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  • Engine: 170 stumbles and backfires on acceleration

    My 52 Champion is stumbling and backfiring on acceleration especially in 3rd gear. New points, plugs, cap, condenser, and copper wires. Newly rebuilt distributor as well as new vacuum advance, along with newly rebuilt carb from Dave Thibeault. I have noticed the timing is always a little different after I set it exact. Seems to be running a few degrees warmer on the temp gauge than usual also. Is this a sign of a worn timing gear ?
    1942 Packard Clipper Custom Touring Sedan * 1952 Studebaker Champion Regal * 1954 Studebaker Commander Regal Starlight * 1967 Thunderbird Hdtp * 1969 Continental Mark III * 1969 Mercury Marquis convertible * 1972 Buick Riviera * 1973 Continental Mark IV * 1978 Glass Top Lincoln Town Car * 1983 Mercedes 300SD * 1986 Dodge RAM 4WD * 1999 Infiniti Q45

  • #2
    I have also sprayed PBR in the distributor thinking the plates were sticking. Didn't help.
    Last edited by poweroptions; 05-10-2014, 05:21 AM. Reason: no change
    1942 Packard Clipper Custom Touring Sedan * 1952 Studebaker Champion Regal * 1954 Studebaker Commander Regal Starlight * 1967 Thunderbird Hdtp * 1969 Continental Mark III * 1969 Mercury Marquis convertible * 1972 Buick Riviera * 1973 Continental Mark IV * 1978 Glass Top Lincoln Town Car * 1983 Mercedes 300SD * 1986 Dodge RAM 4WD * 1999 Infiniti Q45

    Comment


    • #3
      OK I took the air cleaner off, the oil bath cleaner is clean and not clogged. Just went for a drive and it is really missing under a load. If I step on the accelerator it wants to backfire. Guess it won't be going to the car show at the lake today as I had planned.
      1942 Packard Clipper Custom Touring Sedan * 1952 Studebaker Champion Regal * 1954 Studebaker Commander Regal Starlight * 1967 Thunderbird Hdtp * 1969 Continental Mark III * 1969 Mercury Marquis convertible * 1972 Buick Riviera * 1973 Continental Mark IV * 1978 Glass Top Lincoln Town Car * 1983 Mercedes 300SD * 1986 Dodge RAM 4WD * 1999 Infiniti Q45

      Comment


      • #4
        I would recheck the point gap to start with, then fuel supply. Unlikely to have anything to do with the timing gear.
        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

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        • #5
          '52 Champion, (if your car is still 6 volt) verify that the wire from the coil to the distributor is connected to the (plus) side of the coil. If not it will eat points, causing your symptoms.

          If it's 12 volt, it should be ne (minus) side of the coil.

          Theory: The distributor grounds the system to make the spark, so the coil wire to the distributor should be a ground wire, 6 volt positive ground, 12 vold negative ground.

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          • #6
            Are your new copper wires gathered into the OEM Champion wire loom? If so, remove them from the loom, spread them out and insure no two wires are closer than 1". Do another test drive and see if the problem goes away. Sometimes that loom promotes crossfiring if the spark plug wire insulation is suspect.

            Much of today's aftermarket wiring is Chicom origin and the insulation is not always what it should be.
            PackardV8

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            • #7
              I bought Accel copper wires that were about $50. I had to finish the ends and I did run them thru the loom.





              Originally posted by PackardV8 View Post
              Are your new copper wires gathered into the OEM Champion wire loom? If so, remove them from the loom, spread them out and insure no two wires are closer than 1". Do another test drive and see if the problem goes away. Sometimes that loom promotes crossfiring if the spark plug wire insulation is suspect.

              Much of today's aftermarket wiring is Chicom origin and the insulation is not always what it should be.
              1942 Packard Clipper Custom Touring Sedan * 1952 Studebaker Champion Regal * 1954 Studebaker Commander Regal Starlight * 1967 Thunderbird Hdtp * 1969 Continental Mark III * 1969 Mercury Marquis convertible * 1972 Buick Riviera * 1973 Continental Mark IV * 1978 Glass Top Lincoln Town Car * 1983 Mercedes 300SD * 1986 Dodge RAM 4WD * 1999 Infiniti Q45

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi Frank, it was the mechanic that said my timing gear was bad. Then in his next breath said , change the gear when you rebuild the motor. I have a hard time believing that is needs a rebuild. Oil pressure sits at 40-45 going down the road, 20 at idle when hot. Plugs are burning very clean. Compression, I checked it and 5 cylinders were 105-115, one cylinder was at 95. I have checked the point gap. I will check the gas. I drove it this morning. If I am easy on it, it is ok until I get to a hill then I lose power, it can't maintain 65-70mph it stumbles around. I back off to 60mph and am gently with the old girl and she evens back out.



