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Update on my dist rebuild...some new questions

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  • Update on my dist rebuild...some new questions

    Okay...I took my Lark out for the first time today after rebuilding her, in 10 degree (F) weather. (it was sunny and dry, although there is still powdered salt on the roads[xx(]...but I couldn't wait to try her out!!)

    I have rebuilt the prestolite distrubutor, (including weights, cam, rotor, cap, points, condenser) I have also advanced the timing about 5 degrees. (it was running at about 5 degrees retarded before I did any work to her) I have also replaced the wires and plugs (first time in 8 years,[B)] if the previous owner tells me correct)

    She undoubtably runs much better! However, once on my 40 minute test drive, she wanted to do her old was not as bad, she would not stall, just stutter a bit. And she only did it once, as opposed to almost all the time. I wonder if it isn't a carbueretor issue after all?? I did a lot of speeding up, stop-and-go driving, giving her the third degree. (for those of you wondering what the original symptoms were, click here:

    Overall, I must say, she does drive like a different car! I cannot tell you how her performance has improved!! (I wonder how much of that is due to the super cold air)

    Anyhow, I was not happy that she wanted to idle poorly that one time (yes, she was fully warmed up) I am confused as to why it has improved, but not gone away. Any help would be appreciated.

    Also, as far as timing far should I advance the stock 259 for peak performance? I am not going to drag race her or anything, but call me crazy, I want my car preforming at its peak, what is the point of driving a V8 if it isn't running at its full potential?

    Thanks again guys!

    1963 Lark, waiting for spring...

  • #2
    You did all that to the Dist. and did NOT get rid of the points and replace with a Pertronixs Electronic Ignition system? [:0] [?]

    The "cutting out" could be caused by a wrong or defective coil.

    StudeRich at Studebakers Northwest -Ferndale,WA
    Second Generation Stude Driver,
    Proud '54 Starliner Owner
    SDC Member Since 1967


    • #3
      quote:Originally posted by StudeRich

      You did all that to the Dist. and did NOT get rid of the points and replace with a Pertronixs Electronic Ignition system? [:0] [?]

      StudeRich at Studebakers Northwest -Ferndale,WA
      No...I wanted too, but I already had the points, and the pertronix would have been another $75, and I had already exceeded my budget (according to my wife!!)

      1963 Lark, waiting for spring...


      • #4
        tu -

        5 degrees retarded....from what?
        5 degrees back from 0 degrees?
        5 degrees back from a book value?
        5 degrees back from......................?

        I've always set the timing to what the "engine" wants to run its best...not where someone "thought" it should be!

        It very much sounds like you may very well still be retarded from what the engine wants to run.
        Put another 5 degrees in it...see what happens. Continue until it pings, then back it back down 3 degrees, tighten the clamp.

        It also sounds like the valves need to be carefully checked. MANY people forget this. Stude's are not hydraulic, they do need adjusting periodically.

        Another thing that will cause the shakes/stalling is a vacuum leak. Can come from a old (internal leaks) carburetor, bad carb. to manifold gasket and or a leaking manifold to head gasket.



        • #5
          Oh, Sorry about the confusion. It was 5 degrees retarded from 0. Now it it 5 degrees advanced from 0. In total, I advanced the timing 10 degrees.

          Thanks so far for the advice, once it gets warmer plan on checking these possiblities out. I really should check those valves anyway.

          1963 Lark, waiting for spring...