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51 Studebaker 232 V8 won't start after tune up.

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  • #16
    A six volt test light connected between the distributor primary terminal and ground should blink rapidly as the engine is cranked with the key on. If it stays illuminated all the time: points are not closing. If it stays unlit, points are not opening, or there is a short to ground elsewhere in the distributor.
    Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

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    • #17
      I do not like that replacement Wire and it's Insulator where the Dist. to Coil Wire goes through the case. All that METAL is just asking to ground out!

      It is does not look original or correct.
      I see what looks like a Metal Ring around the wire and the plastic Insulator is missing or replaced with something, if there is Wire to metal contact ANYWHERE, that IS your problem, -grounded points.
      StudeRich
      Second Generation Stude Driver,
      Proud '54 Starliner Owner

      Comment


      • #18
        Eat a popsicle. Wash and dry the wooden stick. Remove the dist cap, and use a big wrench to turn the engine crank until the points are closed. Pull the coil wire out of the dist cap, and put a wide gapped test plug or better yet a spark tester in the naked end of the coil wire, and ground it.

        Go inside the car and turn the key to the run ( not start!!) position.
        Use the wooded popsicle stick to gently open the points while studying the test gap.
        Try that a few times, turn off the key, and report the results.

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        • #19
          or better yet, get that annoying neighborhood kid (Dennis The Menace) to hold a spark plug wire. Yeah, I just couldn't resist.
          Besides I think that kid is my nephew.......

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          • #20
            Okay so for the last three months, I was very busy and didn't have time to work on the car. I'm just going to replace the whole distributor. But that's a whole other problem. I can get one for it right now with electronic ignition all ready to go, All I have to do is just drop it in. Just needs 12 volts. Yeah, and the car is a 6 volt system..

            My question is this, (as I don't even want to bother with the old rusty one that's in there now.) Can I even get one with electronic ignition for a 6 volt system? If not, then where can I buy a replacement distributor for a 6 volt system?
            sigpic
            51 Studebaker Commander Land Cruiser

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            • #21
              Like Rich said in post #17, that homemade lead-in wire, although nice work, is certain to give trouble. Made from regular automotive wire, it will eventually break from the constant movement of the breaker plate. Replace it with the proper lead-in pigtail.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by EmersonCollie View Post
                Okay so for the last three months, I was very busy and didn't have time to work on the car. I'm just going to replace the whole distributor. But that's a whole other problem. I can get one for it right now with electronic ignition all ready to go, All I have to do is just drop it in. Just needs 12 volts. Yeah, and the car is a 6 volt system..

                My question is this, (as I don't even want to bother with the old rusty one that's in there now.) Can I even get one with electronic ignition for a 6 volt system? If not, then where can I buy a replacement distributor for a 6 volt system?
                Almost any Studebaker V-8 distributor in good condition should do the job for you. There should be plenty of the early Delco ones around from 53-59 that are still in good shape. No difference between 6 or 12 volts for the distributor, with the possible exception of the condenser value and the robustness/thickness of the points.

                It's frustrating trying to figure out what is wrong, but are you certain that the problem is in the distributor?

                Have you tried all the tests that folks have suggested?

                Or are you tired of working on it and just want to throw parts at it? Be aware that if the original problem was NOT in the distributor and you replace the distributor anyway, you run the risk of introducing a secondary problem whose symptoms could mask the original problem.

                It always much better to test/troubleshoot to determine the real/actual problem before throwing parts at it.

                Replace only one component at a time.
                Last edited by RadioRoy; 09-24-2019, 01:59 PM.
                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

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by RadioRoy View Post

                  Almost any Studebaker V-8 distributor in good condition should do the job for you. There should be plenty of the early Delco ones around from 53-59 that are still in good shape. No difference between 6 or 12 volts for the distributor, with the possible exception of the condenser value and the robustness/thickness of the points.

                  It's frustrating trying to figure out what is wrong, but are you certain that the problem is in the distributor?

                  Have you tried all the tests that folks have suggested?

                  Or are you tired of working on it and just want to throw parts at it? Be aware that if the original problem was NOT in the distributor and you replace the distributor anyway, you run the risk of introducing a secondary problem whose symptoms could mask the original problem.

                  It always much better to test/troubleshoot to determine the real/actual problem before throwing parts at it.

                  Replace only one component at a time.
                  No I haven't.

                  By looking at the condition that it's in. I wanted to see if I can just go ahead and get electronic ignition for it while keeping it a 6 volt system. The last car I had, that had points was a 73 Ford LTD. That one was easy because the distributor was in the front. I didn't have to lay on top of the engine to get to it like I have to do with this one. (I'm 5'9 and over weight) Having to keep going in and out, in and out just to turn the ignition on and off is kind of a pain after a while.

                  So I wanted to ask and see if I can get electronic ignition for it first. If I can't, then I'll test things and have the joy of getting on the engine and off the engine and back on the engine again because that's so much fun for someone like me..
                  sigpic
                  51 Studebaker Commander Land Cruiser

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by EmersonCollie View Post
                    ...get to it like I have to do with this one. (I'm 5'9 and over weight) Having to keep going in and out, in and out just to turn the ignition on and off is kind of a pain after a while...
                    ...getting on the engine and off the engine and back on the engine again because that's so much fun for someone like me...
                    Remote starter switches are not all that expensive and very handy during trouble shooting & testing. Likewise for those little spark testers that can be placed between a spark plug wire and the spark plug to test for an ignition spark. You can actually insert it in place of your main coil wire to see if the coil is firing to the distributor cap, and once you have fire there...you can move on to testing individual plugs.

                    John Clary
                    Greer, SC

                    SDC member since 1975

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      You can also use a wire with alligator clips on each end to "turn the ignition on and off" from under the hood. One clip to minus on the battery and the other clip to the side of the coil that goes to the ignition switch (not the side that goes to the distributor).

                      Just remember to remove the clip to the battery in between attempts to start the engine.

                      Likewise, you can run the starter from under the hood with a jumper wire to the small terminal on the starter solenoid. Just touch the other end to the hot side of the battery and the starter will engage. There is no need to get on and off the car. You can do it all from one position.

                      I do not know if Pertronix or someone else makes electronic points for 6 volt positive ground. It's a double whammy designing one for six volts for one thing and positive ground for another.

                      Delco points distributors for Studebaker V-8 engines tend to be quite reliable in general. I agree that your distributor looks pretty bad.
                      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

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Here is an update. I found out what the problem is. One of the original cloth insulated wires that leaded to the coil had a short in it. I must have bumped it with my arm and finished it off when I was putting the new points in. Once it was replaced, the engine fired right up. Thanks for all the advice. It leaded me to that problem.
                        sigpic
                        51 Studebaker Commander Land Cruiser

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Glad you found the problem. Even though it frustrated you , you stuck with it. That is "what happens" when you have old cars.

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                          • #28
                            Thanks for writing and explaining what happened. That adds to the general knowledge base for all of us. Have fun with your car.
                            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

                            Comment

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