                Originally posted by 41 Frank View Post
                I would recheck the point gap to start with, then fuel supply. Unlikely to have anything to do with the timing gear.
                1942 Packard Clipper Custom Touring Sedan * 1952 Studebaker Champion Regal * 1954 Studebaker Commander Regal Starlight * 1967 Thunderbird Hdtp * 1969 Continental Mark III * 1969 Mercury Marquis convertible * 1972 Buick Riviera * 1973 Continental Mark IV * 1978 Glass Top Lincoln Town Car * 1983 Mercedes 300SD * 1986 Dodge RAM 4WD * 1999 Infiniti Q45

                Comment


                • #9
                  OK, if you've got good plug wires and all new ignition components, then bad gas is the next most likely culprit. I had a similar problem on an R1 which almost drove me nuts until I drained the tank and filled with fresh fuel.

                  jack vines
                  PackardV8

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                  • #10
                    If all these excellent suggestions don't fix the problem you may have a failing coil or condenser.
                    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

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by poweroptions View Post
                      Hi Frank, it was the mechanic that said my timing gear was bad. Then in his next breath said , change the gear when you rebuild the motor. I have a hard time believing that is needs a rebuild. Oil pressure sits at 40-45 going down the road, 20 at idle when hot. Plugs are burning very clean. Compression, I checked it and 5 cylinders were 105-115, one cylinder was at 95. I have checked the point gap. I will check the gas. I drove it this morning. If I am easy on it, it is ok until I get to a hill then I lose power, it can't maintain 65-70mph it stumbles around. I back off to 60mph and am gently with the old girl and she evens back out.
                      It sounds like a lean condition check your float level it may be too low. Dave

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by altair View Post
                        It sounds like a lean condition check your float level it may be too low. Dave
                        I wasn't going to say anything but I second that idea. I had an AFB that was used for setting up engines but not used to run them. Anyway, I was in need of one and put it on my car and headed out of town the next day. After I arrived where I need to be, 600 miles away I had to readjust the carb. It acted just like you mentioned and the problem was too lean. The floats were way out of adjustment and most of the setting via levers and rods needed attention. After it was done the car was running so smoothly it was hard to tell it was the same.

                        Don't discount the possibility of a carb problem.

                        Len.

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                        • #13
                          Gentlemen, had a couple hours in the garage with the old girl. Wires out of the loom, wire to distributor hooked to the positive side of the coil, gas drained fresh 5 gallons in tank. Went for a drive still missing and backfiring if I accelerate to much. The carb is a Dave Thibeault rebuild I recently bought from Dave. You guys have much faith in Dave so I thought it wouldn't be the carb. Maybe it is, I will continue on. The coil is new and one of those high output 6V coils by Petronix I special ordered from Speedway. That's not the problem is it?
                          1942 Packard Clipper Custom Touring Sedan * 1952 Studebaker Champion Regal * 1954 Studebaker Commander Regal Starlight * 1967 Thunderbird Hdtp * 1969 Continental Mark III * 1969 Mercury Marquis convertible * 1972 Buick Riviera * 1973 Continental Mark IV * 1978 Glass Top Lincoln Town Car * 1983 Mercedes 300SD * 1986 Dodge RAM 4WD * 1999 Infiniti Q45

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            A bit weird, but it happened to me. Check the top of that coil for any wear or damage. When we installed the first Flame thrower coil, it was too high in the bracket and the hood rubbed just enough put a little hole in it. Phhhttt!
                            Dave Warren (Perry Mason by day, Perry Como by night)

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by poweroptions View Post
                              Gentlemen, had a couple hours in the garage with the old girl. Wires out of the loom, wire to distributor hooked to the positive side of the coil, gas drained fresh 5 gallons in tank. Went for a drive still missing and backfiring if I accelerate to much. The carb is a Dave Thibeault rebuild I recently bought from Dave. You guys have much faith in Dave so I thought it wouldn't be the carb. Maybe it is, I will continue on. The coil is new and one of those high output 6V coils by Petronix I special ordered from Speedway. That's not the problem is it?
                              It's not the trust in what Dave does it is just a fact of life that not everything stays the same as it was. It could have been perfect when he rebuilt it but stuff happens along the way to installing it that could have changed something. Even new components don't always work. before I knew a lot about engines and cars I had an car that would not start. I had replaced all the electricals so didn't suspect them. Nothing I tried would work. I was able to get a local shop owner to come over and take to his shop. He later informed me it was the plugs. That was all it was, a bad set of plugs. All he charged me for was those. So from then on I never trusted even new parts to be free of defects.

                              If the carb has been shipped there is no guarantee that the float was not knocked out of adjustment etc... Just a suggestion. If you have an old carb throw it on and if it does not change at all then you can eliminate it. It can be a problem I have but I can't throw any old parts out until the new one has been proven to work. When there is a problem changing one thing at a time is a slow methodical way but it assures the eventual finding of the culprit, especially if one can't check the full functionality of the suspected component.

                              Len.

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