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Old 08-09-2021, 05:30 PM   #1
Danny Boy
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Default 1929 double a won't start, help

Hi new here and new to the Model A, I need help.
1929 double A with a model x carburetor that won't start.

Carburetor was rebuilt a few months ago by previous owner and was running.
Mechanic and others messed around with it because they where having trouble starting it. Mechanic removed carburetor and starter and had the starter rebuilt.
Now car won't start and that's when I got involved.

First thing I noticed was the 2 bolts holding the carburetor in place where too short and it had bubbles coming from the gasket.
Fuel valve has a slow leak.
Carburetor is also leaking.
When trying to start the truck it cranks and sounds like it's about to start and then stops after 3 rotations.
After trying to start it the carburetor had gas on it, like its getting fuel sprayed on it. Over the air filter rim and also over top of the bowl area.

So I changed out the bolts a now have a nice seal.
Tried starting it and same outcome.
I opened up the carburetor and it had some black crap in the treads of the(I think it's called a jet) brass needle that unscews from bottom plug hole. I cleaned that out and checked that all the small channels where clean too.

I reinstalled and after a couple of minutes I dident see any fuel leaking.
Tried starting it again and same outcome, nothing besides a few cranks.
Had gas leaking from bottom of carburetor near the air filter, I'm guessing this is normal after trying to start the truck 3 times without any luck, not sure, feel free to tell me I'm wrong about that.

Since the valve is leaking I removed the fuel line for now while I figure this out.
Tomorrow as I'm scratching my head trying to diagnose my problem I'll put the fuel line back in its place and leave it there to check if it's leaking for longer then 2 minutes.

Now my guess it's maybe electrical.
I can hear a spark on the points in the distributor cap when I insert a screwdriver. (only test I've done of the electrical so far)
Sparks plugs are new.

The amp needle on the dash doesn't t wiggle around when I put the key in it. I was told it's supposed to wiggle when the key is set to on. The gauge looks new to me and I do have power.

So tomorrow I'm gonna try again.
Does anyone know where I can find online a wiring diagram? I'm wondering if maybe the mechanic switched or forgot something when he installed the started back on.

Any suggestion on what I should do to diagnose my problem? I really want to get her started this week.

My starting procedure. (maybe I'm forgetting something)
Fuse box under steering has a on/ off switch, switch to on.
Key on
Fuel line valve open
Choke lever 1 turn counterclockwise.
Spark lever up all the way (left hand lever)
Fuel lever at 3 o'clock position (right hand side lever)
Clutch all the way down.
Foot on starter and pull choke lever all the way out for 2 cranks and then close.
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Old 08-09-2021, 06:38 PM   #2
nkaminar
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Default Re: 1929 double a won't start, help

Check the point gap. Should be 0.020 inch.

Check the timing. Points should just open when timing pin inserted in notch in timing gear and spark lever up.

Change the condensor.

Check sparks at plugs by arranging brass leads so that they are about 1/4 inch from terminal on top of plugs and turn engine over by hand with ignition on. Make sure ignition lever is fully retarded when you do this.

Gap at the end of the distributor rotor should be about 0.025 for all pins in distributor body. Carefully bend brass tip to get proper gap.

Make sure rotor and cap are good. Also distributor housing. If in doubt, replace.

Make sure high tension wire from distributor to coil is inserted all the way.

Make sure points are clean. When closed there should be zero volts at the movable point. Also the ammeter should read about 10 amps discharge when points are closed.

Coil may be bad, replace it if in doubt. Borrow one if possible to test. Don/t leave the ignition on for more than 30 seconds without engine running or coil may become damaged.
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A is for apple, green as the sky.
Step on the gas, for tomorrow I die.
Forget the brakes, they really don't work.
The clutch always sticks, and starts with a jerk.
My car grows red hair, and flies through the air.
Driving's a blast, a blast from the past.

Last edited by nkaminar; 08-09-2021 at 06:47 PM.
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Old 08-09-2021, 07:37 PM   #3
jg61hawk
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Default Re: 1929 double a won't start, help

All above and try a shot of starting fluid while it is being cranked.
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Old 08-10-2021, 06:35 AM   #4
Danny Boy
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Default Re: 1929 double a won't start, help

Thank you.
Gonna order a new coil and condenser this morning, having a spare available would be a good idea.
Also needed a gap gauge.

