Classic/Antique Car Repair/Engine Cuts Out



I have a 1956 Dodge Inline 6 cylinder which which will start cold without any problem every time, and will idle fine for a long time. When I take it out for a spin (.5 mile to a 1 mile) the engine cuts out as if there were no gas (but there is plenty of gas).

The fuel pump is good and I had the (orig) carb.) completely rebuilt.  I replaced the fuel filter with a clear type so I can easily see the fuel intake is good.  Gas is clean.

After I sit by the road for 5 minutes it starts right up again and I drive home in 1/4 mile increments before it stalls again (keeps on stalling all the way home).

Appreciate any advice.

The several times that I have had engines act like this it has been something floating around in the fuel tank that gets sucked into the fuel line opening. When the engine stalls and the car sits the vacuum in the fuel line breaks, the garbage floats away and the engine starts. There are several ways to prove this. One is to remove the fuel line at the carburetor and see if the fuel pump is delivering fuel. You need to be quick like a bunny doing this so as to get it done before the fuel line breaks vacuum at the tank. The second is to use an alternate fuel source I use an old outboard motor tank that I have adapted for this purpose. Another thing to look for is to make sure that there are no small rust pin holes in the fuel line between the tank and the fuel pump. If the fuel is OK then check the spark when the engine stalls. If there is no spark when holding a spark plug wire about 1/4 inch from the block while turning the engine over, the problem is in the ignition system and each component will need to be checked.  

Classic/Antique Car Repair

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Brad Sears


All automotive including antique and collectible. However if the car has been modified I can only answer in general terms and maybe get you pointed in the right direction.


Automotive tech instructor. Syndicated auto columnist 1970's though the early 1990's. Syndicated auto radio talk show, Ask Brad About cars, CBS Radio 70's through 90's TV Show "Last Chance Garage" 1980's PBS-TV syndicated. Auto instructor for the following companies: Fram Autolyte Holly Carter AMF Ford Motor University Of Conn Blue Hills Technical School Sugar River Technical Center Grew up in a family garage in Needham Mass and turned wrenches from the age of 14.

Manchester Union Leader, Nashua Telegraph, Motor Service Magazine, Yankee Magazine, Popular Mechanics (Saturday Mechanic early 80's), Los Angeles Times, New York Times, and lots more.

More than I care to remember. Basically Franklin Technical Institute in Boston, Northeastern University, Fitchburg State Teachers College, Tufts University, and a lot of factory schools along the way.

Awards and Honors
Moto Award winner. And much more.

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