Have you ever done this?

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2014: Have you ever done this?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bud Holzschuh - Panama City, FL on Monday, February 17, 2014 - 09:25 pm:

Saturday i went out to start the T for a drive to my friends house.

I turned the gas valve on, adjusted the throttle and spark to the best starting position, primed it with 2 cranks and choke, and it started right up.

As i went to the passenger side to get in it died.

Reprimed, readjusted, and recranked .... and cranked ... and cranked .... and cranked. When I reached the heavy panting stage I thought I'd best recheck everything.

The gas was OFF ! Well of course it was, I had forgot to turn it off the last time I parked it and when turning it "on" this time I was actually turning it off!

It ran that 30 seconds on the fuel in the carb bowl.

This isn't the first time I've done this, or just forgot to turn the fuel on. I'm beginning to get worried ...... maybe this thread should be under the "old and senile thread"

The subject was did you ever do this - but if you haven't - don't tell me cause I'm feeling stupid enough already.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Wells on Monday, February 17, 2014 - 09:36 pm:

When I first got my car, I spent half a day trying to get it running before I realized the fuel was off. I found a solution. Never turn it off.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Val Soupios on Monday, February 17, 2014 - 09:42 pm:

Join the club. I have a little card that I made up that I keep on the seat of each of my cars to remind me to turn on the gas. I set it in place when I turn the gas off. I keep it in the battery box on the running board that way I remember to put it in place when I disconnect the battery. Now, if I could only figure out how to remember to disconnect the battery I would have everything under control!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Menzies on Monday, February 17, 2014 - 11:22 pm:

I was in charge of our local volunteer fire department and we had some small engines for pumping water, lighting unit and exhaust fans. They were all mag ignition so they couldn't screw that up however the fuel was a different thing, choke on choke off, fuel on fuel off was impossible to teach 10 guys that hardly ever used this equipment. I tried to leave the fuel on and the choke on and I said all you have to do is pull the pull cord and after it starts gradually move the choke to off. The choke would get turned off the fuel would get turned off and the pull cord would regularly get pulled off the end. I retired after 22 years and never resolved the problem.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Harold Schwendeman - Sumner,WA on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 - 03:21 am:

Bud - This might not make you feel any less "stupid", but it might serve to let you know that you are NOT alone!

The reason I recall this experience so vividly is because (I'm sorry to say) it has happened more than once:

I think my '27 will actually run a few seconds longer than your 30 seconds; in fact, it will run just about long enough for the engine to die about the time I manage to get the car backed out of the carport and into the middle of the street! I will say that I have gotten to where I recognize what the problem is almost instantly during the last "sputter" of the engine before it officially dies!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Robert Skingley on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 - 07:06 am:

The good part about having the engine quit after starting is that it only runs about a minute or less. If it had enough fuel to run 10 minutes we would be out in traffic when it happens. I had an aircraft that would only taxi about 150 feet before it quit, I always said thank you Lord I can't make it to the end of the runway. Check lists only work if you use them.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hal Davis-SE Georgia on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 - 07:22 am:

I have considered attaching ribbons to such things as the fuel shut off. Kinda like the cover over the pitot tube and the yoke lock that say "Remove Before Flight".

The aftermarket fuel shut off's on the carb can be confusing. If it were straight, the handle is usually a good indicator of what is on and off, but being 90 degrees, you're danged if you do and danged if you don't. It is always aligned with the fuel flow, either in or out. Then you can't remember which it is.

What I usually do is lift the hood and shut it off after a drive, then leave the hood open. Next time I go for a drive, if the hood is open, I know I remembered to shut it off last time and swap it to the opposite position.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jared Buckert on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 - 10:47 am:

Having a checklist is always a good thing for an old car. Sometimes people get used to modern turn-the-key-and-go cars and forget these are machines that require just a little bit more input. Sometimes you have enough different cars it's hard to remember which ones need which operations done first and where the controls are and so on.

