Lebowski

What causes a carb to backfire?

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Did this car have vacuum wipers?  If so, could a ruptured vacuum diaphragm cause a vacuum leak?  Did somebody already ask that?

 

It did have vacuum wipers but the previous owner replaced the vacuum wiper motor with an electric one. If I was going to check for a vacuum leak how would I go about doing that?

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Did the dealer make any claims as to the condition of the engine?

 

No. The salesman said the car was there on consignment and they are not mechanics and don't work on cars. He said there was no in-house mechanic there either. Like I said before, you can see some smoke coming from the car in their video so I knew going in that it may smoke a little. The seller told me after I bought the car that he redid the brakes and a lot of other things but never rebuilt the engine....

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I like Jack M's idea in #92 about checking the firing order. Also, I'm sure Jeff will check all the basics like rotor, distributor cap for missing carbon button, cracks, carbon tracking, etc. How do the plug wires look? Ohmmeter check of each plug wire.

May I recommend that Lebowski spend another $25-30 for a distributor cap and rotor, AND another condenser. NAPA should be able to get those within a day. I've found that condensers can cause all kinds of grief when all other components check out. Perhaps replace one of the above components at a time to determine the point of failure. Any existing component that has not failed can be carried in the trunk for future potential roadside repairs. I'd ask for parts for a 1960 FORD 223 6-cylinder.

With a new collector car, I usually go thru the ignition and establish a baseline for **my** ownership, keep a computer record and a Next Maintenance mileage or date, so I know when to replace or at least look at individual components or services.

Please keep us posted on what you guys find!

 

The plug wires look fairly new. I'll call NAPA on Monday and order the cap, rotor and condenser. I'll get new plugs too. I'm more than happy to spend a few bucks on parts that I can replace myself and that may solve the problem.... 

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A good understanding of the three basic's. Mechanical, electrical and fuel system and the ability to analyze, test, adjust and repair those systems is necessary. For all those values you need to know you need a road map to know where your going, that is what the service manual is for, and if you don't know some specific things it will provide you with that information.

I wouldn't get into the habit of parts replacing for the sake of parts replacing. You might get lucky this way, but for the most part you are throwing your money away on things you don't need. Parts replacers give good mechanic/technicians a bad name, and they really show their ignorance and why they should not be working on your car.

Edited by helfen (see edit history)

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A good understanding of the three basic's. Mechanical, electrical and fuel system and the ability to analyze, test, adjust and repair those systems is necessary. For all those values you need to know you need a road map to know where your going, that is what the service manual is for, and if you don't know some specific things it will provide you with that information.

I wouldn't get into the habit of parts replacing for the sake of parts replacing. You might get lucky this way, but for the most part you are throwing your money away on things you don't need. Parts replacers give good mechanic/technicians a bad name, and they really show their ignorance and why they should not be working on your car.

 

I have a factory shop manual. The plugs looked pretty old and worn when I did the compression test which leads me to believe that the other tuneup parts are pretty old too. I should probably get some points too even though I don't know how to adjust them. The seller said it hadn't been lubed since 2004 so it could probably use a good lube job too....

Edited by Lebowski (see edit history)

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I have a factory shop manual. The plugs looked pretty old and worn when I did the compression test which leads me to believe that the other tuneup parts are pretty old too. I should probably get some points too even though I don't know how to adjust them. The seller said it hadn't been lubed since 2004 so it could probably use a good lube job too....

There is nothing wrong with doing a minor or major tune-up so that you have a maintenance reference for the next future times. I have a log book on all 9 of my cars. A minor Tune Up, If done properly it will cover many of the suggestions I listed before. This is where you can start to keep a continuous log running on your car. You should also have one on every vehicle you have. Setting ignition points is a simple procedure, however since you are working on the distributor you should be checking everything about the distributor and all the servicing it needs like vacuum advance diaphragm and it's operation, cleaning and lubricating the mechanical advance weights and operation, with the distributor removed you must check for play or worn shaft bushings. Remember when installing the points that you must clean them ( carbon tetrachloride or non residue cleaner ) and if you are not using a dwell meter to set them, then you must clean your feeler gauge with the same solvent as well. Points must be cleaned when they are new because when they leave the manufacturing plant they are coated with a thin film of grease or equivalent and if it's not cleaned off will cause the points to pit very fast because of the transfer of electricity from one point to the other and the film in between. Make sure you check and lube the distributor cam, with distributor cam grease and only use about a 1/2 a match head of grease on the cam and put the rest behind the cam block on the point arm.

Did you do the hand over the carburetor trick I suggested??...

Edited by helfen (see edit history)

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Did you do the hand over the carburetor trick I suggested??...

 

I just went out and did that now. I'm not sure what the air horn is so I revved it up and covered the top of the carb with a rag until it almost died, then I revved it up and did it again. I did that at least 12 times. It's been raining here all day so I couldn't take it out for a drive so I'll drive it tomorrow or Monday. Should I be able to notice anything different about the way it runs now? 

