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1919 buick- starting procedures


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I have a 1919 buick 45 touring, my dad used to drive, he has alzheimers, and cant remember the way to start it, i remember he used to flip up the ignition switch, and set the spark lever, but little more than that, can anyone help me with the proper way to start this car, much obliged

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I do not know much about starting a 1919, but someone will probably get a message to you. I think it will help quite a bit if you can recall when was the last time it was running. I assume it operated fine before when it was parked. This is important to see what the gas in the tank and lines is like. Seems you will want to disconnect the gas line and feed in some new clean gas from a small can, and not try to drain the gas tank and clean it at this time. These things have manual choke and spark advance, so my suggestion you find someone close by that has a restoration shop or good mechanically skills and familiar with these older cars. It would help to post your general location so forum members can advise you if they know of someone nearby.

Good luck.

John

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I was hoping someone with a 1919 would answer you. I have a 1925 Model 45. My car isn't much different starting wise but the location of things might be different. First you must have gas in the vacuum tank. On your car it is under the hood on the drivers side. It looks like a metal tall can on the side of the engine. You'll see the gas line going to it on the top. The bottom should have a tube going to the carb. This line might have a petcock (valve)to turn off the gas. You need to turn this with the handle inline with the tube. On the top of the float bowl on the carb there might be a little button. The float bowl is what the gas line goes into. Press down and hold the button and you should see or smell gas. If you don't you'll have to get gas into the vacuum tank. On the top of the tank there might be a plug that unscrews with a wrench. If you have a small funnel put gas in there. If the gas in the gas tank has been sitting there for years it's probably bad. Put a WOOD (not metal)stick into the gas tank filler and see if any gas is in there. Try putting gas in the vacuum tank first. The car will run for a short while on this. Is the battery charged? This is 6 volt. With the battery connected beep the horn and see if it blows strong. If it does, on the steering wheel you have the throttle and spark advance controls. Move the spark advance toward retard(down on my car) and open the throttle a little. On the dash pull the choke knob out 2/3rds of the way, make sure the car is in neutral with your left foot down on the clutch, turn the ignition switch to on. You might hear something turning. This is the starter armature. Say a prayer and press your right foot on the starter pedal.

If the engine turns your doing ok. If it starts push in the choke about a third but if it starts to die pull it out a little till it warms up some more then push it all the way in. Of course before you do all of this make sure there is oil in the engine and antifreeze/water in the radiator. If this all works for you the big thing you must remember is that the Buick shift pattern is the opposite of what your used to. First is down to the right. Second is up to the left. Third is down to the left. REVERSE is up to the right. Many trannies have exploded by getting this wrong cause if you don't know this you start the car in second, shift into third, then at 25mph throw it in reverse. OOPS!! If the car has been sitting for a very long time you might want to squirt a little motor oil in each cylinder by removing the spark plugs . I don't know how mechanical you are. If it does start you should get a reading on the oil pressure gauge. If you don't turn it off. Where do you live? I'm sure you'll have ?????? bubba

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Thank you so very much,for the advice, i am on luch break so will make this short and sweet, the car has been sitting and hasent run for about 5 yrs. My brother and i seem to remember dad pulling off the valve covers and putting oil on a cloth pad looking thing frequently, is this how your car is. I have lights and strong horn and hear the turning sound, when i flip the ignition switch on, but bumped the starter, and it didnt turn over, will check after dinner to see if motor is free by hand,thanks again for your help, will most undoubtably be in touch

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What you have on your car is a starter/generator combination in the same unit. The distributor is aldo part of this. That turning or clicking sound is the starter turning over, this is good. The starter is engaged when you push the starter pedal down. When you start the car you need to retard the spark lever, I believe it should be in the up position and the gas lever moved so the gas pedal on the floor just starts ro move down. There is a choke lever hanging just below the dash - -torn it to choke. With the starter clicking as it turns over, push the starter pedal down and the starter will be engaged in the flywheel. Once the engine starts, move the choke lever to the hot position, if there is one, and advance the spark lever . Youy engine should be running. The choke is labled Choke Hot Cold. Th hot and cold refer to hot and cold air going into the carburator. Hot air when the engine is cold and cold air when it has warmed up.

The pads your father was puting oil on is to lubericate the valves. What you should have is a place on the top of the rocker arms to fill the resevoir with oil. The oil can that should be on the fire wall is used for this purpose.

Hope this helps. That is the way my 22 Buick is.

Dan

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thanks dan, i turned on the starter, and it turns like you say, but when i push on the floor button to engage the starter nothing happens. I stopped and got out the socket for starting it by hand crank, and the motor rolls over but very grudgingly, only turned it about 1/8th, im thinking i should do like bubba said and pull the plugs, and put some oil, or transmission fluid in each cylinder, by the way i am in ohio, thanks again, mark

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When you crank it by hand, be sure that the ignition is off if all you want to do is crank it over to loosen it up.

To start with the crank, remember not to grasp the handle of the hand crank with you thumb on one side and fingers on the other side. Keep your thumb nest to the fingers so if it back fires, you will not get a broken thumb. Keep you head out of the way also.

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