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Hi i'm new to this site, but need help.

I have a 1923 4 cylinder 45 Tourer. She used to run fine but now won't start.

She turns over. 

I have a good spark and the carb seems fine.

 

I can't test compression as the spark plug hole is two large for any gauge i own.

I have even tried pouring a little petrol down spark plug hole. but got nothing.

 

I thought I could try turning her over on a 12v battery, would this help?

IMG_7179.JPG

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How long ago did she run fine?  Does the starter seem to spin about as fast as it did back in the day when the car would start?  Before I messed with a 12 volt, I'd make sure the battery wires were in good shape, that there is a good ground, that the plugs are clean and in working order, the the motor is properly timed and gas is getting to the carb.  Is the coil good?  Make sure all the wiring is connected and in good shape.

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Good points , all. However I assume you have primed the cyls with FRESH gasoline. Try a small prime again , quickly followed by WD-40 and a small amount of lubricated starting fluid. Make sure your spark is fully retarded. If you don't get even a cough after a couple of such exercises , you have an ignition problem. That is , if you DO have compression. A quick cheap and dirty compression test on these old low compression  engines can be done by sealing the plug holes with your hand. I can do it with my flathead Cadillacs ,. but I don't know if you can contort access into your overhead. 

 

Welcome to AACA forums , Barry ! You can be sure the help you need is here. There is quite a lot of fondness for and knowledge of Nickel Era cars here. You should also post below on the Buick Pre-War section. Very active , and the greatest number of participants. Wonderful group , never say die , hardcore , some never stray from Buick forums. We look forward to "riding along" with you when you get going. Where in the vast English speaking world are you , RHD , petrol and all ? 

 

Also , thank you for including a picture of your '23 Buick. So often someone dives right in without a proper introduction to their car ! I particularly love looking at your Buick. I have a 1924 Cadillac touring , so the resemblance in interesting. Here is a pic of mine , it is original and unrestored , save for the ancient repaint. Fortunately it was done in original colors. 

 

                         Again , glad you joined us ! Stay with us !  (And do introduce yourself and your car to the friendly Buick people)   - Carl 

 

 

image.jpeg

Edited by C Carl
Clarification (see edit history)
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Hi Guys.

Thanks for warm welcome.

Did you notice she is right hand drive.

Don't know of anybody who knows about old Buicks this side of the pond (London)

 

Ok I have a freash full 6v battery.

She spins freely like she always did.

 

I have taken the carb off and can feel  suction on the intake.

I have refitted, put new fuel in the vacum opened the small bottom valve and have fuel in the float chamber.

Am I right in saying if I poured a small amount of fuel  direct down the plug holes she should fire a bit ?

 

I have a good spark for 6v. at the plugs

I am beginning to suspect timing.

Am I right in thinking the timing order is 1243 ?

1 being the front of the car ?

The valves all seem free and the valve rods that run up outside the engine don't look bent.

can the distributer jump?

can the valves get out of sink with the pistons? Is there a timing chain/belt ?

 

Thanks

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3 hours ago, Barry R said:

I thought I could try turning her over on a 12v battery, would this help?

That might be a mistake. Could do damage to 6 volt parts. Better to connect another 6 volt battery in parallel the way you would if you were going to jump it off. That way you have more amperage for cranking but still only 6 volts

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11 minutes ago, Barry R said:

Thanks Ronnie

What about being neg earth ?

 

Barry

Sorry, I don't know the answer to that. Especially since you have a right hand drive in another country.

You should ask about the neg. earth in this forum.   They are the experts on old Buicks.  Buick - Pre War

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I have a right hand drive 1923 Buick tourer. based in london UK.

I am having problems starting at the moment.

 

I have just noticed it is negative earth. Have I connected the battery the wrong way round or does it not matter ?

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Barry R,

 

Welcome to the AACA Discussion Forum. I have moved your post to the Pre-War Buick forum. You are more likely to find an expert on these early Buicks here. 

 

To minimize confusion, I have merged your original question with your post from a few minutes ago, so you won't be getting advice in two different discussions. 

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18 minutes ago, Barry R said:

Thank you Brian I will check Ground is Neg.

As a matter of interest what differance can it make ?

 

Thank you Mark , I will check timing.

 

To things such as your lamps, nothing. 

 

To your starter / generator, coil and ignition, everything. 

 

 

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If the car has not been run in awhile, there is likely a glaze on the contact surfaces of the ignition points. Try a shot of NON-FLAMMABLE circuit cleaner or brake cleaner on those surfaces, rotate engine until points are closed (under spring tension, the draw an uncoated business card between them.

 

Have we established whether the car turns over with the starter?  If it does, check for voltage with key on at (1) the ignition switch (2) coil (3) points.

