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Gas smell at dipstick

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Eagleswing13 Gary Norman
LUCASVILLE, OH, USA   USA
I have had trouble getting my 1973 mgbgt started since I let it run out of gas (or at least I think it ran out) and just noticed that the dipstick has a slight smell of gas. Could this be a symptom of why I can not get it started or something unrelated? I will be changing the oil and filter before I do anything else anyways but thought I would ask.

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Probie Avatar
Probie Gold Member Dwight Magee
Fenelon Falls, ON, Canada   CAN
See if you have the carbs set to rich...if so reset carbs then change oil and filter.
If someone disagrees please step up.

Eagleswing13 Gary Norman
LUCASVILLE, OH, USA   USA
How do I do this if t I can't get the car started?

In reply to # 3679536 by Probie See if you have the carbs set to rich...if so reset carbs then change oil and filter.
If someone disagrees please step up.

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Probie Avatar
Probie Gold Member Dwight Magee
Fenelon Falls, ON, Canada   CAN
Did you try a bit of carb cleaner squirted into carbs to see if it will start.?
Do you hear clicking from fuel pump when you turn key to on position?
Remove fuel line at carb 1 and have someone turn key... is there fuel coming out?

jjonns74 Avatar
jjonns74 Gold Member John Dailey
MacDill AFB, Tampa, FL, USA   USA
1974 MG MGB "Athena"
1974 MG MGB "Apollo"
Do you hear the SU fuel pump "tick" when Key is in Run postion ???

Disconnect fuel line from fwd carb and discharge into a container.
Proper flow rate is 1 pint in 30 seconds of Key Run.

Then, the obvious.... Spark

Bluvair Avatar
Bluvair Silver Member Dwight Anderson
Quakertown, PA, USA   USA
Gary,
The SU handbook says that to start over adjust the jets until they are even with the bridge, which is the raised part where the jet comes into the carb. If it is really rich, that may make starting difficult. This may get it to start. IF you look in a shop manual it will tell you how to check the mixture at idle, by lifting the piston slightly with a screw driver and listening to the engine's behavior.
Dwight Anderson
72 BGT: more mods than I can list really.

Eagleswing13 Gary Norman
LUCASVILLE, OH, USA   USA
The fuel pump is clicking, I get a good flow of fuel to the carbs. I will have to try taking the line off and starting it tomorrow. I have had the carbs completely off and cleaned everything out with cleaner. I don't seem to have a spark as mentioned but am still trying to figure out why. I didn't want to get it started and sparking if the gas in the oil will cause more issues

In reply to # 3679541 by Probie Did you try a bit of carb cleaner squirted into carbs to see if it will start.?
Do you hear clicking from fuel pump when you turn key to on position?
Remove fuel line at carb 1 and have someone turn key... is there fuel coming out?

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JoeReed Avatar
JoeReed Gold Member Joe Reed
Cordova, TN, USA   USA
1978 MG MGB "Kermit"
If you've been cranking it to try to get it started and haven't had spark, the gas smell on the dipstick is because unburned fuel in the cylinders has washed down the cylinder walls into the crankcase. Once you sort out the ignition problem and get it running, change the oil & filter




Probie Avatar
Probie Gold Member Dwight Magee
Fenelon Falls, ON, Canada   CAN
You say no spark.
Do you have any spark at any plug?
Check dizzy. If no spark at any plug. Make sure plug gap is correct.

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Basil Adams Avatar
About 12 miles from Sears Point, CA, USA   USA
If you have fuel in the oil, you probably have multiple problems. When a car doesn't start and you wet the plugs and/or flood the cylinders, fuel can leak past the rings and into the sump. That's probably the effect and not the cause. The not starting problem may be fuel but probably electrical so test there first. Check to see if there's spark at each plug with an inline spark checker (everyone should have one and they're about $8 at Harbor Freight) or by taking each ignition wire off of the plug and holding it near an engine stud or bolt while cranking the engine. If there's a spark, replace/clean the plugs and try to start. If there is no spark, pull the lead from the coil to the cap and check for spark. If there is a spark, the problem is either cap, rotor or points. Check points gap (and you can crank it at night with the cap off and see a spark at the points. If no spark, it's probably condenser.) If there is no spark from the main coil lead, put a volt meter on the small input wire of the coil and to a the other to a ground and crank. If it reads 12+ volts, the coil is bad (or a bad connection. If there's no voltage to the coil, and the starter turns, you know it's not the starter so it may be the switch itself. Check the switch for juice in the "On" position (If the starter is turning the switch is good in the "start" position. If everything electrical works, fuel delivery may be a problem. Start by getting out a big screwdriver and holding it by the blade and smacking the side of each HIF sharply with the handle end. It's possible that your needle/seat is stuck and that could happen when you run out of fuel. That sharp rap might free it up. If it's stuck in the closed position, you get no fuel but then you wouldn't flood and get fuel in the oil. Try is anyway in case there are unrelated issues occurring simultaneously. However, if the floats on an HIF fail because they crack and fill with fuel, you'll feed too much fuel into the float bowl, overflow into the carb, wash the chamber with fuel, leak past the rings and into the sump. HIF float failure is common but that wouldn't be related to running out of fuel. Checking all the electrics takes 20 minutes so start there. Smacking the carbs with a screwdriver will help vent some of the frustration if you find nothing electrical. I'm not an HIF fan so taking the float bowls apart to check the floats makes me grumpy. But there are the common causes and methods of diagnosis sent along with beest wishes for patience and success. If you run out of patience, that screwdriver handle can smack many more things than a float bowl. Best of luck. Basil 707.762.0974 basiladams@yahoo.com



