1920 Model T Ford Gravity Feed Fuel System Issues

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2015: 1920 Model T Ford Gravity Feed Fuel System Issues
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By lyndel butler on Tuesday, January 20, 2015 - 08:35 pm:

Has anyone used a New Holland carburetor with a fuel pump? Will the needle and seat in the carb take the fuel pressure from low pressure fuel pump that's rated from 2.5 - 4 lbs. Or am I going to have to buy a modern replacement carb to run the fuel pump?
I'm having trouble getting fuel from the gas tank to the carb. Have tried different methods but on hills I'm still having trouble getting good fuel flow.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Tuesday, January 20, 2015 - 08:46 pm:

What kind of car?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By lyndel butler on Tuesday, January 20, 2015 - 09:18 pm:

1920 Model T Roadster, Gas tank under the front seat.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Andy Loso St Joseph, MN on Tuesday, January 20, 2015 - 09:22 pm:

New Holland? Are you confusing NH carb with New Holland? It is a Holley NH or am I missing something?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By lyndel butler on Tuesday, January 20, 2015 - 09:28 pm:

Yes my typo - it's a New Holley purchased from Snyders.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hal Davis-SE Georgia on Wednesday, January 21, 2015 - 07:28 am:

I have to wonder why you are having trouble getting gas from the tank to the carb. Are the tank, sediment bulb, and fuel line clean? Any kinks in the fuel line? Unless the fuel level is really low in the tank and you are trying to go up a steep hill, there should be more than enough fuel to the carb to run a T. I'm thinking there's something else wrong. A fuel pump will only hide the symptoms of the real problem and depending on the problem, might not even do that.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry VanOoteghem - SE Michigan on Wednesday, January 21, 2015 - 08:22 am:

First, this car should not need a fuel pump.

Second, if you really want one, here's what I use. It's low pressure, (1.5 psi I think), and very compact. I use mine to feed a Carter WO carburetor and have never overpowered the needle valve. http://www.amazon.com/Airtex-E8011-Electric-Fuel-Pump/dp/B000DT7Y70/ref=sr_1_1?i e=UTF8&qid=1421846119&sr=8-1&keywords=airtex+fuel+pump+6v&pebp=1421846125200&pea sin=B000DT7Y70#productDetails


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry VanOoteghem - SE Michigan on Wednesday, January 21, 2015 - 08:23 am:

By the way, they don't seem to like heat so mount it accordingly.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry VanOoteghem - SE Michigan on Wednesday, January 21, 2015 - 08:25 am:

Also, while it doesn't state it in the Amazon description, this is a 6 volt pump.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Seth from NC on Wednesday, January 21, 2015 - 09:34 am:

Yeah Lyndel - trace your fuel line back to the tank. I would go ahead and remove the whole fuel line and blow it out. Then go and look at sediment bulb on the underside of the tank. Need to drain all of the gas, then remove sediment bulb (it unscrews) and then clean it out really well. You can open up the small petcock on the bottom of the bulb to drain all of the gas out. If she's really stopped up you may need to poke a small screwdriver up in there to break through the junk and get it flowing.

That's usually one of the main culprits of poor flow to the carb. My T will run until the bottom of the tank is barely wet but it doesn't have any kind of pump.

Go ahead and remove sediment bulb and clean it out really well. There's a brass mesh screen that can get really nasty - worst case you have to replace it (the screen that is, it's only $0.95 at Langs). While you have bulb out check your gas tank and make sure there's no crud or junk in there.

I don't know how long it's been since your T ran but I found out the hard way that if your T has been sitting a long time, the old gas will make this sort of varnish on the inside of the tank, bulb, and fuel line. Well, new gas with ethanol in it eats that varnish and turns it into this sandy particle stuff. I had to clean bulb out a couple times and fuel bowl on carb 3 or 4 times and then all of it was gone. After that you're set!

Once you get the tank, bulb, fuel line, and carb bowl cleaned out and re-assembled, you should get great flow and your T should run with no problems. Haha, well, at least not fuel problems! If she's anything like mine once you fix that it'll just lead you right into fixing the next thing. I've been pulling that string a few years now and the end is nowhere in sight. =)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Wednesday, January 21, 2015 - 10:04 am:

I should have read the title of the thread more carefully.:-)

I agree that a fuel pump shouldn't be needed. It falls into the category of "upgrades" that are in reality bandages which cover up the wound without healing it. Just another superfluous complication that adds expense and potential failure.

