First Start of the Season Fuel Mixture Problems

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Skyler Kimball
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First Start of the Season Fuel Mixture Problems

Post by Skyler Kimball » Mon Apr 20, 2020 9:50 pm

Hello all! I decided it was finally time to see how well my 1916 T had endured Maine's long winter. First I began to do my usual start up procedure of checking/adding fluids, jacking up one of the rear wheels and pulling out the choke. Although It usually takes about 3-7 minutes of cranking and messing around with controls, this is normal considering that I NEVER use a battery and always cold start via Magneto, but this time it took over 20 minutes for the engine to catch on. Although later I realized I had to up the fuel mixture to make it start that was not the main problem - the choke-

I do not have a spring for my choke lever, so I usually back off the choke lever slowly to off right after a adjust the spark and throttle levers. But this time the engine would die if I let the choke go less than halfway choked.

In the end, I drove up and back down the driveway with the choke half on, and even when I tried to increase the fuel mix on top and try and cut the choke, it stalled out the engine, leaving me in the end half puzzled and blistered on my hand form cranking.

In other words, is the carburetor the main problem? I did flush the carb bowl twice that day and it didn't help. Could it be airflow problems?

Thanks for advice!

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Re: First Start of the Season Fuel Mixture Problems

Post by Steve Jelf » Mon Apr 20, 2020 10:43 pm

I don't know if it will make starting any easier, but I'd spend a buck for a choke spring. Try hooking up a battery to buzz the coils. — to ground and + to the BAT terminal on the coil box. It may not solve the starting problem, but you won't have to wear yourself out pulling the crank fast enough to spark the plugs.
The inevitable often happens.
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Re: First Start of the Season Fuel Mixture Problems

Post by Art Wilson » Mon Apr 20, 2020 11:11 pm

I used a small external extension spring to keep the NH carburetor choke lever open on our car.
I installed one end of the spring in one of the holes in the choke lever, then stretched the spring down and around the float bowl and attached the other end to the drain spigot handle. I did it in such a manner that the spring would tighten the spigot and keep it from coming loose and draining the fuel tank. If both choke lever holes are occupied then hook the spring on one of the rods at the lever.
Solves two problems at once and is easy to install.

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Re: First Start of the Season Fuel Mixture Problems

Post by John iaccino » Tue Apr 21, 2020 7:16 am

Could be the ethanol in the gas. If you haven't started it since last fall, the gas has turned bad. Today's gas does not last very long in storage without some Stable in it. Try putting some fresh gas in the tank.

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Re: First Start of the Season Fuel Mixture Problems

Post by TWrenn » Tue Apr 21, 2020 9:25 am

I agree with John. Shouldn't have to run at all with the choke pulled any way out once it gets going. Check your timing, clean your plugs, did you put stabilizer in the fuel last fall...because you SHOULD. Trust me, it works! That ethanol is hard on fuel systems.
I bet ur carb is buggered up with bad fuel deposits in it. Take it off, soak it for a couple hours in a can of lacquer thinner and it just might make a difference. You'll also need to repaint it then!! :lol:


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Re: First Start of the Season Fuel Mixture Problems

Post by Ron Patterson » Tue Apr 21, 2020 4:04 pm

No one has mentioned the position of the spark lever during magneto starting.
Se attached.
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Re: First Start of the Season Fuel Mixture Problems

Post by Ron Patterson » Tue Apr 21, 2020 4:07 pm

Figure 1.jpg


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Re: First Start of the Season Fuel Mixture Problems

Post by Norman Kling » Tue Apr 21, 2020 4:24 pm

In the post by Ron is very good except for one important thing. Turn on the fuel valve at the sediment bowl and or the carburetor first! I think Skyler did this because he mentions cleaning out the carburetor bowl. which would need to turn off the gas to do it.
The fuel adjustment should be opened by 1/4 to 1/2 turn counter clockwise before trying to start, and the choke should be pulled out cranking about 3 -4 pulls up on the crank with the key off. Then turn on the key and one pull up should start right up.
Potential problems. water can develop in the fuel. I think ethynol can cause water to form but also changes in atmospheric pressure can draw air into and out of the tank through the vent in the cap. This air can contain moisture which will condense into water. Any water which is in the gas, usually will settle to the bottom of the tank and draining some fuel out of the sediment bulb and carburetor bowl will eliminate the water which is at the bottom.
If none of the above fix the problem, you might need to remove, disassemble, and clean all the passages in the carburetor. I like to have one extra carburetor either off the car, but known to be in good condition, or from another car (I have 3 T's) and if I have a problem such as Skyler, I will switch carburetors with one I know is in good working condition and see how it runs. That way I can isolate the cause of the problem.
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Re: First Start of the Season Fuel Mixture Problems

Post by Skyler Kimball » Tue Apr 21, 2020 6:13 pm

I think I will add more fuel to the tank to help with the bad gas. When I got this car up to running standards, I left virtually everything stock, meaning this car has the Holley G Carburetor, not the NH. Is there any difference in carburetors?

Although the choke spring would be nice, it wouldn't solve the engine cutting out problem.

