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Thread: 1951 Special with Engine Issues

  1. #41
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    Something I have found that really helps the life expectancy of batteries that are not in regular use is to keep a battery maintainer on them. Preferably one with a "desulphator" feature.

    I even put solar chargers on my trailer batteries, lawnmower batteries, etc. It makes a difference especially during periods of little use.

    Click here for battery maintainer desulfator


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  2. #42
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    Hi,

    Thanks. I'll definitely look into that. I got my new battery today, and the starter now engages, but the engine isn't "catching". So I guess my next step is to start checking out the fuel system.

    Pat
    - 1951 Buick Special Deluxe 4Dr Tourback Sedan

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by suntreemcanic View Post
    A new battery deserves new battery cables!
    Hi,
    Thanks. I know that one of the cables (+) is fairly new (because I still have the old one sitting on the floor in the back seat) but I will look into getting a new (-) cable.

    Pat
    Last edited by PFJN; 07-31-2018 at 06:41 PM.

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by LONG View Post
    thought your issue was "would not crank" why messing with this other stuff? I would break each system down one at a time and troubleshoot from there. reference the 52 shop manual up in the Reference! tab.
    Hi,
    Thanks. I actually have a 51 shop manual at home.

    For the most part I am trying to more or less go through the car system by system and check everything out. Since I could not get the engine to crank, I started with the electrical system. I suspected that the battery was dead, since it had sat for awhile, and the internal light also no longer lit up when I opened the door.

    I planned on pulling the battery to recharge it but couldn't get to it immediately, so in the mean time I checked the spark plugs and spark plug cables. I found one bad cable, so I replaced the set with new copper core wires. And since the engine leaks a little oil, especially aft near the distributor, I took the opportunity while I had the spark plug cables off to open up the distributor and check to make sure that the insides looked clean and in good working order and there were no signs of any oil having leaked in,

    When inspecting the plugs I could see that they were a bit sooty, but were only a couple months old when the car last ran. So I cleaned them up and rechecked their gapping, before reinstalling them. And because of the soot issues I realized that I needed to double check the carburetor to ensure that it is not running too rich and also went ahead and checked out recommended air cleaner sizing for a 263 cu in engine, to make sure that I wasn't unduly restricting the air flow into the carburetor either. The calcs I used suggested a 10in x 2in filter would be a better match for this engine than the filter I had, so I went ahead and replaced that.

    Next I recharged and reinstalled the battery but couldn't get the starter to engage (and the internal light didn't light up when I opened the door). So I suspected that the battery was fully dead, so I replaced it.

    I picked up the new battery today, and can now get the starter to turn over (and the internal light now lights up) so I know that those parts of the electrical system are working OK.

    So next I plan to look further into the fuel system to make sure that fuel is flowing through the fuel filter flowing when I try and start the car, and that the carburetor climatic control knob is set correctly.

    Pat

  5. #45
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    Hi,
    At the suggestion of a friend I bought a can of starting fluid and sprayed a small amount in the carburetor. When I try and start the car, I can hear it "fire" for half a second or so, but the engine never fully runs. As such, I think my spark plugs are ok and likely working, but maybe my fuel system is not fully working correctly yet.

    I have a see through inline fuel filter and I can see that at least some fuel has come through the fuel system, since the level of the fuel in the filter after trying to start the car is higher than from before trying to start it. Though I don't know how well it is flowing since I can't see it while I'm trying to start the engine.

    Although I recently put a little over 4 gallons of fresh fuel in the tank, since the car has been sitting for a while I suspect that the actual fuel in the fuel lines though is whatever has been sitting in the tank for the last year or two, especially since what I see in the filter looks a bit off color (kind of a dark yellow/lite brown, whereas the new fuel I just put in was almost clear.

    As such, I think that I should look closer at the fuel in the car and the fuel system to see if they may be causing problems.
    Pat
    - 1951 Buick Special Deluxe 4Dr Tourback Sedan

  6. #46
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    That glass bowl should have filled in a few seconds of cranking. Most likely, your fuel pump and fuel line are filled with crud. You need to blow out your fuel line with compressed air and probably need to clean out your fuel pump by disassembling and reassembling it. Don't forget to clean out the line from the fuel pump to the carburetor. My in tank fuel when I found my car was jet black. Looked like molasses coming out of the fuel line.

