Major starting problem

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2016: Major starting problem
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Harvey Cash - Winnemucca Nevada on Sunday, February 14, 2016 - 01:56 pm:

I am running out of ideas. Last year the 25 T ran beautifully all year long and visited 5 car shows. In December I started it and she ran for about 3 minutes and died and I haven't been able to get it started since. I had planned to do some modifications to the body and replace the carburetor and light wiring harness and rebuild the ignition switch. I have just finished doing all the above as well as re timing. I have power to coils and good spark, good gas flow,it turns over fine but just won't fire up. Acts like it's not even trying. I even tried a little starting fluid but still no luck. In December I started a thread and tried fixes from all who responded, I even called Ron Patterson ( what a great guy to help) but no luck. I hope that I'm just missing something minor but I'll do whatever it takes to fix the problem. All help will be greatly appreciated before I loose what little mind I have left . Harv.troubletrouble


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Strange - Hillsboro, MO on Sunday, February 14, 2016 - 02:16 pm:

When you say "acts like it isn't even trying", do you mean that you don't even get any pops?

If you have good spark you should at least get some pops, even if you have to remove the spark plugs, squirt a little gas into each cylinder, then re-install the plugs.

Are you sure that the valvetrain is working properly? When turned over with the starter, does the engine turn evenly, or does it suddenly speed up on one or more cylinders as if those cylinders have no compression?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Strange - Hillsboro, MO on Sunday, February 14, 2016 - 02:19 pm:

Here is a link to Harvey's earlier thread:

http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/506218/584943.html?1447376804


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Wrenn-Monroeville OH on Sunday, February 14, 2016 - 02:20 pm:

For starters get rid of those Autolite F11's and at the very least put in Champion 25's but preferrably X's. Check to make sure all your contact points are super clean. You may be getting spark, but maybe not strong enough spark. Other than that, those who have more knowledge than me will have to take it from here. You said you re-timed it, but what kind of TIMER do you have? Who knows, maybe it's not quite up to snuff. I'm a huge proponent of the TW timer.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Strange - Hillsboro, MO on Sunday, February 14, 2016 - 02:23 pm:

One more thought - I recently read an article in an older issue of the HCCA Gazette about another old car owner that had a similar problem. He and his friends tried everything, nothing worked until somebody told him to disconnect the exhaust system from the manifold, at which point the car fired right up. Turned out his muffler was completely plugged with carbon.

Maybe some critter crawled up the tailpipe and made a nest?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Eckensviller - Thunder Bay, ON on Sunday, February 14, 2016 - 03:10 pm:

Fuel is on, right?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Sunday, February 14, 2016 - 03:15 pm:

Did you look at the timing gear?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By john kuehn on Sunday, February 14, 2016 - 03:47 pm:

You mentioned you had good gas flow. If it does and after you choke it does it even smell like its flooded?
If its getting gas, have you removed a plug or two to see if the plugs are wet?

If the car is getting gas and at least firing the plugs should be wet with fuel and smell like its flooded.

As for plugs if your car is getting fire to the plugs it should at least start whether your using new Champion x's or used 2.00 Motorcraft or Autolites you get at swap meets.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Gregush Portland Oregon on Sunday, February 14, 2016 - 03:51 pm:

Have you checked the compression with a REAL compression checker?
Have you found TDC on No 1 and checked that it and the rest of the plugs are firing in the right order. Could be as simple as the timer is wired wrong. The timer harness should be on the passenger side of the water neck. :-)
Have you tried opening the needle valve more?
Are you priming it by closing the choke for a couple of revolutions?

(Message edited by redmodelt on February 14, 2016)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Floyd Voie - Chehalis, Washington on Sunday, February 14, 2016 - 05:45 pm:

Harvey,
If after you've done everything suggested above and if it still won't start you might try a squirt of oil in each cylinder........
Good luck


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By rick howerton on Sunday, February 14, 2016 - 07:20 pm:

Sounds like water in the fuel, have you checked that?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Fred Dimock, Newfields NH, USA on Sunday, February 14, 2016 - 07:27 pm:

LOL. Don't be confused by all the what ifs

Start with the basics. Fuel, and spark at the right time.
Then look further.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Norman T. Kling on Sunday, February 14, 2016 - 07:47 pm:

That is a lot to check. I would suggest that you do a lot of thinking before tinkering.
1. What have you done to the car since the last time it was running? If you did any work on it, that is where I would check first.
2. How much gas is in the tank, and how old is the gas? There should be at least half a tank The new gas can get thick like varnish and clog things up after a few months. You might have good flow at the carburetor but the jets inside could be plugged up. Since you had planned to replace the carburetor, maybe that is where you should start. Usually when they start up and run for a few minutes and then quit, it is a fuel shortage.
3. If that doesn't fix the problem next I would check the compression. You should have even compression on all cylinders. and about 45-50 psi. Could be a little lower at higher altitude.

If you have one or more with low compression, it could be sticking valves. It is quite common when an engine has been parked for a long period of time for condensation or a slight coolant leak to get into the valve guides and rust the valves in place. Even carbon can cause them to stick. Any valves which might be open at the time, will stay open as the engine turns over.

Anyway, Ignition could be a problem, but since it ran before and ran for a few minutes it could very well be something else.

At your location, I don't know what the temperature is at this time of year, but if it is cold, that could also lead to the problem. You need to open the needle valve about 1/2 turn when first starting the cold engine and then when it starts to run rough, adjust the valve to the place where it runs smoothest.

