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Engine starting technique

Discussion in 'Vintage (thru 365 GTC4)' started by raywong, Aug 23, 2005.

  1. raywong

    raywong Formula Junior

    Aug 29, 2004
    661
    Hong Kong
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    Raymond
    I found it very diffcult to start my 246GTS when the engine is still hot. what is the proper way to do it?
     
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  3. Steve B

    Steve B Formula Junior

    Dec 23, 2003
    521
    Naperville
    Full Name:
    Steven L. Biagini
    Try depressing the accelerator pedal anywhere from half way to all of the way to the floor while cranking and then let up immediately as it fires.
     
  4. Pantdino

    Pantdino Formula 3

    Jan 13, 2004
    2,069
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    Jim
    If the engine has only been off half an hour or so I usually depress the throttle (don't pump) a bit as the engine cranks, then let off when it fires. I usually barely have to touch my throttle, but 1/3 throttle would be a reasonable amount.

    However, if the engine has been sitting 6 hours or so I find some choke is helpful.
     
  5. dm_n_stuff

    dm_n_stuff Global Moderator
    Global Moderator Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Dec 10, 2003
    36,878
    Babcock Ranch, FL
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    Dave
    Agree.

    Turn key, let the fuel pump get the pressure up, depress the gas pedal a little, crank it, as soon as it starts to catch let go of the gas pedal.

    Works for me.
     
  6. raywong

    raywong Formula Junior

    Aug 29, 2004
    661
    Hong Kong
    Full Name:
    Raymond
    why do I have to pump the throttle twice before I crank it in the morning? what's the theory?
     
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  8. synchro

    synchro F1 Veteran

    Feb 14, 2005
    9,263
    CHNDLR
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    Scott
    Mine doesn't respond well to double pumping when hot, there is usually enough gas in the float bowls and with an the engine is so overcarb'ed that it could flood it.
     
  9. sjvalin

    sjvalin Formula Junior

    Aug 31, 2004
    713
    Nevada County, CA
    Full Name:
    Steve Valin
    Cold engines need a rich mixture to start. Either dumping more gas than usual into the engine, or using the choke accomplishes this. It's best not to use the choke if possible - it's pretty common for it to stay partially on over time.

    Hot engines can flood (too much gas) more easily, which is why you want to open the throttle some to let more air in, but don't pump the throttle since this will dump gas in and flood it more.

    -steve
     
  10. Ken

    Ken F1 World Champ

    Oct 19, 2001
    16,078
    Arlington Heights IL
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    Kenneth
    You can use the choke on carb cars to start them on cold winter mornings. It won't hurt the car. You DO want to take the choke off and use the gas pedal as soon as you can. Driving with the choke on is probably not a great idea as it gets gas in the engine oil.

    When the car is hot put the gas pedal on the floor and start it. As soon as it catches back off fast as you don't want the car to go to redline on startup! Flooring the throttle opens the butterflies all the way and helps prevent vapor lock and flooding.

    Ken
     
  11. vintageracer27

    vintageracer27 Karting

    Dec 9, 2004
    217
    Middletown, Maryland
    Full Name:
    Brian
    My approach:

    Cold Start: 1. Turn key to let fuel pump pressure come up (about 7 seconds). 2. Depress gas pedal to the floor twice. 3. Crank ignition.

    Hot Start: 1. Turn key to let fuel pump pressure come up (about 7 seconds). 2. Crank ignition and then apply SMALL amount of throttle.

    It works every time for me!

    Note: I have been cautioned against ever using the choke as it is said to foul the plugs.
     
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  13. murph7355

    murph7355 Formula 3

    Nov 30, 2002
    1,691
    SE England Yorkie
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    Andy
    Same method for the Daytona. Choke disconnected!
     
  14. Drew Altemara

    Drew Altemara Formula 3

    Feb 11, 2002
    1,388
    Tuscaloosa, AL
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    Drew Altemara
    I'm curious what people do when the engine temperature is in between.


    That is say, the car has been running for 15 minutes and you stop for gas. Turn off the engine. The car is just coming up to temp. How do you guys restart.

