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Thread: Starting My Ford Engine

  1. #1

    Starting My Ford Engine

    I have a Ford Racing Engine, 460 CID according to the dealer. It has a Demon 4-barrel carburetor - these are apparently associated with Holley.

    My problem is that, after waiting about 30 seconds with the fuel pump on (per dealer recommendation), when I push the gas pedal just slightly down, and crank the engine, it runs very weakly for a couple of seconds, then dies. After that, I crank the engine but can't get it to start. Apparently it's flooded. I've started using starter fluid to start it, but I shouldn't have too, right?

    Are my plugs fouled because my only two drives have been at low (2000 to 3000) RPM?

    Does this engine need to have its plugs blown clean by running at high RPM?

    I got the car with a half tank of gas - I assumed the dealer put in 91 octane, with or without alcohol. I topped the tank with 91 w/o alcohol. (Once home, I put a little alcohol in my own tank).

    Or is there a little trick to starting these engines? Is running the fuel pump that long before starting the problem?

    Once it starts, it idles a little rough, as I would expect, at about 600 to 700 RPM, but it idles fine.

    Any insights greatly appreciated, as always.

    I wish this car had a choke - that is what I am used to.


    Hey - now I see that I've been promoted from a Junior Member to a Member! Thanks guys - I honestly don't know what I did to deserve that, cause all I've been doing is asking for help! Haven't been contributing much. Hope to do so in the future.
    Last edited by Bud74; 03-23-2021 at 03:10 PM.

  2. #2
    GROUCHY FUC***G OLD APE Funding Member Silverback's Avatar
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    Bud, a Demon is not a Holley. It is based on the same basic concept but they are different manufactures.


    Do you know how to check the float levels? If so, do that.

    I forgot to ask, how many miles are on your car?

    Do you smell raw gas after you turn on the fuel pump before you try to start it? If you do, it's possible you have a float that is stuck or a needle that is leaking gas. Remove the air cleaner and turn on the fuel pump. Do you seen gas running into the manifold?

    Regardless since you do not have a choke, it will be different when you start it from a normal vehicle.

    In the picture below you can see that I milled off the choke horns on mine. That meant that when I started it would not idle for a few minutes and I had to keep the RPM's in the 2000 range until it warmed up a little.



    Answer my questions above and we can go from there.

  3. #3
    do you have a AFR gauge ?

    without it you are "blind" ....

  4. #4
    GROUCHY FUC***G OLD APE Funding Member Silverback's Avatar
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    AFR? Anal Fart Range???

  5. #5
    Senior Member KING Nomad Funding Member nomad's Avatar
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    " I honestly don't know what I did to deserve that, cause all I've been doing is asking for help"!

    No worries,

    the folks here are more than eager to help out a fellow Member.

    I'm not too well versed with Ford anything,

    but if a Big Block Chev is causing you sleep loss,

    I've got your back.

    Just sayin'.
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  6. #6
    GROUCHY FUC***G OLD APE Funding Member Silverback's Avatar
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    Nomad is correct that BBC's do cause sleep loss with Ford owners because the Chevy kicks their asses.

    See Nomad, I'm here for you.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Funding Member Morris's Avatar
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    Bud

    Don’t touch the throttle.....hit the starter and let the carb starter Circuit do it’s job......when it fires ....do like Silver said and keep the RPM’s up around 2000 to allow some temperature in the motor.....then let it idle...

  8. #8
    Senior Member Funding Member DanEC's Avatar
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    On a cold start with a carbureted car you don’t “push the gas pedal down just slightly” and try to start it. You have to pump the gas pedal 2 to 3 times fully to the floor and then turn the key. Running the fuel pump for 30 seconds fills the carburetor fuel bowls but it doesn’t get fuel into the intake. You have to fully pump the throttle to the floor 2 or 3 times to get enough fuel in the engine and to set the fast idle and choke (if you have one).
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  9. #9
    GROUCHY FUC***G OLD APE Funding Member Silverback's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morris View Post
    Bud

    Don’t touch the throttle.....hit the starter and let the carb starter Circuit do it’s job......when it fires ....do like Silver said and keep the RPM’s up around 2000 to allow some temperature in the motor.....then let it idle...
    Quote Originally Posted by DanEC View Post
    On a cold start with a carbureted car you don’t “push the gas pedal down just slightly” and try to start it. You have to pump the gas pedal 2 to 3 times fully to the floor and then turn the key. Running the fuel pump for 30 seconds fills the carburetor fuel bowls but it doesn’t get fuel into the intake. You have to fully pump the throttle to the floor 2 or 3 times to get enough fuel in the engine and to set the fast idle and choke (if you have one).
    Well there is conflicting advice.

