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Electronic ignition plug and gap - 289 GT Hawk

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  • Engine: Electronic ignition plug and gap - 289 GT Hawk

    I have applied some of the recommendations provided by this and the Racing Studebakers forum to my 62 GT Hawk.
    Turner brakes and seat belts were the first installs. Last week saw a 500 cfm Edelbrock carb, alternator conversion and a new battery. Thanks for the suggestions - its a completely different, and better, car now.

    This weekend will be a Phil Harris electronic distributor, new spark plug wires and hotter coil.

    My question: any recommendations on the best plug, gap and timing for the upgraded ignition?
    I need a decent baseline before I start to dial-in the carburetor.

    the vehicle is a 289 GT Hawk, 4 speed, 4 barrel, TT (dont know the ratio), 80 K. Motor in good shape.

    Thanks for your insight.

    sigpic 62 Hawk - Wisconsin barn find

  • #2
    Kind of depends on which electronic distributor. In my Mallory electronic equipped R-2 I run 0.035. In my 62 Gt Hawk with Pertronix conversion I also run 0.035. If memory serves that was the recommendation.
    Frank van Doorn
    Omaha, Ne.
    1962 GT Hawk 289 4 speed
    1941 Champion streetrod, R-2 Powered, GM 200-4R trans.
    1952 V-8 232 Commander State "Starliner" hardtop OD


    • #3
      I agree with Frank on the .035 plug gap. Bud


      • #4
        Not being a smart-ass here....but it's easy to change if you don't like what you've done..!

        We all know the .035" works..!

        Now, if you want to learn (my favorite word..."experiment") for yourself...get out the gap gauge (wire style preferably) and start opening up the gap, .005" at a time, until you get a high speed misfire...then go back down .005" or so.

        Now you have to beware of a few things.
        1. You have to have high quality plug wires.
        2. You need to keep up with their condition. That is, don't expect them to last for 15 years without leaking.
        3. You've bought a new coil...but it had better be of good quality also. "Hotter" and high quality don't always go together.
        4. You can't expect the rotor and distributor cap to last for the wires.

        So...there's a few of the downsides of a larger plug gap...!
        One high side is many times, the idle will get very smooth. Another is "sometimes" get a more complete fuel burn.
        Remember when GM brought out the HEI... The wires went much larger in diameter....hint, hint..!

        If your not up to some of the "upkeep" listed above using large plug gap... .035" still works well.

        Last edited by Mike Van Veghten; 07-01-2011, 10:05 PM.


        • #5
          If I am correct every 1000, miles you open the spark plug gap .0001 so you can gap the plug at .030 and 5k latter your at the correct setting, but this only a rule of thumb, there are many factors that change the wear factor of the plug.
          Joseph Kastellec