Author Topic: 1949 331 CI drives 30-50miles, stalls and will not turn over (or very slowly)  (Read 364 times)

Offline brucewoerner

  • Posts: 10
  • Name: Bruce W Woerner
My 1949 331 CI, had some "run ability issues" over the last 6 months, however after plugs, wires, coil, cap & rotor it runs fine. I checked the points, refiled them and found the "dwell" to be constant.

So I ventured off to the Hastings, MI. Fathers Day car show, to pull in, stall and not able to turn the engine over, only very slowly. I had it towed home and it started right up!

My generator charges at 7.30 volts, battery is relatively new (1-2 years) and the starter was checked by local expert 2-3 years ago as A-Okay.

The only symptom I can visibly see is "there are air bubbles" that occasionally "pop up" into the first glass fuel filter. That's a "red flag" to me but I thought I would "put it out there" for advise/comments/help- Thanks! (Fuel pump is 1-2 years old)

Bruce Woerner

Offline 49er

  • Posts: 974
    • CLC Member
      CLC Member #22010
  • Name: art archambeault
More then likely vapor lock. Weak battery and connection to the battery and contact points on starter and frame need to be cleaned. I insulated my has lines in engine bay some years ago with rubber hose,  keep all contact points clean and this same problem has dissappear ed for me. Good luck
Art Archambeault 22010.                                                           38 LaSalle, 5019
49 Series 62
62 Fltw, 60 Special
63 Eldorado  Biarritz Conv
01 Deville

Offline Art Gardner CLC 23021

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      CLC Member #23021
Turning over very slowly is electrical -- starter is hot and won't turn over the motor well.  If the engine is in good tune, it should start however, even if engine is turning slowly.


Engine with bubbles in fuel line and firing up again after cooling off is classic vapor lock.  49 models are not terribly prone to this, however.  My recommendations are as follows:

1.  Use ethanol-free fuel only;

2.  Use a lower temp (160 degree) thermostat;

3.  Check the vacuum advance and the mechanical advance of the distributor -- if the timing is off when you are operating the car over the road, it might run warm.  Simply checking the timing at idle is not enough;

4.  Look for a blockage in the radiator; and

5. Check the heat riser valve to ensure that it is not stuck in the closed position pushing exhaust under the carb all the time.


If this continues and none of the above are at fault, one could get custom intake manifold gaskets (from Olsens) that block off the heat riser cross-over to the intake manifold.  That will keep the carb cooler and keep the fuel from boiling...

Art G
Art Gardner


1955 S60 Fleetwood sedan

Offline 49er

  • Posts: 974
    • CLC Member
      CLC Member #22010
  • Name: art archambeault
Well Art, what if his connections are all corroded both at ground and at starter would you that first. In my book, you do the simplest things first, no?
Art Archambeault 22010.                                                           38 LaSalle, 5019
49 Series 62
62 Fltw, 60 Special
63 Eldorado  Biarritz Conv
01 Deville

Online Eric DeVirgilis CLC# 8621

  • Posts: 3793
    • CLC Member
      CLC Member #8621
  • Name: Eric DeVirgilis
The issue to me sounds like a hot-start problem rather than one of overheating.
A Cadillac Motorcar is a Possession for Which There is no Acceptable Substitute

Offline 49er

  • Posts: 974
    • CLC Member
      CLC Member #22010
  • Name: art archambeault
I mean no disrespect Art. But my 49 had exactly the same issues. I did not have to do any of the things you suggest. I too had bubbles, i too had had a slow cranking starter when warm. I insulated my lines and i routinely inspect the contact points both at starter and ground and my 49 fires right up. I suggest again, he do the simplest things first. Art
Art Archambeault 22010.                                                           38 LaSalle, 5019
49 Series 62
62 Fltw, 60 Special
63 Eldorado  Biarritz Conv
01 Deville

Offline Jay Friedman

  • Posts: 1639
    • CLC Member
      CLC Member #3210
In addition to what the 2 Arts and Eric said, I would clean all the ground points in the battery / starter system.

1. Clean the battery terminals;
2. Unbolt the negative battery cable from the point on the frame it bolts to between the battery and the starter and clean it with a wire brush and spray on electrical cleaner (available at auto parts stores);
3. Clean the bolt on the starter the negative battery cable bolts to and the area around it, including scraping off any paint there;
4. Remove the starter and clean off any paint on the surfaces on the starter that mate to the flywheel housing and the flywheel housing itself;
5. Install an auxiliary ground strap on the commutator end plate (back end of the starter).  I can send you a copy of an article Art Gardner and I wrote about this;
6. Clean off paint from the points that the 2 small ground straps between the cylinder heads and the firewall bolt to.
1949 Cadillac 6107 Club Coupe
1932 Ford V8 Phaeton (restored, not a rod).  Sold
Decatur, Georgia
CLC # 3210
"If it won't work, get a bigger hammer."

Offline Art Gardner CLC 23021

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      CLC Member #23021
I mean no disrespect Art. But my 49 had exactly the same issues. I did not have to do any of the things you suggest. I too had bubbles, i too had had a slow cranking starter when warm. I insulated my lines and i routinely inspect the contact points both at starter and ground and my 49 fires right up. I suggest again, he do the simplest things first. Art

Art

Of course one should do the simplest things first.  Which is how I ordered my list.  But this does sound like vapor lock (note that it stalled after driving for a while).  And a 49 shouldn't vapor lock after cruising.  Maybe after being stuck in traffic (even then, it shouldn't).  But if it vapor locks after cruising, I suspect that there is something wrong (probably in the cooling system or the heat riser).


Art G
Art Gardner


1955 S60 Fleetwood sedan

Offline brucewoerner

  • Posts: 10
  • Name: Bruce W Woerner
WOW! Thanks to all who replied, I will doo all items and report back. This is my 2nd post and I have been pleased both times with the quick and helpful comments. Many Thanks!

Bruce Woerner

Offline walt chomosh #23510

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      CLC Member #23510
Bruce,
  I once had a 1969 Lincoln Mark3 with a 460 hi compression motor. It developed "hard starts" when hot. (that's when a starter motor has to really work hard, especially with the Lincoln's hi compression) I tried numerous fixes and when I sold the car the problem was still there. Later I found out that starter repair shops would mix parts from the whole Ford lineup and fact is the Lincoln had a special armature that was required for proper hot starts. Thus, I had wasted my time and effort changing parts. (I had put 2-3 starters,cables,batteries,starter solenoid,and everything else I could think of to no avail)
  If you have a starter repair shop in your area I suggest taking the starter to them for bench check. (I have a shop in my area that does all of my starter work using quality parts).....walt...tulsa,ok

Offline Bill Ingler #7799

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    • CLC Member
      CLC Member #7799
Sounds like electrical and in addition to what already has been said, are you using the proper size battery cables? If you are using small 12 volt battery cable then make your cables from 00 size welding cable.  Bill