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1936 Dodge d2 quit running


Weirdbeard
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Hello everybody. This is my first post since I joined. I recently purchased a 1936 Dodge d2 touring sedan all original. It ran fine for days until I went and filled it up with non ethanol gas. The gas gauge was on empty so I stopped at the gas station.

 

Immediately after filling up, the car struggled to start. When I finally got it started it ran extremely rough. It would stall if I took my foot off the gas pedal. 
 

I drove around five miles and it lost power and made so much noise that I was sure the engine blew up. After pulling over I noticed it wasn’t getting any fuel to the carb. The sediment bowl was full but someone installed a clear fuel filter before the carb and it was dry. Luckily the weather was nice for my two mile walk home. 
 

I arrived with my wife and tow strap to pull it home. I decided to try one more time to start it and surprisingly it did! Still running rough I made it to my driveway and it stalled again. Since then I pulled the fuel pump and verified it worked. There is also fuel in the filter now but it won’t start. I even siphoned out half the gas in the tank so it was at the level as when I bought the car. It smells like maybe it’s flooding and I can see gas seeping out around the linkage.

 

Sorry for the long post but I was trying to be as detailed as possible. I’m just baffled that this all started by filling it with gas. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!

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Smells flooded - I think I would take the top off the carb and see if

   1. the float/needle and seat are ok, or

  2. if there's any rubbish floating around in the float bowl. 

 

Letting the fuel level drop to the bottom of the tank has possibly allowed a whole bunch of rubbish to make its way into the fuel delivery system; good chance that it's contaminated everything from tank to carb. 

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Posted (edited)

I did think of that. I’ll have to take a better look tonight. I opened it up to check that the float wasn’t stuck or had a hole in it. The gas looked perfect. Even when I siphoned out five gallons from the tank as my son shook the car I didn’t even get a speck of contamination. I drained it into a gallon water jug so I could observe it.

It’s just strange how instantaneous it happened. Ran perfect until I filled up then immediately wouldn’t start.

Edited by Weirdbeard (see edit history)
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Don’t overlook ignition issues.  The new gas sure seems suspicious but unrelated things can happen and send you off in the wrong direction.

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I do have spark. I took the needle out and checked the seat and they are new as is the float. All gas was clean and no contamination. I did get it temporarily running today by having my son push the starter. I held the electric choke open with one hand and operated the throttle with the other. It would start and run rough and then start gushing gas out the linkage and small cap on the carb. It was so bad I had to get rags to catch the gas from running all over the exhaust manifold.E09B91ED-2806-4B1B-AF32-B2507D47E2CA.jpeg.9b4fb038d9608dc9a5b8f4c7f380f78d.jpegD50E34DD-234D-4BC5-B6A5-EDAB59DEFD04.jpeg.b307c13609d23a6cc8f2ae300233645f.jpeg

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Do you have an electric pump somewhere in the system?  Gas everywhere sounds like a stuck float or too much fuel pressure.  Can you set it to run from can of gas connected to the carb with just gravity feed?

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Stock mechanical pump. The float is free and working. Is there a screw on the carb or anything else that controls the fuel pressure or is it just the pump that regulates it? I noticed that if the electric choke is closed it pours in fuel and if it’s fully open there’s no fuel until I give it throttle.

This is the oldest car I’ve owned so there is somewhat of a learning curve. I’m always open to more education on these cars!

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Sounds like crumbs in the float valve. Like hchris says, probably stirred up a bunch of greebies letting the tank get empty then filling it. Final fix may be a good fuel system cleaning. Tank, lines, and carb. 

There is an oldtimers fix Temporary, but may show what's going on, and that is to disconnect the carb and block the line, then run the engine until it runs out of fuel, then connect up the carb again. This will often flush the needle valve and get rid of whatever is in there.

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Can you post a picture of the electric choke?  

There is no fuel pressure regulator on a mechanical fuel pump. The excessive flooding of the carb is troubling.  I second the idea of running the carb dry and then reconnecting the fuel supply.

