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Technical 1951 ford need help diagnosing problem

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Sammy-76, May 9, 2020.

  1. Sammy-76
    Joined: May 1, 2020
    Posts: 12


    I took my 51 Ford out for a spin today. Everything was running & idling fine about 20 minutes into drive. The engine & changing gears became very sluggish on the third time of the car dying & not starting up. I ended up parking on the side of the road & leaving my car. It’s 84% degrees today I’m thinking most common issues could be overheating. My temp gauge was below halfway so I’m not sure exactly if overheating is the true problem. I’m not the best mechanic & still very new & learning how to wrench on my car. Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated

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  2. gene-koning
    Joined: Oct 28, 2016
    Posts: 2,014


    Has this been a running and driving car, or was this a 1st or 2nd trip out of the garage?
    I'm thinking you have a fuel problem. Either the gas is no good, or it has a bunch of crap in it and may have plugged up a filter, or maybe the car is vapor locking because of the heat. More info is needed. Gene
    F-ONE and oldiron 440 like this.
  3. flatford39
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 2,673


    clogged fuel filter is my guess.
    Sammy-76 and warhorseracing like this.
  4. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 25,266

    Jalopy Joker

    Sammy-76 likes this.

  5. rivguy
    Joined: Feb 16, 2009
    Posts: 136


    Coil could be breaking down due to the heat. How old is it? How about the condensor?
    6-bangertim and Sammy-76 like this.
  6. inthweedz
    Joined: Mar 29, 2011
    Posts: 401


    Petrol cap breather hole blocked ???
    Desoto291Hemi, Mr48chev and Sammy-76 like this.
  7. Sammy-76
    Joined: May 1, 2020
    Posts: 12


    Hey there Gene thanks for the reply. The car is new to me it belonged to my father in law but he recently gifted it to me. He had a lot work done to the engine by various shops in Spokane Wa within the last year. It been driven on the road a handful or times. But he did mentioned to me sometime he had a really hard time starting up the car. I ran into the same problem finally successfully came up with a combo to start up. 4 pumps on the gas pull out the choke then turn the key this seemed a bit overkill to me but it seems to work.
    The work that has been done as far as I can tell from the receipts are
    Hose clamps
    Radiator hose
    Spark plugs
    Fuel filter
    Clutch kit
    30w brake in oil
    Battery hold down & oil filter restrictor
    Battery cables
    Turn switches
    Gas tank
    Sending unit
    Carb kit
    Carb repair
    Distributor cap
    Distributor rotor
    Ignition contact, condenser
    Spark plug copper/ spark plug wires
    Battery cables to switch & ground
    Water temp
    Oil pressure gauge
    Sending unit
    Speedo cable
    Sorry for the super long reply just wanted to give you as much info as possible.

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  8. Sammy-76
    Joined: May 1, 2020
    Posts: 12


    Hey there thanks for the reply the Ford is new to me. My father in law gifted me the car looking over the receipts of work done. I didn’t see anything about the coil. But while looking at engine early today everything looked pretty new to me. So I’m not 100% sure it definitely something to look into. Thanks for the advice I appreciate it.

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  9. jaracer
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 494


    Original engine or something else?
  10. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 27,510


    Did it start up and run after you let it sit without doing anything else?
    Is the gas cap new and shiny since the tank was changed?
    I had a hell of a time with my 51 Merc years ago when I bought a new gas cap with the correct part number for a vented cap from a reputable parts house and it didn't vent. about four miles from the house the car quit and I thought it was out of gas and walked to the station got a gallon of gas and walked back and put gas in and it started right up. I got some gas later and filled the gas jug and left it in the trunk. Next morning, same thing at the same exact spot, slowed for a corner and when I went to take off it died. Thought it might be using a lot more gas than it should (freshly installed 350 Buick) and got out and opened the cap, Woosh bang the air rushed in the filler and the bottom of the tank popped back out. got back in with the cap a tad loose and drove on to work, swapped caps at the store, same thing again the next day, swapped caps again and finally got one that was vented and as far as I know still on the car.

    First thing is that you might actually check to see if it has gas in it. That one has happened to all of us with a car we aren't used to. If you know it had gas disregard this.
    Fuel filters plug up all too often on old cars that have old tanks but the new tank should take care of that. I cleaned about 5 lbs of dirt and gook including the neck of a broken ketchup bottle out of the tank on the 51 Merc a few days after the gas cap incident.
    The coil breaking down when it got hot is a good possibility though.
    Overheating I seriously doubt, with the low pressure that the stock radiator cap has it will puke coolant when it gets hot.
    Provided that it still has a flathead there are some sharp Hamb connected flathead Ford guys in the Spokane area. That is a plus in your favor.
    Desoto291Hemi likes this.
  11. Petejoe
    Joined: Nov 27, 2002
    Posts: 10,573