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If the motor is tired I would suggest buying a good used motor that can be heard run as they can be picked up cheap since alot get pulled in favor of V8s,there is a big truck version that is a 262 but have never seen any. I will bring all the necessary tools and equipment with me and hope I can get it running better for you.  There is a 223 in my area on craigslist that can be heard run but we will worry about that after I check it out.

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If the motor is tired I would suggest buying a good used motor that can be heard run as they can be picked up cheap since alot get pulled in favor of V8s,there is a big truck version that is a 262 but have never seen any. I will bring all the necessary tools and equipment with me and hope I can get it running better for you.  There is a 223 in my area on craigslist that can be heard run but we will worry about that after I check it out.

 

Did you see my earlier post about replacing the valve stem seals without pulling the head? Do you want me to buy some of them or any other parts since NAPA is closed on Sundays? If we don't need them I should be able to return them for a refund....

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No, it's about taking a Burnz-A-Matic, cracking the valve open about a half of a turn and holding the nozzle close to any area which could possibly be allowing air to enter. Here I'm talking about carb bases, intake manifold gasket area, etc. If there is a leak then propane will enter the manifold and the idle will go up. Simple and not dangerous. If you locate a spot where the introduction of propane increases the idle, you've located your vacuum leak. I was hesitant to bring up the legal angle because I know that it can be quite pointless once you've made the purchase. If you'll recall, I asked specifically if you feel that the condition of the car (here I'm talking about the engine, specifically) had been misrepresented. Did the dealer make any claims as to the condition of the engine?

I thought that's what I said, in so many words, I guess some people just like to argue, oh never mind.

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Quote: " removing the burner off the valve that goes on the tank and installing a hose"

 

rhb1999, I'm sorry I didn't understand that you meant to remove the valve from the propane tank and use the tank with a rubber hose. I've never done it that way, so I didn't recognize that we were talking about the same thing. Just out of curiosity, why do you remove the valve?

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A good understanding of the three basic's. Mechanical, electrical and fuel system and the ability to analyze, test, adjust and repair those systems is necessary. For all those values you need to know you need a road map to know where your going, that is what the service manual is for, and if you don't know some specific things it will provide you with that information.

I wouldn't get into the habit of parts replacing for the sake of parts replacing. You might get lucky this way, but for the most part you are throwing your money away on things you don't need. Parts replacers give good mechanic/technicians a bad name, and they really show their ignorance and why they should not be working on your car.

I forgot to mention besides all of the above, IF you are not going to be doing some of the work on your vehicle my advise would be to not let anyone work on it unless they have at least "ASE" certification in the type of work they are performing for you.

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Did you do the hand over the carburetor trick I suggested??...

 

I took the car for a drive today on the wet roads to see if it was any better after performing your "carburetor trick" last night and it didn't backfire through the carb at all! I left the choke in all the way and went through the gears several times with NO backfiring at all. It still left the same big cloud of smoke behind me but I believe that your trick definitely resolved that issue. Thank you!

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I forgot to mention besides all of the above, IF you are not going to be doing some of the work on your vehicle my advise would be to not let anyone work on it unless they have at least "ASE" certification in the type of work they are performing for you.

 

A lot of guys are great mechanics who have had little to no formal training so at this point if someone is going to be generous enough to help me I'm not going to start asking for credentials. That may be a common practice in Vulcania but it's not cool here unless "ASE certified" stands for Avanti, Studebaker and Edsel. LOL

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A lot of guys are great mechanics who have had little to no formal training so at this point if someone is going to be generous enough to help me I'm not going to start asking for credentials. That may be a common practice in Vulcania but it's not cool here unless "ASE certified" stands for Avanti, Studebaker and Edsel. LOL

I totally agree with you. Some of the very best classic and antique car mechanics I know have no official accreditation. They learned their trade at the school of hard knocks. Very few of today's mechanics have the experience to work on cars from the 1920-1970 era. If a computer does not tell them what's wrong they are lost! Wayne

Edited by AlCapone (see edit history)

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A lot of guys are great mechanics who have had little to no formal training so at this point if someone is going to be generous enough to help me I'm not going to start asking for credentials. That may be a common practice in Vulcania but it's not cool here unless "ASE certified" stands for Avanti, Studebaker and Edsel. LOL

 

How about Abbott, Stearns, and Elcar? ;)

 

Jon

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A lot of guys are great mechanics who have had little to no formal training so at this point if someone is going to be generous enough to help me I'm not going to start asking for credentials. That may be a common practice in Vulcania but it's not cool here unless "ASE certified" stands for Avanti, Studebaker and Edsel. LOL

Reminds me of one day deep into Mexico on a surf trip where we were surfing in this bay. Normally on a average 6 ft day there would be three breaks in the bay, this day at 15ft it was just one huge wall going past a jetty and boat ramp at the end of one side of the bay. Two waves before I cleared the jetty and kicked out in the deep water boat ramp side. The third wave I ended up on the jetty with a eight inch diagonal gash to the bone in my lower leg. Bleeding like a pig, no doctors around a buddy tied off the leg went into a village and managed to come back with sewing needle and cotton thread and sowed me up Johnney on the spot muscle first then skin, no pain killers, just some good old Black Velvet. If I had been in the States I would have gone to a doctor. In Mexico it was needs-must and no Hobson's choice.

