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1950 Champion Distributor questions

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  • Ignition: 1950 Champion Distributor questions

    Hello all,
    I finally got around to replacing the incorrect rotor on my 50 champion IAT distributor with the correct one. As expected, the incorrect rotor was on there tight but eventually came off with some wiggling. The new rotor went right on easy. How snug a fit Should the rotor have? I can easily lift the correct one on and off the cam. I want to make sure this is right. Also, how much play should the distributor cam have up and down and left to right?
    thx

  • #2
    The rotor does not have to be super tight. It does need to be tight enough so it does not move around on the shaft. I have had some that were hard to remove, but that is not normal. The rotor should come off with a firm pull.
    There is some endplay allowed in the shaft. I don't know what the specification is for your car. The endplay is adjusted with shims on the bottom if needed. The play (up and down) will probably not be a problem. I would try it unless it seems excessive.
    "In the heart of Arkansas."
    Searcy, Arkansas
    1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
    1952 2R pickup

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    • #3
      Ok, it sounds like I might have an issue then. My rotor pulls off with no resistance at all

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      • #4
        There is usually a spring loaded center electrode in the cap that should keep the rotor down in use, I would not worry.
        54 Champion coupe
        48 Champion Convert

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        • #5
          Ok thx- I knew it wouldn’t fall off but wasn’t sure if any small movement would have an effect.

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          • #6
            the left/right movement may be a problem, depending on definition. If rotating it left and right, that's normal due to the advance mechanism... though wear would make it worse. MOst likely, you are talking about pushing the rotor left and right, or to and frow. That suggests there is wear in the bushings which is common, but can affect timing and points setting. Luckily, we have several vendors that can rebuild it for only a few hundred or so.
            Ron Dame
            '63 Champ

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            • #7
              I may take it out to inspect anyways.. is it true this distributor can only go in 2 ways ? 180 degrees either way? As long as I note the position of rotor it will go in exactly the same?

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              • #8
                That is Right it is; Wrong or Correct, that's it.

                That is because what controls the actual Dist. Clocking is the Toothed Gear on the Oil Pump and Distributor DRIVE Gear as Installed into the Cam gear on the last Engine/Camshaft Assy.

                This String in "Tech. Talk" shows what happens when you do incorrectly Assemble the Oil Pump on Six Cylinder Champion and Lark 170 & 185 Engines.

                https://forum.studebakerdriversclub....hom-this-today
                Last edited by StudeRich; 03-12-2021, 12:41 PM.
                StudeRich
                Second Generation Stude Driver,
                Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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                • #9
                  Lol, thx . That makes things easy

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                  • #10
                    if you look, the tang on the distributor and the slot in the oil pump are somewhat offset, so there is only one way it will fit.
                    Ron Dame
                    '63 Champ

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                    • #11
                      Good catch Ron, I forgot about the offset, it looks like a straight Slot, but is not quite. Foolproof if the Engine was assembled right.

                      I did it wrong when I was 19, back in College working on my AA Degree in Auto Mechanics on my '54 Champion Rebuild.

                      We had a '56 Cadillac V8 on an Engine stand in the Shop for experimentation and Parts, so I took the Long Generator Adjustment Arm from it and moved the Generator Out and used a longer Fan Belt and got it Timed Ok.
                      I could have rotated the wires a couple Plugs.
                      StudeRich
                      Second Generation Stude Driver,
                      Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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                      • #12
                        Thanks guys, this is my first stude so knowing what to expect when making a repair is helpful

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