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Sluggish when accelerating , 50 champ

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  • Engine: Sluggish when accelerating , 50 champ

    Hello,
    After finally getting my distributor sorted and installing new plugs, wires, points , condenser, cap , rotor and ground wire I took it for a spin. First off, it idles smoothly and quietly. However, when accelerating from a stop it appears very sluggish. There are no stalling or stumbling issues and once I get into 2nd and 3rd seems to be ok - but still seems slow even for a champion. My first inclination is to check the vacuum advance and the timing. Anything else?
    thx

  • #2
    Did you have the carb re-built? Whether yes or no, you might want to check the acceleration pump. I had a problem a while back with low power trying to go up a hill. It turned out the pump was not operating correctly and not providing enough gas when I stepped on the accelerator pedal.
    Ed Sallia
    Dundee, OR

    Sol Lucet Omnibus

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    • #3
      The Electrical System/Engine is under more heavier "Load" when you are accelerating through Low and the bottom of 2nd. when there are weak, Wires, Plugs, Coil etc. the performance will become noticeably less.

      Are you SURE the Actual Dwell reading is within Specs.?

      I have had to adjust Points multiple times when I "Thought" I had a good SQUARE angle of the feeler Gauge to the contacts and had a Light Drag on the Feeler Gauge, but the Dwell Meter showed it was NOT in Spec. That takes some serious Patience!

      The ONLY way to get it right on, quickly and easily is by chucking the Dist. in a Distributor Machine.
      StudeRich
      Second Generation Stude Driver,
      Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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      • #4
        I’m fairly sure that “Sluggish when Accelerating!” was part of the ad copy for the 50 champion.

        Having loved my ‘51 10G-W5 with the 170-3spd-OD, I’d still say that 1st gear briskness was not ever going to happen.

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        • #5
          If they don't move out rather briskly in LOW, something IS wrong, because the Engineers knew just how powerful they were not, and geared them accordingly, just like a Truck that would be expected to handle Loaded Weights.

          Most 169 c.i.d. 85 H.P. Cars, had 4.56 to 1 Ratio Rear Axles and 1/2 Ton's had 4.88, THAT makes all the difference in the world.
          StudeRich
          Second Generation Stude Driver,
          Proud '54 Starliner Owner

          Comment


          • #6
            Yes, I agree that with 4.56 gears it should be better out of the gate. I pulled the fuel filter out and found it wasn’t a filter at all but some sort of stone/ ceramic cup? A friend of mine
            said he’d seen this before but I haven’t. Pic attached. I’m putting in a regular paper filter.
            I’ll check the timing, vaccum advance and carb, couid be a fuel delivery issue then I’ll go from there.
            thx for the tips
            Attached Files

            Comment


            • #7
              Does this car have an automatic transmission? If so, then "sluggish acceleration" is actually a compliment.

              Have you driven the car prior to this time and is it more sluggish than it was, or is this your first driving impression?

              Have you driven other 50 Champions for a comparison, or had another Champion owner drive yours?

              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

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Flthdchamp View Post
                Hello,
                After finally getting my distributor sorted and installing new plugs, wires, points , condenser, cap , rotor and ground wire I took it for a spin. First off, it idles smoothly and quietly. However, when accelerating from a stop it appears very sluggish. There are no stalling or stumbling issues and once I get into 2nd and 3rd seems to be ok - but still seems slow even for a champion. My first inclination is to check the vacuum advance and the timing. Anything else?
                thx
                Yes, do set the initial timing to specs at the rpm stated in the Shop Manual. And yes, do check the vacuum advance - you can use a MightyVac or similar to pull a vacuum and see how many degrees it is advancing (a dialback timing light is very helpful here) and compare that to the Shop Manual specs. Then, disconnect the vacuum advance and rev the engine up and determine what your centrifugal advance reading is (again, much easier with a dialback timing light) and compare to the specs in the Shop Manual.

                Also, when you are checking the advance, it should stay pretty steady at a steady rpm; a lot of moving back and forth could indicate issues with the distributor (advance weights, etc). Also, a dwell that is not steady could indicate worn shaft. bushings (or maybe a worn breaker cam).

                When you got your distributor "sorted", did you inspect and lubricate the centrifugal advance weights, and inspect the pins the weights fit onto, and also inspect the slots in the cam assembly? All this should be a required part of distributor inspection and repair.

                As Rich mentioned in Post #3, if you know someone with a Sun or Allen distributor test machine, it would be great to have them check your distributor out. They will need the info from the Shop Manual on the vacuum and centrifugal advance.

                Above, I mentioned the dialback timing light. But if you don't have one of these and cannot borrow one.......In the old days, on some cars I would calculate the circumference of the balancer, and determine what one degree was, then make timing tape (doesn't need to go all that way around, just go up to the max advance you would expect) and glue it onto the balancer. But a Champion engine has such a narrow balancer that this method probably wouldn't work. You could maybe make a mark with a think hacksaw blade every 5 degrees or so in the range that you need. Or just go buy a dialback light, they are very handy.
                Last edited by r1lark; 04-09-2021, 03:51 PM.
                Paul
                Winston-Salem, NC
                Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at: www.studebakerskytop.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hi Roy,
                  This is my first studebaker so yes, I may be reacting to a normal situation lol. Nevertheless, I want to make sure everything checks out as it should. The car runs and drives much better since I put the correct ignition parts in it. It took 3-4 minutes to start before. Now it takes 3 seconds. However it still has a 1st gear bog which it had before as well. It has a 3 speed manual on column with overdrive.
                  I think the clutch also needs adjustment as it doesn’t engage until the pedal is 90% up.
                  I’m thinking it’s vaccuum or fuel related.
                  Last edited by Flthdchamp; 04-09-2021, 03:54 PM.

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