#1  
Old 05-16-2020, 03:39 PM
oldgoat16's Avatar
oldgoat16 oldgoat16 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: N.H.
Posts: 211
Question Tripower problems and fire!

Hi guys, question, as I read more on Facebook, the more I have thoughts of not returning my tripower back to mr 66, it was born with it and also had a fire in the the mid seventies, I tracked all three owners before me, it was saved by a fire extinguisher, back then and put on the shelf, I had it completely rebuilt, but the problems still seem to have existed through the years for these set ups, Iíve seen the floats stick, the rear carbs overflowing and leaking out, the list is long on some of the sites of Facebook and the fires that are posted lately with all kinds of classics is scary, my guess on a lot is the old electrical systems...any thoughts or information to who to contact for a check up and or re -rebuilding Of the carbs? I know Mike From the tripower team is highly regarded, I carry a fire extinguisher at all times with the problems that can arise with our cars, but would love to bolt that set up back on, thoughts guys? Also Iím in southern NH or the Boston area, is there anyone in the area that specializes in these great set ups? Thanks Mike

  #2  
Old 05-16-2020, 03:50 PM
wbnapier wbnapier is offline
Senior Chief
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Encinitas, CA
Posts: 319
Default

With a fuel pressure regulator set at 3.5psi, properly set float, quality needle and seat, there should be no particular fire hazard compared to other carbs.

When it is said that tri-powers pose a special fire hazard, what they are really saying is that they are more prone to fuel leaks. There is some logic in that there are more fuel fittings, so more potential leak points, but I am not overly concerned.

__________________
1965 Pontiac GTO
455 w/ #48 Heads, '65 Tri-Power
Modern Muncie M22W
3.55 Rear Differential
The Following User Says Thank You to wbnapier For This Useful Post:
  #3  
Old 05-16-2020, 04:55 PM
Stuart's Avatar
Stuart Stuart is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 6,853
Default

I think the problem comes down to not using the outer carburetors - if you don't kick them in often enough they can get gummed up, particularly with today's gasoline.

Dick Boneske here on the board rebuilds them: http://forums.maxperformanceinc.com/...d.php?t=786342


Last edited by Stuart; 05-16-2020 at 07:31 PM.
The Following User Says Thank You to Stuart For This Useful Post:
  #4  
Old 05-16-2020, 07:10 PM
Scarebird's Avatar
Scarebird Scarebird is offline
Ultimate Warrior
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: ABQ, USA
Posts: 3,779
Default

What fuel pump are you using?

__________________
www.scarebird.com
  #5  
Old 05-17-2020, 02:07 PM
oldgoat16's Avatar
oldgoat16 oldgoat16 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: N.H.
Posts: 211
Default

Stock A/C Delco,

  #6  
Old 05-17-2020, 04:09 PM
Scarebird's Avatar
Scarebird Scarebird is offline
Ultimate Warrior
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: ABQ, USA
Posts: 3,779
Default

ah. My old Carter would overpressure the carb and spill over at idle.

__________________
www.scarebird.com
  #7  
Old 05-17-2020, 07:06 PM
Goatracer1 Goatracer1 is offline
Ultimate Warrior
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: NH
Posts: 2,864
Default

I have used TP on my cars on and off for over 50 years and have not found them more trouble prone than any other type carb. Everything from my 287 1955 Chieftain to a 455 powered 1963 Chevy PU. In fact the worst carb that I found over the years for flooding and leaking is the popular dual feed Holley. As for rebuilding your carbs if you don't want them recoated there is no reason that if you are careful you can't do them yourself. Follow all the instructions and measure carefully. If you run into a problem ask for help and you should be all set. It's not brain surgery. Just make sure everything is CLEAN. If you have a compressor blow out every passage with a blow gun. If not buy a can of compressed air like the computer guys use. Good luck.

