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Old 11-26-2021, 01:06 PM   #1
ye_ole & slow
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Default Trouble starting my Model A

Hey Guys,

The 1928 Model A ran ok (with the previous owner) around the block before i got it.

It sat for a few months in my garage. It starts only with the choke on. After a minute or two with the choke on and it still stalls. It's 80 degrees here in Texas.

Now, it won't start at all.

How do i use the two levers on the steering wheel??

I assume the left is for the spark and the right is for cruise control.

thanks
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Old 11-26-2021, 01:21 PM   #2
nkaminar
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Default Re: Trouble starting my Model A

See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eukZ9E_eofM

Sounds like you have a gasoline supply problem. Make sure there is gasoline in the tank and the shut off valve is on. Take the line off the carburetor and put a bucket underneath to catch any gasoline. Turn the gasoline shut off valve on and observe the gasoline flow. It should be a good flow. Be careful with the gasoline. Best to do this outdoors and with a fire extinguisher handy.

If that is all good then take the carburetor off and clean it out with carburetor cleaner and compressed air.
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Step on the gas, for tomorrow I die.
Forget the brakes, they really don't work.
The clutch always sticks, and starts with a jerk.
My car grows red hair, and flies through the air.
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Old 11-26-2021, 01:29 PM   #3
Johnnya101
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Default Re: Trouble starting my Model A

Definitely a fuel supply issue. Did you fill it with ethanol gas? Could be gummed up too. Or some dirt stuck in the carb.
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Old 11-26-2021, 01:53 PM   #4
Brentwood Bob
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Default Re: Trouble starting my Model A

After you test the flow from the sediment bowl to the inlet to the zenith, and it is adequate, then see what comes out of the drain plug under the carb bowl. You want a decent flow there too. The screen at the fuel inlet needs to be clear.
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Old 11-26-2021, 02:47 PM   #5
Gene F
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Default Re: Trouble starting my Model A

Left control on the steering wheel is spark. Stat engine with it all the way upward (retarded). Right, pull it down a notch or two. Ignition on, then pull choke rod back a bit. even 80F remember the motor is way cooler than if has been running. Step on the starter, after it starts pull the spark lever down about 1/2 way. GAV knob should be open about 1/4 turn typically. Let your choke rod go back down after you get her going.
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Old 11-26-2021, 05:18 PM   #6
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Default Re: Trouble starting my Model A

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My car was similar after sitting for awhile p.o. Used ethanol gas and after sitting unstarted for a few weeks inside of carburetor rusted up .Blew it out and also use small wire to clean passages ,changed gaskets and ran like new ( almost) use non ethanol if possible.
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Old 11-26-2021, 05:27 PM   #7
mercman from oz
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Default Re: Trouble starting my Model A



1928 Ford Model A Coupe owned by ye_ole & slow that he is having starting problems with.
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Old 11-26-2021, 06:58 PM   #8
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Default Re: Trouble starting my Model A

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnnya101 View Post
Definitely a fuel supply issue. Did you fill it with ethanol gas? Could be gummed up too. Or some dirt stuck in the carb.
id like to know what ethanol gas has to do with this issue.
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Old 11-26-2021, 07:32 PM   #9
Johnnya101
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Default Re: Trouble starting my Model A

Ethanol sucks in moisture from the air, and could grow algae and other sediment, which could clog the small passages, and it gets "stale" quick, within a few months.
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Old 11-26-2021, 08:11 PM   #10
ye_ole & slow
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Default Re: Trouble starting my Model A

I will try the recommendations tomorrow.


As of now:

After about a 5-10 failed attempts at starting, the floor would be full of gas.

You guys still think it's a gas flow issue??
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Old 11-26-2021, 08:47 PM   #11
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Default Re: Trouble starting my Model A

I'm not thinking it is a fuel supply issue.
Check for spark by pulling the coil wire out of the top of the distributor and holding it a short distance away from a head stud nut and see if you have a fat blue spark jumping the gap as it is turned over.
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Old 11-26-2021, 08:56 PM   #12
Brentwood Bob
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Default Re: Trouble starting my Model A

Delete.
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Old 11-26-2021, 09:05 PM   #13
nkaminar
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Default Re: Trouble starting my Model A

YO&S stated that it ran only with the choke out then would quit. It would not run at all without a spark. Having to have the choke out to run the engine would indicate to me that there is a problem with the fuel. I helped a new owner who had a makeshift shut off valve under the tank with a fitting that extended into the tank. Even though there was gasoline in the tank the car would only run with the choke out and then stopped running all together. There was no fuel coming out of the line at the carburetor. We put 2 gallons in the tank and the engine started up and ran fine.

