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  1. #1
    FEP User Dave9052's Avatar
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    Default Gas odor

    Does anyone have a idea of why after engine is shut off I am getting very strong odor of gas. It stinks up the garage so bad I had to adjust the garage door so it stays up a inch to help ventilate the garage. It is a attached garage so the smell works its way into the house. It is the carb for sure I have checked everything else and when I remove the air cleaner the smell is very strong. there are no external leaks out of the carb. It appears the gas is dripping onto the primary throttle plates. Float levels are perfect, engine runs great, choke works great, idle is very smooth. Is there any way with proper gas level in primary gas bowl gas can drip into carb? After it is shut off? Car is 1983 with 5.0 all stock original. Thanks for any help you can give. My wife is ready to give my car away, and I am tired of hearing how bad my car smells.

  2. #2

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    Have you actually seen fuel dripping from the primary boosters onto the primary throttle plates, either while when idling or after shut down, or is it that when you look in and down there that the primary throttle plates are wet? Percolation with the pi$$ that they call gas today with ethanol in it... long story, short, the boiling point of the fuel is lowered, and sometimes with even moderate amounts of engine heat, fuel line and/or float bowl percolation can be an issue... within the bowls, bubbling up high enough to trickle out of boosters is on the extreme side of possibilities, but I guess possible... I presume this is with a 4180 4-barrel?...
    Last edited by Walking-Tall; 10-22-2017 at 10:41 PM.
    Mike
    1986 Mustang convertible ---> BUILD THREAD
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    FEP User Dave9052's Avatar
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    Yes 4180 four barrel, and yes after shut down drips from primary boosters onto primary throttle plates. A few hours later it looks dry, I guess the smell continues till all the gas that went past throttle plates into intake dissipates. Tomorrow I will check fuel level before starting and see if level has dropped below site hole. Thank You.

  4. #4

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    Is it level where the car gets parked? I mean, does it sit nose high where you park it when it does this? Yes, and evaporation, the smell you're smelling. Sure, won't hurt to check before starting to see if quite below the sight plug hole. If so, fuel level is too low (which makes no sense with boosters dripping... do they do that when it's idling too?), and/or fuel is getting out of the float bowl somehow. Level car, warmed up to operating temperature, and idling is the best time to set the float levels, to just trickle out the bottom of the sight plug hole when slightly rocking the car by leaning on the fender. Are the original external (the large tubes out of the front and rear bowls) bowl vents (that I presume work with the charcoal canister) still operational? Bowl pressure, either air venting, or fuel over pressure at shut down could be overpowering that needle and seat or it's o-ring. When was 4180 last gone through or rebuilt? All air bleeds clear? After some running or driving, is the front of the carb hot? If it is a percolation issue, where especially the front bowl and metering block is getting real hot, I'd look at the fuel pump system and whether or not that is a return style, that keeps cooler fuel going to the carburetor because it's constantly recirculating to the tank and back instead of dead heading and getting heated up by whatever may be heating it up... and a phenolic carb spacer could help...

    I see that replacement '83 mechanical fuel pumps have the extra small nipple on them. I'd remove both lines that do not go to the carburetor and blow air back them to make sure they are clear, especially the small return line, which could be causing a sporadic over pressuring situation if it's not allowed to do what it's supposed to be doing...
    Last edited by Walking-Tall; 10-23-2017 at 04:45 AM.
    Mike
    1986 Mustang convertible ---> BUILD THREAD
    1983 Mercury Cougar LS
    1986 Ford Thunderbird ELAN
    1966 Ford Fairlane sedan
    1966 Ford Fairlane GT
    1981 Mercury Marquis Brougham
    1980 Capri RS Turbo
    1971 Mustang
    1974 Pontiac LeMans

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    FEP User Dave9052's Avatar
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    The dripping is right after shutdown. I think you are on to something with the percolation issue. Yesterday I drove it quite a bit when I got home I left it in the driveway for a couple hours so it was pretty cool. I started the car and pulled it right into garage. This would clear raw gas from intake and no hot engine! I will mess with it today and try shutdown again while cool. To answer your questions car is parked level. Float levels are right on. Bowl vents are clear. I don't know if carb has ever been rebuilt I kind of doubt it. I will check front bowl today to check temp. I will also check fuel return line. Thanks for your help!!!

