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51 Frazer will not move under load, like up a hill or ramp


RO

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It's been over four months now since I've posted about this car. We were down for three months until we got a replacement axle shaft in the car from Rudy Phillips and got a new exhaust system on it. Two other things were supposed to have been done at a particular local shop relative to body work, but after nothing had been for two months, I went and got the car, which was an "interesting event" I must say. But to the problem. This car just will not move forward or backward under any load, like a ramp or small hill. It will idle ok and rev up ok and on a flat surface will move, but it is underwhleming. Up a hill forget it.

As you "may" recall from previous postings last year, the engine has been totally rebuilt with all new parts including carburetor, fuel pump, distributor components, plugs, wires, gas tank cleaned, filters, brakes, all that stuff. Timing checked. The choke plate is functioning and this is the second rebuilt carburetor on the car and no change in characteristics. The car will start and idle nut even after a 15-20 minute warmup with choke plate fully open, drop it Drive or Reverse, apply the pedal and the car dies. Any ideas? Very frustrating!

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I see you cleaned the gas tank and installed a new fuel filter. Did you make sure the gas lines are clean also? I had a Cad that did the same thing and found the metal lines so full of gum that only a trickle of gas was getting thru. It was getting enough to run but not enough to pull the car. Also any rubber line may collapse from the inside inside causing the same thing. Good luck. Hope you find the problem soon

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Brand new fuel lines entire length and all visibily checked and blow out with compressed air. This history of the transmission is unknown. It was drained and refilled and has no leaks of any kind. Minimum rubber line length and all new with no tight bends. I'm not sure how I can confirm it is transmission but everything else I can think of seems to be ok. Brakes cannot be locking because the car rolls freely.

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But, I'm going to install an electric fuel pump on the car and is so doing will have to reroute the fuel lines at the back. Good time to disconnect them and blow through them just in case. Good idea to double check. I'm going to Tee-in a fuel pressure gauge as well. The tranny is the only component not new or rebuilt.

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It might also be worth a try to adust the timing. It may not be getting the proper spark advance. If it is strictly a vacuum advance system there could be something wrong there. Did you have the distributor rebuilt also when the engine was rebuilt? If not, there could be an issue there.

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The new exhaust may be your problem. When it was installed were you sure that all the packing was out of the pipes and muffler? Had this problem with someones tin lizzy once. Dandy Dave!

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Ok, keep those ideas coming. Problem existed before the new exhaust. In fact, we thought with a little back pressure, it might cure the problem, but it did not. This is the second carburetor on the car, but we can try to take another look. Jacked up, all turns ok, although I only left it in first and reverse w/o reving the engine up to make the wheels turn faster. We have had a terrible time with this after the engine was rebuilt. Right now the Vaccum Advance is plugged off. We figured that would only come into play on the road under higher speeds or acceleration. We had much difficulty getting the timing set and in fact the position of the distributor-mounted vaccum advance dashpot sits about 15-25 degrees rotated from my other cars with this same engine. But the timing marks line up and it starts and idles ok. Do I need to try and hook up the vacuum advance? We disconnected initially because it's connected to the carburetor vaccum by a tube line and we couldn't turn the distributor with the line attached w/o having to keep bending it to fit.....later we went with a rubber hose, but finally we just plugged it all off.

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Are you sure the cam is in time? Also the carb may need some adjustments air/fuel. Just a thought or two. I had a car that started and idled perfect but wouldn't make it on the trailer or up the driveway and made some adjustments to the carb and now runs great! Good Luck

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Transmission should have nothing to do with it. Should be able to have all four wheels locked, transmission in three gears at once and when you step on the gas, it will not go anywhere but should not stall, either.

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Guest Ctskip

Before I say anything I'd like to ask , when you had the wheels jacked up and blocked, you say it rev'd up fine. Just how high did it rev up? Did you have the motor turning at 2500 rpms with the xmsn in drive with the wheels turning? Have you done a compression test? I'd say with what little knowledge, I have it sounds like a cam shaft timing which would be low to no compression and lack of power. A 25 hp motor will rev up, but will hardly move a Packard. If the compression checks out I'd then go after the torque converter. Not the xmsn, but the torque converter. Just say the word slowly torque converter. Converts hp to the wheels through torque. Of which you don't have. you have rpm's but no power/ no torque which moves the vehicle.

I'll try anything once, twice if I like it.

