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fordmerc

flooded engine won't start

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I can't start my engine because it floods. e.g.: after 120 Sec. (total) cranking time, I aspirated 5 ounces of gas from intake manifold. Carb is Carter WDO. Carb has been looked at twice and float set. (2 different people tell me it is "OK"). Rebuild kit installed 1000 mi. ago, and it ran fine until this spring. Engine rebuilt 1000 mi. ago. Holding the gas pedal down does not work or dry  the gas. Car is '41 Packard.

Gas is fresh, I have good  spark at the plugs, timing is  approximately where it was  when running (I moved the distributor a little to see if timing was the problem) Plugs  also have 1000 miles on them but look clean. Coil, dist head and wires all "new". I have removed the carb to "dry it out"  but the car still didn't start, and quickly flooded when I tried to start it. (It actually sputtered a bit once)

I am missing something here and I need  advice: what else should I check? Where should I be looking to solve the flooding problem which I have convinced myself is the reason the car won't start?

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The carb is probably full enough to run. Try this. Disconnect the fuel line between the pump and carb. Plug it off. Try to start the car. If it's not too badly flooded it should eventually start. Keep it running till it runs out of gas and stops. Reattach the fuel line and try to start it. The rush of gas coming in may clear out any dirt that's stuck in the needle and seat that was causing flooding. While you are cranking to start you might want to have a helper tap on the carb near the fuel inlet. You might have to try this more than once.

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If you really flooded it, the spark plugs could be wet and the cylinders washed.  You will need to pull the plugs and let them try and squirt a little oil in each cylinder.

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I pulled all plugs - dry. I blew air into the plug holes and into the manifold via the small port just under the carb.

I then disconnected and capped the fuel line just before the filter. Car did not start.

Tried a little starter fluid; got one  or two firings.

Re-connected the fuel line: no start and gas in manifold!

Based on misterc9's comments the problem must be in the valve/seat (?)

Since I have already had 2 opinions about the carburetor and still have the problem should I pursue another ? Would a defective valve/seat be obvious or should I just replace them?

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Are you running an electric pump or the original mechanical pump? If the fuel pressure is too high, it can overcome the carb needle and blow it off seat causing flooding. You may need to check fuel pressure at the carb, if it is in spec, the problem is in the carb.

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Sounds like you have a leak in the carb.  Its possible the gas is leaking out the bottom due to a bad well plug or gasket.  Take the top off the carb and see if there is a normal amount of gas in the carb.  If not maybe it leaked out.  If the carb has gas in it, maybe the needle and seat are leaking and overflowing the carb.  Either way sounds like carb trouble of some sort provided that the fuel pressure is not too high.  I don't know the spec but should be less than 6 psi. 

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Follow-up:

I disconnected the fuel line at the carb (removed filter) and measured fuel pump pressure: 5 psi

I connected a 20 ml medical syringe body to the in port on the carb via a tube and filled it with gas. Approximately 10 ml flowed in, then I positioned the syringe body  so the top of the gas  was 7 inches above the float bowl.  Over the next hour  5 ml gas drained from the syringe.

The 2 discharge jets looked wet when I started and I dried them off, but they became "wet" again within 5 min every time I looked and dried.

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Unless the float needle was bench tested you have no way of knowing it it's actually working.

Is the needle in the top cover or in the carb bowl?

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Float needle  not bench tested; I suspect this is beyond my competence. The float  needle is in the bowl. Barring another solution, I think the only practical approach is to replace the float needle and seat since all the evidence seems to point to gas leaking from the bowl.

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