    Disconnect the fuel line to the carb and rig up a gallon or so container to the carb with an inline siphon hand pump like found on boat gas tanks. Fill the float bowl with gas (if you can). It will crank and run.

    Put an electric fuel pump, and regulator if needed, near the fuel tank ($15 or so on eBay). Feed the mechanical fuel pump with the electric fuel pump. This is to avoid vapor lock once you are up and running. Most people are not old enough to remember vapor lock, but these old cars were plagued with it (depends on where you live). Either that, or join AAA before your first ride on a hot day with low humidity.

    Buy some Seafoam, you are going to need it. I suggest 1-can per tank of fuel for about 3-refills.

    Good luck.

  7. #47
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    Hi,
    Thanks for the advice. I'll definitely look into that. I was able to get the engine to run today, and maintain an idle. Though everytime I tried to give it a little more gas it began to stall. In addition there is a clicking/ticking sound coming from the left side of the engine (it sounded like about 1 click per second or so, but I didn't time it). Also, for the brief period (~5 min) that I ran the engine, the temp gauge was low, the battery gauge was halfway over to the Charging side, and the oil gauge was at or near the top. I did check the oil and the level appears to be fine (I also had refilled the radiator last week). The only other thing that I noticed is that while the exhaust appears clear, it is very warm and you can hear a bit of "puttering" when you get near it, like the engine is just barely backfiring a bit (or is on the verge of backfiring).

    Thanks again for your help. I'll definitely look into the Seafoam, flushing the fuel lines, and the electric fuel pump.

    Pat

  8. #48
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    good deal. does this have a dynaflow? if so, you have hyd lifters and that could be your Tick. or its fuel knock. if dflow, pull your rocker cover and start the engine, you should have oil pushing past your rocker arms and feeding your push tubes. if not, there could be blockage in the rocker or shaft which will not allow the lifters to fill. if 3 speed, you will have solid lifters I believe. so no oil supply. the bogging when hitting the gas pedal could be accelerator pump on carb or fuel float, supply, etc.... or crap timing.
    52 Special.
    Tin Militia CC

  9. #49
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    Hi,
    Thanks. My car does have a Dynaflow.

    I removed t the air cleaner today to get a better look at the carburetor when the engine was running. When I started the car today the ticking was gone. So it may have either been a blockage of a lifter that cleared on its own or I may have just not tightened the bolt holding done the air cleaner well enough, and the unit (or the bolt) was rattling. Either way I will keep my eye on it for a while.

    I have also ordered a new fuel filter element, and am planning on looking into trying to flush the lines. Right now I have added about 8 gallons to the tank, and I had previously added a fuel system cleaner additive, which had a caution on it about mixing it with other chemicals. So I'm going to wait on adding any Seafoam to the gas until the next time I fill the tank.

    I also picked up an engine stethoscope at the auto parts store (since it was only $9). And I am surprised out how much you can hear when you touch the probe to various parts of the engine block. Overall the engine doesn't sound bad at all, and I hope to be able to keep trying to track down the "stalling" and "puttering" issue this week (fingers crossed).

    Thanks again for your help.

    Pat

    PS. I really like the Dynaflow transmission on the car. I know its not super efficient or anything bet it is incredibly simple and extremely smooth when driving

  10. #50
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    Hi,
    Over the last day or two I've begun to run into a potentially new problem. I've been able to keep the car from stalling when I give it gas, but now the car will only run for about 20-30 seconds at a time before stalling. A friend of mine suggested that there may be either some sludge or other issue in the gas tank that cuts off the flow as the pump tries to draw fuel from the tank.

    Since I've recently added about 12-14 gallons of fresh fuel to the tank I went ahead and added a can of Seafoam to it to see if that may help with any of my issues. I'm also still waiting on my new fuel filter element, so I have my fingers crossed that I may be able to work through these issues some time soon.

    Pat
    - 1951 Buick Special Deluxe 4Dr Tourback Sedan

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