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Technical Having a hard time starting flathead V8

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Kelly Burns, May 26, 2020.

  1. Kelly Burns
    Joined: May 22, 2009
    Posts: 636

    Kelly Burns
    Member

    I’m hoping the power of the H.A.M.B. will help me.

    We just bought a ‘50 Ford with a 8BA flathead. The night we struck the deal, the guy we bought it from jump started it with a Snap On roll around battery jumper (he owns a trucking company). He only poured a little gas in the 8BA carb, and it started and ran for about 3 minutes. It was two days before the roll back brought it to us, he said he had drove it down the road to the gas station and put gas in it, I believe he did, but we had it roll backed because the body is apart, no glass or lights. Once we’ve gotten it home we’ve put a new 6v battery in it, taken the fuel line off and blown it out and filled the bowl with good gas. I’ve even tried starting fluid to get it started and can’t. I think he hit the battery with 12v when the previous owner was trying to get it started for me that night, I’ve been told that he may have hurt the regulator, but it did run after that. I know the carb does need to be rebuilt.

    It’s my first 6v system and my first flathead so I’m feeling a little defeated, but I wanted to have it running before I started doing any carb rebuilding or tune up so I have a baseline of, yes it runs.

    So what am I overlooking or not doing correctly?
     
  2. F-ONE
    Joined: Mar 27, 2008
    Posts: 2,260

    F-ONE
    Member
    from Alabama

    Did you actually see it run?

    Go through basic troubleshooting....
    Fuel
    Fire
    Time.....
    You do know 6V Fords are positive ground.
     
  3. Kelly Burns
    Joined: May 22, 2009
    Posts: 636

    Kelly Burns
    Member

    Yes we did see it run.

    I guess the one thing I'm not confident in is fuel, but thought with the starting fluid it would have attempted to start. Maybe in addition to a carb kit, I need to order a fuel pump rebuild kit. I have not put a timing light on it.
     
  4. F-ONE
    Joined: Mar 27, 2008
    Posts: 2,260

    F-ONE
    Member
    from Alabama

    You need to confirm spark.
    Start from square one in troubleshooting.
    Fuel
    Spark
    Time
    Something may have happened during the trip. Who knows ?
    Do not assume what’s wrong. Do the diagnostics and let the car tell you.
     
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  5. ROADSTER1927
    Joined: Feb 14, 2009
    Posts: 2,764

    ROADSTER1927
    Member

    The spark plugs may be fouled, take a look.
     
  6. Wanderlust
    Joined: Oct 27, 2019
    Posts: 140

    Wanderlust

    Gaurenteed he hit it with 12V, who would have 6V battery jump start available, the extra juice helps overcome all the corroded contacts and such. Clean all contacts and grounds and make sure battery is fully charged then give it a go
     
  7. WAIT - is it a positive ground original car ??? Look at the battery cables - which is a wider post - the ground cable or the other one - sometimes that helps to understand - if the ground has a wider gap - like a positive post - than there's your answer........if that's the case and you hooked it up backwards - you might have burnt the condenser and/or the points - just saying.......I work with a lot of early 50's engines and it helps and if there isn't a battery.
     
  8. leon bee
    Joined: Mar 15, 2017
    Posts: 499

    leon bee
    Member
    from Arkansas!

    Squirt some gas right down the throat and then choke it completely with your hand, it'll fire if it's gonna. If it fires at all, then pull the carb and clean it out. There's water and crud laying down in the bottom of the bowl. This is all pretty easy,
     
  9. harpo1313
    Joined: Jan 4, 2008
    Posts: 1,896

    harpo1313
    Member
    from wareham,ma

    was the key left on?
     
  10. make sure all grounds and battery terminals are clean and have good connections
     
  11. Mr T body
    Joined: Nov 2, 2005
    Posts: 2,148

    Mr T body
    Alliance Vendor
    from SoCal

    So it cranks now and has fuel (or starter fluid) and still won't start. What left? Check for voltage at the coil.
     
  12. 37 caddy
    Joined: Mar 4, 2010
    Posts: 343

    37 caddy
    Member
    from PEI Canada

    check the compression,possible the cylinder walls are washed down,especially if it hasnt run in a while,wouldnt take much to wash them down.how long did it run for,ive had valves stick open from running old stale gas,it only takes 1 or 2 stuck open to make it not run. Its propably something simple. Harvey
     
  13. Kelly Burns
    Joined: May 22, 2009
    Posts: 636

    Kelly Burns
    Member

    Thanks everyone.

    I did see quite a bit a sludge in the bowl when I took the top off the carburetor. In addition to filling the carburetor bowl, I took the glass bowl off the fuel pump and cleaned it and filled it with good clean gas, and it got more debris in it when I tried to start it by choking it. I was told that I could be causing a problem by jumping it with a screwdriver, once again, I'm new to 6v cars, so I couldn't argue that. My gut tells me to rebuilt the carburetor and the fuel pump and clean the gas tank, thoughts?
     
  14. flatheadpete
    Joined: Oct 29, 2003
    Posts: 9,760

    flatheadpete
    Member
    from Burton, MI

    Again....Check for spark first. Fuel is easy to see in the carb. No sparky...no starty...
     
