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  • Car Starting Procedure

    I was thinking about this today as I pushed the remote start button on my Ford Explorer. This kind of applies to older guys here, but do you remember in the days of cars with carburetors where if someone borrowed your car, you had to tell them how to start it. Pump it three times, then hold the gas pedal down half way and if it didn't start, hold it to the floor.

  • #2
    "If you flood the engine, take the air cleaner cover off and hold that flapper thing open with a long screwdriver while someone cranks it over with their foot to the floor. Stand back, you may see flames shoot out of the carb."

    1972 Mercury Cougar XR7 with a 351C-4V, the distributor was worn out, so the timing never stayed put.
    It's the Super version, it's got 37 hp instead of 34, plus the stripe adds 1.
    If you've heard my stories before, let me know, I'll try and add some details.

    Dwight Anderson


    ..... 1975 Fiat 128 SL ...... 1968 Fiat 850 Sedan...... 1973 Fiat 850 Spider

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    • #3
      I'm not that old, but when I was little we had a string of mid-70's trashwagons (Caprices, Suburbans, big wagons, and vans) and in a particular Dodge Prospector van my Dad would just drive around with the "dog house" engine cover off so he could manipulate the carb at stoplights.

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      • #4
        I'm a youngin but I can relate to this via carb bikes. My favorite was watching someone kick something over for 15 minutes with barely a sputter, collapse in a fit of rage, and walking over and starting it on the first try. Sometimes knowing the procedure wasn't as effective as sheer luck.
        Brandon A.
        2013 Abarth 500 (#595)

        "...there is only one way to drive a small FIAT, and that is without mercy." -James May

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        • #5
          ^ ^ ^ or you'd walk over to your friend's bike and move the kill switch to "on" for him.

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          • #6
            I had an old Chrysler that you absolutely could not flood. Just continue to pump the gas peddle while cranking the motor, it would always start (as long as it would turn over, no matter how slow it turned).

            Also had a Yamaha XT500 flat track race bike (single cylinder 500cc with a hot rod cam, high compression piston, near open exhaust). In those days there was no compression release, so what you had to do was slowly cycle the motor to just past TDC, then bring the kickstarter all the way to the top and jump on it with all your weight. USUALLY after doing this 8 or 10 times it would sputter and ALMOST start. Then it was usually only 2-3 more kicks to get it to life. One time a buddy of mine (who bought the bike from me) was trying to find TDC, was moving the kickstarter carefully, and slowly, and the motor just started! Only time it EVER did that, and never did it again.
            John Mensch

            2011 Driver of the Year.
            Proud recipient of the 2008 Paul Weidner "Spirit of the Sport" award.
            Founder of F.rugal R.acing E.nterprises. (FRE) "It's not F.R.E.E., but it's close....."

            Quote section;
            Resentment: It's like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die...
            "If there is no plan, what can go wrong!" - Some Clown
            "I like to think of myself as thrifty, cheap sounds so.......cheap." - Same Clown
            To quote a wise man I once knew; "If you can't have a little fun what good are you?"

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            • #7
              Modern starting procedure: Turn Key. If it didn't start, douse with gasoline and light it on fire to warm it up. That didn't work, call a tow truck. Replace with new car. I think that's how it goes.

              Ryan

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              • #8
                I had a truck with a bad choke. Had to wedge a cap from like a power aid bottle till it warmed up. Then go out and remove it. Got interesting looks at stoplights
                Kevin Berndt
                2018 GTI SE, Green

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                • #9
                  Was that a grey F150 with a 300 in it?
                  The Forsche 948: Engine in the front, drive to the rear, and a big smiling piece of meat in the middle.

                  Proud recipient of the 2015 Paul Weidner Spirit of the Sport award.

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                  • #10
                    1949 Plymouth Super Delux starting procedure with temperature below freezing:

                    Night before park at the top of the hill.

                    Morning ofócheck temperature. If below zero, forget it and go back to bed.
                    Above zero proceed to car and put in gear. Use all 6 volts to the starter to roll car over the crest and begin downhill coasting. Keep ignition ON.

                    At the last fence post shift three on the tree to third and engage clutch to loosen things up.

                    At the front edge of the garage shift to second and speed up those moving parts. That flathead six will fire at the bottom of the hill just before rolling into the lake.

                    Drive to school.

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                    • #11
                      I would have thought you had to walk to school, in a foot of snow, uphill, both ways.
                      It's the Super version, it's got 37 hp instead of 34, plus the stripe adds 1.
                      If you've heard my stories before, let me know, I'll try and add some details.

                      Dwight Anderson


                      ..... 1975 Fiat 128 SL ...... 1968 Fiat 850 Sedan...... 1973 Fiat 850 Spider

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                      • #12
                        School was UofM 14 miles away.

                        After up hill both ways one could graduate to a $50 Plymouth capable of terrifying the driver at anything over 45mph.

                        The summer car was a lot more funóJaguar Drophead Coupe. Still, however, had to be push started. Happily it was light enough to be able to achieve on the run on level pavement.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by the tick View Post

                          Also had a Yamaha XT500 flat track race bike (single cylinder 500cc with a hot rod cam, high compression piston, near open exhaust). In those days there was no compression release, so what you had to do was slowly cycle the motor to just past TDC, then bring the kickstarter all the way to the top and jump on it with all your weight. USUALLY after doing this 8 or 10 times it would sputter and ALMOST start. Then it was usually only 2-3 more kicks to get it to life. One time a buddy of mine (who bought the bike from me) was trying to find TDC, was moving the kickstarter carefully, and slowly, and the motor just started! Only time it EVER did that, and never did it again.
                          My Dad raced flat track when I was really young. He had a Bultaco 250cc. That had a compression release for when they came into the corners. Without it, engine braking could spinout the rear end. I had a 1972 Yamaha Mini Enduro that I raced. It only had a 60cc engine. I raced against the Honda XR75 that was a four stroke.

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                          • #14
                            Make sure you retard the spark so you don't break your arm.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by haroldk View Post
                              Was that a grey F150 with a 300 in it?
                              Wasn't the F150! Fuel injection makes that one start, even at 25F below!

                              This was a 1974 Dodge D100 with a 318. A few more fun starting notes. The resistor for the coil had two paths, dictated by the ignition switch position I believe. So the starting path had lower resistance to give more coil voltage to give you more bang while the on path had higher resistance for coil life. Well, the resistor had cracked and broken the starting side. It meant that I would have to crank crank crank floor it and then let up on the starter and hope the engine would catch as it wound down. Lots of flooding during these operations.

                              I only discovered this was the cause of that problem when I had the entirety of the resistor go out. Truck wouldn't start at all. A friend pull started me through a parking lot while I was trying to get it to catch. Only problem was I was filling the exhaust with a nice combustible mixture of fuel and air. A bump got the resistor to work for a moment and kabooom, I blew out my mufflers with a fireball under the truck.
                              Kevin Berndt
                              2018 GTI SE, Green

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