Jump to content

Helping a friend start a 1928


Recommended Posts

Hello,

I've been asked to help a friend start a 1928 Buick, that's in his garage. He's getting spark, but pretty sure that he doesn't have the wires/firing-order correct. I thought this forum would be a good place to start. So - what is the firing order, and does it vary by model of engine for that year? I haven't even looked at the car yet, but if I need to get more details, I will.

Thanks in advance.

-Bruce

Link to post
Share on other sites

Bruce, if the car has not been used on a long time, I would bypass the gas/vacuum delivery system to make sure that you are getting fuel to the carb. Remember that this is a gravity feed system, so just disconnect the line coming out of the vacuum tank to the carb, insert a new rubber line and make a small remote tank of a quart or so and hang it higher than the carb so the fuel can drain into the carb. But, if you are sure the fuel is OK, then...

1. make sure the vacuum tank has fuel, check by taking out plug on top and filling it with fuel.

2. make sure the fuel shut off to the carb is open (mine is at the glass bowl filter)

Now usually you can see some fuel weeping from the top of the carb so you know you have fuel.

3.Transmission in N

4. I fully advance the ignition

5. pull choke all the way out

6. turn on ignition

7. push the starter pedal

Make sure you have a good, charged battery too.

If problems, you can give me a call 540-364-2454. I am in VA.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the info gents! Having never seen the car, it's good to know about the gravity feed, manual timing control, etc.

He said that it is attempting to run, but is back-firing. And, he's not confident with the firing order. So, hopefully I'll just find that he has a couple of wires crossed. Is there anything special with the distributor, or is it a simple clockwise rotation?

Thanks again,

-Bruce

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes on the rotation. Number one on the distributor is the one just to the left of the back clip. It almost faces the engine at 12 o'clock. Make sure that you write down/diagram how it is now, and then how you change it. You will forget quickly how it went, and then you will not know your starting point, etc. Good luck and let us know how it comes out.

If it is backfiring then he does have ignition and fuel, so she should go. Make sure that the choke is connected and working. The engine floods easily too, so just do not sit there and pump the button. If you see fuel leaking all over the ground, and coming out the intake of the carb, you have flooded it. Turn off the fuel, let it sit for 15 minutes and start again to start it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Gents,

Well - he did have all of the wiring wrong, so we fixed that. I went over to his house, and found a car with an engine that literally had 3/4" of old oil grime encasing most of the engine. I was informed that the last time this car had run was in the 1950's. It was driven into a garage in North Dakota, and then sat until my friend purchased it, and brought it back to Washington.

We did get fuel weeping out of the carb, at its mounting gasket, and also eventually dripping out of the air-filter housing. He had the carb re-built - is this something to look at?

I managed to get it to fire, but never run. Playing with the timing advance, it seemed to fire most when the lever was about 2/3rd's of the way toward the "Advance" setting (all the way up) on the steering wheel. I get the sense that we may have flooded it, so we'll let it sit for a while, and re-charge the battery.

He also changed the plugs, and the gap looks similar to the old ones that came out. Does anyone know the specs on the gap?

My friend was excited when it started to kick over (he's 80-years old), so I'd like to see this through and at least get it running for him.

Thanks again,

-Bruce

Link to post
Share on other sites

Bruce, yes, if fuel is running out of front of it, it is flooded. Send me your email address at unimogjohn@aol.com and I will send you the carb manual. On the carb, is the big knob on top level with the little locking arm that holds it from moving? On the bottom of the carb, the wheel, close it then open it to the notch you see on the wheel. These are the factory settings. It does sound to be fuel related. They are easy to open up and check out too. But if you can I would take off its bowl cover and make sure the cork float and needle valve are working correctly. The usual problem is that the cork gets gas logged and sinks, keeping the valve open, flooding the engine.

post-48480-143138148018_thumb.jpg

post-48480-143138148022_thumb.jpg

post-48480-143138148026_thumb.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Bruce, most, if not all of the time the heat control is disconnected for frozen. If frozen do not attempt to break loose or you will break the pot metal casting on the back of the control lever (underside of the dash). You do not need the heat control with modern gas.

Also sent you email with the Marvel carb manual.