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    FEP User Dave9052's Avatar
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    This morning before start front bowl was down a little, had to shake the car hard to get fuel to spill out of site hole. I would guess it was down a couple ounces at least. When it comes to gas a little gives off a lot of odor. Drove it today till plenty warm, checked front bowl temp with hand not real warm, no dripping. 10 minutes later just sitting not running, engine heat raised temp of bowl to very warm to hot now seeing a few drips. At this point I start car and it starts like slightly flooded but clears right up. I also checked fuel pump return line it is open. So I think you were on the money with your thoughts on percolation. I think I will try the phenolic carb spacer you mentioned. Does it go between the heat shield and carb or intake and heat shield? Again thanks very much for all your help!!!!!

  7. #7

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    I think I'd put a phenolic spacer right under the carburetor, between the carburetor and the heat shield. See how much hood clearance you have and don't get a spacer that's too tall. That should move the carburetor up and away further from the engine and the EGR heat that probably heats the living daylights out of the poor carburetor's as is... the afterthought make shift shield really doesn't do much of anything... deal with some radiating hot air, maybe, but does little to nothing to reduce heat transfer... such is factory close-the-barn-door-after-the-horses-are-gone nonsense, lol.
    Mike
    1986 Mustang convertible ---> BUILD THREAD
    1983 Mercury Cougar LS
    1986 Ford Thunderbird ELAN
    1966 Ford Fairlane sedan
    1966 Ford Fairlane GT
    1981 Mercury Marquis Brougham
    1980 Capri RS Turbo
    1971 Mustang
    1974 Pontiac LeMans

  8. #8
    FEP User Dave9052's Avatar
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    Default gas oder

    Quote Originally Posted by Walking-Tall View Post
    I think I'd put a phenolic spacer right under the carburetor, between the carburetor and the heat shield. See how much hood clearance you have and don't get a spacer that's too tall. That should move the carburetor up and away further from the engine and the EGR heat that probably heats the living daylights out of the poor carburetor's as is... the afterthought make shift shield really doesn't do much of anything... deal with some radiating hot air, maybe, but does little to nothing to reduce heat transfer... such is factory close-the-barn-door-after-the-horses-are-gone nonsense, lol.
    I am going to try it! I will let you know how it works out, it has to help. Thanks again for all your help

  9. #9

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    Could always put a shutoff valve on the supply line and run it until the bowls empty out.

    Is the return like ok or is that force feeding excess fuel? Does your fuel pressure somehow magically increase after the car is off? There shouldn't be any pressure but if you heat fuel there will be.

    What temp is the gas at the pump?


    Some fun old stuff......

    We had fittings that looked like an upside down T on each side of our circle track cars back in the day. They sat on each side of the air cleaner. They held about a 1/2 carb bowl worth of fuel and the theory was it would feed the supply line if the pump sucked air for some reason as it was downhill from the bottom of the T to the motor and up hill to the fuel pump. Wonky fuel line routing included.

    Later iterations of this had a plunger and a spring inside and the fuel lines had a one way valve on the supply.

    Anyway - there was an inspection cap on them and you could see fuel level in them. When the car was shut off at the end of a round the fuel level would increase in them.

    Never really got the details on all the theory behind them but we never stumbled for lack of fuel in hard corners or had a trailer full of gas stink with them there. We left them off once after an engine rebuild over the winter, they went right back on after one outing that spring.

    Old shiner's trick is -- I think -- it's origins. Not sure.

  10. #10
    FEP User Dave9052's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by erratic50 View Post
    Could always put a shutoff valve on the supply line and run it until the bowls empty out.

