Matt Harwood

1941 Buick Limited Limousine

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For the battery issue, carry a lithium battery jump starter, they are slightly bigger than a mobile/cell phone.

For the flooding, flip the inlet manifold upside down and bolt up a updraft carb....lol

 

I understand your frustrations, I do weddings in my '28 Chrysler and there is always challengers. But, IMHO, the pros definitely out weight the cons.

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Have you seen a jump starter like that for 6 volts?

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1 hour ago, Matt Harwood said:

Arrived home without incident. Car started as usual this morning and battery was fully charged by the time we pulled out of the hotel parking lot. 4 hours on the highway at 65 MPH with one gas stop and zero issues. Still feel like I can't trust it but I guess I can't ask more of an 80 year old machine than it gave us today. 

Hi Matt, Sorry to hear of your frustration with the 41. Just a couple of thoughts..First one must expect something will go amiss as even modern cars do and having driven several vintage cars coast to coast I have had my share. Part of the adventure to be expected and an opportunity to challenge my abilities. First rule is to carry a small quiver of tools starting with a spark plug wrench with which you can make fundamental diagnostic observations and do important tasks. An adjustable wrench vice grip and a couple of screwdrivers is all you really need. Along with some electrical tape and jumper cables. I have a cool old fiber board box in my giant trunk that lives there and also hold a large breaker bar and socket for easy wheel lug removal if needed. I have yet too need them but like all fine automobiles are to be carried along. Now here is how I would have approached your car that morning. Start as usual and when it resists ..Stop! something is not right so dont run the battery down. Next open the hood and smell. Pull the dipstick and smell. When a motor is just sort of catching but wont light up you have spark for sure but either not enough or too much fuel. That is when you pull a plug to see if its wet or dry. If its wet then pull all the plugs and spin the motor to dry out the chambers. If its dry move on to lack of fuel issues. You never ever run the battery down without first taking a few minutes for diagnostics. Also simply trying again after an hour works well if its flooded and you have no tools. I have experienced that same scenario where the motor wants to start but never builds rpm and dies. It may be be from heat after a long drive that builds up once parked and pressurizes the fuel bowls pushing gas up the overflow tubes into carbs I really dont know. Its only happened from a cold start. Both times I just walked away and came back later to it starting right up as usual. Being clever and conquering old car crankiness is one of the sweet memories that makes this old car thing worthwhile. Some time I will tell you about spinning a crank bearing in Rock Springs WY. in my loaded down and pulling a trailer 39 Dodge 1 ton pickup while heading to NY. FYI the Winds Engine rebuild in a can did not help.

  I mentioned to you that I had purchased a pair of 528S Carters the front carb for a 41/42  248  to replace the Strombergs. The results are a definite improvement with less surging faster starting crisper throttle and smoother idle and likely better mileage but I have not done a mileage test yet or a plug read of color. Exhaust burble is steadier with no hiccups. The Carters definitely meter the gas flow better the the Strombergs. Chokes work better too. A definite improvement. At 175$ each for NOS it was not a big expenditure. Didnt do a thing to them besides bolting them on and making up a couple of choke tubes.  Do hope you dont dare let this stop you from roaming far from home no matter what Dad said!  

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Matt,

It was great meeting you at Hershey abd being able to sit and talk with you and your wife for a bit.  I always like to remember just a few things when these little things that seem so big happen to our old cars.

 

A friend has a newer Dodge pickup.  Diesel with the def system.  He has had constant problems out of his truck.  They have accused him of trying to run without the def fluid.  Dealer has literally changed out every component at one time or another.  Truck still under warranty.  He will not even try to drive it to work 30 miles away because it is so undependable

 

Neighbor called me to help him the other day. His new Volkswagen wouldnt start.  A little bit of corrosion on the battery terminals literally caused the computer to not recognize the key fob in the car.  It literally lost the key code. The dealer has his car still.  They say shouldn't have happened, and are actually able to duplicate this at their shop after reprogramming the fob back to operate the car.  
 

My daughters Jetta has performed flawlessly all summer long. Last week she informed me, (since mornings are colder) that her car is stalling at stoplights.  Starts right back up, but stalls.  No codes, cannot find anything wrong or loose.  Guess it needs to go back to the dealer also.

 

If my 47’ decides one morning it doesnt want to start, or backfires or loses the air out of a tire.  I will very happily fix it and be on my way, maybe later than expected, but sure that I will get where I am going and riding in style.

 

Matt

 

keep your head up. Your cara are beautiful and you do a great job!

 

 

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Seems that the car was parked outside overnight.  It was probably cold and humid in the morning.  Gas does not vaporize well in those conditions (your last fill may have even been some less volatile summer blend fuel). 6V battery does not spin the engine as fast when cold and the slower it spins the weaker the spark.  Add in a low compression engine...  With a good battery it would have fired right up in the  afternoon.  If you can't wait, starting fluid and apply 12V (with those skinny cables) to the starter while cranking.

Even when it starts it is hard to keep it running due to carburetor icing (internal) until hot air from the radiator is drawn into the carburetor.  If driven  year round in all conditions learn to deal with it like owners did when they were new.

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...and add in condensation inside the distributor cap and "dude you're screwed".:o

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Matt, I am finding after long drives a lot of out cars you can hear the gasoline boiling in the carburetor bowl upon stopping.  

I generally can run the electric pump for 30 or so seconds and overcome upon restart, but hard to get the cranking power I want on a hot car and especially a hot car with a fresh engine.

I do keep a can of starting fluid handy for back-up.  

And, I carry jumper cables and an extra Optima.  

You may need a more thick gasket between the carbs and the manifold (even though you do not have a cross over/pre heater).  

Also, it is a huge help to wrap the exhaust (plus the fuel line) at the hump of the back axle - surprisingly the fender skirts really contribute in heat build up there.  

Also, the 36-48 Cadillac trick it to ground the starter to the frame as well as the battery to the frame too - plus have metal to metal contact at the bell housing to starter matched to some beefy welding cable.  And super spiffy clean ground and terminal connections.

And, I have been changing the standard fans on the 41 Cadillac to some sort of 50's Pontiac  - went from 4 blades to 7 blades (all be it on my own cars run V-16 fans, though they are hard to find these days or really any day past or present). 

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