Hello I just purchased a 1923 t runabout a few weeks ago. When cold the car starts right up and runs for 4 to 5 mins then starts popping and dies out. The car with the choke on will restart for 1 to 2 secs and die out... any help would be most appreciated! I have already replaced all coils, spark plugs and wires and even a new ignition switch.. and I did make sure it has fuel... please help
Take the gas line off and watch the flow sounds like crappie in the tank outlet or both also check the vent hole in the gas cap
Ryan it certainly sounds like you have a fuel problem it would appear that somehow you're not getting enough fuel in the bowl consistently. I would try a alternative fuel source to the carb to make sure that it is not the tank or sediment bowl that are clogged up.
How much gas does it have? When they are low the fuel pressure drops. Sounds like you are getting slow fuel flow to the carburetor. Need to clean out the line and check for dirt in the float valve. Also drain the sediment bulb under the gas tank. You might need to clean the screen in the sediment bulb.
Those old gas tanks tend to get rusty on the inside and if yours is rusty, you will get a lot of sediment which will cause slow fuel flow to the carburetor. It will run until the gas in the carburetor bowl runs out and then won't start until you let it set a while. The fuel should flow continuously from both the sediment bulb and the carburetor when you open the petcock. You can catch the gas which comes out and put a coffee filter in your funnel when you pour it back into the tank. You will probably see small particles.
Did you make sure the fuel flows freely at the carburetor?
Put a bowl under the carb and open the drain. Check how much it flows during a minute.
One common problem is the lack of a air vent hole in the gas cap - that'll stop the flow after a while.
Ok I also did change the fuel filter and it was pretty dirty. As far as the fuel cap, should I try running with the cap off? I will try the coffee filter and see what comes out. Thank you guys for all the good info and I will report back on my findings.
Loose gas cap? Loose lines to the air box? Bad oxygen censor? What codes are showing up on the analyzer? I'm getting a headache!
Better than taking the gas line off is to open the drain valve on the carb and check the fuel flow out the drain.
This tests the whole fuel system including any crud that may be built up in the needle valve and seat.
BTW if you really have a fuel filter in the system (other than the sediment bulb), remove it, as it may be part of the problem.
Here's a rough guideline to flow. A 4 stroke engine should use about one gallon/hour per 20 HP (very roughly). Check the time to fill a pint or quart jar and convert to gph. If you get 2 gph or better, fuel flow is not your problem.
Ok I went under the car and noticed the fuel line has been replaced but not a very good job of it. Right under floor board panel the excess fuel line has been rolled up... could this stop fuel flow?
There should not be a replaceable fuel filter. Any inline fuel filter will create a restriction that can cause big trouble.
The fuel line needs to be steel or brass (not copper) and a single piece from the tank to the carburetor with no part of it nearer than two inches to the exhaust. The fuel line needs to go from the tank to the carburetor without having any spot lower than the carburetor.
Thanks for the input Royce.... again this is our first model t and forgive me for the dumb questions. I'm going to remove the inline filter and line tomorrow. Is there an actual fuel filter?
Ryan, welcome to the forum, and no, there is no such thing as a dumb question here as it relates to T's...No gas filters on T's, here is a link that shows the proper routing of the fuel line if you don't have any service manuals...Try to keep it as far away from the exhaust pipe while routing the line..good luck.
John thanks for the link that will definitely help!
The only filter used originally was in the sediment bulb located below the fuel tank. Hopefully, yours is still there. This thing has a shut off valve near its top then a chamber that fills with fuel. About 1/2 or 2/3 way to the top, there is a large screw-in plug that the fuel line attaches to. That part has a screen in it. There is also a small drain cock at the very bottom. The principle of operation is that anything heavier than the fuel, such as water or dirt/rust will settle out in the bottom of the sediment bulb, but the fuel can continue to flow since the outlet to the fuel line is well above the level of any accumulated water or sediment. Periodic draining of the sediment bulb through the drain cock at the bottom is necessary to keep the stuff from building up. Anything else that is not quite as heavy and might tend to travel along with the fuel should be caught by the screen and not allowed into the fuel line. Unfortunately, these screens can become plugged and many are torn or have even been removed by previous owners. The vendors sell replacements, but they are not easy to replace. They were originally crimped in, but most folks solder the replacements in place.
