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  • Fuel System: Engine Dying

    I have a 1953 Commander Starliner with 232 V/8 w/2 bbl Stromberg back draft carb. The engine idles and runs great until you start up
    a hill or go over 50 mph. The engine then appears to be starving for gas, and will eventually completely stop. It will restart with no problem and
    you can drive until you create one of those previous conditions.

    I have replaced points, plugs, condenser, wiring, coil, electric fuel pump,new gas line, filter, and talked to every mechanic and other people
    that will listen, but still can't solve the problem. I also use nothing but 100% gasoline.

    Any suggestion? If not, offers will probably come later.


    Thanks, Bill

  • #2
    In both of those cases you are giving it more throttle. Have you checked the float level in the carburetor? The needle may not be coming off the seat very far.
    "In the heart of Arkansas."
    Searcy, Arkansas
    1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
    1952 2R pickup

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    • #3
      Is the muffler clogged? Is the engine running hotter than normal?
      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
        A lot of things can cause that:

        Wrong Non-Vented or plugged Gas Cap.
        A Filter somewhere that is clogged and will slowly refill when flow is stopped.
        An obstruction moving around in the Fuel Tank.
        Debris in the Needle and Seat.
        Too Low Float Setting.
        Weak/Wrong or failed NEW Fuel Pump.
        AND MORE!
        StudeRich
        Second Generation Stude Driver,
        Proud '54 Starliner Owner

        Comment


        • #5
          I hesitate to claim what I'm about to post will be of any help, but several years ago, I had a very similar situation. Due to an illness, I was home on short term disability. Although I was told to limit physical activity, I couldn't stand sitting still, so when no one was looking, out I went to work on the car.

          I did all the things you have mentioned in replacing parts. Twice, I removed the carburetor, cleaned it out, (thinking there might be droplets of water) checked all the components, and managed to get it back together and off my wife's dining room table before she got home from work. The car would crank, and run great in the driveway. Then, I would get overconfident and try to sneak away for a spin down the road. I would get about a quarter mile from the house and the car would start sputtering, and bucking and have me terrified I wouldn't make it back home. Somehow, each time, I managed to nurse it back home and start the whole process of tinkering again.

          After the third carburetor removal, I removed the fitting off the carburetor that the gas line fitting screws into. There I found the problem!!!...There is a tiny brass screen wire filter behind that fitting. There was a piece of trash at that little screen. When the engine was running at an idle speed, with very little demand for fuel, gas would flow around the trash and keep the carburetor bowl enough gas to run the engine. However, when the engine rpm was increased for the demands of driving, the trash would get sucked up against that little wafer of screen filter, and shut off the flow. IN this circumstance, once the fuel in you carburetor bowl gets sucked out, the engine will die.

          Some gas tanks also have a similar filter "sock" on the end of the fuel "pick-up" tube in the gas tank. Either way, if trash is getting sucked into the filter screen at the carburetor or gas tank, the results will be the same. It might not be your problem, but worth a check.
          John Clary
          Greer, SC

          SDC member since 1975

          Comment


          • #6
            I have taken the top off the carb, and there is about 3/8 in gas in the bowl,but it is clean, no trash, but I dont really know how much should be there.

            Thanks for the input. I will try to find a local carb person. They are hard to find these days.

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            • #7
              The mufflers are new, and the heat is normal, on hot summer days.

              Thanks

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              • #8
                Originally posted by StudeRich View Post
                A lot of things can cause that:

                Wrong Non-Vented or plugged Gas Cap.
                A Filter somewhere that is clogged and will slowly refill when flow is stopped.
                An obstruction moving around in the Fuel Tank.
                Debris in the Needle and Seat.
                Too Low Float Setting.
                Weak/Wrong or failed NEW Fuel Pump.
                AND MORE!
                Thanks for your reply. I haven;t replaced the cap, but tried running with loose cap w/no difference. I took the fuel line off and let the pump run, and
                it pumps a continuous stream of gas. I have taken the tank off, and it is bright/shiny/clean, like it has been replaced.

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                • #9
                  Have you replaced the rubber fuel hoses? One could be coming apart inside and a flap could block the line or they could be collapsing. -Jim

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                  • #10
                    Uh, 3/8" gas in the carb is not enough, assuming you took the top off not too long after running the pump. Please check your float level per the shop manual. More than once when rebuilding a carb I've had to fiddle a bit because of slight differences in the new components. I have seen several kits where they supplied two different thicknesses of sealing washers for under the needle seat. Seems your rebuilder got it wrong.

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