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I’ve taken the needle out and checked the seat and float. Everything is really clean. I just noticed the  fuel inside the bowl seems way too high. It’s partially covering the float. The float and needle look like they are new from the PO. Thanks for all the suggestions and help!

6F62CA58-D9E1-477F-8F29-B5C698B2ED63.jpeg.438f3b9f904e48a1b1d6c4a600a8a6de.jpeg292404AE-362B-4C99-B811-8A6FBD46DC74.jpeg.4020bb8520b06e8244d8638d91cdd560.jpeg787AB4B0-6EE5-4B23-9D82-5868576C50C2.jpeg.0a91c4ef124b0e34a4713b6b8bfaeb6c.jpeg6F124C21-B3D5-4ACA-BBB9-9312DD4858FF.jpeg.83010efaff7b2fa8c4bda34416aca617.jpeg

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Thanks for the photos, I’m was not familiar with the electric choke feature.  I had a 1937 Dodge pickup with the manual hand choke.  The float does look like the fuel level is high in the bowl.  Do you have a manual that lists the float level?  Also, are you sure the choke is working correctly when the engine is hot, that is, no choke when the engine is fully warmed up? Did you check to see if the float has any gas in it from a leak?  

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The float feels good. It’s definitely floating right now. I’m not sure about the choke since I can’t keep it running. I know right now when I start cranking, the choke closes and pours a lot of gas (I think too much) down the carb. I believe the gas level in the bowl is too high and that’s why it’s coming out the breather cap on top when I manually get it running.

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If you disconnect the electric wire to the choke it will not magnetically close and will instead set the choke based on the engine temperature it senses.  This might allow you to get the car started.  The electric choke is energized when you are cranking the engine with the starter and then switches to a bimetallic spring pull off when the starter is not engaged. The bimetallic spring changes the choke as the engine warms.

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That float is sunk, there's literally gas on top of it in the picture. Try Oldtech's advice and afterward if you are still unsure for any reason, sink it in piping hot water and look for bubbles.

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You're right,fuel level is way too high, could be a sinker as suggested or needs adjustment. Strange that it's just popped up out of the blue.

 

When I'm messing with float levels I've got a rig where I suspend a small funnel and hose about a metre (yard) above the carb and connected to the inlet pipe. With the top off the carb, as I pour fuel in the funnel, it's easy to see what the float/needle/seat are doing and adjust/fix as required.

 

The height of the funnel gives me a head of pressure to simulate pump output. 

 

 

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I’ll try and get the float out but I’m pretty sure it’s ok. The float is submerged in gas because the level is too high. The float physically cannot go any higher. I have to find out how high the gas level should be.
If the float was bad, wouldn’t the gas level be lower and the carb starving for gas? I’m getting way too much gas and it’s flooding the carb. I thought the needle was stuck open but every time I check it’s ok.

If the needle, seat and float are ok, how does the carb fill up with so much gas? It’s like the fuel pressure is overpowering the needle and float and filling up the bowl. Am I thinking this correctly?

 

And this all started by filling with gas. Ran great until I filled up. I have a clear fuel filter installed ahead of the carb to catch any contaminants so even if the tank had any rust or crud the filter would have caught it. The filter is still clean. The problem is too much fuel delivery somehow. It’s baffling to me. Keep the suggestions coming because it gets my brain thinking we’re zeroing in on it!

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If you have a sinking float, it gets water(fuel)logged and keeps sinking with the weight of fuel such that it can't ever rise far enough to shut the needle valve, and while the pump keeps pumping the carb just floods.

 

Brass floats are soldered together in manufacture and are prone to cracking, which then allows fuel to seep inside thus weighting down the float. If for instance someone has been bending the float arm to readjust the float level, it's not unusual to create a stress crack which eventually gives way and the float takes on fuel and you finish up with a "sinker".

 

So you need to take out the float and give it a good shake next to your ear, yo can usually hear if there's fuel in it, alternatively as suggested drop it in boiling water and watch for bubbles which will indicate if it has a hole.

