1940 ford coupe is not at the top of its game, issues with columbia rear end

Discussion in 'The Golden Era' started by loosebolts, Oct 31, 2013.

  1. loosebolts

    loosebolts Familiar Face

    near san francisco
    ok a restored 1940 ford coupe deluxe in black and the whole nine yards. after sorting out the electrical issues we had lately there is an issues and I wanted to try and crowd source any 0.02 cents.

    starts up fine. idles fine put it gear and it stalls. adjusts mixture and lean on it a few times and then put it in gear it barely makes it out of the drive way which slopes towards the house. put it in gear after making it out of the drive way, it stalls again. (it seems to stall easier on inclines for what ever reason..?) fire up and rev it a bunch and let it sit for ten minutes or so then it run ok but there some issues for the first 10 or 15 minutes where it does not have any guts and stalls very very easily. not sure exactly what the issues is but breeding out he problems it seems to be the Columbia rear end. which has been faith full for 5 year now but seems to either be the issue or part of the problem.

    any one have this type of issues, it nearly cost us dearly when its stalled in traffic or in the middle of the street broadside when making a turn.
    any input welcome.
  2. AtomicEraTom


    Portage, Wis.
    Sounds like it may be idling too low or the float is sticking.

    Has the carburetor been rebuilt recently?
  3. loosebolts

    loosebolts Familiar Face

    near san francisco
    we have not checked that and its not been rebuilt in some time. we have been chasing ghost for the last two months. ill give it a look and see if thats part of the problem. thanks tom
  4. Chicago Jimmy

    Chicago Jimmy Familiar Face

    I agree with Tom...it's a carb problem, float & or choke.
  5. 1930artdeco

    1930artdeco Practically Family


    I agree I don't think it is the OD unless it is electrically activated and shorting somehow, which just be plain weird. I am also leaning towards either the carb or distributer. Have you tried asking on the Ford Barn in the V-8 section?

  6. AtomicEraTom


    Portage, Wis.
    No problem, please just let us know what you find out!
  7. hbogie

    hbogie New in Town

    Ridley Park, PA
    Agree with carb issue... float check, needle valve, etc. If it's a stock flattie 40 like mine than the choke is manual, so that shouldn't be an issue. Also I would check fuel filter if there is an inline filter added on or if the carb you're using has a filter stone built in. I had a problem once on a Nova that ran ok at idle and slow speeds until you increased fuel demand and then it would start to starve the carb. Did the usual carb checks, electrical, etc and the fuel filter eneded up being the cause. Good luck!
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2013
  8. MikeKardec

    MikeKardec One Too Many

    Los Angeles
    I second, third, whatever, everyone else here. Carb. We forget what temperamental beasts these were AND they do age. With fuel injection in nearly every daily driver these days we get spoiled. I had a 66 'Vette that always had trouble running right. I messed with the carb, my mechanic, the world renowned Dick Guldstrand, had his expert work on it ... always trouble. I wrote it off to running the car on modern, non 100 octane fuel. I sold the car. The first thing the new owner does is pull the carb and send it out to a shop that specialized in blueprinting carburetors. Nary a problem from then on. I might have kept the car!

    My recommendation, whether your current problem is aspiration oriented or not, is that it NEVER hurts to have this particular mechanical bit in top shape.
  9. de Stokesay

    de Stokesay One of the Regulars

    The wilds of Western Canada
    I'd agree with everyone else whose commented. It definitely sounds like a fuel delivery issue. On old cars this could mean the carb (most likely) or, failing that, the mechanical fuel pump could be going. Check the in-line fuel filter first, if that doesn't do it, rebuild the carb (I had to do the carb on my 1969 Dodge Charger this past summer), and if that doesn't solve the problem check your fuel pump. Aside from the fuel line itself, these are really the only things between the fuel tank and the engine. Old cars aren't really very complicated machines. Good luck.

