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1964 259 engine problems.

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  • Engine: 1964 259 engine problems.

    We were up till 1 a.m. trying to get her to turn over after we just had the heads rebuilt and the carburetor rebuilt and all new gaskets,fluids,spark plugs and accel wires,thermostat. cleaned all cylinder heads.

    But she still won't start up. It'll just keep trying to turn over and lets out some "burps" while it's trying to turn over..

    I don't get it, what could be wrong? I checked the spark plugs and wires and have been charging my battery to give it an extra boost. I thought it may be the battery but I would like some expert opinions.

    As always any help or information is very much appreciated. Thanks

  • #2
    First thing that comes to mind is to check and make sure that the distributor is not 180 degrees out of timing. It is a common error and the "burps" make me suspect a timing issue.

    Be patient...there are some great real mechanics who stroll by here from time to time. Hopefully, some will come by and give you specific information that cures your problem.
    John Clary
    Greer, SC

    SDC member since 1975


    • #3
      The first thing to check is that you have the distributor properly oriented to the engine's firing order. It is so easy to install one of those 180 degrees off and have the problems you're having, Andy.

      Bring the #1 cylinder up to the top of the piston travel on the compression stroke (not exhaust). Remove the distributor cap at that point and make sure the rotor is pointing to the #1 Spark Plug terminal on the cap. I'd almost bet it will be pointing backwards, away from that #1 terminal.

      If so, just remove the distributor, rotate the rotor around halfway, and reinstall. You haven't hurt anything. BP
      We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

      G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.


      • #4
        When you say "trying to turn over" do you mean trying to start, or trying to rotate? If the starter is turning the engine it but it's not starting maybe you have the ignition timing off by 180, If it won't turn over at all you have other issues. Have you set the valve lash? Too loose and the valves won't open, too tight and they won't close, and may bind, preventing the engine from turning. I guess I'd double check the timing and valve adjustment first.
        Dwight 54 Commander hardtop


        • #5
          Thanks for all the help everyone. Im going to check out the timing and valve adjustment. Hopefully I can get it to fire up tonight


          • #6
            First, do you have a Shop Manual and have you followed the instructions for head torquing and distributor installation?

            Second, is every ignition component new? - spark plugs, plug wires, distributor cap, points, condensor, rotor?

            Third, have you followed the Shop Manual for setting initial timing, firing order and dwell?

            Fourth, when the throttle is depressed, is fuel squirted out the accelerator pump jets?

            jack vines


            • #7
              Andy -

              Did you even remove the distributor (not really required for the work done) ? Distributer in the correct timing location (not 180 degrees out)
              Second, the engine is turing freely correct ? Just not starting.. You're not clear on that one..!
              Valve adjustment correct ?
              Spark plug wires put back into the correct firing order ?
              Fuel in the carburetor, pump pumping correctly ?
              Coil's low power wires (positive and negitive wires) connected correctly (if removed) ?

              Most have mentioned some of these, just added a couple and put them all in one spot...!



              • #8
                Basics. Back to basics...

                Manually crank it to TDC and verify it is at TDC, and not overlap.
                Check your rotor position to the #1 plug position on cap.
                Check the wire to make sure it is going to the #1 plug.
                Check your points (ign on) and flip the points open.
                Do you get a spark at the points? (key on)
                Crank the engine with the cap off.
                Do you get spark at the points? (crank circuit)
                Check your carb.
                Do you have gas?
                Do you have gas coming out of the accellerator pump jets?
                Do you have compression?
                Can you hold your finger over the #1 spark plug hole while you crank it?

                It takes only 3 things to make an engine run.

                All 3 need to be there, and at the right time.

                Keep things simple, as Studebakers are simple.

                Hang in there.. You'll get it!
                HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)


                Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain

                Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)


                • #9
                  I bet you weren't wearing your lucky underwear! (except if it backfires loudly, they wouldn't be wearable anyways)
                  Bez Auto Alchemy

                  "Don't believe every internet quote" Abe Lincoln