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Hard to start when cold


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I have a 1956 Ford Fairlane Towncar with a 292 engine and Holly teapot carb. When the car sits for a couple days it is very very very hard to start. I can pump the gas pedal, I can just crank out without pumping the pedal. I can pump a little and crank a lot. I can do every combination of the above but it almost runs the battery down before it starts. After it starts, for the rest of the day, all I have to do is hit the starter and it fires right up. No pumping or anything. Can anyone shed some light on where I should look to fix this problem? Thanks

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I would start by checking to see if the gas is draining back to the tank, or out a pinhole in the line, making it have to pump gas all the way to the engine on first start. Just loosen the fuel line where it enters the carb and turn it over a couple of times to see if it is getting gas.

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I would start by checking to see if the gas is draining back to the tank, or out a pinhole in the line, making it have to pump gas all the way to the engine on first start. Just loosen the fuel line where it enters the carb and turn it over a couple of times to see if it is getting gas.

Thank you I will try that. Thanks again

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After testing for gas supply while first cranking, it is likely that the carburetor is draining. It can't drain back thru the needle and seat at the inlet so it has to be draining thru the bottom of the float chamber/housing. Remove the carb after running and it is full of fuel. Check the bottom of the carb for obvious fuel leaks. You may have to dry it good and let it set for a few minutes, then inspect for leaks.

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After testing for gas supply while first cranking, it is likely that the carburetor is draining. It can't drain back thru the needle and seat at the inlet so it has to be draining thru the bottom of the float chamber/housing. Remove the carb after running and it is full of fuel. Check the bottom of the carb for obvious fuel leaks. You may have to dry it good and let it set for a few minutes, then inspect for leaks.

Thank you for the advice. I will try this also.

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It could also be that, when cold, the starter is drawing so many amps that the coil/distributor are only putting out a weak spark.

Is it a 6 volt system? If so, check your battery cables and make sure they are the large diameter ones, not skinny 12 volt cables. Check your ground, make sure it's good, and the best thing is to run the ground cable to a starter mounting bolt. Check your starter to make sure it's in good condition.

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It could also be that, when cold, the starter is drawing so many amps that the coil/distributor are only putting out a weak spark.

Is it a 6 volt system? If so, check your battery cables and make sure they are the large diameter ones, not skinny 12 volt cables. Check your ground, make sure it's good, and the best thing is to run the ground cable to a starter mounting bolt. Check your starter to make sure it's in good condition.

Its a 12 volt system and the cables seem to be in good shape. Not sure about the starter. I will check this out. Thanks

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No a 56 is running 12 volts. I would check the points to see if they're OK, like seeing the gap and dwell are set right and if they're burnt. Also plugs and wires should be checked as well.

I replaced the points, plugs, condenser, distributor cap, rotor, and spark plug wires when I first got the car so I don't think this is my problem. I am going to check the fuel pump and carb to see if I can find a leak or if the fuel is flowing back to the tank. Thanks for your reply.

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I believe a leaking power valve in the carburetor may be causing your condition. Let us know what you find. Good Luck!

Will I have to take the carburetor apart to check the power valve? It looks like the carburetor was rebuilt not to long ago as the bottom stage is very clean. Thanks for your reply and suggestion.

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