The Newbie Forum The place where you should introduce yourself and make your first post.

Cold start having to use starting fluid

Old March 25th, 2019, 06:37 AM
  #1  
Registered User
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 11
Cold start having to use starting fluid

Hello forum. Been here a while, just never started a post before. Found a lot of great and useful information just looking thru the forum that helped solved some issues I was having.

I have a problem that I didn't see addressed yet and I'm hoping someone may have a solution.

I bought this car just over a year ago from someone that had it sitting for 10 years. Lots of little problems that I've taken care of one at a time. Coming down to the last few (I hope), and I need to address them.

Everytime I cold start the car, I have to spray starting fluid into the air cleaner to get it started. Once started, it runs well. Once running, I can shut of and start it up thru the day with no problems. When it sits overnight, I have to use the starting fluid the next day. Earlier on when I first got the car, I was pouring gas into the carb to get it going. It's definitely easier using starting fluid, but I know it's not normal. So the gas is feeding back out of the carb overnight which seems to me to be caused by a seal somewhere letting the gas siphon out. I see no visable leaks in the fuel system. Smell no gas that maybe leaking. I'm guessing it's either in the fuel pump or the carb itself. Could be both maybe. Just wondering if there was anyone else who has experienced this or has any thoughts.
Jimbo120 is offline  
Old March 25th, 2019, 07:17 AM
  #2  
Moderator
 
oldcutlass's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Poteau, Ok
Posts: 32,311
You have to determine if your carb is actually out of fuel. In the morning, operate the throttle and see if there are 2 solid streams of fuel spraying. Is your choke properly engaged?
oldcutlass is online now  
Old March 25th, 2019, 07:26 AM
  #3  
Old(s) Fart
 
joe_padavano's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 32,035
You ARE pumping the accelerator before a cold start, right? This isn't a modern EFI car.
joe_padavano is online now  
Old March 25th, 2019, 07:28 AM
  #4  
Registered User
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 11
I'm pumping and cranking. I could do that all day long it seems. Could only get it started putting gas in the carb or starting fluid.
Jimbo120 is offline  
Old March 25th, 2019, 07:33 AM
  #5  
Registered User
 
Tedd Thompson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Forest Ranch Ca.
Posts: 5,180
Check for any cracks in the fuel line or around the fuel pump, just a tiny crack air leak will keep your pump from priming and sucking gas. It may or may not smell of fuel. A quick check can be had by taking the fuel line apart at the carb and see if fuel is at the filter and ready to fill the carb. There is the always the mentioned leak down syndrome but If mine I would check that last. It seems that there is always something beside that that causes that problem..... Tedd
Tedd Thompson is offline  
Old March 25th, 2019, 08:35 AM
  #6  
Registered User
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 11
I'll check that. I'm guessing at this point also, I should have been smart enough to to using a new fuel pump and rebuild the carb seeing that the car sat for so long. Any rubber pieces that should be sealing anything would be pretty much crap by now.
Jimbo120 is offline  
Old March 25th, 2019, 09:51 AM
  #7  
Registered User
 
VI Cutty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Vancouver Island, Canada
Posts: 869
I have the same issue in my '71 Cutlass with 350 and QJet. A new fuel pump didn't solve anything, although you can always do a pressure test to confirm yours is pumping enough.

My car was a similar situation as yours - sitting for years without regular starts. It just takes more cranking to get the float bowl level up so the engine will start. Pouring gas/starter fluid into the carb isn't helping overcome the lack of gas, just replaces the manual cranking until the gas is flowing.

Depending on your carb, you may be able to fill the float bowl through the vent tube using a syringe. Worked for me after the car sat for a couple months without starting and cranking didn't seem to be doing anything.

Please share the results of your efforts - I haven't had time to chase it down myself but would sure love to fix the issue!
VI Cutty is offline  
Old March 25th, 2019, 02:31 PM
  #8  
Gary
 
VC455's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Gillespie County Texas
Posts: 649
Originally Posted by oldcutlass View Post
In the morning, operate the throttle and see if there are 2 solid streams of fuel spraying. Is your choke properly engaged?
Originally Posted by Jimbo120 View Post
...I should have been smart enough to (use) a new fuel pump and rebuild the carb...
Changing parts to fix a problem is shooting in the dark. You might get lucky but you will certainly waste time and money.

To avoid that, first troubleshoot the problem as Eric suggested:
1. Remove the top of the air cleaner, use a flashlight to look down the primary barrels, work the throttle by hand, and look for fuel spray.
2. After you release the throttle, has the choke blade closed over the primary barrels?

If you post those results, we can help you further.

