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  • Bad Morning

    As IF having early AM bus duty at the school where I teach wasn't bad enough, the '61 Lark decided to up and quit on me on the way to work. I decided to drive it to work for the first time, having driven it enough that I felt comfortable with its performance. It started right up as usual, after a little bit of gas, and made it to the end of my road, when it shut down as I had to stop at the stop sign and wait on a passing car. I got the engine re-started two-three times, but it would shut off as soon as I gave it a bit of gas to move. On the third try, the engine would turn over, but not start, and after I let it sit for a few minutes, it wouldn't even turn over-nothing, not a sound. Thinking it might be the battery, I managed to call a friend who lives down the road a bit to jump-start it, but again, no luck. I had to walk back to the house, where my Toyota was parked, and lo and behold, IT didn't want to start, either! It shut off on me no less than six times just getting out of the driveway, then finally I got it out to the highway by having to use my left foot on the brake and keep some pressure on the accelerator with the right, while my friend had to pull the Lark back to my driveway with a chain. It seems like there was a vehicular conspiracy to keep me from going to work today! The weather was cool, but not COLD, about 40 degrees, and the Stude started up in 24-degree cold on Easter morning with no problems. I hope the thing is just flooded(I can't smell with my sinus infection, so asking if I smelled gas is a moot point), and it's not something more serious like a broken timing belt or locked-up valves. The lights would come on, but the ones on the dash would only flicker a bit when I tried to start it. Any ideas of what the problem could be? Unfortunately, I won't be off work until probably five or later, so I can't have it checked today.

    pitbulllady


  • #2
    How's your cooling system? I had this old Plymouth a while back that had similar symptoms, due to an engine that was running hot enough to cause problems, but apparently not hot enough to set off the idiot light (I HATE idiot lights. Give me a gauge any day!). Apparently, what was happening was the heat of the motor was vaporizing the fuel before it got through the carburetor. This also got worse when I was sitting, say at a stop light or whatnot. The result was that for no apparent reason, the car would die, then maybe restart, make it a few feet, and die again. Usually after the first restart, it was done for good, and I had to let the motor cool off before I could start it back up. I couldn't afford to fix it, so I just drove fast and let air-cooling do it's thing!

    Also, if it was an extremely wet day in your area, maybe just enough moisture got into the distributor to short you out?

    Just ideas....

    --------
    Restoring my grandfather's '60 Lark, one rusted bolt at a time.

    Maple Lake, Minnesota
    '63 Lark Custom, 259 v8, auto, child seat

    "Your friendly neighborhood Studebaker evangelist"

    Comment


    • #3
      How's your cooling system? I had this old Plymouth a while back that had similar symptoms, due to an engine that was running hot enough to cause problems, but apparently not hot enough to set off the idiot light (I HATE idiot lights. Give me a gauge any day!). Apparently, what was happening was the heat of the motor was vaporizing the fuel before it got through the carburetor. This also got worse when I was sitting, say at a stop light or whatnot. The result was that for no apparent reason, the car would die, then maybe restart, make it a few feet, and die again. Usually after the first restart, it was done for good, and I had to let the motor cool off before I could start it back up. I couldn't afford to fix it, so I just drove fast and let air-cooling do it's thing!

      Also, if it was an extremely wet day in your area, maybe just enough moisture got into the distributor to short you out?

      Just ideas....

      --------
      Restoring my grandfather's '60 Lark, one rusted bolt at a time.

      Maple Lake, Minnesota
      '63 Lark Custom, 259 v8, auto, child seat

      "Your friendly neighborhood Studebaker evangelist"

      Comment


      • #4
        Sounds like a stuck choke, bad fuel filter or fuel pump to me. My 62 Cruiser did the same thing and at one point or another all of the above had caused it. Hope this helps.
        Bob Sporner

        Comment


        • #5
          Sounds like a stuck choke, bad fuel filter or fuel pump to me. My 62 Cruiser did the same thing and at one point or another all of the above had caused it. Hope this helps.
          Bob Sporner

          Comment


          • #6
            Has the tank been clean, could be something in the fuel line
            that's clogging the whole thing up at the filter....

            Hope this helps.

            glen Brose
            Between Perkinsville
            and Chino Valley AZ.

            Comment


            • #7
              Has the tank been clean, could be something in the fuel line
              that's clogging the whole thing up at the filter....

              Hope this helps.

              glen Brose
              Between Perkinsville
              and Chino Valley AZ.

              Comment


              • #8
                None of that adresses the fact that it doesn't turn over now... Check out electrical- generator and connections, starter and battery connections, etc. Welcome to the world of 40 year old cars!!

