Stuck in Florida, maybe Carburator problem

Discussion in 'Everything Else' started by SKINNEDR, Mar 22, 2018.

  1. Hello Guys, it been a long time...

    I live in the Ormond Beach Florida area. After my car has been sitting for months, this passed weekend I decided to take it (Backdraft Cobra) out for a ride. While I was riding around, my car stalled half a dozen times until it shutoff completely and will not start again (approximately 45 minutes ride).

    Was told by a bystander that flames were coming out of the tail pipes for a few seconds before it shutoff. I was able to get it towed home, but since then I'm unable to get it going again.

    Is there anyone in the area that could lend a hand in getting this issue resolved?

    My knowledge of Carburetor is limited. (Herb Tried to help me over the phone, however he felt that I had to have more knowledge of carburetor to walk me through a few check steps...)

    I can do basic Mechanical work on my vehicle: brakes, oil change, etc.; however carburetor, no knowledge at all.

    Backdraft Racing Cobra #471
    Motor: 351 Windsor
    Holley Carburetor
    Electronic Fuel Pump

    Currently live in Plantation Bay development at 1200 Kilkenny Court Ormond Beach Florida.
    I'm available anytime day or night.

    I was warned that if I do not know what I'm doing, to leave it alone and to make sure all work is done outside the garage, because of the potential of creating a fire.

    Please help me out guys, I'm stuck!
    Dexter Skinner

    Recently moved to the area around two years and have spent most of my time outside the country.
    I have limited knowledge of the resources in the area that may have some experiences with these issues.
    I have spoken to Tom Wells, However he is extremely busy and will be unable to help.

    Dexter Skinner
    1200 Kilkenny Court
    Ormond Beach Fl 32174
  2. Rob Burton

    Rob Burton Contributing Member Member

    sounds like your floats are stuck and you have flooded the engine. If you have a fuel pump switch, leave it off. start the car with the accelerator all the way to the floor to clear out the flooding condition. Once it starts, you will need to turn the fuel pump on for a few seconds every minute or so to keep fuel in the carb. take it to someone that can work on the carb
  3. Thanks, however I have been investigating and have been unable to identify someone in the area that will be able to work on it...
  4. Scott Harrison

    Scott Harrison "Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional" Staff Member Contributing Member Member

    I think Huggy got it right. Check around for muscle car or vintage car shops. They should be a resource for carbs.
    BUT, since you are now retired, it's time to learn some new skills! :knuppel2:

    Last edited: Mar 23, 2018
  5. Scott Harrison

    Scott Harrison "Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional" Staff Member Contributing Member Member

    Last edited: Mar 23, 2018
  6. Thanks guys ; I’m working on it.
  7. Hector Rodriguez

    Hector Rodriguez Member

    McLean, VA
    I did talk to Dexter yesterday, and he informed me, that the steel, distributor gears went to hell and that the cam shaft was damaged, and has to be replaced. He also told me that he has secured the help of someone that knows what he is doing. GOOD LUCK DEX!!! Keep us informed of the progress.
  8. Scott Harrison

    Scott Harrison "Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional" Staff Member Contributing Member Member

    What is it with Backdraft engines and distributor gears????

    This is the second CACC member (that I know) with a Backdraft and a 351 where the dizzy gear destroyed the cam. This happened to Bruce Burnett on the New Years Day cruise a year or two ago. Also, Kiwi Boy's Backdraft busted the roll pin on his Accel distributor years ago. These are low mileage cars...this makes no sense. Is it related to HighVolume/High pressure oil pumps?

    This has to be more than a coincidence.
  9. My bronze gear wore out with low mileage so i called cam company (Comp Cam) to confirm which gear to use. I gave them serial number and they said go with steel gear. About 2000 or so miles started eating cam gear. Found out that Comp Cam entry level cams not made with best material. I now have crane cam, better material, but more expensive also, so will see.
  10. Jim Harding

    Jim Harding Contributing Member Member

    La Plata, Maryland
    I use bronze a gear in the silver big block car. I usually pull the dizzy every year to check wear. I’ve only changed that gear three times since owning that car. I’ve heard of other gears I could change to, but stayed with bronze because it will definitely not hurt the cam.
  11. Hector Rodriguez

    Hector Rodriguez Member

    McLean, VA
    Oh sh..!! This scares the hell out of me!! May be I should do the same as Jim. I don't have the slightest idea whether I have bronze or steel... Damn, something else to worry about!!:tickedoff:
  12. Guys; I’m ashamed to say this is my second time. The first time it happen was in my first year of ownership.
    It was repaired under warrantee from the engine builder PERFORMANCE ENGINEERING out of Ohio I think. The distributor gear was not BRONZE. Not then and not now.
    I’m extremely disappointed.
    I plan to have the work done by a local shop if it’s within by budget, if not I willl have it sit for a while.
    My car 8200 miles. I baby the DAMN car and still have these issues.
    Don’t understand why all this is happening..
    Ps, do you guys suggest pulling the motor out to have this work done?
    That will have a major impact on cost.....
    The first time the work was done, the engine was not pulled.
  13. Tom Wells

    Tom Wells Contributing Member Member


    Been there done that...

