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Hot Rods 4 year mystery

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Michael Ottavi, Jul 2, 2020.

  1. Thor1
    Joined: Jun 6, 2005
    Posts: 1,454


    This is wisdom...
  2. el Scotto
    Joined: Mar 3, 2004
    Posts: 4,352

    el Scotto
    from Tracy, CA

    My Challenger is like that after a long while sitting. It's simply needing to get the fuel back up to the carburetor from the tank.

    Sometimes I think about installing a crappy electric pump just to hit when I want to awaken the beast from its slumber....
    Desoto291Hemi and Thor1 like this.
  3. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,415


    Fuel is the usual culprit, mine pretty much all evaporate dry after a few days or so. Some are easier to get going than others. Electric pumps help, so do small carbs (small float bowl that is, like a Qjet)
    Ron Funkhouser, Thor1 and 41 coupe like this.
  4. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 27,192


    Probably one of the best statements ever made on the HAMB.
    Outside of designs that just flat don't perform as well as we would like most all ignition systems work/function.

    The key comes on how simple they are to diagnose if you have an issue.
    The second thing is are parts readily avail;able to make a repair without waiting for parts to be shipped to you to get you going.

    Points may not be the most efficient but you can usually muddle past issues with them and get a rig going.

    In 1998 I was on my way to Texas taking my kids back to their mom after they were with me for most of the summer and at one of those Wyoming rest areas about 12 miles west of Little America we came on a young couple with a stalled Dodge pickup. A bit of checking showed that his points were fried and I use his wife's girl friend's emery board to file the points and a match book cover to set them and we got it fired up and running. I couldn't have done that with a blown module. On the other hand I gave a buddy of mine the instructions for testing an HEI that Napa Echlin put out and I have saved in my photobucket pages. His motor home stalled in Canada several miles from town, he remembered the instructions, got out his multi meter and started testing and figured out the issue. Unloaded his bicycle and rode to the next town to a parts house, got the part and rode back and put it together and fired it up nd continued on with his vacation.
    My boat has what appears to be a Pertronix conversion in it. I have real good boat towing insurance because there is no walk to town if that one stalls out.

    Back to the OP's quandary. Possibly an ignition corrosion issue but I'd try the suggested starting fluid trick the next time I fired it up. I had to prime the carb on my carbed Dualie this morning because it has sat for a couple of months and the pump didn't want to pick up the fuel and get it to the carb. I filled the float bowl and it fired right off and a long as I drive it every few days it will still start right up. I'm wondering if there is actually fuel to his carb.
    Thor1 and chryslerfan55 like this.
  5. 2OLD2FAST
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 2,523

    from illinois

    Define trouble free ignition
    Thor1 likes this.
  6. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 18,590

    Staff Member

    one that doesn't require a rollback tow truck, assuming you have done your periodic maintenance
    King ford, Thor1 and chopped like this.
  7. gnichols
    Joined: Mar 6, 2008
    Posts: 10,753

    from Tampa, FL

    Similar to all weather aircraft.
    Thor1 likes this.
  8. TERPU
    Joined: Jan 2, 2004
    Posts: 2,230


    Maybe it's not the ignition. Just a thought but what's the oil pressure as you are cranking it? Lifters have been known to bleed off over the Winter. I chased what I thought was an ignition problem for a long time. Then this really smart Old Mechanic pointed out this very thing. So now I spin that same car over until I have 20 psi at least of oil pressure. Viola! starts every time.

    It's a SBC with dual quads and a Magneto.

    Just a thought - Tim
    brigrat and Thor1 like this.
  9. Is the coil mounted upside down?

    8N tractor would burn points, coil was mounted upside down, no problem after mounting with the terminals on top.
    Our first street stock we mounted the coil in the cowl but pointed down, after a 25 lap feature you could not touch it and the engine was misfiring at the end of the straights.
    Remounted it on the outside of the firewall and all was good.
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2020
    Thor1 likes this.
  10. X-cpe
    Joined: Mar 9, 2018
    Posts: 974


    That just tells you that there is fuel in the bowl and the accelerator pump circuit is functioning. The idle circuit and main circuit could still be varnished up.
    Lloyd's paint & glass and Thor1 like this.
  11. I would give it a shot of starting fluid direct into the carb. See what happens. I had to do this to one of my cars if it sat for a long time without being run.
    Thor1 likes this.
  12. You are getting close. The rings are likely dry after sitting so long and they need oil to make compression. I would remove the plugs and shoot some MMO into each cylinder and then give it a go. I had this happen on stock car engines that were idle all winter.
    Thor1 likes this.
  13. Great tip! Saves a bit of wear and tear on your battery and starter, too. Most carbs have a bowl vent tube (or two or four) exposed in the airhorn. A plastic squirt bottle with a small nozzle makes it easy to fill the float bowls thru the vent tubes without slopping gas over the top of your engine.

