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Second Chance Garage

For the Classic Car Restoration Enthusiast

Second Chance Garage


Second Chance Garage

For the Classic Car Restoration Enthusiast

Second Chance Garage

Second Chance Garage

For the Classic Car Restoration Enthusiast

Second Chance Garage

TROUBLESHOOTING

The Complete Guide to Troubleshooting 1953-1960 Era American Classic Car Engines

The text for this Guide originally appeared in the 23rd edition of Motor's Repair Manual, published in 1960 and copyrighted by Motor Information Systems, and is used with their permission.

Starting a Stalled Engine

When an engine fails to start, the chances are that 90 per cent of the cases will involve the ignition system and seldom the fuel system or other miscellaneous reasons. If a systematic procedure is followed the trouble can almost always be found without the use of special equipment.

To begin with, turn on the ignition switch and if the ammeter shows a slight discharge (or if the telltale lamp lights) It indicates that current is flowing. A glance at the gas gauge will indicate whether or not there is fuel in the tank. Operate the starter and if the engine turns over freely, both the battery and starter are functioning properly. On the other hand, if the starter action is sluggish it may be due, got to Starter Circuit Checkout. Otherwise, if the starter circuit is okay, skip this phase of the discussion and proceed to Primary Ignition Checkout.

First, the "Checkouts" below should go a long way to help you uncover the cause of why your engine won't start. However, if further diagnosis is necessary, refer to the "List of Symptoms" below.

CHECKOUTS

Starter Circuit Checkout

Primary Ignition Checkout

Secondary Ignition Checkout

Fuel System Checkout

LIST OF SYMPTOMS

ENGINE WON'T START

Due to Open Primary Ignition Circuit

Due to Grounded Primary Ignition Circuit

Due to Faulty Secondary Ignition Circuit

Due to Battery

Due to Starter Motor

Due to Excessive Fuel Supply (Flooding)

Due to Insufficient Fuel Supply

HARD STARTING

When Engine is Hot

When Engine is Cold

Due to Vapor Lock

Due to Percolation

After Long Storage

ENGINE STALLS

Engine Stalls

Carburetor Icing

ENGINE STARTS BUT WON'T DRIVE CAR

Engine Starts but Won't Drive Car

ENGINE MISFIRES

Engine Misfires At All Speeds

Engine Misfires At High Speed

At Low or Idle Speeds

When Car is Accelerated

LACK OF POWER OR HIGH SPEED PERFORMANCE

Lack of Power or High Speed Performance

ROUGH IDLE

Rough Idle

SPARK KNOCK, PING, DETONATION

Spark Knock, Ping, Detonation

PRE-IGNITION

Pre-Ignition

ENGINE KICKBACK

Engine Kickback

BACKFIRE

Backfire

MUFFLER EXPLOSION

Muffler Explosion

AFTER-BURNING

After-Burning

FLAT SPOT

Flat Spot

ENGINE OVERHEATS

Engine Overheats

Water Too Hot

Water Leakage

ENGINE OIL LEAKAGE

Engine Oil Leakage

HIGH OIL CONSUMPTION

High Oil Consumption

OIL PRESSURE RELIEF VALVE LEAKS

Oil Pressure Relief Valve Leaks

ENGINE OIL DILUTION

Engine Oil Dilution

NO OIL PRESSURE

No Oil Pressure

LOW OIL PRESSURE

Low Oil Pressure

HIGH OIL PRESSURE

High Oil Pressure

ENGINE NOISES

Engine Noises