Last edited by VC455; March 25th, 2019 at 04:46 PM. Reason: spelling
VC455 is offline  
Old March 25th, 2019, 06:38 PM
  #9  
Running On Empty
 
Vintage Chief's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Crystal Coast, NC
Posts: 1,424
Did you change the fuel filter at the carburetor inlet? Did you install the spring in the correct orientation?
Vintage Chief is online now  
Old March 26th, 2019, 04:52 AM
  #10  
Registered User
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 11
I'm taking note of all the suggestions you guys are giving. I'll be out there over the weekend working thru each one to see what I get. I'm definitely on the mind set of you VC455. I get impulsive trying to fix a problem and just replace everything in a system just to solve one problem. Which has cost me a good number of dollars. Last year, I did over everything in the cooling system for an over heat problem just to find out in the end that the spring was missing in the lower hose causing the problem.
Jimbo120 is offline  
Old March 26th, 2019, 06:15 AM
  #11  
Moderator
 
oldcutlass's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Poteau, Ok
Posts: 32,311
If you live close to me, as you replace all your stuff, just let me know and I'll come get what you take off.
oldcutlass is online now  
Old March 26th, 2019, 07:09 AM
  #12  
Registered User
 
OLDSter Ralph's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: St. Paul Minnesota
Posts: 1,175
Originally Posted by oldcutlass View Post
If you live close to me, as you replace all your stuff, just let me know and I'll come get what you take off.
That's what friends do. If you are to far from Okieland, I might be closer.
OLDSter Ralph is offline  
Old March 26th, 2019, 05:12 PM
  #13  
Registered User
 
therobski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Dallas-Fort Worth
Posts: 2,171
Old stale gas? Once you start the engine with starter fluid, most will run ( not well) on old gas. at least that's been my experience and my 2 cents. Over and out.
therobski is online now  
Old March 26th, 2019, 06:41 PM
  #14  
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 274
Jimbo,

Most likely the carburetor but you never know. I just went through this with my Wife's Riviera and even though I have probably done a hundred Q-jets in my life I simply could not get hers to work right after sitting for a few days. I ended up finding a matching used one on E-bay, rebuilt it and now it starts with one pump to set the choke and about 5 seconds of cranking.

That being said . . . . please throw the starting fluid in the trash can (or recycling) If you must use something until you get the problem solved use Gumout carburetor cleaner or something similar. That will start it just as easy and will be a lot more gentle on your old engine. Starting fluid is murder on engines.
BillK is offline  
Old March 28th, 2019, 07:29 AM
  #15  
Registered User
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 11
Old gas isn't the problem. Once the car starts it goes and just like all 400's, has a drinking problem. So, I'm constantly filling her up. Point taken on the starting fluid. I'll get a can of gumout and try that. I'm hoping to get to look into all the suggestions over the weekend. Forecast is rain.
Jimbo120 is offline  
Old March 28th, 2019, 08:04 AM
  #16  
Beer Connoisseur
 
70cutty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Daly City, California
Posts: 1,844
I've had this issue on one my cars. Everything was new, but since the car didn't get driven often it would crank forever before the fuel would get to the carb. Finally I decided to install a small fuel pump to help prime the carb. I bought a small Facet solid state pump (made in USA not a knockoff) and installed it inline on the frame not too far from the tank. I also installed a 100 micron big can filter before pump. Flip the switch for a few seconds, you can hear the ticking, once the ticking quiets down it's ready to start, turn the pump off and start the car. This pump also allows mechanical pump to pull fuel through it when it's not running, without restricting the flow. People use these pumps on their small aircrafts and boats.


70cutty is offline  
Old March 31st, 2019, 08:45 AM
  #17  
Registered User
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 11
OK, so I did some checking before the rain started. Cold motor. I do have a clear in-line gas filter. It was full with gas. No leaks on it or around it. Don't smell gas or found any possible leaks up to the carb. Took the air cleaner off, choke butterfly is closed as it should be. Looking down the throat, pumped the throttle. First couple of pumps, nothing. After 5 or 6 pumps, gas did stream out. Passenger side was a nice strong stream, drivers side was a stream, but not very strong. More like a strong dribble.

So I'm guessing this is a carb rebuild. My next question is the carb itself. The original carb is long gone. Somewhere in it's life, someone put on this carb. Rochester number 17059253, which converts to a 1978 Olds carb. Does it really make that much of a difference? Or should I be looking for the carb that was closer to original, which maybe impossible to find? Can I rebuild this one using a kit from the original series?
Jimbo120 is offline  
Old March 31st, 2019, 08:55 AM
  #18  
Gary
 
VC455's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Gillespie County Texas
Posts: 649
Nice job, Jimbo.

Put yourself in the ranks of the 5% who analyze the problem before throwing parts!
VC455 is offline  
Old March 31st, 2019, 09:01 AM
  #19  
Registered User
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 11
I learned the hard way by throwing parts at it in the past. Too expensive and unnecessary.
Jimbo120 is offline  
Old March 31st, 2019, 09:43 AM
  #20  
Moderator
 
oldcutlass's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Poteau, Ok
Posts: 32,311
Why not rebuild the one you have, a kit is pretty cheap. Sounds like either a float issue or an accelerator pump.
oldcutlass is online now  
Old March 31st, 2019, 09:54 AM
  #21  
Registered User
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 11
Is the carb body performance wise from 1978 as the one from 1967?
Jimbo120 is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
colemane
General Discussion
6
April 13th, 2013 01:19 PM
Skyko
Big Blocks
12
June 2nd, 2012 09:03 PM
Finn5033
General Discussion
4
May 15th, 2012 10:21 AM
71supreme
General Discussion
8
November 2nd, 2010 09:10 PM
cfair
Brakes/Hydraulic Systems
1
June 8th, 2009 12:37 AM


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Quick Reply: Cold start having to use starting fluid


Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.