 

If the float turns out to be good then you have to determine why the bowl level is obviously too high, as I said inthe previous post, it would help if you make up a rig to fill the bowl from an external source with the bowl cover removed and see what's going on. I don't recommend using the fuel pump whilst turning the engine as it's too much of a fire risk, you would need to syphon out fuel that's in the bowl first up, and keep in mind that if your filling point is elevated you'll be able to simulate a degree of pressure on the float.  

 

Ideally you should be able to watch the float rise as you pour in fuel and at some point it should shut the needle valve, and your fuel flow will back up in your delivery line; its handy if its clear pvc so you can see the fuel flowing.

Edited by hchris
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Difficult to tell for sure from the picture; however:

 

It appears that possibly there is a mis-match of float and fuel valve.

 

When the valve is closed, the tang on the float should be perpendicular to the fuel valve plunger; and the top of the float should be approximately level with the world. The tang appears to be at an angle, which just doesn't work well.

 

It appears that the tang on the float is bent too far, and not actually shutting off the valve.

 

Stromberg used a number of different floats; the one you have looks from the top correct, but the tang may be in the wrong position. The gasket on the fuel valve seat may be too thick.

 

Jon.

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Ok I finally got the float removed. I was hesitant because some past owner had the screw all torn up and I was worried about rounding the head off flat. I ground down a screwdriver to fit tight and slowly got it to turn. Sounds dry with no noise as I shake it. The tang is bent slightly. Should it be at a 90 degree to the float body? I really appreciate all your input! The last pics are the fuel level after everything settles after not trying to start it.FE527FC8-07B7-4F34-A4B9-FF12DDBD8B37.jpeg.f47ea2738d80c29606809eb82d24cd7f.jpegD6F58D00-B33E-45F3-8AB0-F8D28E0786E4.jpeg.dbfbcacc99c342d9fce6b26884a5405d.jpegEE7C52C0-EF2A-4196-8DAF-310EBFFBE227.jpeg.5dd64c88cc1d8aed609a3fc57664835d.jpeg18813358-37CD-434B-B362-FBAA09F7099C.jpeg.f145db1184dad4ef179aec7c02073b6b.jpegEB2835BD-8AEA-4F07-B2A3-63B158569C9E.jpeg.21b346742cd6d5c347eaf4bc6834a3bb.jpeg

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Nice clean engine there. My 36 has the filter at the fuel pump, I’m not too keen about the filter I see in the pics over the exhaust manifold. Might become an issue in that hot environment especially if it’s plastic. Just my 2cents worth. Peace.

Edited by Steve9 (see edit history)
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Ok, my first impression of the needle photo is that it's badly worn, there shouldn't be a wear mark on the taper and probably there will be a corresponding mark in the seat; bottom line is that the shutting off of fuel when the bowl fills is severely compromised. So first thing I would do is buy a new one. 

 

As to the proper fuel level, you need to find the correct setting (Google search) and bend the float arm to suit, hard to tell from the photo but doesn't look right from here. 

 

So once again, why dont you take off that filter and hook up a (clear)  line and funnel and pour in some fuel to see what level the valve shuts off at, that way you can keep messing with it to get it right.

Edited by hchris
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Posted (edited)

I agree with the fuel filter placement. And yes hchris I will try your method ha ha. I’m not ignoring your suggestion I just get focused on one thing and can’t get past it to the next idea. As soon as I find out the proper fuel level and am sure what position the tang on the float should be I’ll definitely try the funnel and clear tubing. I promise!

Any good places to look for a quality needle and seat and might as well get a float for a spare.

Edited by Weirdbeard
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BEFORE BENDING MORE ON THE FLOAT!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Remove the seat.

 

Take the seat to your local FLAPS, and find the thinnest gasket (hopefully a rubberized aluminum one) the will fit the seat.

 

Reinstall the seat with the thin washer. This will allow the seat, and valve, to project further into the fuel bowl, and help with the adjustment.

 

Agree with those who have posted that the needle should have no groove, but the groove is a normal function of wear, and I have seen a LOT WORSE that still held pressure.

 

In the long run, it needs replacing.

 

In the short run, try the thin gasket.

 

Jon.

