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1932 series 50 frustration


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Once again, it seems the finishing off of this project is becoming a nightmare....can anyone help....

The car starts great and sounds good, and picks up when you blip the throttle..however after a minute or so it dies....

We have, installed a fuel pump (and changed it out twice to check it) bought and fitted a carb rebuild kit including gaskets jets and floats, sealed up all the air leaks etc..The head has been welded, faced and new valve seats cut, new valves ground in....the ignition has been changed to lumination electronic, to isolate ignition troubles, we've set the float height a dozen times and are pulling our hair out.

The guy helping me has rebuilt dozens of cars from this era, and also seperately has a fair bit of carb experience, but we are getting nowhere..

Can someone point us at the obvious, cant believe we didn't notice, embarrassingly stupid thing that we are missing..any help greatly appreciated


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Maybe to help answer, could you remind us - did you install an electric fuel pump and not using the mechanical?

Is the fuel manifold heater used, or discontinued? I know, my car needs to use the choke almost all the time until the engine gets really warm. You did not explain if you used the choke or not. I often hold the hand throttle on for quite some time so the idle is not too low.

Is it possible to go back to the standard ignition. I have heard that some have had trouble with electronic ignition.


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Guest outlaw car man

I think I'd isolate the Marvel with an external fuel source, hooked right up to the inlet on the Marvel. If it runs, start working back, if it doesn't, move to the problem forward.

Sounds to me you are running through the gas in the float bowl and it stops. This may pinpoint that. Really really really bad heat riser could cause problems too.

I don't know anything about electronic ignitions or electric fuel pumps so can't help in the area.

Keep us posted- good luck,


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Thanks for the replies...

John, its an electric fuel pump, and the manifold heater is disconnected. We start on choke, but after its run a couple of times and hass got warm, it seems not to need it.

OCM, yes we put a tank on the running board and hooked it straight in to eliminate the tank and pie work, but it had the same result. It runs just a bit longer than a carb full of fuel, it seems.

Will check the coil for shorting. Thanks for you advice guys..



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I have a correction to make, and some progress.....

I am not with the car, so I misinterpreted something..apparently the car will tick over with no problem permenantly. t only when we elevate the revs that it dies..

we do think however we may have found a crack in one of the jets which we have soldered up now, but need to get the carb back on the car to test

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Well whatever was done, we got a result....the car is ten times better, and the rest is probably because shes been idle for 50 years, looking forward to completing over the next couple of weeks, then I'll post some photos

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

I would change the condenser to be sure that it is not a problem. A cheap operation.

Have you checked the damper in the exhaust manifold center section to see if it is open. When I re-made the exhaust manifold center section for the 33 - 35 series 80 & 90, many old timers told me that this valve sticking was a constant problem.

It has been my experience that if these cars sit for a while, the junk in the radiator settles to the bottom and they run hot. I had this problem with my 1935 with the car running fine when parked and a year later running hot. The radiator was the problem. I had it rodded out and everything was fine again. It is a lot of work to remove the radiator but that is the only way to know for sure that it is not a problem.

I hope one of these ideas helps.


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Fred, the 32 Buicks do not have the center section exhaust manifold like 33's. They have a one piece manifold with the exhaust diverter on the front of the exhaust manifold. Also, 32 Buicks have a honeycomb radiator core and can't be rodded out.

I'm a believer in using a vacuum gauge to check out running problems. Just google vacuum gauge engine testing and you will get several excellent diagnostic procdures to sort out the potential problems in intake, fuel,and valve issues.


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