Author Topic: Fuel issue in my 54  (Read 308 times)

Offline RobertM

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Fuel issue in my 54
« on: January 04, 2018, 11:59:16 AM »
Every time I start my 54 after its been sitting unstarted for a couple days or more, I have to crank the ignition for at least a minute or so to get fuel to the engine.

It seems it's all running back to the tank and I have to draw it anew every time. Any guesses on where I should start to look to solve this? I already killed one battery because of it and I'm worried I'm damaging other things.
Bob Melms

1954 60 Special
1999 Eldorado
Connecticut, USA

Offline Dave Shepherd

  • Posts: 1955
Re: Fuel issue in my 54
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2018, 12:13:35 PM »
I assume it has the WCFB carb? Check for proper choke operation? The float is below the inlet so the carb cannot drain back.

Offline Jeff Rose CLC #28373

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Re: Fuel issue in my 54
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2018, 03:27:11 PM »
Original fuel lines? Small line leak with a weak fuel pump may be an issue. I had that with the 55 we are working on.
Look at the clips along the frame rail for signs of leaking. You may want to also apply light vacuum to the line and see if it holds. A strong vacuum will suck up the fuel so try a small vac.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2018, 03:29:24 PM by Jeff Rose CLC #28373 »
Jeff
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1970 Coupe DeVille
1955 Series 62

Offline James Landi

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Re: Fuel issue in my 54
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2018, 03:33:16 PM »
May have a leaking check valve in your fuel pump that is drawing off SOME of the gas out of the carb... next time you leave it for several days,  have someone pump the gas pedal while you look down the carburetor throat to see if the "traffic pump" is squirting gas.    If it does once or twice and then not at all, you're losing gas out of your carb (float setting may be very low) as well as out of your fuel supply system--- in other words, not enough fuel present in your carb to prime the engine with your accelerator/ traffic pump .  Happy day, James

Offline Jon S

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Re: Fuel issue in my 54
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2018, 07:19:12 PM »
The Ethanol-laden gasoline contributes to hard starting after sitting for several days. If you are running the original glass bowl filter, gas is not draining back to your tank.
Jon

1958 Cadillac Sedan De Ville
1973 Lincoln Continental Coupe
1981 Corvette
2004 Mustang GT

Offline RobertM

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Re: Fuel issue in my 54
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2018, 10:37:27 PM »
 I'm using the old glass bowl, and that helped me diagnose it as a fuel problem. Nothing in there at all for the first minute or so, then finally a couple splashes, then a bit later it fires up.

I am running the original fuel pump which i rebuilt a few years back.  I do have a new one I can install.  I'll try that and see if it helps.   I won't be able to do that for a while.  The car is in North Carolina and the fuel pump is in Connecticut.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2018, 10:42:39 PM by RobertM »
Bob Melms

1954 60 Special
1999 Eldorado
Connecticut, USA

Offline Roger Zimmermann

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Re: Fuel issue in my 54
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2018, 03:06:57 AM »
This nothing unusual: the fuel evaporates after a few days and the carb is dry. On my now sold '56 de Ville, I put fuel in the carb by unscrewing one of both small screws on driver side of the carb. The other ones I have have electric fuel pump, but the carbs need some time with the contact on and pump running to have enough fuel to start the engine
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Offline James Landi

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Re: Fuel issue in my 54
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2018, 07:28:35 AM »
 A hard lesson I learned on the New Jersey Turnpike on my 1956 sedan one hot July summer morning...These fuel pumps mounted as the are on the oil filler, were intended to have the actuator fulcrum and pivot dowel packed with grease.  THere is no active oil lube for that pump.    Some of the original 50's gas pumps came with a zerk fitting grease point.  Over time, replacement pumps did away with the fitting... some mechanics knew that packing the inner part of the pump was necessary.   Over time, an unlubricated fulcrum and pivot wear and develop sufficient "play" to gradually become less and less effective at actuating the pump diaphragm. That summer's day, it was trial and error, as I removed the pump and worked the fulcrum-- plenty of gas! Got back on the highway, and began to lurch again... I finally figured out the problem when an aging counter man (this occurred in the early '70's) provided the necessary lesson that I p;ass on to you.  Happy day, James

Offline Jon S

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Re: Fuel issue in my 54
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2018, 10:25:35 AM »
The glass bowl should not be empty. How much gas is in it before you shut the engine?  It normally is between 3/4 to full.
Jon

1958 Cadillac Sedan De Ville
1973 Lincoln Continental Coupe
1981 Corvette
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Offline D.Yaros

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Re: Fuel issue in my 54
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2018, 02:41:35 PM »
I have the same circumstance with my 55 Cad and my 62 Olds.  I attribute it to the modern fuel?