    Dan, he does not have a choke.

  10. #10
    Administrator Funding Member Ron77's Avatar
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    On my Cobra I don't have a choke either and I pump the gas pedal about three times, wait a few seconds and start it. That car has always been one of the most cold natured ones I have ever seen and it takes it several minutes to warm up to where it will idle like it should. But it seems that every car I have owned is different and I would just suggest that Bud find out what works for his first by starting with the don't pump the gas pedal and work from there.

    Ron


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  11. #11
    GROUCHY FUC***G OLD APE Funding Member Silverback's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron77 View Post
    On my Cobra I don't have a choke either and I pump the gas pedal about three times, wait a few seconds and start it. That car has always been one of the most cold natured ones I have ever seen and it takes it several minutes to warm up to where it will idle like it should. But it seems that every car I have owned is different and I would just suggest that Bud find out what works for his first by starting with the don't pump the gas pedal and work from there.

    Ron
    Good advice Ron. But he still needs to check float levels and make sure he does not have a needle sticking and is dumping fuel into the engine.

  12. #12
    Administrator Funding Member Ron77's Avatar
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    I agree with that John. And if the car has set for a long period it could have a kind of shelack on the needle valves. I had that happen once and had to take them out and clean them.

    Ron


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    Senior Member Funding Member Morris's Avatar
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    I resend my statement.....and agree with Ron & Silver....

  14. #14
    Senior Member dominik's Avatar
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    Since you topped up the tank with new fuel, I wonder how old the fuel is. Since the invention of current fuels (not only for racing) we experience drastic losses in "willingness to burn", or loss of octane. Try to crank a motor with month's old gasoline might no be crowned by success.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member Funding Member DanEC's Avatar
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    Ron added a good point - best after pumping the pedal 2 or 3 times to wait a short time to let the gas start to vaporize in the intake and it will fire quicker.
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  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Silverback View Post
    Bud, a Demon is not a Holley. It is based on the same basic concept but they are different manufactures.


    Do you know how to check the float levels? If so, do that.

    I forgot to ask, how many miles are on your car?

    Do you smell raw gas after you turn on the fuel pump before you try to start it? If you do, it's possible you have a float that is stuck or a needle that is leaking gas. Remove the air cleaner and turn on the fuel pump. Do you seen gas running into the manifold?

    Regardless since you do not have a choke, it will be different when you start it from a normal vehicle.

    In the picture below you can see that I milled off the choke horns on mine. That meant that when I started it would not idle for a few minutes and I had to keep the RPM's in the 2000 range until it warmed up a little.



    Answer my questions above and we can go from there.



    I checked the float levels thru the sight glasses: the P side (assume that is Primary) is about halfway up the window, the S side (Secondary?) is about 3/4 up the window. BTW - my Demon seems to be an 850 base on the stamped "8" on the gasket seat.

    The odometer says 4700 miles.

    I do not smell gas upon turning on the electric fuel pump.

    There is no gas running into the carb when I turn on the fuel pump.

    I called the Barry Grant number and got "Allstate Carburetor". Demon carbs are no longer made or sold, but a guy said they sell replacement kits. But they do not have diagrams or instructions. HE said if I can not see a fuel level in the sight glasses then my float levels are too high and I have to adjust them with the screws and nuts. But as I said, I can see a gas level in both sight glasses.

    I looked at a few Youtube videos but I would have to look at them again to be able to try this procedure.

    I have a psi gauge on the fuel line but don't know what it reads whem I am running. Once started it runs OK, and once warmed up and stopped (like at the gas station) it starts OK.

    I notice that when I turn the carburetor throttle arm even slightly I get a lot of gas squirting into the carb.

    So that is all I know. Regarding the conflicting advice about using the pedal before starting, I will try it both ways (not touching the pedal and pumping it 2 or 3 times), but not at the same time.

