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50 Champion no start when hot......

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  • 50 Champion no start when hot......

    I did a search and came across the articles on gas boil, vaporlock, electric fuel pumps, etc.

    I got my collectors plates yesterday (Sept 27) and of course, couldn't wait to get it on the road. Oldest son and I hopped in the car and took off!

    wow... this was cool actually driving on the street for the first time! This thing is comfy!! and quiet! you have to remember... I was used to driving a CJ2A and a Unimog..... LOL!

    Car ran fine, but i knew I was low on gas. So I headed for the nearest garage. After fueling up, no start. Just cranking over, no firing at all. Ended up walking home, getting the van and a tow rope and pulling it home.

    After about an hour, car started normally. took it for a spin around town and back home. No start when turned off. I've made about 5 trips around town today, terminating at home, and each time, no start for about an hour!

    Stock fuel pump, settling bowl and then a clear plastic fuel filter about 4 inches from the carb.

    No heat shield... I'm going to try fabbing up something to fit in there and see if that helps.

    A fairly thin gasket between manifold and carb. A thicker gasket perhaps?

    all in all, when cold, car starts within about 4 turns of the starter, idles very nicely, and runs fairly smooth.

    Just this no start when hot problem....

    Sorry for the story.... any more hints? I'm still searching the archives...


    '50 Champion Starlight
    '71 Swiss 404 Unimog

  • #2
    Sounds like fuel issues if the cranking is fine.
    But you might just check spark when it's hot to be sure you still have
    good strong spark. Might be a bum coil which doesn't give enough spark when
    warm. Pull a plug and rest it on top of the block or ground strap and crank it
    a few revolutions to check the spark quality.
    Here's a few of the reasons my 50 champion has had trouble starting:
    1) did you remember to turn on the ignition (duh). I do that lots. 'Cause the starter will happily spin the engine even with no key in the ignition switch...
    2) extra filthy carbeurator which was just really marginal in the first place. Gets hot
    and then the fuel flow kind of crapped out. Cleaned my carb and made both hot and cold starts much easier.
    3) flooding. The carb float may be out of adjustment, and you have extra gas dripping down after you stop the car. Loads up the manifold and floods it, whereas while you're driving, it easily handles the excess fuel.
    I particularly notice this on warm days when I turn off the car after a drive and come back after a half hour or short errand. Cranks, but just won't catch. Solution: hold the gas pedal to the floor while hitting the starter, to open the throttle all the way, which allows enough air in to blow through the extra gas and get it started. Once it catches, just let the gas pedal up and all is good.
    The more experienced people say that it's the modern gasahol blends being more vaporizable and that you have to adjust the main float in the carb to accomodate that. But I don't want to do a full tear-down on an otherwise functional carb...

    4) Vapor lock. Well, it could be, but it might be other things. It could be you're pumping rusty bits from the fuel line or tank and it's just clogging the fuel pump or the carb, rather than a true "vapor lock". Check what's coming through the filter to see. But you probably ought to have the filter before the pump, as some people have had marginal fuel delivery atributed to clogged fuel pump valves. Some people say you want the filter in the low pressure area of the fuel line, rather than after the pump. If your fuel filter is see thru and between the pump and the carb, you ought to be able to see if the fuel is vaporizing in that line.
    I did install a heat shield on top of the fuel pump, but I feel it's mostly just superstition.
    My problem was fundamentally just _filthy_ carb and automatic choke.
    A classic vapor lock will stop you dead while running as well. You're driving down the road on a hot day and it'll just kind of die while waiting at a light.

    But do try holding the accelerator to the floor while cranking when you've got a hot no-start. And keep your battery charged...


    • #3
      I think that vapor lock is a common problem with the Champions, I think that is why a former owner put an electric fuel pump on mine. Over a year and six thousand miles and I have never had a vapor kock problem.



      • #4
        Thanks for the great reply!

        I made about 6 trips around town yesterday.... everybody got a ride except the family cat..... same problem everytime.... wait half an hour to an hour for the next start. It sure was a pleasure driving that car! it idles nicely.... the odd little stumble now and then while accelerating.

        the igniton switch is one of my concerns... the key and lock are completly worn out... I wondered if it is making electrical contact in there... I'll check later today....

        watching the see thru fuel filter, it looks like gas is flowing normally through the sign of anything different...

        I admit it does need a carb kit... the car was sitting for a while... I still have to address some problems...

        Thanks again for the info! it give me a lot to work with!


        '50 Champion Starlight
        '71 Swiss 404 Unimog


        • #5

          The heat shield was put on at the factory to reduce heat to the pump.
          It likely is not the only reason for your problem but, if not there, I
          would make one out of .032 Aluminum sheet and cover the pump.

          1950 Champion Starlight
          1963 Hawk GT
          Santa Barbara
          The 1950 Champion Starlight
          Santa Barbara


          • #6
            These "classic" engines tend to start if they have petrol and spark (even if not well timed/set/adjusted).
            So, like the previous reply - check the spark, it's relatively easy. If you have spark, it just have to be fuel/fuel delivery. Tip a gallon of diesel into the tank, if that doesn't help, I'd go for the carby (clean-out, float, acceleration pump, and so on).
            If no spark, borrow a known, good coil and try. If that doesn't help, borrow a good condensor and try. It's a step by step elimination of the easy and obvious causes.
            The odd-ball causes can be a PITA to find - my son once came home with a mate, who's car was difficult to start when hot and it would start to miss at left turns. Turned out to be a loose coil that didn't earth as it should. Took a bit of searching to figure that one out.


            • #7
              Thanks again for the info!

              The engine does start well when cold... no problems there at all. Runs good, idles smoothly.

              I made a list from all the hints and tips... I'll be checking them out...

              just curious... is that what the little square airscoop is for on the lower forward fenderwell? fuel pump cooling?


              '50 Champion Starlight
              '71 Swiss 404 Unimog


              • #8
                I bet it is the coil or condenser. You didn't say anything about checking for a good spark when it gets warm. But I had one that did that and it turned out to be a worn distributor shaft. I took it apart and had a machine shop metallize it back up to specs and it was fine.