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Stude Overheating/Timing Too Advanced?


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Posted (edited)

Adjusted the timing on my '22 Big Six before starting it up this spring, and now the car is overheating.  Am wondering if I have the timing advanced too much.  This is where I have the timing set as per photos...Flywheel pointer at "AD-SP" mark as per service manual directions; spark lever in fully advanced position, and dist cam rotated so rotor segment is pointing at No. 1 spark plug in distributor (white mark on side of dist housing).  Cam not quite at peak and points measure 0.015".  (Service manual says points should be just opening-is 0.015" at this point too much?). Wanted to make sure the timing was correct before I start looking at other causes of overheating.  Thanks

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Edited by Kfigel (see edit history)
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  • Kfigel changed the title to Stude Overheating/Timing Too Advanced?

Throw a timing light on it while running and you’ll know right where it is. Too advanced causes predetonation but too far retarded may cause overheating. I expect your overheating issue may lie somewhere else though.

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How badly is the engine overheating?  In the one picture, you have a temperature gauge?  What is the reading and where did you install the sending unit or sensor bulb?

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Did it start overheating right after you adjusted timing or had been done more to the car? I remember about 15 years ago we had a 1920‘s Studebaker in the shop (think it was a 27 EW Commander Big Six), with an overheating issue. To make a long story short, at the end we noticed that someone installed a wrong head gasket. Late teens to 1920’s Studebaker head gasket all look very similar but coolant passage hole patterns etc. are different, which restricted the coolant flow to the head in our case. As a result the engine overheated. Just something to take into consideration.

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1E35C38B-965F-48B9-B30D-DBA50FCA77C8.jpeg

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Posted (edited)

Keep in mind the gas the service manual was written for is not the gas we run today.  Octane ratings were first developed in the mid 1920s and were in the low 60s back then.   If you are running 89-91 octane you may need to run more advanced than "book".  My car seems to really like an extra 3 degrees or so.  

 

Here is some actual data.  It is interesting that octane and compression ratio increased in lockstep until the late 1980s.  I bet that is when knock sensors went mainsteam.  

Fact #940: August 29, 2016 Diverging Trends of Engine Compression Ratio and Gasoline Octane Rating | Department of Energy

Edited by nvonada (see edit history)
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On 6/6/2024 at 8:40 AM, Axial_Flow said:

How badly is the engine overheating?  In the one picture, you have a temperature gauge?  What is the reading and where did you install the sending unit or sensor bulb?

The temp got up to between 230-235 deg, so the 50/50 coolant I have in the car boiled during the overheating (believe it boils at about 223 deg). The sensor is in the middle of the upper radiator hose.  Do have a small coolant leak from the front of the engine that I have to look at closer.  Refilled the radiator with 1-1/2 gal of water and ran the car this morning for about a mile with timing fully advanced and temp only got up to ~139 deg.  Will take it on a longer run this weekend.  Thanks 

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On 6/5/2024 at 9:54 PM, Stude Light said:

Throw a timing light on it while running and you’ll know right where it is. Too advanced causes predetonation but too far retarded may cause overheating. I expect your overheating issue may lie somewhere else though.

Will do.  I'll start looking at other overheating possibilities; give me something to do this weekend.  Thanks

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On 6/6/2024 at 7:40 PM, Peter R. said:

Did it start overheating right after you adjusted timing or had been done more to the car? I remember about 15 years ago we had a 1920‘s Studebaker in the shop (think it was a 27 EW Commander Big Six), with an overheating issue. To make a long story short, at the end we noticed that someone installed a wrong head gasket. Late teens to 1920’s Studebaker head gasket all look very similar but coolant passage hole patterns etc. are different, which restricted the coolant flow to the head in our case. As a result the engine overheated. Just something to take into consideration.

A1D6D8BA-C364-43F2-96DF-F2970CD5FCCC.jpeg

1E35C38B-965F-48B9-B30D-DBA50FCA77C8.jpeg

Actually I had replaced the head gasket just before I adjusted the timing.  I didn't run the car in between; should have - one step at a time.  This was my first thought; did I cover over some coolant passage holes?  The new gasket I installed was No. 190 as called out in your chart.  I triple checked myself during installation that no holes were covered over, so I believe my head gasket work isn't the culprit.  Thanks for the Victor chart.  

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4 hours ago, nvonada said:

Keep in mind the gas the service manual was written for is not the gas we run today.  Octane ratings were first developed in the mid 1920s and were in the low 60s back then.   If you are running 89-91 octane you may need to run more advanced than "book".  My car seems to really like an extra 3 degrees or so.  

 

Here is some actual data.  It is interesting that octane and compression ratio increased in lockstep until the late 1980s.  I bet that is when knock sensors went mainsteam.  

Fact #940: August 29, 2016 Diverging Trends of Engine Compression Ratio and Gasoline Octane Rating | Department of Energy

Interesting, and thanks.  Certainly will look at running on the "advanced" side to avoid excess engine heat and due to the higher octane of today.  I only use regular gas.  

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