And yes, your picture shows the air valve too far in, screw it out until it meets the top of the little tension arm on its side. And yes, screw in the needle valve on the bottom of the carb until it lightly bottoms out, turn back out so the notch on the wheel lines up with the post. These are both factory settings.

I think the points are set at .017, I usually use a match book cover. Make sure they are not pitted too bad. You can use early 60s Chev points, also the cap.

If it still will not start I would open up the carb and blow out the two metering tubes as shown in the pics I sent. They often get clogged easily.

Keep us posted. You are getting there. Oh, post a pic of the car too.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Bruce,

If after setting things up as suggested by John the motor fires but still won't continue to run you should check the heat riser pipe.

The heat riser is the section between the carby and intake manifold which circulates hot exhaust gases around a central thin walled tube which conveys the fuel mixture from carby to manifold.

My experience with cars of this era which have been sitting for many years is that the thin tube which directs the fuel mixture from the carby to manifold through the centre of the heat riser invariable corrodes and allows exhaust gases to mix with fuel mixture. This causes much frustration as the car will start briefly and then choke out because the exhaust gases being directed into the fuel mixture.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Gents,

My friend was very willing and eager to try again. I reset the carburetor to John's recommendations, and was very hopeful. However, the carburetor just drips fuel out of the air-horn and from the mounting flange if I open the petcock on the sight bowl. Once again, I managed to get it to fire a few cylinders, but it just won't kick over and run. Ultimately, I think things got too wet/flooded again, so we'll have to wait.

I think a disassembly and inspection of the carb might be in order, and a peek up at the inner heat riser pipe. Any other thoughts?

Thanks!

-Bruce

Link to post
Share on other sites

Bruce, the float has sunk, time to take it part and blow everything out. You can dry out the float and reseal it, or get a new one from Bob's Automobilia for $5 bucks or so, or head to a hobby shop and get a cork block and shave it to the shape of the original. You have to seal the cork that is not dissolved by gas. I think most folks are using a gas tank sealer, superglue or shellac (sp). And make sure you blow out all the passages. You do not need to remove the jets in the body of the carb, just blow them out as best you can. They can be a bugger to remove. Best of luck.

That is one great looking car, a master series. Paint looks to be original too. How is the interior? Really a great find, a beauty.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The old method to seal the cork floats was to coat with shellac. With alcohol blended gasloline, I would be concerned that the alcohol will dislove the shellac as alcohol is the solvent in shellac. gas tank sealer or an epoxy paint would be a better choice. A large cork stopper purchased at a hardware store can be shaped to fit most carbs.

Bob

Link to post
Share on other sites

Shellac won't work! Superglue will work. Try and get the thin stuff so it won't add weight to the float. Gas tank sealer doesn't like to adhere to cork in my experience. You can also use fuel proof model airplane dope from a hobbyshop. When setting a float level, try and set it where th e fuel level is from 1/16" to 1/8" below the top of the main nozzle.

Link to post
Share on other sites

While you have the carburetor apart, lap the float valve to the seat with some brass polishing compound (grease is what the chrome platers call it) or use some toothpast. Do not use valve grinding compound. It is too course. This may help stop the drip from the front of the carburetor when you are not running.

I have to turn the fuel off at the filter below the vacuum tank when I am parked because mine keeps driping anyway. I just rationalize that it is an anti-theft feature. With the gas truned off, the car will only go a block before it runs out of gas.

If gas is coming out the mounting flange, you need a new gasket. You will never be able to adjust the carburetor because while now it is a fuel leak, when the car is running, it is a vacuum leak.

After cleaning up the carburetor, if you still have the same problem, try a new condenser.

If this car has not run for a long time, you need to watch for overheating. The radiator may need to be rodded out. My 28 after sitting for a year while I rebuilt the engine, overheated.

The radiator was plugged up with sediment. Do not let the radiator shop soak the radiator in their cleaning solution for a long time. It will open many many leaks. Also watch out because they like to spray paint them black. The lead color is correct and disapates heat better than a painted radiator.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 9 years later...