Gonna try all of those options out and post the results.
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Old 08-10-2021, 10:14 AM   #5
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Default Re: 1929 double a won't start, help

Quote:
Originally Posted by nkaminar View Post

Check sparks at plugs by arranging brass leads so that they are about 1/4 inch from terminal on top of plugs and turn engine over by hand with ignition on. Make sure ignition lever is fully retarded when you do this.
.
Turn engine by hand, I'm guessing you mean using the hand crank to turn it.
Not sure if the crank is there or not I will have to take a look. If it's not is there is there something else I can use?
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Old 08-10-2021, 10:45 AM   #6
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Default Re: 1929 double a won't start, help

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On the new points the arm is to long and the contacts do not line up. Bratton's has
a new points block that will fix this.
https://www.brattons.com/machined-di...int-block.html
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Old 08-10-2021, 12:14 PM   #7
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Default Re: 1929 double a won't start, help

I opened up distributor to look at the points.
Gap is 0.020" I get a good spark from the distributor cap to a engine bolt but not mutch at the points. I used a piece of sand paper to clean both but it dident make mutch of a difference, I get a better spark when touching the points with a screwdriver then when I close them manually.
I checked that distributor timing was good and that rotor gap to distributor pins looked good.
Tried it again and nothing.
Tried a second time and heard a loud POP, came from under the hood and sounded electrical, I climbed out and think I saw a little smoke hanging over the engine, not sure if that was my imagination or not.
Checked fuses and everything looked ok so I tried 2 more times and nothing, no pop this time.

Then it started raining so I had to cover it up and stop for now, if it clears up I'll go back.

Getting a new coil tomorrow morning but no luck finding a condensor yet. Can I test the condenser with a multimeter?
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Old 08-10-2021, 04:31 PM   #8
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Default Re: 1929 double a won't start, help

Depending on how loose your engine is you may be able to turn it over at the crankshaft pulley. Or if you have a large socket wrench, at the bolt at the from of the crankshaft.

A good ignition system will not spark at the point. If the the condensor is doing its job the excessive current is shunted off to the condensor when the points open.

You can test the condensor with an ohm meter. When you first hook up the meter current will be flowing into the condensor and the resistance reading will be low. When it gets charged the current will stop and the resistance will be infinite. If you reverse the leads the reading will repeat. If it is shorted or open it is bad.

Clean the points with a piece of plan paper after sanding them to remove an sandpaper grit that may still be there.

A loud pop and smoke can sometimes happen because the engine is flooded. Try this: Turn the fuel on at the bottom of the tank and then turn it off. Try starting the engine in the normal way but have the throttle almost fully open and don't choke it for more than 1/2 revolution if cold. Be ready to reduce the throttle if it starts. If it starts and runs then open the fuel valve at the bottom of the tank. If the engine then dies there is something wrong with the carburetor such as a leaky float valve or the float is full of gasoline.
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A is for apple, green as the sky.
Step on the gas, for tomorrow I die.
Forget the brakes, they really don't work.
The clutch always sticks, and starts with a jerk.
My car grows red hair, and flies through the air.
Driving's a blast, a blast from the past.

Last edited by nkaminar; 08-10-2021 at 04:38 PM.
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Old 08-10-2021, 08:17 PM   #9
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Default Re: 1929 double a won't start, help

Have you tested the spark at the spark plugs? That should be one of the very first things you do. lift a plug wire and bend it a little until it stays a 1/8 to 1/4 inch off of contact, turn on ignition switch, get low so you are looking straight at the spark gap, then run the started by pushing on the starter contact. You should see a nice even hot spark. If so, move onto fuel, if not start troubleshooting ignition system. Do NOT start replacing parts until you have verified fault. You'll introduce issues into the car and soon you'll have a serious mess. Coils, points, yes even condensers last MANY years, don't assume they need to be replaced, some of the original parts are better than what you can get today.
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Old 08-10-2021, 10:26 PM   #10
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Default Re: 1929 double a won't start, help

If you are getting a better spark by jumping the points with a screw driver check to make sure that the points are actually closing all the way.