    de Stokesay
  10. GHT

    GHT I'll Lock Up

    New Forest
    So true, old cars are not complicated. By that I mean they are not as complex as modern cars, but, you still need to know what's going on to understand it. There are just two reasons for the engine to stall: Fuel starvation or electrical failure. As the car starts ok, then stalls, it certainly sounds like you have a fuel problem, and as everyone else suggests, it's probably the carburetor. I used to get this all the time with a 1939 Packard. With the help of an expert, I cleaned and examined very aspect of that car's carburetor, and still it would stall. When I finally bought a replacement carb, my expert help, fitted it, and the problem was finally resolved.
    The concensus of opinion was that the butterfly valve was at fault. but that went over my head, all I know is that the frustration of stalling had been cured.
    One thing that you could check though, is, your spark plugs. If the plugs look black, dry and sooty, then the mixture in the carb is too rich, that means there's too much fuel. If, on the other hand the plugs are white, or light greyish, it means the mixture is too lean. (Too much air, not enough fuel.) The spark plug should have a brownish hue if the mixture is correct. Apologies if you are well aware of that, it's difficult to gauge what someone knows, but I hope that you get the problem resolved. It's so frustrating.
  11. Talbot

    Talbot One Too Many

    Melbourne Australia
    ^^^^Ditto. Check fuel then distributor.

    Has this just started of has it been coming on slowly?

    Some pics would also be nice. I never get tired of looking at 40's
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2013
  12. rjb1

    rjb1 Practically Family

    Here is an old-school way of checking the fuel pump. Get a longer piece of fuel line and put it on the output side of the fuel pump. Put the end in a bucket away from the vehicle and away from any sparks or moving parts. (BE CAREFUL)
    Start the engine and let it run (idle) using the fuel in the float chamber.
    Watch the fuel coming out of the hose. If there is hardly any, you probably have a fuel pump problem not a carb problem. (Although two things could go bad at once)
    Old motor manuals used to have an approximate spec about how much fuel you should expect per time period but I don't remember that value. Just a subjective look will likely be sufficient to get an idea about whether it is working or not.
    It may be stating the obvious, but don't do this check inside a garage. It also helps to have an assistant to start and stop the engine so you can watch it safely at a distance.
    If you get a new fuel pump (if the check identifies the old one as defective) and the new one won't put out fuel properly, then the hose from tank to pump may be partially clogged or the tank pickup may be clogged.
    A last and rare but possible problem (since I have had it) is that the cam lobe that drives the fuel pump is worn, thus giving no pumping action. In that case you have to get deep into the engine and change the camshaft, or if authenticity is not an issue, just plumb and wire-in an aftermarket electric fuel pump. That's what I did to fix my own camshaft/fuel-pump problem.
    And while we are on the subject of aftermarket electric fuel pumps, you could also buy install one of those on a temporary basis to see where in your fuel-delivery system the problem lies. If making *sure* that the carb is getting fuel solves the problem, then you don't have to worry about changing or repairing the carb.
  13. HOP UP

    HOP UP Vendor

    "Hollywood", Australia
    Good info from everyone.

    Having played with many flatheads, what you are describing could be the carb, fouled plugs/too rich a mixture or the fuel pump not delivering sufficient fuel under load. Write a list and systematically go through everything till you find it.

    It may also pay to check the following :

    i. condensor - a bad condensor will cause these issues, esp with the cheap Chinese ones flooding the market. Very
    common and will cause these issues, Im betting its this. What dist are you using?
    ii. low engine vacuum - will indicate late timing or bad valve seats/ring seal
    iii. vacuum leaks at the intake - will cause similar to above.
    iv. semi plugged fuel line/needle & seat - old fuel tanks have crud in them and sometimes will allow only enough fuel to start /idle
    but insufficient fuel under load. Filter was already mentioned but the lines can have junk in them as well.
    v. fouled OR dud plugs - seen too many as of late, even when new. Cheap enough to replace them and check.
    vi. engine ground to frame - will cause intermittent ignition maladies if the ground is poor/non existent.

    Like anything its a process of elimination - check the basics (fuel, air, spark) and the above and let us know how you go.

    HOP UP
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2013

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