Another thing which could lead to the problem with an engine which has been setting a long time would be oil drain from the rings. Try putting about a teaspoon of oil in each spark plug hole and turning the engine over a few times to oil up the rings before starting.

If all the above doesn't help try pulling the car with another vehicle and a long rope with the ignition and gas on in high gear. If it's going to start, it will.

Good luck,
Norm


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Harvey Cash - Winnemucca Nevada on Sunday, February 14, 2016 - 07:58 pm:

Thanks all for the wealth of information, In my earlier post I stated that the engine would back fire when turning over now however it just cranks. My neighbor took a nasty fall in her house around noon so I had to stop working to get the ambulance over and assist her very frail husband. I intend to start at the top of the suggestions tomorrow morning and hopefully one will solve the problem. I have not looked at the timing gear or checked compression, that will be another tomorrow job. Also the timer is a new Anco. I'll post again tomorrow. Harv.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ted Dumas on Sunday, February 14, 2016 - 08:07 pm:

I wonder if you mis-wired the timer. Does the number 1 spark plug get fire when you pull up onthe number one compression stroke? If you have turned the engine over multiple times without starting your spark plugs should look wet from being flooded.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Fred Dimock, Newfields NH, USA on Monday, February 15, 2016 - 09:14 am:

LOL. Don't be confused by all the what ifs

Start with the basics. Fuel, and spark at the right time.
Then look further.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Charlie B actually in Toms River N.J. on Monday, February 15, 2016 - 09:34 am:

Compression is a must but: "Ran when parked" so maybe it's OK. I'll tell you my no-start: the plugs were so sooted up it would not fire. Tried everything I could think of. Realised what happened when I pulled the plugs for a comp. test. Poor carb needle adjustment. I know a lot more now.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John C Codman on Monday, February 15, 2016 - 09:48 am:

I agree with Fred. If the engine has compression, fuel, air, and spark at the correct time it will run.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By john kuehn on Monday, February 15, 2016 - 09:52 am:

On we go. You mentioned you were going to replace the carburetor in you first post. If it was running good why did you want to replace it.

I'm not trying to be a smart guy but if you mentioned that there must of been some issue or reason to do it. Hope this helps.

When my T's sit for a long while I either have to
choke them, or turn the carb adjustment about 1/2 to 3/4 turn for more gas and then they will start. I even had to tap on the carb once and it started.

Got to be something simple. Good luck


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By George Mills_Cherry Hill NJ on Monday, February 15, 2016 - 10:14 am:

Since it used to start...and then it started with a backfire...and now it won't cough at all...to me the prime suspect would be intake manifold gaskets sucking air. Had something similar when I did the hogshead off band change on what was a great running '15...fuel/ignition/timing said it could be nothing else. Changed them out (I always use new copper crush rings) and it fired right up.

Another thought if all else fails...did you have the timer roller off for any of this?

Some of the later camshafts were drilled all the way through so it is easy to get it 180 degrees out as you never see the second hole because you don't normally expect it to be there.

I lost nearly a whole day one time when everything else was thought to be right, especially intake manifold gaskets...and you finally determine that #1 is NOT firing where you expect it to but firing on the other stroke.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry VanOoteghem - SE Michigan on Monday, February 15, 2016 - 11:05 am:

Guys,

The last time he had it running it ran for "about 3 minutes and died". So, it's not like he had anything installed wrong or the plugs weren't your favorite brand or things were miss-wired, etc. It ran... then it didn't. Something broke. I like the thoughts about a broken timing gear or something messing up with the timer rotor. Looks like an Anderson timer. There was a generation of those with inadequate welds as part of the rotor/flapper assembly that allowed them to fall apart. Also, some issues with springs falling out of place I believe.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Dufault on Monday, February 15, 2016 - 11:15 am:



(Message edited by adave on February 15, 2016)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Dallas TX on Monday, February 15, 2016 - 11:32 am:

Maybe a fiber timing gear stripped.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Gregush Portland Oregon on Monday, February 15, 2016 - 12:11 pm:

From his 7:58PM post; In my earlier post I stated that the engine would back fire when turning over now however it just cranks.

If the it ran before and if the gear is not stripped and if the timing is correct in addition to checking the compression have you opened the drain on the carb and let it run for a good minute? Not just open enough to see if there is fuel in the bowl.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry VanOoteghem - SE Michigan on Monday, February 15, 2016 - 12:46 pm:

Well, I guess my thoughts above on timer & timing gear issues are out the window, since I see Harvey also reset the timing, which he wouldn't be able to do if those things were an issue.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hal Schedler, Sacramento on Monday, February 15, 2016 - 02:30 pm:

When I start mine cold (like 45 degrees here) I open the air mix 1/2 turn. ???


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By R. S. Cruickshank on Monday, February 15, 2016 - 06:59 pm:

I may be wrong and my eyes are not that good but I think the wires from the timer to coil box should be black, red, green and then blue. It looks like the green and blue are reversed, but again, my eyes and the picture are not that clear.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Strange - Hillsboro, MO on Monday, February 15, 2016 - 07:36 pm:

Harvey has the primary wires correct on the coil box, black (1), red (2), blue (3), green (4).

Going counter-clockwise as viewed from the front, they should be black, red, green, blue on the timer, as shown in this diagram:

pic


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