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59 Lark VI alternator and electronic ignition conversion.

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  • Ignition: 59 Lark VI alternator and electronic ignition conversion.

    This is my first post here as a relatively new member on the forum. I took over ownership of my fathers (also a club member) 59 Lark HDTP with the in-line 6 under the hood. While I’d love to do a V8 conversion on this car at some point, in the interim I’d like to do some small updates to make the car a bit more reliable as a weekend driver. I’ve grown up with this car as it’s been in my family since I’m 9 years old. My intention is to keep it on the road and in the family as long as I possibly can.

    I’ve done some research but I thought best to ask the other members for advice on any club vendors to leverage in doing these conversions. I’m quite comfortable with auto electric work as I spent 10+ years in the car stereo space in my late teens and 20’s so as long as I have some basic guidance around these cars and their wiring I’m confident to do this work in the garage.

    The alternator looks pretty straight forward as I plan on going the 3 wire route but rather than have to fab a bracket and measure for a belt, are there any “kits” available for this out there?

    The ignition is definitely a bit more complex which is why I’d prefer to leverage the knowledge of an actual Studebaker vendor even if it ends up costing me a few bucks more than getting the Pertronix kit from a Rock Auto type of vendor.

    I appreciate any responses and guidance in advance!

    Evan Price

  • #2
    If the gen and regulator work, why mess with them. If not a Mopar alt, from ,say,1966 with the correct solid state regulator would work. An alt with int. reg will cost much more. I just ordered Pertronix coil and module from Fairborn Studebaker. Phil's prices are very reasonble and service can't be beat.


    • #3
      I recently replaced the Mopar alternator and regulator that was on my '62 GT with a GM 10si (mid 70's internal regulator) alternator. The Mopar regulator was freaking out and the GM alt was as cheap as the regulator and easier, plus I eliminated one more unsightly chunk from the engine compartment. I've used these alternators on many different vehicles and makes, and they're easy to adapt. Most of the time the stock generator bracket can be adapted to work, with spacers and/or minor repositioning. Wiring is easy especially if you get a "1 wire" unit, it goes to the battery. For the "3 wire" get the plug in connector, the big wire on it goes to the "BATT" stud which then goes to the battery. The small wire goes to the negative side of an "idiot light". I've found that 1 and 3 wire units cost about the same these days, with prices from around $35 up (from a 20 second search just now). Here's one

      As for the ignition, you'll have to go with other guys suggestions. I made my own by grafting an Oldsmobile HEI top half to the Stude bottom half. It worked for my Ford and has been working great for 35 years now; of course they make them for the Ford now for around $50, but not for Studebaker.


      • #4
        Good to know and yes those Mopar alternators are ugly as sin.


        • #5
          I had no issue with the apearance of the Mopar alternator, it's just nice not to have the seperate regulator. I now have two extra mopar alternators. The GM unit I replaced it with is new a chrome one that was given to me. One thing I never noticed about the Mopar alternator is it has an internal fan. I noiticed it when fitting the GM unit and the adjuster arm hit the fan; I had to reshape the arm to clear it.
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          • #6
            For ignition on our 63 Lark 6 cylinder, I just went with a Petronix distributor Conversion kit, ( which took 30 minutes to install) It just installs in place of your regular points. Ours has been working fine for over 11 years.