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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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Default Re: trouble shooting

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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Originally Posted by mike657894 View Post
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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Default Re: trouble shooting

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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Default Re: trouble shooting

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Originally Posted by Magicbox51 View Post
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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Default Re: trouble shooting

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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Default Re: trouble shooting

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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Default Re: trouble shooting

Here's a picture. I hope it helps.
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File Type: jpg engine for ford barn.jpg (427.9 KB, 176 views)
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Old 09-13-2017, 08:14 PM   #22
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Default Re: trouble shooting

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
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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, 10:31 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stewwolfe View Post
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   #29
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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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Old 09-28-2017, 06:31 AM   #30
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I agree that vapor lock may be the issue. steroids for sale 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 09-28-2017, 07:21 AM   #31
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Default Re: trouble shooting

Check the gas cap vent hole. Remove the gas cap and see if it runs better.
No inline filters. Look inside the gas tank and see the small filter there.
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Old 01-22-2018, 05:55 AM   #32
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It would have been nice to hear just what the problem. Since there was no response I guess it was the filters.
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Old 01-22-2018, 06:48 AM   #33
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Hey winski, don't leave us hanging. What did you find to be the problem?
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Old 01-22-2018, 12:11 PM   #34
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There was a diet pill stuck in between the 2 tillys. I have one comment other than what I posted in post #26. The comment about vapor lock is non-sense. You stated that the car only ran a very short distance (in December). It takes heat to boil gasoline.

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Old 01-22-2018, 03:20 PM   #35
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I run dual updraft carbs on two of my model A's . Running dual updraft carbs isn't as copmplicated to tune as a dual downdraft setup . People that have never ran dual carbs often get the setups confused . This is usually because of what they have read or heard about running dual down draft carbs . With an open plenium manifold and updraft carbs you can disconnect the linkage and check the carbs one at a time while the car is parked and running . One carb will still feed all of the cylinders . You can rev one carb at a time and see how it runs . I doubt that you have a carburetor problem . If you have one good carb it would still run the car . you probably wouldn't know if the other carb was actually working unless the linkage was disconnected and each carb was tested one at a time as I described above . What I'm getting at is its not likely that both carbs would go out at the same time . I would remove both of the inline filters as they are not needed in any case . I don't know what that red thing is that connects between the glass bowl filter and fuel line but it could be a problem and I would remove it . The less parts that the fuel has to flow through before it reaches the carburetor , the better . Seeing that the glass bowl filter isn't full of gas usually indicates an air block . Gas doesn't easily flow through an air block unless the choke is applied and then it still usually doesn't run very good . Imagine how much gas could be flowing while choking both carbs . I only choke one carb . Choking two carbs is just way too much . If you have ever looked at multi card setups on later cars, they only choke one carb . I had my share of problems with glass bowl filters . I now only use the old original style cast iron bulb filters .The only filters that you need is the firewall mounted filter and a stand up filter in the cut off valve under the tank . I consider the stand up filter a must and use it on all of my model A's . It doesn't take a lot of rust or trash to stop up the cut off valve and starve the engine . The stand up filter stands up in the tank and will filter out any rust or trash inside the tank . I would feel out the fuel lines and fittings for a leak . It doesn't take much of a crack in a fuel line or fittings to cause a problem with gas flow with a dual carb setup , its happened to me !!! It could be a vacume leak anywhere from the carb flange to the manifold connection at the engine block. Carburetor cleaner sprayed around these connections while the engine runs will help detect the vacume leak . The engine will speed up when carb cleaner is sprayed over the leak , be carefull . There is al;so the possibility of vacume leaks , anywhere ftom the vacume line connection at the intake manifold to the vacume wiper motor if you use one . I would first plug the vacume hole in the intake before testing the engine for vacume leaks . this should make it easier to single them out . The only way that you would ever get a vapor lkock would be if you were runningethanol fuel . If you have run or left ethanol fuel in the tank, this could be the whole problem. If ethanol fuel has caused the problem it will need the tank and system to be drained and flushed . the jets in the carbs will also need cleaned and compressed air blown through the jets and passages . Just a few thoughts of possibilities .

Last edited by Purdy Swoft; 01-22-2018 at 03:35 PM. Reason: added more info . and added punctuation .
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Old 01-22-2018, 03:38 PM   #36
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Default Re: trouble shooting

Be sure to check your fuel line. It should be just past the ferrules and not bottoming out in the sediment bowl or the carb. If the line is too far in it will impede the gas flow.
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Old 01-22-2018, 03:56 PM   #37
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To get in line filters that work for gravity feed, just get ones for a lawn mower. They flow with gravity just like they weren't even there.
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