So, Im lost as to what to do next and was hoping for some advice....
This is the problem: 1925 Touring starts, will run for about 45 sec. - 1min. then gradually sputter and die. I can restart it again, usually after giving it two or three chokes. When it is running, I cannot really rev the engine, even if I open the throttle all the way. The smoke that comes out of the exhaust is unremarkable, and not unusually dark.
Last time the car ran was a decade ago. I've been following along the "Removing a T From Mothballs" pamphlet.
From what I've read on previous posts, this can be either a fuel or electrical problem. I trouble-shot both the fuel and electric systems, but still no luck. This is what I did.
I have a Holly NH and a modern distributor.
I disconnected the fuel line at the carb, and gas pours out. I cleaned the carb, drilling out (and replacing) the brass plugs. I cleaned the passages with brass wound guitar string and blew them out with compressed air. The bass float has no leaks, and is set at about 15/64'' as per the MTFCA carb book. I have a Viton tip needle valve that moves freely in its seat. I set the spray needle about 7/8's to 1 full turn counter-clockwise from just about where I feel the jet.
I cleaned the sediment bulb on the fuel tank and replaced the filter screen. But, as I mentioned, gas pours from the fuel line when disconnected from the carb. I also checked the small opening in the fuel cap, and its open and clean.
All the valves/cylinders move appropriately, I watched them all cycle a few times through the spark plug openings.
I'm using brand new Champion 25 plugs, and cleaned some carbon debris off the distributor contact points. I checked each plug by resting a wood handle screwdriver on the engine head, and I see a good spark at each plug.
My question is: What should I do next with a car that runs for about 45 secs, then dies?
It sounds like fuel starvation, but how, or where?
Could this be an intake leak? If so, how should I check?
If its not a fuel problem--where to next?
Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated!
Davey, try opening the needle another half turn beyond where you have it set now, once it starts to run adjust in both directions until you find the "sweet spot".
This is meant to be a funny.
Change the color.
A red T is a problem.
They want to be Black!
Thanks, Mike. I'll play around with it today.
Fred--look at this photo, and tell me she's not a handsome old girl in red....
Sure she's handsome
If you put a bucket under the carb and open the drain under the float bowl - will it keep on flowing good for a couple of minutes?
The unability to rev while it's running is odd, if you open up the spray needle to 1-1/4 turns open, does it change?
Did you check if the timing is about right? (From just after up to 15 degrees after TDC when the spark lever is fully up)
I check intake leaks with some spray, WD40 will probably work if you spray it around where the intake manifold seals to the engine, but the symptoms would have been bad idle and better running at higher revs had it been the main problem?
My touring with a dizzy has the NH set about 1 1/4 turns out from a gentle seating of the needle all the way in. When starting the needle is turned out 1/2 turn more. the throttle is set about three OC As soon as it starts the spark is advanced a few notches the choke is only quickly popped out and in for starting, usually about one or two turns of the engine. After a minuet or so the engine will run rich so the 1/2 turn out for starting is slowly turned back to the running position or 1 1/4 turns out from a genital seating.
My dizzy turns counter clock wise. Recently replaced the rotor that lost continuity from the center to the end. With an over and under the car can be started with out getting into it and usually is.
WD works I personally like a small propane torch not lit passing over the area checked. If there is a leak the engine will speed up at that point.
Yep Just as I thought!
An old gal in a red dress is a floozy.
But an old gal in a black dress could be a black widow!
Either way you need to watch out!
PS - What Paul said.. Play with needle valve on the carb.
It is different for every carb but 1 to 2 turns is usually right.
Once I get the motor running I richen it up until it begins to run rough and then lean it out a bit.
I have 3 T's and if I have a problem with one, I try the carburetor from the other one which runs good. I can also switch coils and spark plugs and usually can find the problem.
Since you have good fuel flow at the carburetor, the next thing to check would be adjustment of the needle valve as Paul says.