                Robert K. Andrews Owner- IoMT (Island of Misfit Toys!)
                Parish, central NY 13131
                http://www.cardomain.com/ride/2358680/1

                Comment


                • #9
                  None of that adresses the fact that it doesn't turn over now... Check out electrical- generator and connections, starter and battery connections, etc. Welcome to the world of 40 year old cars!!

                  Robert K. Andrews Owner- IoMT (Island of Misfit Toys!)
                  Parish, central NY 13131
                  http://www.cardomain.com/ride/2358680/1

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Given that you had problems in both vehicles, I have to ask if you may have puchased gas for both the last time you drove them and if so, at the same location. It sounds like a fuel starvation or mixture problem. You may start with the simple, and see if you are getting fuel by removing the air cleaner. If not, it could be a bad fuel pump, a stopped up filter or blocked lines.

                    I certainly hope it is not a kid getting even for a bad grade. [:0]


                    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.
                    Join me in removing narcissists, trolls, self annoited "experts" and general idiots via the Ignore button.

                    The official SDC Forum heel nipper ���

                    �Middle age is when your broad mind and narrow waist begin to change places.� E. Joseph Cossman

                    For every mile of road, there are 2 miles of ditch. ���

                    "All lies matter - fight the kleptocracy"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Given that you had problems in both vehicles, I have to ask if you may have puchased gas for both the last time you drove them and if so, at the same location. It sounds like a fuel starvation or mixture problem. You may start with the simple, and see if you are getting fuel by removing the air cleaner. If not, it could be a bad fuel pump, a stopped up filter or blocked lines.

                      I certainly hope it is not a kid getting even for a bad grade. [:0]


                      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.
                      Join me in removing narcissists, trolls, self annoited "experts" and general idiots via the Ignore button.

                      The official SDC Forum heel nipper ���

                      �Middle age is when your broad mind and narrow waist begin to change places.� E. Joseph Cossman

                      For every mile of road, there are 2 miles of ditch. ���

                      "All lies matter - fight the kleptocracy"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        With those flickering dash lights, I'd side with Robert in thinking it's electrical. Bad batteries and generators tend to provide enough juice to made adequate spark when the engine's running fast enough to charge but let it idle, the generator stops charging and the battery can't provide enough voltage to make an adequate spark. Jump starting doesn't always work when the battery has a dead short since it soaks up juice as fast as the donor vehicle produces it. Since electricity takes the path of least resistance, it all goes to the battery and none to the coil. What can cause a dead short? Usually the plates have shed enough lead particles that have accumulated at the bottom of the battery that they short the positive and negative plates together.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          With those flickering dash lights, I'd side with Robert in thinking it's electrical. Bad batteries and generators tend to provide enough juice to made adequate spark when the engine's running fast enough to charge but let it idle, the generator stops charging and the battery can't provide enough voltage to make an adequate spark. Jump starting doesn't always work when the battery has a dead short since it soaks up juice as fast as the donor vehicle produces it. Since electricity takes the path of least resistance, it all goes to the battery and none to the coil. What can cause a dead short? Usually the plates have shed enough lead particles that have accumulated at the bottom of the battery that they short the positive and negative plates together.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            With the similar (beginning) problems with both vehicles, I would think of something common to both. If you bought gasoline for both from the same source, you may have gotten bad gasoline or gasoline with water or some other contaminent in it. If you park both vehicles outside, I would be concerned about someone tampering with the fuel, either by removing expensive gasoline or maliciously adding something to the tank. I think that the inability to turn the Lark engine over after many attempts at running the car is just a sign that the battery was run down. I believe that the key to your dilemma lies in the common part of your problem across both vehicles.

                            Gary L.
                            Wappinger, NY

                            1959 DeLuxe pickup (restomod)
                            Gary L.
                            Wappinger, NY

                            SDC member since 1968
                            Studebaker enthusiast much longer

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              With the similar (beginning) problems with both vehicles, I would think of something common to both. If you bought gasoline for both from the same source, you may have gotten bad gasoline or gasoline with water or some other contaminent in it. If you park both vehicles outside, I would be concerned about someone tampering with the fuel, either by removing expensive gasoline or maliciously adding something to the tank. I think that the inability to turn the Lark engine over after many attempts at running the car is just a sign that the battery was run down. I believe that the key to your dilemma lies in the common part of your problem across both vehicles.

                              Gary L.
                              Wappinger, NY

                              1959 DeLuxe pickup (restomod)
                              Gary L.
                              Wappinger, NY

                              SDC member since 1968
                              Studebaker enthusiast much longer

                              Comment

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