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Old 01-24-2021, 06:55 AM   #1
37coop
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Default Just won't fire up.

Hi guys....a head scratching problem.
After years of on off restoring my 39 coupe it was on the road last year,it has been out about 4 times and each time it started OK but ran rough.i decided to renew everything that could have effected the problem. New Drake fuel tank and fuel line ,rebuilt later crab distributor, coil and condenser, good pump with an additional electric pump on a switch, new stromberg carb, Cleaned the newish plugs and it wouldn't fire up,I squirted easy start down the carb and it fired up and died when the squirting stopped...I thought it must be the carb so I replaced it with the proven good 94 carb off my 51 truck ( starts first time every time) ,good spark,gas in the bowl and still won't start,not even a cough or splutter when I turn it over..cant think of what else to do, any ideas.?
Thick snow today so will be having a rest from the workshop...thanks, Jim.
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Old 01-24-2021, 07:07 AM   #2
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Default Re: Just won't fire up.

Running rough before could be an over rich carb or weak spark, starting on either but not running could mean low compression, might try pulling the plugs and add a little oil to each cyl, with the plugs out you can check for good fire too.
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Old 01-24-2021, 07:33 AM   #3
51 MERC-CT
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Default Re: Just won't fire up.

If you have a glass (or other) fuel bowl on the fuel pump, check the cork gasket. It could be cracked or not tight. Leaking gasket can cause fuel starvation because it will suck air not fuel.
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Old 01-24-2021, 08:02 AM   #4
37coop
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Default Re: Just won't fire up.

Thanks for your help,no bowl on the pump and fuel reaching the carb, years ago I did a compression test,the cylinders varied with the lowest being around the 80s and the car fired up ok previously, the fact if fires up immediately with easy start squirted down the carb makes it more puzzling....it does appear to be a fuel problem but a good proven carb and good pump with fuel to the carb.....a puzzle to me.
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Old 01-24-2021, 10:12 AM   #5
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Default Re: Just won't fire up.

Had a simular problem once, turned out to be bad plug wires. Spark was weak, would not fire gasoline, but would fire on starting fluid. I also have had a bad "new coil" out of the box.
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Old 01-24-2021, 10:48 AM   #6
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Default Re: Just won't fire up.

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"Clean" the points?? Pull a plug wire, hold it near away from the plug while someone trys to start the cart, do you have spark??
Paul in CT
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Old 01-24-2021, 11:16 AM   #7
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Default Re: Just won't fire up.

Use a "jumper wire" and bypass the resistor on the firewall.
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Old 01-24-2021, 11:31 AM   #8
37coop
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Default Re: Just won't fire up.

Strong spark,I tend to think its fuel delivery ( might be wrong) everything is new except the fuel pump although it appears to squirt ok, I have just orderd a new one even though I have a box of old pumps,
Doing trial by elimination, thanks for your advice
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Old 01-24-2021, 01:37 PM   #9
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Default Re: Just won't fire up.

This is a long shot but my 34 with hydro fuel gauge gave me a problem that tuned out to be embarrassing, the tank was too low on fuel but gauge showed 1/4 tank. Also I got bit by a loose condenser, that little loop that mounts it is a ground and caused intermittent rough running. Ken
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Old 01-24-2021, 02:24 PM   #10
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Default Re: Just won't fire up.

Make sure the plug wires to distributor caps are installed correctly. - 1 to 1, 2 to 2, 3 to 3 etc....
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Old 01-24-2021, 04:16 PM   #11
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Default Re: Just won't fire up.