Whenever either of these cars have sat for more than a few days I routinely fill the carb fuel bowl(s) through the fuel bowl vent tube(s) prior to trying to start the engine.  Once the fuel bowl(s) have been filled a tap on the accelerator pedal to close the carb butterfly and a pump or two to squirt fuel into the carb and she fires right up.
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Offline Jon S

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Re: Fuel issue in my 54
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2018, 02:56:17 PM »
I have the same circumstance with my 55 Cad and my 62 Olds.  I attribute it to the modern fuel.

It is definitely caused by the Ethanol in the fuel which lowers the boiling point; thereby, causing evaporation. I add Marvel Mystery Oil to my gas to raise the boiling point. I normally start after sitting for weeks with three quick tries and 2 pumps/try.
Jon

1958 Cadillac Sedan De Ville
1973 Lincoln Continental Coupe
1981 Corvette
2004 Mustang GT

Offline gkhashem

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Re: Fuel issue in my 54
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2018, 05:47:55 PM »
Jon

How much MMO do you add per tank?
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Offline Jon S

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Re: Fuel issue in my 54
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2018, 07:36:25 PM »
Jon

How much MMO do you add per tank?

I follow the recommendation on the container. I think it is 16 oz/20 Gallons but not positive.

CORRECTION:  8 oz/20 gallons of gas.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2018, 07:49:55 PM by Jon S »
Jon

1958 Cadillac Sedan De Ville
1973 Lincoln Continental Coupe
1981 Corvette
2004 Mustang GT

Offline 5390john

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Re: Fuel issue in my 54
« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2018, 07:00:48 PM »
I mounted an electric fuel pump just above the gas tank on my '55 CDV so that I could prime the fuel system before cranking the engine over. I control it with a momentary contact pushbutton switch mounter at the bottom of the dashboard in a spot where I think the convertible top switch would normally mount.
It works great, and does not interfere with the normal operation of the fuel pump mounted on the engine.
John Adams

Offline RobertM

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Re: Fuel issue in my 54
« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2018, 11:18:07 PM »
Great advice, thank you all.

I really don't think it's an ethanol issue. The fuel seems to be gone, completely back to the tank.  Nothing even left in the bowl.  But that will be the first, and easiest, thing for me to look at.

Then I'll reinstall the new fuel pump and see if that helps. I had taken it out a couple years ago to paint, and never swapped it back. It's possible there's an issue with my rebuild of the original fuel pump. You never know. If that doesn't do the trick, then I'm going to have look closer into the carb and fuel lines. I'm not very conversant with the inner workings of carburetors and hope I don't have to go there.

As usual, lots of good advice here in the CLC forum. I have been away for a couple years, but now I'm back, itching to go. I'm about to start paint, chrome and interior on the '54, so I'm sure I'll be reaching out again! 
Bob Melms

1954 60 Special
1999 Eldorado
Connecticut, USA

Offline Jay Friedman

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Re: Fuel issue in my 54
« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2018, 06:45:53 AM »
I agree with Jon S who wrote that ethanol lowers the boiling point in gasoline.  This may be the reason the fuel in  your carburetor evaporates so quickly. 

I suggest trying ethanol free gas in addition to what ever else you do to solve the problem.  You can find gas stations that sell it on www.pure-gas.org.  Click on "Map" to see if there are any such stations in your area. 
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Offline P. Manoogian

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Re: Fuel issue in my 54
« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2018, 07:41:09 AM »
Although unlikely on a WCFB, it is also possibleto have the gas drain out of the carburetor due to a problem with the fuel bowl. This was particularly tru when the Rochester Quadrajets were introduced on GM cars in 1966 and 1967. There were plugs on the botton of the fuel bowl that leaked. A company named Thexton made a kit that allowed you to remove the plugs and install what appeared to be mini-freeze plugs.


My 59 starts quickly after a few cranks. My 61 takes much longer. I assume it is the pump as it is the original pump.  In this instance, I would go with the pump first.
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