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Priming Stewart Vacuum Tank


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A fellow in New Castle PA has added an inline electric fuel pump with a button under the dash of a 1931 car with over 185,000 miles.  He has a problem where the vacuum fuel pump doesn't have enough to pull the gas when he drives in city traffic and is stopped a lot.  It also is used to prime the tank and carb when it has been sitting.

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The vacuum connection hole on the top of the Stewart vac-tank should be adequate to prime it. It is worth making sure that nothing has blocked either the supply line from the tank or the vacuum line.

In 1961 Ian Smith discovered that you did not have to pay much for a car to get stung. He paid a few pounds for a derelict 20s four cylinder Stutz, and when he loaded it he offended a hive of bees in the fuel tank. They crawled out the end of the fuel line up the front, and attacked him.

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You shouldn't have to prime it at all. I've run my '29 Packard Super 8 out of gas several times. I never bothered to prime the vacuum tank afterward. Just put fuel in the gas tank, pull the choke out and hit the starter. The vacuum from the engine will quickly bring fuel up from the gas tank into the vacuum tank and thus the carburetor. If it doesn't, you need to find what's wrong and fix that.

 

 

 

 

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Most times when I experience difficulty with starting diesel engines with  fuel problems I used the shop air line and  pressure the fuel tank. It pushes the fuel to the injector pump and the offending air leaks and fuel leaks will show up. So do the same on the gas tank. It will push gas ,and if there is no leak between the tank and the vacuum gizmo, the vacuum tank will fill right up. Do not over do it. Just enough to fill the vacuum tank . Loose the inlet line at the vacuum tank to check if fuel is coming .  Once get  going start engine periodically to avoiding fuel dry out. About 60 years ago an older gentleman told me of a "trick" by soldering a bicycle tube stem somewhere on the vacuum  tank and reverse the packing on the  bicycle  pump . The  gas  tank  on my 28 DB Senior is still dry so I am trying to use a substitute tank hanging from the front door post leading directly to the carburetor. It works fine. Every time I use an electric fuel pump, inline, between the substitute tank and the carburetor, it  floods and leaks out the gas. The float system on the B B1 is not designed for an electric inline pump between the vacuum tank and the carb. I  learned the hard way.

 

Cheers and good luck.

Harry.

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A couple of times I've removed the gas cap and blown air into the tank to create pressure to force some fuel into the vacuum tank. It takes good lung capacity and tends to leave a brown ring around your mouth.

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No, not with your mouth, unless you have a dozen lungs to spare. Use an air nozzle in the tank and a wet rag around to make a seal . Loosen(not remove) the line nut at the vacuum tank. Shake the line to make sure it is  loose. Have an assistant  to help you. If nothing comes out then check the intake  by blowing backwards through the line from the vacuum tank. If the tank has been sitting a long time have it cleaned. 

Cheers.

Harry.

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Disconnect a vacuum line to the Stewart, hang a Vacuum pump ( electrical operated ) on the Stewart and the pump will pull the vac to fill the Stewart tank stress less.

No over flowing, no mess , filled it automatically closes the supply ( as with the engine supplied vacuum ) and done. 

I do this every spring after the winter storage and it functions superb. And yes without a power supply it's use less.

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Many of the Stewart vacuum tanks have a 1/4 " pipe plug in the top, and many do not. Those that don't usually have a small dimple similar to a center punch mark located near the center of the tank top. This dimple marks the correct place to drill and tap the cover for a 1/4" pipe plug. I have done several, and it is a simple job to do.  Having the plug does allow another opportunity to get the car home in the event of fuel feed problems.

Edited by Guest (see edit history)
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For what it is worth, I have a funnel with an 1/8 inch pipe fitting permanently installed in the small end. Remove the plug, and screw in the funnel. Easy pour, no muss, no fuss.  Of course, it only works on the vacuum tank that does have the plug, like mine. I also had an original tank that had a 3/8 fitting and plug in it. Seems most Stewart vacuum tanks do not have the fill plug. But I seem to get lucky and have one that does. 

 

Like jrbartlett says, a car with a good starter should be able to pull enough gasoline with just a couple good cranks and the choke. I have had cars that I did that with a few times and worked just fine. Then again, I am not so sure that I want to try to do that with the hand crank on my model T boat-tail roadster. It has no electric starter. But the gasoline tank was moved way back to fit the body, so a vacuum tank was used to pull the fuel up to the front. I like it! The car and the vacuum tank.

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