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1923 Buick 6 cyl. roadster


schultz51
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My Dad and I just finished rebuilding his 1923 6 cyl. roadster he had in high school after 50 years of storage. Most everything has been redone, rebuilt or refurbished. We got it running after about 10 tries driving it around his place for a couple hours. We had several water leaks and adjustments to make before it settled down running like a Swiss watch. We drove it off and on over the next several days before our problem occurred. It just wouldn't start. Took the carb apart to check for anything that may have gunked it up, nothing that we could see. Checked to make sure we were getting spark, very healthy spark at each plug/wire. Took the flywheel cover off to check timing. Used a timing light to make sure it was firing at the correct location. That appears to be fine. It just will not run. The only thing we did out of the ordinary was install a on/off mechnical kill switch to isolate the battery. It ran fine both before and after the install so don't think that is the problem. We have also tried pushing it with no luck. Does anyone have a suggestion on what to check or look into. The carb is like no other carb I've ever worked on so don't know how to make sure it is getting fuel to the cylinders. The plugs seem to have some wetness so that appears ok. It has fuel in the vacuum canister and flows into the carb so....We are really perplexed and frustrated about where to turn. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.

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Have you checked the heat riser for leaks between the carb and intake manifold? This is a common problem. The inner sleeve is steel and is subject to severe corrosion that can create holes that allow exhaust to enter the intake manifold.

My 2 cents...

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Your problem may be in the carb. The engine needs spark, fuel, and compression. Does

the inside of the carb.(and poss. the outside), get wet after cranking with full

choke? If not dirt maybe blocking a jet or passage. Let us know when you find

the problem.

JB

22-6-55 Sport Touring

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Ran like a Swiss Watch. Hmmm, something went away.

There is no heat riser tube on a '23 (but there is on a '24 and Mark is right, they are hard to find on a '24 when bad). '23 carb has an exhaust heat jacket as part of the carb..

No vacuum advance on a '23 either, only the weights in the distributor. (and reving engine with timing light hooked up will show that they advance the timing but this is not an issue at start-up)

I would re-check the spark, enough to knock you over? And is it at or near TDC checked with a light.

Next, carb float. Could have saturated in the short period you've been driving it, and now floods.

Carb gasket loose/leaking and sucking air and lean mixture? Or intake (less likely)

Distributor rotor come loose/ lock nut back off? This would/should show up in the timing check.

Will it 'bark' with no fuel turned on but starting fluid sprayed in the air inlet? This would say you have compression and spark at the right time but a fuel issue.

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Thank you guys for all your suggestions. I am making notes and copies of your replies to use when I get to the car. My Dad lives in Great Falls Montana where the car is located and I live in the Phoenix area. He has a list of things for me to do when I see him every summer and this is the top of the list of unfinished issues I will need to work on when I see him in June/July. I worked on the car last summer to get it running and ran into the problem before leaving. I took the carb apart several time trying to figure out if any thing was plugged. There really isn't a lot to the thing and it appeared to be pretty clean with some surface rust is a few locations. The choke sleeve appears to be in good shape with no holes or rust throughs. I will check to see if there are any leaks between intake and carb. One of the tests I did was open the choke cylinder, had Dad crank it while I sprayed starter fluid directly into the intake. Nothing. No cough, sputter or backfire. After that I pulled each plug and wire to check if they were getting spark. The spark just about knocked me on my butt from each wire. I'll have to check the distributor advance as well as revisiting the timing. If the starter fluid wouldn't work directly into the intake, looks more to be like it is a spark/timing issue? Can't really figure out why it would work fine one minute and not the next. Thank you again.

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Man, very puzzling... as stated before, if you have compression, spark and fuel you should at least have some sputtering/"barking" from the engine as it tries to run. The fact that you seem to have all three of these things yet the engine isn't even trying to start says to me that something is fundamentally awry. Is it possible that you mixed up plug wires while setting the timing and now have the wrong wires going to the wrong plugs?

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I have also seen a bad ballast resistor (broken filament) that when it got warm (current on) it would lengthen and break apart causing no spark. In the time it took to get out and look, remove a plug to check for spark, the filament would cool and re-make connection and work.

Only working late into the evening and dark (as I pulled my hair out) did I see a small spark when the filament broke contact. Lucky for me someone had moved my coil and resistor to under the dash or I never would have seen the spark.

This caused the car to run 3 minutes at a time and then flame out. Drove me nuts, OK more nuts.

I've heard of coils doing this too since telling this story to others.

Edited by Brian_Heil (see edit history)
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That is something I will sure look into. A few years ago I had a very perplexing problem that was just as weird. Of course, my Dad was the culpret. He had just finished rebuilding his 29 Studebaker President 8 cyl. He hadn't got it running so asked for some help. Got it going almost immediately but it would only run on 4 cylinders. Swapped out coils and it would still only run on 4. After many hours of beating my head against the wall, I discovered that the firing order stamped on the exhaust manifold was incorrect. How could that happen....well it did and as soon as I fixed that, BINGO. Another one of those Swiss watches. Thanks again Brian and I will add your suggestion to the things I need to check.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hallo everybody,

I happen to be working on my 1924 Buick, having a lot of trouble to get the pin out of the connector of the starter-generator to the drive shaft.

I just was thinking, if this pin is loose and gets out, this might shift the connexion, thus doing strange things to your ignition timing.

It takes just a minute to check.

Cheers, Lex

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