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Need help - engine dies

Steve Shore

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I have a 52 Series 41D with 18,000 original miles. The car has run great over the past three months that I have had it. However, beginning today, it has developed a strange condition.

It starts right up with no problem. It hesitates a little bit at start up, but after it warms up it seems to run fine. However, as it goes down the road the engine starts missing and then dies. It will not start again unless you let it sit for about five minutes. It will crank right up but then die again after a few minutes.

The only other clue I can give is that the ampmeter on the dash shows to be charging at the top end of the scale when the car is being driven down the road.

Any help would be appreciated.

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This sounds like a classic case of vapor lock. Look at the fuel line from the pump to the carb. It often runs between the back of the thermostat housing and front of the head. In some cases it has been bent over time and will touch the hot surfaces around it. When it does, the gas may vaporize in the line and this forms a block for liquid gas.

The fix is simple, bend the line back so it is not touching any other metal parts. Just do it easy, and a little at a time, so as to prevent distorting the line too much. Remember, just get it off other surfaces.

Good luck

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I agree with Joe "The Old Guy". A car with extremely low mileage like that one has done a lot of sitting for many years. The gas tank is probably full of rust. After a few minutes of running, the rust flakes are sucked up to the fuel pick-up tube or sock, choking off the fuel flow. Let it sit for a few minutes, and the rust flakes slowly fall back to the bottom of the tank, and the car runs again.

Take out the gas tank, open the sending unit on the top of the tank, and shine a flashlight down inside to see how bad it is. Be sure to put plenty of Liquid Wrench or PB Blaster on the sending unit screws before unscrewing them, or else one or two are guaranteed to break off.

Pete Phillips, BCA #7338

Sherman Texas

1948 model 71

1949 model 59

1950 model 76R

1963 Wildcat conv. 4-speed

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OK, I found the problem...

When the engine died, I immediately removed the top half of the carburetor (with the carb still on the engine) and found the float chambers dry. In order to remove the top half of the carb, I had to remove the fuel line to the carburetor. It was full of fuel. I checked the pump action of the fuel pump while cranking the engine with the fuel line disconnected from the carb. The pumped checked out OK.

Bottom line - I found a little tiny screen in the fuel inlet of the carburetor. This screen was pretty rusty and obviously obstructing the flow of fuel. I removed the screen and reassembled the carburetor and now the car runs fine.

BTW - I did purchase and install and brand new fuel tank. The old one was full of gunk. I did this right after purchasing the car.

I really enjoy this car and the fact that it is an untouched 18,000 mile original. I am a full blown Buick fan now and I really appreciate all of the help that I received on this forumn. Thanks alot!

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Thanks for the update. It is kinda frustrating when we see all these good but different ideas and the original poster never returns to tell us the other half of the story.

Glad you got her going. See you at a BCA meet sometime I hope.

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