1938 Packard 110 hard start when car is warm

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1938 Packard 110 hard start when car is warm

Post by David9 » Wed Apr 27, 2016 4:52 pm

I have a 1938 Packard model 110 sedan. The car starts fine when cold but after driving for a period of time it is very difficult to start. It's not a vapor lock and the engine cranks but I end up needing to use a spray of ether to start the car when it is warm. The car is a 6 volt system and I'm not sure if the battery is not cranking fast enough or not. Has anyone tried using a 8 volt battery?

Don Shields
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Re: 1938 Packard 110 hard start when car is warm

Post by Don Shields » Wed Apr 27, 2016 9:46 pm

Engines designed for 6 volt systems usually don't need to crank very fast to start. I've heard that 8 volt batteries are not a good idea as it can wreak havoc with the generator, starter solenoid, lights and gauges that are designed for 6 volt operation. So I never tried it. I had a similar problem with my '54 Convertible, which was switched to 12 volts by the prior owner. It turned out that the culprit was the ignition coil. The high tension output terminal socket was loaded with rust, which was not visible on the outside. Replacing the coil solved the problem. I'd also suggest that if your coil is faulty, you might also want to change the condenser in the distributor if you don't know how old it might be. My car started bogging down under load soon after the coil was replaced, and that was due to a bad condenser. Both parts should be readily available.

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Re: 1938 Packard 110 hard start when car is warm

Post by Ozstatman » Thu Apr 28, 2016 12:37 am

G'day David.

Or it could be fuel vaporisation. Can be overcome by rigging up a heat shield between the carb and the exhaust manifold, pic here is a shield made by the owner of a '37 120 who was experiencing a similar problem some years back. Another likely solution is to mount a 6V electric pump, on the chassis back near the fuel tank, to boost and ensure fuel delivery at those times.

While another, unproven method, is shown in my second pic. :o :D
Carb heat shield '37 120.JPG
Clothes pin on fuel line.JPG
Currently - '50 Packard Eight Touring Sedan
Previously - '41 120 Club Coupe(Sold October 2017) & '38 Eight Touring Sedan(Sold July 2009)
Bowral, Southern Highlands, NSW Australia

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Re: 1938 Packard 110 hard start when car is warm

Post by Adam » Wed May 04, 2016 12:24 am

Consider changing the coil as described by Don above. A weak spark when hot is a common failure mode.
"Do not underestimate the English cousin.....they are not as stupid as they look!" - Signor Altabani in The Italian Job.

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Re: 1938 Packard 110 hard start when car is warm

Post by 5682-4775 » Wed May 04, 2016 3:22 am


Make sure you have a very good ground, with 00 cables with ends soldered on; clean, rust-free surfaces where the cables are bolted on. If you car has a 12V size ground cable, its inadequate for 6V especially when everything is heated and the resistance is greatest.


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Re: 1938 Packard 110 hard start when car is warm

Post by bobhattler » Tue Aug 02, 2016 5:22 pm

I thought I might tag on here with the same problem with my 1801 1940 282. I have to wait for the engine to cool, then it starts. Also it is very hard to start after sitting for a couple of days. The engine is very tight after rebuilding.
It runs like a new car, so I would like to solve this last problem.
If I stop for lunch or something and go back out to start the car it fires on the first lick. Give it time to recuperate and it's great.
I may have to settle for engine starting fluid.
Bob Hattler

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Re: 1938 Packard 110 hard start when car is warm

Post by itdmachinist » Mon Mar 27, 2017 3:41 am

Per the owners manual, Push the accelerator pedal to floor when cranking hot motor.

It helps my car start when hot.

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