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1954 century sedan. GA to NC


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It may be a case of carb bowl evaporation, especially if you are still forced to use Ethanol laced fuel.  Try this for a quick test.  Let it sit for a half hour with the hood open ( outdoors)  after your next run.  Then restart and put it away before it heats up again.  Then see if it will start quicker in the AM.

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The fuel pump is a check valve, it cannot drain back as far as I can tell. You could try a check valve at the back of the carb, but if the float bowls are drained then it will still have to fill regardless. Next time you let it sit, before starting pull one of the sight plugs on the side of the carburetor off and check fuel level. If empty or low, keep a small turkey baster of fuel and squeeze it through the bowl vent hole to fill the bowls, or squirt some into the engine to get it running. I usually just let it crank the extra 10-20 seconds to re prime itself if my car has been sitting, but I usually never let it sit more than a day if I can help it. 

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If you let a car sit, the fuel bowl will be empty. It could also be empty if the car was shut off hot. As much as I would love to get rid of Ethanol, and there are plenty of problems that can be attributed to it, I don't think this is one of them. In the 80s, one could expect gas to be cut with up to 10% of a mixture of Ethanol, Methanol, and MTBE as octane booster. You could expect the full 10% in super unleaded, regular a bit less. Both Methanol and MTBE boil at an even lower temperature than Ethanol. Some cars did have trouble, but widespread complaints about the gasoline in old cars just didn't exist then.

 

As Beemon said, the fuel pump is a check valve. Actually, it is two check valves. For the fuel to drain all the way back to the tank by gravity/siphon, both of them would need to leak, or there would need to be a pinhole in the fuel line from the tank breaking the seal.

 

Old time wisdom says that a car that drains the gas all the way back to the tank has a bad "foot valve" in the pump. This is the valve facing the gas tank. While it could be true if the gas were boiling in the pump at every shutdown, it probably isn't. Cars with this problem seem to do it in the dead of winter, too. More likely both valves leak (or there is a hole in the line).

 

Cars with leaking valves in the fuel pump will often start right up with a squirt of gas in the carb, but run the battery low or dead before the pump can suck the gas all the way up to the carb otherwise. Pump efficiency is terrible with leaking valves. Some extra crankshaft speed helps a lot.

 

Old time wisdom also says you should never mess around with a working valve. Today you would have to replace them for sure if they have an elastomer (rubber) valve, due to Ethanol in the fuel. Rubber ones probably seal ok right out of the box. If the valve is a bakelite disc, a new one will have to break in. You could try to lap it, but that often doesn't go well. One way or another those valves should seal before the pump goes back together. They should pull vacuum and hold it for a little while. Both of them. If they can pull and hold a good vaccum, the fuel is going to come up right away, and it won't matter much how fast the crank is turning.

 

New bakelite valves probably broke in ok in most cases when the car was in daily use. Mrs Jones probably wasn't going to let the car sit around a lot before putting some miles on it. Today, I wonder if any of them ever break in. I also wonder how many 12 volt conversions are done, and how many electric fuel pumps are installed just because these little valves aren't sealing, and no one realizes it.

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)
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20 hours ago, wndsofchng06 said:

I've noticed with the warmer weather she takes longer to start after sitting for more than a day,  almost like the fuel pump had to reprime. Anyone using a check valve? 

 

I do not experience this with my Carter on my 264.  You have a Carter carb?   I do not much go with the evaporation idea for this model as the original air cleaner is enclosed (no snorkel) and the vapor would have to make its way past the oil bath as well.  My thoughts that there would be a heck of a lot of vapor in the oil bath housing.  Are you running the original oil bath set up?    However, if my 264 sits for about a week it does take some cranking to start. Does not matter the weather.     The 401 on the 60 I could visibly watch the gas flow back through the filter to the pump. It is a new pump!    If  I run it every day there is no problem. Leave for a week and there is some cranking required.   I'm believing there is some drain back exacerbated with the heat of the engine(being a bit hotter due to the hot summer climate).   You can always try a one way valve and see what happens.       

