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1952 Studebaker Champion v6 starting and tuneup

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  • Ignition: 1952 Studebaker Champion v6 starting and tuneup

    Good Morning Friends
    we have a 52 Studebaker champion 6 cylinder still on a 6 volt system. We are trying to get it starting smoother and running consistently. I’m new to mechanical stuff and old cars. Sorry quite green. I threw off the distributor when we tried to change the starter. I didn’t put it back exactly as removed so I threw it all off. Then messed around blindly. Thanks to some of you folks, I think I’m getting closer to understanding what to do.
    can I describe the steps I’m thinking to take if any of you can take a minute to correct me, suggest or even better magically fix it for me :>). I’m in Los Angeles near the 10 and 110 freeways if you suggest a place to take it as well.

    I’d like to learn, so here are the steps
    For the distributor, do I remove spark plug 1 to lessen the pressure to be able to turn the front pulley clockwise to the IGN line (which is for TDC) and then to the left a tad (4 degrees) to check if the rotor is pointing to spark plug 1? And do I put a tissue paper in the plug hole and when it pops up I know I’m on the compression stroke? (Because Does it it take 2 or 3 full rotations of the pulley to get to the compression stroke? And from there I check the gap and dwell of the points? And I think to set the points gap the rotor has to be sitting on a high point of the center spindle? Is this right so far?

    For the carburetor. …
    To ‘restart’ the 2 screw adjustments, do i turn the mixture and idle screws to the right till they start to feel ‘tight’ and then buck turn the mixture screw 1 1/2 - 2 full turns and the idle 1 1/2 to 2 turns or less ? Or ?

    Any tips, advice or corrections? Please help and sorry in advance to bug you 🙏🏾☮️
    Attached Files

  • #2
    I think your title should be '6v' instead on 'v6'? I was curious about a v6 in a Stude, but the electrical experts on this forum may be thrown off track and not even reading your post.
    Rafe Hollister
    "Here, take my advice, I'm not using it."

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by alyjuma View Post
      I’d like to learn, so here are the steps
      For the distributor, do I remove spark plug 1 to lessen the pressure to be able to turn the front pulley clockwise to the IGN line (which is for TDC) and then to the left a tad (4 degrees) to check if the rotor is pointing to spark plug 1?

      NO, leave it at "IGN"

      And do I put a tissue paper in the plug hole and when it pops up I know I’m on the compression stroke? (Because Does it it take 2 or 3 full rotations of the pulley to get to the compression stroke?

      NO, just Two, every other turn is # 1 Firing Position.
      The light weight Material over # 1 Plug Hole will help be sure it is # 1.


      And from there I check the gap and dwell of the points? And I think to set the points gap the rotor has to be sitting on a high point of the center spindle? Is this right so far?

      YES! All correct except the "Timing" of the Point Check, do not try to do the Spark Plug wiring rotation in the Dist. Cap Check and Rotor Position Check for Ignition Timing at the Same time as setting the Points. That only requires the High Spot on the Dist. Cam to be centered on the wear block of the Points, that happens on all 6 Firing positions.

      I like to do this process on the bench, Dist. Out on a Stude. Six due to difficult working environment, low on the Engine at an Angle.

      The point gap setting is a very precise adjustment that takes practice, if you only want this engine to run, leave it alone.
      I see you DO have a gap, that should be good enough to make it Run!
      Do NOT Fix, that which is Not broken!


      For the carburetor. …
      To ‘restart’ the 2 screw adjustments, do i turn the mixture and idle screws to the right till they start to feel ‘tight’ and then buck turn the mixture screw 1 1/2 - 2 full turns and the idle 1 1/2 to 2 turns or less ? Or ?

      Not exactly, the Idle adjustment screw needs to be where ever it needs to be to get the Book recommended RPM with a Dwell/Tach. Meter connected, or by "Ear".

      The small Brass screw with a Spring, is the Idle richness adjustment and should be close to 1 1/2 Turns from gently closed.

      Check that the Choke "Butterfly" (Flapper at the Top of the Carb.) is Closed lightly for cold starting, the Black Bakelite Plastic round Dial adjusts it.


      Any tips, advice or corrections? Please help and sorry in advance to bug you 🙏🏾☮️
      Not a problem, this is what I and many others here attempt to do!

      Note: and yes a Flathead "IN LINE" Engine is known as a "L" Head, in this case a: "In Line, "L" Head "169" Six.
      Just a "169/170 6 Cyl." works for me!
      Last edited by StudeRich; 12-03-2022, 01:56 PM.
      StudeRich
      Second Generation Stude Driver,
      Proud '54 Starliner Owner
      SDC Member Since 1967

      Comment


      • #4
        When I started working on my 51 Champion I was clueless (and nothing has changed LOL!) But as I got into it and got my hands on it, it immediately became a very simple and forgiving engine. You're gonna fall in love with this engine because of it's simplicity and reliability

        I replaced my points and condenser with a Pertronix electronic module and also replaced the head gasket. Both of those necessitated my having to do what you are asking about. Let me try to explain the alignment as simply as I can. If you didn't physically remove the distributor from the engine or change your points settings this is really very straight forward.

        First, it will be easier if you remove ALL the spark plugs. Be sure to LABEL the plug wires. (I fold a piece of masking tape on them and "sharpie" the number on the tape). And don't put tissue or anything you can't get a grip on into the spark plug holes (you don't want to suck that into your cylinder). A LONG 1/4" wood dowel to see the piston start to rise, then simply your thumb over the no. 1 spark plug hole to feel compression will be sufficient.

        REMEMBER, the no 1 piston will come to the top (and the front balance mark as well) TWICE during its firing cycle. You just need to find the one where it fires - following the compression stroke. And you do that by putting that thumb over the no 1 spark plug hole and feeling for compression while you are turning the crank shaft bolt with a socket and breaker handle (while standing on the distributor/driver's side pulling the handle toward you - counterclockwise from the perspective of the driver's seat). When you feel compression and the "IGN" mark on the balance aligns with the pointer you are at the correct point.

        At that point your distributor rotor should be pointing somewhere up about the 10 o'clock position. And, if you put the distributor cap on the distributor the no 1 plug wire should be in the same position (10 o'clock) over the rotor. The rotor turns COUNTERCLOCKWISE in this order (check it to make sure your wires are all in the correct positions) starting with no 1 at the 10ish o'clock position and going around the cap counterclockwise the spark plug wire order should be: 1-5-3-6-2-4.

        If you have it all set that way - at the correct static point, it should be close enough to start and run and you can time it with a timing light. That will normally set you at the timing mark on the balance. Do a proper ignition tune-up check as Rich described to be right on the mark.

        If you DID pull out the distributor, then I'm going to let one of the other guys tell you how to put that in in the correct position first, then do what I described above.

        Good luck. And remember this is supposed to be FUN!
        Last edited by Big Dan; 12-03-2022, 04:52 PM.

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        • #5
          Remember the Firing Order should be COUNTERCLOCKWISE.
          Last edited by StudeRich; 12-03-2022, 02:36 PM. Reason: Corrected ERROR
          StudeRich
          Second Generation Stude Driver,
          Proud '54 Starliner Owner
          SDC Member Since 1967

          Comment

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