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Brain Teaser -No start problem -SOLVED

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  • Brain Teaser -No start problem -SOLVED

    I've been working on Betty the last couple days. I cannot get her to start. This is what I've done so far:
    Replaced fuel pump
    Replaced Carb/gaskets
    Replaced intake manifold gasket
    New plugs, points, rotor and distributor cap.
    Checked function of vacuum advance.
    Checked and rechecked firing order/plug wires 1-5-3-6-2-4 in counterclockwise pattern
    rotated crankshaft so number one is in compression stroke and rotor is indicating 1 position and the points are at their most open position.

    When I crank the car, it cranks over a couple times then backfires through the carb. The Original carb had fire shooting out of it. The new one does not do that. There is fuel and spark. The only thing I have not messed with is the valves. Any suggestions?

  • #2
    Have you looked at timing? Has your distributor been out? Could it be out of phase? Points gapped correctly? Among odd things, could the pin thru the gear on the distributor be broken? I have had a broken wire leading to the points be a problem(the wire splits, the insulation remains whole). Just a few easy to get at things first than to the hard stuff.


    • #3
      I've had the distributor out, With the 6 cyliner the distributor goes in only one way as the slot is offset at the end of the shaft. I've checked and rechecked the timing. I have two distributors and tore them both down yesterday. The points are gapped correctly, I even replaced the coil. This is a freshly rebuilt engine.


      • #4
        There is spark as when the first carb was in it shot flames through the carb.


        • #5
          How can you really check the timing if the car won't start?
          Could be both your distributors are shot. I had a similar problem once and replaced the whole thing and it made a huge difference. Replacing distributor parts won't mean a thing if the basic unit is so worn it wobbles as it rotates. You may not even be able to tell just by feeling it by rotating it in your hand.

          Try a known good distributor.

          Also make sure your wires are tight (and correct) at the ignition switch. You may also have a bad switch.
          " the exception in individuals, but the rule in groups" - Nietzsche.


          • #6
            Bob, you need to give it a compression test, if the valves are not opening or seating, or the rings are stuck, pistons cracked etc. no amount of spark or fuel will start it.

            Studebakers Northwest
            Ferndale, WA
            Second Generation Stude Driver,
            Proud '54 Starliner Owner


            • #7
              As far as the timing. I followed the factory manual procedure. It is correct per the factory specs. As far as the distributor, All the parts are nice and tight.


              • #8
                Compression test is up next. Thanks for the tips guys.


                • #9
                  Are you darn sure you set number one at TDC on the compression stroke. I'd double check that first.

                  63 R2 SuperHawk (Caesar)
                  spent to date $54664,75
                  64 R2 GT (Sid)
                  spent to date $62,439.30
                  63 Lark 2 door
                  51 Commander
                  39 Coupe express
                  39 Coupe express (rod)

                  JDP Maryland


                  • #10
                    The number one cylinder is at the top of its compression stroke, the pointer is directly above the ign mark and the rotor is directly under the number one terminal. I rechecked this 4 times yesterday. I spent from 9am till about 7pm trying to get this bugger to run. I hate to say it, but now I understand why people shy away from the 6.


                    • #11
                      All the parts were nice and tight in my distributor, too and it WAS the problem. Just sharing my experience.
                      " the exception in individuals, but the rule in groups" - Nietzsche.


                      • #12
                        did you verify compression stroke by pulling the valve cover and looking at the position of the rocker arms? sure sounds like a dist. 180 out. Otherwise just keep trying, rotating dist. a little bit each direction until it tries to start.


                        55 Commander Starlight
                        55 Commander Starlight


                        • #13
                          Well, if it backfires through the carb like that, either your timing is wrong, and it's firing on an open intake valve, or else one or more intake valves aren't seating. If the engine has been sitting for a long time, could be a couple of the valve stems have developed rust while in the open position, and are hanging up.

                          First: double-check your timing. Remove #1 spark plug, connect the cable to it, and set it someplace secure so you can SEE the spark. Clamp it down if need be. Then put a finger over the hole it came out of, and crank the engine over with the ignition on. If the timing is more or less right, peak pressure, as determined by your calibrated finger, will occur at the same time the plug sparks. It's possible you timed to the exhaust stroke instead; we've all done it, and of course we KNOW BETTER, so that CAN'T BE the problem. BTDT.

                          Assuming the timing is right, remove the valve cover, and check for valves that seem to be stuck down a bit. Be suspicious of any valve that shows a lot more than .025" clearance; it could be stuck. If you find any stuck valves, you could remove the rocker shaft, and tap directly on the end of them with a SOFT hammer, knock 'em down, let 'em spring back. Might work the rust loose. If you find valves stuck in the full-down position, you will probably have to remove the head.

                          Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands
                          Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands


                          • #14
                            Thanks gordon. This is a freshly rebuilt engine. All the internal parts are new.


                            • #15
                              Sounds like the distributor may not be on compression stroke at top dead center, Off 180 degrees.I did it once.