In addition to the things Seth suggested, you might want one of these.



https://www.modeltford.com/item/2903BSC.aspx


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Robert G. Hester Jr., Riverview, FL on Wednesday, January 21, 2015 - 10:16 am:

Hi, Lyndel. As stated above, your car should need no fuel pump. For sure, do all the clean up as already mentioned. Couple other things, make sure that no point in fuel line routing is it higher than the carburetor. Fuel line should not pass above the exhaust pipe or run parallel close to it. If you have an in-line paper element fuel filter get rid of same.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Charlie B actually in Toms River N.J. on Wednesday, January 21, 2015 - 10:17 am:

If that's an in-tank screen I don't like 'em for one reason: You can't get to it. They have to be blown clean and what evers in the tank to begin with will clog it up again. The bulb screen is a much better option. It's clean able and junk in the tank will pass into it.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Larry Smith on Wednesday, January 21, 2015 - 10:21 am:

If the carburetor is a repro, get rid of it and put on a good original. You don't need a fuel pump or anything else!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Hjortnaes, Men Falls, WI on Wednesday, January 21, 2015 - 10:24 am:

Drop a Flomax in your tank. :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Walker, NW AR on Wednesday, January 21, 2015 - 10:29 am:

Charlie -- That screen in the pic above fits into the sediment bulb, so it comes out with the bulb when it's unscrewed from the tank.

Lyndel -- The Guys have pretty much covered all the possibilities above. I'd be particularly suspicious of the sediment bulb and its screen. It is very fine and can easily clog. And as Seth said, if it's damaged or missing, it's not difficult to replace. It's a necessary part of the system, so do what you have to to keep it functioning.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bill Robinson Salty Bottom, AL on Wednesday, January 21, 2015 - 10:31 am:

Lyndel- what is the i.d. of the fuel line?
I ask because Steve S. was having the same problem. His freshly restored cut-off pick up ran fine until he went up a step hill near his house. I noticed that the i.d. of the fuel line was smaller than the line on my touring car, which was made from hyd brake line. We swapped mine to his truck and he went up without difficulty.
He made a new line from brake tubing and to my knowledge the problem has not returned.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Walker, NW AR on Wednesday, January 21, 2015 - 10:34 am:

Larry posted while I was typing. I have not used one of the new carbs from the vendors, but I have heard others who have used them say that they are not as good as the original ones. An original Holley, Kingston, or Simmons is hard to beat for dependability, and they're easy and cheap to rebuild.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Eyssen - Abilene TX on Wednesday, January 21, 2015 - 10:45 am:

I always take out the sweet potato screen and put a clear bodied screen filter close to the carb with a cut off on the tank side of the line. This way you can see any crud and act accordingly. Screen filter is available at motorcycle shops. As stated by others, with a clean run to the carb, you do not need a pump on this vehicle.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Hjortnaes, Men Falls, WI on Wednesday, January 21, 2015 - 01:49 pm:

Tim

Can you give us a picture?

Thank you.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Walker, NW AR on Wednesday, January 21, 2015 - 04:40 pm:

Tim -- Are you trying to start trouble? :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Eyssen - Abilene TX on Wednesday, January 21, 2015 - 08:54 pm:

Dave: Will take a photo tomorrow and attempt to post.
Mike: You know Mr. Nice Guy would not pull anybody's chain:-). Will I be seeing you in Chickasha at your usual place?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By lyndel butler on Wednesday, January 21, 2015 - 09:13 pm:

Thanks to all who took the time to respond - your help is greatly appreciated.

I also have a 1922 touring car (Model T)- the fuel line, carb and filter are the same on both cars (I'm using a Ford type filter (screws in the carb of about a 1974 model Ford - approx a 1/8 thread screen type filter). Everything is the same and it works great on the 1922.

To try to rectify the problem on the 1920 I've removed the sediment bowl and installed an elbow with a short stand up tube in the tank and connected a 3/8" rubber fuel line to the (fuel filter) carb. I also installed a elbow in the gas cap and put a vent hose on it. One of the baffles is loose in the gas tank. When I installed the tube in the elbow I drilled large holes in the side of it and left a rough edge along the top so nothing could create a seal. In the process of restoration I have cleaned out the gas tank. Its difficult for me to understand how the loose baffle could restrict the full only when climbing a hill and not any other time. Ive also traded carbs with my 1922 and the problem remained.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Seth from NC on Thursday, January 22, 2015 - 06:47 am:

Lyndel, you may get your preferred setup to work eventually.

But, I gotta tell you man: you're makin' this way more complicated than it has to be.