  #8  
Old 05-18-2020, 12:19 PM
oldgoat16's Avatar
oldgoat16 oldgoat16 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: N.H.
Posts: 211
Default

Thanks guys , as in any case , carbs have their problems , I think I may plan a weekend and bolt it all in , run it and watch close to see what leaks and ask more questions, I have no experience with tripower , only 4bbl, so the set up is key as well, nice to see it on the shelf , but itís sat long enough!, mike

  #9  
Old 05-18-2020, 05:19 PM
geeteeohguy's Avatar
geeteeohguy geeteeohguy is offline
Ultimate Warrior
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Fresno, California
Posts: 4,518
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goatracer1 View Post
I have used TP on my cars on and off for over 50 years and have not found them more trouble prone than any other type carb. Everything from my 287 1955 Chieftain to a 455 powered 1963 Chevy PU. In fact the worst carb that I found over the years for flooding and leaking is the popular dual feed Holley. As for rebuilding your carbs if you don't want them recoated there is no reason that if you are careful you can't do them yourself. Follow all the instructions and measure carefully. If you run into a problem ask for help and you should be all set. It's not brain surgery. Just make sure everything is CLEAN. If you have a compressor blow out every passage with a blow gun. If not buy a can of compressed air like the computer guys use. Good luck.
I've had the same experience, but only for the past 41 years. The tripowers I have run were as reliable as any 4 barrel carb. The current, original born-with tripower on my '65 GTO has been there for 55 years and still works fine. I kitted the carbs about 25 years ago and while grungy looking, they work flawlessly.

__________________
Jeff
  #10  
Old 05-18-2020, 05:41 PM
tom s tom s is offline
Ultimate Warrior
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: long beach ca usa
Posts: 16,239
Default

except for jetting and needle and seats you only have to deal with the center carb if all are real pontiac tripower carbs.The end carbs are just dump carbs.If the throttle blades seat properly there should be no fuel pulled through them.Tom

  #11  
Old 05-18-2020, 09:16 PM
oldgoat16's Avatar
oldgoat16 oldgoat16 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: N.H.
Posts: 211
Thumbs up Carbs

Thanks guys, carbs are all original #ís carbs , the set up survived the fire with the air cleaners taking the hit, the owner was smart, back then, to have a fire extinguisher on hand , he raced it it back in the day and had a repair kit always with him, sounds familiar? Lol, ...but the rebuild required all internals as would be expected, what Iím afraid of is just that , the needles, seats and proper settings of the floats, even the jet sizes I question,..... the company that rebuilt them was very reputable, but not a gto guys, there is one place in Pelham NH Iím considering ,Hobbs carburetors, been around a long time with good reputation, Iím thinking to bring the specs on the jet sizes and tell him my situation, hope he doesnít get insulted with the jet spec sheet! , the more I look at it, and read the input from all of you, I think itís worth a shot, mike

  #12  
Old 05-18-2020, 09:34 PM
tom s tom s is offline
Ultimate Warrior
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: long beach ca usa
Posts: 16,239
Default

Dick Boneski on this site or Mike Wassen of Jon Havens IMO!Tom

  #13  
Old 05-19-2020, 05:37 PM
Goatracer1 Goatracer1 is offline
Ultimate Warrior
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: NH
Posts: 2,864
Default

Yes Hobbs has been around for a long time but has the guy that actually works on your carbs been around a long time? There is nothing he can do that you can't do. All measurements should come in the kit. If your engine is stock then your stock jets should be just fine. If your engine is not stock then Hobbs can't help you anyways.

  #14  
Old 05-19-2020, 07:59 PM
oldgoat16's Avatar
oldgoat16 oldgoat16 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: N.H.
Posts: 211
Default

It was north ave carb in Derry NH, out of business, good guys, Bob and his father in law, ......the carbs are one piece Of the hobby I never had luck with, always sent them out after a few attempts, motor is stock, I would rather let the guys like yourself, that know what they are doing, fix it, .......do what you know best and pay for the rest, holds true, Looking at everyday and coming up with a plan,