Edited by avgwarhawk (see edit history)
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The plate on my '1964 Riviera.  See if it's not meant for my car.

 

1744740499_1964Rivieralicenseplate001-crop.JPG.28b6793968bcc0d3993dd9cc5a65b116.JPG

 

As you know, I'm Ed. 

The year: 1964. 

Buick's model number for the Riviera:  4747. 

 

It's Ed's 1964 Riviera.

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Drove it to work today, on the interstate. 75 mph the whole way, cruised like a dream with plenty of pedal left.  Only thing that gets me is that at highway speeds in only 68 degree weather, the engine is running as hot as slow speeds in 88 degree weather.  All I can figure is timing?  It starts and runs so well that I'm scared to mess with it.  I've got to bite the bullet soon though, as I know she idles way too high too.

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2 hours ago, wndsofchng06 said:

Drove it to work today, on the interstate. 75 mph the whole way, cruised like a dream with plenty of pedal left.  Only thing that gets me is that at highway speeds in only 68 degree weather, the engine is running as hot as slow speeds in 88 degree weather.  All I can figure is timing?  It starts and runs so well that I'm scared to mess with it.  I've got to bite the bullet soon though, as I know she idles way too high too.

Anything over 65 mph and the water pump/cooling system cannot keep up on these early nailheads..  Sustained 75 mph+ and the temp will creep up even in cold weather.  Enjoy the scenery.

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2 minutes ago, old-tank said:

Anything over 65 mph and the water pump/cooling system cannot keep up on these early nailheads..  Sustained 75 mph+ and the temp will creep up even in cold weather.  Enjoy the scenery.

What's the point of a 120mph speedometer then?  HA HA HA  not that I'd ever fancy 120 in this car ?  Is there a way to improve that ability to maintain highway speeds?  I have been thinking about a 5 blade fan.  Would a new three core rad help?

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9 minutes ago, wndsofchng06 said:

What's the point of a 120mph speedometer then?  HA HA HA  not that I'd ever fancy 120 in this car ?  Is there a way to improve that ability to maintain highway speeds?  I have been thinking about a 5 blade fan.  Would a new three core rad help?

Fan will not help at highway speeds.  Better radiator might help.  On the other hand driving at sustained speeds over 65 mph, you are over driving the brakes and handling of that 54.

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1 hour ago, wndsofchng06 said:

Is there a way to improve that ability to maintain highway speeds? 

 

Carefully remove the hood and the front inner fender wells.  That will provide maximum ability to cool... :lol:

 

But more seriously, what temperature did the engine run?  Are you using the factory dash board gauge, or a new unit with temperature degree calibrations?

It should run at, or just near your thermostat calibration.  What temp thermostat are you using?

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 I've held off on putting a modern temp gauge just because I'm so retentive about my original gauges being functional but I guess I do need to put one under the dash.  it wasn't scary hot just on the high side of normal

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Willie says the factory gauges peg at 200- 210 ( I think ), so just to the + side of normal is probably not more than 10 degrees hotter than your thermostat.  Are you running a 180 * stat?   That's what I have in my '56. 

 

Through testing with an infrared thermometer I believe that when my gauge is half red and half green my engine is at 208*.  As long as I am below that I force myself not to worry.  I believe these cars were not really engineered with the thought of long stretches of highway runs,  at speeds over 50 MPH.  It wasn't till ten years after they were built that NYS had it's Thruway. I know I can drive mine on the side roads below 50 MPH for long stretches without any significant rise in engine temps.  But get it on the highway at 65 or so for 20 minutes and I am definitely to the + side of normal, but not at the half red/green status on my gauge.  So I figure at those speeds it's running 190-195, and that's probably good for it.

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3 hours ago, old-tank said:

Anything over 65 mph and the water pump/cooling system cannot keep up on these early nailheads..  Sustained 75 mph+ and the temp will creep up even in cold weather.  Enjoy the scenery.