You need a sediment bowl. A clean one with a clear screen - it works GREAT at filtering the fuel when it's been cleaned out. That's its job. That is your filter. Then you need an uninterrupted gas line to the carb. The only exception to this is if you want to have a ball valve or something to cut the flow off closer to the carb. If your sediment bowl is in good shape, it does a good job shutting the fuel off.

Now - it's your car. Do with it however you want to. I just think you're going to struggle and have problems until you get rid of the in-line filter and go back to the stock setup.

The gas we have today is so much cleaner and more refined than anything that T is used to running on back in the day. She won't even blink at some stuff in the fuel that a modern car would freak out about. Heck, unless you get one after the fact your carburetor doesn't even have an air filter.

But, that's just me. Do it however you are comfortable with.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hal Davis-SE Georgia on Thursday, January 22, 2015 - 07:41 am:

I'm a firm believer in the screen Steve showed above. It protrudes probably 2" or more up into the tank. Anything that would clog it will only clog it down low and fuel can continue to flow through it above that. I don't mean to say you shouldn't try to clean out the tank of a car that's been sitting, but I do mean to say that it's not imperative that you get every last bit of stuff out of it. Some say to have a radiator shop boil them out. Not a bad idea if you know someone who can do that for you, but I would not be afraid of just trying to get everything you can out then use the filter shown above. Not instead of, but in addition to the screen in the sediment bulb.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Donald Conklin on Thursday, January 22, 2015 - 08:02 am:

I believe that if we are talking about the modern carburetor being sold for use on a T there is potential for a fuel flow problem. If this carburetor was designed to work with a fuel pump then the limited pressure in the gravity system would not open the needle and seat until the float level was lower than normal.
I have worked on a 1926, the owner had 2 of these carburetors both of which worked but we're running lean. Adjusting the mixture worked to a point then there was no response to further richening. The owner did not want a fuel pump and said he would live with it. The engine had good power but poor throttle response.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Thursday, January 22, 2015 - 09:26 am:

A rule of Model T life is that most "upgrades" and "improvements" aren't. In fact, many of them complicate the simple and introduce potential problems that can drive you nuts.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hal Davis-SE Georgia on Thursday, January 22, 2015 - 11:31 am:

Watch it, Steve, or you'll get a reputation like mine.:-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Gregush Portland Oregon on Thursday, January 22, 2015 - 12:07 pm:

Re;"Has anyone used a New Holland carburetor with a fuel pump? Will the needle and seat in the carb take the fuel pressure from low pressure fuel pump that's rated from 2.5 - 4 lbs. Or am I going to have to buy a modern replacement carb to run the fuel pump?
I'm having trouble getting fuel from the gas tank to the carb. Have tried different methods but on hills I'm still having trouble getting good fuel flow."
He has the NH carb now and was asking because of fuel flow problems. He wants to know if he would need to put on one of the modern carbs if he adds a fuel pump.
I think every thing suggested so far is spot on. Clean the tank and sediment bowl. Get rid of the inline filter and check flow at carb. If you are traveling in hilly country make sure you have an good supply of gas in the tank and spare with you.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By lyndel butler on Thursday, January 22, 2015 - 08:04 pm:

Based on advice I've received I believe I'm going back with a stock fuel system with the exception of adding a larger diameter fuel line. I will tackle this as soon as I get a few days off work to do so and will let everyone here know how it works out! One unique thing about this car is that it has the steering wheel off my grandfather's model T! He gave me the steering wheel when I was just a kid and I kept it for nearly 50 years and finally got to use it......THANKS for the help.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Nevin Gough on Friday, January 23, 2015 - 04:50 am:

I might be the odd one out here. I had all sorts of issues when climbing hills. Fuel starvation actually left me in some quite dangerous traffic situations. All attempts at solving the problem were ultimately unsuccessful and hills became a nightmare for me. So, I installed a low pressure pump with an adjustable restrictor on it.

What a difference. I can climb the steepest hills with an almost empty tank. No more cans of gas at the kid's feet. It is the one upgrade I can totally recommend.

Now, it can't be seen, but could be converted back to gravity feed in minutes if there were a pump failure. I drilled no holes. It has worked for me, and I'll never go back.

For the record...1918 T with tank under seat. 12v pump to an NH Holley.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Frank van Ekeren (Australia) on Friday, January 23, 2015 - 05:40 am:

It's amazing how a stock T can have problems on one but not the next, my fuel line doesn't even go through the wood block but runs on top of the chassis rail and over the engine mount ear, never been a problem at any time.


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