1957 won't turn over

Joined
Oct 28, 2022
Thunderbird Year
1957
I just received my '57 and it won't turn over. Battery is good and the starter is working I can smell gas after several pumps of the pedal. It caught once for just a second and then died.

It turned over fine yesterday. I drove it to and from a meeting. Engine runs fine when it is running. It's the starting that's the issue.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

biddle

Forum Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 9, 2003
Thunderbird Year
2005
You can omit the make & model of your car in the subject since we are an all Ford Thunderbird site. Edited.
 
Joined
Aug 14, 2019
Thunderbird Year
1957
I just received my '57 and it won't turn over. Battery is good and the starter is working I can smell gas after several pumps of the pedal. It caught once for just a second and then died.

Any thoughts?

Thanks!
Turning over and firing are two different things. If the starter spins the crankshaft that is turning over. If it doesn't fire it's most likely ignition issues as you have fuel and compression.
Try bypassing the coil resistor. The ignition switch bypasses it in the starting mode but then uses it in the run position. If its defective it will fire when cranking but instantly die when in the run mode.
 
Joined
Sep 4, 2022
Thunderbird Year
1957
I just received my '57 and it won't turn over. Battery is good and the starter is working I can smell gas after several pumps of the pedal. It caught once for just a second and then died.

Any thoughts?

Thanks!
Most likely flooded carburetor... check if the vehicle turns after keeping the gas pedal pressed and the butterfly valves open to let it breath... if it starts after this, you need to replace the main inlet needle which stops the reservoir to fill, holding the float.
You need to keep it breathing for at least 10 minutes... so you may want to do it at the carburetor directly. Also, you may want to strangle the gas hose to stop the supply, just to confirm no flooding happens.
 
Joined
Oct 9, 2021
Thunderbird Year
1957
I just received my '57 and it won't turn over. Battery is good and the starter is working I can smell gas after several pumps of the pedal. It caught once for just a second and then died.

It turned over fine yesterday. I drove it to and from a meeting. Engine runs fine when it is running. It's the starting that's the issue.
A small thought: given that you said you “just received” your ‘57, I wonder whether you’re familiar with and following the starting procedure recommended in the owner’s manual? (Picture attached). Just a thought.
D480DF4F-4A9B-44AA-85E6-E30FD5F9BF1A.jpeg
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Joined
May 2, 2022
Thunderbird Year
1957
Take a voltmeter to your positive coil terminal and make sure you're getting 12v to it. Check your plugs, and make sure power is getting to the distributor firing and your timing is not off. If all is good on spark then time to check the carb and make sure the float is not stuck on the primary. As stated, push the gas pedal all the way to the floor and crank. Don't pump it if you are flooding out. You using an electric choke or heater tube off the intake? Diagnose through each system..starter...electrical and spark.. then fuel delivery. Good luck
 

zeroroadkill

BlackBird Fly
Joined
Mar 2, 2020
Thunderbird Year
1955
Most likely flooded carburetor... check if the vehicle turns after keeping the gas pedal pressed and the butterfly valves open to let it breath... if it starts after this, you need to replace the main inlet needle which stops the reservoir to fill, holding the float.
You need to keep it breathing for at least 10 minutes... so you may want to do it at the carburetor directly. Also, you may want to strangle the gas hose to stop the supply, just to confirm no flooding happens.
I would not suggest “strangling the gas hose” for you can damage the rubber hose, especially an old/original hose, which may lead to a failure, maybe fire!
 
Last edited:
Joined
Aug 30, 2022
Thunderbird Year
1955
It sounds like you are saying that the engine won't start, but that the engine is turning over.
Is that correct? If so, we could write a book on that early bird's problem.
Please respond and perhaps we can help you.
 
Joined
Oct 28, 2022
Thunderbird Year
1957
Crankshaft rotates, fan rotates, starter good, battery good. It is not getting combustion, it seems.

Got it to turn over after a dozen tries and it ran for @ 3-4 minutes in idle and died. Getting soot out the tailpipes.
 
Joined
Aug 14, 2019
Thunderbird Year
1957
Crankshaft rotates, fan rotates, starter good, battery good. It is not getting combustion, it seems.

Got it to turn over after a dozen tries and it ran for @ 3-4 minutes in idle and died. Getting soot out the tailpipes.
Those were the exact symptoms when my coil resistor went south. It first started while warming up in my garage and just flat out died. was able to restart but would just die unexpectantly or get intermittent ignition.
The vibration of the engine would break the connection in the resistor. Wiggle the wires and it would run again. Once I replaced the resistor I have never had another problem.
 
Top