    An old Zippo lighter fluid bottle works great. It's got a small nozzle that seals up tight and gasoline doesn't seem to effect the plastic bottle. Also handy for filling up a new or freshly rebuilt carb. Probably not a bad idea to label it as "GAS" though, before someone refills their lighter with it.
    dwollam and Thor1 like this.
  14. Gary Addcox
    Joined: Aug 28, 2009
    Posts: 2,350

    Gary Addcox

    First of all, my sympathy for where you live. That being said, why don't you drive it ANYTIME a pleasant day rears its pretty head when it happens to be dry out ? You might consult with rodders who reside in Michigan, Minnesota, or other locations that have similar weather and see if they experience the same thing.
    Thor1 likes this.
  15. Michael Ottavi
    Joined: Dec 3, 2008
    Posts: 68

    Michael Ottavi

    P1010035.JPG Gary, if I could get it to start, I would be out in the 29' also.
    King ford, Surfcityrocker and Thor1 like this.
  16. rusty valley
    Joined: Oct 25, 2014
    Posts: 1,657

    rusty valley

    i see some room for more louvers!
    Thor1 likes this.
  17. Lloyd's paint & glass
    Joined: Nov 16, 2019
    Posts: 2,432

    Lloyd's paint & glass

    Fuel, spark, air and compression. If it's firing, then move to a compression check. You never mentioned what kind of carbs are getting fuel. I run edelbrock carbs on everything, but every spring i pull the top off and clean the crud out of them. I don't know if it's the gas we have these days or what, but there's always that grey sludge in the bowls. So the next time it happens, I'd check spark, if it's there, then I'd check for carb issues.
    Thor1 likes this.
  18. Shutter Speed
    Joined: Feb 2, 2017
    Posts: 823

    Shutter Speed

    Rick, I’d like to hear your input on that.
    A couple years back I converted my Banger to an FSI Kit. Used their coil, mounted traditionally w/ contacts down.

    Returning after a drive, accidentally touched the coil with my wrist...WAY HOT!
    Started asking..H.A.M.B., FSI, Charlie Yapp (Scalded Dog)...”Is this normal?”

    None could help except Charlie. He said with the coil contacts-down, the internals on the opposite end are often left exposed, out of the oil coolant level. He installs his horizontally because of this. I rotated mine 180*...temp went from 165* to 130!

    What’s your experience?

    Thor1 likes this.
  19. pirate
    Joined: Jun 29, 2006
    Posts: 503

    from Alabama

    I have a off theme car that sometimes gives me trouble after not being startedFor a while. Good cranking power good electrical, etc. I usually pump accelerator several time but have found that if it doesn’t start removing air cleaner and manually pumping carb linkage wide open several times then trying to start works every time. Has a Demon carb and once started runs fine in every way after that. Go figure.
    Thor1 likes this.
  20. sawzall
    Joined: Jul 15, 2002
    Posts: 4,697


    so.. a few years ago I had traded into a car built by another hamber.. this particular car had a key switch and then a starter button.. I cant recall how the heck I ever figured this out.. but if the key wasnt turned ALL the way and held in a certain position pushing the starter button would turn spin the starter, but wouldnt direct electricity to the coil.. I still dont totally understand why..
  21. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,415


    the switch was worn out, most likely
    TERPU and Thor1 like this.
  22. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 4,591


    I also vote for the ignition switch. My 57 will do this to me after sitting a while. It will crank but not fire. If I take the key and crank it back and forth a few times and push it hard against the contacts, it fires immediately. Then once I start driving it more often, the issue goes away and it starts normal. It's like something gets on the terminals inside the switch that prevent it from turning the ignition system on. Your problem sounds very similar.
    Thor1 likes this.
  23. greybeard360
    Joined: Feb 28, 2008
    Posts: 1,484


    One thing I have seen on MSD 6 and StreetFire boxes is they tend to "forget" what is triggering them. Only seen it happen when electronic distributors are being used. Unplug the distributor and take the white wire that would normally trigger points and tap it on a ground with ignition on.turn off ignition and plug distributor back in. Should fire right up.
    Thor1 likes this.
  24. lippy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2006
    Posts: 4,780

    from Ks

    I can't wait till next year so I can comment on this thread. LOL.

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