1964 Studebaker Daytona Restoration
Starting a long dormant motor
It's been a long time since this motor has been running (30+ years) and alot of maintenance was performed
prior to any attempts to start a motor that has been sitting awhile. Engine moved freely and was reasonably clean
Here is the steps I did "before" I attempted to start this long dormant motor.
1. Emptied and cleaned gas tank
2. Replaced all of the fuel lines - installed fuel filter
3. Cleaned and checked fuel pump operation
4. Replaced battery
5. Replaced Distributor cap, spark plugs & wires, points, condenser, rotor
6. Rebuilt carburetor
7. Removed & cleaned/checked Starter
8. Changed oil & filter
9. Changed Transmission Fluid
10. Checked battery cables & replaced one
11. Drained Radiator, cleaned /painted, replaced hoses, cap, thermostat & added new anti-freeze
12. Replaced Fan Belt
13. Removed valve covers to inspect rocker assembly along with gap and coat with oil
14. Removed valley cover cleaned out sludge and add oil
15. Cleaned engine bay, checked all connections and security of parts
16. Replaced complete exhaust system
17. replaced PVC Valve
18. Filled gas tank with Non-ethanol Hi-test fuel mixed with Seafoam
Task: Starting Motor
After all of the above maintenance was completed I turned over the engine to build up the oil pressure
and get oil to the rocker assemblies prior to staring up the motor. I disconnected the coil wire and
turned over the engine until the engine oil pressure is up (check Gauge). I reconnected the coil wire
and then attached a 2 ft length of 5/16 inch hose to the fuel pump and put into a full 5 gallon container
of new gas. I got my helper to turn on the ignition and he proceeded to turn over the engine while
I removed the air cleaner and poured a small amount of gas down the carburetor throttle body.
If everything was done correctly then the motor should start but I had to replace the needle valve as
no gas was initially getting into the carburetor. Once I was able to get a regular supply of gas to
the motor it run but needed some adjustment. I kept it running while adjusting the idle and the
air-fuel mixture screws. It gradually idled better and started to have that distinctive Studebaker V8 sound.
Black smoke turned into just a hint of smoke after 15 mins but this is too be expected as the motor
& exhaust system still had some soot & carbon buildup. I was quite lucky that this car was stored
inside a garage for 40 years and not outside as you would normally have to rebuild a
motor that has sat outside for such a long time if you expected it to be reliable. Next step is
to time your engine as instructed in the manual
Note: If you hear any funny, knocking noises turn the motor off immediately. Try to identify
the exact location of knock or noise, if it comes from the rocker assembly area remove the valve
covers and check to see if the push rods are still straight and have the proper gap. Sometimes
the rocker assemblies will seize up causing the pushrods to bend. If any push rods are bent
you will have to remove and rebuild the rocker assemblies to ensure they operate as designed.
Check all Push rods to ensure they are straight, replace as needed, then lubricate rocker arms
with oil. If the noise comes from the block you may have to remove the motor and disassemble it
to find out the source of the knock.
Note: FYI the car did smoke during the first period of running due to the buildup of carbon and sludge
in the engine. Valves or piston rings will stick after sitting so long. If smoke persist
it's advisable to do a compression test on all 8 cylinders to see if you have any cylinders
that are low. Readings should be around 150 lbs and all should be within 15% of each other.
If you have a low cylinder then you can use seafoam in gas or engine restorer in oil (or other additives that help cleanup
the internal parts of the engine) to unstick valves and piston rings that maybe a bit sticky after so many years being dormant.
1964 Daytona Restoration