Flooding Carburator Issue - Need fuel system Guru
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Flooding Carburator Issue - Need fuel system Guru

  1. #1
    Senior Member PonyFiveO's Avatar
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    Default Flooding Carburator Issue - Need fuel system Guru **UPDATE - #26**

    Howdy,

    I seem to be having a carb flooding issue with my stock Holley 4160. The fuel pump is a Carter GP4389, which I cannot find any detaild information on. Initially, when at idle, it would flood something awful. Fuel coming out of the vents, boosters, slots, etc on both the primary and secondaries until the engine died.

    I pulled the carb, replaced the needle and seats as the old ones had worn o-rings. I could use my mouth and blow past the o-ring while holding the float in the closed position. After replacing with new needles and seats, I can no longer do this. At the same time, I replaced all gaskets with blue non sticks and cleaned out every orifice I could with several cans of carb spray while the bowls and metering blocks and plates were off.

    When I got the carb back on, and started her up, it idled perfect for about 10 seconds or so, then it started to flood out of every orifice again like I did not spend any time, money, blood (cut myself on the carb), and sweat on the piece of sh**! Like the effort I put in it and the trips to the parts store was just imaginary.

    What PSI does it take push past a new set of needles and seats? I did notice that it will not flood when I bottom the float adjustment out to the point where the hex nut no longer is in contact with the needle and seat. It will however drain the bowl. At the slightest adjustment back out it will fill the bowl and flood out. The floats seemed fine when I had the bowls off, in fact, the primary was brass while the secondary was composite. Both materials cannot fail at the same time!?

    What else do I need to look for before I drop all kinds of cash on a new fuel system and carb?

    Thanks!
    Last edited by PonyFiveO; 05-01-2010 at 09:01 PM.

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  3. #2
    Cas
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    I think you need to get a fuel pressure reading to see if the pump is pumping more than 7lbs. If it is, you'll need a regulator or a new fuel pump. I'd suggest you get a dual feed line with a little fuel pressure gauge on it. Maybe you already have a feed line with a plug where a fuel gauge would go like this-

  4. #3
    Cas
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    or you could get one of these with the gauge already installed-


    it's adjustable.
    Oh yea, the Carter fuel pumps usually have a maximum pressure of 6 psi. The only way you can really know is with a gauge which is the reason why I suggested getting a reading before going and changing parts out.

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  6. #4
    i'm back!! 1QuickCP's Avatar
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    My bet is 2 much pressure. Holley jets will start to pass fuel around 8.5-9.5 psi. Check your floats for pinholes/fuel saturation as well. Fuel pressure guage is a must. Id do a large guage to set it, small one can be a bit hard to read. But a good quick check. Just get a 2" deal and splice it in line for a quick check. Set at 7-7.5 psi for starters.

  7. #5
    Cantard 71hallett's Avatar
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    Make sure you didnt bend the little tab on the float when you tightened them down the first time. Also in my experiance when a needle and seat start to leak it doesnt mater how well you clean them they will do it again. If not now sooner than later.
    Quote Originally Posted by gn7 View Post
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    Glendale Arizona Squirtcha?'s Avatar
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    No guru, but I read and re-read your post several times and have to ask...........is this a new problem? Did it work o.k. in the past with the same components? You didn't say.

    Also did you adjust your float levels after you put the carb back on.

    I just recently screwed up a couple carbs because I set the float levels up on the bench after cleaning them and they were too high and allowing fuel to get past when the motor was running.

    I've set them up on the bench (dry) before and didn't have the problem. Must've just had em a tick too high this time.

    In the future if I set em up on the bench I'll set them low and then adjust em up to where they need to be when they're back on and the motor is running.
    Last edited by Squirtcha?; 04-25-2010 at 02:42 PM.

  9. #7
    Senior Member PonyFiveO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cas View Post
    or you could get one of these with the gauge already installed-

    I was just looking at this yesterday at Pep Boys. I will have to go back and pick one up.

  10. #8
    Senior Member PonyFiveO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squirtcha? View Post
    No guru, but I read and re-read your post several times and have to ask...........is this a new problem? Did it work o.k. in the past with the same components? You didn't say.

