Model T engine dies while driving

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2016: Model T engine dies while driving
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Monthey on Sunday, February 07, 2016 - 08:38 pm:

I just bought my first model t. It's a 1918 touring. The motor dates to July 1918. I'm still learning What all I need to know.

My problem is this
The motor will idle for as long as you let it with no problems, however when driving the car It will sputter and die within a few minutes. When it dies I can immediately start it back up with no trouble but if you begin to move it will die again within a few minutes.

I love this site for all its helpful advice so to save time and learn I know this is the best place to ask.

Any ideas on where I should start.

And fyi I've used previous advice from this site and made sure the gas cap hole wasn't clogged


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By john kuehn on Sunday, February 07, 2016 - 08:50 pm:

Is there a restriction in the gas tank or line? Sounds like its starving for more gas. What about the bulb under the gas tank. The screen could be restricted just enough to restrict a good flow of gas.
Remove the gas line where it connects
to the bulb under the tank and see what the stream looks like.

Maybe to low in gas? T's don't have fuel pumps. The more gas you have in the tank the more gas pressure you will have. Hope this helps.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Scott Lay,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Lancaster Ca. on Sunday, February 07, 2016 - 08:51 pm:

Sounds like a fuel problem. Either the cab is only getting enough fuel to run slow or the carb may be getting plenty of fuel but the float level may be too low. Just a guess without having the car right in front of me.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Corey Walker, Brownsboro TX on Sunday, February 07, 2016 - 08:57 pm:

I say fuel problem too. I just went through this. Would idle fine, might drive 10 feet, maybe half a mile the it would die. Crank it up then half the time before I could run jump in it would die. Tank was dirty from sitting.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Thomas Mullin on Sunday, February 07, 2016 - 09:24 pm:

Had similar symptoms on my car and discovered it was a problem with the float hinge in the carburetor. On of the ears holding it to the carb body had fatigued and broken. Simple fix with parts now available from the vendors.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Monthey on Sunday, February 07, 2016 - 09:40 pm:

Thanks everyone for the fast response. It gives me a few places to start at. I have looked at the screen and its clear. So carburetor is my first thought. I'll keep y'all posted.

Thanks so much


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Dallas TX on Sunday, February 07, 2016 - 09:50 pm:

Make sure that there is three or more gallons in the tank. I consider three gallons =empty.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Les Gitts - Ferndale, WA on Sunday, February 07, 2016 - 11:12 pm:

I had a 15 touring which would run fine, then die for no reason. It would start up and run fine, but after 10-15 min, would die again. I finally found the problem. Inside the fuel tank, a piece of solder had broken off and would intermittently float over the hole, shutting off the fuel supply. When I was braking the car to stop, the solder would float around again, thus re-opening up the fuel supply,allowing the car to start again. That was a hard problem to catch


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Davey Jules on Monday, February 08, 2016 - 12:09 am:

David,

If you haven't already checked, look at the carb's spray needle and lock nut. Make sure the needle isn't hitting a false bottom. The spray needle should be set before the lock nut is tightened. I had this problem without realizing it, and once I fixed it, I had a completely different car.

Just checking, as you said you're new to T's--are you sure youre in low gear when you start to drive?

Davey


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Monday, February 08, 2016 - 12:18 am:

I agree that those sound like symptoms of fuel starvation. All the suggestions above are valid. I had the same problem last summer. In my case the problem was a dirty tank. Some of the dirt was fine enough to get through the screens and what wasn't fine enough would clog them up. Instead of trying to clean the old tank I got a new one because one of the baffles had broken loose. Since then fuel starvation hasn't been a problem.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Evan in Paso Robles on Monday, February 08, 2016 - 01:57 am:

Also don't forget to check the vent hole in the gas tank cap. Make sure that it is open, otherwise the tank will negatively pressurize and possibly stop the fuel flow.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By john kuehn on Monday, February 08, 2016 - 09:49 am:

