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fuel check ball/valve on 1940 president

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  • Fuel System: fuel check ball/valve on 1940 president

    Hey guys!! Quick question... Is there a one way check ball or check valve that prevents fuel from draining back into the tank on my 1940 President with the inline 8? If I let it sit for a few days it takes a little bit for it to fire off. Acts like it needs to pump the lines back full of fuel. Once It fires off it will start within seconds every time.

    Thats all.. Thanks!

    -Joe

    "Spilling a beer is the adult equivalent of a kid letting go of a Balloon."

  • #2
    Well Joe, it has been a couple of hours since you made this request, and I was hoping someone (with knowledge) would have given you some good suggestion by now. As a retired industrial supply salesman, a lot of my hard earned knowledge is old, out of date, and falling through the floorboards of my fading memory. However, I seem to recall that specifying check valves is a bit more complicated than grabbing the nearest one off a shelf and plumbing it in. Valve body material compatibility, seat material, flow rate, orientation, seating arrangement, spring design/material, and a term known as required "cracking pressure." That is the amount of pressure to move the check off its seat.

    I seem to recall others bringing up this subject in the past. (Including myself) In addition to selling check valves, using them in systems I sold, I also had a customer who manufactured them. All of mine were rather expensive. I was never able to acquire a "free sample" to play with for the application we have in mind here. If you think about it, the operation of a carburetor float and the needle valve it operates, constitutes a kind of check valve function, or at best, flow regulator. Our No-Roll (Hill Holder) devices perform a "check" function.

    My answer to the same problem you are experiencing, has been to do two things. I have made sure my carburetor accelerator pump is in good enough condition to give a "squirt" of fuel on start up. However, that depends on having enough fuel in the carburetor bowl for the pump to pick up. Next, was to install one of those period correct glass bowl filters just before the carburetor so that when cranking, there is a little reservoir of gas close enough to the carburetor to get it to fire without too much cranking.

    If someone here on the forum knows of a check valve that would neatly fit "in-line," requires very little cracking pressure, and is not prone to gumming up (sticking closed), I would appreciate you sharing it with us. OH...and cheap...er...inexpensive.
    John Clary
    Greer, SC

    SDC member since 1975

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    • #3
      The most likely cause is the fuel evaporating in the carburetor bowl. Modern fuel is quite different than 1940 vintage fuel.
      RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

      17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
      10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
      10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
      4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
      5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
      56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
      60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

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      • #4
        Yep what RadioRoy said is exactly the problem, and the only good solution I know of is to install an electric fuel pump to prime the carb.
        Army Jeeps had an optional hand primer like some of the old race cars had on the side of the body, or mounted to the dash.

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        • #5
          Thank you for the reply!!

          "Spilling a beer is the adult equivalent of a kid letting go of a Balloon."

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          • #6
            You know, depending on how serious you are in diagnosing the problem, there is a very cheap little fuel shut-off valve available at big box stores, and just about anywhere mower's and gasoline powered implements are sold. It is as easy to install as one of the "inline" fuel filters most of us have installed on our Studebakers. You could temporarily install one of these in minutes. After running the engine to make sure the line from the gas tank through the fuel pump and carburetor bowl is full of gas, shut down the engine, and immediately turn off this valve. Then, wait for a period you suspect it takes for the fuel to drain back to the tank, open the valve, and see how long it takes the engine to fire up. You can buy these valves for less than ten bucks. If the engine still does not fire any quicker, that would indicate that the fuel is evaporating, rather than leaking back to the tank.


            I have several pieces of equipment with these valves installed. I wouldn't recommend them for a long term installation on an automobile. My problem would be forgetting to turn them on. Embarrassingly, I have already done that too often on the machines I have them on.
            John Clary
            Greer, SC

            SDC member since 1975

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            • #7
              After a little more internet searching, I ran across this link

              http://r.search.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0LEV...0vM0VIo4779RE-

              It shows a bunch of "inline" check valves that could give you options should you decide to try an actual "check valve." Good luck, and let us know what you finally do.
              John Clary
              Greer, SC

              SDC member since 1975

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              • #8
                Somewhere here there's a thread about 4 pages long where we discussed this about 2 months ago. Anyway, I installed a check valve on my '62 GT for exactly the same reason. Bought it on Ebay, actually 5 of them for $4 with free shipping. It worked fine...for a while. After about 6 weeks it stopped flowing/opening. It is made from machined aluminum with hose barb ends for attachment, I modified it to accept flare fittings and mounted it vertically between the fuel pump and carb. It turns out internally it had a disk of a rubber like material that moved within a plastic cage. After time the cage swelled and kept the disc from moving. I removed the cage and disc and replaced them with a .350 ball bearing and that fixed it. It's a good thing I mounted it vertically, because the Bearing wouldn't work otherwise.

                Click image for larger version

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                The check valve extended the "minimal cranking" period from a few days to around a couple weeks, but, I also installed an inline electric pump on the frame rail just forward of the rear spring when I had the initial problem with the check valve. It seems to be the best fix. I have it on a toggle switch, hit the switch for about a minute, hit the throttle a couple times and fire it right up.

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