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Post Info TOPIC: Breakdown! Stranded Seeking mechanic in Thunder Bay for 63 Laurentian


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Breakdown! Stranded Seeking mechanic in Thunder Bay for 63 Laurentian


Hi,

I am being towed into Thunder Bay.

Have issues with electronic ignition (I think). I am looking for someone who can make or help make repairs to my car. I'm trying to get through to Saskatchewan. Spent two days stranded in Marathon before deciding to head to T Bay.

1963 Laurentian, with Chev  250. Electronic ignition. No spark at the plugs. Finding replacement parts is super challenging.

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated! Happy to receive calls on my phone: 514.808.7231

thanks!

Roy

 



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Breakdown! Stranded Seeking mechanic in Thunder Bay for 63 Lautentian


We need a little Willie Nelson......

On the HOOK AGAIN

Dreaming of Thunder Bay

On the hook again
Just can't wait to get on the HOOK again
The life I love is making music with my friends
And I can't wait to get on the HOOK again
On the HOOK again
Goin' places that I've never been
Seein' things that I may never see again
And I can't wait to get on the HOOK again
On the HOOK again
Like a band of gypsies we go down the highway
We're the best of friends
Insisting that the world keep turning our way
And our way
Is on the HOOK again
I just can't wait to get on the HOOK again
The life I love is makin' CLASSIC CARS with my friends
And I can't wait to get OFF the HOOK again
 
Happy trails to you!


-- Edited by oshawacliff on Tuesday 5th of July 2022 03:05:30 PM

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Did the seller give you all the original pieces when it was converted? If you could find it all, whatever is needed to switch it back to points..... Could you purchase a replacement distributor for now and swap out? (yet another example why I WON'T change to pertronix)

My '70 Estate trip I made in '16 is still going with that same exact set of points that were in the car when I bought it nearly 20,000mi ago, all be it I have to repair a front cover to oil pan oil leak at the moment...






-- Edited by 67Poncho on Tuesday 5th of July 2022 07:09:17 PM

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It'd be nice if you could find an HEI distributor.

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Try out this page,


(2) Superior Classics Car Club | Facebook

Lots of friendly people up there !



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67Poncho wrote:

Did the seller give you all the original pieces when it was converted? If you could find it all, whatever is needed to switch it back to points..... Could you purchase a replacement distributor for now and swap out? (yet another example why I WON'T change to pertronix)

My '70 Estate trip I made in '16 is still going with that same exact set of points that were in the car when I bought it nearly 20,000kms ago, all be it I have to repair a front cover to oil pan oil leak at the moment...



-- Edited by 67Poncho on Tuesday 5th of July 2022 03:30:17 PM


 Vincent, no problems with Pertronics since 2003, pick of the draw. 



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63 Parisienne sport coupe (The Big GTO), black, maroon interior, 409 4 speed; former owner of a 59 El Camino, 63 Corvette SWC, 62 Chev Bel Air SC.
1963- Pontiac top selling car in Canada

Mahone Bay, NS Still not old enough to need an automatic



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ABC123 wrote:

Try out this page,


(2) Superior Classics Car Club | Facebook

Lots of friendly people up there !


 Thank you! I posted a request to the page. Super big thanks!



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67Poncho wrote:

Did the seller give you all the original pieces when it was converted? If you could find it all, whatever is needed to switch it back to points..... Could you purchase a replacement distributor for now and swap out? (yet another example why I WON'T change to pertronix)

My '70 Estate trip I made in '16 is still going with that same exact set of points that were in the car when I bought it nearly 20,000kms ago, all be it I have to repair a front cover to oil pan oil leak at the moment...



-- Edited by 67Poncho on Tuesday 5th of July 2022 03:30:17 PM


 No. But he offered to ship them to me today!

Dave at DC Auto in Thunder Bay found me all (most?) of the needed parts to retro fit. Looking for some help to make that happen.



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There's a case to be made for the pertronix replacement, but I'm OK with points and have them in all my cars, mainly because I know what to do to keep those cars running. 



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DonSSDD wrote:


 Vincent, no problems with Pertronics since 2003, pick of the draw. 


 I hear you... just the fact in time of repair... points would be easier in this case. (unless you carry a spare) I bought them for the Estate wagon but then decided to leave the points.. I put on nearly 22,000mi and they are still there. And I am a terrible techy guy as most of my cars have been GM injected since my first in '91.

The only reason I leave the Estate and my '67 Laurentian wagon is the fact they are original. Most of my others weren't...... most by a long shot.