When I interviewed people for a technician position, I was looking for a degree, ASE certification and good references before a interview because I had the choice. Yes, I know a piece of paper doesn't mean you have a good tech, that's why you have a six month probation period.

Edited by helfen (see edit history)

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Years ago my employer let me out of my cage on a recuitment trip. Since were looking for newly minted Electrical Engineers, I asked if they knew how to fix a TV. Was told that was inappropriate.

Certification can be difficult when you have 20 years experience in a field that has only existed for five.

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I took the car for a drive today on the wet roads to see if it was any better after performing your "carburetor trick" last night and it didn't backfire through the carb at all! I left the choke in all the way and went through the gears several times with NO backfiring at all. It still left the same big cloud of smoke behind me but I believe that your trick definitely resolved that issue. Thank you!

Thank you for the thank you. Many people do not show the courtesy you have.

I want to say that you might not be out of the woods. It is possible that some piece of dirt might have been dislodged from a jet or air bleed by your action and if it was not sucked out of the carburetor might or might not come back to the same position it was in and repeat your problem, however you do know where the problem lies if it should come back.

All the best!

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I had a feeling that was the problem, go back to post #23

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Some of the best classic and antique car mechanics I know have no official accreditation. They learned their trade at the school of hard knocks. 

 

Did Henry Ford or Ransom E. Olds or the Dodge brothers take an auto shop class in high school? I don't think so. LOL

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As for being a mechanic or not.

I once owned a boat dealership, I was always getting calls from vocational schools with programs that would subsidize wages for newly trained small engine mechanics.

There were some guys that could be trained in my field but not most.

A guy has to understand what he is working on. I my case we had factory backing and training.

The franchise dealer training emphasizes troubleshooting techniques using the manuals and special tools for a given product.

It is important that one knows how to troubleshoot and understanding the results.

Even with all this training some guys just don't get it.  I would suspect that they have some talent that I don't have as we all accell at something.

In short, my best mechanics had the "knack", the book trained ones usually didn't.

 

I found that I was better off hiring a good sales crew up front that could answer the phone and keep people away from me unless an emergency and do the mechanicals myself. Fewer come backs.

I once had a mechanic tell me that any job worth doing is worth doing twice. I wonder if he ever found his nitch since he didn't make it at my shop.

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I had a room mate/friend in college (Georgia Tech) who was a genius when it came to the bookwork.  He rarely had to study to ace subjects that had me knocking my head against the wall (maybe that's what's wrong with me today ... concussion :P ).  With all of that genius however, "GOOD GRIEF GERTY, DONT'T TURN THAT BOY LOOSE AROUND MACHINERY!!!!!!!!  As much as he tried, a wrench, screwdriver, or a tool of any nature, just would not "fit his hand".  As pointed out by Jack M above, my friend just did not have the "knack" when it came to dealing with the practical/real-world aspect of machinery.

 

With all of that said, have we figgered out "What Causes a Carb To Backfire?"  We're now at post #123, including this one.  This has been an interesting thread because with all of the mechanical expertise represented by members of this forum, there is still some discussion about this mechanical malfunction.  My opinion (unfortunately, I'm no expert) is that if all of the good advice offered is followed in a logical sequence (for example, try the easy fixes first), the problem will be defined and a remedy found.

 

Just my opinion,

Grog

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 have we figgered out "What Causes a Carb To Backfire?"  We're now at post #123, including this one.  This has been an interesting thread because with all of the mechanical expertise represented by members of this forum

 

Just my opinion,

Grog

 

The backfiring problem has been resolved thanks to Helfen from Vulcania who said I should rev it up to 3000 rpm and put my hand (I used a rag) over the carb until it almost dies and repeat that procedure several times. I took the car out at 7:30 this morning to be first in line at the motor vehicle department to get my Kentucky antique plates and it didn't backfire at all during the 10 mile round trip. Several others passed along a lot of good ideas too. The engine still smokes pretty good but Junkyard Jeff is coming down from Dayton, Ohio in the next week or two to check the valves, timing and some other things so I've been very fortunate to get a lot of help from the great people on this site. Thanks again to all of you....

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If you think you need the help of a hobbyist, you should join the local AACA Region. The Kyana Region certainly has some good people who can help you learn how to work on your Edsel.  

 

Kyana Region

President - Fred Trusty

2012 Bear Camp Rd

Louisville, KY 40272

 

A few minutes ago I called and left messages at the homes of the club president, VP and webmaster (the only 3 numbers listed on the site) and asked for info on joining their chapter so I'll let you guys know what happens. Like I said in an earlier post, in the past I've been told that they are "not accepting new members at this time" so we'll see if that is still the case....

Edited by Lebowski (see edit history)

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