    OR

    After a spirited drive you stop for 1 1/2 hours and it has cooled down but not cold? How do you restat?

    I've found this to be tricker in my Boxer and Daytona than the cold or hot starts, especially in instances when the car has just began to warm up as in the gas station example above.

    How about you?

    Drew
     
  15. murph7355

    murph7355 Formula 3

    Nov 30, 2002
    1,691
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    Andy
    I also find it tricky at times.

    I usually go with the hot start option. But so far have been able to guess when this isn't working so start again with the cold.

    The starter doesn't really sound like it's turning the engine quick enough, which even after 2 months and 3k miles or so is disconcerting. It's only a matter of time before I flood it :)
     
  16. Drew Altemara

    Drew Altemara Formula 3

    Feb 11, 2002
    1,388
    Tuscaloosa, AL
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    Drew Altemara
    Yep, me too.

    I can usually find the right combination but I am always worried about flooding it, wearing down the battery and getting stranded for a couple of hours.
     
  17. dm_n_stuff

    dm_n_stuff Global Moderator
    Global Moderator Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Dec 10, 2003
    36,878
    Babcock Ranch, FL
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    Dave
    Old car, old starter could be the problem here. I replaced my starter last year with a new one from superformance. Cranks 3X as fast, maybe more. I can actually start the car cold without having to give it any gas.

    Took a little fiddling to get in, but worth it.

    DM
     
  18. johngtc

    johngtc Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Mar 4, 2005
    814
    Yorkshire, UK
    Full Name:
    John Gould
    Two thoughts Ray:

    Always depress the clutch when starting. Apart from added safety, it takes the transmission drag off the starter and makes it easier to turn over the engine.

    Secondly, the method with a pre-engaged starter is to keep on turning (within reason) until it fires, rather than using quick bursts as you might with an ordinary saloon. Ferraris tend to catch on one cylinder and then progressively light up until all 12 (or 6!) are running smoothly.

    Some of the older cars have got the choke lever hidden under a flap and I have never used mine (on a GTC) even on temperatures around freezing.

    Problems when it is very hot are due to evaporation from the carbs and you needto let the electric fuel pump run until the 'ticking' slows.

    'In between' can be a bit of a sod but usually light pressure on the gas peddle does the job.

    John
     
  19. PaulK

    PaulK F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Apr 24, 2004
    3,990
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    Paul
    Of course it can foul the plugs. It’s a richer mixture. If the plugs foul, and they will eventually, just clean them or replace them.

    The choke is there to help start the car.
     
  20. jsa330

    jsa330 F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Oct 31, 2003
    9,384
    predestined
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    Scott
    Choke is working perfectly on my car, the owner's manual explains how to use it, obviously meant to be used. I use it as directed, more or less, for cold starts in cold weather and for a few seconds in warm weather if the car hasn't been driven for a few days.
     
  21. Ken

    Ken F1 World Champ

    Oct 19, 2001
    16,078
    Arlington Heights IL
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    Kenneth
    My car is 33 years old and starts like a modern FI car, even when cold and I drive it when it's 10F or warmer. I can do this because I have a new coil, new wires, all grounds clean and a good alternator. Battery is 3 years old. Yes, I use the choke, which on my car is really a 'cold start device' in that it doesn't choke the air but enrichens the mixture. I have the original Lucas starter. I take off the choke and idle with the pedal a few minutes and then drive conservativly until the temp. gets up.

    If your vintage car starts badly, then I say first replace the spark plug wires. Next is the coil and I can't tell you how strongly I feel that too many vintage cars are running old coils that have become weak. I bet lots of you who struggle to get a vintage car started would be amazed at what a new coil (s) will do.

    After that it's just electircal grounds, maybe key switch, battery, even starter. Any car should start right up if well tuned and set up, so if yours doesn't you can improve things with a little trouble shooting. Don't accept that it's "normal" that a car is hard to start.

