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four barrel failure

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  • Fuel System: four barrel failure

    I was attempting to start my 259 with a Carter four barrel by using the accelerator only as I have traditionally used a squirt bottle and externally primed it. With priming it started up smartly however it wouldn't respond with the accelerator only. I immediately checked the accelerator pump and there was no fuel coming from the nozzles. After a partial disassembly and scratching my head after I blasted compressed air every where still no fuel. I had visions of a serious blockage somewhere. Directly under the nozzle assembly is a needle valve the same as used on the float assembly and it was stuck in position blocking the fuel. It was stuck in position for an extended length of time and was glued there from dried fuel. I removed it with a pair of tweezers and cleaned it and all is well now.

  • #2
    How long had it been since the engine was last started? My engine starts better with a bit of priming if it has not been started for a week or so, but will start without priming usually.
    "In the heart of Arkansas."
    Searcy, Arkansas
    1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
    1952 2R pickup


    • #3
      I sounds to me like it should not have been any surprise if you normally have to prime it to start it, that It would not start with only pumping the Pedal.

      (Some fact is missing here, maybe Timing of events?)

      So you already knew that:
      1. It sat a long time and the Fuel either drained back thru a week Fuel Pump one way valve, or evaporation. (OR, it did NOT)

      2. The Accelerator Pump was shot.

      3. Or there was Fuel Blockage.
      As it turned out, it WAS! Good Fix!
      Second Generation Stude Driver,
      Proud '54 Starliner Owner


      • #4
        The not...failing.

        Todays gas evaporates quickly, if the car was sitting more than a week or so, you need to fill the fuel bowls as they will be empty or nearly empty.

        So, either cranking the engine for a few seconds, or...manually fill the bowls (vent tubes) or...install an electric fuel pump to fill the bowls after the engine has been sitting. It's a very common occurrence today, nothing new.

        THEN...and...only pumping the pedal two or three times should add enough fuel to squirt enough gas into the manifold to start the engine.

        This is a regular occurance with me. I don't drive every day. My 54 Stude sits for a few days...I hit the starter with the ignition off, for four or five revolutions, stop, pump the pedal two or three times, turn on the ignition, hit the starter, it lights right up.

        If you have a later car with no separate starter button, just turn the key, let it crank for four or five revolutions, stop, pump the pedal two or three times, then turn the key to start the engine.



        • #5
          I installed an electric fuel pump with a toggle switch on both of my Studebakers. If they sit for a long time I prime the carb with the electric fuel pump and they start right up. Since one of our local gas stations started selling non-ethanol gas which I now put in my '55 sedan I use the electric fuel pump far less often. I also use the E-fuel pump on hot days if my engine starts to vapor lock. It clears the problem right up.
          Ed Sallia
          Dundee, OR

          Sol Lucet Omnibus


          • #6
            Does the needle have a metal tip or a "vitron" tip? The "vitron" tip will swell with gorn-gas and stick. -Jim


            • #7
              "Blasting it with air" is usually not a good thing to do to any carburetor.
              HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)


              Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain

              Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)


              • #8
                The stuck part is the accelerator pump check valve. Some carb models used a needle, and many used a ball check.
                Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands


                • #9
                  Yes Gorder that is what it is, accelerator pump check valve, so the fuel remains in the tube and does not drain back into the chamber. The carb was not suffering from a lack of fuel and it had been started about every second day just by priming it. I only primed it because I did not want the engine to run on the high speed idle when the accelerator pedal is actuated. There was no issue with fuel draining back through the fuel pump or ethanol or evaporating fuel, just a stuck little valve. The valve has a metal tip so nothing to swell. It was just stuck from sitting unmoved for months, I was a victim of my own doing. I brought this to light for any other victims.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by DEEPNHOCK View Post
                    "Blasting it with air" is usually not a good thing to do to any carburetor.
                    Well, Jeff, I don't know how you discovered this bit of wisdom, but for me, it was a result of when a moment of curiosity collided with my ignorance. Since "altair" has explained his experience, I feel it is OK to offer my confession. I don't recall exactly what carburetor was involved in teaching me this important lesson, because it was years ago. However, it was not long after I had bought my first real air compressor. It was a vintage relic that had once served to air up bus tires at an old Trailways Bus terminal. Impressed with myself for acquiring such a device, I would look for reasons to use it, appropriate or not. One day, I was exploring the innards of a carburetor that was not working properly. I am not certain what engine it came from but could have been a tractor, mower, or even a six-cylinder Studebaker single barrel? However, at some point, I decided to start poking a blow gun nozzle into various holes in a small carburetor!

                    The end result was a wonky operating carburetor suddenly became a totally inoperative carburetor because one of my air blasts had completely collapsed the fragile copper float! There may be some benefit to occasionally apply compressed air to specific carburetor components, but you better know when what, and where. I have forgotten exactly what carburetor taught me this lesson, but I have not forgotten the embarrassment of learning it.

                    John Clary
                    Greer, SC

                    SDC member since 1975


                    • #11
                      I was somewhat cautious where I pointed the nozzle as I have blown springs, check balls and O rings off into the gravel and never to be found again, even turning a carb over I do it on a piece of paper toweling to collect any miscellaneous parts that may fall out and they usually do.