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Just can't win.

This is a discussion on Just can't win. within the Early Birds [1955-1957] forums, part of the Thunderbird Model Years category; Finally got the car in working order after 2 new fuel pumps, fuel bowl, starter solenoid, and carburetor. fired right ...

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  #1 (permalink)   IP: 69.144.49.133
Old 06-23-2011, 02:37 PM
 
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derek is on a distinguished road
Thumbs down Just can't win.

Finally got the car in working order after 2 new fuel pumps, fuel bowl, starter solenoid, and carburetor. fired right up friday night after installing the new carb. then fired up again sunday mid afternoon no problem. now today, nothing. emptied the fuel bowl and to my avail the fuel pump is not working again.

all i can figure is the tank has so much sediment in it that it's clogging the fuel pump therefore causing this issue.

as many of you know, the car is completely restored but had bad gas sitting in it since 1996 or so. all i can figure is it gelled up and all that sediment is the culprit?

i think my next step should be to drain and drop the tank and have it cleaned?

any insight and thoughts are greatly appreciated.
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Old 06-23-2011, 09:08 PM
 
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Derek,

Since everything went to unleaded fuel I've had the same problem you do. From a cold start, after sitting overnight, I could crank the old gal until the 6 volt battery was so low that she wouldn't crank anymore without a jump, and it might start. Most times no.

If I pour a little fuel down her throat before I crank her, she'll start every time when cold. After she warms up, it'll start every time, just by turning the key.

I changed the fuel pump, I even put a one way check valve in the fuel line before the fuel pump, believing the the gas was syphoning by gravity back to the tank overnight. No change in its starting.

Then an old timer told me that the new gasolines with ethanol evaporate overnight out of the carb, and it takes quite a long time to get the fuel pump to load her back up just by cranking the starter. (It just about kills my 6 volt battery every time.) The new fuels are so volatile that I've had problems with my 54 MG TF getting vapour lock on very hot days. It never happened with the unleaded fuels.

So now I dump some fuel down the carb whenever the car has sat overnight, and it starts right up. Its a problem that I've just decided to live with, rather than change over to an electric fuel pump or go to a 12 volt system. As I said, once started, it continues to start up just fine for the rest of the day.

Maybe someone else has a solution to share.

Last edited by gbhrps; 06-23-2011 at 09:10 PM.
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Old 06-24-2011, 02:25 PM
 
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gbhrps,
thank you for your reply, i always wait patiently to hear back from you with your input.

what baffles me is how i am getting no fuel in the fuel bowl? i cranked and cranked and cranked and nothing. last time i put a new fuel pump in, immediately she started dumping fuel into the fuel bowl. which now brings me to believe there is a lot of sediment in my gas tank which is causing the fuel pump to clog up. from my research you can't just unclog the fuel pump?

so i went ahead and ordered a new gas tank, fuel sender, and fuel pump and hope to atleast acheive that part of the problem. also thought about running an electric fuel pump somewhere after the gas tank to accomodate the oem fuel pump. but i am really considering adding another fuel filter before the fuel pump to stop the problem of clogging the fuel pump itself. i guess with a new gas tank i probaly won't have that problem but i am a firm believer in safe measure i suppose.

oh, as for dropping the gas tank. how does the fuel neck detatch from the tank? are there bolts in the fuel lid to where the neck will drop with the tank and then i can disassemble the neck to install to the new tank? forgive me but i forgot to look yesterday and don't have plans on seeing the bird for a few days. new parts will be in tuesday so wish me luck my friend!

thank you.
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Old 06-25-2011, 03:55 PM
 
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derek,
Its been a few years, but I believe that the filler neck just pushes in and pulls out of the grommet at the filler door.

As for your fuel pump not working properly, there are a couple of things to check. Pumps with original rubber diaphragms get eaten up by the ethanol fuels. Newer diaphragms for the same pumps can be had that the ethanol won't destroy.

As well, you can take the pump apart yourself and check it out. The only tricky part once the casing is opened up, is to push on the centre of the diaphragm with the heel of your hand and swing the diaphragm to the side to unhook its connecting rod from an interior hook. You do have to push it in quite a ways, and swing the rod. Try one direction and then its 180 degree opposite. (once unhooked and off you'll see how it has to go back on, using the same method.) To determine which directions to swing, its the same direction in line with the actuating arm that sticks out from the pump.

