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1935 Buick Special 46C died at stoplight


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Gentlemen,

This morning my 1935 Buick Special 46C started well and ran well for about an hour.  Then at a stoplight she died and would not restart.  After trying to crank for a few minutes I stopped at which point a local police officer instructed me I had to move the car or it would be towed.  I cranked it again

and she started and was able to move her about 50 yards to a parking lot where again she stalled.  After cranking a few times the 6 volt battery failed and I had her towed home.  After switching in a spare battery I tried to restart.  Although several times the engine came close to starting it never did.

On another classic car I had a vapor lock problem that I fixed with an electric fuel pump.  When the electric fuel pump is on there is no vapor lock.  I live in Houston, Texas and it hit 91 degrees yesterday.  The 1935 Buick has an electric fuel pump switch also but it was not on when the car died.  I turned it on when trying to restart with the new battery and you can hear it running.  But the car still would not restart.  Maybe its possible the fuel filter next to fuel pump is clogged.  It is clear and I cannot see anything blocking the filter but maybe there is.  

The engine is a straight 8, 222 cubic inch, 93 HP.  It has run very well since I bought the car last October.

Has anyone had this issue before?  Any ideas?

Thanks in advance for your help.

 

John P. BCA #50690

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Is your fuel gauge accurate?  First be sure you didn't run out of gas.

 

Next, you can check your mechanical fuel pump by simply emptying the glass bowl on the fuel pump, then crank the car over and watch as the bowl quickly fills up.  If it fills, you know your mechanical fuel pump is working.

You can check your electric pump the same way....  empty the glass bowl and turn the pump on.  If you hear it whirring away, but the glass bowl is not filling up, perhaps it lost it's prime or the filter is clogged.

Do you have the fine mesh brass screen on top of the glass bowl?  Check that it is clean.

 

I would start with a couple easy tests first being the car was running.

 

 

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Hi I have a 35 40 series also and sometimes after it warmed up the starter would turn real slowly but after it cooled down it would turn over fast. Other than that it never died on me and not restart.It dose take awhile to start after sitting a week or so,I should get an electric pump too for this reason. My 74 MGB however had the same problem your describing last summer. It would die at a red light and wouldn't start again until it cooled way down.I installed a phenolic spacer plate between the carburetor and the intake after changing coil,points and condensor,so far it's been starting after hot. Could be a coil going bad? Let me know how you fixed yours so if it happens on my Buick I'll know what to look for.Thanks,Greg.

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Is your gas tank clean? My '35 Lincoln had all the classic symptoms of vapor lock and left us stranded multiple times. It would drive fine for  2 or 5 or 10 miles, then quit inexplicably. I rebuilt the fuel system, added an electric pump, a big filter, rebuilt the mechanical pump, installed new lines, etc. No improvement. Ultimately, it turned out to be trash in the gas tank restricting flow and no amount of filters or electric pumps could overcome it. Oddly enough, like your Buick, it would re-start and run fine after sitting for a while, which is why I thought it was vapor lock and heat-related. Now I believe the sediment in the tank would get churned up while driving and settle out after sitting for a while. However, the fuel lines were big enough that the sediment would get sucked downstream during cranking and kind of self-clear until we started driving and churned it all up again.

 

Tank4.thumb.jpg.37cd218d0a36eeb45d02d8cb8bb14ed1.jpg

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Gentlemen, all good advice.  Here is what I did and the results.  First, I pulled the in-line fuel filter (between the gas tank and the fuel pump).  It was full of gunk and trash.  I replaced this with a new one.  The car immediately started but then died after about a minute and would not restart. Then I pulled the air breather and checked the carburetor.  Two problems.  The flapper or choke was frozen in almost a closed position.  No wonder it would not start.  I pulled the choke knob on the dash and could barely get it to move.  Crawling under the dash I found that the choke cable was bent at a 90 degree angle around the lever for the hood vent.  No wonder it was hard to pull and that it was stuck in one position.  I replaced the choke cable and the choke flapper is now working fine.  I'm wondering how the car even ran with this problem.  The second issue is that the carburetor was full of trash and gunk and the seals and gaskets were falling apart.  I had bought a carburetor rebuild kit a few months back and it came in handy.  I rebuilt the carburetor after cleaning it out.  Now the engine starts instantly and idles smoothly.  In fact the idle is now to fast I guess because that is the only way the engine kept running.  I have now backed off on the idle.  Very pleased with the results.  Hope this helps anyone with the same issues.

 

John P. BCA # 50690

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I'm surprised it has a manual choke.My 35 40 series has an automatic choke bolted to the side of the intake. Being in Florida Its always open. I have a downdraft Stromberg carburetor. Anyway,I'm glad you got it going. My old gas tank was pretty rusty so a guy at work made one for me out of stainless steel but that's been like twenty years ago,man,time flies.Greg.

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Mine came from North of Chicago also.I've got the original title from Maple Park,Illinois. I bought it from an Illinois farmer in 75 and paid $300 for it. Still like to see a picture of yours,Greg.

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Certainly one of the most handsome cars of the period. The 33-35 Buicks are all very attractive and I would sure like to own a '34-35 80- or 90-Series of some sort.

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