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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A little background on the car:
Its a 1957 Chevy Bel Air sedan. I inherited the car from my father who had purchased it 21 years ago. When he purchased it the car had been used for street/strip duties. From what he told me it has a 1961 vette 283ci engine with 202 heads. The intake is an edelbrock torker and the carb is a holley that he said flowed in the neighborhood of 700cfm. the car uses a generator and a points system. The trans is a M-22 4 speed and the rear is a Dana 60 with 4.10 gears (not very highway friendly as you can imagine). It currently has open headers and no exhaust system. The cam is very very lopey but I have no specs on it.

The problem:
The car won't start. I've been off at college and law school for the past 4 years since the car has last been started. the car has gas in it and when i turn the ignition it tries to start but doesn't get there. i try to start it for approximately 15 seconds at a clip and give the gas pedal a tap. i noticed that gas is on the outside of the carb, as if the carb was overflowing (is that even possible?). what is causing this? how can i get the car to start? i have limited engine knowledge, especially with carbs. thanks in advance,

-Jon
 

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If it hasn`t been started in 4 years i`d drain the gas, have the carb cleaned up and then try it. The gas lines may have some gumming in them also. Go from there and see what you`ve got.
Terry
 

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I concur with Terry on this. Drain the tank, flush the line and have carb cleaned. It will likely need a kit. Gasoline tends to thicken in the carb and sometimes it will get a white-ish looking sludge inside. When that happens the needle valve will stick open allowing the fuel to overfill and run everywhere. Plus it will stop up the jets.
 

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Mine had the same problem - what appeared to be an overflowing carb. I rebuilt the carb and it took care of the immediate problem. Now I think I need to empty the tank, clean it out, and clean the line/fitler, too.
 

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You will need to undo the lines and use a cleaner and some air pressure to clean the lines. As far as what to use, i`d use either fresh gas, or maybe napthae.
Terry
 

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I agree with everyone above and I would also pull the spark plugs out and put a new set in, and while I had them out I would get a squirt can with oil in it and put about 2 pumps of oil in each cylinder. Is it an electric fuel pump?If so you might have too much fuel pressure and that would push gas out of the carb as well, if that is the case you will need a fuel pressure regulator.

Hope this helps
John
 

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Not to be a "chicken little" but I have seen cars that sit 4 long periods of time hydrolic a cyl. from gas going past a faulty needle and seat and fill a cyl. up with gas. piston comes up and bends the rod, och. Lon
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
she runs, but the carb definitely needs new gaskets. When it was running cold the carb would leak slightly at the base, but once it warmed up I assume that the gaskets swelled and it stopped leaking. Other than that it sounds ok, a little hesitation but that could be from the old gas. The new issue is no brakes. stepped on the pedal and it went straight to the floor, checked the master cylinder (single stage) and it was bone dry. Checked the garage floor...nothing. now seems like a good time to do a front disc brake swap.
 

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starting car

You need to get that carb rebuilt first thing. Also you said that the car has points check that the points are good and also check the reistor on the fire wall is still good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
changed the points, coil, coil wire, and plug wires. haven't rebuilt the carb yet. It runs but it backfires through the headers consistently. pulled a plug from each side and they were both completely black. do you think backfiring through the headers (both sides) is from fouled plugs? what I imagine happening is that the fouled plugs aren't completely burning the fuel, and then the exhaust port opens and dumps the unburned fuel into the header, which then lights when one of the plugs in the bank completely burns the fuel - creating the backfire through the header. does that sound right?
 

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I don't know about your backfiring, but rebuilding the carb is pretty easy and probably needs to be done anyway...there's a good booklet if you need some basic help, if not, well, the booklet's there anyways! :)
 

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You definitely got a problem with a stuck open needle and seat. I think everyone has got the solution for you here already, but it sounds like you definitely need to drain the tank, disconnect fuel lines and clear them out with something like mineral spirits or thinner, rebuild the carb., and new plugs, points, visually inspect cap and rotor, and you should be running in no time. I'll bet that your engine oil is now fuel-fouled(pull the dipstick and smell it-if you smell fuel change oil and filter), anytime the needle sticks open, fuel flows into the cylinders and seeps past the rings and washes down the oil film needed for good compression.
 
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