-- Edited by 67Poncho on Tuesday 5th of July 2022 07:19:12 PM

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roycross wrote:
ABC123 wrote:

Try out this page,


(2) Superior Classics Car Club | Facebook

Lots of friendly people up there !


 Thank you! I posted a request to the page. Super big thanks!


 AMAZING RESPONSE https://www.facebook.com/groups/753296058015763/permalink/8014824421862854/



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Breakdown! Stranded Seeking mechanic in Thunder Bay for 63 Laurentian


Wow, nice people with good contacts.

I havent asked this before but your 63 would have a 230, I think the 250 came out later? Not sure there is any difference between 230/250 distributors, carbs, starters, voltage regulators, etc.

Our Canadian Tires around here have pretty much lousy mechanics and managers, you found a real old fashioned one.

Lots of old GM 6s around everywhere out west I bet. 



-- Edited by DonSSDD on Wednesday 6th of July 2022 04:58:22 AM

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63 Parisienne sport coupe (The Big GTO), black, maroon interior, 409 4 speed; former owner of a 59 El Camino, 63 Corvette SWC, 62 Chev Bel Air SC.
1963- Pontiac top selling car in Canada

Mahone Bay, NS Still not old enough to need an automatic



Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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If you have a problem getting the voltage regulator, conversion to an internal regulated alternator is cheap and easy, this Canadian Tire probably has one of the alternators on the shelf, or NAPA or Carquest, etc. Rewiring diagrams are readily available on line.



-- Edited by DonSSDD on Wednesday 6th of July 2022 05:52:46 AM

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63 Parisienne sport coupe (The Big GTO), black, maroon interior, 409 4 speed; former owner of a 59 El Camino, 63 Corvette SWC, 62 Chev Bel Air SC.
1963- Pontiac top selling car in Canada

Mahone Bay, NS Still not old enough to need an automatic



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DonSSDD wrote:

If you have a problem getting the voltage regulator, conversion to an internal regulated alternator is cheap and easy, this Canadian Tire probably has one of the alternators on the shelf, or NAPA or Carquest, etc. Rewiring diagrams are readily available on line.



-- Edited by DonSSDD on Wednesday 6th of July 2022 05:52:46 AM


 Thanks!



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UPDATE:

Dropped the car at the Canadian Tire yesterday. This morning, Wednesday, the tech installed a used HEI distributor from a 1971 Ventura. Got the car running. But when I took it out on the highway, it had no response under load. Can't accelerate, can't climb a hill, no power. Went back to the CanTire, but they said they couldn't do anything more. And left me idling. I hobbled back to the hotel.

A great guy from DC Auto, Dave, came over, and we noodled around a bit. The idle was high and when I pinch off the vacuum advance from the distributor to the carb, the idle dropped a lot. I capped the vacuum line and took it out for a drive on the highway. Slightly better, but still not enough power under demand.

I am going to see a backyard mechanic with a handful of old cars. He is going to take a look tomorrow morning. if he can, perhaps I can convert back to points, and get the voltage thing sorted out.

Voltage is still super high. That will need addressing.

This has been a humbling experience.

I'm happy to hear any and all thoughts and suggestions. Throw in a bit of humour if you like. I'm really stuck.


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It's literally been years since I messed around with a carbureted vehicle, so I'm sure there are others with more skill and experience, who can chime in with better ideas.

I have to say though, that the lack of power does sound like a timing advance issue.  I assume that a timing light was put on it to check initial timing at idle (done, if I'm remembering this right, with the vacuum advance unhooked and capped).  The fact that your idle changes when you cap the hose makes me wonder if the vacuum diaphragm in the used distributor has a leak (but again, I'm sure others can offer better, more concise thoughts - this is just what comes to mind in my rusty old brain).

Also, to make sure things start on the right ground, I always made sure I set the idle air mixture screws and base idle speed before I started playing with timing.  Not sure if that was important, but I always thought it's a good idea to follow the process, as it all tends to be interdependent to a point.

Can't offer any thoughts on the voltage thing, if it's not a bad regulator.

Best of luck.  We're all rooting for you!



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Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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DonSSDD raised a good point a while back. You say it's a 250 engine, he asked if it's a 230. I don't think 250's came around until 1965. The 71 Ventura would be a 250.

At least the car starts and runs with the new distributor.

From your description, I'd say the vacuum line to the distributor has been connected to a port providing full manifold vacuum, and the ignition timing set as such. It should be connected to a ported vacuum source on the carburetor.

