1969 Buick Electra 225 Convertible - Fuel leaking from vent line??

taongisurvivor

Buick Newbie
11
1
1
Huntsville, Alabama
Buick Ownership
Buick Electra 225 1969, Buick Riviera GS 1967
First post. I recently purchased a 1969 Buick Electra 225 convertible while on deployment in the Middle East (US Government Civil Service). I am home on vacation and got my first look at the old girl. Two issues that may or may not be related:

(1) If cranks right up and runs, but does not seem to have the power you would expect from 360 hp from the factory. In addition, once it gets hot, it will just die. It may take 7-10 seconds of cranking to re-start, and it only seems to start against its will (so to speak). From that point whenever you let off the gas it will die until it cools down, then it will run fine. The oil was dirty, so I drained and used engine flush, drained again and used engine flush again. Each time it ran for 10 minutes with no load and ran perfectly. Stock everything with no upgrade to high energy ignition. Fuel problem??? (see next issue).

(2) The car had almost zero gas when I cranked it. It started right up but the fuel gauge reflected zero fuel. I put 5 gallons of premium fuel in the old girl and looked underneath and fuel was pouring out from the tank. Great, I thought, a hole in the tank! No. when everything dried out, the fuel is leaking from a plastic fitting that has two lines running into it from the top of the tank. Two lines in, but no line out. What's going on here?? Could this be causing some fuel starvation issue that is causing the car to quit when it gets hot??

I also bought a 1967 Buick Riviera GS and will start on her next. But first the Electra. Anybody have any ideas???

Also looking for steel rally wheels for the Electra. Anybody have some in excellent condition?? Can these be purchased new??? Can old ones be restored???

Gordon Jones
 

MelsRegal

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Regal GS 2017
1. This could be a vacuum leak or carburetor related. When it dies if you look down the primary side of the carburetor, do you see gasoline dripping into the carburetor, if so the needle and seat for the float has something blocking it. When the engine is cold very carefully tighten the four carburetor bolts, do not use too much force.
2. Your description indicates this fitting just joins two rubber hoses together, that would serve no purpose. Any chance you can post a picture.
3. Do you own a dwell meter and timing light to set the points after first checking they are not burnt. You also may just want to replace the points and condenser to make sure they are not related to your problem. While your at it check the condition of the cap, rotor, and plug wires.
 

taongisurvivor

Buick Newbie
11
1
1
Huntsville, Alabama
Buick Ownership
Buick Electra 225 1969, Buick Riviera GS 1967
One problem solved, another detected. The gizmo is called a fuel tank surge vent and they are available aftermarket on Ebay for $29.95. See Ebay item number 190820430039. They are a simple design and are basically a hollow plastic chamber with 2 lines in and one line out, but nothing is attached to the line out. That tube is just stuffed with foam to allow air out but not allow dirt in. The inlet lines are from the tank and back to the tank to allow for venting and fuel return when the tank pressure builds or the tank "burps." This plastic surge valve is slipped into and under a metal tab on the body at a level above the fuel tank to prevent the siphon of the fuel. Mine had three problems: (1) It had slipped out of the slot and was hanging at a level below the tank. This was bad as it allowed fuel to siphon out of the tank onto the ground. (2) One of the two lines was split and was allowing fuel out and air in. Also bad. (3) The foam wadding inside was missing, thereby allowing junk in. I replaced the foam by cutting up a foam lawn mower filter and poked it into the line out opening. I replaced the split fuel line and installed the surge valve back under the tab above the level of the tank. No more leak.

Got the portable gas tank and put some gas in, and instantly realized the tank was full, even though the gauge reads empty. Something is dicky with the fuel gauge. That's for tomorrow.

Opened the rear differential and drained the fluid. Going to replace with synthetic. Got everything cleaned up but had to order the gasket. Will get to that this weekend.

Checked out the carb and fuel was leaking into the unit. Pulled the carb and will mail off tomorrow for rebuilding. The bar is a 1969 but the carb is from a 1970. Hummmmmmm.......
 

taongisurvivor

Buick Newbie
11
1
1
Huntsville, Alabama
Buick Ownership
Buick Electra 225 1969, Buick Riviera GS 1967
Update number 2: Was looking at the wires leading to the fuel tank and coming off the forward end of the tank was a ground wire that had been crimped and the connection fell apart at my slightest touch. I never, never, never crimp wires unless it's an emergency. I cleaned up everything and soldered the connection plus used shrink tubing to prevent moisture intrusion. Result: No change. Aft of the tank was a single wire. The volt meter indicated approximately 6 volts when the ignition was on, no volts when the ignition was off. This was obviously the power wire to the tank. I disconnected the wire, turned on the ignition, and the fuel gauge now read full, thereby indicating no resistance from the sending unit (or indicating a full tank). I had drained most of the gas so this reading was incorrect, but did tell me two things: First, the fuel gauge is probably working correctly. Second, the problem is probably with the sending unit. Going to D.C. for the week for work, so dropping the tank is next week's project. Gotta love these cars.
______________________________
 

