Topic: 1940 Hard Starting Flathead

Aloha 40    -- 04-02-2010 @ 1:00 PM
  We got our '40 Ford on the road, and its a joy to ride in and drive. We think it runs a little bit on the warm side with a radiator as stock as we could come up with. (Re-cored at a reputable local radiator shop). The engine starts real fine when cold, but after we drive it and warm it up we can shut it off and it’s difficult to start up. We think it floods itself after we shut it off. We also know it's running really rich. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Also, thanks for all the help you guys have given us in the past.


Allen S.

37RAGTOPMAN    -- 04-02-2010 @ 3:39 PM
  usullly the coil is at fault , if you Have a orginal on the car,
I had the same problem. I put a ice pack on the coil for a few minutes and it started up,
its worth a shot, a weak coil will also foul the spark plugs,
if it starts up when cold and hard when hot,
send the coil to SKIP HANEY is my suggestion,
this is where I sent mine,
my 3cents worth,37RAGTOPMAN

This message was edited by 37RAGTOPMAN on 4-2-10 @ 3:40 PM

deluxe40    -- 04-02-2010 @ 7:58 PM
  Check the spark when you are having difficulty starting it warm. If you have a nice blue 3/8" arc between a plug wire and a head bolt, then suspect the carburetor. Could be the power (economizer) valve leaking, a bad float needle/seat or float setting too high. Do you have an electric fuel pump? If so, you need a pressure regulator.

By the way, glad to hear your '40 is on the road. I followed your early work (when the body was off the frame) and you are making great progress!

ford38v8    -- 04-02-2010 @ 8:27 PM
  Allen, congrats on getting it on the road! You'll have to post some more pictures for us now. I agree with both the previous posts, those being the two most obvious causes of the problem.

As there is no mixture adjustment on the carburetor, the excess gas can be from the float level set incorrectly, too much fuel pressure (3lb max), gasket failure, economizer valve failure, or missing accelerator pump check valve.

After shut down, heat soak can boil out the gas, flooding the engine. If this is the case, cranking with the foot feed to the floor will clear the engine of excess fuel to allow starting.

Old coils break down with heat, suppling a weaker spark as they get hotter. A rebuilt is the answer.


TomO    -- 04-03-2010 @ 8:26 AM
  Alan, your problem sounds like a leaking gasket for the power valve. You said you are running rich ,is why I say this. Buy a carb kit from Speedway motors or Vintage speed. Use the gasket that that fits the seat for the power valve best and tighten the valve to 15 ft lbs.

Now that you have it finished, we would like to see some new photos.


Aloha 40    -- 04-03-2010 @ 1:59 PM
  Thank you everyone for answering back as fast as you did. My dad talked with Skip about the coil issue and we should be gettiing a new coil from him next week. This weekend, we will also be getting into the troubleshooting mode, following your guidance.

Here is a youtube video link of the car driving for the first time. We had a deadline to have it on the road because the Ford was actually for a school project. We found the doors and trunk lid locally and threw them on. The seat (in video) was a computer desk chair with wheels on the bottom. But for the presentation, I had a real seat and back fenders. So it isn't the prettiest of cars, but it sure catches a lot of attention for being a 1940 Ford. Also, I'll send more pictures soon.

Thanks again,

Allen S.

TomO    -- 04-04-2010 @ 10:02 AM
  Great job on getting it on the road. Now if you can teach your camera man? I really enjoyed seeing you drive it around.


39 Ken    -- 04-04-2010 @ 12:54 PM
  Aloha 40, What aerodrome are you using for your test runs?? Ken

Aloha 40    -- 04-05-2010 @ 1:12 AM
  We have a mechanical fuel pump, which we will be getting a pressure regulator for, sometime in the near future. We also tried icing the coil, but it didn't seem to have an effect.

We also found another 91-99 carb that's better than the 91-99 carb that we have. But it will still need a rebuild kit, so we should also be looking at getting that in the near future.

We were running the car on Ford Island at Pearl Harbor. On a later part of the video, I buzzed the tower. As for the camera man, that would be my dad. I think he did a fine job running the camera, there was a lot of excitement.

Allen S.

Aloha 40    -- 04-05-2010 @ 8:11 PM
  Hi again. Would anyone know a place that has exact fuel pump replacement springs and repair kit? It seems our springs have way too much tension. Also, how do you measure the carb float level? And when I reread the last post, I sounded a little aggressive, I am sorry. But let's just say my dad knows way more about cars than a camera.



39 Ken    -- 04-06-2010 @ 3:41 AM
  Ask that question over on the FordBarn site. Charlie Schwendler or KenCt. have the correct rebuild parts for the Fuel pump. I thought that was Ford Island. Recognized the control tower. Ken

This message was edited by 39 Ken on 4-6-10 @ 3:43 AM

TomO    -- 04-06-2010 @ 8:04 AM
  Allen, I think your Dad did a great job with the camera, my comment was in reference to his comment that he could not get the camera to zoom.

You can buy a fuel pump kit with the correct alcohol resistant parts from the Antique Auto Cellar.

Or you can buy a good quality new fuel pump from Speedway Motors.,25028.html?parentDisplayId=22163

Your fuel pump should be putting out 2-3lbs pressure. The diaphragm return spring determines the pressure.


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