Welcome to the forum and to the hobby. It sounds like the advice above should help you isolate the problem and get it fixed. And unless the gas tank is really rusty on the inside, it shouldn’t take too long to correct the problem. Even with a rusty gas tank it can be corrected – but it takes a little longer.
You didn’t say if this was your first Model T or not, but based on your question and that it is your first posting it sounds like this probably is your first T. If that is the case in addition to sorting out what sounds most likely a fuel problem there are some recommendations I like to pass on to you as a new steward of a Model T. Hopefully they will help make your new car more enjoyable for you and others. For example if you are married and desire to stay married, don’t ask your wife to hand crank the car for you while you forget to retard the spark. I can still see the photo from the antique car magazine of the wife with a cast on her hand next to the T. Of course with a starter – that is not normally an issue.
I would encourage you to ask the previous owner if the Babbitt rear thrust bearings were replaced with bronze thrust bearings in the past. If he doesn’t know – I would highly recommend that you check and confirm what they are made out of. There are also some roller bearing thrust washer/bearings. I personally would recommend the bronze – but the main thing is to make sure they are not the original Babbitt thrust washers. When they fail – they tend to go quickly and you no longer have a transmission brake, or low or high or reverse gear. You are free wheeling because the pinion gear is no longer making proper contact with the ring (also called crown gear). Below are some additional safety items and links that are helpful to a new T owner. While they may be common knowledge to the T owner of 70 years ago, many folks today have not grown up around Ts and are not aware of many of them. Many of the items below are issues from a part being repaired and then installed incorrectly (such as the front spring perches – which can cause the T to be a wild ride and even turn over. )
There are some known safety items about the Model T that you should check out before you start driving it. (If you are driving slowly on a farm where it doesn’t matter if the brakes fail, the spokes fail, car turns over, etc. – then you can ignore them all). I would encourage you to review them so you learn about those safety issues second hand rather than by first hand experience. Getting an experienced Model T person to help you learn about your car can save you lots of frustration and possible expense. For example if you fail to retard the spark and you push down on the starting crank at the front of the car to start the car, you could easily break your arm. That is a known safety issue with Model Ts. And it isn’t dangerous as long as you understand what causes it [spark lever advanced [that is the left hand lever on a left hand drive car or the right hand lever on a right hand car] should be pushed up], commutator adjustment rod installed wrong or bent improperly so that even with the spark lever up, the spark is still too far advanced, shorted wire on the commutator, etc. . And if you use the electrical starter that your car may have – if the spark is advanced and the engine back fires – it can damage the starter and/or bendix drive. For additional details please see: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/50893/68644.html?1224126132
and there are other related threads.
Some other safety related items:
And be sure the car is in safe working order. An engine that burns oil is not a critical safety issue (at least not in my book) but the front end castor if it is set up negative can flip the car. Those and similar items are well documented "oops" for the T. But if you have never been around one -- they are probably new "data points" for you. Some of them are listed below – not to scare you but to let you learn from others rather than discovering all the lessons on your own.
Safety Glass is nice: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/50893/72116.html
Use safety wire and not lock washers or cotter pins on the two studs holding the wishbone to the underside of the engine. Why? Because even if the nuts have cotter pins there have been cases where the studs back out. That allows the wishbone to be loose and the steering can become useless.
