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Hopin the engine will turn?

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  • Hopin the engine will turn?

    I've found a 59 silver hawk that i'd like to pick up as a project car. The main thing im worried about is the engine. It supposedly ran when it was parked in 79 and isn't siezed up. It's sitting with no belt or plug wires. I'm thinkin about buyin some plug wires for it and seing if it will fire. Anything i may need to look for on these cars or anyone can think of to check out first?
    Thanks,
    Chris

  • #2
    Pull all the spark plugs and squirt thin oil into each cylinder before you start. Get new spark plugs, throw out those old ones. Change the oil. The type of oil you use isn't real important at this point because you will drain it out again after it starts (if it does). Pull the distributor (be sure to remember how it is pointing so you can put it back in the same orientation) and use a reversable electric drill turning backwards with a flat bladed shaft about 9 inches long through the distributor hole to drive the oil pump. Run it up until you show at least a little oil pressure on the guage. Put the distributor back in, you may have to use your flat bladed shaft to re-orient the oil pump drive so the distributor goes back in. DON'T FORCE IT! When it is right it will just drop in. Clean the points with a point file or the striker from a match book. Regap the points. check the coolant and fill to the proper level. Use a fully charged battery. After it starts, let it run until it warms up, then drain the oil and change it again.

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    • #3
      After squirting the oil into the cylinders I would get a breaker bar with socket that is correct for the front of the engine. Put the bar on the front of the engine and give it a twist. It should roll over without a problem. That will tell you if the engine has really been seized all these years, as well as, if possible or needed, break the long setting pistons loose in the cylinders.
      1964 Studebaker Commander R2 clone
      1963 Studebaker Daytona Hardtop with no engine or transmission
      1950 Studebaker 2R5 w/170 six cylinder and 3spd OD
      1955 Studebaker Commander Hardtop w/289 and 3spd OD and Megasquirt port fuel injection(among other things)

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      • #4
        no matter what your approach is getting it to start.....remember your engine may live a short life thereafter......I know guys will tell some tall tales about resurrecting engines from the dead and driving them without problems...but honestly ..that's a stretch and a crapshoot. You may get lucky, but probably won't. Too many variables to deal with in an engine that sat that long. Buy the car based upon rebuilding or replacing the engine......budget a minimum of $1200. to $2000. plus additional drivetrain servicing, brakes etc.....good luck-this is a great bunch of guys....

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        • #5
          With any luck, one valve will have been open all that time. Humidity condenses, and you should expect some rust in at least one bore, and on the open valve shaft. If you can start the engine, I'd be real surprised if it runs any good or for any length of time. Car engines are made to run, not to sit around. Gaskets dry out, shafts freeze, moisture condenses, etc.
          Why fire it up, you can do more damage than what has naturally taken place over 29 years R.I.P. Pull it apart and check condition before you decide to replace or repair.
          /H

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          • #6
            While I agree it's a gamble, I do like to gamble, and I like to the odds on this one. I'd say about 70-80% of the engines that have had that had been sitting for many years can be started without a issue and provide years of service. That's assuming you take reasonable care before firing. Once you make sure the pistons and valves are lubed and free and you've got a good, fresh oil prime, you may get lucky. Take my old R2 Lark for example, that engine was stuck and I got it free five years ago and it's been on the drag strip more then once with the new owner.

            JDP/Maryland
            JDP Maryland

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            • #7
              Agree with JDP, whacker on this one. As long as the carb has had an air filter on it, Studes are like Rip Van Winkle. They wake from long slumber and more often than not, run just fine. On rare occasions a valve has stuck tight and a pushrod can get bent or a rocker broken. I use the starter, rather than a breaker bar, just so I won't hurt anything solid.

              thnx, jack vines

              PackardV8
              PackardV8

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              • #8
                I'd grab ahold of the crank pulley and see if it will turn, firstly. IF it does, figure on new points at least to run.

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                • #9
                  My '50 169 sat for 38 years. Some Marvel Oil and the crank pulley turned it over. New plugs and it started. It really can happen. Of course, once it ran, I found out what was wrong with it. haha.

                  '50 Champion, 1 family owner

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                  • #10
                    quote:
                    I'd grab ahold of the crank pulley and see if it will turn, firstly. IF it does, figure on new points at least to run.
                    That's what I did except using the breaker bar. We had a 185 with a pickup, claimed it was seized. So we put some of that Marvel's Mystery Oil down the spark plug oils, put it on the end of the crank. Wouldn't budge so instead of full on twisting, we nudged the bar. For a couple of days we did that with the bar, just "rocked it" back and forth. After a few days we got it so where we could make one full turn using the breaker bar. Of course now we knew it wasn't seized the fun part begins as now it needs a rebuild(rings, points, the usual) to come back from the dead.
                    1964 Studebaker Commander R2 clone
                    1963 Studebaker Daytona Hardtop with no engine or transmission
                    1950 Studebaker 2R5 w/170 six cylinder and 3spd OD
                    1955 Studebaker Commander Hardtop w/289 and 3spd OD and Megasquirt port fuel injection(among other things)

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                    • #11
                      OR.....

                      http://youtube.com/watch?v=BOpPxy7Xl3U&feature=related

                      '50 Champion, 1 family owner

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                      • #12
                        I can't tell you how many cars i've pulled out of fields and got to run just fine. The only thing i've run across is it takes a few miles of driving them to get the rings lubricated again. Even if you put Marvel Mystery oil in the cylinders. If it's been sitting with an air cleaner on it with the hood down, and it turns over by hand, it'll either run, or you'll find out why it was parked real quick! If you've been told it ran when parked and it still looks decent, it'll probably run just fine. The 226 flathead in my Willys pick up fired right up after 2 hours of tinkering with it. It sat under an oak tree right where the points failed on an exotic game ranch. The hunters just left it there and 10 years later got sick of driving past it and put it up for sale. [^]

                        Good luck, and be sure to tell us how it runs!

                        Chris Salisbury
                        Hutto/Austin, TX

                        1958 Commander Starlight Hardtop

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