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Buttercup RUNS!

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  • Buttercup RUNS!

    Decided to go up to the shop and piddle a little while this afternoon.
    Stopped by O'Rielly's and picked up 5 quarts of cheap 20-50 motor oil and an oil filter.
    First, I changed the oil and filter. It had been at least six years since she was last run.
    Next I removed all the wires off the positive side of the solenoid except the starter cable. The PO (previous owner, not parole officer) said the last couple of times he drove her there was light shows under the dash.
    I then dropped a battery in and after I removed the wires off the positive terminal on the coil, hooked a jumper wire to the coil.
    Used a test light on the coil negative terminal and the test light lite. That meant the points were open. That's a good thing. Used a screw driver and jumped the terminals on the solenoid to bump the engine a little. The test light stays on. That means the points are not making contact. Popped the distributor cap off, removed the rotor and using a piece of 80 grit sand paper cleaned both contacts on the points. Put all that back together and spun the engine over. The test light went on off on off on off. Good, the points are working.
    Removed the test light, pulled the coil wire out of the dist. cap and holding it about an inch from the carb. horn, spun the engine. A very hot blue spark was the result.
    I then disconnected the battery and turned my attention to the fuel system.
    Tried to screw the drain plug out of the tank. Wouldn't budge.
    Tried to siphon the gas out of the tank. Not enough gas in there (I thought).
    There's an inline fuel filter between the pump and carb. Pulled the carb. side off and installed a four foot length of flex line. Stuck the loose end into a five gallon bucket. Pressurized the gas tank and pushed three gallons of the nastiest smelling gas ever out through the fuel pump and filter and into the five gallon bucket. I was then getting mostly air with a few spurts of gas.
    Then I hooked the carb. line back up to the filter. Checked the fuel line from the tank to the pump for leaks and everything was dry.
    Poured 4 gallons of fresh gas into the tank.
    Pressurized the tank again to fill the carb. with gas. Expecting to have a flood from the carb. float being stuck to the bottom of the bowl. But everything was dry.
    Hooked the battery up, hooked the hot wire to the coil, with my right hand on the carb. linkage and a screwdriver in my left hand I shorted the solenoid. She didn't spin a full revolution before she fired off. Had to keep her running at a high idle for the first fifteen minutes before she would idle down and smooth out. There was never one bit of smoke come out of her twin exhaust pipes. Ran her a full hour. Never got over 170 degrees. There was never any blow-by come from the oil filler pipe or the road draft tube.
    There is a rattle in the lower end when she's reved. But I have a set of rod and main bearings, an oil pump and a gasket ready to go in.
    All in all I'm a happy boy.

    It took me longer to type this than it did to do all that.<G>
    Jerry Forrester
    Forrester's Chrome
    Douglasville, Georgia

    See all of Buttercup's pictures at

  • #2


    • #3
      Originally posted by Jerry Forrester View Post
      All in all I'm a happy boy.

      It took me longer to type this than it did to do all that.<G>
      I'm impressed.

      I knew you had it in you, I just have never been there to see it happen.

      Good on ya!

      Now, sit back down in that lawn chair, before you hurt yerself.
      Dave Lester


      • #4
        There are few thrills greater for a car guy than that first start after a long hibernation.

        Thanks for sharing Buttercup's with us and congrats!!
        Dick Steinkamp
        Bellingham, WA


        • #5
          Glad to hear it. You bought a great looking ride that seems will not need a lot of work to get going ! Keep us updated !
          Randy Wilkin
          1946 M5 Streetrod
          Hillsboro,Ohio 45133


          • #6
            Studebaker engines that have been in hibernation generally always seem to amaze us.

            And I bet Jerry had a smile ear to ear when the engine started and ran.

            1947 Champion (owned since 1967)
            1961 Hawk 4-speed
            1967 Avanti
            1961 Lark 2 door
            1988 Avanti Convertible

            Member of SDC since 1973


            • #7
              It's alive! It's alive!!
              I'm wondering, is the carb the best place to ground to check for spark off of the coil?
              '63 Cruiser
              '57 Packard wagon
              '61 Lark Regal 4 dr wagon
              '50 Commander 4 dr sedan


              • #8
                Aaaaahhhhh......Buttercup is blooming! Great news.
                Joe Roberts
                '61 R1 Champ
                '65 Cruiser
                Eastern North Carolina Chapter


                • #9
                  Has Buttercup had a twelve volt conversion? She should be negative ground, right? Congratulations, BTW.
                  Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands


                  • #10
                    It reads like an episode of Home Improvement. And a really happy ending too!
                    Ed Sallia
                    Dundee, OR

                    Sol Lucet Omnibus


                    • #11
                      Cool story! It's got to feel good to see the breath of life return to a dead car.
                      '63 Lark Custom, 259 v8, auto, child seat

                      "Your friendly neighborhood Studebaker evangelist"


                      • #12
                        Don'cha just love it when a plan comes together? Good on ya.