54 Hornet won't cruise on highway.

WABOOMWABOOM Posts: 61Member
edited June 2022 in HUDSON
Ok guys, Here's what I have going on. My 54 Hornet Twin H (12 volt) starts and idles great, tools around the neighborhood like normal. I can go around the neighborhood at 25 mph no problem.
If I pull out on the county road it won't make it 1 mile. Car will restart after a few minutes an I can limp back home.  I figured the coil or condenser were failing when warmed up...
Here's what I have tried:
Removed Pertronix- went back to standard points distributor and standard coil. No improvement.
New condenser- no improvement.
new coil- no improvement.
New points- no improvement.
New ballast resistor- no improvement.
made new power wires for coil and distributor-  no improvement.
Tried by-passing resistor- no improvement.
Swapped complete distributor out with a good spare- no improvement.
Checked with test light to make sure distributor body was insulated from voltage. 
Fortified my ground strap to bond motor mount-to frame- frame-to battery:  no improvement. 

Here's the part you'll enjoy. Each time it died on the highway I was in the same spot. 
Fuel! This time I brought a squirt bottle of gas and bottle fed some down her yap. She lit right up and I drove home 1/2 mile no problem. 

What's the old saying?  80% of ignition problems are fuel , and 80% of fuel problems are electrical. Something to that effect. 
Bottom line is I need to get this road worthy in 4 days for Back To The 50's. It's a 30 mile drive to the State Fairgrounds. 
I'm terrified that I will fail this mission. 
I assume that thanks to the balance pipe, one good carb will sustain starting, idling and low speed driving. But can not handle higher speeds and starves for fuel? 
Please help. 
Thank you in advance. 


  • 50C8DAN50C8DAN Posts: 2,687Senior Contributor
    edited June 2022
    Are you sure your gas cap is vented?  If not it will not pull fuel.  Try driving a bit without your gas cap on.  Is the Fuel pump in good shape, if not it may run at low-speed but cannot feed enough to make it run at higher speed.  Alcohol in gas really does a number on the diaphragm.  Do you have a filter, could be clogged, or if not junk can get into the carb.
  • WABOOMWABOOM Posts: 61Member
    I drilled it yesterday  1/16" hole. - no improvement. 
  • WABOOMWABOOM Posts: 61Member
    I also removed the fuel filter I had on it between the fuel pump and carbs. - no improvement. 
  • WABOOMWABOOM Posts: 61Member
    edited June 2022
    I only run non-ethanol gas. Car came with an extra rebuilt fuel pump that I recently put on the car. Tonight I suppose I will with swap the old pump back to onto it.  Over winter I had the Twin H manifolds off to do the gaskets so changed the fuel pump while it was easy. 
    Thank for your response. 
  • 50C8DAN50C8DAN Posts: 2,687Senior Contributor
    I would blow out the carb jets just in case some sort of debris got in there.  I had that happen with my C8 once and it would run about 30mph and anything more it would stall out.
  • WABOOMWABOOM Posts: 61Member
    Ok. I'll do that. Not having a gasket kit for carbs I would have been hesitant to crack 'em open. But I will tonight after work.

  • 54coupe54coupe Posts: 1,026Member
    Can you rig up a gas can directly to the fuel pump? This would eliminate the tank and the fuel line from the mix. I have experienced a blockage in a fuel line that would move, (a shell of a bug), and sometimes fuel would flow, and sometimes not. Also, check the steel line closely, from one end to another. I had a car that would only go about 40 mph, no matter what I did. The fuel line somehow got partially flattened, and was restricting flow.
  • WABOOMWABOOM Posts: 61Member
    edited June 2022
    I have a boat tank from demolition derby days that I will rig up tonight. 
    All great suggestions comrads!
  • onerare39onerare39 Posts: 1,081Expert Adviser, Member
  • WABOOMWABOOM Posts: 61Member
    Well ... it was nothing more than a fuel filter I didn't know about. I think the previous owner told me about it but I didn't remember it had one back by the tank. 
    Sorry I blew up. I really appreciate all your responses. 
  • railknightrailknight Posts: 521Expert Adviser
    I bet that was a pleasant surprise and relief when you located that unknown fuel filter at the fuel tank.  Your experience here is one of those things for all of us to keep in mind after purchasing a Hudson or even another vintage car.  
  • 50C8DAN50C8DAN Posts: 2,687Senior Contributor
    good news for sure!
  • 54coupe54coupe Posts: 1,026Member
    Great news. Enjoy your new driving experience.
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