William Knopf

1956 Roadmaster Carburetor or fuel pump issues

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I am new to the group. This is my first Buick. I recently acquired a 1956 Buick roadmaster. I'm not sure when it was last running. The tank looks to be fair new. I drained the gas ( about 15 gallons) from the tank and put in fresh gas.  It appears it is not getting gas to the carburetor.   It seems to run when we manually put gas into the carburetor.

 

It actually took me a bit to even realize that you press the accelerator to get it to turnover. 

Why does it appear to have 2 dimmer switches in the floor board. One clicks like a dimmer and I'm sure that's what it is. Please help. 

 

There also seems to be a starter push button under the dash that is wired to a really weird box  under the hood with old type fuses in it. Like an old radio. I'll post pictures tomorrow. 

IMG_7684.JPG

IMG_7165.JPG

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The second dimmer switch is most likely the seek button for a selectronic radio. It's supposed to be hands free tuning with the touch of the foot. 

 

Verify that your fuel pump is working by attaching a rubber hose to the outlet and pointing it over the fender. If you're not getting a healthy stream when cranking the pump needs rebuilding. If you're getting fuel from the pump, pull the sight plugs on the carb and verify fuel is getting in. If the pump is pumping but the carb is dry, it could be a plugged fuel filter or stuck needle and seat. 

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Wow, that's a nice looking Roady you've got there!

 

For the 2 buttons on the floor, one is the dimmer as you suspected, the other is for the radio.  Push the button with your foot, and it auto-seeks the next station.

 

Visit Hometownbuick.com - there you will find things like the owners manual free for the reading.  That will get you up to speed on all of the funny gizmos in your car.

 

As far as fuel pumps go, where has the car been while in storage?  If it was fed fuel with ethanol then left to sit, the soft bits may have been turned to goo.  If you can buy ethanol free gas where you are, this car will be happier.  There are kits out there to rebuild these pumps, some are even sold as ethanol resistant.

It sounds like someone may have bypassed the pedal start at one time.  Not all that uncommon.  Our '56 came bypassed when we bought it in '95, and we've never bothered to return it to factory.  It's on the to-do list, but it's down there a ways.  Some pix of your underhood arrangement would be helpful; I'll be looking for your follow up.

 

Welcome to the forum!

 

Edited by SpecialEducation (see edit history)
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OH, I'll throw this out there now instead of making you read the book.  Remember that the radio is a tubeset.  It takes a while to warm up, so if you turn it on and hear a buzz, that's just the vibrator converting DC into AC mechanically.  As the owner's manual will tell you, the vibrator can be damaged if you try cranking the car with the radio on.  

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I agree, a very nice looking Buick!  By the time it's over, you might need to replace all of the rubber fuel lines for good measure.  Ethanol dries out the rubber and it's not the same after that.  It'll (the car) be fine in the end!

 

Welcome aboard!

NTX5467

Edited by NTX5467 (see edit history)

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If it's all stock, it should have zero rubber hoses and a pancake filter at the the back of the carb. 

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It will have one rubber hose between the metal fuel line and the fuel pump, but more likely, the carb needs a solid cleaning / minor rebuild.

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the weird box under the hood would likely be a automatic headlight dimmer. This option would be connected to a small housing on top of the dashboard which has what appears to be a lens which faces the front of the car. 

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14 hours ago, William Knopf said:

I am new to the group. This is my first Buick. I recently acquired a 1956 Buick roadmaster. I'm not sure when it was last running. The tank looks to be fair new. I drained the gas ( about 15 gallons) from the tank and put in fresh gas.  It appears it is not getting gas to the carburetor.   It seems to run when we manually put gas into the carburetor.

 

It actually took me a bit to even realize that you press the accelerator to get it to turnover. 

Why does it appear to have 2 dimmer switches in the floor board. One clicks like a dimmer and I'm sure that's what it is. Please help. 

 

There also seems to be a starter push button under the dash that is wired to a really weird box  under the hood with old type fuses in it. Like an old radio. I'll post pictures tomorrow. 

 

 

1. I appears the gas pedal pressed to turn it over is working as designed.   Leave that be.

2.  Starts and runs when gas is poured into the carb.  Good sign the ignition is working

 

Check to see if anyone installed an electric fuel pump.  Usually these are installed on the frame rail near the tank.  If not.  Look to mechanical pump not up to the task any longer.  Replace or rebuild.  If there is an electric fuel pump follow the wires to the hidden switch.       

Edited by avgwarhawk (see edit history)
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A really nice looking Roady; especially taking into consideration that it is a Mor-door.

 

You will get good advice from the folk here.  I would advise that you look on ebay for the factory service manual for your ride.  You will find yourself turning to it quite often.

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10 hours ago, buick5563 said:

It will have one rubber hose between the metal fuel line and the fuel pump, but more likely, the carb needs a solid cleaning / minor rebuild.

 

I thought the original were braided stainless steel internally coated with teflon? 

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So why does this fuel pump look like two? It seems there's a vacuum hose coming out of one part. Any help. 

 

Also, this is the weird box that I mentioned that I'm not sure of. 

IMG_8032.JPG

IMG_8033.JPG

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6 hours ago, Beemon said:

 

I thought the original were braided stainless steel internally coated with teflon? 

 

 

Teflon as OEM in 1956?  Wouldn't that be pricey back then??

 

NTX5467

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"Dual stage" fuel pump.  Fuel pump , vacuum pump tin one section,to assist the vacuum wipers is on the top, fuel pump section in the other section.

 

NTX5467

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GM was an early adopter of teflon, but I've never seen such on a '56. 

 

Fuel on top, vacuum on the bottom. Usually when we have a pump fail, it's around the big disc on top that starts leaking fuel. 

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Fuel pump on top.  I cut a disc of neoprene when mine leaks... I have found a source for ethanol free gas which is all I buy unless out of town.  Ethanol and neoprene do not play nice together...

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12 hours ago, William Knopf said:

So why does this fuel pump look like two? It seems there's a vacuum hose coming out of one part. Any help. 

 

Also, this is the weird box that I mentioned that I'm not sure of. 

IMG_8032.JPG

IMG_8033.JPG

 

 

As other mentioned, top portion of the pump is fuel.  Bottom half is vacuum for the wiper motor.  Your pump looks to have been rebuilt at one time.  Just very clean looking to me.  

 

The other box thing...not sure what that is.  Looks like a engine compartment heater perhaps.   

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19 minutes ago, William Knopf said:

The box has old style tubes in it like radio and television. Someone said it had something to do with dimming the lights

this is not the light dimmer I thought it could be. I concur on the heater idea. but even that seems odd. 

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 Two wires go to a button under the dash like an old starter button.   I believe the other one is connected to a screw on the fuse box.    I will have to look closer and investigate tomorrow.   

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45 minutes ago, William Knopf said:

 Two wires go to a button under the dash like an old starter button.   I believe the other one is connected to a screw on the fuse box.    I will have to look closer and investigate tomorrow.   

 

May have been a old bypass to the gas pedal start.    You stated the engine turns when the gas pedal is depressed.   Not sure what else that button could be.  Maybe horn?        

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11 hours ago, NTX5467 said:

 

 

Teflon as OEM in 1956?  Wouldn't that be pricey back then??

 

NTX5467

Maybe not Teflon then,  I concede. The original was braided stainless on the outside, though, as was obviously replaced with rubber hose in William's photos. 

 

William, how does the filter at the carb look? 

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