 

 

Old Tank is dead on correct.  I take my 264 up to 65-70 mph, which she will do all day, the temp will creep up.  She will has never overheated though.   Buick could have done a better job with  directing air to the radiator.  I was looking at a 52 Pontiac.  Pontiac created a box in front of the radiator channels the air through the radiator and not around it. 

 

Anyway, the needle on mine will get to the top portion of the N area and not beyond when operating in stop/go high heat day and sustained highway speeds on hot days.        

Edited by avgwarhawk (see edit history)
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2 minutes ago, avgwarhawk said:

 

 

Old Tank is dead on correct.  I take my 264 up to 65-70 mph, which she will do all day, the temp will creep up.  She will has never overheated though.   Buick could have done a better job with  directing air to the radiator.  I was looking at a 52 Pontiac.  Pontiac crated a box in front of the radiator channels the air through the radiator and not around it. 

 

Anyway, the needle on mine will get to the top portion of the N area and not beyond when operating in stop/go high heat day and sustained highway speeds on hot days.        

exactly what mine does....

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7 minutes ago, JohnD1956 said:

Willie says the factory gauges peg at 200- 210 ( I think ), so just to the + side of normal is probably not more than 10 degrees hotter than your thermostat.  Are you running a 180 * stat?   That's what I have in my '56. 

 

Through testing with an infrared thermometer I believe that when my gauge is half red and half green my engine is at 208*.  As long as I am below that I force myself not to worry.  I believe these cars were not really engineered with the thought of long stretches of highway runs,  at speeds over 50 MPH.  It wasn't till ten years after they were built that NYS had it's Thruway. I know I can drive mine on the side roads below 50 MPH for long stretches without any significant rise in engine temps.  But get it on the highway at 65 or so for 20 minutes and I am definitely to the + side of normal, but not at the half red/green status on my gauge.  So I figure at those speeds it's running 190-195, and that's probably good for it.

I am running the 180.  I've also verified with an infrared thermometer, and while I don't remember what it was off the top of my head, it didn't panic me. 

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37 minutes ago, wndsofchng06 said:

I am running the 180.  I've also verified with an infrared thermometer, and while I don't remember what it was off the top of my head, it didn't panic me. 

 

I run a 180 as well.    

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For every pound of pressure exerted on the coolant in the system, the static boiling point of the coolant is raised by approximately 3° F .

So with the stock 7# cap it will not boil until 233° F.  A little higher with some coolant.  245° F with the 13# cap used on A/C cars like mine.  On the early nails some detonation will start around 220° F due to higher cylinder head temps.  Boil over can happen at lower temps if there is a hot spot on one of the heads:  no warning before the sick 'chugga-chugga' unstoppable convulsion.:(

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Pulled the brakes this weekend.  Rear brakes have more wear than the front.  Did some adjustments,  stopped pulling to the right under hard braking. The concerning part was it was low on fluid and I cant find any evidence of a leak. 

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Pull the dust caps off the wheel cylinders and check for rust or seepage. It might not always be a hose or line, and rusting in the wheel cylinders can gouge the piston cup. 

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39 minutes ago, wndsofchng06 said:

What's a good source,  I only see them at Kanter

Fusick best price.

But all are from the same source apparently and the studs that go down into your frame will most likely be too close together.  Just grind the inside of the studs...don't drill your frame.

 

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It could have been an air bubble that finally found your vented cap. If you played with the fittings, it could have had a micro leak until the flare fittings were heated and expanded under normal use. I had one fitting that I just could not get right and it stopped leaking on its own after cruising the neighborhood. 

 

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On 8/9/2018 at 6:22 PM, wndsofchng06 said:

So, back in the shop and the brake pedal feels normal again.  No leaks in any lines or wheel cylinders,  fluid level in the master cylinder is where it was.....   what the heck?

Keep an eye on it... 'stress test' by holding pressure on the pedal for a minute or more to see if it drops; if it does then you will have a fresh enough leak to see easily.

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