The Following User Says Thank You to oldgoat16 For This Useful Post:
  #15  
Old 05-21-2020, 11:50 PM
mgarblik mgarblik is offline
Ultimate Warrior
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 3,871
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgoat16 View Post
Thanks guys , as in any case , carbs have their problems , I think I may plan a weekend and bolt it all in , run it and watch close to see what leaks and ask more questions, I have no experience with tripower , only 4bbl, so the set up is key as well, nice to see it on the shelf , but itís sat long enough!, mike
I have had many tri-power cars over the last 45 years and enjoyed them all. Are they more likely to catch fire than a single carburetor? Yes, for the reasons mentioned in the thread. IMO, they are three times as likely to catch fire as one carburetor. Doesn't mean they will ever catch fire though. No reason for them to. They have allot of fittings to check for leaks, no big deal. They have 3 floats that can stick and overflow, but still very, very little chance that will happen. Make sure your plug wires are in excellent shape and routed properly as that is generally the ignition source for a fire, especially around the rear carb. It so happens that the most likely time for a fuel leak and potential fire is when you first start one up. This is the most likely time a needle and float will stick because it's dry and the bowls are empty. I recommend pre-filling the carburetors for the first start up with a tiny funnel through the bowl vents. Just a few ounces in each bowl will get the floats, floating. If you don't want to do this, crank the engine for 10 seconds then stop. wait 15 seconds. Then crank 5 seconds. Wait 15 seconds. continue til it starts. This fills the bowls slowly and you can find leaks or issues before it floods badly. Nothing to be afraid of. Also nothing sounds better than a tri-power at full throttle all six throats singing that Pontiac song! Enjoy.

  #16  
Old 05-22-2020, 11:54 AM
oldgoat16's Avatar
oldgoat16 oldgoat16 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: N.H.
Posts: 211
Default Tripower

Thanks for the encouragement and tips !, itís a shame to have it sit, so itís in the plans, the fittings are the key , looking st the rear carb, I can see the fuel fitting is just about bottomed out to the casting, that may need attention or replacement of the top section , everything else looks , it appeared to be the rear carb that it started from, keep you guys posted as it comes back together!

  #17  
Old 05-22-2020, 02:18 PM
Tom Vaught's Avatar
Tom Vaught Tom Vaught is offline
Boost Engineer
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: The United States of America
Posts: 28,424
Default

Some of these Tri-Power Carbs, over the years, have seen a lot of abuse and installation of the wrong parts and then get blamed when the issue was operator error.

I have had a Tri-Power set-up on the 64 from Day 1 with a short break during the college days where I installed a Factory 1964 4 bbl intake and matching AFB carb for some College Engineering Fuel Economy testing.

Neither carb system ever gave me an issue as far as functioning properly.
The only issue I ever had was because of a improper picture in a Pontiac Advertisement that showed the Tube and Plunger assy installed backward on a 1966 421 engine picture. This is the mechanical linkage set-up for 1964.

I changed my linkage and had a issue with the plunger getting hung up on the intake manifold cross-over when it came out of the tube. I have posted about this in the past.

I have seen repop fuel pumps that showed 9 psi on a fuel gage,
I have seen leaking fittings and poorly made steel fuel lines for the carbs cause issues.
I have seen float settings that were done incorrectly and caused high fuel levels in the bowls. And then there are the mismatched carb gaskets. 99% of the time human error.

The carbs unless butchered rarely are the reason for a fire issue.

Tom V.

__________________
"Engineers do stuff for reasons" Tom Vaught

John M and BAE just created a billet block for John, bye, bye 5.80s
  #18  
Old 05-22-2020, 10:10 PM
oldgoat16's Avatar
oldgoat16 oldgoat16 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: N.H.
Posts: 211
Default

Thanks Tom, looking at the fuel lines and the top section of rear carb, I believe I found at least one issue, any recommendations on fuel pumps ? This A/C delco fuel pump must be 10+ years old and will be replaced at the same time of installation , decided to bring the carbs to a reputable shop and just check the floats etc. so far , so good, finding out things I didn’t know ! Thanks guys

Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:53 AM.

 

About Us

The PY Online Forums is the largest online gathering of Pontiac enthusiasts anywhere in the world. Founded in 1991, it was also the first online forum for people to gather and talk about their Pontiacs. Since then, it has become the mecca of Pontiac technical data and knowledge that no other place can surpass.

 

Cold Case Radiators

Cold Case Radiators is a Max Performance company that produces high end aluminum performance radiators at a price point that won't break the bank. Polished and stamped tanks. 2 rows of 1" tubes. Lifetime Warranty.

GTOG8TA.com

GTOG8TA.com is a Max Performance company that manufacturers parts for the 04-06 GTO, 08-09 G8, and 93-02 Firebird/Trans Am platforms.

Copyright © 2017