If it runs every time w starter fluid u know u got spark & it runs as long as u feed top of carb so it’s gotta b fuel delivery! In ur “renewing all that could b effecting” u mentioned u replaced fuel line & fuel tank. Assuming u thought gas tank & line gunked up? U we’re running it 4 or 5 time but ran rough. Did u run new Carb w old gas tank & line? Did u run pump or elect pump with fuel line into a container before carb to see if u have a good stream of gas? Maybe gunked up fuel pump. If it runs on starter fluid squirted in carb did u try squirting gas into carb after running on starter fluid it should run on gas. Sounds like no fuel getting to /thru carb? Can u see gas coming from Jets with pump running when u actuate accelerator lever? Just writing about what I’d b thinking if me. New fuel pump good thought
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Old 01-24-2021, 05:24 PM   #12
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Default Re: Just won't fire up.

Bad or old gas will do that. I have a generator that will not run properly on old gas while the fuel injected Motorhome engine will run on it. Fresh gas and the gen. runs fine. I don't drive the motorhome enough and the fuel goes bad. lts Hard to use 70 gallons of fuel in a vehicle if you fill up but never know when you are going to drive it again. Being 74 yrs old, wife's back surgery, covid restrictions, etc.

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Old 01-24-2021, 06:43 PM   #13
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Default Re: Just won't fire up.

I just had a similar problem with my car. Had a hard time starting unless I poured fuel down the carb. Some times it would start just as I was releasing the key. Charged the battery, end of the problem. I've had to start it a number of times to move it around or out of the garage. Guess I just wore the battery down. It's old just like me.
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Old 01-24-2021, 08:46 PM   #14
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Default Re: Just won't fire up.

I had a similar problem once. No new parts had been installed (all used parts) and car had been running OK. When I tried to start it several days later the engine would not fire up. I did all of the checks for spark and looked down the carb to see the gas squirt out. Pulled the plugs, tested compression, all was good. Tried starting fluid and it ran for a few seconds. OK the jets must be stopped up. I took the carb top off and found a bowl full of water.
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Old 01-25-2021, 09:03 AM   #15
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Default Re: Just won't fire up.

Did you hold throttle wide open and turn engine over with your hand over the carb. you
should get strong vacuum sucking your hand. If not it will never start on its own. Lazy
valves not seating, intake or carb base gaskets ?? try this old trick. take all plugs out,
start with No. 1 turn crank till both valves are down seated looking through the plug
hole with flash light you can see the exhaust valve closed but you can use a straw or
something for the intake to get both valves down. Now stick your shop vac in the plug
hole and listen and feel. the shop vac sound will say a lot as like running wild, there
is a leak, vac bogging down that hole is good and listen to the oil fill pipe for air for
rings. I bet you will find some body leaking. Oh, when and if you get in running, what did
your vacuum gauge say???? probably not much. Bottom line all gas engine need good
carbruater suction to pull fuel through the venturies if not no run .......
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Old 01-25-2021, 10:38 AM   #16
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Default Re: Just won't fire up.

It sounds like you’ve replace everything, and everything is working. I don’t know if you have any vacuum lines running off your intake but if there is a small leak it could prevent your engine from starting. Good luck.
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Old 01-25-2021, 01:14 PM   #17
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Default Re: Just won't fire up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken hash View Post
It sounds like youíve replace everything, and everything is working. I donít know if you have any vacuum lines running off your intake but if there is a small leak it could prevent your engine from starting. Good luck.
Yes; I am not word correct; but its like drilling a hole thru ya throat, now you can not breath thru your nose ; is clear as mud, thats the problem.
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Old 01-25-2021, 07:39 PM   #18
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Default Re: Just won't fire up.

Vacuum leak? Seems like the engine is not drawing the fuel. Replace intake gasket, carb gasket, check the mating surfaces. One of those smoke machines might find the leak as well.
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Old 01-25-2021, 08:37 PM   #19
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Default Re: Just won't fire up.

I had a similar issue. After hours of trial and error, I discovered a small air leak at the electric fuel fitting on one of my cars.
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Old 01-25-2021, 09:41 PM   #20
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Default Re: Just won't fire up.

Sounds like a fuel delivery issue to me. You could try attaching a small gravity feed tank directly to the carb and see if that helps.
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