taongisurvivor

Buick Newbie
11
1
1
Huntsville, Alabama
Buick Ownership
Buick Electra 225 1969, Buick Riviera GS 1967
Update number 3: Dropped the fuel tank and removed the sending unit. Checked it on a volt meter and the unit is bad. That's the good news. The bad news is the unit is a "cannister type" sending unit that just can't be repaired and any NOS stocks were used up years ago. I purchased an aftermarket, but in some cases those units are prone to needle fluctuations when taking corners or going up/down steep hills. The good news is that my tank is in great shape and has a big baffle right next to where the new sending unit goes. This should significantly reduce the fluctuations in the gauge needle during cornering. The new sending unit has an Ohm range from 0 (empty) to 125 (full) as compared to the old unit with a range from 0 (empty) to 90 (full); this menas that once the tank is full the gauge could read beyond full, but this is ok. All of the hoses were shot and I have replaced them. The new vent gizmo came in and I put that on as well. I am now ready to re-install the tank tonight. The carb was removed and sent for rebuilding and is due back in another week. In the interim I have removed the plugs, cleaned them up and re-set the gap. The plugs looked great. More to follow once the carb gets back.
 

taongisurvivor

Buick Newbie
11
1
1
Huntsville, Alabama
Buick Ownership
Buick Electra 225 1969, Buick Riviera GS 1967
Update Number 4: The gasket for the rear differential cover could not be found. It is a 10 bolt cover with a spread of 11.5 inches bolt hole to bolt hole. Got tired of driving around and looking on the interweb so I just bought some gasket material and made my own. Synthetic diff fluid added and all bolted together. Gas tank now installed and the fuel gauge working perfectly with no leaks. Replaced the rotor and distributor cover as the points looked fine. Now waiting on the carb to fire and re-set the timing and dwell. AC does not work so once the car gets running I will take that on.
 

taongisurvivor

Buick Newbie
11
1
1
Huntsville, Alabama
Buick Ownership
Buick Electra 225 1969, Buick Riviera GS 1967
Update Number 5: When I removed the carb, the flare nut on the fuel line at the carb had been rounded off and ruined in the past. While I was waiting on the carb to get back, I elected to remove the line and replace with a new one. I called Inlinetube.com and they said they carried that line so I ordered one in stainless steel. It arrived and was beautiful. Only problem was that it did not fit. Called them back and have now sent them the new one and my old one, where they will match or make one like mine. Also, the hood rubbed on the side of the fender, so I decided to adjust the hood. Once I stated looking at it, the driver's side hood hinge was severely bent. Ebay to the rescue again and ordered a set of restored hinges. They were beautiful and correct. Replaced them yesterday and now the hood opens and closes perfectly with perfect alignment. The old girl is getting there and once the carb gets back I will fire her up and adjust the dwell. I can't wait to see how she runs.
 

taongisurvivor

Buick Newbie
11
1
1
Huntsville, Alabama
Buick Ownership
Buick Electra 225 1969, Buick Riviera GS 1967
Update Number 6: The carb arrived last night from Sparky's Carb Service and looked beautiful. I re-installed and a few squirts of starting fluid later the old girl fired right up. I adjusted the choke and timing and dwell and it runs great! Plenty of power and smooth, and the transmission shifts correctly. I don't know if it was the spark plugs, the distributor cap, the rotor, or the carb (or some combination), but the issues have been resolved. There are a few more smaller issues to work out, but the car is very drivable right now. Thanks for all of the replies and assistance.
______________________________
 
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916deuce

New member
1
0
1
Buick Ownership
1969 buick electra 225
First post. I recently purchased a 1969 Buick Electra 225 convertible while on deployment in the Middle East (US Government Civil Service). I am home on vacation and got my first look at the old girl. Two issues that may or may not be related:

(1) If cranks right up and runs, but does not seem to have the power you would expect from 360 hp from the factory. In addition, once it gets hot, it will just die. It may take 7-10 seconds of cranking to re-start, and it only seems to start against its will (so to speak). From that point whenever you let off the gas it will die until it cools down, then it will run fine. The oil was dirty, so I drained and used engine flush, drained again and used engine flush again. Each time it ran for 10 minutes with no load and ran perfectly. Stock everything with no upgrade to high energy ignition. Fuel problem??? (see next issue).

(2) The car had almost zero gas when I cranked it. It started right up but the fuel gauge reflected zero fuel. I put 5 gallons of premium fuel in the old girl and looked underneath and fuel was pouring out from the tank. Great, I thought, a hole in the tank! No. when everything dried out, the fuel is leaking from a plastic fitting that has two lines running into it from the top of the tank. Two lines in, but no line out. What's going on here?? Could this be causing some fuel starvation issue that is causing the car to quit when it gets hot??

I also bought a 1967 Buick Riviera GS and will start on her next. But first the Electra. Anybody have any ideas???

Also looking for steel rally wheels for the Electra. Anybody have some in excellent condition?? Can these be purchased new??? Can old ones be restored???

Gordon Jones
Thanks for updating this thread. It's helped me out alot on my 69 electra. Almost the exact same issues i had.
 
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