    Ken
     
  22. DBR328&330

    DBR328&330 Formula Junior

    May 31, 2001
    605
    Winchester, VA
    Full Name:
    Daniel Reese
    On my '67 330 GT 2+2:

    Cold- Turn on elect fuel pump and listen till clicking slows. Pump pedal three times. Crank till she fires up- takes about 5-8 seconds. I have new coils, plug wires, alternator, volt regulator, and battery. The starter is good.

    Hot- No elect fuel pump. Just turn key and give it a little gas and she fires right up.

    Intermediate (ie drove earlier that day)- use elect fuel pump, turn key, give a little gas, and she fires right up.

    These methods have been very reliable for me,

    Dan
     
  23. Pantdino

    Pantdino Formula 3

    Jan 13, 2004
    2,069
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    Jim
    From my understanding of these matters, choking is better than gas pedal pumping. The former richens the mixture, which a cold engine needs because the gas is not atomizing as well in a cold intake system. The latter works because carbs have acceleration pumps that squirt raw gas into the bore when you push the pedal down. If you overdo it with the pumping thing, the gas runs down thru the manifold into the cylinders and washes away the oil on the wall of the bore, causing wear.

    My experience is that when cold old cars require choke plus a pump or two before cranking to get the mixture rich enough that they will fire.

    In between hot and cold it's hard to say because the engine and manifold temp will vary, but half choke is not a bad place to start.
     
  24. raywong

    raywong Formula Junior

    Aug 29, 2004
    661
    Hong Kong
    Full Name:
    Raymond
    I had a bad exprience yesterday. I was driving the car in very hot weather for 30 minutes and everything was fine. I stall the car on a green light so I tried to start it again.

    I wait for the pump, crank for 4 seconds, the engine did tried to catch for one second but still fail to start. I tried turnning the key with no throttle, half throttle, full throttle and its the same. I kept repeating for 10 minutes while blocking the major intersection traffic.

    Just after I called the tow truck, I decided to give it another try. I use the cold start method, pressed the gas twice, half throttle and crank... finally it started.

    It happened again later at the gas station. I had to start it with the cold start method again. Can anyone explain?
     
  25. Drew Altemara

    Drew Altemara Formula 3

    Feb 11, 2002
    1,388
    Tuscaloosa, AL
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    Drew Altemara
    Ray, I can't tell from your profile where you live. I live in the Southeast. I notice that in hot and humid weather the inside of my distributor cap will pick up some moisture. Every year and sometimes twice, I either clean up the contacts or blow a little compressed air in there to get rid of the moisture. It makes a big difference for me.

    I would start there. It will not cost you anything. The other areas to look at, as some other people have mentioned, are plugs, plug wires, points, coil, timing and perhaps even the carb idle circuit. I'd start with inspecting the distributor cap and seeing if that makes a difference.

    Also a new battery if yours is old may help.

    I've had the4 same problems with my Boxer and drying out the distributor cap has always helped.

    Good luck.

    Drew
     
  26. yale

    yale Formula Junior

    May 2, 2004
    735
    New York City
    vapor lock. use your electric fuel pump in hot weather in town. yale
     
  27. Kram

    Kram Formula Junior

    Jul 3, 2004
    867
    Park bench, Canada
    Full Name:
    Mark
    There is only one way to start a Ferrari. Drag it behind your John Deer lawn mower until the the sucker fires. I recommend 1st gear - anything higher and you’ll have to drive that mower like Senna to keep in front of the car. You can have a passing child/trained dog/ ignorant neighbor try and depress the clutch from the passenger seat (no one sits in the Daddy chair but me) but that takes away some of the fun, although the bang and the flames remain. If you really want to start the day right, do it outside a hospital or a Trapist monastery. In the dead of winter.
     
  28. Pantdino

    Pantdino Formula 3

    Jan 13, 2004
    2,069
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    Jim
    Vapor lock should not occur, as the Dino has a flow-through system wherein the fuel constantly flows past the carbs and into the opposite fuel tank.

    Maybe someone messed with your system or the small orifice is blocked so you're not getting the flow-thru.

    Unlikely, but if you're running points and condenser a bad condenser can do this also.
     

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