    Is the return like ok or is that force feeding excess fuel? Does your fuel pressure somehow magically increase after the car is off? There shouldn't be any pressure but if you heat fuel there will be.

    What temp is the gas at the pump?


    Some fun old stuff......

    We had fittings that looked like an upside down T on each side of our circle track cars back in the day. They sat on each side of the air cleaner. They held about a 1/2 carb bowl worth of fuel and the theory was it would feed the supply line if the pump sucked air for some reason as it was downhill from the bottom of the T to the motor and up hill to the fuel pump. Wonky fuel line routing included.

    Later iterations of this had a plunger and a spring inside and the fuel lines had a one way valve on the supply.

    Anyway - there was an inspection cap on them and you could see fuel level in them. When the car was shut off at the end of a round the fuel level would increase in them.

    Never really got the details on all the theory behind them but we never stumbled for lack of fuel in hard corners or had a trailer full of gas stink with them there. We left them off once after an engine rebuild over the winter, they went right back on after one outing that spring.

    Old shiner's trick is -- I think -- it's origins. Not sure.
    I removed the return line off the fuel pump and blew into it until gas that was in the line went back into fuel tank so it must not be plugged. Unless I am wrong there is never any pressure in fuel bowl as it is vented. Only pressure should be between fuel pump and needle seat. But if after shutdown the temp rises in bowl raising the gas temp the gas will expand and rise. Not sure if this could rise enough to flow out and into carb? This odor problem would not be a problem in a detached garage or one that is less air tight, like a typical garage or pole barn. I live in a condo with a 2 car attached garage. The overhead door is really weatherstripped well and garage is drywall so not much air exchange. When the weather is nice we leave the door into the house open for cross breeze. Not so much now. lol after a few days of car just sitting the odor goes away. This is all about a few ounces of gas.

  11. #11

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    It only takes a little to make a big smell. You can use also an aluminum heat shield under the carb. I mean the one that sticks out one to two inches each direction around the carb. The aluminum will dissapate heat before it gets to the carb and the larger sizes actually keep the engine heat away from the carb too.
    Or you could try non ethanol gas and see if the smell stops.
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough."
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    1984 20th Anniversary GT350
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    FEP User Dave9052's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gt4494 View Post
    It only takes a little to make a big smell. You can use also an aluminum heat shield under the carb. I mean the one that sticks out one to two inches each direction around the carb. The aluminum will dissapate heat before it gets to the carb and the larger sizes actually keep the engine heat away from the carb too.
    Or you could try non ethanol gas and see if the smell stops.
    It has the aluminum heat shield under carb it does stick out a couple inches all around I think it is stock. I was surprised how hot the carb gets within a few minutes after the car is shut off. I will try the non ethanol gas. Thanks!

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    FEP Senior Member Matt J's Avatar
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    I'm glad to hear you're seemingly on the way to fixing the problem, and I don't want to confuse things at all, but is this a common problem? Mine had the CFI which worked differently, needless to say, but I'd think that if everything else is working correctly on your car that this shouldn't be a problem. Or, if it's normal that the heat from the engine would cause this problem, then lots of folks would be saying that they've dealt with it too.

    It's probably just exactly what you're working on now, but it seems to me that you have something else causing the problem that you're encountering...it's not normal for the carbs to leak out fuel after the car is turned off. It's possible the heat is causing the fuel to come up, but, well, it shouldn't be doing that. Are you sure that all the seals are working okay? It could be as simple as a loose fuel line fitting or a seal in the carb. Do you have an in-line fuel filter someplace that might be leaking a little and allowing some fuel to siphon out of the carb? If it's a slow enough leak the gas will evaporate before dripping onto the floor, especially if it's running down a hose.

    Anyway, I don't want to muddy the waters if you feel like you're on the right track, it just doesn't seem right to me that an otherwise stock setup would be doing this just because of the new fuel mixtures that we all use in our cars. Just food for thought, I hope the spacer fixes it!
    Last edited by Matt J; 10-25-2017 at 11:56 AM.