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  15. Kelly Burns
    Joined: May 22, 2009
    Posts: 636

    Kelly Burns
    Member

    I have a feeling it is something simple. I've put together several big and small blocks, and maybe my knowing my lack of experience with flatheads is keeping me from seeing something.
     
  16. Kelly Burns
    Joined: May 22, 2009
    Posts: 636

    Kelly Burns
    Member

    I agree with that. Once the rain stops, I that's the road I'm going to have to go down. By the way, "No sparky...no starty" is a new favorite saying!
     
  17. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 18,604

    Moriarity
    SUPER MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    jumping with a screwdriver? Is the ignition switch in the on position? does it have spark??
     
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  18. leon bee
    Joined: Mar 15, 2017
    Posts: 499

    leon bee
    Member
    from Arkansas!

    Raining like hell outside, so: I just did this, started an 8BA in my 46 pickup which sat out in the yard neglected all winter. Thought she'd be rarin to go, but nope. In my case, it was the aforementioned crap in the carb, condensation, etc. But.........if you saw it run, then here's the drill-- disconnect the fuel line from tank, don't pump anymore of that stuff up there. Just use a gas can. Then clean the points, they're right in front of you, and maybe check the gap. Clean plugs, too, if feeling generous.

    Run a hot wire from battery to coil, skip all that other stuff.

    Then, when it fires a little and tries to run, pull the carb and clean it all out. There's junk all down in the power valve and everywhere else. Don't forget to disconnect that wire to the coil.
     
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  19. Jacksmith
    Joined: Sep 24, 2009
    Posts: 334

    Jacksmith
    Member

    Starting fluid... Baaaad... Premium fuel... goooood!
     
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  20. leon bee
    Joined: Mar 15, 2017
    Posts: 499

    leon bee
    Member
    from Arkansas!

    Here's another tip for the future. Go to NAPA and get one of those Echlin 6v solenoids with the push button on the bottom. Then you can just crank her over with your left thumb, and work on (hammer on) the engine with your right hand.
     
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  21. leon bee
    Joined: Mar 15, 2017
    Posts: 499

    leon bee
    Member
    from Arkansas!

    And the Arkansas spark check: grab a plug wire with your bare, sweaty hand and crank her over.
     
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  22. Kelly Burns
    Joined: May 22, 2009
    Posts: 636

    Kelly Burns
    Member

    Still having a hard time getting it started. I've ran new fuel line, rebuilt the carb, rebuilt the fuel pump, replaced the plugs, and put new plug wires on it. Getting ready to put a new coli on it. As I was re-reading these posts, I saw the one @stillrunners put about the condenser. When I was doing the plug wires, I did take the cap off and the points and condenser look new.

    How do I test the condenser?

    Any other suggestions, I'm to the point I think it's spark.
     
  23. Jacksmith
    Joined: Sep 24, 2009
    Posts: 334

    Jacksmith
    Member

    Arkansas condenser check; Take the condenser out, touch the wire end to a running engine's spark plug, pull it away, touch the wire end. if it knocks you on your butt... it's good.
     
  24. You can not tell whether a condenser is good or bad by looking at it, BTW I was ask by a friend to help him get his flatty to fire up, I started by checking the points and making sure there was spark, the engine turned and tried to start but nothing, then I told him to pull the number 1 plugs and then I knew what his problem was, he had wired it like a sbc, I corrected the plug wires and it fired up on the first turn of the switch.

    Just a example of things that are easily overlooked. HRP
     
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  25. clem
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,945

    clem
    Member

    From original post you state that he poured a little gas down it and it ran for about 3 minutes.
    In my experience, an 8ba won’t run that long unless it’s sucking fuel from somewhere else, or if fuel bowl is full.

    You don’t actually specify ( unless I missed it ), does it fire and not run or not wind over, or runs and coughs and splutters.

    What about the Regulator. Would that stop it doing what it is not actually doing. These can be touchy sometimes.
    This is the only thing that would be much different to the (assuming later model with alternator ) sbc that you are used too.
    Condensers can be bad even straight out of a new box, esp if made overseas.
    Cracked distributor cap?
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2020
  26. clem
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,945

    clem
    Member

    it will be something simple. If you can play with one you can play with the other.
     
  27. Kelly Burns
    Joined: May 22, 2009
    Posts: 636

    Kelly Burns
    Member

    It's spins over like a dream! It won't hit a lick.

    I think I failed to mention that I did replace the regulator.
     
  28. Kelly Burns
    Joined: May 22, 2009
    Posts: 636

    Kelly Burns
    Member

    When I replace the plug wires, I did it one at a time, I don't think he would have had the wires off and got them mixed up between the night we saw it run and attempting to start it.
     
  29. Kelly Burns
    Joined: May 22, 2009
    Posts: 636

    Kelly Burns
    Member

    Opinions wanted, am I wrong wanting to get it started before I "possibly" convert it to 12v?
     
  30. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 5,111

    tubman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I believe that you should try to get it started and running on 6 volts before you even consider a 12 volt conversion. What you learn by doing this will serve you well during your subsequent ownership of the vehicle.
     
    clem likes this.

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