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Sever vibration

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  • Clutch / Torque Converter: Sever vibration

    My 50 Champion vibrates so hard it feels as if the engine is loose when starting forward but almost nothing when backing. I have to rev it high and after it starts rolling drop back to idle and let the clutch take hold. After this everything is fine until I have to stop. I have not checked the clutch yet as I am going to pull and replace the engine and transmission sometime after Christmas. However I am curious, is it normal for reverse to not jerk when going forward jerks so bad? It has a rear axle from a 50 Land Cruiser but this problem was there with the old axle. Also has new motor mounts.

    Last edited by doubledaddy; 11-18-2016, 07:54 AM. Reason: missing words
    Barn Find
    1950 Champion
    Before I started
    Jim Berry
    Midlothian, TX

  • #2
    Starting forward will lift the left front corner of the engine, reverse the right front due to torque. Check those new motor and trans mounts-may have a bad one or it may be loose.


    • #3
      Sounds like a clutch issue -- maybe oil soaked, or flywheel glazed, or broken pressure plate spring(s), etc. Now, why it won't do this in reverse is curious, but generally you don't give it as much gas when you are backing up (unless backing up a steep hill) so that could have something to do with it.
      Winston-Salem, NC
      Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at:


      • #4
        Reverse gear has a greater ratio than first gear. That could also contribute to the difference.
        RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

        17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
        10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
        10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
        4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
        5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
        56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
        60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible


        • #5
          Sounding a lot like a warped disc. try making fairly hard take offs and getting clutch engaged quicker. Luck Doofus


          • #6
            Hillholder out of adjustment?
            Dan Peterson
            Montpelier, VT
            1960 Lark V-8 Convertible
            1960 Lark V-8 Convertible (parts car)


            • #7
              My Model A shook like a paint shaker when I started from a dead stop, so I installed a new clutch disc, a good looking used pressure plate from a swap meet, and I sanded the flywheel with a 1/4 sheet electric palm sander. I also dialed in the flywheel cover to be sure it was under the .006" spec. The disc that I removed was fairly new, as the surface wasn't worn to full contact yet, and the pressure plate I removed also looked OK, so I'm not sure what the problem was, but now it's as smooth as an automatic.

              Model A flywheel covers are dialed in to make sure they tranny input shaft is in a straight line with the crankshaft, whereas the Studebaker is dialed in the make sure the input shaft is centered to the crankshaft, otherwise everything I did to my Model A applies the same to my Studebakers.

              Not being sure what was causing the vibration when letting out the clutch, I tried various ways to make it better. I tried letting the clutch out very slowly, I tried slipping the clutch, and I tried quick release, but nothing helped until I replaced the parts and dialed it in. And since I did 4 things all at the same time, I'm still not sure what was the cause of the vibration, and it could even have been a combination of all 4.