1919 Speedster with a RAJO head, period correct Delco distributor running on 6v battery, Stromberg RF carb. Hasn't run is 35 years. I've got it to start several times, but it won't keep running. It dies out after 4 or 5 seconds. Checked the timing and electrical; both are okay. Carb main adjustment is set to 2.5 turns out, and idle adjustment is set at 0.5 turns out (per Stan Howe).
Seems like fuel issue to me. What do you all think? Too lean? Too rich? I'm wearing out my left arm... Thanks.
dirty tank or clogged fuel line
Don't tell anyone I said this but.... (psst, you can use your right arm ya know) ;) Just kidding, though I do prefer to carefully crank with my right.
In all seriousness though: did you take the carb and fuel line apart before trying to run it? It could be a number of things: bad float or needle, your fuel line could be bad, the gas tank may have debris coming out and clogging your line. If you don't have a fuel filter screen i'd recommend one.
Carb was cleaned, checked, and tested on a stock T a few months ago and reportedly ran well. I have a temporary fuel supply set-up (plastic gas container with brass fittings on a ladder for gravity feed) and a new 3' section of fuel line running to the carb. It's definitely getting fuel. Since my first post, I've been able to start it several more times, and it will run for very short periods (10 seconds or less) before quitting.
I'm thinking if it was an ignition problem, it wouldn't run for these short periods...
It sure sounds to me like it's burning the fuel in the bowl, then quitting due to fuel starvation.
Sounds about right, Mike. More gas in the tank? Open the mixture up more? I'm trying different things, but so far haven't found the magic bullet. Seems like a combination of adjustments are needed, and I just don't have the experience yet to get them all correct.
I'm close though. I can feel it...
Just had another thought...
With the RAJO, and its larger valves, it'll use a bunch more fuel than a stock engine, correct? If true, the carb settings used for testing on a stock T, (and Stan's recommendation for initial settings) may be providing enough fuel to get it started, but not enough to keep it running. That would explain why it'll start but not stay running - as you said, Mike - fuel starvation.
Does this make sense?
Is there a vent hole in the gas cap?
Larry- It's a temporary gas supply. I used a plastic container with a loose fitting lid (vent) with brass fittings and a short fuel line.
I've got a small, cheap electric fuel pump w/ alligator clips that I've used for various temp things over the years. You might try that to keep a steady fuel supply. If it still does it, look closer at the carb. I've had repro floats that hit the bowl and caused these problems. Good luck.
Dave has two threads going on the same problem. Sounds like inadequate fuel pressure to me.
Have you tried choking it just before it dies?
Chuck - I've tried about everything I can think of, including choking it (it more ways than one!). Doesn't seem to help, but on the other hand, it's not like I have had much time with it running before it quits to try various adjustments to see if anything improves or not. Turns out five seconds isn't very long...
My carb is on it's way to Stan Howe. At least when it comes back, that will be one piece of the puzzle that I know will be correct. Even if it turns out that the carb rebuild doesn't help, at least it will positively eliminate that as the problem.
1) Try a different carb. (maybe a Holly NH) that you know is a good carb.
2) Those Strombergs are VERY fussy about ANY debris. Stan found tiny brass shavings in mine when I sent it back. They were from Japanese-made brass fittings that are slightly inaccurate.
3) When I put on those Strombergs (both an OF and an OS-1 (from Stan)), the car would frequently just stall out and then after a bit would start up again. Putting on a "Mr. Gasket" fuel pump (0-4psi) from Pep Boys and a Holly pressure regulator set at 2.5 psi COMPLETELY solved the gas flow problem. It climbs hills like a mountain goat now.
Thanks, Jon. I've opted for a larger OS-1 from Stan. The car also had a hand air pump to pressurize the fuel line, which I'll keep functional. It seemed like I was getting plenty of gas to the carb, but just not enough to keep it running for long. Perhaps the additional pressure would have solved that. Either way, I'll have an excellent rebuilt carb that I know will function.
Yes, Dave to all of that. Stan is the man for carb rebuilds especially those old brass Strombergs. I really like the look and performance of the OS-1 that I got from him. That will give your car noticeably more pep. Just remember that those carbs are very sensitive to any debris in the line. I highly recommend a filter with them and some kind of pressurized fuel flow. Here is a picture of my fuel pump set-up:
Thanks for the advice. I'm considering a filter on the fuel line and an air filter. Don't want to restrict either air or fuel flow though. Would a regulator work with a manual pump? Or just with an electric pump? Would rather use the manual pump if it'll work (with or without the regulator). Also will need to rig up an intake line to the manifold.