Ctskip

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Right now the Vaccum Advance is plugged off. We figured that would only come into play on the road under higher speeds or acceleration. We had much difficulty getting the timing set and in fact the position of the distributor-mounted vaccum advance dashpot sits about 15-25 degrees rotated from my other cars with this same engine. But the timing marks line up and it starts and idles ok. Do I need to try and hook up the vacuum advance? We disconnected initially because it's connected to the carburetor vaccum by a tube line and we couldn't turn the distributor with the line attached w/o having to keep bending it to fit.....later we went with a rubber hose, but finally we just plugged it all off.

Vacuum advance needs to be hooked up. But the clue might be the advance canister. You may have the camshaft one or more teeth out of time. Sometimes a giveaway is that it seems to cranks faster than it used to. Also, at idle, the exhaust note sounds different and the engine acts like it is labouring.

At the very least, the distributor is out of time with the cam as it should be in the same position as the others.

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Hey Guys I really appreciate all the help. I have the problem solved and it's back to basics and a bit embarrasing. When you were talking about the vacuum advance, I decided to go hook it back up but in so doing, I found the plug that was installed in the bottom front of the carburetor was gone! You cannot see it unless you get down low and look. I overlooked it. Since it was sucking air and with the engine running I did not realize the opening was open to ambient air. When I installed a plug, the car started up immediately and idled well. I then took it out and up the driveway hill three times including the first time the car has shifted into 3rd. What a relief! Again, I appreciate all the suggestions and the dialog is what provided me incentive to go look again. Thanks. Tranny appears just fine and the car is finally driveable.

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I am surprised that the idle was OK. Usually that is the first thing to go out the window when there is a vacuum leak, unless you had to turn the idle adjust screw about 5 turns from normal to get it to idle at all. Glad you spotted the problem.

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Indeed, that's partially at least why I had trouble diagnozing it. Just hard to remember everything when so many things going on. We still have no reason for the distributor being rotated around 15 or so degrees than the other K/F products and there are six others. Since I found the problem, I didn't post above that timing light shows timing right on and I thought we had taken a vacuum reading and found it to be ok, but I could not find that in my notes but it would have been before the plug fell out w/o our knowing it.

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. We still have no reason for the distributor being rotated around 15 or so degrees than the other K/F products and there are six others. QUOTE]

Turn the engine to top dead center with rotor pointing to # 1 plug wire.

Undo the distributor and lift up until gear disengages with cam. Reposition distributor with vacuum advance in proper position and drop distributor back down. Sometimes it takes some juggling back and forth until the rotor still points to #1 and the vacuum advance is where it belongs when the distributor is in the down position. Set timing with light.

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Well, I don't recall we did it quite that way because once we got the distributor to seat in, we made adjustments via two different slots on opposite sides, i.e., I don't think we lifted the distributor gear until it was off the cam. I'll see how this thing is going to drive now, recheck timing and vacuum, and then may try that. I can tell you the car had plenty of power going up and down the hill and that's the first time it has done that since we've gotten the car back together.

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Guest DeSoto Frank
Hey Guys I really appreciate all the help. I have the problem solved and it's back to basics and a bit embarrasing. When you were talking about the vacuum advance, I decided to go hook it back up but in so doing, I found the plug that was installed in the bottom front of the carburetor was gone! You cannot see it unless you get down low and look. I overlooked it. Since it was sucking air and with the engine running I did not realize the opening was open to ambient air. When I installed a plug, the car started up immediately and idled well. I then took it out and up the driveway hill three times including the first time the car has shifted into 3rd. What a relief! Again, I appreciate all the suggestions and the dialog is what provided me incentive to go look again. Thanks. Tranny appears just fine and the car is finally driveable.

Had the same experience with a friend's '51 Hudson Super-Six last summer... car is un-restored, with 30,000 miles on it, but very weathered.

Would not idle, and would not move w/o lots of stalling and goosing of the accelerator.

We were fiddling-around trying to get the wipers to work, discovering there was no vacuum at the hose at the wiper motor. Traced the line back to the engine, to find it wasn't hooked-up, and there was a nice 1/4" NPT pipe-tapping in the intake manifold, sitting wide-open.

We never heard it sucking air, because there's no muffler on the car right now.

;)

Found a pipe plug, and lo and behold, the car idled right down, and finally began to move around properly...

Glad it was something simple.

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Guest DeSoto Frank
Alirght! Keep those Hudsons rolling. We have a '53, a '57, and two '54 Hudsons and they are great cars.

Well, we're trying... :)

I'm "mentoring" my buddy, who has a real bad case of "Hudson-itis"...

