Jemattson18

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About Jemattson18

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  • Birthday 11/18/1992

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    Hi, I'm Jim. I live in Massachusetts. Currently I'm working on restoring a 1954 Pontiac Chieftain. Feel free to message me with any tips, advice or comments. Thanks!

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  1. Hey guys, so after a lot of head scratching and trying different things I finally got this car running again last night. Last night I replaced the cap and rotor and tried to start it but got nothing. After that I shortened the wire going from the coil to the distributor because it was looking a little sketchy at one end and it was about twice as long as it needed to be anyways. I also replaced the points and condenser and set the gap and after that the car started and ran just about perfectly. I got to tell you, it's one of the best feelings in the world to fix a problem like this. What I think originally happened was that the fuel in the tank went bad back in November-December and between then and replacing the fuel, the condenser either went bad or I messed up the points from monkeying around with it. Either way, now it's been fixed and seems to be running great. Thank you guys for your help.
  2. Thanks, that's good to know.
  3. Thanks for the advice. Carbking, I'll try your method this weekend and let you know how it goes. Why do you guys suggest keeping the old carburetor? Yes, when I took the carb apart I actually replaced the mixture screws with new ones that came in the rebuild kit. I believe they call them idle adjustment screws in the manual I have. I also screwed them in until they seated and then backed them out 1 3/4 turns as it states in the manual. I didn't have any compressed air, but I made sure to blast out every passageway with carb cleaner.
  4. So I emailed Daytona Parts, which is where I bought the carb rebuild kit, asking what they recommend the float height to be. They sent me a page from what looks like a Carter WCD technical manual and that says for a '54 Pontiac to set the float height at 3/16". Before I had set it at 3/32" because that is what I had read in a different manual. So, last night I took the carburetor off, set the float height to 3/16" and cleaned out the intake manifold as best I could so that there wasn't any gasoline sitting in there. When I put the carburetor back on the car, however, it still wouldn't start. It acted exactly as it had before. As my dad cranked it over, I looked down into the barrel and couldn't see any gasoline leaking out anywhere. Even holding the butterfly valves open I didn't see any gas leaking out anywhere. Gas sprays out of the nozzles when you open the butterfly valves, but I understand this is normal. While cranking over, we sprayed some starting fluid down the intake and when we did this we could hear the engine start to fire and at one point I thought the engine was actually going to start and stay running. We decided to buy a carburetor from Carburetor center just so that we know we have a good carburetor and can rule that out. Does anyone have any experience buying a carburetor from them? In the meantime, I'm going to drain the gas tank and put some new gasoline in the car. Hopefully that fixes the problem. Stay tuned...
  5. Thanks, you guys are a huge help. This weekend my dad and I replaced the float valve on the carburetor with the flat rubber valve that came with the Daytona rebuild kit. We did have to adjust the float down a little bit because with the floats all the way up, it wasn't seating the valve. We had the carb cover upside down so that the floats were at the highest level and the float valve was closed and there was a little bit of a gap between the float and the valve. We adjusted the floats down just a bit so that they were making contact with the float valve when the floats were all the way up. We tried starting it again but it wouldn't stay running. It ran basically the same as it did before. There was still some gas sitting in the intake manifold, however so I think that might be why it didn't run. I'm going to try and swab out the manifold so that it's dry and start it again. Bloo, I'll follow your advice and look down the throat and make sure nothing's dripping down into it when we crank it over again. You guys might be right about the old fuel too. We've sprayed some starting fluid and it'll start firing on that but won't stay running. It's amazing how bad ethanol fuel is. I'm going to try and just get straight gasoline for this car from now on. Again, thanks for the help. I'll keep you guys updated.
  6. Sorry for the late response. So I did both a dry compression test with the engine cold and then a compression test with some marvel's mystery oil squirted into the cylinders. Dry test --- #1- 50 psi #2-60 psi #3-40 psi #4-30 psi #5-32 psi #6-58 psi #7-60 psi #8-52 psi Wet test --- #1- 105 psi #2-112 psi #3-100 psi #4-110 psi #5-80 psi #6-105 psi #7-105 psi #8-110 psi Now, I know the pressure was low in cylinder 4 and 5 during the dry test and in #5 during the wet test, but it sounds like the engine is firing on much less than 6 cylinders. The car acted the the same after rebuilding the carb and replacing the spark plugs and spark plug wires. One thing I didn't replace when I rebuilt the carb was the float needle valve. The rebuild kit I have has float valve that's a different design than the original which is why I originally didn't replace it. I took the valve apart and cleaned it and it looked good but I think I might replace it with the one provided in the kit this weekend. I looked at the cap and rotor and cleaned it off as best I could. I don't see any hairline cracks in the cap either. Like I said, there's a lot of gasoline pooling in the intake manifold so I think it might be a problem related to the float valve. The gasoline is from September and I put sta-bil in it in December so I would imagine it's still good. I'm going to replace the float valve and try it again and let you guys know how it goes. Thanks for the help.
  7. Hi Guys, I have a problem with my 54 Pontiac Chieftain. It was working fine until a few months ago when it sounded like it wasn't running on all cylinders. The next time I tried starting it, it wouldn't start at all. It sounds like there's a few cylinders firing, but not enough to actually get the engine running. I was wondering if any of you have any suggestions as to what the problem could be. Since I started experiencing this problem I have replaced the spark plugs and spark plug wires and made sure that the spark plug gaps were correct. I also made sure the points gap was correct. I checked each spark plug and I am getting spark to each cylinder. I have also rebuilt the carburetor and did a compression test. One thing I noticed was that when I removed the carburetor, half of the intake manifold had gas pooling in it. It's a carter WCD carb with two barrels and this is the barrel closest to the engine. After cranking the engine I can look down inside and see this pool of gas too. I can't imagine this is normal and was wondering if this could be the reason the engine wont start. Any help or suggestions are appreciated.
  8. Yea thanks. I looked at it again today. I bled it again and noticed a few little air bubbles come out so you're probably right about air being in there. The pedal also seemed tighter after I did that although I think there still might be a few small air bubbles. I'm going to go through it again tomorrow and see how it feels.
  9. So there is supposed to be a geyser or a squirt of fluid in the reservoir when you depress the pedal?
  10. I actually didn't bench bleed the master cylinder. The geyser happens when I depress the brake pedal though so there shouldn't be a geyser then, right?
  11. I initially used a vacuum bleeder but it did not work for whatever reason and I ended up just doing it the old fashioned way with the flexible tube immersed in brake fluid.
  12. Hey guys, I'm currently working on replacing the entire brake system on my 1954 Pontiac Chieftain. However, I've been running into some problems with the master cylinder. I ordered one online a few weeks ago and I installed it and bled the brakes. Whenever I pressed on the pedal nothing happened with the shoes and there was just a little geyser inside the reservoir of the master cylinder. I assumed the master cylinder was defective, thinking that fluid is just leaking past the piston. I bought another one and the same thing happened. Is there something wrong with the master cylinders or am I just doing something wrong? Any help would be appreciated.
  13. Man, what a cool looking car. I can't wait to see what it looks like all cleaned up. Good luck!
  14. This car looks like it's coming along great. Are you going to have to do anymore work to the frame?
  15. Ok. The frame on mine has a good amount of surface rust. It hasn't completely eaten away at the frame, except for one or two small places, but I'm kind of a noob and not really sure how much rust is too much rust.