A very helpful post. 10 years later I’m also helping a friend start a 1928 Buick roadster. The engine turns over nicely with even compression. Next step is to dump the gas tank and check out the fuel system. I notice that the vacuum system has been disconnected and replaced by an electric fuel pump. Between the fuel pump and the carburetor there is a component that looks like a pressure regulator. Two questions: could this be a pressure regulator and what would be the maximum allowable pressure? Finally, do you use unleaded gas? Interesting to note, we’re also both in our 80’s, this will be a fun project.

Charley

Link to post
Share on other sites

Charley, 

      Regular grade fuel is fine.  Better than the old junk they used to burn.  The electric fuel pump may give you some problems overpressuring the needle and seat.  If you still have the vacuum tank on the fire wall, it holds a quart of fuel and you can use it to start the car and run it for a short period.  I personally have no issues with the old vacuum tank set up.  With the vacuum tank, the needle and seat saw less than 1 psi (2 feet of head pressure).  It is hard to turn the fuel pump pressure that low.  

 

Have you gone thru the carburetor and resealed or replaced the float?  It is easy to make new gaskets for the carburetor yourself.  There are only a couple.  You can blow thru the passages with carburetor cleaner to ensure they are all working.  You should inspect operation of the air valve as well.  Here is a rebuild procedure for the carburetor.     Hugh

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...

It runs! It's a model 29-46S not a 1928 as I thought. The electric fuel pump and pressure regulator  work well with the carburetor . Got some road time in and it runs fairly well. Fan belt broke as fan was seized but came loose with a push of the hand. Thus I learned the ritual of oiling the fan. Works fine now and doesn't leak. Freed up and lubed brake linkage. Back brakes work, but fronts are not right. One wheel needs drag to lock up and the other spins free. Pedal pressure seems high. Need to go through the whole adjustment process. That's the next priority. Buick on back burner for a bit while I get a 1916 Dodge Phaeton going that has been sitting for 10years. Carburetor is seized so am rebuilding. Charley068E3D33-5B1E-4196-9D5A-6844686B7DB0.thumb.jpeg.c1eeeafc9605468162f086a116092ecf.jpeg

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Good to see you made it this far. I would recommend disassembly of the fan to make sure that the oiler gear isn't broke. This is very common as they are made of a bake lite material. Bobs has replacements.  Failure to lube correctly will yield you a burned up shaft and bushings. The brake issue can be a challenge to isolate the problems. Seized brake clevis pins are common. First remove all clevis pins of the braking system. Clean them or replace if they are worn. Run a drill bit through each clevis by hand to remove all rust. The most frequently affected pins are near the exhaust system . Lube the clevis pins with chassis grease and replace. You will notice a significant change in pedal effort and pedal height at stopping .

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Bill: This car is new to me so I don't know the history. I do see what you mean about the doors. The interface of the front edge of the door and the cowl is not like any other roadster. They all have an upsweep towards the windshield and I don't see any roadster external hinges until 32. I will talk to the owner. Thanks for you interest. Charley

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the heads up on the fan. It looks like if was rebuilt. Fan and hub are really clean light blue paint and shafts look all shiny and there is no sign of leakage. When I filled it, took 2-3 oz of oil, which seemed like a lot if it was not empty. My guess is that it was installed and never filled. Gear check sounds like good insurance. As for the brakes, they certainly will be a challenge. But that's what it's all about. Charley

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 7 months later...


Spent most of the winter replacing brake lines etc. on my old VW. (Didn't I just do that 20 years ago?) Finally got the Buick into a garage with some heat. Went through the brake system cleaning & lubing all the clevis joints and setting up the linkages “by the book”. Looks much better & pulling each wheel with a fish scale shows pretty equal loads. Overhauled carburetor. Thanks Hugh for the rebuild procedure. Thoroughly cleaned everything and did some rework on the venturi. Float worked so was resealed with POR-15 All was going fine until I tried to do the shop set up on the air valve. With air valve screw flush with the end of the ratchet spring, there was a load holding the valve shut. Discovered that the spring looks the same as the one in your procedure except it is 2 inches long not 1-1/2. It has been stretched. I set it up to the no load gap shop procedure. When I took it apart the air valve screw was halfway in from the end of the ratchet spring, so the air valve was probably inoperable. In the meantime I need to identify the carburetor.The body is pot metal and has three jets instead of the 2 that you show, see photo. I can’t order any parts until I know what I’ve got. Any help would be appreciated. Went through the fuel system and replaced all the gummy pre-ethanol rubber hoses. Replaced pressure regulator and filter. Adjusted carburetor fuel valve per spec. On startup, had to readjust air valve to normal flush position and it worked fine. Idle is ok but doesn't sound good in exhaust. Suspect exhaust preheat leaking and needs to be blanked. Runs good yard, see what happens on road.

