Recently purchased a 1916 Model T touring that has been in storage for around 30 years. We wanted to try to start it over the weekend but the carb is not getting gasoline. I pulled the gas line and cleaned it of the old fuel which was no problem. Then I opened up the sediment bowl drain and some more old gas came out. Then I reopened the gas line switch and nothing is coming out. (yes there is gas in the tank!) I took a wire and stuck it in both the holes I could find but it only hit metal and no sediment was loosened.
When I first opened the gas tank I found maybe 1/8 inch of gas in the bottom of the tank so I figured the previous owner had drained as much as he could out of the tank. (He has died since putting the car away)
I assume the sediment bowl has to be removed for starters and is it going to be that simple? This is my first T so I may need lots of help.
With the shutoff lever/handle in the "on" position (straight up and down) and the petcock handle in the open position (straight up and down), you should be able to run a wire right up through the bulb and into the gas tank. The wire needs to be straight otherwise it can be tricky.
Don't remove the sediment bulb from the gas tank for now. Try to remove the front cap of the sediment bulb of it where the gas line is connected. There is a screen in the cap that may need to be cleaned.
Sounds like maybe the opening from the fuel tank right to the sediment bowl is plugged. Try putting an air nozzle to one of the orifices of the bowl with the other one closed and see if you can back-flush any crud. But of course now it's in the fuel tank, waiting to come out and back to where it started the problem in the first place. But worth a try anyway.
There should be a vertical screen in the sediment bowl. Did you check it to see it is not plugged?
Don't run a wire in the fuel outlet on the side. There is a screen in the screw on cap. At this point I would not try just taking the sediment bulb out. Most are rusted in place and turning them might break the flange that is riveted and soldered to the tank loose if you use too much force. DO NOT USE ANY FLAMES, MAKE BIG BOOM!
There's no rust on the tank or the sediment bowl, its a'll still new looking.
I didn't notice that you could remove anything behind the spot where the fuel line attaches and I will try that first.
If thats no help I guess I'll have to remove the gas tank and blow the sediment bowl out then wash the tank out. Then try it.
Pulling the tank looks to be a pain.
I think you're making it too complicated.
If your main goal is just to get the car running, do simple things first before removing the tank and then the sediment bulb, a project you can save for later.
The way you describe it, it sounds like you may have the valve lever in the off position when you are trying to start the car.
Horizontal = off
Vertical = on
First thing I would do is just as I previously described, run a coat hanger wire straight up from the bottom of the petcock, through the sediment bulb and into the gas tank.
Then, turn off the main valve and the petcock.
Then, put a gallon of gas in the tank, open up the shut off and petcock again to flush out the sediment bulb. You may have to run the wire up again as you are doing this. Strain the gas when it is coming out. Shut off the valves and put the gas right back into the tank. Do this procedure again a few times to flush out the sediment bulb and the bottom of the tank.
Then, see if you are getting gas to the carb. If not, then remove the cap/screen in front of the bulb and clean it.
The "cap" that I circled below can be removed. The screen is soldered to it.
Sometimes, you will find that someone has punched a hole in the screen in order to clear the debris.
There is a circular ledge in the forward fitting that keeps the gas line from poking through the vertical screen. The ledge will not prevent wire from poking through the screen.
I tried to blow air into the gas line hole but the frame wouldn't allow me to get a good fit to get a good blast of air into the hole.
When I also tried to push the wire up the hole into the tank but maybe I was expecting too big a hole and gave up too soon. Next time I will try more.
And I will remove the nut that the fuel line fits into.
I figure I'd better take the carb apart while I'm at it and wipe out the bowl and spray out the passages don't ya all think?
The spark seems to be no problem at all as it lights the heck out of the plugs sitting on the head.
If you've got the bottom drain plug out of the sediment bulb, and plenty of fuel in the tank, and nothing's coming out, then you have a plugged hole in the tank where the bulb attaches. Pure and simple. I bet it's been "varnished over" from that itty bitty amount of old stale fuel left in that tank for God knows how long.
At this point I would have to agree that it sounds as if your on/off handle on the sediment bulb is horizontal (off).
It needs to be vertical (on).
I'd disconnect the fuel line from the carb and then see if you are getting fuel out of the line. Naturally, if it's the petcock, turn it until fuel flows. If that doesn't work, then I'd start tearing into the sediment bowl.
He said he had the line off and cleaned it, so I would imagine he must've even "blown through it" to be sure it was clear. That's what I'd do. It's gotta be either plugged as I suspect or maybe he doesn't understand the orientation of the on/off handle as John says. It does happen. Maybe it's broke off inside the bulb and the handle turns but the actual "stop part" doesn't. We all know how cantankerous these bulbs can be. Anything's possible.
Like I said in my opening statement, the fuel line is off and I blew through it with the air compressor. Some old stinky gas came out then. I turned the one on/off handle and some old gas came out the bottom of the sediment bowl, but not much. I tried unsuccessfully to run a wire all the way into the tank straight up into the tank through that hole but I will try again.
I turned the other on/off handle to every position it would go while there was gas in the tank and nothing would come out of the hole.
My next two attempts to fix will be to unscrew the flange that holds the male fitting the fuel line attaches to and see if the screen is needing cleaned. Also I will retry getting the wire up the hole into the gas tank through the sediment bowl.
Thanks to all for the suggestions. Richard
If it's possible to unscew the fitting where the fuel line attaches without removing the sediment bowl from the tank you're very lucky. Be careful not to damage the tank in the process. I would have removed the bowl from the tank and put a big bowl under to catch the fuel and debris that flows out.
Clamp the sediment bowl in a vice for another attempt at removing the fitting - though it's likely you won't succeed even then, they do get really stuck. I have had to use heat on the cast iron bulb (wash out the gasoline first), carefully avoiding heat on the brass parts and then letting it cool - then everything loosens up and can be removed. The lead washer used between the fitting and the bowl is available from the vendors just like the soldered screen.
I would be willing to wager that Tim W. is correct i just had the same thing last Saturday. Driving my 26 roadster truck. Going down the road and it stops running, got it back home and pulled the gas bulb filter and it was clogged with rust, so bad the filter was full to the top. I cleaned it all out and put a temporary in-line filter and away i went!! I knew it had scaly rust in the tank before i left the house. Oh by the way its running fine but i have a nice original clean tank i am putting on Saturday morning before work.
Well, here's one "last ditch" and maybe even stupid idea, I'll probably catch hell for even bringing it up, but if this issue was happening to me with the aforementioned results, I'd put some floor covering down under the tank area, put on some goggles/face protection, gloves, etc. and just pull (unscrew) the dang sediment bulb off the tank! Keep a coupla decent sized buckets handy just in case the tank opening into the bulb IS open, to catch the fuel. Yes, you'll get a bit of spray initially, but it really won't be that bad. Then you can REALLY get to the bottom of things. Seems like this has drug on for you long enough! Just sayin'