to be fixed and then it starts up again.
      Quick Reply








      Transmission started to shake after I bypassed the mechanical pump with electric. Car ran horrible. Would not idle. Went back to mechanical. Engines OK but now transmission shakes and rattles when in gear. This is 1 step forward 5 steps back.
      Lou Van Anne
      62 Champ
      64 R2 GT Hawk
      79 Avanti II

      Comment


      • #4
        I have an extra DG200 and a 250. Not looking forward to replacing it. Looks like the batwing has to come off and the exhaust, which PO welded onto the bracket on the transmission. Replacing transmission does not solve the engine problems.
        51 Studebaker Starlight State Commander Coupe
        53 Studebaker Starlight Regal Commander Coupe
        62 Volvo PV544 Sport
        59 Renault 4CV



        Comment


        • #5
          Are you sure the spark plug wires are in the right order? The reason I ask is because my truck had two switched and it was driving me to distraction. I just knew it had to be something else, but while checking the wires for resistance I found two out of place. Don't trust your eyes. I marked each wire with tape and marked #1 at the distributor. The first 4 were right and then I saw it. Remember that the rotor in the distributor turns counterclockwise.
          sigpic

          "In the heart of Arkansas."
          Searcy, Arkansas
          1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
          1952 2R pickup

          Comment


          • #6
            I feel the same way about Albatross. But I am smarter and better than this thing, and so are you! If you have some one close by to help, I bet you'll faind you aren't very far away from having it correct. Keep up the good fight!
            Ron Dame
            '63 Champ

            Comment


            • #7
              The engine maybe. The transmission is another story. There is no way I want to tackle rebuilding that. I rebuilt the gearbox in my 62 Volvo. Had to take it apart three times (and three times in and out of the car) before it worked. That little 3 speed manual is a lot easier than this Automatic Drive. I am pretty much doing this alone. I just do not know why it just started shuttering when in gear and brake on? I thought governor linkage but that did not fix it. I have done nothing different except run the gas straight through to the carb using an electric pump at 4 1/2 lbs. I have switched back to mechanical and transmission still acts up.
              51 Studebaker Starlight State Commander Coupe
              53 Studebaker Starlight Regal Commander Coupe
              62 Volvo PV544 Sport
              59 Renault 4CV



              Comment


              • #8
                Have you done your own repairs? If so, I would suggest investing about $390 to have Dave Thibeault recondition your carb and fuel pump. I’m a decent mechanic, carbs and fuel pumps are pretty basic, but I always send mine to Dave for any new Studebaker I get as a matter of practice. I’ve had five Studebakers since 2013 and Dave has served me well.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Well you know, it's ALWAYS the Simple things that bite!

                  You know how it goes, like 52-fan said, 2 crossed plug wires, a loose Wire, any little thing can mess you up. It always happens with something you are SURE you got right!
                  StudeRich
                  Second Generation Stude Driver,
                  Proud '54 Starliner Owner

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I am not very sure about anything on this car. I thought I was OK at doing these. I have worked my way through several cars and done OK.
                    51 Studebaker Starlight State Commander Coupe
                    53 Studebaker Starlight Regal Commander Coupe
                    62 Volvo PV544 Sport
                    59 Renault 4CV



                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'm with Paul. Let it rest for a bit. Play with some other things. And, at the same time, interact with some of the members of your Grand Canyon State Chapter. I'm certain they would like to help you get it straightened out. You do have very active members right there in Mesa.

                      Reminds me of our dear departed Bondobilly, Bill Glass.
                      He had an amazing '56 Golden he always referred to as the Hawk From Hell.

                      Click image for larger version

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                      "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

                      Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
                      Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
                      sigpic'33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight, '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I do like the car. Maybe I will park her and work on the 59 Renault. Everything is much smaller on that. However the problem will still be there when I get back to her. Not like me to just give up. Just beyond my skills and I can admit that. I sent a message out to the Grand Canyon Chapter today for help. We will see what turns up. I was hoping to have her ready for a large show we have in the mountains(yes, we have mountains here) by September. I still have a 53 Commander Coupe that I need to put back together and a 54 Metropolitan in line.
                        51 Studebaker Starlight State Commander Coupe
                        53 Studebaker Starlight Regal Commander Coupe
                        62 Volvo PV544 Sport
                        59 Renault 4CV



                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Idle speed is critical on these transmissions. If too high, you will see symptoms such as you are describing.
                          78 Avanti RQB 2792
                          64 Avanti R1 R5408
                          63 Avanti R1 R4551
                          63 Avanti R1 R2281
                          62 GT Hawk V15949
                          56 GH 6032504
                          56 GH 6032588
                          55 Speedster 7160047
                          55 Speedster 7165279

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Considering what you have already done, my educated guess on the engine is an intake valve that is hanging open sometimes.
                            Gary L.
                            Wappinger, NY

                            SDC member since 1968
                            Studebaker enthusiast much longer

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I have a '62 GranTourismo and there is not a single part on that car that I have not worked on. I'm just stubborn enough to see the thing through. Honestly, I could have purchased a real good '62 for what I have had to do to this one. Don't give up just hang in there and it will work out; just think of the Studebaker knowledge you have gained to this point!

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