    from Zoar, Ohio

    You haven’t answered our question.
    Is this a flathead engine?
    The above statement indicates you are concluding new parts are actually good parts. That very well may not be the case.
    I’d suggest you find someone nearby who knows and works on the type of engine you have and ask if you can watch him go through it.
    It will be a good starting experience in mechanics.
  12. All fossil fuel motors require the same 3 things. Not all new parts are as good parts. All Mechanics/motor builders are going to miss the mark at some point. Hell, a Flathead isn't just a simple Motor even though they look like it. Things still need to be right, all 3 of them. All of the above are good info to have but still a guess at best. It could even be a less than perfect Valve adjustment. I say that 2 fold. You say it comes on with heat, you don't know the result of a tight valve and that could be caused by normal Motor heat. To find it you have to be on the spot when it happens and test all 3 must have conditions. That takes a real Mechanic, not just a Parts changer or a guy that can read a book. As much as we want to help you, you still need someone to physically help you on sight or your just going to spend a lot of time and $$$ hoping to get lucky.
    Sammy-76 and SEAAIRE354 like this.
  13. Not necessarily.

    Maybe it's something simple and cheap. One could start by checking simple and cheap things.

    Maybe he wants to or has to try figuring it out himself.

    Maybe someone (maybe even a will help out, online or in person.

    Maybe he'll switch it to an electric engine.

    It seems to depend on three things: time, money, and motivation.
    VANDENPLAS and Sammy-76 like this.
  14. I'm wondering what he means by this, especially the changing gears part.
    Sammy-76 likes this.
  15. Sammy-76
    Joined: May 1, 2020
    Posts: 12


    Thanks for the reply I tried starting car last night it was a no go. I tried again this morning it was a no go again as well. The car has gas in it little Under a full tank. The gas cap is older not sure if it’s the original but definitely not new. It has the flathead engine in it but it’s either fully rebuilt or new. I definitely didn’t see any coolant puke so I’m ruling out overheating. I’m going to check on it later tonight I’ll check the gas cap out so if there a pressure issue like you mentioned. Thanks again for your advice I truly appreciate it

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  16. Sammy-76
    Joined: May 1, 2020
    Posts: 12


    Sorry for lack of information I’m pretty much newbie when come to all this. The 51 does fave a flathead engine in it. Yeah that’s great advice about finding someone close to me. That’s definitely something I’ll be looking into. Thanks again for the help it’s greatly appreciates.

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  17. Have you removed the air cleaner, looked down the opening of the Carb operated the throttle rod and watched to see if the fuel squirts down the throat? That would tell you if it in fact has gas in it.
    Truckdoctor Andy likes this.
  18. Sammy-76
    Joined: May 1, 2020
    Posts: 12


    Thanks for the reply I filled up the gas tank a couple days before it broke down. Just went to check on the car. When I try to turn on car the lights & gauges are pretty the only thing that works right now. Gas gauge reads full I check out the carb there was no fuel squirts down the throat. So now I’m trying to pin point the problem. After seeing some of the comments & doing research last night. I thought it might have been a vapor lock problem but maybe that’s not the case. I’m going to get some gas tomorrow & see if I have any luck with that. But it’s probably time to get it into a mechanic that knows flatheads. Thanks for chiming in truly appreciate the advice

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    Pist-n-Broke likes this.
  19. I recommend having a fire extinguisher handy wherever you're working on it, and driving it. Be careful with the air cleaner off, and don't drive it with the air cleaner off.
    Sammy-76 likes this.
  20. In post #8 you have Gas Tank on the list. Was that a new one installed or the Old Tank messed around with? Here's your best bet if it happens to be plugged fuel filter after someone trying to clean up the stock one.
    [​IMG] New from Tanks inc. $230.oo
  21. Sammy-76
    Joined: May 1, 2020
    Posts: 12


    Yeah definitely that’s a good tip thank you

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  22. 37 caddy
    Joined: Mar 4, 2010
    Posts: 360

    37 caddy
    from PEI Canada

    try priming the carb with a small bit of gas,about a teaspoon full,close the choke over and try it,if it runs it is a fuel problem.If it doesnt try to start it could be lack of spark,remove a plug wire and ground a spark plug to see if you have fire,spin the motor over to see if you have spark.This will give you a starting point. Harvey
    flatford39 likes this.
  23. If you determine it to be a fuel delivery problem (no fuel at carb) don't neglect to check the flexible fuel hose between the firewall line and the fuel pump inlet fitting. If it's bad it can suck air rather than pulling fuel from the tank.
  24. sunbeam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2010
    Posts: 4,971


    One bad thing about a Ford flathead v8 the fuel pump sits high on the engine. Higher than the tank pumps push fuel better than they pull. You might try a short piece of garden or heater hose with a shop rag wrapped around it to pressureize the fuel tank by blowing in it and pushing fuel to the carburetor.
  25. Sammy-76
    Joined: May 1, 2020
    Posts: 12


    Thanks for the tip & advice I’ll definitely give it a shot. Thanks again I really appreciate it

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