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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone. I went out to move my garage-kept '66 Valiant this morning and couldn't get it to fire. The batter was bad and that was an easy fix, so I replaced that, but otherwise everything was in working order the last time I started it, which was admittedly a little too long ago.

But we're not talking years and years here, more like it's been sitting for ~6 months. There was a little less than a quarter tanking of gas sitting in it and I've put in another ~6 gallons of fresh gas on top of that thinking that that might be the issue.

When I turn the key it just cranks and cranks. If I put some starter fluid in the choke, it'll fire up and turn for a second or two if I floor the gas, but it dies right away. Then it won't turn all the way over again without another shot of starter fluid.

Anyone have any ideas or suggestions to try next?

And apologies if this is in the wrong spot. I'm new here! Thanks in advance!
 

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Suppose you could try working throttle linkage a few times while looking down into primary venturii area. No squirt usually indicates lack of fuel in float bowl. Next step could be to disconnect line to carb bowl. Shove a small hose over pipe and direct it to container. Crank engine a few times and IF no fuel then possibly faulty pump/check valves.
 

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1966 Crown Coupe, 2016 200 S AWD, 1962 Lark Daytona V8.
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Welcome to Allpar. Fuel pump dried out?
 
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Do you have a clear fuel filter to see if there is fuel being pumped?
Disconnect the fuel line from the carb and see if the pump can pump into a clear plastic container?
Use care when working around raw fuel and fumes.

 

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. . . I went out to move my garage-kept '66 Valiant this morning and couldn't get it to fire. The batter was bad and that was an easy fix, so I replaced that, but otherwise everything was in working order the last time I started it, which was admittedly a little too long ago.

But we're not talking years and years here, more like it's been sitting for ~6 months. There was a little less than a quarter tanking of gas sitting in it and I've put in another ~6 gallons of fresh gas on top of that thinking that that might be the issue. . . .
With the additives and components in today's gasoline blends a carburetor float bowl would very likely be empty after sitting unused for 1 week. Any longer time at rest and a dry fuel system would be present.

With a dry fuel system it could take engaging the starter for 30 seconds to spin the engine, work the fuel pump and provide sufficient fuel into the carburetor float chamber to allow engine starting. Cranking an engine that long puts undue electrical drain on a battery and will definitely shorten battery life.

Try this test. Place fuel into a metal container such as a empty but clean food container. Remove the air cleaner assembly, block the choke open and dribble a small amount of fuel into the carburetor throat. Have a helper start the engine. Once the engine starts continue to dribble small amounts of fuel into the carburetor throat for 30 seconds. Keeping the eingine running for 30 secods should be ample time for the fuel pump to move fuel from the tank into the carburetor float chamber. After 30 seconds stop adding fuel. If the engine continues to run then you know the issue was a dry fuel system. If the engine stalls and dies then you know there is a fuel delivery problem. It could be crud in fuel circuits of the carburetor, failed diaphragm or check valves in the fuel pump or blockage in the fuel lines between fuel tank and carburetor.

Another way to prime a dry carburetor fuel system is to apply low air pressure of 5 - 10 psi at the fuel filler tank opening. Applying low pressure to the fuel in the tank will force fuel through the lines, through the fuel pump, thourgh the fuel fitler and into the float chamber. With the fuel system and carburetor full and choke set properly you should get a quick start after engaging the starter.
 

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When I had cars with a slant-6, I used clear plastic fuel filters so it was easy to see flow, dirt and obstructions.
 

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If the gas was sitting for six?? months, it may be very stale and possibly gummy. Adding new gas would not replaced line already in the line between the tank and the engine. All indications are to fuel issues as the primary issue but electrical might be weak too. The suggestion to check fuel being pumped up to the carb would be where I would start. But be sure the check is AFTER the fuel filter. Every other revolution should produce a pump stroke. Once you find that gas is being delivered, make sure that the inlet needle valve is not stuck shut.
 

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Adding fresh gas just contaminates it also, rubber fuel lines can’t sit for long or todays fuel eats them up. I would inspect all the soft fuel lines,one may have collapsed internalply.
 

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Sometimes I have to prime an old car to get it running and stay running. If rubber and gaskets dry out, they can shrink or distort, causing air or fuel leaks when called back into action.
Dried fuel can leave behind deposits that can make the brass one-way valves in the fuel pump ineffective and not pump fuel.
A '66 may have a fuel pump that is serviceable. It can be taken apart and cleaned. There may be Carter fuel pump rebuild kits available. Sticky check-valves from sitting are common.

 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for all the suggestions everyone! After some spit shining, I can confirm that I do have a clear fuel filter and it does look like there is gas in it, but that's about as far as I've gotten today.

Between kids and a day job, I'm not anticipating making much progress this week, but will keep you posted as soon as I can get back to it.

Thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hey yall, finally got a chance to give the Valiant some love yesterday and got her fired up!

Still not sure exactly what the problem was but I ended up disconnecting the fuel filter(which was full) and confirmed that fuel was coming through the line when I cranked the engine. So that seemed to be working. Not knowing what else to do I completely removed the filter and pushed a little air through the system both ways just to make sure the lines were clear. Then I put her back together, primed her up and sprayed some starter fluid in the choke for good measure, and she fired right up! And down the road we went!

Thanks for all the help. I'm sure I'll be back!
 
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