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Old 10-23-2019, 02:12 PM   #1
rivcokid
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Default Roadster getting harder to start

I'm at my wits' end. My 31 Deluxe Roadster takes several tries to get it to start (but it always eventually does start). I've pretty much done all the suggestions I found here but to no avail. I have enrichened the mixture, put a secondary ground cable to the transmission, the main battery cable is tight and properly sized, I have replaced the coil and condenser, rebuilt the carburetor, checked the battery (it's fine), checked the spark (it's fine), cleaned and gapped the new spark plugs, cleaned the points, tightened and adjusted all other wires, but to no avail. The spark from the coil is good and blue, it is getting gas, and in fact runs fine and starts fine after the initial start.

Anyone have any other ideas? As always, thanks in advance!
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Old 10-23-2019, 02:30 PM   #2
Curtis in MA
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Default Re: Roadster getting harder to start

How long has it been getting worse?
Is it getting colder there?
Does the GAV work? I assume yes since you rebuilt the carb.
Does the starter turn quickly?
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Old 10-23-2019, 02:40 PM   #3
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Default Re: Roadster getting harder to start

Curtis - it has been getting worse for the past couple of months. I've had it now about 14 months and it's never started right up, but now is worse. No, it's not getting cold here. I'm on the outskirts of the desert in SoCal. Yes the GAV valve works and yes the starter runs quickly.

Thanks
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Old 10-23-2019, 02:42 PM   #4
Ron Pilger
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Default Re: Roadster getting harder to start

old fuel, laden with ethanol, doesn't like to ignite. Just a thought.....
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Old 10-23-2019, 02:43 PM   #5
Curtis in MA
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Default Re: Roadster getting harder to start

Do you shut the gas off overnight?
I open the GAV 1/2 turn and choke it for about 2 revolutions so the gas gets back in the carb.
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Old 10-23-2019, 02:45 PM   #6
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Default Re: Roadster getting harder to start

Yes, the gas is off when I park it. I've tried turning it as far as 1.5 turns to make it rather rich to get it going, and there is no effect on the starting capability. The fuel is new-ish.
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Old 10-23-2019, 04:26 PM   #7
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Default Re: Roadster getting harder to start

I am no expert for sure, but could a leak at the intake make it harder to pull the gas mixture up?
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Old 10-23-2019, 04:33 PM   #8
Bob C
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Default Re: Roadster getting harder to start

Have you checked the compression and taken a vacuum reading??


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Old 10-23-2019, 04:35 PM   #9
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Default Re: Roadster getting harder to start

I'm with Bob on that one.
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Old 10-23-2019, 04:59 PM   #10
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Default Re: Roadster getting harder to start

No I have not checked compression/vacuum. Will put that on the list.
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Old 10-23-2019, 05:02 PM   #11
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Default Re: Roadster getting harder to start

I noticed you said "Cleaned the Points" Try a New Set of good USA made ones..
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Old 10-23-2019, 05:04 PM   #12
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Default Re: Roadster getting harder to start

Thanks FM - will do. (Adding to list)
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Old 10-23-2019, 05:04 PM   #13
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Default Re: Roadster getting harder to start

I had a similar problem and found the rotor and or the cap brass apparently had gotten corroded... I say apparently because it wouldn't start, but all I did was clean the rotor end and the top of the rotor where it blackens to the cap and the cap brass and it's been fine. Just a thought. a lot of stuff gets corroded sitting, check the coil wire at both ends.
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Old 10-23-2019, 07:08 PM   #14
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Default Re: Roadster getting harder to start

Intake air leak would do it. Suspects are: manifold gasket, Most likely, . Joint between carb and intake manifold, warped surfaces. The manifold itself, unlikely. When right, Model A’s want to start. Stay with it.
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Old 10-23-2019, 08:10 PM   #15
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Default Re: Roadster getting harder to start

Thanks - I'll dig into the distributor and clean it up and look into how to check the gaskets. Unfortunately, the distributor is stuck - big time - so changing the points is problematic. I'll see what I can do though! Thanks again.
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Old 10-23-2019, 08:37 PM   #16
Curtis in MA
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Default Re: Roadster getting harder to start

I guess I would follow a few clues.
First, what would not work when the engine is cold that would when it is warm?
But since your in SoCal that might not help.
Second, what would stick when not used overnight but loosen up after started?
Maybe a throttle linkage or valve. But since you rebuilt the carburetor that might not help.
Let someone else start the car while you watch the throttle and carburetor.
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Old 10-23-2019, 09:08 PM   #17
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Default Re: Roadster getting harder to start

Quote:
Originally Posted by rivcokid View Post
Thanks - I'll dig into the distributor and clean it up and look into how to check the gaskets. Unfortunately, the distributor is stuck - big time - so changing the points is problematic. I'll see what I can do though! Thanks again.

You don't need to remove the distributor to change the points.


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Old 10-23-2019, 09:42 PM   #18
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Default Re: Roadster getting harder to start

Unfortunately Bob - Small screws and I don't mix well!
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Old 10-24-2019, 01:03 AM   #19
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Default Re: Roadster getting harder to start

Mine went the same. Eventually found loose bolts on the carb to manifold.
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Old 10-24-2019, 04:42 AM   #20
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Default Re: Roadster getting harder to start

Intake gasket leak. Unhook the fuel line at the carb. Turn fuel on for 30 sec. If the flow turns to a trickle then you have something plugging the shut off valve.
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