    Bud

    PS What are the choke horns and do I have them?
    Last edited by Bud74; 03-24-2021 at 02:03 PM.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Funding Member RedBarchetta's Avatar
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    Bud, based on the questions you are asking, I honestly don’t believe you are suited to tackle float bowl adjustments and the like. My recommendation would be to have the guy you’re hiring to install the shock towers to do that for you and explain to you how that Mighty Demon works. They are very much like Holleys, only much more sensitive to tuning adjustments. I run a Mighty Demon with no issues, but I also spent considerable time dialing it in. My $0.02.

    I also agree that 2-3 hard stomps on the pedal and it should fire right up on a cold start. You may have to feather the throttle until it warms up enough to settle into an idle. Most MD’s don’t have chokes...they are primarily racing carbs.
    -Dean

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  18. #18
    Senior Member Funding Member DanEC's Avatar
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    Well, let me explain it this way. When you run the electric fuel pump you fill the bowls with fuel and nothing else unless your float levels or pump pressures are way too high and fuel spill over in the bowl vent or floods the bowl by overpowering the needle/seat. If all you do at that point is turn the key, all you are doing is using your starter motor as an air compressor motor to blow clean (no fuel) air out your side pipes. Might as well hook it up to an air compressor tank for all the good you are doing as you can't start an engine on an A/F ratio of infinity. Your starter motor is not going to spin the motor over fast enough to generate enough engine vacuum to activate your idle bleed or transition bleed system to pull fuel into the carburetor throats and into the engine. Not having a choke aggravates this even more as less manifold vacuum will be developed through open primaries versus having a choke that closes down the throats and increases incoming air velocity and subsequently vacuum signal. The only way fuel gets into the intake/cylinders in a non-running engine is through activation of the accelerator pump - ie - pump the throttle.
    Our world is not divided by Race, Color, Gender or Religion. Our world is divided into wise people and fools. And fools divide themselves by Race, Color, Gender or Religion.

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  19. #19
    GROUCHY FUC***G OLD APE Funding Member Silverback's Avatar
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    I agree with Dean, you are better off letting someone that knows what they are doing than risk setting your car on fire.

    Unless the MD is different than the Holley, your float levels are to high. With the Holley you want to fuel level to be at the bottom of the window, not part way up it. Dean can correct me on this if I'm wrong.

    You have the horn for the choke but you don't have the choke itself nor the linkage for it. The picture below shows a Holley similar to your MD but with the choke in place over the primaries.

    Hope that helps.


  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by DanEC View Post
    Well, let me explain it this way. When you run the electric fuel pump you fill the bowls with fuel and nothing else unless your float levels or pump pressures are way too high and fuel spill over in the bowl vent or floods the bowl by overpowering the needle/seat. If all you do at that point is turn the key, all you are doing is using your starter motor as an air compressor motor to blow clean (no fuel) air out your side pipes. Might as well hook it up to an air compressor tank for all the good you are doing as you can't start an engine on an A/F ratio of infinity. Your starter motor is not going to spin the motor over fast enough to generate enough engine vacuum to activate your idle bleed or transition bleed system to pull fuel into the carburetor throats and into the engine. Not having a choke aggravates this even more as less manifold vacuum will be developed through open primaries versus having a choke that closes down the throats and increases incoming air velocity and subsequently vacuum signal. The only way fuel gets into the intake/cylinders in a non-running engine is through activation of the accelerator pump - ie - pump the throttle.
    Dan -

    I have to point out that, as I said, when I turn the throttle arm slightly, i.e. pushing the pedal down slightly, I get plenty of fuel squirting into the primaries. And then it turns over for a couple of seconds, stalls, then it smell like it is flooded, then it won't fire no matter what i do. So, it appears that I am getting gas, too much of it, into the carb. So I question your diagnosis (no fuel). I think if I pumped the pedal two or three time, I would just make it worse. I will try it, but I tend to think that Siverback's assessment may be correct - that my float levels are too high. And I agree with Dean that I am 'not suited' to tackle this adjustment, unhappy as I am to admit that. Now, if you gave me sidedraft SU carbs, I could assemble them and adjust them blindfolded, but my only American downdraft carb experience was a two barrel on a Windsor 351 over 30 years ago. Thanks for the reply.
    Last edited by Bud74; 03-24-2021 at 04:27 PM.

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