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Old 09-13-2017, 12:44 PM   #1
wingski
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Default trouble shooting

Hello again. I took the í29 cabriolet for my first drive with my wife and dog Tuesday evening. It started easily and ran fairly decently for the first few minutes, but started missing and trying to die pretty quickly. The gas valve was turned on, the spark was advanced, the throttle lever was all the way back up, and the choke was in and turned out about 1/2 a turn. The only way I was able to get back home was by pulling the choke out and pushing it back in. That allowed me enough power to go forward until I had to do it again. There are twin Tillotson carbs and a newer distributor on the car, and I donít know what has been done to the engine.

My question is: Where do I start to find out whatís wrong? Iím going to pull the timing gear cover and check the timing just to be sure. Then, Iím going to check the distributor and points, but I feel that a lot of the problem is the carbs. I have the original intake manifold and Zenith carb, but I hate to take off that Vortex manifold and carbs because I donít have the original fuel line for the Zenith. The gas was fresh and good, and both screens in the gas tank and sediment bowl are clean and clear. I have two inline filters going to the carbs and theyíre clean, so this is not a gas problem. I wish I knew what head and what bore the engine is, but I donít.

Thanks again for all the help you guys have given me. Mike
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Old 09-13-2017, 12:57 PM   #2
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Default Re: trouble shooting

Some in line fuel filters do not work with gravity feed as they require fuel pump pressure. Are you on gravity feed?
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Old 09-13-2017, 12:58 PM   #3
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Default Re: trouble shooting

check compression and generator and battery connections. a blown head gasket will let you run for ten minutes then 2 cyl will stop sparking due to coolant build up. if you have a loose gen connection and your battery loses connection your car will back fire and drive with nearly no power. it could be something else but I would check those two first.
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Old 09-13-2017, 02:25 PM   #4
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Yes, it is gravity feed, and if all else fails I'll bypass the inline filters. Thanks.
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Old 09-13-2017, 02:43 PM   #5
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check compression and generator and battery connections. a blown head gasket will let you run for ten minutes then 2 cyl will stop sparking due to coolant build up. if you have a loose gen connection and your battery loses connection your car will back fire and drive with nearly no power. it could be something else but I would check those two first.
All the head bolts were about 40 foot lbs. when I got it. I tightened them to 50 lbs, but there is a little bit of seepage from #8 head bolt. The previous owner was either weak or had no idea what he was doing, and that scares the crap out of me. I didnít check to see if I had liquid coming out the exhaust when I fired it up. I will. Does it make a difference that the radiator has Evans waterless engine coolant in it because it does?
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Old 09-13-2017, 02:45 PM   #6
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Default Re: trouble shooting

It sounds fuel related so I wouldn't mess with a lot of other stuff other than to check the point gap. Can you see any dirt in the sediment bowl if you have one or fuel filter if plastic. Maybe a photo of your system will help in trouble shooting.
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Old 09-13-2017, 03:05 PM   #7
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Default Re: trouble shooting

Quote:
Originally Posted by wingski View Post
Hello again. I took the í29 cabriolet for my first drive with my wife and dog Tuesday evening. It started easily and ran fairly decently for the first few minutes, but started missing and trying to die pretty quickly. The gas valve was turned on, the spark was advanced, the throttle lever was all the way back up, and the choke was in and turned out about 1/2 a turn. The only way I was able to get back home was by pulling the choke out and pushing it back in. That allowed me enough power to go forward until I had to do it again. There are twin Tillotson carbs and a newer distributor on the car, and I donít know what has been done to the engine.

My question is: Where do I start to find out whatís wrong? Iím going to pull the timing gear cover and check the timing just to be sure. Then, Iím going to check the distributor and points, but I feel that a lot of the problem is the carbs. I have the original intake manifold and Zenith carb, but I hate to take off that Vortex manifold and carbs because I donít have the original fuel line for the Zenith. The gas was fresh and good, and both screens in the gas tank and sediment bowl are clean and clear. I have two inline filters going to the carbs and theyíre clean, so this is not a gas problem. I wish I knew what head and what bore the engine is, but I donít.

Thanks again for all the help you guys have given me. Mike
Sorry but you have a gas problem. Probably a flow problem OR Vapor lock.
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Old 09-13-2017, 03:10 PM   #8
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Default Re: trouble shooting

This sounds to me like a fuel starvation issue. The inline filter(s) may not be flowing enough fuel to feed both carbs. When you said that pulling up on the choke lever, it ran better, that seems to solidify, to me, a lack of fuel.
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Old 09-13-2017, 03:11 PM   #9
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Default Re: trouble shooting

Some of the older gas caps did not have good venting. Try removing the gas cap and see if it runs O.K. If so, then you need a new gas cap.

