53 cavalier just won't fire

General topics, not covered elsewhere, of all things Packard.
Coach Js
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Re: 53 cavalier just won't fire

Post by Coach Js » Mon Jun 14, 2021 12:25 pm

With the air filter housing removed, I pull the throttle and see gas spraying into the carb. This, of course, is with the car not running. I do not have the glass bowl filter. No filter at all. I have the base model cavalier.

Dave Czirr
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Re: 53 cavalier just won't fire

Post by Dave Czirr » Mon Jun 14, 2021 1:37 pm

Well, that's positive confirmation that you have fuel available in the carburetor. Have you checked for spark at the plugs while cranking the engine with the ignition switch on?

Have you tried another ignition condenser? Your symptoms are suggestive of condenser failure and such failures seem to be more common today, perhaps a sourcing issue?

Coach Js
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Re: 53 cavalier just won't fire

Post by Coach Js » Mon Jun 14, 2021 2:50 pm

Condenser was replaced when distributor was rebuilt. However, you may be correct. its acting like it did the last time the condenser was bad.

What is a sourcing issue? Not familiar with that term yet.

The car lost power. Then, sputtered a little. Then, shut off completely as I coasted to a stop. It started a couple more times. I was able to drive a few more miles. Then, had to put her on a flat bed and bring her home.

Coach Js
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Re: 53 cavalier just won't fire

Post by Coach Js » Thu Jun 17, 2021 10:52 am

Just had distributor, wires, coil all tested and they checked out fine. Ill change the plugs tomorrow. Any other suggestions?? Is it possible the timing slipped back outta wack?? I don't see how thats possible but I don't know.

Coach Js
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Re: 53 cavalier just won't fire

Post by Coach Js » Tue Jun 22, 2021 4:25 am

Changed the plugs and she started right up. I am surprised by this because the plugs were not that old. I went with NGK instead of Champion this time hoping they will last longer.

Everything under the hood seems to be smooth as silk. Just a little rumble coming from the tailpipe. Might need to play with the timing at the distributor some more. But, she's back to her old self again. I do love an easy fix.

Dave Czirr
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Re: 53 cavalier just won't fire

Post by Dave Czirr » Tue Jun 22, 2021 5:17 am

Glad to hear all is OK now, though I don't understand why. With no-lead gasoline a set of spark plugs should be good for tens of thousands of miles.

Coach Js
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Re: 53 cavalier just won't fire

Post by Coach Js » Tue Jun 22, 2021 5:53 am

No lead?? I've been using lead substitute in every tank. Should I not? I also only use ethanol free gas.

Dave Czirr
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Re: 53 cavalier just won't fire

Post by Dave Czirr » Tue Jun 22, 2021 6:46 am

Lead substitute isn't tetraethyl lead and is of debatable value; in my opinion just another snake oil of little or no benefit but likewise causes no harm. Ethanol-free gas is certainly a good choice and you're fortunate it's available in your area, I wish it were available in mine. Wishing you happy miles now that your Packard is back to normal.

Coach Js
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Re: 53 cavalier just won't fire

Post by Coach Js » Tue Jun 22, 2021 12:52 pm

Oh wow!! Thanks Dave. I was told the lead additive is a MUST. Maybe that is whats having a negative effect on my spark plugs??

Dave Czirr
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Re: 53 cavalier just won't fire

Post by Dave Czirr » Tue Jun 22, 2021 2:08 pm

If your car is doing a steady diet of high speed Interstate driving, regularly pulling a heavy trailer, or similar steady aggressive use, then a true lead replacement additive would be recommended. Otherwise, no except perhaps for the V8 Caribbeans. Tetraethyl lead was added to gasoline primarily as an octane enhancer and today's 87 octane regular pump gas has more than enough octane for your engine. Its secondary benefit was to provide protection to valve surfaces, primarily seats and valve faces, to minimize a phenomenon known as valve seat recession which only arises as an issue with high speed aggressive driving. If one plans on a steady diet of regular high speed driving, installation of stainless steel valves and hardened seats would be the way to go. Of all my friends with Packards and other vintage makes, many of us have toured extensively and I'm not aware of even one who uses a lead substitute.

As to whether a lead substitute would have a negative effect on spark plugs, I've not heard of that but couldn't rule it out.

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