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fires but won't keep running

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  • Ignition: fires but won't keep running

    57 hawk with transplant engine, Judson electronic magneto, rochester quadrajet.
    Been sitting for 15 years, old stude ran fine. Engine ran fine on the stand with the Judson
    have 12 volts in the start position; around 3 volts in run on other side of resistor. Replaced the resistor, same voltage. same condition. Replaced the Judson, same condition; starts but won't run
    ignition switch is original but seems to have power on run terminal though the key needs to be jiggled a bit to go to start or Acc.
    as I say, it ran fine with the stude engine and generator. Now have a ford alternator and voltage regulator.
    Any other ideas????

  • #2
    I think you need to do a resistance Test on that Coil to Ignition Switch WIRE, maybe someone put a Pink or other Resistance Wire in there like later Hawks used, so you have DOUBLE resistance!

    It sounds to me like about the only things affecting Ignition that are different from your Test Stand to the Car, may be the Ignition Switch, Coil Wire, and maybe the Solenoid, so they would be suspect.
    Second Generation Stude Driver,
    Proud '54 Starliner Owner


    • #3
      will try that for sure. Thanks


      • #4
        A spark tester like this answers a lot of questions.

        A "points tester" , or a multimeter set to DC can quickly determine if the points contact faces are in decent condition. There should be a maximum voltage drop of 0.3 volts or so with the points closed and the ignition switch set to run.

        If the ignition funtion tests OK, I'd be checking for fuel delivery to the carb.

        Does the choke close fully after one pump of the throttle before starting?


        • #5
          Kinda related to your symptoms...This past week, I managed a few minutes to pay some attention to my 1951 Land Cruiser. She is the Grand Elegant Lady of my Studebaker fleet. In the spring, when I last attempted to take her out for a drive, I found the points had corroded and stopped conducting current. I solved that issue, and drove her to my mom's nursing home, and church a couple of times.

          However, I have realized that I had not had her fired up since this past June. It may have been earlier than that, but I noticed that the tag expired in June, and I have not installed the current sticker on the plate. This time, the car would fire, but ran rough, hesitated on acceleration, and died at idle. I had removed the air filter to pour a little gas to prime the carburetor. It would fire up, but run erratically, and die. Not at all characteristic of this reliable 232. Therefore, as is my nature, I just stood and stared at it for a period of time. That is when something kinda odd looking came into focus??? I realized that the linkage to the accelerator pump didn't "look right?"
          Good Grief! The main lever pivot screw had fallen out! As usual for my little ten minute projects, I think this little development required a couple of hours to solve. First, I spent time attempting to find the wayward screw. That included rigging up a trouble light, and mechanics inspection mirror to look under the intake to see if the screw was hiding on the valley cover. No such luck. Then, I searched under the car with a magnetic sweeper. No luck with that either. Finally, although they are different carburetors, I robbed a screw from one of my spare engines that still has a carburetor. Once that task was over, it solved the problem with acceleration, but not rough running. Not until I had risked my lower back, leaned in over the fender and under the hood, removed the distributor cap, reset the point gap, did the engine come to life, and run smoothly.

          This story is a perfect example of the old car hobby. Just like us, as we age, we need attention. We need exercise. Just as our care givers check for problems, prescribe remedies, and make corrections...the same applies to our vehicles. So... while I have been sitting here, composing this post, I'm beginning to stiffen up. Think I'll get off this couch, go out and fire up the Land Cruiser, drive it out into the sunshine, and install the re-chromed trunk handle/ornament I bought last September.
          John Clary
          Greer, SC

          SDC member since 1975


          • #6
            The biggest clue here is the drop to 3 volts at the other side of the resister, the voltage should be 8 to 9 volts on the other side of the resistor. Did the replacement coil have a built in resistor? With an external resistor the coil should not have an internal resistor. Lou Cote


            • #7


              • #8
                Run a hot wire from batt. to + side of coil, if "It" runs ok start checking up stream from coil. Luck Doofus