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31 DeSoto Carb. Issue?
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Author:  JerryInman [ Mon Jul 05, 2010 7:43 pm ]
Post subject:  31 DeSoto Carb. Issue?

The Carb. on my DeSoto does not get gas to the combustion chamber. The Carb. on my 1931 SA 6 cylinder is a Carter Model BB-1. It is not the original. It was professionally rebuilt in December, been on the car, but not operated until now. Recently we had enough together on the motor to try for a start. We set the throttle slightly, sprayed starter fluid into the carb. intake, then cranked the engine, getting no response, we put on the choke. Still no firing result. (the engine is getting spark). When we release the starter then gas pours out of the bottom of the carb. When we check a plug, it is dry with not even a smell of gas. We have tried different combinations with the starter fluid, throttle, accelerator pump, and choke and still get the same no fire result with dry plug. I would appreciate any and all advice. Thanks, Jerry

Author:  martinlum [ Tue Jul 06, 2010 5:38 pm ]
Post subject:  no start on 31 Desoto

hi Jerry-it's normal to have fuel flood the carb when you keep the choke on for long periods of time while cranking the engine.

You may not have the correct timing assuming you have spark to the plugs. Go over the setting of the timing in the owners manual and be sure you understand the directions. There is a slotted pipe plug in the head at the #6 cylinder. Desoto mechanics would have removed this plug and screwed in a gage to check for TDC on #6 and then set the rotor to be just firing #1 at that point.
Today, not having a screw in gage, you can use the depth gage end of a caliper to find top dead center on #6 and then set the distributor rotor to fire off #1 per the directions in the owners manual.
Another way to test for timing is to unscrew one or two plugs and spray a bit of ether in the plug hole and reinstall the plug and start to see if the ignition will fire off that cylinder. If no go, then you definitely do not have proper timing. The usual alternative on setting the timing is to remove #1 plug and crank the engine till the piston is coming up on the compression stroke and you can feel the push. Due to engine design, you can't see or gage the #1 piston-thus the pipe plug on #6.
When I last started an early Chrysler car with a rebuilt engine, I was able to steal the carburetor from my good running 30 Desoto and found the Stromberg carburetor(rebuilt) which came with the car did not work. A second rebuild did the trick.
Martin Lum

Author:  JerryInman [ Wed Jul 07, 2010 11:47 pm ]
Post subject: 

Martin, Thanks you so much. It is running and we drove it around the yard this afternoon. I checked the integrity of each plug to be sure it fired. I had to regap all of them, clean the connections, and then laid them on the head to check each one to see if it was firing. Once that was done, we used starter fluid and in a second it started up. The engine stopped on us and we discovered that the tail pipe and muffler were jammed full of maple seeds and acorns. Once those were cleaned out it ran great. We still may have to do some tunning as we didn't take it out on the road. Jerry

Author:  martinlum [ Thu Jul 08, 2010 4:12 pm ]
Post subject:  hard to start

Hi Jerry-glad to hear you've gotten it running. That plugged up exhaust system would have made it hard to start even with good timing.
Martin Lum

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