First start issues

Discussion in '1947-1954' started by dorcutt, Apr 14, 2019.

  1. dorcutt

    dorcutt Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2007
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    160
    Location:
    Keep the truck in VT
    Tried to start my 57 after working on it all winter and no joy. A couple of issues.
    First is the distributor. She fired off once or twice and then nothing. I notice the the distributor cap was jumping around a bit and when I pulled it off the brass tab on the rotor was at an angle and the plastic holding it in place was broken.
    This is the second time I have seen this. When I first got the truck, the original was like that and I replaced it. I also noticed the brass tabs in the distributor cap were worn and some had significant groves in them so I replaced that. The distributor appears to be tight in its mount and moves freely with the vacuum advance. I have a receipt that shows the distributor was rebuilt 20 years ago.

    The second question is do I have to prime the mechanical fuel pump? I went through the fuel system, pulled the tank, cleaned it, checked the sender unit, pump, filter and blew all the lines out. Took the pump apart and the diaphragms appear to be good, no tears and mechanical action appears to be good. But when turning the engine over I get no fuel to the glass fuel filter right before the carburetor. I read an earlier post where Nate indicated if you crack the input line to the pump you should have plenty of fuel coming from the tank. But does the line have to be primed for that to happen? ( I did put fuel back in the tank, a couple of gallons)

    I still have an intermittent starter after changing the starter, the ignition switch, checking the continuity of all the wires. It has a good clunk when I turn the ignition switch and acts like the gears may not be meshing, it does this bout 30% of the time. I had to add a couple of shims to get it to do this and am thinking I may need some more.
    Any help or ideas would greatly appreciated as am running out of ideas.

    Dave
     
  2. morabuffalo

    morabuffalo Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2012
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    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    What I do or try to do when starting up an old engine:
    -go back to the basics...eliminate as much as possible
    -jump box direct to starter with a jump to coil... nothing else connected
    -gas in an old quart oil container...set up on windshield...gravity fed...simpl
    -check for spark at a plug or plugs...points...or wire
    -take out plugs put in a little oil in each cylinder before to turn engine...get it all loose!
    -while doing all of this plenty of Pepsi, donuts, and humming of old 60's rock songs
    -so far it has worked for me
    -then start adding back all of the stuff you cut out of the system....from a quart fuel tank to pump to line to tank...
    - Good Luck! oh, and have some fun doing it!
    -oh why the jump box and not the battery...hummmmm...it might just be what is causing all the problem
    rod
     
  3. dorcutt

    dorcutt Member

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    Keep the truck in VT

    Thanks for tips, am slowly doing that, process of elimination one by one.. much appreciated.
     
  4. vwnate1

    vwnate1 Member

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    Late to the party as usual.....

    ? Is it running yet ? .

    First, with two gallons of fuel in the original bottom outlet fuel tank you should get a solid stream of fuel gushing out the pipe where it attaches to the fuel pump inlet or it's obstructed somehow .

    Top feed from tank you'll need to blow in the filler neck (or use a rag and blow gun) to prime the pipe .

    There are two different dist. caps, the 216 one that's lower profile and the taller one that's taller ~ using the 216 cap will cause the rotor button to catch and be damaged / break .

    Maybe you're using the wrong rotor ? .

    Set the engine to the #1 cylinder (faint triangle on flywheel lined up with pointer in window above the starter) , loosen the dizzy's pinch clamp and remove it ~ turn it by hand as you try to hold the cap in place, it's possible to mis install the correct cap so it tilts a little bit and catches .

    The starter is pretty simple ~ either it works or not, find out *exactly* what it's not doing (you're not clear here) and work on that aspect .
     
  5. dorcutt

    dorcutt Member

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    Keep the truck in VT
    Thanks Nate, sorry I missed your post, I was away.
    I have ordered a distributor and am waiting for it to come in.
    I found the check valves in the fuel pump totally dried up and not working so let them sit in some WD 40 for a couple of days and they seem to be working now.
    I added another .064 shim to the starter but have not tried it yet so may be back at ya on that one. Will see
    Will let you guys know.
     
  6. vwnate1

    vwnate1 Member

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    O.K. ;

    Don't be in any rush to discard that dizzy you have now .
     
  7. vwnate1

    vwnate1 Member

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    Uh, oh ~

    I neglected to ask a maybe important question here :

    235 or 265 V8 ? .
     
  8. dorcutt

    dorcutt Member

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    Location:
    Keep the truck in VT
    It’s a 235. Block number is 3837004 56 truck block I think.
     

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