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  • Engine: V8 Engine Failure

    Hi all, need some advice on an engine running problem. Father in laws '63 Lark 289 3 spd OD starts fine but about 300 yards down the road it dies, I roll to a stop then turn the key, it starts first go. Go a further 300 yards or so and it dies again. Early January he installed rebuilt heads, ran the car but didn't drive it. He has recently passed and was a lifelong Studebaker mechanic and would know why the problem is occurring and how to fix but I need the input of fellow SDCers here, thank you.

  • #2
    Sad to hear that he is gone.

    Sounds like it's running out of fuel. I would check the fuel filters, if any, and test the fuel pump, and after that, check the float valve in the carburetor.
    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

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    • #3
      Had a similar problem. Was the fuel filter.

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      • #4
        Could be crud in the tank that pulls down against the outlet, then floats away after it dies and the fuel pump loses suction.

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        • #5
          Do Studebakers have a sock on the pick up in the gas tank? I really do not know.
          Most cars do. I have never had a Studebaker tank out. When the sock gets dirty enough it collapses causing what you are experiencing.

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          • #6
            ...and note that there is a small pleated paper filter inside the tin “cup” on the bottom of the stock mechanical fuel pump.

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            • #7
              Years ago, I had a car doing the same frustrating thing you have described. Don't forget that on some carburetors, there is a very fine mesh screen wire behind the inlet fitting of the carburetor. Of course, with the age of our cars, many of those tiny wafers of screen wire have been discarded years ago. However, my 1951 Land Cruiser still has one of those and it frustrated the heck out of me until I finally removed the fitting and found my little screen full of crud. I cleaned it, installed an additional filter in the fuel line, and have never had the problem of an unexplained dying engine again. There are some great suggestions offered here by some experienced "oldtimers." Follow them and let us know what you find.
              John Clary
              Greer, SC

              SDC member since 1975

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Lynn View Post
                Do Studebakers have a sock on the pick up in the gas tank? I really do not know.
                Most cars do. I have never had a Studebaker tank out. When the sock gets dirty enough it collapses causing what you are experiencing.
                No one else will answer...

                No sir, no socks in Stude fuel tanks...from the factory anyway.
                Not positive about the Avanti...but...

                Mike

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                • #9
                  Hi Trevor,

                  I would change the condensor first.

                  regards,

                  Wayne.
                  sigpic

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                  • #10
                    Is the gas cap vented?
                    KURTRUK
                    (read it backwards)




                    Nothing is politically right which is morally wrong. -A. Lincoln

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                    • #11
                      It couldn't hurt to put a dwell meter on the distributor. It's an easy like to see if it's holding dwell.

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                      • #12
                        Had an old Buick that behaved the same. Crud from the tank was making its way into the fine filter at the carb. Needed to have the tank replaced. It was rusting at the seams, enough so that the particles contaminated the gas. Tank replaced problem went away.

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                        • #13
                          Once had a similar problem that turned out to be a failing ignition coil.

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                          • #14
                            Crushed spot in the fuel line? It would let the car idle but run out of gas because of restricted flow.

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                            • #15
                              Easy enough to check fuel flow -pressure. Could be restriction in the carb, too. Lynn, no they don't but would have been nice if they did. They held the pick-up pipe just a bit off the bottom of the tank thinking that by the time the crud builds up to that level ,it'll be why out of warranty! It takes a few miles of driving to build up enough vacuum in gas tank to stop car if the cap isn't venting.

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