I fired up the Utility wagon today for the first time in about 2 weeks. It started right away as always, ran for about 3 minutes then sputtered and died. Now when I try to start with the starter it back fires but won't start.It's been cold at night and the car has been parked in the breezeway and not in the garage so maybe it's just throwing a tantrum. Can anybody help?
Did you turn on the gas?
Gas is on, tank about 1/2 full. Harv.
Back firing sounds like the timing has slipped for some reason. Fiber timing gear stripped out maybe?
Reason I asked that, is because I've tried to start mine and forgot to turn on the gas.....and got the same result you did - ran until the carb bowl emptied, then backfired and died.
I still think it is not getting gas...maybe float stuck? Try tapping the carb bowl with the handle end of a screwdriver. If still no start, open carb drain, and assure yourself ample gas is flowing.
If still no start, then it must be electric. (air, fuel and fire needed to run).
Maybe put a blanket over the hood tonight to sooth it, and she may start right up in the morning - they can be stubborn sometimes, can't they?
Good Luck !
Royce, It didn't backfire when it quit running it just sputtered then died, could that still be timing? Harv.
Clogged screen in shutoff or clogged fuel filter? Sounds like fuel starvation.
Not timing (IMHO). First, T's don't have fiber gears. My 1929 Buick had a fiber gear. When it failed it didn't skip a tooth it sheared off all the teeth and the car was totally dead, no popping. A T can't "skip a tooth on a metal gear.
Problem is spark, compression or fuel. Check the battery, coils, timer... everyting electrical.
Check for compression (pull on the crank and feel it).
Then go find your fuel starvation problem... did a helper turn the mixture closed?
Just remember that 90% of you fuel problems are electrical... or was that 90% of the electrical problems are compression... Oh, heck, I don't remember!
One more thought; cold weather, half empty tank... condensation in tank? Drain off a bit of fuel and see how much water is in the bottom!
Technically water contamination in the fuel is also a fuel starvation issue.
Thanks all, I have been working all morning to see if I could isolate the problem. I removed the timer and cleaned, it's a new Anco 6 months old. I checked the coils and all seem buzzing ok, new from Ron Patterson 6 months old. I drained the carb bowl and the gas that came out seemed dirty. I then drained the sediment bowl and that gas looked clear and clean. The carburetor concerns me. It is the one that was on the chassis when I purchased it. Could that be the problem that would cause it to backfire whenever the starter rotates the engine? Harv.
I would start by checking the compression and timing. Google "mtfca timing".
How far do you open the spray needle from being closed? (once you get the spray needle set for running it generally only needs to be opened a bit more for running, 1/4 turn or so for starting)
Harvey, an air leak can do this. The carb can be leaking or, more likely, the intake manifold. You may want to check for air leaks around the intake manifold to block ports. New gaskets can solve it if that is the problem. If you get it running then spray some aerosol (oil, WD-40 or something else... even starter fluid) you can find the leak.
Air leaking will lean the mixture and cause backfiring just like a fuel blockage will lean the mixture.
Another source of air leakage can be worn throttle or choke shafts.
Just something else to check.
Backfire...Could a wire at the timer be going to ground??
Were you running on magneto or battery? If on magneto, it could cut out suddenly if some dirt was making a bad contact, the magnets moved too far from the ring due to wear on the thrust surface of the 3rd main or if something inside the crankcase damaged the magneto coils. In this case it would still run on battery, but not on magneto.
Since it started (presumably on battery) and then you switched to magneto it should still run on battery. The coils should buzz when you crank over the engine when you are switched to battery.
If it buzzes, go on to the next.
It was running for a few minutes, and then stopped, so it is quite unlikely the compression would drop that suddenly unless a tooth slipped on the timing gear. You can check for this by pulling off the oil filler cap and cranking over the engine while looking at the timing gear with a flashlight. The camshaft gear should turn completely around with two turns of the crankshaft. If all the teeth are there and look good, it is very unlikely the timing gear has slipped or has stopped turning the camshaft.
I think the fuel system is where you should investigate. It is quite possible that some dirt in the line could be in either the inlet needle of the carburetor, or in the spray jet. Try opening the valve at the bottom of the carburetor and seeing how long the fuel will run. If you get more than a cup of gas, the fuel is getting to the carburetor. If you are getting clean fuel try opening the needle valve about 1/4 turn and choking. It should start right up and run. If not, you should get some gas on the ground under the choke of the carburetor.
Anyway, the most common reason for running a few minutes and then stopping with a backfire is a carburetor problem. Next would be an ignition problem. Your picture shows a 26-27 coil box under the hood. With the ignition switch turned to battery, you should get 6 volts or 12 volts depending on the battery at the connection at the bottom of the coil box. All connections between the battery and the ignition switch and from the switch to the coil box should be tight and good. Sometimes the switch itself can have an internal loose connection and will give you intermittent power. You can check for this by leaving the ignition switch off (remove the key to be sure it is off). Take a jumper wire from the hot wire, usually a yellow wire at the terminal block to the bottom of the coil box. The coils should buzz and the engine should start and continue to run. When you get ready to stop the engine, remove the wire from the yellow and the bottom of the coil box.
I agree with all of your assessments that my problem is fuel. I have suspected for quite a while that the carburetor needs a rebuild. It's snowing here this morning so no work on the problem T at least until tomorrow. Thanks to all for your input and Norman thanks for the step by step rundown of problem solving. As I stated the T is in the breezeway since I purchased a disassembled Model A that I am in the process of putting back together as a daily driver. Very Sad story behind the A, but then that's another story. Harv.
Any update on the starting problem? Wondering what fixed it - if indeed, it is fixed.
Dave, I gave up on the T for now. My plan is to have the Model A running early next week and I'll move it out of the garage and tow the T back into the garage. After spending 25 years in Las Vegas, the cold just does me in. I need to work in the warm garage. Thanks for the concern and I'm sure you will be hearing from me next week. Harv.
I know the "cold" feeling.
Warm is NICE !!
Good Luck on both of them.
I mentioned the fiber timing gear because the same exact thing happened to my '15 T when the fiber timing gear stripped out.
In the Chaffins catalog they are listed as follows:
3047B Large Timing Gear, Economy Fiber Price $32.95
I've been down that road too. I'd never have another one.
Dave, Do you have a Grouse Jet in the carb.? That might be your problem.
One of my T's that's usually very dependable wouldn't start. Spark plugs getting plenty of spark, but were dry. Removed the gas line from the carb. & had plenty of gas flow. Opened the carb. bowl drain and after the bowl drained, nothing more came. Disassembled the carb. and there was a Grouse Jet, stuck closed. That happened to me once before too..
I hate Grouse Jets!!!!!