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  • Sluggish power

    My 64V 289 2Barrel Cruiser is givinging me fits. When I first start the car the engine warms up fine and seems to have plenty of power for pulling out from a stop. Afer about five or ten minutes of driving the car wants to die when I start out at a stoplight; even if I am rolling at a low speed the power is very sluggish. On hills it is most discourageing. To try and fix the problem I have done the following:
    1. Rebuilt the carberator.
    2. Checked and changed all fluids (Flite-a-Matic) 3 speed.
    3. Installed new points and plugs.
    $. Installed new fuel pump and gas filter.

    On the interstate it runs fine at 50 to 65 MPH. But stop and go is no fun.

    Any advice is appreciated!


  • #2
    Bingram, you might try installing a new ignition coil or borrow one from another similar Studebaker to try. Sometimes when they're on their last legs they don't work correctly when warmed up by the engine heat around them. It can give some of the same symptoms as vapor lock, but since you've already taken care of the carburetor, and it runs good at highway speed, it's worth a look.

    It could be that it works OK at higher speed because it's getting more airflow around it, which is cooling it off just enough to work better.

    Vapor lock is still a possibility, but what are the outdoor temperatures like when this happens?
    " the exception in individuals, but the rule in groups" - Nietzsche.


    • #3
      Make sure your carburetor has the correct jets in it and that the enrichment system is working. Many times people loose a part when fixing a carb over the years and put in the wrong parts to replace the lost part. I finally got my 49 running right after I ordered one of the major overhaul kits for the carb and found that the main jet and the vacuum economizer valve were the wrong ones for my area. If your car was in a low altitude area or high altitude the carbs were jetted to suit the area. In the Midwest the high altitude jets were too small. When the choke is closed all is well since it forces a richer mixture. [8D]

      Restore it, don't replace it.Keep the Studebaker reproduction industry going


      • #4
        It sounds like it may be running fine when it is choked, but gets too lean when the choke is fully opened. It could be in the carb jetting or a vacuum leak somewhere - carb base, PVC line, pb line, vacuum advance line, etc.

        Gary L.
        1954 Commander Starliner (restomod)
        1959 DeLuxe pickup (restomod)
        Gary L.
        Wappinger, NY

        SDC member since 1968
        Studebaker enthusiast much longer


        • #5
          Check the vacuum advance AND the centrifical advance in the base of the distributor. The centrifical advance weights are BAD to wear out because they're never lubed. The dist. has to come out to preform this repair. BTW, this might be the opertune time to just overhaul that dist. or shop around for a rebuilt one. Several vendors have them.
          Dan Miller


          • #6
            When you are coming to a halt, can you feel it downshift? Mine is having similar problems. If it doesn't downshift it just runs slower and slower and finally very quietly... dies. If I manually down shift before it dies (D - N - D) it's fine. If this is the problem, let me know what you come up with. I would like to know too.

            Lotsa Larks!
            K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
            Ron Smith
            Home of the famous Mr. Ed!
            K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
            Ron Smith
            Where the heck is Fawn Lodge, CA?


            • #7
              If your tranny isn't downshifting back to 2nd when you come to a stop, You've probably got a governor that is sticking, or has a weak spring.
              That's a pretty easy fix. All you need to remove is the small oval inspection cover on the rt. side of the trans. tail housing. Two straight slot screws and a cork gasket. Shop manual gives good details and solutions. Take your time. Use a magnetic screwdriver and keep a "magnet-on-a-stick handy.
              Dan Miller


              • #8
                You say you "rebuilt" the carb. But I'm wondering if the choke's opening correctly as it warms up. [?]

                Miscreant at large.

                1957 Transtar 1/2ton
                1960 Larkvertible V8
                1958 Provincial wagon
                1953 Commander coupe
                1957 President 2-dr
                1955 President State
                1951 Champion Biz cpe
                1963 Daytona project FS
                No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.


                • #9
                  I'm still WAY early in the learning process with all of this, but I rebuilt my carburetor not long ago and properly adjusting the choke solved a lot of my problems.

                  1951 Commander Starlight Coupe (aka "Stella")


                  • #10
                    Change the ballast resistor on the coil. My dad's 63 Avanti with a pumped up R2 quit while driving down the road. After it cooled it was fine until it warmed up again. He changed the ballast resistor and it solved the problem.

                    -Home of John Studebaker-


                    • #11
                      Any luck yet, Bingram?

                      Just to make sure we don't have Bingram going in circles, if I understand the problem correctly, it's that the car is SLUGGISH at low speeds after it warms up. It doesn't stop running and it doesn't "miss". Correct?

                      I have not seen an ignition coil cause a lack of power at low speeds. In my experience, the coil either works or it doesn't work. When it doesn't work, the car doesn't run. Same with vapor lock. The most common symptom of vapor lock is that the car won't restart when shut off hot. I've not seen vapor lock result in a low speed power loss.

                      Also, does a 64V have a ballist resistor? I thought they used that pink wire. In any case, if the ballist resistor fails, doesn't the car quit running and not just experience a low speed power loss?

                      I could be wrong about these things (it's happened before ).

                      If the car runs fine when cold and on the choke, then doesn't run fine when warm and off the choke, I'd suspect a carb problem.

                      Dick Steinkamp
                      Bellingham, WA


                      • #12
                        Bingram, you've had quite a bit of advice, I hope some of it helps. Try to sort out if it is a fuel problem or electrical. Have some on follow you to see if there is black smoke at the tailpipe when it is acting up. One thing that hasn't been mentioned that I would suspect is a faulty distributor condenser. These will sometimes fail only when they are hot. They are cheap and easy to replace so it maybe a place to start. Going back to the running problem, if the car is running lean, there will frequently be backfiring through the carb associeted with it. If it is rich it will also be missing. If the timing is retarded for some reason, that would cause a lack of power. Let us know what you find out, it helps us with our diagnostic attempts.

                        Tim K.
                        '64 R2 GT Hawk
                        Tim K.
                        \'64 R2 GT Hawk