View Full Version : Running too cool, and gas odor...

Bill Pressler
08-17-2006, 07:53 AM
My '63 R1 Lark ran well on a 140-mile round trip yesterday in 75-degree weather going there and probably 55-60 degree weather coming home at night...the temp gauge never got off the lowest peg the whole way there or back. I guess the first obvious thing would be to check the connections on the temp gauge (!), but does this sound like a stuck thermostat to anybody, and are there any problems associated with an engine running too cool?

Also, and I've asked this in the past...when you run my Lark for a while then shut it down, the gas smell up front just about knocks me over. Today's gas? I took it to a friend's friend who is a Ford dealer mechanic but has experience in older cars (mostly Ford) and he looked for fuel line leaks and plugs, including the return line, and found none. His suggestion: The Carter AFB is shot and I should just put an Edelbrock on it. Also, in the very short term...will a quart of diesel at fill up possibly alleviate this smell by raising the gasoline's boiling point? Or is this a bunch of hooey?

Bill Pressler
Kent, OH

08-17-2006, 08:06 AM
COuld be a thermostat mal function.

08-17-2006, 09:39 AM
Running an engine too cool is supposed to speed up engine wear and in another thread at this forum, somebody quoted a chemical expert/engineer who recommended diesel additive to raise the boiling point. It sounded very correct, and others may be able to confirm how effective a "shot" of diesel really is.

08-17-2006, 03:22 PM
It's not a bunch of hooey, Bill. And it ought to be a bit more than a quart - like a gallon (to a nearly empty tank).

The gas odor is strange if you don't have any visible signs of leaking. The mech's idea of a worn out carb doesn't wash with me. If it did, what's the specifics of it causing the gas smell? Just being "worn out" doesn't mean that it'll reek of gas. If it was visibly LEAKING gas, that would be another thing - but the guy said he couldn't FIND such evidence, so that should be that.
If it were leaking INTO the manifold, the excess fuel should be visible by looking thru the carb (butterflies held open)and at the floor of the manifold right below the butterflies.[:I]

Miscreant at large.

1957 Transtar 1/2ton
1960 Larkvertible V8
1958 Provincial wagon
1953 Commander coupe
1957 President 2-dr
1955 President State
1951 Champion Biz cpe
1963 Daytona project FS

08-17-2006, 07:20 PM
First thing I'd check is the orange wire connection to the temp. sender on the rear of the drivers side cylinder head.. These are noted for falling off. If that's the case, the temp guage would be inop..stays on cold. If the wire is on, un-plug it, touch it to ground, turn the ign. switch on, watch guage to see if it climbs, if it does, the guage and it's related wiring is ok. Check the engine ground strap..at the right front motor support, if it's broken, you can get erroneous guage readings as well as other weierd stuff. As for fuel stink, the floats in the carb may be set too high or mabe starting to sink. If they were sinking, your car would be running rich, flooding itself. Check your engine oil dipstick...make sure there is no gas odor... if so replace/rebuild the fuel pump pronto. Hope some of this might help.:)

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Bill Pressler
08-20-2006, 11:40 AM
Thanks for the advice, all. I dug out some email correspondence from a couple months back from Paul Warta who owns a car very similar to mine (R1 Daytona Skytop) and after taking his excellent suggestions at that point(several repeated in this post) and checking most of the stuff out, he too thought it could be just gas pooling up at the bottom of the carb/top of manifold after shutoff. I haven't looked for this yet but I'll check this personally myself in the next week or so. BTW, the car was used in a wedding yesterday and everything went flawlessly!

As for the constant cold temp. gauge reading the other day and evening, yesterday was a very warm and humid day and the gauge went almost to 1/4 in ten miles of stop-and-go traffic. So I guess at least the gauge is still hooked up.

Bill Pressler
Kent, OH

08-20-2006, 01:03 PM
Does it have an inline fuel filter? If not, particles in the fuel system can lodge under the needle/seat at the carburetor inlet, and cause flooding especially after shutoff. AFB's need a 1/4" thick carburetor to manifold base gasket to insulate them. Otherwise, excessive engine heat will transfer to that Aluminum carburetor, and boil the fuel right out of it when you shut er down on a hot day, causing a gas vapor smell. Could be the mechanic you consulted had the GM quadrajet in mind when he said your carb was worn out. Q-jets can develop internal vacuum/gas leaks that will cause rich mixture, flooding,or rough running, which can be difficult to fixb without replacing the carb altogether.