Lots of safety items http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/50893/69429.html
Over center steering – shouldn’t happen on the later Ts (Ford added a stop inside the steering gear housing. The change was approved Oct 28, 1921 and would have taken a little while to be put into regular production. Ref: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/S-T.htm#sgc )– If the steering gear is original to the car – that can also be used to establish it was before or after that change. Note there would have also been a period of overlap when both designed were used as the old stock was used up. If someone replaced the steering gear housing or rebuilt it without the lock pin – or installed the wrong length drag link etc. the over center steering might happen:http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/80257/86345.html as well as: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/257047/300409.html
Types of safety wire: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/29/41859.html
Example of loss of brakes caused by drive shaft failure: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/29/47804.html
Top T tips – many of them are safety related also: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/80257/85208.html
Tour safety check list: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/29/44331.html
And if you have a gas hot water heater in the garage – be very very careful. The float in a Model T Carb will sometimes stick (or trash in the valve) and the carb will leak gasoline. Not too bad if there are no sparks. But several homes, garages and cars have been lost when a gas hot water heater was near by and someone started the dishwasher etc. that caused the hot water heater burner to turn on at the wrong time. Note gas fumes tend to be heavier than regular air …. so they tend to hug the floor. If you adjust your garage door to let the mice in and the air out – that is a temp work around. But replacing the gas fired hot water heater with an electric heater or having the gas one relocated away from the garage is the best thing. Note there are also gas/propane fired hot water heaters that are supposed to detect the presence of gas fumes and not light their burner. I’m old school – I would not want to trust the computer technology to work perfectly every time….
Even with a perfectly good and properly adjusted front steering system – if you back up quickly, the front wheels can go full left or full right and pull the steering wheel out of your hand – so remember to back up slowly. It is caused by the caster of the front wheels similar to the casters on the front of the shopping cart – designed to be stable in one direction but not so stable in the opposite direction. If someone rebuilt the front axle and it is was really difficult to keep the car going straight they may have inadvertently swapped the front spring perches. There is a left and a right spring perch that tilts the axle so the bottom of the axle is slightly ahead of the top of the axle (5 1/2 degrees positive caster – although there is some discussion that it is a little less but still positive for the balloon tires). If it has negative to neutral caster it can cause a wild ride and also could cause the car to flip even at a slow speed see:http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/80257/80333.html?1233523419 that shows the spring perch installed incorrectly and how the front axle looks then. Also see: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/29/40382.html Note even with the spring perch installed correctly a bent or shortened wishbone could cause neutral to negative caster.
Also the rear axle thrust bearings if they are babbitt (originally bronze in the 1909-1915 cars and then switched to babbitt on the cars during 1915 ref: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/P-R.htm#rax3 see part number 2528 ) can fail with minimal warning leaving the driver without the normal transmission brake (the main regular brake on a stock Model T). See the discussion at:http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/50893/78685.html?1233159025 If you loose the brakes and you are on a flat area with minimal traffic – it is not nearly as bad as loosing them while going down hill towards a busy intersection. See the rear axle babbitt discussion part way down in the following thread: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/257047/277093.html?1332591272
Wood spokes work fine – but they need to fit tightly, not be split or wood rotted, made of quality wood (pine is not a good choice and yes some folks have offered pine spokes for sale) and the bolts etc. need to be tight without too much wobble in the wheel. see:http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/179374/248594.html?1322326314
Again a T is a faithful servant but it has some known issues that the driver needs to be aware of and to take proper precautions about.
I would also encourage you to check out the local Model T Ford club(s) near you. If there is not a club near by, there may be some members or other Model T owners near you. See:http://www.mtfca.com/clubpages/chapters.htm and http://www.modelt.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5&Itemid=15 They can be a real source of encouragement and help you as you learn to maintain the car.
Steve Jelf has an excellent set of books he recommends for new owners on his web site at: http://dauntlessgeezer.com/ with the T section at: http://dauntlessgeezer.com/DG52.html and the recommended books listed at: http://dauntlessgeezer.com/DG80.html
Note there are also free “how to books” on the internet such – see: http://books.google.com/books?id=uKVAAQAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=editions:xR 56bbT2W68C&hl=en&sa=X&ei=tdpWVMi4PMOjgwSAhoC4Ag&ved=0CBcQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=fa lse and there are others – on the net. And the Ford Service is online at: http://mtfci2002.readyhosting.com/manuals/Model_T_Service_Manual/mtsm.html and does include the starter equipped cars and even the 1926 -27 “Improved car” features. The owners/instruction manuals are at:http://www.mtfca.com/books/bookmenu.htm and the 1921 would work great for your 1923 car. Also the Ford Instruction Course on that same page the link is: http://www.mtfca.com/books/Course.htm And to help you with parts identification etc. I like Lang’s Old Car Parts on line catalog (you can also down load it as a PDF) available from: https://www.modeltford.com/download.aspx 16 mb so on a slow connection start the down load when you are going to do something else. Many of the photos are in color. Many but not all of the part numbers are the same as those used by Ford. They also have some helpful tips in the catalog. They are also great folks to deal with.