However with a distributor, you will need to check for a strong spark by taking out the center wire from the distributor cap and holding it about 1/4 inch from the head or other grounded part of the car. Do this while the ignition switch is on and someone turns the starter. You should have a strong spark if the points, condensor and coil are in good condition. If not a good spark, new points and condensor with the proper gap, usually about 18 thousandths. Next put the wire back and take the spark plugs out and lay on the top of the head. with the spark lever up turn the engine slowly and the spark should come soon after the piston passes top dead center. The spark should be in this order. 1,2,4,3,1,2,4,3 and on.
If all the above is true, you should have good spark to every cylinder.
Another thing which could be causing the problem would be a stuck valve or valves. You can check for that by doing a compression check. It should be about 45 to 50 PSI on all cylinders. If one or more is much lower than the others it is usually caused by a stuck or burnt valve. A few drops of oil in each cylinder. If after you put in the oil the compression increases, it is usually bad rings causing low compression.
Since the engine starts up and runs for a short time after choking, I would suspect the problem is caused by insufficient fuel and not a spark problem.
Good luck. If you lived closer to San Diego, I would come out and help you.
I was going to post what Fred posted. We T folks must have a perverted sense of humor!! I actually thought of it when I read the thread title--"Paint it proper black & it will run fine!"
Davey, hope you figure it out, sounds like you are being thorough in your diagnosis.
I just thought of one "out of the blue" possibility; a coil that fails when it has warmed up. It happened to me on a Model A once years ago. Also condensor can cause this sort of problem--works fine "bench testing" but not under load.
No one picked up on Paul's "genital seating". I never considered that when fine tuning our T's
In reply to David Dewey: The coil is a possibility, however it would not start right up again after a few chokes. It would need more time to cool off. I once had a De Soto with that problem. It would go a few blocks and then stop. After about 15 minutes it would start and run again a few blocks. I never figured out what was wrong with it and since the body and front axle was bent all up, I junked the car. I had a Plymouth which ran fine, so I kept some of the De Soto parts which I thought would fit on the Plymouth. One day I broke off the stud from the coil for the low voltage connection. I replaced the coil with the one off the De Soto. I went a few blocks and the Plymouth quit!
Thank you all for your suggestions.
Norm, I wish I had three T's to play with.
I started simple, and fiddled with the needle all day. Two things happened.
First, I found the sweet spot at about 2.5 turns out to start, than a slow calibration in. I'm learning the Holley is very simple, but very precise.
But here's the second thing--I have to keep the spark lever all the way down--at full advance. So the only way I found that sweet spot is at full advance. If I try to put the spark at one half, or one third, it dies out again.
What does this mean?
I'm new to the T, but I assume this is not normal--Maybe I just have to continue to fine tune, but does the fact that I can only keep the engine going at full spark advance suggestive of another problem?
I have a modern distributor--does it need to be recalibrated?
Thanks again for all your suggestions, and help.
As a new T owner, its very helpful to come here and learn from others experience.
Sorry I can't help with a distributor.
I use coils and a standard timer.
As you say the NH carb is simple. Once you find the settings it works.
Sounds like it is timed too retarded. Try adjusting the distributor, but be sure is is retarded enough with the spark lever all the way up so that the engine won't kick when starting. It could also be caused by slack in the linkage between spark lever and distributor.
Carburetor needle adjustments vary with the carburetor. It is possible that yours is worn and needs to be replaced. The needle should have a long taper. If there is a groove worn in it, it should be replaced. If you find a "sweet spot" run it as it is. You might also find that the needle needs adjustment again after the engine warms up.
If you check the rotation of the dizzy I would all most bet its clockwise. The T I run is counter clockwise, the advance fly weights do not work, the column lever must be all the way up for starting. The clockwise drive I had bought on a T years past now sold to my brother had a bell crank on the control rod from the column reversing the direction the dizzy is turned for advance. The advantage of that distributor is the fly weights work without using the lever on the column. It will advance by its self. Some one for looks probably removed the bell crank and just pulled the lever all the way down on the car interior for starting and running.
Thank you for the suggestions Norm and Paul.
Ill work on the car next week, and post an update--may help someone else with a similar problem.
Sounds like you may be on the way, but my first thoughts were to check fuel flow from the carb drain, not just from the fuel line at the carb.
Possibly the strainer in your sediment bulb is plugged up?