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    FEP User Dave9052's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt J View Post
    I'm glad to hear you're seemingly on the way to fixing the problem, and I don't want to confuse things at all, but is this a common problem? Mine had the CFI which worked differently, needless to say, but I'd think that if everything else is working correctly on your car that this shouldn't be a problem. Or, if it's normal that the heat from the engine would cause this problem, then lots of folks would be saying that they've dealt with it too.

    It's probably just exactly what you're working on now, but it seems to me that you have something else causing the problem that you're encountering...it's not normal for the carbs to leak out fuel after the car is turned off. It's possible the heat is causing the fuel to come up, but, well, it shouldn't be doing that. Are you sure that all the seals are working okay? It could be as simple as a loose fuel line fitting or a seal in the carb. Do you have an in-line fuel filter someplace that might be leaking a little and allowing some fuel to siphon out of the carb? If it's a slow enough leak the gas will evaporate before dripping onto the floor, especially if it's running down a hose.

    Anyway, I don't want to muddy the waters if you feel like you're on the right track, it just doesn't seem right to me that an otherwise stock setup would be doing this just because of the new fuel mixtures that we all use in our cars. Just food for thought, I hope the spacer fixes it!
    I don't know how common the problem is, I would not even be aware if not for very airtight garage. Since the suggestion from gt4494 regarding non ethanol gas I have been on the internet and there seems to be a lot of problems with the ethanol added to modern gas. Much more in older vehicles, drying out seals in carb and corrosion in carb and fuel tank. Many people will go out of there way to find a station that sells non ethanol gas, even for modern cars that have been built for ethanol gas. Non ethanol gas is not real easy to find in my area it is mostly sold at marinas and airports very few gas stations, it is about 20 cents more a gallon. There are quite a few complaints about vapor lock due to percolation. More so in carb engines. Before this car I had a 1986 mustang same garage no problems, but car had fuel injection. There are no external gas leaks. Thanks for all the help! I appreciate it.
    Last edited by Dave9052; 10-25-2017 at 01:14 PM.

  15. #15

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    As you stated most airports have non ethanol because you can get an STC from the FAA to use gas but it cannot contain alcohol. As an aside most marinas also have access to it since they should not use alcohol gas.

    That being said yes the new gas will mess with any vehicle not designed for it. Google "gasahol" from the seveties. The alcohol not only has a different boiling point than pure gas but it will also clean out the fuel system so any varnish will be loosened and end up in the carb. As stated most fuel lines will degrade faster with the alcohol.

    I say this as I am using a Holly 1850 style with all original lines and fuel pump and have yet to have a problem, but the car only uses 1-4 tanks of fuel per year.
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough."
    Albert Einstein

    1984 20th Anniversary GT350
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  16. #16

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    It seems you may have it figured out however you may want to check a couple of items. Has it always done this? What temp tstat do you run? Have you flushed cooling system lately? And be sure to check oil level after engine is fully warmed.
    My garage kind of smells a little too and I just found a couple of fuel lines that look to have been crushed by a jack, just under the driver's left foot under the car. Sometimes it's the little things combined that get out of wack.
    It will be a week or so but if you're not in a hurry I will get you temps of my 4180 carb at certain spots after shut down. Because now I'm going to check that for sure anyway.
    Of course, it's on jack stands, waiting for the correct ball joint to be return to me.

  17. #17

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    If the fuel is rising in the bowls after shutdown because of heat soak, there are some additional things that
    need to be considered.

    First, is the heat riser valve in the driver side exhaust functioning properly? The valve is operated by EGR
    vacuum. When the engine is cold EGR vacuum is routed to the heat riser diaphragm through a check valve.
    Once the engine warms up, EGR vacuum is switched to operate the EGR valve and canister purge valves,
    and also to release the vacuum from the heat riser diaphragm. If the EGR vacuum system is not in good
    working order, the heat riser valve may be staying closed, routing exhaust under the carburetor even when
    the engine is warmed up.

