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Technical Tips for starting quickly with dried out fuel bowls

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by The Shift Wizard, Oct 9, 2020.

  1. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 47,143


    Some carbs older carbs don't have an easy to access vent hole, so I just dribble some gas into the center of the carb...
    Lil32 likes this.
  2. Do it Over
    Joined: Dec 25, 2017
    Posts: 398

    Do it Over
    from NYC, NY

  3. jaracer
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 602


    Another thing is to make sure your choke is operating properly. Most of the youtube hot rod videos I see depict cars with an non-functioning or barely functioning choke. It's crank and pump, crank and pump.................
    ClayMart likes this.
  4. The gas bottle thing works if you are at home in your garage. If you actually drive your car it is a very ineligent solution when you are away from home.
    Mount an electric pump near the tank with an on/off switch. Turn pump on to prime the carb, start engine, turn pump off.
    No messy squirt bottle or drip can to deal with.
    Lil32 likes this.
  5. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 47,143


    I guess you don't understand the problem...??? The problem is when the car sits for several days or so. If you're away from home with the car, then you're probably driving it every day, aren't you? I do...
    blowby, Lil32, Truck64 and 2 others like this.
  6. SR100
    Joined: Nov 26, 2013
    Posts: 851


    I'd use this:
  7. The electric fuel pump is the best idea I think, but if you want a squeeze bottle that isn't affected by gas and has a nozzle you can close, use a posi trac additive bottle. I almost always have one of those with a bit of gas in it on my bench at work. I'm not recommending anyone else do this, and I'm sure the fire inspector would disapprove. :oops:
    samurai mike and hotrodA like this.
  8. Beanscoot
    Joined: May 14, 2008
    Posts: 1,690


    That Start Ya Bastard is only 25% ether. Ours is pretty much straight ether, but then again it's used to start cars in sub-zero weather.
  9. spanners
    Joined: Feb 24, 2009
    Posts: 1,039


    Ah yes. But the Australian version comes with 75% broooom, broooom.
    Doesn't dry the cylinder walls like straight ether.
    Baumi, OFT and Lil32 like this.
  10. MAD MIKE
    Joined: Aug 1, 2009
    Posts: 570

    from 94577

    I'm lazy.
    I also don't care for getting fuel on my hands, it stinks, takes forever to wash out and the wifey doesn't care for the stankonia of hydrocarbons.

    I'll verify there is fuel, or at least smells like, fuel in the tank.
    Battery is fully charged, connections tight.

    I grab the spray can of starting fluid.
    Spray about 3 seconds down the vent to feed the bowl(s).
    WOT the throttle and spray down the intake 3 seconds down the left and again down the right.
    If its over ~420ci I'll spray a bit longer.

    Put the air cleaner on, twist the key.
    Usually gets an ignored vehicle started and running fairly quickly.
    If it's been sitting longer than 6 months I'll pull the plugs and give them a quick inspection.
    Even with the crappiest of fuel pumps, the engine will usually self sustain itself on the starting fluid long enough to get something into the carb.

    Only time I've had and issue was helping out a fella on his OT vehicle. Engine would turn over, kick start, run and then die a couple seconds later. Since I got the engine to start so fast he thought something was wrong and would turn off the ignition. He was used to the 10+seconds of cranking before starting that the instant start freaked him out and thought 'it was gonna blow up'.
    I don't help that guy anymore.
    rbrewer likes this.
  11. manyolcars
    Joined: Mar 30, 2001
    Posts: 8,378


  12. Dave Downs
    Joined: Oct 25, 2005
    Posts: 874

    Dave Downs
    from S.E. Penna

    Tried that, bought metal oil can, filled it with gas, almost instantly gas swelled up o-ring on piston to the point you couldn’t move the plunger. Still looking for a gasoline-tolerant o-ring the right size as a replacement.
  13. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 47,143


    I had a metal squirt oiler years ago that didn't seem to have any rubber parts in it, I used it for priming carbs for several years...then went for a while not needing it for that, and it got turned into an oiler. Perhaps if you can find an old one, instead of a new one, it might work?
    Lil32 likes this.
  14. WB69
    Joined: Dec 7, 2008
    Posts: 1,417


    My dad did this on an old tractor. It works great!
    Truck64 likes this.
  15. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 7,644

    jimmy six

    My carbs seem to evaporate in 3-4 weeks not days. I think you may have a different problem also.
    stillrunners likes this.
  16. The squirt bottles for Zippo or Ronsonol lighter fluid work well for this purpose too. The small squirt nozzles seal well when closed and since the bottles are resistant to the naptha lighter fluid they also seem to be fuel-proof for gasoline and tolerant of at least some other solvents and thinners.
    Truck64 and ClarkH like this.
  17. ClarkH
    Joined: Jul 21, 2010
    Posts: 971