Basil C. Adams
1956 MGA Coupe (Show Car)
1957 MGA Roadster (Driver)
1958 MGA Coupe (Racecar)
1959 MGA Coupe (unrestored)
1960 MGA Coupe (unrestored)
1960 MGA Roadster (Driver)
MKIII Elva Courier (E1056)
1967 427 Cobra
1972 Alfa Romeo Montreal
A coupla late MGBs
1960 Austin Healy BN7
More Cars than Brains

Probie Avatar
Probie Gold Member Dwight Magee
Fenelon Falls, ON, Canada   CAN
Thanks for jumping in Basil.

Rob-USLE Avatar
Rob-USLE Rob DE JOODE
Rotterdam, ZH, Netherlands   NLD
Gary, did you leave the car sitting for a while with the contact in ON position ?
Had that one time with a car shipped in from the US, some dopey left it with the contact on in the port, the pump didn't stop pumping like normal,
so the gaz run via the carb overflow (ZS stromberg) into the engine. Engine didn't start and a gaz smell from the oil on the dipstick incl. high "oil" level.

Eagleswing13 Gary Norman
LUCASVILLE, OH, USA   USA
I didn't leave it in this position but I have tried to start it multiple times so this is possible. How did you fix it?

In reply to # 3679707 by Rob-USLE Gary, did you leave the car sitting for a while with the contact in ON position ?
Had that one time with a car shipped in from the US, some dopey left it with the contact on in the port, the pump didn't stop pumping like normal,
so the gaz run via the carb overflow (ZS stromberg) into the engine. Engine didn't start and a gaz smell from the oil on the dipstick incl. high "oil" level.

Aridgerunner Avatar
Aridgerunner Silver Member Bill Bussler
Montoursville, PA, USA   USA
1956 MG MGA 1500 "The A"
1959 Triumph TR3A "The Mistress"
A word of caution. I actually watched the following happen; heard it too.

We were trying to get a small gasoline powered crane started one cold day. Lots of choke and pumping on the accelerator were used. After many minutes cranking and pumping we sprayed it with starting ether. The it went BANG! In an instant the oil pan was on the ground and some of were sprayed oil. Others needed new underware.

And I'm not sheeiiting ya on this. You might want to consider changing the oil first and leave the plug out for a while to allow any gasoline fumes to escape. Gasoline fumes are heavier than air.

Then get your ignition working.

Rob-USLE Avatar
Rob-USLE Rob DE JOODE
Rotterdam, ZH, Netherlands   NLD
In reply to # 3679711 by Eagleswing13 I didn't leave it in this position but I have tried to start it multiple times so this is possible. How did you fix it?

In reply to # 3679707 by Rob-USLE Gary, did you leave the car sitting for a while with the contact in ON position ?
Had that one time with a car shipped in from the US, some dopey left it with the contact on in the port, the pump didn't stop pumping like normal,
so the gaz run via the carb overflow (ZS stromberg) into the engine. Engine didn't start and a gaz smell from the oil on the dipstick incl. high "oil" level.

If during your starting efforts the pump stopped ticking because of enough pressure was built up there is I expect no problem, but when the pump continious kept ticking it pumped fuel in the carb and didn't stop.
That is what I had, drained the oil from the engine, new oil in, run it on the starter moter without plugs in so new oil spreadded in the engine, plugs in and started, some exhaust smoke for a bit but after that normal again. There must be a "stop" when the fuel pump has built up sufficient pressure.

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