    Also did you adjust your float levels after you put the carb back on.

    I just recently screwed up a couple carbs because I set the float levels up on the bench after cleaning them and they were too high and allowing fuel to get past when the motor was running.

    I've set them up on the bench (dry) before and didn't have the problem. Must've just had em a tick too high this time.

    In the future if I set em up on the bench I'll set them low and then adjust em up to where they need to be when they're back on and the motor is running.
    Actually, I think I bought the boat this way. I have only taken it out twice since I got it last May. It idled fine when I first started it up on our maiden voyage but I remember after wards it would stumble and die unless I kept my foot in the gas. It actually did not seem to be flooding as horribly as it is now or the last time I tried to take it out, but it did seem to be an issue from the start. I will get a guage on it before I start replacing anything.

    I primed both bowls initially to check float level and the fuel level was right in the middle of the clear plugs (which both mysteriously broke off during testing like they were severly over tightened, although they were not). After running for a bit, both bowls filled to the top and all hell broke loose.

    Adjusting them did not seem to make a difference unless I bottomed them out. Then the bowl will run dry. As soon as I back the needle and seat out just a bit it will fill back up and flood. It does seem like a pressure issue, but I never heard of a fuel pump increase volume and pressure as it goes bad. Does this happen? If this is the issue, what choice do I have in inline regulators? The only one I have seen has a rotory knob that adjust from about 1 lb to about 5.5.

    Squirtcha?, you said you screwed up a couple of carbs when this happened to you. Did this flooding cause irreversible damage to my carb?

    Unfortunately, I will not be able to work on the boat until next weekend, so this issue is going to irk me until at least then.
    Last edited by PonyFiveO; 04-25-2010 at 10:31 PM.

  11. #9
    Some guy obnoxious001's Avatar
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    I understand that you had the carb apart, but you didn't put a full kit in it,, just gaskets? Go ahead and replace the needle and seat assemblies if you did not do so.

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    Glendale Arizona Squirtcha?'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PonyFiveO View Post
    Squirtcha?, you said you screwed up a couple of carbs when this happened to you. Did this flooding cause irreversible damage to my carb?
    I thought about the way I worded that after the fact. No, not permanent damage. Just had to reset the float levels.

  13. #11
    Senior Member PonyFiveO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by obnoxious001 View Post
    I understand that you had the carb apart, but you didn't put a full kit in it,, just gaskets? Go ahead and replace the needle and seat assemblies if you did not do so.
    No full kit, just gaskets and new needle and seat assemblies.

  14. #12
    Some guy obnoxious001's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PonyFiveO View Post
    No full kit, just gaskets and new needle and seat assemblies.
    Ok,, did you get it good and clean? Do you have a good fuel filter in the boat, not getting debris from gas tanks? With the blue gaskets, it's easy enough to pull the bowls back off (even on the engine still). I normally cut the top off a soda can and pull one of the bottom bowl bolts to drain the bowl first. Look carefully for dirt and debris,, pull the needle and seat out and blow it out carefully. If you just had the carb apart and it's not clean already,, figure out why.

    Reset the float level by holding the bowl upside down and let the float move to within about 3/8" of the bowl for a starting level.

  15. #13
    Senior Member cave's Avatar
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    I bought a few sets of Holley needles and seats. Both leaked awful bad. Took them back to Lopers and got a 2 new sets and problem was solved. Just cause they are new don't mean they wont leak. I had 2 new ones that did leak.

    I learned like Dan to set the level low just below the sight window. Then adjust when I run the motor.

    A good fuel filter is a must. Doesn't have to be the bling bling to work either. A tiny chunk of lacquer could cause it to leak. When I got my Stainless steel lines all done I blew them out with compressed air, Carb cleaner then compressed air again. Still had a piece of crud get in between my seat.

    Good luck.
    Takin it home

  16. #14
    Senior Member Luckie Stiff's Avatar
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    Do you have a fuel pressure regulator installed?
    "Don't you realize that there are already enough people in the world to hate without you putting in so much effort to give me another?"

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