    What you don't use is an old plastic dish soap bottle. I kept it under the seat of my econoline to help with starting when I was a 16-year old dummy. The gas ate through it in a week or so.
    Truck64 likes this.
  18. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 4,230

    from Ioway

    Naphtha is gasoline after all, or the first distillate anyways. Octane about 50 with no additives. Lighter fluid would work just fine as-is to squirt down the carburetor for a dry start. In fact I use it for this purpose when it's handy, except it's in the form of Coleman stove and lantern fuel. I use that in my Zippos or handwarmers, because it's only $12 a gallon instead of $90.
    ClayMart likes this.
  19. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 4,230

    from Ioway

    I've seen it happen after "several" days. The bowl isn't actually completely dry, just the light ends or aromatics boil off or evaporate. Gasoline is different than when carburetors ruled the roost.
    jimmy six likes this.
  20. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 4,641


    I can’t believe no one knows the trick my Dad taught me years ago on the ranch on how to start a vehicle that had set for a while. I use it all the time on my 65 wagon.
    Just turn the engine over about one or two revolutions and wait about 10/15 seconds and do it again. Do this a few times and your carb will be full.
    The fuel pump pumps via a spring. Load that spring and the fuel pump will pump fuel into the carbs fuel bowels, even thought the engine is not turning. . It takes a little time for fuel to get through the needle and seat. That’s what the 10/15 second wait is for.
    I can still hear my Dad yelling “ quit wearing that starter out, Boy!” ......sure would like to hear that again!

    Edit: this method also saves your battery.

    Last edited: Oct 13, 2020
    OFT, Tickety Boo, blowby and 9 others like this.
  21. scrappybunch
    Joined: Nov 16, 2011
    Posts: 335

    from nj

    One of the cars we added to fuel pump to has a Q-jet. It would sit 2 to 3 days and have the extended crank, at first I suspected the dreaded "leaking plugs" in the bowl. So Removed the carb and set up a jar and fuel line to keep the bowl filled while checking for any signs of leaking. Even added UV dye to the fuel, it sat for 7 days and no leak found. That's when I added the electric pusher pump. Starts and runs like a fuelie now.
    pprather likes this.
  22. 6sally6
    Joined: Feb 16, 2014
    Posts: 1,312


    Brakleen (I know- I-know it'll kill ya if you burn it but) the butterflys and give it a little squirt. Start anything until the fuel pump can get fuel to it.
    Carb cleaner is good......prolly WD-40......anything volatile should work. IF you gotta keep on squirt'in you got bigger problems.
  23. MeanGene427
    Joined: Dec 15, 2010
    Posts: 1,481

    from Napa

    Back in the mid-80s when we were still running the alcohol- carbed roundy rounders, in the spring when you just got it together, getting the 1/2" line from the fuel cell in the back primed had no option for an electric pump, as we ran mags and no electrical system except the starter, total loss system. I watched guys crank and crank, prime from the top with backfires etc. I have a clear restaurant mustard bottle, filled it with gas and then filled the primary bowl only with it, pumped the throttle and lit it up. Only took about a minute before the methanol smell came around
  24. I saw a good trick with an old truck, there was a blind grommet in the middle of the air cleaner, so when you pulled it out, you had access straight down the throat. You could then squirt some juice straight in. Only works on clamp-type aircleaners.
  25. samurai mike
    Joined: Feb 24, 2009
    Posts: 474

    samurai mike

    gear oil bottle for me. fill the bowl through the vent.
  26. What Samurai Mike said.....what's so hard about that.....a bottle with gas and a little dab will do you...or two....
    Center of the Galaxie likes this.
  27. Harv
    Joined: Jan 16, 2008
    Posts: 96

    from Sydney

    There’s enough boom in the can that when the valve overlap farts back through the carb, it removes your eyebrows.

    Don’t ask me how I know.​

    At least the kids thought it was funny.

    Truck64 and rbrewer like this.
  28. earlymopar
    Joined: Feb 26, 2007
    Posts: 1,276


    I placed a check-valve in the line after the fuel filter which helped a lot on start ups after sitting for a long period of time.
  29. Blues4U
    Joined: Oct 1, 2015
    Posts: 5,009

    from So Cal

    I've never had a problem pouring a splash of gas into the carb throat before setting the choke. I usually have a small can of gas mixed with 2-stroke oil for my garden tools, that works well for just a splash of gas, and I figure it doesn't hurt to have a little oil for some top end lubrication. If you pour so much that you might cause hydraulic lock in a cylinder, you're doing it wrong.
    Boneyard51 and Truck64 like this.

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