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EFV-8 Club Forum / General Ford Discussion / Hard Starting 36

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Posted By Discussion Topic: Hard Starting 36

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11-05-2018 @ 7:25 AM
Posts: 34
Joined: Jul 2018
I have a 36 I have owned for a year. It has always had a tendency to crank and crank before it starts. I've always suspected fuel vs electrical. This past weekend I changed the spark plug, spark plug wires, distributor plates all which needed replacing badly. Runs much better but I still crank and crank before I get ignition. I squirted some starter fluid into the carburetor and it fires right up with one backfire, like it always has. So I'm convinced its a fuel issue. Any ideas where to go next? Fuel pump? Carburetor? I've tried choking it, but I tend to flood it before I ever get it started when I do that.

11-05-2018 @ 8:45 PM
Posts: 1100
Joined: Nov 2009
It could be that your carburetor is leaking from its power valve. Buy a quality rebuild kit or send it off to have it rebuilt....

11-06-2018 @ 5:49 AM
Posts: 34
Joined: Jul 2018
That was my first guess too. Fuel pump second. Thanks, I will do that.

11-06-2018 @ 7:03 AM
Posts: 6111
Joined: Oct 2009

You should not get a backfire when you start the engine. You should be able to choke the carburetor to get the engine started when the engine is cold.

You didn't say whether you have a Stromberg or Ford carburetor.

How long do you have to crank the engine in order to start it?

Your fuel pump should provide enough gas to start the the engine in 30 seconds if the sediment bowl and the carburetor bowls are empty.

When your fuel and ignition systems are operating correctly, with a cold engine you should be able to get in the car , press the accelerator once, pull the choke out, turn on the ignition switch, press the starter button and the engine should start.

First, I would check to see if the carburetor bowl is empty after sitting by removing the air cleaner and operating the accelerator once while looking into the throat of the carburetor. You should see 2 streams of fuel coming from the jets. If you don't see this, have your carburetor rebuilt. Look for signs that the carburetor is leaking, gas stains around the base of the carburetor and on the intake manifold, one or 2 spark plugs that have more carbon build up than the others and a gas smell on the dipstick. Anyone of these signs mean that the carburetor should be rebuilt.

Next I would do a fuel delivery test to see if the fuel pump os operating correctly.

To check fuel delivery, you need a graduated 16 ounce or larger container to determine the amount of fuel delivered in a measured time. Disconnect the fuel pump line from the carburetor and direct it into a graduated container. Crank the engine long enough to get 2 ounces of gas in the container and then continue cranking for 15 more strokes of the pump. The pump should have delivered 6 more ounces of gas.

Insufficient fuel delivery can be caused by a vacuum leak, plugged flex line, worn pivot in the pump arm, stretched diaphragm, plugged fuel line or tank pickup, plugged tank vent or wrong gas cap or a worn push rod.


11-06-2018 @ 7:58 AM
Posts: 34
Joined: Jul 2018
Thanks Tom. That is great information.
I believe my carburetor is a Stromberg but I'll double check that. I crank it for a good 30 seconds or longer before I stop and squirt some starter fluid in it. Then it starts right up but does do one backfire. Sounds more like a cough actually. It's coming from the engine not the exhaust.
I'm going to try your starting routine. I've flooded it so many times in the past that I've gotten gun shy and I don't push down on the accelerator pedal probably like I should. I'll try that with the ignition switch off. That's a good tip.
Checking the carburetor for fuel stream is a simple test and will answer that question. I just feel like its more carburetor than fuel pump. But I'll definitely check that too.
Thanks a million. Great tips and advice.

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