55 Tbird hard to start.


Asked by May 26, 2019 at 01:32 AM about the 1955 Ford Thunderbird

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a 55 Tbird. Doesn’t like to start after
sitting overnight. If I manually prime the
carburetor or use starting fluid it will try to
fire. Usually after about third try will run. Also
dies on inclines like it has ran out of gas.

5 Answers


Sounds like the float bowl in the carburetor is leaking. Remove the carburetor and have it rebuilt. Do NOT buy a replacement and turn in the old one for the core charge!! I learned that lesson years ago with a '70 Pontiac I had! Hope that helps! Jim

1 people found this helpful.

Carburetor maybe really dirty use a whole can of carb cleaner into carburetor

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Thanks Jim, What happened with the rebuild carb?

1 people found this helpful.

You're welcome. Glad to help! After I installed the rebuilt carburetor the car wouldn't run right. So I exchanged it for another one. Same problem. I received and returned five, yes FIVE, rebuilt carburetors from three different parts stores. The car wouldn't run right. An inspection of the spark plugs told me the engine was running way too lean! Then I realized that 1970 was the last year the EVAP system wasn't required for Federal Emissions. Beginning 1971 it was. So the carburetors I was getting were jetted too lean to accommodate the EVAP system. With an aftermarket part number there's many, many OEM part numbers lumped together. GM used that style Rochester two barrel carburetor for many years and on many vehicles BUT EACH had it's own specific part number for each specific vehicle it was originally used on. I still remember that part number for my Pontiac. It was 7040060. It decodes as follows: 704=Rochester two barrel Pontiac Division, 0=1970, 060=Federal Emissions Non altitude automatic transmission. There was no internet in those days (mid 90s) so I scoured the parts classifieds in Hemmings Motor News. I finally found a good used carburetor, part number 7040060, in a junkyard in Arizona. When I got it I had it rebuilt by a local shop and the car ran great! The car was still running great when I sold it in 2012! Always passed emissions inspection too! Also, from those days until now I won't ever turn in a core until I'm sure the new part is going to work correctly on the car! Lesson learned and not forgotten!! Hope that helps! Jim

1 people found this helpful.

Keeping the original carb will increase the value of the car. A wrong carb will be a red flag to collectors. If you use a different carb, keep the original!

1 people found this helpful.

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