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Posted (edited)

My seat is just an inverted cone cast inside a brass fitting. Should there be a gasket? Should the tang be at a 90 degree angle to the float? And one last question. Umm what is FLAPS?

Oh wait. You mean the gasket between the seat and bowl. Got it.

Edited by Weirdbeard
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To properly set the fuel level, you need a fuel pressure gauge, a rule, and an adjustable fuel pump/regulator.

 

Fuel level (NOT FLOAT LEVEL) should be 5/8 inch below the top of the fuel bowl, with the valve shutting off the inlet fuel AT 3 PSI.

 

When you are ready, I have made in USA rebuilding kits, and new old stock original Stromberg (made in USA) stock floats. Neither are priced at new import prices.

 

Jon.

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3 minutes ago, Weirdbeard said:

My seat is just an inverted cone cast inside a brass fitting. Should there be a gasket? Should the tang be at a 90 degree angle to the float? And one last question. Umm what is FLAPS?

 

OK, you DEFINITELY have  a mismatch.

 

The inverted cone fuel valve was used with an aluminum plunger with a flat neoprene washer that sealed against the inverted cone (flare). The pointed needle will NOT seal with that seat.

 

FLAPS = (F)riendly (L)ocal (A)uto (P)arts (S)tore.

 

Jon.

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Ok. Could you sometime send a pic of the correct needle and seat? Thank you!

The car sat in a garage from 1978-2016. I’m guessing things were changed at that time to get it back on the road. 

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The inverted flare seat with the neoprene washer was originally developed by Parker Brothers, in Tulsa. It was sold as the "Master" valve. We used thousands of them maybe 35~40 years ago. About 35 years ago, Paul got fed up with some regulations then being implemented by you know who; placed the entire existing inventory in scrap brass, closed the doors, and went fishing!

 

It is my understanding that Daytona is now making some of the valves, certainly not the coverage that Paul had.

 

Since there were 4 different diameter plungers, and dozens on different lengths, good luck on finding a correct one.

 

Jon.

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Ok don’t hate me but now that I put my reading glasses on (getting old) maybe it’s just flush inside. So if that’s the case, should I just get the thinner washer as you suggested before? Sorry.9CDC37F4-6D87-41AA-A3D4-6C7C3DAB4AA9.jpeg.057425b2223f20127b94a243002fc09b.jpeg

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I set the fuel level with the float by using the funnel with clear tubing connected to the carb inlet. Set the fuel to 5/8” from the top lip of the bowl. The needle seated and didn’t leak past as far as I could tell. The gas in the clear line stopped flowing and held.

Assembled everything and thought I’d try firing it up. It did start but still ran really rough like before. Within a minute the gas started flowing out the bowl vent again so I shut it down.

I’ll order the rebuild kit and in the meantime get a pressure tester for the fuel line to check that it’s only getting 3lbs. Thanks for all the information!

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2 hours ago, Weirdbeard said:

I set the fuel level with the float by using the funnel with clear tubing connected to the carb inlet. Set the fuel to 5/8” from the top lip of the bowl. The needle seated and didn’t leak past as far as I could tell. The gas in the clear line stopped flowing and held.

Assembled everything and thought I’d try firing it up. It did start but still ran really rough like before. Within a minute the gas started flowing out the bowl vent again so I shut it down.

I’ll order the rebuild kit and in the meantime get a pressure tester for the fuel line to check that it’s only getting 3lbs. Thanks for all the information!

Clean the spark plugs.  With all that extra gas they may be fouled and wet. 

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Renting a fuel pressure test kit from Napa tomorrow so we’ll see what that says. Did make a surprising revelation about how original the car is after seeing the engine block date. I discovered that the engine is from a 1953 Plymouth and the head is from a 1955. So much for all original ha ha!F6190A84-1713-42D8-B286-324239FA3F37.jpeg.32b48503dd568a140e49cb38bdc3ab00.jpeg467E85DB-2CDB-42CE-B245-F3C91EF577A4.jpeg.e259975681a51b9bb93092bcbec89f43.jpeg

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