    Also, make sure that the valve itself can move freely. With the vacuum line disconnected, compress the
    diaphragm, then let go. The valve should quickly snap back to open.

    The other common issue is with the stack-up of gaskets and heat shield under the carburetor. The heat
    shield should have a thin gasket between it and the EGR spacer, and a thicker insulating gasket between
    the shield and carburetor. If these are reversed, the carburetor will run hotter.

    Also, the current-issue FelPro 60058 gasket does not insulate as well as the original, or the earlier FelPro
    versions did. The current gasket is just a thick gasket with no particular insulating qualities. In fact, it has
    copper eyelets where the carb studs pass through. Copper is an excellent conductor of heat. (The original
    gasket used plastic spacers.) The Victor Reinz G27186 is a much better choice.
    Last edited by JACook; 10-28-2017 at 12:02 AM.
    Cheers,
    Jeff Cook

    '85 GT 5-speed T-Top, Eibachs, Konis, & ARE 5-Spokes ... '85 GT CFI/AOD Vert, all factory...
    '04 Mach-1 40th Anny, 34K original miles... '79 Fairmont StaWag, 5.0, 58K original miles ...
    65 notch, 289 auto, Pony interior ... '67 coupe 6-cyl 4-speed ... '68 Vert 307 4-speed...
    (And a 1-of-328 Deep Blue Pearl 2003 Marauder 4.6 DOHC, J-Mod, 4.10s and Lidio tune)

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    FEP Member Mgino757's Avatar
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    The gaskets that come with the BWD carburetor rebuild kits come with the proper gasket as well. The last time I had raw fuel dripping on the throttle plates was when the float valve got stuck open with debris. I'd take the valve out and check it for cleanliness, then readjust the float levels.

    Another question I didn't see, is the vapor canister and the rest of the evaporative emissions system hooked up?
    1985 Mustang GT conv. modified 4180C, Weiand Street Warrior intake manifold, equal length headers, true dual exhaust, 3.55:1 8.8'' rear end, 180* thermostat, Ford Racing 10.5" clutch. Garage dweller.

    1998 Mustang GT auto. Stock and slow daily driver.

    1996 Thunderbird LX 4.6L V8. Wrecked, drag racing in heaven. RIP Oct 1995-March 24, 2016.

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    FEP User Dave9052's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JD302 View Post
    It seems you may have it figured out however you may want to check a couple of items. Has it always done this? What temp tstat do you run? Have you flushed cooling system lately? And be sure to check oil level after engine is fully warmed.
    My garage kind of smells a little too and I just found a couple of fuel lines that look to have been crushed by a jack, just under the driver's left foot under the car. Sometimes it's the little things combined that get out of wack.
    It will be a week or so but if you're not in a hurry I will get you temps of my 4180 carb at certain spots after shut down. Because now I'm going to check that for sure anyway.
    Of course, it's on jack stands, waiting for the correct ball joint to be return to me.
    It has done this since I got it, about 4 months ago. I have no idea about the tstat but I plan on checking it out as I am going to change out the hoses they are original. Thanks for the tips.

  20. #20
    FEP User Dave9052's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JACook View Post
    If the fuel is rising in the bowls after shutdown because of heat soak, there are some additional things that
    need to be considered.

    First, is the heat riser valve in the driver side exhaust functioning properly? The valve is operated by EGR
    vacuum. When the engine is cold EGR vacuum is routed to the heat riser diaphragm through a check valve.
    Once the engine warms up, EGR vacuum is switched to operate the EGR valve and canister purge valves,
    and also to release the vacuum from the heat riser diaphragm. If the EGR vacuum system is not in good
    working order, the heat riser valve may be staying closed, routing exhaust under the carburetor even when
    the engine is warmed up.

    Also, make sure that the valve itself can move freely. With the vacuum line disconnected, compress the
    diaphragm, then let go. The valve should quickly snap back to open.

