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Distributor problems on 1930's cars after winter s

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  • Distributor problems on 1930's cars after winter s

    Hi guys,
    I went to get my 1937 Studebaker out f the shed yesterday. It was parked in November for the winter.

    It would not start once I connected the battery up and started crancking because it was not getting a spark.

    I just cleaned the contacts for the distributor wire and put a little sandpaper between the points, and it did start fine after that.

    Is this a normal thing to do to the 1930's cars ??

    Also, the clatch was stuck too. Is there a simple remidy either to prevent this or to check and fix it before I begin cranking ??

    Pardon my ignorance here, but although my car is restored I am not quite up to speed for laying cars up for the winter, because in Australia there is no need to.


    Greg Diffen
    Australian Stude nut living in Warwick, United Kingdom

    1933 St Regis Brougham Model 56 Dutch delivered
    1937 Dicator sedan. Australian Body by TJ Richards
    1939 Packard Seven Passenger monster UK delivered
    1939 Commander Sedan Australian Body by TJ Richards
    1939 Commander Swiss Cabriolet by Lagenthal
    1961 Hawk
    1963 Daytona Hardtop
    1988 Avanti Convertible
    Greg Diffen

    Editor Studebaker Owners Club UK magazine

    Australian Stude guy living in Warwick, United Kingdom

    1933 St Regis Brougham Model 56 delivered new in the Netherlands
    1937 Dictator sedan Australian Body by TJ Richards RHC
    1937 Packard Super 8 Limousine UK delivered RHC
    1939 Packard Super 8 Seven Passenger sedan monster UK delivered RHC
    1939 Commander Cabriolet by Lagenthal of Switzerland
    1963 Lark Daytona Hardtop
    1988 Avanti Convertible

  • #2
    Points will typically corrode after a few months and the clutch may stick too. If you can start the car and drive until it warms up once a month even in the winter you'll have less work in the spring.

    64 Daytona HT/R2 clone
    64 GT R2
    63 GT R2
    63 Lark 2 door
    59 3E truck
    58 Starlight
    52 & 53 Starliner
    51 Commander

    JDP Maryland


    • #3
      Speaking as someone who lives on the Wet Coast of Canada, corroded points and sticking clutches are not uncommon here. A quick pass throught the points with a business card might be all that's needed to get the juice flowing. Failing that, beg, borrow or steal your wife's/girfriend's emery board and do the same. I would not recommend sandpaper because sand grains conduct electricity and can set up a bit of a light show inside the distributor. As to the clutch, block the pedal part way down so there is no pressure on the disc, allowing it to "float" between the flywheel and pressure plate.