I will take the carburetor apart and fully clean it out. Is it a good idea to leave a carburetor dry over the winter, or just put a winterizer in the fuel?

When I start my car, I have the spark set all the way up, and the throttle a little less than half way.

Notice I didn't mention the word "restored," but "running standards". The engine can run a little rough, and sometimes knocks at certain spark/throttle adjustments, but overall, I don't ever think my car will ever achieve the "prime the engine 4 times, and then pull the crank 1/2 a rotation easy start"

Thank you for all your help!

Next winter I'll be a bit more careful concerning leaving fuel in the system.


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Re: First Start of the Season Fuel Mixture Problems

Post by Scott_Conger » Tue Apr 21, 2020 7:08 pm

I am going to bet that your carb has this float valve: https://www.modeltford.com/item/6212GJG.aspx

It is junk

When allowed to sit for any length of time with modern gas, it will either stick shut, stick open, or just dribble...it will invariably do ANYTHING other than work correctly. I am betting that over time, you eventually get enough fuel into the bowl to let the car fire and then as it starves for fuel (fuel level drops), you must increase air velocity across the jet to continue to pick up ever decreasing fuel, until the car dies and that's the end of it until the bowl slowly fills up again.

I do NOT understand why rebuilders persist in putting Grose Valves into gravity-feed carbs (or any other carb for that matter). They haven't been right since the inventor of the valve died and someone else picked up the product line.

It's a simple carb. Good luck.

BTW, unless your engine has a rod poking out of the side of the block, so long as it runs, nearly all T engines can be made to prime and start almost instantly. Good carb, coils, manifold glands, timer and wiring. Anything less is simply denying yourself a lot of pleasure in the hobby.
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Full Flow Float Valves - deliver fuel like Henry intended!

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Re: First Start of the Season Fuel Mixture Problems

Post by Oldav8tor » Tue Apr 21, 2020 7:29 pm

To answer one of your questions, after your last drive before winter lay-up, I recommend turning the fuel off and running the engine until it dies of fuel exhaustion. I also add my recommendation to using a fuel stabilizer. With a lot of small and old engines I've found that doing so usually results in no starting problems in the spring while not doing so leads to taking the carburetor apart.

I have a Holley G and had no trouble starting and running my car this spring by following the above.

Good luck!
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Re: First Start of the Season Fuel Mixture Problems

Post by Skyler Kimball » Tue Apr 21, 2020 9:30 pm

Thanks for your suggestions! I do the same thing concerning the generator, turn off the fuel and run it until it dies is not a bad tecnique, just never thought about it in a T.

Concerning the carburetor needle, My carb is a mixture of 3 different Holley G's. One is the one that came with the car and 2 others were donated from friends. My carb looked too far gone to even try to fix up, one donated one was an earlier brassy one that would not suck air through it properly, and it leaked consistantly all over the place due to a bad float, the third carb cane from a guy who decided to buy a used fully rebuilt one from Langs, Snyders, or somewhere and let me take his old one. The float was the strangest looking float I had ever seen, it was thick wire with some foam/ plastic thing stuck through the metal and hooked up to somehow work as a normal float...But
I bought a new float and it worked fine, and this carb had a decent needle in it and seemed to not leak.

I did buy a newer style float that is better with ethanol, and not an original cork one.

Thank you for all the anvice!

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Re: First Start of the Season Fuel Mixture Problems

Post by Skyler Kimball » Tue Apr 21, 2020 9:34 pm

I forgot to mention, my carb does not have any filter on the end any more, it used to have a manifold heater style filter, but broke off.

Could the fact that too much debris in the air intake is making me keep the choke on?

Thanks!


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Re: First Start of the Season Fuel Mixture Problems

Post by jab35 » Thu Apr 23, 2020 11:54 am

Debris/junk in the intake will richen the mixture, like partial choke closure. If I were dealing with this problem, I'd first check fuel flow by opening the carb drain, and if flow is 'good', indicating adequate supply from tank, I'd still remove the carb and clean and check everything, confirm/correct float setting and replace the choke spring, which requires removing choke plate & shaft, inserting the new spring and reinstalling plate & shaft. I'd also carb cleaner spray all internal passages, some will tell you to drill out plugs and clean passages, but I would start with carb cleaner first, if passage is plugged then proceed with drilling out the plugs. You likely know all this, so I apologize in advance for saying stuff you know, good luck, stay safe. jb


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Re: First Start of the Season Fuel Mixture Problems

Post by Altair » Thu Apr 23, 2020 4:54 pm

This time of the year humidity can be high and carb ice can form in the throat of the carb, usually only after a few minutes of running. All the adjustments in the world won't fix it, just time and temperature.


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Re: First Start of the Season Fuel Mixture Problems

Post by DHort » Thu Apr 23, 2020 8:29 pm

Skyler, I put Star Tron in my gas for the winter. I do not know if it is the same, better, or not as good as Sta Bil. As long as you put something in there you should be good for the winter. Then I drive the car a bit so I know the gas mix is in the carb. Then I turn off the gas and drain the carb from the bottom. Your method should work just as well. I try to have 7-8 gallons of gas in the tank when I park it for the winter.

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