To check spark pull the coil wire out of the top of the distributor and put that end of the coil wire a short distance away from a head nut. Make sure the rub block on the moveable point arm is on the lowest point on the distributor cam. You should be able to repeatedly open the points with a finger nail to see what kind of spark you have. Or while standing on the drivers side of the engine hold the coil wire with your left hand and use your right hand to push down on the starter rod just above the starter to turn the engine over.

Check the carbon contact on the underside of the distributor cap to see if it has worn flat and not contacting the spring wire on the rotor.
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Old 08-11-2021, 04:35 AM   #11
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Default Re: 1929 double a won't start, help

Sounds like a distributor problem. But you should also check the coil by pulling the wire out of the distributor cap and holding it an inch away from a head nut. Then turn the engine over. Should be a nice blue spark.
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Old 08-11-2021, 07:49 AM   #12
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Default Re: 1929 double a won't start, help

Watch out for the so called short proof condensers. I went through four of them until the fifth one worked.
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Old 08-11-2021, 12:03 PM   #13
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Default Re: 1929 double a won't start, help

Now I'm completely confused.
Put a new coil on and got my old man to help me that way I can test the engine while he starts it.

I have spark on all 4 spark plugs, timing looks right.
But no start.
Fuel is coming out of the carburetor jet fine.

I removed the air filter on the carburetor and sprayed starter fluid as my dad hit the starter and all I got was a backfire.

Edit: also tried adjusting the screw on the carburetor at 1 turn and at 2 turns and 3 turns.
Also tried with choke lever (fuel rich adjustment) at 1 turn and 2 turns all the way up to 5 turns opens.
Got nothing.

Carburetor dosent drip anymore, atleast I got that right.
I only get a drip out of the back after trying to start it, bigger drip when I try to start it choked but I think that's normal if the engine dosent start.

Fuel runs fine into the bowl and stops when bowl is full, tried starting with a full carburator and fuel valve off and nothing happens.

Last edited by Danny Boy; 08-11-2021 at 12:25 PM.
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Old 08-11-2021, 12:48 PM   #14
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Default Re: 1929 double a won't start, help

Do you have a fuse by starter? Check
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Old 08-11-2021, 12:53 PM   #15
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Default Re: 1929 double a won't start, help

Checked its good.
Fuse on starter side and 3 under the dash, all good
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Old 08-11-2021, 01:29 PM   #16
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Default Re: 1929 double a won't start, help

Fuel, Spark, Compression and Timing. So shut off all gas, remove all plugs, ground plugs to head have dad crank put thumb over plug hole watch plug...as your thumb tests the compression you look for plug to spark....do all 4. Now you checked spark and compression and timing (shade tree style). Did your thumb get pushed off the hole? Did the spark occur at the exact time? Let's say yes...Now leave fuel OFF and crank...now spray a few shots into carburetor with gas off (this way it's not flooded.) Does it run or only backfire? Backfire still....possibly bad condenser. Does it run on starting fluid for a second or two....carb is no good....probably float issues...flooding. Just my opinions as quick checks.
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Old 08-11-2021, 03:00 PM   #17
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Default Re: 1929 double a won't start, help

Alone at the moment, so I just pulled the condenser and now I'm gonna go get my multimeter to test it, forgot it in my dad's car, lol.
If that's good my next step is a compression test, but I'm very doubtful it's a mechanical problem.
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Old 08-11-2021, 03:41 PM   #18
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Default Re: 1929 double a won't start, help

Just tested the condenser, résistance goes up steady and when I reverse it discharges and then starts charging up again at a mutch lower resistance.
I guess that means it's works, crap I was hoping that was problem.

I just finished cleaning the carburator, nothing wrong with it that I can see, flange was a little warped so I sanded it down a bit.
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Old 08-11-2021, 07:15 PM   #19
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Default Re: 1929 double a won't start, help

Change the condensor anyway.
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A is for apple, green as the sky.
Step on the gas, for tomorrow I die.
Forget the brakes, they really don't work.
The clutch always sticks, and starts with a jerk.
My car grows red hair, and flies through the air.
Driving's a blast, a blast from the past.
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Old 08-12-2021, 05:43 AM   #20
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Default Re: 1929 double a won't start, help

Out of stock localy, can't get a condenser here until next week.
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