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Dunc126

1930 Studebaker Comander FD 8 Ignition Question

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Good afternoon,

This is my first question so please bear with me. I acquired a 1930 Commander FD 8 cyl. and I am in the process of trying to get it started. I've removed the cylinder head, polished the combustion chambers, disassembled, cleaned, and reassembled the distributer, replaced the plug and coil wires, and replaced the coil and coil-to-ignition wires. Here’s my problem, I have current at the coil, but when I crank the engine, no spark at the plugs. I’m assuming it’s a problem in the distributer. Does anyone have any suggestions on what might be wrong? Are there any common fault points I should check first?</SPAN>

Thanks in advance!</SPAN>

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Take the top off the distributor. Gently pry open the points and run a small piece of very fine, folded, sand paper between the contacts. An ignition file works well but most people don't have one any more.

While you have the cap off, run the sand paper over the brass or metal parts, (contacts) on the rotor and clean any carbon off. Look under the distributor cap and if there is any carbon deposits on the spark plug posts, give them a few scrapes with the screw driver.

Hope this solves your problem.

Bill H

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Thanks Bill. I did clean the points when I had everything apart, but along the same lines, I had to fabricate a new spring for one of the point arms as the old one was broken. This is the spring which holds the point arm against the central cam. I don’t really see how this would prevent the current from flowing but maybe I’m wrong? I'll try taking the cap off and cleaning everything again tonight and see if tht helps.

Thanks again for your help!</SPAN>

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The spring you installed may be shorting one of the point contacts to ground. I am not totally familiar with the inside of this distributor, but if the spring is not inulated from the base plate of the distributor it might be a dead short across the points. Therefore, there is no make and break action of the coil primary current as the engine is cranked and therefore no high voltage induced in the secondary of the coil.

Joe, BCA 33439

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Make sure that the main lead going to the center of the distributer cap is making contact on the coil end and the cap end.

Ask me how I know all this stuff.

People used to say that if I didn't have to work on it... I wouldn't own it.

Bill H

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Thanks Bill and Joe, I'll check the spring tonight to make sure it's not in contact with the base plate. I might also try putting some dielectric grease on the contacts between the coil and the distributor. I'll let you know the results.

Thansk again!

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Take your car to Scott Stastny in West Chicago.630 293 7750.

Scott has a shop that specializes in 1928-1966 Studebakers.

He has a 1932 8 cylinder convertible coupe and is presently working on a 1931 four season roadster.

He has that magic touch that makes these cars obey.

Robert Kapteyn

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Take your car to Scott Stastny in West Chicago.630 293 7750.

Scott has a shop that specializes in 1928-1966 Studebakers.

He has a 1932 8 cylinder convertible coupe and is presently working on a 1931 four season roadster.

He has that magic touch that makes these cars obey.

Robert Kapteyn

You should move this thread to the Studebaker forum

Robert Kapteyn

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Scott's a good guy and can help you out for sure. Ed

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With the cap off, Try opening the points manually with the ignition switch on. If you have a spark at the points but none at the plugs you have a bad condenser.

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post-31139-143139285376_thumb.jpg

Since you are new to old cars remember the coil primary is the NEG (-) post and voltage wire from ignition switch is POS (+). Which takes us to the battery, POS (+) post cable goes to chassis ground rail. System polarity is opposite of cars made after 1946. Photos of my 1928 Commander connections are attached to illustrate polarity.

Stude8

post-31139-143139285363_thumb.jpg

post-31139-143139285369_thumb.jpg

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Thanks Stude8. If I understand what your saying, the wire that comes from the ignition to the coil should be attached to the (+) terminal on the coil, and the wire from the coil to the side of the distributor should be attached to the (-) terminal on the coil. I'm fairly sure this is the way I have it set up, but I'll check again tonight before I do anything else. Also, thanks Studeboy, I'll try checking for a spark at the points tonight as well.

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Quick update, as predicted by Stude8, I did indeed have the battery polarity reversed. I switched the cables and vola! spark at the plugs. Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I have a lot to learn about this old car and I'm glad there's a place like this site to go when I need help.</SPAN>

Thanks again!

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Dunc

Glad I pointed you in the right direction, it was only a guess that you just may have had the polarity reversed being new to older cars.

Stude8

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