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1962 Electra - No Start


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Hi all!  It has been a long time since I have posted anything.  After four year of being stationed in Okinawa and two years of getting settled into civilian life, I am finally able to give my '62 Electra some attention again.  I'm not the most mechanically experienced, but can manage with some instruction.  Tried starting it today after getting the battery charged up, with no luck.  It cranked good, but didn't fire up.  The glass bowl fuel filter looks pretty empty, so I'm thinking it isn't getting fuel.  Any tips on where to start?

 

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If you were using ethanol laced fuels when you put it away there may be damage to some system flexible parts.  Things like the fuel line rubber hoses ( including the connection under the back of the car where the tank sending unit attaches to the fuel line for the fuel pump. and the fuel pump diaphragm itself.  If it were me I would try a blast of starter fluid just to see if it will start, not to keep it running.  And if it did,  I'd go to the rubber fuel line components  next.  Then source a rebuilt fuel pump. 

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On 7/13/2019 at 3:33 PM, JohnD1956 said:

If you were using ethanol laced fuels when you put it away there may be damage to some system flexible parts.  Things like the fuel line rubber hoses ( including the connection under the back of the car where the tank sending unit attaches to the fuel line for the fuel pump. and the fuel pump diaphragm itself.  If it were me I would try a blast of starter fluid just to see if it will start, not to keep it running.  And if it did,  I'd go to the rubber fuel line components  next.  Then source a rebuilt fuel pump. 

 

Thanks John.  I'll give that a try.  I wouldn't be surprised if the rubber items in the fuel system are shot.  I've tried over the years to use non-ethanol fuel, but it hasn't always been possible.  The rubber fuel lines don't look original, but I also don't remember replacing them, and I've had the car for 24 years.

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Uggh...found a mouse nest in the trunk up on the shelf by the spare tire.  🤮  Guess my attempts and my brother-in-law's attempts to keep them out failed.  Looks like they got into the seat padding, I wonder what else they got into.

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Mice!  I despise em!  Unfortunately from the trunk they have direct access to the headliner.  Look for the telltale stains.  I hope you don't have to replace that!  You also have to check the cowl and fresh air intake areas.  They build in heater plenums and the vent areas.  And under the rear seats.  And on top of the under hood insulation!   It appears they follow their own excrement to find their "home" so you'll need to find their entry port and wash that with some strong detergents.  

 

The good news, if you can call it that,  is your car will be a lot lighter when you are done! 

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31 minutes ago, JohnD1956 said:

It appears they follow their own excrement to find their "home"

 

I've had pretty good luck marking my own territory while humming an old Woodie Guthrie tune "this land is my land". Works fine for everything but cats.

Bernie

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The pick-up tube in the gas tank may be plugged up after that much sitting. There's an access door underneath the spare tire, so you don't have to pull the whole tank, just remove the door and remove the sending unit. Also, if it doesn't fire at all with starting fluid, then you probably need to file or sand off the contact surfaces on the points in the distributor.

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On 7/14/2019 at 8:07 PM, avgwarhawk said:

They have a habit of eating the wiring. 

 

Great....on the bright side, I'm experienced in electrical work.  Hopefully they didn't eat too much.

 

12 hours ago, JohnD1956 said:

Mice!  I despise em!  Unfortunately from the trunk they have direct access to the headliner.  Look for the telltale stains.  I hope you don't have to replace that!  You also have to check the cowl and fresh air intake areas.  They build in heater plenums and the vent areas.  And under the rear seats.  And on top of the under hood insulation!   It appears they follow their own excrement to find their "home" so you'll need to find their entry port and wash that with some strong detergents.  

 

The good news, if you can call it that,  is your car will be a lot lighter when you are done! 

 

I guess we'll see.  I hope they didn't get into too much.  I'm not looking to do a full-on restoration, I'd prefer to get it running and enjoy driving it.

 

9 hours ago, Pete Phillips said:

The pick-up tube in the gas tank may be plugged up after that much sitting. There's an access door underneath the spare tire, so you don't have to pull the whole tank, just remove the door and remove the sending unit. Also, if it doesn't fire at all with starting fluid, then you probably need to file or sand off the contact surfaces on the points in the distributor.

 

Thanks for the ideas.  It's pretty awesome to see familiar names still on the forum.  I haven't posted much in the years that I've been a member of the forum, but I've read a lot on the forums over that time.

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A little update...don't have it running yet.  A little shot of starting fluid and it fired, but wouldn't run because it isn't getting fuel.  Cleaned out the nest the mice made up by the spare tire, filled a Walmart bag.  Yuck, I hate mice.  Pulled the fuel level sender out of the tank, the filter on the end of the pickup was clean, so I put it back.  Replaced the rubber fuel lines, that didn't fix it, but the lines were pretty stiff and crumbled a bit when we took them off.  That was a good thing to get done.  So, it looks like the fuel pump.  Hopefully that comes soon.

 

I've been working on the car with my son, it has been a good time even if it is taking longer than we had hoped.

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19 hours ago, page2171 said:

 

 

I've been working on the car with my son, it has been a good time even if it is taking longer than we had hoped.

 

 

Sounds like fun to me, I used to love working with my Uncle while he was fixing cars. Learned a lot too.

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4 hours ago, Bill Stoneberg said:

 

 

Sounds like fun to me, I used to love working with my Uncle while he was fixing cars. Learned a lot too.

 

It is something I wish I could have done more with my dad.  Dad knew a lot, grew up working at his dad's gas station/garage.

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On 7/21/2019 at 7:20 PM, page2171 said:

the lines were pretty stiff and crumbled a bit when we took them off. 

 

Sometimes the rubber on those hidden lines will crack and let air become drawn into the line. I have seen cars lose top end performance when running on air bubbles and gasoline. There is another line like that feeding the fuel pump.

Bernie

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IT RUNS!!!!!! 😎

 

A little recap... Started out by pulling the gas pickup out of the tank and checking the filter.  It was fine, so it went back in.  We then replaced the rubber fuel line that connects the metal fuel line (that runs most of the length of the car) to the fuel pump.  That needed to be done, but didn't help.  Then we replace the rubber fuel line that connects the gas tank to the metal fuel line.  That also needed to be done, but didn't fix it either.  Nowhere around here had a fuel pump in stock, and because I wanted to get it running before this weekend I ordered one online.  My son and I replaced it tonight, and after a little bit of cranking to get fuel up to the carburetor, it started.

 

BTW...if anybody is in or around Northeastern WI, Zion Lutheran Church in Peshtigo, WI is hosting a car show this Saturday.  There is no registration fee, and it is open to all.  (That's why I wanted to get it running before this weekend.)

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13 hours ago, page2171 said:

BTW...if anybody is in or around Northeastern WI, Zion Lutheran Church in Peshtigo, WI is hosting a car show this Saturday.

 

Glad you got her going.  Take some pictures of your excursion for us! 

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On 7/30/2019 at 4:08 PM, drhach said:

What's next? 

 

Let's see, it needs fluids changed, a tune up, brakes adjusted, and a rear axle seal replaced.  I should also probably clean the engine so I can figure out which gaskets are leaking.  Those are the things that are at or near the top of the list now.  I'm guessing the brakes will need more than adjusting, but I'll cross that bridge when I get there.

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