View Full Version : trouble shooting tips

07-19-2007, 11:11 PM
It would be wonderful to have a whole section of trouble shooting tips on this board. Like--how does a bad distributor cap usually act; what are the symptoms of a bad water pump. Most of us are not mechanics and need to learn; what is causing the backfiring in the carb......Brad

dave smith
07-20-2007, 12:37 AM
back firing is almost always a lean condition, assuming no bad intake valves or sticking valves or timing issues

Blue 15G
07-20-2007, 08:10 AM
Old "Motors Repair Manuals" from back in the 50s and 60s had sections of the book that explained the general workings of cars, and a general order of procedures to follow when troubleshooting, for example, a no-start situation. There are other old books you can find that are helpful as well. Beyond that, the best way to learn is to drive your old car and work on it yourself when something breaks! There's no substitute for hands-on experience.

This brings up another point though. When I first started to do my own repair jobs back in the early '70s, I had a friend who had lots of experience in fixing cars, and he would help me through problems that came up. Then I had a job in an auto parts store that was owned by a master mechanic. The education I received from both of these men was invaluable. The sad thing is, the men who knew the old cars inside and out are fading away now, and the backyard "shade tree" mechanic is becoming a thing of the past as well! How are younger people going to learn about working on old cars without these positive role models?

Dave Bonn
1954 Champion Starliner

07-20-2007, 11:06 PM
MY sons took a semester of 'auto' in High School. They have found
that valuable. They are in their mid thirties and fine shade tree mechanics.

chocolate turkey
07-21-2007, 09:33 AM
I've always enjoyed having people "help" work on their Studebakers. Fewer and fewer are learning as there are fewer and fewer left, and fewer are actually driving them any more. few.......!


Brian K. Curtis

John Kirchhoff
08-01-2007, 05:07 PM
I've found the best way to troubleshoot a problem is to know how whatever it is works. A little bit of electrical and mechanical theory helps a bunch and pretty soon those mysterious black boxes aren't so mysterious after all. In addition, an hour of comtemplation can save many wasted hours and dollars.