YO&S says that the car is now not running at all. I would check to see if there is gas getting to the carburetor first although there may now be another issue with the ignition as Crosscut suggests.

The 1928 instructions for how to start the car in the video that I shared in my first post are about half way through the video. Very basic stuff but something that has to be learned by every new Model A owner. Also see the instruction manual that came with the car. If not with the car you can buy a new one from the dealers.

If the floor was full of gasoline after attempts to start the car then there may be a problem with the ignition. Or it could be that the carburetor jets are clogged up. It also could be that the ignition was not advanced when the engine started. Or the engine got flooded. Or . . . . . .

If the person who sold the car is close by, they could be consulted.

I am going to guess that initially there was fuel getting to the carburetor. And that the jets in the carburetor were clogged up. And that now there is no gas getting to the carburetor. That would explain the initial gasoline on the floor and the necessity of using the choke to run the engine and the fact that it is now not starting. It sounds exactly like the issue I had with the other car that was out of fuel except in that case the carburetor was OK.
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A is for apple, green as the sky.
Step on the gas, for tomorrow I die.
Forget the brakes, they really don't work.
The clutch always sticks, and starts with a jerk.
My car grows red hair, and flies through the air.
Driving's a blast, a blast from the past.

Last edited by nkaminar; 11-26-2021 at 09:26 PM.
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Old 11-26-2021, 09:30 PM   #14
Ted Duke
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Default Re: Trouble starting my Model A

PUSH THE CHOKE IN AFTER IT STARTS. You are flooding it.
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Old 11-27-2021, 01:17 AM   #15
Chuck Sea/Tac
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Default Re: Trouble starting my Model A

Quote:
Originally Posted by ye_ole & slow View Post
I will try the recommendations tomorrow.


As of now:

After about a 5-10 failed attempts at starting, the floor would be full of gas.

You guys still think it's a gas flow issue??
It could be a plugged jet. Gas in the carb, but not getting to the intake. If youíre holding the choke closed to get it to run, thatís a lean issue.
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Old 11-27-2021, 06:22 AM   #16
bob from red oak
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Default Re: Trouble starting my Model A

Sounds like you are not advancing the spark lever (on left), I suggest going on tube and find video "How to start a Model A." As others have said choke briefly to start then push choke back in and move spark lever down to mid-point. Enjoy your new A, Looks great so far.
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Old 11-27-2021, 07:58 AM   #17
McMimmcs
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Default Re: Trouble starting my Model A

Sounds like it might be your first Model A. If you don’t already have an owners / operating manual you should get one. Things like the levers and much more will be explained.
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Old 11-27-2021, 09:28 AM   #18
rotorwrench
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Default Re: Trouble starting my Model A

I don't know whether the car has an original type zenith or a later aftermarket Tillotson carb. Both are updraft types and both have an adjustable main mixture control or GAV that is controlled by turning the choke rod. Both carbs work the same way but are a bit different on how they function so it's nice to know what you have.

Pulling the choke will enrichen the mixture but excessive cranking with it pulled will flood the carb and it will leak out onto the floor or ground below. A float valve that is stuck open will also flood the carb and come out the bowl vent.

Model A gas tanks are all old and in varying states of condition. If fine particles of rust get past the filter bowl then the carb can get crud in the float bowl that will eventually make it into the fuel delivery circuits and can plug them up. They can also get plugged with varnish from old fuel if they set too long. If the car won't idle on its own then either it's not getting enough fuel supply from the tank or the idle circuit is plugged or maladjusted. Adjustment of the idle mixture depends on the carb you have on there.
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Old 11-27-2021, 10:40 AM   #19
JBill
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Default Re: Trouble starting my Model A

Of course it's the condenser. It always is!


No, seriously, it does sound like a fuel problem, if it was running okay and then just stopped. Or the condenser.
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Old 11-27-2021, 07:28 PM   #20
nkaminar
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Default Re: Trouble starting my Model A

Ye ole & slow, It is important to get back to the Barn animals when you get it fixed and let us know how you got it running. We all learn from these threads.
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A is for apple, green as the sky.
Step on the gas, for tomorrow I die.
Forget the brakes, they really don't work.
The clutch always sticks, and starts with a jerk.
My car grows red hair, and flies through the air.
Driving's a blast, a blast from the past.
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