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Old 09-13-2017, 03:24 PM   #10
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Default Re: trouble shooting

Wingski:

It never fails. You do all that work and load up the wife and dog, and then it happens. I did a bunch of work and took my wife out for a drive one night and my generator was not genning, and by the time we got home, I almost had to hold a match up to the lights to see if they were on. On top of that, something else went haywire too. So much for impressing my wife with all the work. All fixed now, but geez.
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Old 09-13-2017, 03:28 PM   #11
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I agree that vapor lock may be the issue. Fuel filters clogged are also an easy thing to check as well as a tight connection along the exhaust system from manifold gasket to the tail pipe opening.
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Old 09-13-2017, 03:48 PM   #12
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Default Re: trouble shooting

Fuel lines are cheap. I'd put the original manifold and single carb back on. Setting one carb and trouble shooting it would be way easier than two.
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Old 09-13-2017, 04:19 PM   #13
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Wingski:

It never fails. You do all that work and load up the wife and dog, and then it happens. I did a bunch of work and took my wife out for a drive one night and my generator was not genning, and by the time we got home, I almost had to hold a match up to the lights to see if they were on. On top of that, something else went haywire too. So much for impressing my wife with all the work. All fixed now, but geez.
Bill, the thing that blows my mind is she said, "I really enjoyed that drive." when we got home. Boy, have I got a winner or not.
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Old 09-13-2017, 04:24 PM   #14
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Hey Rebel, now that is what a parade car should look like. If I saw you go by, I'd have to follow you so I could shake your hand and congratulate you.
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Old 09-13-2017, 04:26 PM   #15
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Marc, that's the first thing I checked, and it is venting properly. Thanks, Mike.
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Old 09-13-2017, 04:29 PM   #16
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Thanks, Frank, but I really would like to see what these Tillotson's do compared to the Zenith.
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Old 09-13-2017, 04:32 PM   #17
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Keep those comments coming, guys. Right now, I'm removing two scratches in my windshield so the A doesn't have to run.
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Old 09-13-2017, 05:46 PM   #18
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Default Re: trouble shooting

Retorque the manifold; besure it is properly installed, gaskets to block and carb, etc.
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Old 09-13-2017, 06:56 PM   #19
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Default Re: trouble shooting

With so much stuff ADDED/MODIFIED/ETC, how in the world could you even begin to DIAGNOSE the problems?????
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Old 09-13-2017, 07:11 PM   #20
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Default Re: trouble shooting

Very simple problem. If you had to choke it to run, then you have a lack of fuel. Either to the carburetors, or thru the carburetors. Don't touch the electrical system. Pulling the choke starves it for air, and it runs because it is starved for fuel.
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Old 09-13-2017, 07:29 PM   #21
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Here's a picture. I hope it helps.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg engine for ford barn.jpg (427.9 KB, 73 views)
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Old 09-13-2017, 08:14 PM   #22
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Bypass the filters and you will probably solve the problem. I put an inline filter on my Roadster and could never get it to run right. Removed the filter and never had another problem. Modern filters don't do well with gravity feed systems, and with two of them you are doubling the problem.
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Old 09-14-2017, 04:51 AM   #23
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Default Re: trouble shooting

Wingski the glass fuel bowl should be full of fuel not half full of air as in your pic. Loosen a union nut after the bowl to let the air bleed out and the bowl should fill. Then test the fuel flow after each of the filters and see if it is a full pipe-diameter flow into a catch can rather than a piddle into a catch can.
Those filters may be restricting the flow and causing lean running.
If the glass bowl will not fill when the top union is loose, then there is a blockage between the tank and the bowl.
We recently found an earwig in the fuel tap in a car! Each time I blew the pipe clear the earwig shot back up into the tank and then re-dived head first into the tap again after a few miles. The bowl had a partial vacuum and air in it as a tell-tale of the blockage.
In your case it is likely the filters will not flow enough under gravity feed without a pump.
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By the way you have a nice looking engine set up to my old eyes
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Old 09-14-2017, 06:24 AM   #24
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If you're getting fuel past the glass bowl I would take the nut loose on the bottom of the tillys to see if the fuel is making it that far if it don't pour out at a good rate it could be the jet clogged in the bottom of the bowl or a float or needle valve issue but if you are getting good flow then your main jet could be clogged, just a couple of thoughts, I had the same issu, I put an inline filter and where my tank is rusty rust particles would stop up the line from the tank to the filter, poped l the filter off turned the valve on and let it flush the line out pop it back together and fired right up
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Old 09-14-2017, 08:32 AM   #25
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Default Re: trouble shooting

Wingski,
"Somebody" did some IMPRESSIVE looking work! I can see why you DON'T want to go back to STOCK!
I "wonder" if the manifold was painted with Cast Blast? I've heard it works well for HOT manifolds.
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Old 09-14-2017, 09:28 AM   #26
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Fuel line to the front carb. looks to rise a bit before it heads downward to the float bowl. Remove the filter ( both of them) and the fuel lines will head downward and not trap air in the high spots which stops the flow. How do you expect to balance the airflow through the dual carbs, the exhaust is in the way. That's the first step in setting up the carbs. so one isn't rich and the other is lean while it idles on only one?
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Old 09-14-2017, 10:26 AM   #27
wingski
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You were right. The inline filters were not made for gravity feed. Thanks, Mike
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Old 09-14-2017, 10:28 AM   #28
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I had liquid coming out the exhaust when I fired it up i recommend you read this post
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Old 09-14-2017, 10:31 AM   #29
wingski
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Bypass the filters and you will probably solve the problem. I put an inline filter on my Roadster and could never get it to run right. Removed the filter and never had another problem. Modern filters don't do well with gravity feed systems, and with two of them you are doubling the problem.
I removed both filter elements from the holders. I'll start it up when it warms up a little outside. Thanks!
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Old 09-14-2017, 12:06 PM   #30
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Default Re: trouble shooting

I am also thinking fuel and fuel filters. Was on a tour with our club and one car was having similar issues as you did. After gong through a lot of things because "it could not be a fuel issue, the filter is clean.. see?"
Long story short, took the filter off and viola, ran fine. Just to rule that out, bypass the filters and see if it runs.
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