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443 died, now will not start
#1
Quite a regular
Quite a regular

Spencer B.
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I have a 443 Runabout I acquired about 6 months ago, and compared to the average forum visitor am very new to the hobby. I hope that people will bear with me as I’m still very much learning my way around this car and vintage automobiles generally.

A couple of weeks back driving home from an event on a warm day, I got caught in traffic and the vehicle, which had been running pretty well up to that point, killed rather suddenly. (A scary situation as it was on a busy city street in the middle of a construction zone.) After letting it rest a half hour or so, it started again briefly but clearly running very off (hesitant and a bit jerky), and then killed again after maybe 20 seconds. Rested it again, same story, and so finally got a tow..

Since then, it won’t start - at best if I prime the carburetor it will fire very briefly and then kills again. Talking with a local club member who’s also a 443 owner he suspects a distributor issue. I will probably need to find a professional to help given my inexperience on these issues, but I’m hoping people might at least be able to help me get an idea about how to start thinking about the issue.

Thanks in advance for any input people can offer, and hoping I’m not in as far over my head with this car as I’m feeling at the moment. 😬

Posted on: 2023/8/20 16:19
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Re: 443 died, now will not start
#2
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BigKev
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Could be fuel delivery. Can you gravity feed the carb from a gas can and see if it runs?

Posted on: 2023/8/20 16:39
-BigKev


1954 Packard Clipper Deluxe Touring Sedan -> Registry | Project Blog

1937 Packard 115-C Convertible Coupe -> Registry | Project Blog
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Re: 443 died, now will not start
#3
Quite a regular
Quite a regular

Spencer B.
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I initially thought fuel delivery, mostly because that’s the devil I kind of know, but the fuel does seem to be getting at least to the float chamber with no problem.

Posted on: 2023/8/20 17:01
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Re: 443 died, now will not start
#4
Home away from home
Home away from home

Ernie Vitucci
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Good Afternoon...Condensers and Coils often fail and often fail in hot circumstances. Would be worth checking them out...These are items that are not normally replaced unless they leave us high and dry. Another place worth a look is a loose battery cabble either on the battery itself or the other ends of the cables...Sometimes, even the battery itself...Ernie in Arizona

Posted on: 2023/8/20 19:00
Caretaker of the 1949-288 Deluxe Touring Sedan
'Miss Prudence' and the 1931 Model A Ford Tudor 'Miss Princess'
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Re: 443 died, now will not start
#5
Quite a regular
Quite a regular

Spencer B.
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Hi Ernie, thanks for the note. I have also suspected coils and condensers since I’ve read exactly as you stated that these are frequent points of failure under hot and stressful operating conditions. Is confirming this something that someone as unskilled as myself could do?

As to the battery, the connections seem good and power is getting to (for example) the starter motor just fine, as it’ll crank strongly, but just doesn’t seem to catch, or occasionally fires for just a second and then immediately dies.

Posted on: 2023/8/20 20:22
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Re: 443 died, now will not start
#6
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TxGoat
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Fuel system problems often show up in hot weather and in traffic.


The engine may be getting some fuel, but not enough to move the car down the road.

I'd look carefully at the fuel pump or vacuum tank, all fuel system connections, the gas cap vent, and any and all fuel filters, screens, etc, especially any non-stock filters.

The slightest leak in the suction side of the system will give trouble, especially in hot weather with modern fuel.

If the engine will start and run if you fill the carburetor bowl with gasoline, it indicates a fuel system problem.


If the car has a vacuum tank, you can add gasoliine to the vacuum tank, which should allow the car to start and run for a minute or so. I don't know how much gas the vacuum tank will hold, assuming it is empty.

If it won't run with gasoline available, it points to an ignition problem.

If it does start and run, it still may have a fuel system or ignition system issue that will probably show up again under the similar driving conditions.

Posted on: 2023/8/20 20:29
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Re: 443 died, now will not start
#7
Quite a regular
Quite a regular

Spencer B.
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Hey TXGoat, thanks for the response. I have had fuel system problems in hot weather in the past, so that was actually my first guess, but this felt different at least from the vapor lock issues I’ve experienced. First it didn’t sputter and die gradually, but rather quite suddenly. And letting the car thoroughly cool down didn’t make things better.

Also, and I don’t know if this is dispositive, but fuel is getting to the float chamber at least. So from what you’ve said - unless you think that it might still be a fuel system problem - this is why I’d been suspecting an ignition problem.

I am of course totally open to the possibility that I’m totally wrong here so don’t feel bad if you think I need to be told so.

Posted on: 2023/8/20 22:03
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Re: 443 died, now will not start
#8
Home away from home
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humanpotatohybrid
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Sounds like an ignition problem if it won't run either with fuel in the carb or on starter fluid.

Posted on: 2023/8/21 5:28
1955 400 | Registry | Project Blog
1955 Clipper Deluxe | Registry | Project Blog
1955 Clipper Super Panama | Registry
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Re: 443 died, now will not start
#9
Home away from home
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TxGoat
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If you are certain it is getting adequate fuel, then it must be an ignition problem or a timing chain issue, if one is present.

I'd look carefully at accessible wiring and try substituting another coil.

Bypassing the ignition switch and related wiring can elimninate some possible causes.

Points can be inpected for oiliness, improper spacing, broken springs, or evident corrosion.

The best test for a condenser is substituting a known good one.


Sometimes mechanical wear will reduce point gaps to the point that the engine won't run.

Condensers fail by drying out or shorting.


A failing condenser can cause damage to points by allowing excess arcing.


Some distributors have internal wiring that can suffer insulation failure.


Be sure you have a fully charged battery when doing any ignition work.


Some engines have the spark plug wires gathered into a metal loom. High tension wires can short or cross-fire and cause trouble even if they look new.

Plug fouling isn't likely to stop an engine, but I'd at least check a couple of the plugs for proper gap, gneral condition, and cleanliness.


Stale fuel can cause a lot of problems. Be sure you have plenty of fresh fuel in the vehicle.

Posted on: 2023/8/21 6:43
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Re: 443 died, now will not start
#10
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk

Digger Dave
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I have read your original post, and your follow up answers. I am reading that after a reprime of the Carburetor it will restart but not run for long and that the fuel bowl is getting gas.

Remember it only takes 3 things to make that engine run, gas, air and a spark.

You can confirm the air intake is clear and remove that from the list early on, unless you sucked up a rag (it has happened to me).

Remove all spark plugs and reconnect them to the wires, laying them on the head grounding them. run the starter (with fire extinguisher at hand) and look for a good blue (ideally) or any color for that matter, spark. If you have spark, let's look at how much fuel you are getting and how far is it getting.

If no spark, let's go backwards through the ignition and look for something grounding. A condenser generally doesn't work sometimes and not others. They generally fail. I guess they can be extremely weak, but I've never got a car restarted with a failing one. Look at the points, but if a spring or short has happened, adding more gas will not temporarily fix a grounding or faulty ignition system.

Carb; others correct me, this is an up draft? correct? You may be getting it to the Carb but, are all jets and passageways clear. With Plugs back in place, remove the supply feed to the carb, with the starter turning just a few times, are you filling a baby food jar after 2 or 3 revolutions? if so look to the Carb for some blockage.

If the car sat for some time, then you took it out, I would suspect a blockage or particle has moved from the tank to a main jet.

Do you have an aftermarket fuel filter installed? if there is blockage, a total rinse is recommended, a filter would be a plus next.

My 2cents and for what it's worth.

Keep us informed on what you find and by all means, others, please correct me.

Posted on: 2023/8/21 16:37
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