David you mentioned you just bought the 1918 Touring. If it still has the original tank it could be that its never been off the car. After nearly a century the tanks get dirty, and eventually do rust.
If you find your problem It might be a good idea anyway to remove the tank and give it a good cleaning. You might be surprised how much crud you might find.
Good luck.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Henry Petrino in Modesto, CA on Monday, February 08, 2016 - 09:58 am:

David,

I agree with the above advice. This is your first T, but you don't say if you're new to working on cars in general. The great thing about a T is its simplicity. Whether the problem is I the tank, bulb screen, fuel line or carburetor it's a simple thing to work on. Just take your time, remember it's a gravity feed system, and go for it. As long as you don't use a big hammer you pretty much won't hurt anything. When not sure what's next, come here and ask.

Good luck!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James A. Golden on Monday, February 08, 2016 - 08:44 pm:

Is there any frost in the center area of the carb when it quits?

My first T did that, often stopping with a backfire.

It took me several years to learn the importance of that hot air pipe that directs warm exhaust manifold air into the car to keep it from frosting up.

It can frost up on a 50 or 60 degree moist day.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Tomaso - Longbranch,WA on Monday, February 08, 2016 - 10:15 pm:

Does the choke lever has a spring ? I diagnosed a T once that exhibited symptoms similar to yours - as you increased the throttle, the vacuum would pull the choke lever closed thus flooding the engine causing it to die.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By G.R.Cheshire on Tuesday, February 09, 2016 - 01:11 pm:

David what type of carburetor do you have installed on your "T". if it is a kingston , Holley, or one of the period carburetor's you may have some trash somewhere to be removed. If however you have an aftermarket setup that looks something like this

they don't work well without a fuel pump. My 27 roadster was doing the same thing I took it off and went with a Kingston L-4 but there are a lot of period carburetor's that work very well. :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Monthey on Tuesday, February 09, 2016 - 07:40 pm:

I'm new to the t world but not to mechanics. Now I'll be the first to admit I'm no expert. That's why I love this forum because just in the last few weeks I've gotten so much good advice and already leaned allot.

Henry I did not think about the spring. I checked and the original spring was broken and someone just clipped a spring to it and ran it to the frame. I guess it would be better than none at all but still not as it was designed.

I had a member message me and said he had a rebuilt nh at what seems like a good price so I think I'm going that route. This one is just flat wore out. And while waiting for that I'm going to take the advice and clean the tank out real well. I do believe It's the original tank and probably is pretty dirty.

Thanks for all the great advice guys


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Norman T. Kling on Wednesday, February 10, 2016 - 12:15 pm:

I agree it is fuel starvation. Can be caused by the gas cap not having a vent hole. As the gas flows to the carburetor, it must draw in air through the vent hole or it will cause a vacuum.

Another cause is a grose jet. That is the fuel intake valve which is opened or closed by the carburetor float. The grose jet is a ball bearing type valve. The original type is a tapered needle valve. The needle valve works better.

Third would be clogged fuel line or sediment bulb. Some people have installed modern fuel filters in the line. Those filters tend to block the flow. They work with a fuel pump, but not very well with gravity flow.

Most importantly would be fuel level in the tank. If you live in a hilly area, the fuel won't flow when you go uphill. You can climb about a 10% grade with a full tank, but it won't go up a very steep grade with a low tank. You need at least half a tank.

The reason I put the most important reason last is because, if it is something else causing the problem, you might need to drain the tank to fix it, so check everything else first before you fill the tank.
Norm


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Charlie B actually in Toms River N.J. on Wednesday, February 10, 2016 - 12:20 pm:

Not sure about the cap/vent business. Don't think it would re-start immediately as Dave stated in his post. In fact that whole immediate re-start business has me wondering. Sounds like a fuel issue though. Only checking will tell.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By kep on Wednesday, February 10, 2016 - 12:32 pm:

So i was wondering if this effect could be caused by a new needle valve in a carb' having too small a hole to flow through. Reason i ask is because mine does this sometimes and all i did was replace the leaky needle valve.


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