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So you have starting fluid, some level of compression and good spark

 

but no firing

 

First guess would be timing

 

Check wires are to correct cylinders and to firing order note rotation direction of rotor

 

Firing order should be cast into the intake manifold as a reference

 

Is the distributor rotor under #1 when you are at TDC?  Confirm you are at TDC and not 360 Degrees past TDC since both are at the same point on the flywheel marking. Both intake and exhaust valves should be closed with intake being the last to close as you come up on the compression stroke to the top and TDC. 

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Barry,   Welcome to the Buick pre-war forum.   Being a four cylinder your car would be a Model  23 - 35.  This wiring diagram is for  6 cylinder   but  it would be very similar to the 4,  just two less cylinders.   If I am wrong here somebody will let us know.  The ignition timing is also for a 6,  but the procedure would be  the same.

581a8c7f54278_wirediagram.thumb.jpg.d8fb48e8151b72976c2e99f593d2568a.jpg

IMG_0315.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi all,

 

Ok Buick still wont start.

 

The engine turns over freely on starter.

 

I have new fuel in the vacum cylinder and I have checked its coming though carb.

 

I have a new battery 6V , coil and spark plugs.

The timing is fireing just before TDC on number 1 cylinder. 

I have a good spark and the firing order is 1342.

 

I have tried easy start and also a little petrol straight down the cylinders.

 

I have done a compression test  and got 30lbs the same on all for cylinders.

I poured a little oil down all four cylinders and got 35lbs best 40 again the same on all four cylinders.

 

Its not even trying to start, just turning over.

 

What am I doing wrong ?

Whats the next step , is it head off?

 

Many thanks

 

Barry

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Hi guys thanks for quick reply's.

 

Yes I have a good spark at the new plugs.

yes I have checked leads to correct plugs (1342). The rotor arm is turning in a clockwise direction.

 

I am thinking its time to pull the head off and have a close look. As compression is low. But a bit worried. Is there anything else I should check first. ?

Before I pull the head off can I determine if its valves or pistons. ?

What gaskets do I need to buy and are they available?

 

(4 cylinder)

 

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45 minutes ago, Barry R said:

Hi guys thanks for quick reply's.

 

Yes I have a good spark at the new plugs.

yes I have checked leads to correct plugs (1342). The rotor arm is turning in a clockwise direction.

 

I am thinking its time to pull the head off and have a close look. As compression is low. But a bit worried. Is there anything else I should check first. ?

Before I pull the head off can I determine if its valves or pistons. ?

What gaskets do I need to buy and are they available?

 

(4 cylinder)

 

 

 

1923 Buicks do not have heads. OR, is that just the 6 cylinder ones??? Now I'm confused...

 

Edited by JerryVan (see edit history)
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Barry 

You did not answer  Taylormade  question,  how long ago was it running fine.    If it was running well and then sat for a period of time,   and now will not start.  I do not feel as though the compression is the problem  regarding why it will not start.   If you are getting a good spark at the plugs,  it should be attempting to fire  when fuel is put down the jugs.     Double check  that number 1 piston is on the firing stroke  ( both valves closed )  when the rotor is under  the contact to number 1 lead.  Did you remove the distributor. Maybe the timing is out.  I would look at all electricals before removing the head.   Try another coil.

Edited by ROD W (see edit history)
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Before I remove the head.

 

If I turn the engine over and  I feel suction or air being forced coming out of the oil filler or dip stick hole its the pistons . is that correct.

 

Where can I buy a 4 cylinder head gasket ?

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Barry :

 I would do a quick compression check first to confirm. The air escaping the oil filler would indicate bad rings(blow-by). It would really have to be bad with low compression to not at least try to run.

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I will be the first to admit that I am not that knowledgeable on the four cylinder models.  Did these engines use a fiber camshaft gear?  IF this engine has one, could it have broken teeth sufficient enough to throw it way out of time?  If an engine has fire, fuel, and compression, there really cannot be any reason it will not run except for the timing.  He tells us that there is fire to the plugs, the carburetor is getting fuel, he can feel suction in the intake manifold, distributor wires are going to the correct plugs, no hung up valves

and the distributor rotor turns as it is supposed to with the cap off and cranking the engine.  If everything I have listed above is correct and the engine will not fire, I think that I would be taking a good look at the timing gears.  If there is fire to the plugs, I think a person could rule out the distributor cap as the culprit here.  It is simply a process of elimination that will drive a person nuts until the weak link is found.

 

Terry Wiegand

South Hutchinson, Kansas

 

A MAN AND HIS OLD BUICK - IT'S A WONDERFUL THING

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