Also if you may want to review Milt Webb’s excellent “How to remove a T from mothballs” see the posting at: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/29/8538.html and scroll down to Tom Mullin’s posting the third posting from the top. While it was written for a T that had been stored for a long time – running the checklist on any T can help you know what to look for.
Also Milt has a great article about how slow cranking may be caused by poor 6volt electrical maintenance see Milt’s Six-Volt Battery Performance http://milttheinstructor.com/Six-Volt_Battery_Performance.pdf
Have lots of fun with your new Ford and welcome to the forum.
Hap l9l5 cut off
Most fuel filters are designed for engines with fuel pumps and normally restrict a gravity flow fuel supply.
The popping noise is your first clue that your mixture is too lean and that is probably caused by a lack of fuel available in the carb bowl which is likely caused by your fuel line filter restriction.
Any extra length in the fuel line should also be removed, along with the fuel filter.
A much better solution to a dirty gas tank is removing and cleaning the tank.
I am always impressed with Hap's posts to new people.
He does a great job of outlining the important things people need to know about these great vehicles.
Many forums have stickeys that stay at the top of the list.
It would be great if that could be done with one of Hap's posts.
do you have a vented fuel cap? Is the vent free of crud?
I took the fuel cap off and I see a small hole that I can see right thru. It looks like the sediment valve is gone all that is there is a shut off valve. Here another dumb question but pretty sure I know the answer to... from the fuel tank does the liNE go under or over the exhaust when mounting line to frame?
This thread may prove helpful:
Thank you Mark! Exactly how I had it layed out. Now since I removed the inline fuel filter and there is no sediment valve.. what would u guys recommend? Just worried about crap getting into carb..
You say the excess fuel line is rolled up. That might be the cause of the problem. Gas is heavier than air and so if there is air in the line, it will go to the highest point in the line and the pressure of the fuel will compress the air but not allow fuel to flow to the carburetor. This is called a "vapor lock" This can happen with air in the line or with vaporized fuel in the line. The line should cross the exhaust pipe perpendicular to the exhaust pipe and then run along the frame channel toward the carburetor. It is OK to have part of the line lower than the carburetor so that gas can travel uphill toward the carburetor or uphill toward the tank from the low point, but there should not be a high place in the line between the tank and carburetor. A fuel filter will also clog the line as posted above. Only the sediment bulb should be in the line unless you have a fuel pump. Ford did not use a fuel pump and the installation of one will fix some problems but cause others. Unless you have a speedster the pump in not necessary. A pump would help when going up steep hills, but the carburetor was not designed for the constant pressure and it could cause leaks.
Ultimately, you should put a proper sediment bulb in place. As to crap getting into the carburetor, there shouldn't be any crap. Either the gas tank needs to be flushed or, if it's got a lot of rust going on inside, it needs to be replaced. To put a whole bunch of time into a crumby tank is a waste, when new tanks are available.
This is the sediment bulb that's supposed to be on the bottom of your tank. You can buy a new one for $65 plus shipping. The petcock that attaches to the bottom is another $9.50. If you're cheap like me, you buy the whole thing used at an auction or swap meet or online. The one I bought at an auction cost me $5. I'd rather spend the big dough on stuff you don't buy used, like exhaust or head gaskets, engine parts, etc.
Here's how I routed my new fuel line, much like Paul O'Neal's, but steel. The closest it comes to the exhaust pipe at any point is 2½" under the pipe to avoid rising heat.
Ok good news is its ran for about 10min.. that's longer then usual. As soon as I put a load on it, it's starts the popping and dies out again... the radiator did start over flowing thru the over flow tube.. I'm lost now.....
1. The radiator was too full.
2. the spark was too retarded.