My brother and I have a similar issue with one of our tractors. We turn the gas on, count to five, then shut it off. Usually she'll start on the third quarter. Sometimes she's stubborn as a mule. If she decides she wants to be a mule that day you don't have to worry about flooding the carb. One day she started first quarter. We were so amazed we almost forgot to turn the fuel back on!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bud Holzschuh - Panama City, FL on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 - 09:27 pm:

Thanks for the commiseration and suggestions. A checklist or a physical reminder like Hal suggested is the way to go for me. If I come up with anything innovative, I'll post it.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Gregush Portland Oregon on Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - 02:31 am:

Warmed the car up, back down the drive way, made it through the 4 way intersection, died. Got out pulled up floor board, turned the fuel on, got in started her back up and drove on.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Will Copeland - Trenton, New Jersey on Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - 06:05 am:

Last spring on the first start of the season I was pressing the dimmer switch thinking it was the starter button, Almost removed the starter button before it hit me as to what I did wrong!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bill Elliott on Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - 06:15 am:

When first learning to drive my T around my backyard, I learned a valuable lesson. After a few cycles around the yard without incident, the car sputtered and died. I was totally dumbfounded and tried in vain to crank her up. Gas was on, spark retarded, coils buzzing, what's the problem? Finally checked the tank and yes, it was empty!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hal Davis-SE Georgia on Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - 07:44 am:

I'm usually pretty good about checking my fluids before starting up. As a matter of fact, I used to have radiators that leaked and/or overheated so bad that they almost ALWAYS required being topped off before going for a drive. I finally replaced the both of them with Berg's and although I still check the level, I seldom, if EVER, have to add water. I could almost take that step off of my mental check list.

I am also into antique engines and outboard motors. I recently bought a pack of manila tags with the wire on them. My plan is to write the start procedure and needle valve settings and gas/oil mix ratios, etc on them and tie them on the engine. Since they don't all get run often, I never remember each one's little idiosyncrasies and have to experiment.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dick Lodge - St Louis MO on Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - 08:34 am:

Bud, this may make you feel better. I was on the Hillbilly Tour in Branson a few years ago. At the end of the day, I parked at the hotel and turned off the gas. The next morning before the tour, I started the car to drive up the street and fill the gas tank. It died on the hotel parking lot after about 40 feet. While I was wondering where to get a can of gas, I remembered that I turned it off the evening before. Feeling a little sheepish, I turned it back on and drive to the nearby gas station. When I pulled up at the pump and took off the gas cap, I was looking at a full tank of gas. I had forgotten that I had filled it up at the end of the previous day.... :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Carl Klem on Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - 10:23 am:

Safety Note: If you park in an enclosed area that has a gas appliance such as a water heater with a pilot light, be sure to turn off your gas valve. If your float valve were to leak and dump fuel on the floor, the fumes could travel to the open flame and go BOOM! I shut both valves on my T just 2B sure :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Fred Dimock, Newfields NH, USA on Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - 11:40 am:

I agree with Carl -

Better to be a bit forgetful than participate in an explosion.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Cameron Whitaker on Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - 02:17 pm:

Yes, I have done that before. But more often than not, I forget to turn the fuel on. I'll crank start my T in front of a curious crowd and drive off triumphantly, only for the car to die several feet later and embarrass me as I explain what I did wrong :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Paul Mikeska, Denver CO on Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - 08:17 pm:

Its really best if you do this in front of a crowd. On one of the first trips in the 14 Touring I drove it to a popular restaurant that is on a corner in the smack middle of busy down town. It has a large outdoor dining area by the street. I was parked right next to the seating area. First silly thing was having to go back into the place after eating to borrow a lighter from my waiter so that I could light the lights! That got a lot of attention. Then I started the car and since I forgot to turn the gas back on it ran just long enough to pull out of the parking space into traffic. We were a very popular.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Huson, Berthoud, Co. on Thursday, February 20, 2014 - 12:21 pm:

Paul Nikeska:

I had a good laugh at that one, I have done similar. All the guys that I have coffee with think I am crazy anyway and If I do something like that pulling away from the front window they KNOW.
By the way I have never shut my gas off and have never had my carb overflow.

Grand Pa's


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Huson, Berthoud, Co. on Thursday, February 20, 2014 - 12:21 pm:

Paul Nikeska:

I had a good laugh at that one, I have done similar. All the guys that I have coffee with think I am crazy anyway and If I do something like that pulling away from the front window they KNOW.
By the way I have never shut my gas off and have never had my carb overflow.