Check out the valves inside the pump for crud as well.

Before any of this, once the fuel pump is off the car, hook up some lines to a gas container and try making the pump work by hand. If it does, then you didn't have the fuel pump activating arm on the engine's cam properly when it was last installed. (Ask me how I know.) Maybe the gasket between the pump and the block was too thick, or the bolts were loose?
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Old 06-25-2011, 10:09 PM
 
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gbhrps,
not having the fuel pump on securely could be the cause but not too sure seeings how i am ocd with bolts and so forth. also, the pump was working flawlessly and then nothing which makes me believe the pump is clogged due to sediment. i did drain a bit of gas and sift it out to find what looked like crushed up oreo cookies in the bottom of my drain pan.

as for the rubber diaphram? wouldn't the past two new pumps have the newer diaphram?
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Old 06-25-2011, 10:32 PM
 
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derek,
Its hard to say. How long have the pumps been sitting on a shelf? They could be 30 years old, or just 3. But, if you've found junk in the gas, as you say, then you're probably going at it correctly to replace the gas tank.

You may want to consider an in line gas filter under the car near the tank (so it won't show). All depends on whether you're going to have a show car or a driver. One thing for sure ... she is going to attract a lot of attention when you get her out of the driveway!
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  #7 (permalink)   IP: 173.70.37.234
Old 06-25-2011, 10:42 PM
 
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Drain and drop the tank. See what kind of stuff comes out.

A possible cause is the flex hose running from the hard line to the fuel pump. Is this new? They have been known to collapse internally so I would replace it if it is old.

Additionally, check the condition of the hard line. If it has a hole in it, it can suck air and not fuel.
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Old 06-26-2011, 12:27 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbhrps View Post
derek,
Its hard to say. How long have the pumps been sitting on a shelf? They could be 30 years old, or just 3. But, if you've found junk in the gas, as you say, then you're probably going at it correctly to replace the gas tank.

You may want to consider an in line gas filter under the car near the tank (so it won't show). All depends on whether you're going to have a show car or a driver. One thing for sure ... she is going to attract a lot of attention when you get her out of the driveway!

gbhrps,
you argue a great point there my friend. as for the inline filter, you absolutely read my mind. i am going to run one under the car just for safe measure and possibly an electric fuel pump closer to the gas tank(all not visible)for safer measures.

again, thank you for your help and compliments!
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Old 06-26-2011, 12:54 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paul2748 View Post
Drain and drop the tank. See what kind of stuff comes out.

A possible cause is the flex hose running from the hard line to the fuel pump. Is this new? They have been known to collapse internally so I would replace it if it is old.

Additionally, check the condition of the hard line. If it has a hole in it, it can suck air and not fuel.
paul2748,
about the flex hose.....yes it is new. your talking about the 5 inch hose with the fitted fuel adapter lines correct? pretty sure you are. but yes it has been replaced. as for the hard line itself, it is virtually brand new stainless line.

thank you for your reply. much appreciated.
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Old 06-30-2011, 11:49 AM
 
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UPDATE!!!!!
installed the new fuel pump, blew out the fuel lines, and installed the new gas tank and fuel sending unit. now i knew there was a lot of corrosion in the tank but once i pulled the unit....my lord i never seen such corrosion. this did make me feel a lot better seeings i was putting the new tank in. car fired up right away and is doing great as we speak

kind of nice to see clear fuel in the bowl instead of a reddish brownish fuel!

as i said before, i am the go to man for any vehicle modern but when i started on the bird i was mostly dumbfounded. after help and advice from a few of you, research, hands on, and trial and error.....i have learned much about the bird.

thank you.
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  #11 (permalink)   IP: 76.182.245.151
Old 12-29-2011, 08:48 AM
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Garage
filters

After installing a new holly it shortly became quite clogged with tank residue,,flushing the tank and cleaning the filter helped but the old ceramic fish bowl allowed too much to pass,,I installed a new in line clear filter along the frame rail,,easily changed elemnt etc,,
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