    The other common issue is with the stack-up of gaskets and heat shield under the carburetor. The heat
    shield should have a thin gasket between it and the EGR spacer, and a thicker insulating gasket between
    the shield and carburetor. If these are reversed, the carburetor will run hotter.

    Also, the current-issue FelPro 60058 gasket does not insulate as well as the original, or the earlier FelPro
    versions did. The current gasket is just a thick gasket with no particular insulating qualities. In fact, it has
    copper eyelets where the carb studs pass through. Copper is an excellent conductor of heat. (The original
    gasket used plastic spacers.) The Victor Reinz G27186 is a much better choice.
    I never thought about the heat riser is it normally open or closed with no vacuum? The gaskets appear to be correct. Thank you for all your input, I have a lot of things to check out.

  21. #21
    FEP User Dave9052's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mgino757 View Post
    The gaskets that come with the BWD carburetor rebuild kits come with the proper gasket as well. The last time I had raw fuel dripping on the throttle plates was when the float valve got stuck open with debris. I'd take the valve out and check it for cleanliness, then readjust the float levels.

    Another question I didn't see, is the vapor canister and the rest of the evaporative emissions system hooked up?
    I Just replaced front and rear float valves and did a fuel level reset. I am trying to go one step at a time so I can find out what the problem is. I have noticed since the temps outside have have dropped the odor is not as bad. Not sure if there is less gas after shutdown going in carb. due to engine running cooler. The vapor canisters are in place, as are the evaporative emissions system. Thanks for tips.

  22. #22

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    It is not normal, the stink everybody refers to, and you'll get it
    Mike
    1986 Mustang convertible ---> BUILD THREAD
    1983 Mercury Cougar LS
    1986 Ford Thunderbird ELAN
    1966 Ford Fairlane sedan
    1966 Ford Fairlane GT
    1981 Mercury Marquis Brougham
    1980 Capri RS Turbo
    1971 Mustang
    1974 Pontiac LeMans

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave9052 View Post
    I never thought about the heat riser is it normally open or closed with no vacuum?
    The valve defaults to open. It's also possible for the butterfly to come loose inside, and that's a bit more
    work to check. But since you haven't mentioned a rattling sound in the exhaust, I don't expect yours has.
    Cheers,
    Jeff Cook

    '85 GT 5-speed T-Top, Eibachs, Konis, & ARE 5-Spokes ... '85 GT CFI/AOD Vert, all factory...
    '04 Mach-1 40th Anny, 34K original miles... '79 Fairmont StaWag, 5.0, 58K original miles ...
    65 notch, 289 auto, Pony interior ... '67 coupe 6-cyl 4-speed ... '68 Vert 307 4-speed...
    (And a 1-of-328 Deep Blue Pearl 2003 Marauder 4.6 DOHC, J-Mod, 4.10s and Lidio tune)

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave9052 View Post
    I Just replaced front and rear float valves and did a fuel level reset. I am trying to go one step at a time so I can find out what the problem is. I have noticed since the temps outside have have dropped the odor is not as bad. Not sure if there is less gas after shutdown going in carb. due to engine running cooler. The vapor canisters are in place, as are the evaporative emissions system. Thanks for tips.
    Smart! The only way to properly diagnose / trouble shoot is one step at a time. Takes a bit more time but you will learn exactly what changes / fixes worked!!
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough."
    Albert Einstein

    1984 20th Anniversary GT350
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  25. #25
    FEP Power Member 85stanggt's Avatar
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    Regarding that carb gasket, I was just going to post about these gaskets due to my impending intake gasket job. I just got that Felpro with the copper eyelets and I read on here how bad that was.

    Now, I realize that the gasket didn't used to have copper. But is there any reasoning to thinking that they wanted those there to conduct heat away from the carb to the aluminum heat shield to dissipate heat? Much like the copper piping in computers or stereos that run from chips to aluminum heat sinks (sometimes cooled with a fan)?
    1985 Mustang GT Convertible
    Stock and original @ 213k, except for dynomax ultraflos.

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