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Newbie needs help

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  • Engine: Newbie needs help

    Hello all,
    I'm just learning how to operate this forum so please be gentle with me. I need some advice on my 1949 Commander coupe. I have had the car for fifteen years and it ran super nice until I got the idea to "improve" it.* This has evolved into sporadically gettting all inspired and working on it until I came to needing something I misplaced (often my inspiration). I really feel that some mild success would serve to give me a measure of "stick-to-it").

    My latest project was to put dual exhausts on. I had replaced the manifold with a modified one a few years ago. I took the car to a muffler shop where we all agreed that there was not enough room underneath for two, so back on with the original maniflold and a new Smithy muffler and complete side.

    Next came locating a leaky manifold gasket . When we tried to start it, a gas line broke. To reach the fuel pump, I had to remove a heat shield held on by the two bolts for the valve side covers. I don't think I got them back on right.

    Finally, when we tried to start it, it would crank fine unless we put in a squirt of starting fluid. Now when we crank it, just when it starts to catch it give off a loud squealing noise.

    I would welcome any ideas about what is going on and how to cure it.

    Whizzo AKA
    John Larkin
    Columbia MO
    Owner of Ernestine 1949 Commander coupe
    Last edited by whizzo; 02-15-2013, 01:12 PM. Reason: forgot email

  • #2
    Is the engine actually starting and running now?

    Does the squealing noise stop after the engine starts?

    Does it squeal when you rev it up? Usually that's a loose or worn fan belt.

    The heat shield over the fuel pump, or onder the carb must be in place, especially with modern fuel that boils much more easily than original fuel. Pictures are in the shop manual and the chassis parts manual.

    Starting fluid has been blamed for blowing head gaskets. Gasoline works fine to prime an engine.

    Have your feelings changed about improving a design that worked fine for over 64 years?
    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


    • #3
      Those bolts holding on the valve cover gaskets should have pointed ends to help get them threaded. Lining them up can by a bit trying, but you should be able to tell if they are threaded correctly, as it takes quiite a few turns before they are tight. Don't overtighten them. Please explain in more detail what is happening with respect to the starting fluid and the squeal. As Roy said, the squeal could be something simple like a belt, but if it's coming from somewhere else, it could be bad. Just use a bit of gas to prime the carb and see if it starts and/or squeals.
      Skip Lackie


      • #4
        Have your feelings changed about improving a design that worked fine for over 64 years?[/QUOTE]

        Thanks for replying. My car is named Ernestine after a teacher who often said "The worth of a man can be measured by the degreee to which he dares to be different". I grew up reading rod and Custom and other similar magazines.

        I have not been running the engine since the squealing started. I have been unwillling to run it whlie it squeals so bad. I had been putting in a small amount of starting fluid before cranking over.

        Is there anything associated with the valve covers that might have gotten loose? I did not have the covers off.
        and it only took me two days to get the bolts started.

        I will go back to when it was running so well and recheck vacuum leaks, fan belt, generater and water pump


        • #5
          If this car sat for over a year especially outside, there could be serious issues causing the noise, it may need some pre-oiling in the cylinders before running or there could be a stuck valve. But do not get all worried about these worst scenarios if it was short term stored.

          What I am thinking is way more likely. The sheet metal "Splash Plate" around the Valve Lifters behind the front Valve Cover may have dropped without the bolts to hold them, and are out of position causing the valve springs to scrape on the sheet metal "Plate" which will certainly Screech.

          This requires a New set of Valve Cover Gaskets and Copper sealing washers for the Bolts when you R & R the Valve (Doors) Covers and reposition the Plate.
          Second Generation Stude Driver,
          Proud '54 Starliner Owner


          • #6
            I like Rich's explanation. You said you did not remove the valve covers, but removing the bolts probably allowed one or both of the splash plates to drop. Aligning everything correctly takes a bit of patience, but the the gaskets and copper washers are cheap.
            Skip Lackie