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Second Opinions Wanted Champ Six Engine Problem

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  • Second Opinions Wanted Champ Six Engine Problem

    Hi All,

    My '54 Champion Coupe ran fine going to Back to the 50's last night. On the way home everything seemed fine until after a stop I went thru the gears and heard the engine making a funny low sound on each shift. Then all of a sudden no engine power and it shut down. I pulled to the side of the road. Had plenty of gas. Engine turned over very quickly, but sounded very different. Engine would not fire. Got a tow and so this morning started checking.

    Found all obvious external items OK. Surprise: when the engine turns over the distributor DOES NOT revolve. Pulled distributor, distributor turns fine when hand held. Engine is not turning the distributor, Engine turns very fast but that different sound is still obvious. Like there is no compression....

    Peculiar item: For the 3 years I have owned this car I have never been able to get this engine to time on the harmonic balancer mark. It has always been about 3/4" off where it seemed to run best.

    So, What's wrong? What's Broken? What needs to be checked?

    Thanks, all thoughts & tips appreciated.

    Henry Votel, Editor
    North Star Wheel
    North Star Chapter SDC
    Henry Votel,
    Forest Lake, MN
    Buying & Selling Studebaker Parts in MN & WI

  • #2
    Sounds like you may have stripped the fiber timing gear. See if you can see the camshaft gear turning when cranking the engine with distributor out Henry.

    Frank van Doorn
    1962 GT Hawk 4 speed
    1963 Daytona Conv
    1941 Champion R-2 Rod
    Frank van Doorn
    Omaha, Ne.
    1962 GT Hawk 289 4 speed
    1941 Champion streetrod, R-2 Powered, GM 200-4R trans.
    1952 V-8 232 Commander State "Starliner" hardtop OD


    • #3
      Agree with Frank. Most likely culprit, timing gear.
      "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

      Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
      Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
      '33 Rockne 10,
      '51 Commander Starlight,
      '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée",
      '56 Sky Hawk


      • #4
        I think these guys are right. The same thing happened to me once.

        1952 Champion Starlight, 1962 Daytona.Searcy,Arkansas
        "I may be lazy, but I'm not shiftless."
        "In the heart of Arkansas."
        Searcy, Arkansas
        1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
        1952 2R pickup


        • #5
          Either your now-stripped gear was installed one tooth off when last put together or had broken one tooth and jumped just the one tooth, but somehow kept running another three years. Never seen that happen, but anything's possible.

          thnx, jack vines



          • #6
            Yep. I agree with the timing gear theory. The same thing happened to the Orange truck, shortly before I got possession of it.

            Matthew Burnette
            Hazlehurst, GA