He has a '51 Super-Six Brougham ( big two-door sedan, not the "coupe") that's a solid car, but "needs everything"; then he picked-up a nice '55 Wasp Custom driver last fall, which is very presentable, mostly needing some driveability issues ironed-out.

It's been fun helping him; I get to learn a "new" make... :D

:cool:

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We enjoy the "step-downs" as well as the '57. The HET club is great, has a terrific monthly newsletter, a good number of parts vendors, plus a Hudson store with various things available. We're members of the Midsouth Region HET and meet a minimum four times a year. We got a lot of help and even some parts from an HET member in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area number of years ago. Of course the Hudson Hornet won all those races at Daytona, etc. back in the early 50s.

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OK, still have a problem with this car. Never had such a problem getting timing adjusted. Just cannot get it all adjusted properly and running well. Distributor rotation is CCW with timing mark coming towards me as viewed from the driver's side of the car. Timing is marked at 4BTDC with white paint. Timing light shows this timing mark AHEAD of the Pointer by probably 20-25 degrees, maybe more. That to me indicates too far advanced. However, I cannot turn the distributor back CW any at all without the car not being able to start at all, not even close to turning over. Note that this afternoon I did in fact take the car up a couple hills and for a very short drive where it shifts into all gears very well (Hydramatic). It is most peculiar, however, that to get the car going initially (either first or reverse), I find I have to play back and forth between the accelerator pedal and the brake pedal, much like one might do with a clutch in some situations. makes no sense to me, but if I depress the brake pedal, hold it, then press firmly on the accelerator, the car will go and from that time one through all the shifts not any kind of problem. Note that I have all vacuum sources from the carburtor plugged off. The vacuum advance is out of the equation at this time because the vaccuum advance unit leaked, so we removed it and plugged the openings. Any more suggestions will be appreciated....just cannot make sense of this.

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Back last year we did check the vacuum and it was 17-19, pretty good. But after all we've been through, good idea to check it again. At that time we had not tried to drive the car due to no brakes on it and an axle shaft problem. I can certainly confirm what you say about the timing marks. Have a '55 Patrician whose timing marks are no where near close. I printed that thread you referenced. Thanks.

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Guest DeSoto Frank

If you can't get enough rotation of the distributor body to correctly time the engine (using the "static method" - engine on TDC (by #1 piston location), turn dizzy until points just break), try "rotating" the spark plug wires on the dizzy cap one tower in the direction you need to turn the dizzy ( but can't because you hit the limit stop), then rotate th edizzy back the other way, and try again...

I've had to do this with a couple of vehicles over the years.

I can't remember of the Continental engines used by K-F have a "timing plug" in the head, but look at the cylinder head near #1 and / or # 6 spark plug for a 7/16" or 1/2" hex-head pipe plug, centered over the cylinder bore... if you find one, that is a "timing plug". Remove that plug, and use a rod or straightened-out coat-hanger to find TDC on that cylinder (keep an eye on the distributor rotor to make sure you're on the proper rotation of the cam).

I used to have a Willys truck that had the same Continental six, but can't remember if it had a timing plug.

The engine in my '41 De Soto still has one.

Good luck !

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I was going to ask about the plug wires. Hooked up a vacuum gauge this afternoon and got a maximum reading of 17" Hg, clearly indicating retarded timing although not all that bad. I have indeed reached the limit of turning the distributor advanced as far as I can. So I was going to ask which direction I could move the plug wires by one position, but you answered that. When I get back to this some time this week, I will advance them all one position and see what we get. I just have no explanation of why this one is different then the other 226 engines in the other cars. I'll check about that front plug as well if this repositioning of the plug wires should not work. I now recall doing this on my '54 Hudson Hollywood years ago and it worked. We'll give it a try.

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Success, but not by the way I intended. Advancing the plug wires one position and playing with the distributor did not work as the best I could get was 14" vacuum. So, I ended up elongating the passenger side adjustment slot such that I was able to move the holding bolt all the way forward as far as it could go. Doing that gave me 18.2-19" on one gauge and 19-20" on another gauge...."just" enough. There is no tolerance left for any more movement unless I elongated the opposite side of said bracket to allow the distributor to first be rotated a little farther CW via the driver side slot, then go back and adjust the passenger side bracket slot. But my Dremel tool stop functioning, so for now it's good enough as I successfully drove the car in reverse and drive up a couple hills. It's this double slotted bracket that's really difficult to adjust.

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