 

  • Lastly Bill to answer your question, I learned some history. This car was “HOME BUILT” by the original owner as a hobby over the course of many years and was first registered in 1980. To summarize the description given to the present owner:the front clip is from a coupe, center section is from a 2 door sedan which provides wider doors and the back clip with rumble seat is from a special coupe. Other parts came from junkyards and swap meets and it is all 1929. The guy did a commendable job. I’ve recently spent a lot of hours under this thing and it is cleaner than my own 3 year old car. Not a pedigree but a real fun driver.  Just want to get it mechanically fit. Wheelbase is 116 and engine VIN number and location indicates a 310 engine.
     

Charley


 

image.png

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok Bug. Your car has 5 wheel clamps, not 6. So if your chassis is a 1929 it is a 116" or STANDARD series car. Master series uses 6 wheel clamps. Only Australia had small series roadsters in 1929. Someone could have made it into a roadster. Does your engine have a mechanical fuel pump? If so then it is 1929 up. Pot metal carburetor is 1929 up. What is the number on the underside of the fuel bowl? Starts with a 10- ? Post a photo of the left side of the engine.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ray : About the wheels, they are 20 inch with 7x20 tires, lug nuts take 3/4 inch socket. Trying to find max torque on lug nuts to trueup one wheel. Checking with torque wrench, existing torque is about 20 ft lbs.

Car is a 70's home built roadster from three car bodies & various other parts on a 116” wheelbase. Am in the process of determining which engine I have. Picture & carb info to follow.

Charley

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

image.thumb.png.e025fbb6ea7413c1b80ff008a4178383.pngimage.thumb.png.e025fbb6ea7413c1b80ff008a4178383.pngRay:
Left side engine pictures. Couldn't see any numbers on carburetor fuel bowl. Engine does have mechanical fuel pump that has been disconnected and replaced with electric pump. Was this the main pump or a booster to a vacuum canister? If it was the main pump is there any reason that it can't be rebuilt? Were they a problem? Mechanical pump would eliminate a lot of joints, hoses and pressure regulator. How to identify engine displacement?
Went for road test today. Car ran well @ 35-40 mph. Idle rough but tolerable. Still have brake issues. Started out with hard pedal 2 1/2 from floor as required. After half dozen stops, pedal was down to  about an inch from floor.
Charley


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well your car having a fuel pump makes the engine a 1929 and up. The mechanical fuel pump is the sole source of fuel delivery 1929 and up. It can be rebuilt. They are extremely fragile as is the die cast carburetor like you have. The crappy diecast metallurgy was the culprit. The mechanical AC pump was adequate with a updraft carburetor. I feel that your engine is the Standard engine. If it has a water manifold running above the intake and exhaust manifolds then it is a Master series engine. Your car still has the infamous Marvel heat riser. There are volumes of information here about that. Good luck on the brakes. You will eventually get it figured out. Everything there looks really solid. Have fun.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The brass carburetor float bowl numbers are on the engine side of the float bowl.  If you have not rebuilt the carburetor or reviewed what you should do with the exhaust heat system, the car will not run properly.  Attached is a link that covers both.   You can use a mirror to read the bowl numbers or remove the carb for rebuilding and get them when it is off.  That will tell you the carburetor year.  The pot metal venturi needs to be inspected and likely adjusted.     Hugh

https://forums.aaca.org/topic/322950-1927-buick-carb-removal/

 

Edited by Hubert_25-25 (see edit history)
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

Buick up and running. Brake problem was wrong linkage adjustment on back brakes, was adjusted for long wheel base. Reset & rechecked everything else and got brakes.

Charley

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...