    There are three items you can pay attention to prevent recurrence of this problem.

    1) No high pressure or high volume oil pump. These put extra load on that gear and you don't want or need that anyway. If you have one installed, replace it with a regular pump - Melling is a good brand.

    2) When you replace the cam, talk to the cam manufacturer - if possible have them supply the distributor gear to match the cam's material. That way, you know the materials of the cam and gear are compatible, which is crucial to their survival. If they can't supply a gear, get them to specify exactly what and where to buy it. If they're not on board with this, get another cam manufacturer; I used Crane for my 460.

    3) Have the gear installed by a pro - the spec for locating the gear on the distributor shaft is tight and must be done within its tolerance. If the shop doesn't know this, take it somewhere else. I sent mine to MSD who charged me $35 to install it. Cheap at 50x the price!

    Hope this helps,


    PS: BTW, mine failed at 812 miles, 450 miles from home. The engine had to be removed to do proper internal cleanup and the cam swap. YMMV... That was 38,000 miles ago.
  14. So Tom, when all the dust settled, did MSD install a steel gear with the Crane cam? As stated the bronze gear will not last, but won't hurt the cam and then there's the expensive composite gear thats suppose to be the ultimate.
  15. Tom Wells

    Tom Wells Contributing Member Member


    I bought the steel gear direct from Crane and shipped it and the distributor to MSD who did the install. Problem appears solved. I have to confess to pulling the distributor out for inspection every thousand miles or so after everything was put back together for a while. I don't feel the need to do that any more.

    The bronze and composite gears just didn't last long enough to be practical for a daily driver. I use a hydraulic roller cam, so a steel gear is required. In stock applications that combo seems to last forever.

    The original problem in my engine was caused by Ford. I bought the engine as a crate motor. It had the correct gear, but was installed incorrectly by Ford. Needless to say they didn't have any warranty in those days so I was allowed the privilege of paying plenty for their mistake. Ask me if I'm happy about that :tickedoff:

  16. Thanks, Crane recommended steel gear for me as well. The entry level Comp cam was made of a lesser material and did not appear to be compatible with a steel gear, even though their tech rep recommended the steel gear.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2018
  17. Hector Rodriguez

    Hector Rodriguez Member

    McLean, VA
    This world is full of thieves and crooks!!!
    I just talked to Dexter a few minutes ago, and the guy was pretty much in the dumps and pissed. He tells me that the "expert" mechanic that was going to do the work,quoted him a cost of about $7,000.00 for replacing the cam and distributor, and in the same breath, asked Dexter if wanted to sale his "ailing" Cobra to him, this smelled like shit already. I am not an expert by any means but, I thought that for $7,000 you can almost buy a new Ford 351 Windsor. Please, correct me if I'm mistaken, and if I'm correct, these guys that gave Dexter that quote, are nothing else but thieves and crooks. I hope the guys in Daytona, Fla, don't take their cars for repairs to them. Dexter, best of luck
    in your conversations with the shop in Richmond, Va, that installed the cam, ten years ago, may be, just may be they will be honest and honorable people. Keep us informed!
  18. Joe Widmayer

    Joe Widmayer Member

    Annapolis, MD


    He could have the car shipped home and fly back first class for that much money.
  19. Tom Wells

    Tom Wells Contributing Member Member


    I agree the quote sounds too high.

    Having said that, mine cost around $3K about 15 years ago for the same work. The reason was that the engine had to come out, be torn down to clean it internally plus the new cam, distributor gear, gaskets etc etc..

    The gear, if it was cast iron or steel, would have created much debris to get into the bearings. Bad news not to clean it out.

    I don't know how much inflation has taken place in 15 years, but I'm sure it is significant. Perhaps doubling the prices?

    I wouldn't authorize the work - whoever does it - without a written, itemized estimate. Unless the price doesn't matter much :coolsmiley:

    Just sayin...

  20. Hot Rod

    Hot Rod Contributing Member Member

    Springfield, VA

    You sound like you have enough skills to remove the engine. Pull it and ship it to a reputable engine builder. You could probably do some upgrades for the money they are talking and still have a few thousand left over.

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