Jump to content

Suggestions welcome re Marvel Carb problem (maybe)

Chris Bamford

Recommended Posts

I was helping a local club member move his '28 McLaughlin-Buick (Canadian-made) yesterday so his bride could park her modern indoors this winter. The car is pretty much original and has apparently been a good starter and runner over the years. My friend Steve no longer drives and the car was last driven by his son about three months ago. It was then driven into the garage and parked, untouched until yesterday other than bringing the battery up to full charge.

Dang thing wouldn't start... strong spark at the plugs, gas ran out of the carb under heavy choking and also after depressing the "tickler" button above the float. We did start it briefly, twice, by pulling the plugs and priming the cylinders. Battery is fully charged and turns the engine over well. Steve thought we were using this year's gas — it may not be completely fresh, but it did run the engine briefly after priming the cylinders.

I suspect carburetor issues but know very little about this brand. My experience has been limited to Model T and Carter BB1 carbs and don't want to go further into the Marvel without some fore knowledge.

Can someone point me toward technical/operation/repair data on the Marvel carb? Of course, any suggestions to help sort out the problem are most welcome. I intend to go back Saturday AM for another attempt, after draining the filter and vacuum tank and priming with fresh gas.




Link to comment
Share on other sites

If that Marvel carburetor is original it probably has a cork float that was sealed with shellac. I believe modern gasoline will dissolve the shellac and permeate the cork causing the carburetor to flood. Same problem on our 30 Essex with the Marvel carb. We had to go to a urethane foam float. Might be part of your problem.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Problem solved.

Turns out friend Steve's gas wasn't so fresh after all... first order of business this morning was to drain the vacuum tank (main tank was already pretty much dry) and pour in fresh-bought fuel. Crank crank, choke choke, Vroom Vroom! Off to the gas station to fill the tank and then 56 miles to the farm for winter storage.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fuel was "up to 10% ethanol" like pretty much every retailer here.

I've never had a problem with this fuel in the years we've had it around here, and with extensive driving of cars 1912, '24, '26, '47 and '65 and my lawnmower. Not to say it hasn't happened to others elsewhere, but no local club members have reported problems either, at least that I've heard about.

Sorry I have no photos of the car with the hood on. Here are a few more pix — the interior is all original and in pretty decent shape. I believe the exterior paint is also original, complete with pinstripe in some areas.





Link to comment
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...