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Old 08-30-2010, 01:21 AM   #1
Baumi
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Default A Newbie Question: My A starts right up but dies after a few seconds.... ideas?

Hi there, Im knew here and Id like to introduce myself. My name is Chris Baumgartner and Im from around Munich, Southern Germany. Im into old American tin as long as I can think , Ive got a 62 Impala coupe, a 56 Bel Air 2dr, a 1934 Plymouth 2dr Hot Rod , a 1967 Ford F100 I restored by myself and my latest old car is now a 1930 A Tudor.

And the As also what is keeping me busy right now, haha

So, heres whats happening: The car starts right up, runs well for a couple of seconds and then dies . I rebuilt the carb and checked for clocked fuel lines. Everything is clean and fuel is getting to the carb, so I assume the reason for dying could be on the ignition side.
but thats just a feeling...

What would you look for?

Thanks for letting me in and helping me out!

Chris
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Old 08-30-2010, 01:40 AM   #2
Jim/GA
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Default Re: A Newbie Question: My A starts right up but dies after a few seconds.... ideas?

It really sounds like fuel.

See if opening the mixture knob on the dash (going down to the carb) helps any. It is common to have that knob open up to 1 full turn to start and then close to 1/2 open after a minute. Close to 1/4 open after several minutes.

See if you can keep it running by partially choking it a bit once it starts.

Check the ignition timing.

Make sure your fuel cap is vented. Radiator caps are not and they look alike.

See what the fuel level is in the carb bowl by connecting a small sight glass to the bottom plug under the main jet. It should be 5/8 inch, as I recall (but it has been a long time).

Hope this helps. Ther are others that are much more experienced with these cars than me that can answer.

Jim
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Old 08-30-2010, 02:27 AM   #3
Mike V. Florida
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Default Re: A Newbie Question: My A starts right up but dies after a few seconds.... ideas?

Yea try running it with the gas cap off as step one.
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Old 08-30-2010, 05:13 AM   #4
Tom Wesenberg
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Default Re: A Newbie Question: My A starts right up but dies after a few seconds.... ideas?

Make sure the fuel line isn't too long past the brass ring where it screws into the carb. If the fuel line is pushed in too far it will block off the fuel flow, and this sounds like a fuel flow problem to me.
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Old 08-30-2010, 05:48 AM   #5
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Default Re: A Newbie Question: My A starts right up but dies after a few seconds.... ideas?

If your fuel line is OK as per Tom's suggestion, re check your carburetor inlet valve and float level.
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Old 08-30-2010, 06:18 AM   #6
Bruce Adams
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Default Re: A Newbie Question: My A starts right up but dies after a few seconds.... ideas?

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Do you advance the spark lever immediately after it starts from the 11 o'clock to the 9 o'clock position?
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Old 08-30-2010, 06:30 AM   #7
Brad in Germany
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Default Re: A Newbie Question: My A starts right up but dies after a few seconds.... ideas?

Hallo Chris,

I had a similar problem and found out that the fuel line was partially clogged. The flow of fuel seemed OK when tested, but really it wasn't.

The partial clog occurred in the fuel shut off valve where a small piece of something plastic looking was partially blocking the fuel flow. I believe it was a piece of teflon type tape that had been used to seal the threaded joints of the fuel lines.

Mit freundlichen Gren aus Hessen!

Fordially,
Brad in Germany
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Old 08-30-2010, 08:25 AM   #8
Mitch//pa
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Default Re: A Newbie Question: My A starts right up but dies after a few seconds.... ideas?

you didnt mention if after the car dies out does it restart again or does it have to sit a bit. if the float bowl is full it should run for more than a couple seconds before it dies. do your basic first checks spark, fuel. to decide where to go next.
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Old 08-30-2010, 09:29 AM   #9
Baumi
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Default Re: A Newbie Question: My A starts right up but dies after a few seconds.... ideas?

Guys, thanks a lot for the warm welcome!!!
Brad, if you were a little closer you could come around for a cold one and help me clean out the tank, hahahaha :lol:

As most of you said "fuel problem " I just checked that again. Fuel is only dripping from the line right now. I had blown through the fuel line with compressed air and there was plenty of fuel to the carb but now there was some debris in the show glass and not even enough fuel to power a lawnmower.

Thanks again, Ill let you know what happens next!
Chris
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Old 08-30-2010, 02:35 PM   #10
Mike V. Florida
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Default Re: A Newbie Question: My A starts right up but dies after a few seconds.... ideas?

Try this,
http://www.fordgarage.com/pages/kellyshutoff.htm
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Last edited by Mike V. Florida; 12-14-2010 at 01:12 AM.
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Old 08-30-2010, 02:56 PM   #11
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Default Re: A Newbie Question: My A starts right up but dies after a few seconds.... ideas?

Chris, it would seem worthwhile to insert a screen (available from the parts houses) in the inlet portion of the fuel valve. Many Model A fuel tanks have rusted, especially in areas behind the baffles you can't see through the filler. If the fuel line clogged once, there is a good chance it will happen again. It doesn't take much to clog the idle jet in the carburetor. If you search for threads about this subject you will find some very informative comments and excellent pictures. Gar Williams
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Old 08-30-2010, 03:29 PM   #12
John Butts in CT
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Default Re: A Newbie Question: My A starts right up but dies after a few seconds.... ideas?

An earlier poster hinted at this, but I have to share a suspicion that there may be an electrical problem, too. read on:

(1) Be sure that you have a dependable flow of fuel to the carb.

(2) Don't forget to clean out all of the carb's internal passages. (For now. just blow them out in both directions with your air compressor.)

(3) Even with poor fuel flow, a carb full of gas should allow your "A" to start and idle for more than a "few seconds." So, if you still have a problem, check the pigtail wire in your distributor. A frayed wire may allow you to start with the spark retarded, but short out when you move the spark lever down, causing the engine to die a "few seconds" after starting.

Let us know how you make out.
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Old 08-31-2010, 12:42 AM   #13
Baumi
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Default Re: A Newbie Question: My A starts right up but dies after a few seconds.... ideas?

Ok, heres what I found: The fuel shut of valve was extremely clogged by debris.
I ultrasoniccleaned the carb, the lines, the valve and flushed the tank. I also tried to blow out the gas tank with compressed air but I dont think it is possible to get all that old gunk out that way. I already have a filter between the glass and the carb but Im pretty sure, that the shut off valve will clog up again .

At least the car starts right up AND keeps running now I drives well too!
I try to insert a screen, but in the long run Ill have to figure out how to clean out the tank...


Thanks for all youtr help!!!
Chris
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Old 08-31-2010, 01:37 AM   #14
roddyb34
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Default Re: A Newbie Question: My A starts right up but dies after a few seconds.... ideas?

Dont do what a local rodder with dirt in his A tank did and use his moms vacuum cleaner ,it was dry and what he thought was aired out enough, but the vacuum moor picked up enough fumes to explode it,,,he was not popular with mom,,,,
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Old 08-31-2010, 08:31 AM   #15
1931 flamingo
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Default Re: A Newbie Question: My A starts right up but dies after a few seconds.... ideas?

If tank inside is rusty try putting several small magnets (strong) on the bottom of the tank, you could also install a "dead-leg(?sp) at the bottom of the tank. Do a search, there were pictures posted and many discussions on this subject. We don't have problems, we have opportunities (sometimes too many).
Paul in CT
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