Must use ether to get my 68 GTO to start - Pontiac GTO Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-19-2014, 01:08 PM Thread Starter
 
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Must use ether to get my 68 GTO to start

Hello, we have a 68 GTO convertible that is garaged and hasn't been plated since 74. We're in the process of getting it ready to license again. We have started it up occasionally about few months or so, and have always needed to use ether to get it started. It will restart without the ether the same day, and usually the next day, but if we wait for several days or a week, it will need the ether to start up. Not sure if this is possible or even makes sense, but I'm guessing that possibly the fuel is flowing back into the tank and away from the carburetor if the engine sits for any amount of time, and it's needing the kick from ether to essentially prime the suction of fuel from the tank. Does that make any sense at all, and does anyone have any idea what might be causing this? BTW, I suspect the fuel sending unit may be bad. Could this be a contributing factor? Thanks.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-19-2014, 01:29 PM
 
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The fuel pickup and sending units, while built into one fitting, are separate systems. The next time you go to start up the car after it has been sitting, check the level in the float bowls. You may find all the fuel has evaporated.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-19-2014, 03:46 PM Thread Starter
 
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ibarbuckle, Thanks for your reply. Yes, I could see that's probably true, but wouldn't several attempts to turn it over eventually get it going without starter fluid? If it's been a week or longer, unless you put starting fluid in there, it won't even kick. If I start it the same day, it will start right up, within a day or two it will usually start without the fluid, but may take several attempts. It just doesn't seem to be able to get fuel to the carburetor if it sits more than a few days. Can fuel actually run back to the tank making it difficult for the pump to pull it from the tank, and the kick of starting fluid be enough to essentially prime the fuel from the tank to the pump? I realize I'm probably grasping at straws here, but any advice would be appreciated.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-19-2014, 04:11 PM
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What you're describing sounds to me like a failing fuel pump, restricted fuel pickup in the tank, and perhaps both. If the car has an in-line fuel filter that's dirty and near plugged, that can contribute too (don't forget the filter at the carb inlet if it's a factory QJet).

It's normal for the fuel to evaporate out of the carb after it sits for a few days, but the pump should replenish that supply within a reasonably short period of time. If it were mine (and taking into account the fact that I'm lazy ) I'd replace the fuel pump and the carb inlet filter first, and see what happens.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-19-2014, 05:08 PM Thread Starter
 
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Bear, Thanks for your response. The fuel pump was replaced a couple years ago, so I think it's OK. It always had this problem of not starting without starter fluid, then a couple years ago it would start with the fluid as normal, but then die immediately and never keep running. I replaced the fuel pump and it then would keep running once started. However, that didn't change the fact it would need starter fluid to get it going if it sat for a long period. Could the fuel sending unit contribute to this, because I think it may be bad. The fuel gauge doesn't register, but tests out OK, so I think the sending unit is out. Certainly the sock in there is probably deteriorated.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-19-2014, 10:30 PM
 
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Rebuild or replace the Carb I had the same issue with my 68. Got a replacement carb from carb exchange and it starts up after sitting for a couple of days with just a few pumps of the gas pedal.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-20-2014, 10:03 AM
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Leaking well plugs in a Quadrajet carb can cause the carb to lose fuel over time. What you are describing sounds like a fuel pump issue, too.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-20-2014, 11:54 AM
 
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also the rubber lines at the pick-up and firewall can get dry rot and although they may not leak will allow air in and its like sucking through a straw with a crack. eliminate the cheap easy stuff first.

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-06-2014, 03:33 PM
 
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How many times do you pump the pedal after letting it sit? In summer I pump my 455ci 1967 about 5 times and she fires up. Any less and it will struggle (has no choke). In winter I pump it 10 times before starting. I live in UK so colder / damper conditions but was curious whether you are pumping the pedal at all. I might leave mine 3-4 weeks before using it, so pretty much all fuel in the carb dried up. 10 pumps in winters and it will start 1st or 2nd time and then need to keep pumping to get the rpm up enough to pull fuel in. After 5 seconds she runs fine.


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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-06-2014, 03:58 PM
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I pump the pedal one time on my '67 on a cold start and it fires right up. Once it's warm, I don't touch the gas. Just turn the key and it lights off. This is with a properly adjusted choke and carburetor. (Bone stock Quadrajet). Sometimes, when it's been sitting for a week or more, I crank it without setting the choke just to get oil on the bearings before it starts up on fast idle. I crank it for 10 seconds, let it rest a minute, set the choke, and it starts right up on fast idle, with the engine pre-oiled.
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