However, if it is connected to full manifold vacuum and timed that way, when you accelerate the manifold vacuum drops retarding the timing. This would explain the drop in idle speed when you pinch the vacuum line, and the drop in power when accelerating or under load.

Disconnect & plug the vacuum line to the distributor, then set the ignition timing at idle.  Then reconnect the vacuum line to a ported vacuum port on the carb.



-- Edited by seventy2plus2 on Wednesday 6th of July 2022 11:06:36 PM

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Another thing I thought of.

When you converted to HEI, did you increase the spark plug gap from .035" to .045"? While your previous distributor was converted to electronic, using the stock coil would require a gap of .035".



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if you have a straight 6 in there i does not get much easier,air fuel spark so you have a timing or fuel problem in my eyes,open the plugs 12 volts to the distributor and time off a vacuum guage and check the float would be my guess,good luck oh yea a 71 ventura had no electronic yet so ya know

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Timbuk, whats the difference in the 230 and 250 in the 60s cars, other than displacement and say emissions changes implemented in later years? Distributor, starter, alternator, fuel pump, plugs, wires? Heads the same? Carbs?

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63 Parisienne sport coupe (The Big GTO), black, maroon interior, 409 4 speed; former owner of a 59 El Camino, 63 Corvette SWC, 62 Chev Bel Air SC.
1963- Pontiac top selling car in Canada

Mahone Bay, NS Still not old enough to need an automatic



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Roy, you still with us?
I did a little more digging, as I was earlier a bit concerned about the generation of your 6 cylinder engine.

Earlier engines were called Blue Flame 6's, and had displacements of 216, 235 & 261 cubic inches. The used an external oil filter.

Blue Flames were replaced in 1963 by Turbo Thrift 6's, with displacements of 194, 230, 250 (in 1966) and 292, they had an oil filter kind of beneath the distributor. GM used that platform for many years, well into the 80's. I was concerned of you trying to put parts from one generation engine on to another. The HEI distributor you got from a 71 Ventura should work, even though it is from a later engine as HEI's didn't come out until the mid 70's.

So, back to how your ignition timing is being set.
- Get someone with a timing light and hopefully a tachometer to give you a hand,
- Disconnect the vacuum line as it goes into the distributor, plug the line from the engine so there is no vacuum leak (a golf tee is often the best for this). No need to plug the distributor end,
- Set the parking break,
- Start the engine,
- If manual transmission, put the transmission in neutral. If automatic, put the transmission in gear so the engine is under load,
- Adjust your ignition timing (by turning the distributor) & idle speed screw accordingly to achieve initial ignition timing of something like 6 degrees Before Top Dead Center (BTDC) at something like 600 rpm.

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the stroke is the difference same bore share the same block and head so crank 230 vs 250 differs the newer they get the more detuned for smog carbs changed around 72 ,75 got hei with external coil internal coil around 77 i love them



-- Edited by timbuk on Thursday 7th of July 2022 08:35:41 PM

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Hi Everyone,

It's been a wild 5 days! Short story: I'm camping near the Manitoba/Ontario border. I drove out of Thunder Bay around 2 pm on Thursday. More details to share tomorrow. Thanks to everyone who offered help and suggestions.

Roy

 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/753296058015763/permalink/8024991544179475/

 

 



-- Edited by roycross on Friday 8th of July 2022 07:59:49 AM



-- Edited by roycross on Friday 8th of July 2022 08:00:43 AM

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Poncho Master!

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HEI distributors should have a full 12 Volt power supply. Not sure about Pertronix, but Im pretty sure theyre full 12V too.
The power to a stock coil/distributor with points is reduced voltage (9 volts?). The power supply wire is actually a resistor to drop the voltage.
Im not sure which system you finally ended up with, but whichever system you settled on, just make sure its getting correct voltage.

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66 Beau wrote:

HEI distributors should have a full 12 Volt power supply. Not sure about Pertronix, but Im pretty sure theyre full 12V too.
The power to a stock coil/distributor with points is reduced voltage (9 volts?). The power supply wire is actually a resistor to drop the voltage.
Im not sure which system you finally ended up with, but whichever system you settled on, just make sure its getting correct voltage.


 Hi,

Thanks for that info. I had to pull my voltage regulator as it was overcharging the system to about 17 volts. I ran the car for a few hours and as the battery decreased there was a noticeable decrease in power. The HEI needs  12 volts, and it wasn't getting it. I think I have a voltage regulator that is working properly. I had some issues with vapour lock later in day yesterday.



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