Grand Pa's


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Harold Schwendeman - Sumner,WA on Thursday, February 20, 2014 - 03:16 pm:

Dave - Maybe it depends upon what you call "overflow". Here's something to consider:

I usually have either a Model "T" depot hack (my summer car) or a Model "A" Town Sedan (my winter car) parked next to the house in a two-car carport. I always shut the gas off after driving into the carport, even tho' I could leave either car sit in the carport overnight (or for a week or more) and never see a single drop of gasoline on the cement floor of the carport. However, my wife, who has a sense of smell like a bloodhound, can usually smell gasoline if I forget to turn the gas off. Actually, I can sometimes smell it too if I really pay attention, which I usually don't. Careful observation by me has determined that in the case of either car, the carburetors actually do leak a very, very minute (my-noot) amount. I have determined that the leaking is so slight that the leaking gasoline actually evaporates before a single drop accumulates enough to actually drip off of the carburetor.

I believe that the carport situation contributes to my wife being able to "smell gasoline" if I forget to turn the gas off, especially on a very calm day. While the carport is not like a fully enclosed garage, I believe that on a calm day, vapor from the very, very slight leakage is contained enough in the carport so that you can smell the gasoline smell.

I firmly believe that this much too "wordy" explanation could be an important point for folks to consider, as I believe it is possible for someone to have the very slight and normally undetectable leakage (undetectable by sight but detectable by smell under the right conditions like a carport) an feel like they have no carburetor "overflow" condition, when in fact, they really do, but don't know it, because perhaps because the car is left outside in an area that is normally breezy.

What I'm trying to say is that even the very minute ("my-noot") leakage condition that you may not know you have, could be a very dangerous situation if you left the car stored inside a garage. In other words, just the smell of gasoline that my wife notices, could be enough to cause an explosion if the car was left in,....say an attached garage with gas/propane hot water heater with pilot light instead of in our carport. Again, something to consider.

Anybody else could have made my point without all my "wordiness" by just saying,..."you might have a slight gasoline leak and not know it!"

After all, what is that faint gasoline smell my wife detects but explosive gasoline vapor, right?

Okay, I'll "shut-up" now, but be safe,....turn the gas off when leaving the car unattended for any length of time. "Henry" would have realized a considerable savings if he'd left the gasoline shut-off valve off of 15 million Model "T's (and 4 million Model A's) if he'd thought the gasoline shut-off valve wasn't a necessary safety item! For what it's worth,.......harold


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Erich Bruckner, Vancouver, WA on Thursday, February 20, 2014 - 05:22 pm:

I am not even 50 yet and I have to force myself to run through the preflight list whenever I start the car. I am not betting the need for this will go away ever.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wayne Sheldon, Grass Valley, CA on Friday, February 21, 2014 - 05:45 pm:

Harold S,
Not too wordy in my book (but look who is saying that!). Well said and important.
Like Dave H, I very rarely shut off the gas in my Ts unless I am experiencing a temporary problem.
Sometimes, however, the coupe having been parked with about three gallons of gasoline in the tank will be empty when I go to start it a few months later. (Grumble) Most of the time, it is parked in an enclosed, but somewhat ventilated, two-car garage attached under the house. I rarely can smell any gas at all (besides, my wife is also one with a very sensitive nose and never complains there). There are never visible drops on the floor.
I have confirmed what Harold said about leaking so very slowly that it evaporates off the bowl before it hits the floor.
If you want to check yours, this is how I do it. Use a clean white paper towel. Press it all around the sides, top, and bottom of the carburetor. Press it up under any and all fittings in the fuel line, under and around the gasoline tank's potato and any other place that liquid gas could collect.
It takes several minutes for the gasoline to evaporate into the air after it seeps out through whatever tiny leak it has. The paper towel will grab whatever gas wetness is there and show it to you if you then look closely at the towel.
By the way, I do have an electric water heater which makes me feel a little safer. But do not be lulled into a false sense of security. Pilot lights are not the only thing that can ignite gasoline fumes! Most light switches throw a spark every time they are switched and are the next top item on the "ignite" list. Any lamp can ignite fumes along with about a dozen other things including static discharge (something most people will never think of)

As to forgetting to turn the gas back on, or in any other way killing the engine with a crowd watching? Put on a show! I throw my arms up in the air, toss my head all the way back. Then I climb out of the car, crank start, jump up, climb back in and go. I even do that with the coupe and it has a starter that works.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Greg Griffin on Saturday, February 22, 2014 - 07:03 pm:

I used to have a little decal on my motorcycle that said "Turn The Gas On Dummy".


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