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Today I worked on my car with a friend. I’ve been chasing a flakey ground on my car since it came new from the shop back in 2004. Basically my alternator light comes on very dim when not using the headlights. As soon as I start using them the alternator light goes nuts turning on occasionally. We did see two grounds for the negative battery cable: one to the top of the steering box to one of the 13 mm bolts on the top cover the other one runs to a metal bracket over the front beam right in front of the gas tank which attaches to the fiberglass in that area with two 13 mm bolts; the ground goes to the left bolt. We cleaned both and now the problem seems to be resolved. Will report as time goes on to make sure we really solved it.

Now on to the main subject of the post. As soon as we finished that it started pouring rain. I put the top and the side curtains up and waited. It rained cats and dogs for over an hour. Normally if the car is still it doesn’t get wet inside so I decided to wait until the rain was over for a while to drive back to store the car. When it subsided and I went to start the car it started cranking and wouldn’t start. Then all of a sudden I heard like a loud knock on the motor and the starter couldn’t crank it. The starter suddenly stopped responding and all we could see when turning the key was both oil and gen lights light up and go dim as if the battery were dead. That’s when I panicked; that noise didn’t sound good and I thought I’d broken something major. Also the battery is brand new. We waited a little and then the car started but was spitting and I revved it a little and saw some white smoke. I turned it off and opened the decklid and found the engine compartment fairly wet with water at the top of the air filters on the carbs and all around the bottom of the filter elements. We decided to open the air filters and take the elements out; I found some water at the air filter bases which we dried up. We installed them right back up; started the car and at first it was missing a little bit; I revved it a few times and it came back to normal. The car worked perfectly on the ride back. I am thinking it might have hydro locked a little. I am surprised the engine wasn’t destroyed. Looks like these decklids will let in a lot of water under a heavy downpour. Be careful. What are the thoughts of the brain trust here? Have any of you experienced something similar?

Last edited by Impala
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Yup, you hydro-locked it.  @El Frazoo can tell you all about that.  Happened to him at Carlisle, once.

The “white smoke” coming out was probably steam.   I would check the oil on your dipstick to see if there is any indication of water in the case.  In fact, change the oil soon, just to make sure.

The cure is to get some “rain hats” for your carburetors to shed the water off and not get it into the carbs.

Last edited by Gordon Nichols

My event occurred when I washed the car before the trip.  It didn't hydrolock, but it ran like crap the whole way up there, somewhat helped by several cans of Sea Foam..  This was in 2008.  We had the second Biblical flood on Friday when we went to the Harley Davidson plant.  Luckily I had the presence of mind to cover my carbs with plastic bags before riding to the plant in Gordon's big-ass truck.  Several others, most notably Kelly, weren't so lucky.  I think he was the only one that needed to pull spark plugs and pump out water on Saturday, but a lot of cars had ingested some water.

Put some Sea Foam in the tank and run it through and it should be ok.  In the meantime, order some rain hats.  A bunch of us did after Carlisle '08.

Last edited by Lane Anderson
@DannyP posted:

Because you got water IN the carbs(float bowls), but not down the intakes into the cylinders.


@Impala: You'll probably need to drill and possibly trim them a bit clear your linkage if you have the common crossbar type.  They won't care that you have Dellortos as they are big enough the they fit on top of the air filter covers. Also, they're just gelcoat fiberglass, but you can sand and paint however you want.

There is another way, for those interested.

I'm currently running CB "turbo hats" with a cone-type filter on the inlet. It cuts down on the intake noise, rain is no problem (ever), and most importantly - the set-up dramatically reduces the risk of a fire in the event of a backfire.

The hats are shorter than the filters they replace, so the velocity stacks come closer than ideal to the top of the hat. I was going to buy shorter stacks, but then I was thinking of EFI and wanted to stop buying carb stuff (especially since the stacks I was looking at were not cheap).

I was concerned that the assembly would choke the engine - but so far, with the 2110, that hasn't been the case.

The engine doesn't appear to be as "sexy" with this setup, but after the great backfire scare of 2018, I'm not taking any chances.

While regular Seafoam can help control moisture in your gas and it's really good stuff, it's mostly a detergent to clean the fuel system.  It can't hurt to use it, but there is very little alcohol in it to bind with the water molecules and burn it off in the engine.  There are other alcohol-based products like Heet, Sta-Bil 360 Marine, STP Water Remover or even generic Gas-line Anti-Freeze and water removers that will remove water in your gas better.

I always throw an entire can of Seafoam into my gas tank when Pearl comes out of Winter Hibernation to clean the varnish out of my carbs.  If I got water into the carbs I would go for something like this:

Just some food for thought.

My old school experience also tells me that gas line anti-freeze products lose effectiveness over time so don't keep it on your shop shelf - Buy some new when you need it, like brake fluid.

Last edited by Gordon Nichols

Did I hear my name??  Yes I had hydrolock at and early Carlisle adventure, shortly after I got the car.  44IDFs.  Racing carbs, so I am told.  Maybe jiggered some to allow them to be used on cars that do not race, or do not race very often.  The float chamber and carb top are open at the top to the atmosphere.  I could not tell you why that might be a good thing.  And it will allow water to leak down the throat and in to the engine if things are right, as they almost certainly will be on at least one cylinder.  So the Biblical rain at Carlisle, and I got water in there and could not crank it over.  Mr. Nichols, and others had been there and done that, and advised removing a spark plug to see if that would allow motor to turn.  As I recall we hit the bet (1:4) first time.  Pushed the water out, and got going again without a lot of delay.  Rain hats followed ASAP, along with a hastily purchase blue tarp car cover.

Re: Scared Shytless, I had one of those one spring after a particularly cold winter.  But hey it was now spring, weather much warmer now, so lets get it on.  Checked a few things, cranked it up and headed off for a run around the block.  Did not get very far. On the secondary road near my house I noticed a HUGE, and I do mean HUGE, cloud of white smoke behind me when I accelerated.  Is that my car?  WTF??! let off the go-pedal, smoke gone.  Stepped on it, and got enough smoke to kill all the mosquitoes within 200 yards.   Limped back to the garage, and eventually found that my crankcase was full to the top with a mixture of oil and gasoline.  Again:  WTF??! So here it is, as best as I can say: My Gas tank (and maybe yours too) is fitted up with a one way expansion equalizing valve.  lets air in as gas is consumed, and closes otherwise.  So if you park your car in unheated garage for the winter AND (this is the important part) you have not very much gas in the tank, as the whole thing cools, to below freezing even, air goes in to that space above what gas you do have in there.  Then the weather warms, the gas vapor and air try to expand, and can't escape, unless enough pressure builds to overcome the fuel  pump and float valve, and then the float chamber overflows and pours gas down the throat and into, eventually, the crankcase.  The crankcase needs a certain volume of gas/air in order to allow pressure fluctuations from combustion and oscillating mechanicals to be handled without high pressure build up.  Fill the case to no air/vapor left, and the slightest pressure from moving parts or ring blow-by will force that gas/oil mixture past the rings and into the part where the fire lives.  And I think we all know that it only takes a tiny bit of oil when burned to make a hell of a lot of smoke.  And so that's what I had.

The fix: disconnect that one way valve and always store the car, unheated during winter, with a full tank.  And check the level of fluid (only oil we hope,) in the crankcase with the dip stick provided for that purpose. Lesson learned.

All of us in California are reading this post like audio video instructions in a non-English language.  What in the heck is rain?

I recall once running through a small puddle in my speedster, 4.5 years ago.  I was scared. :-D

C'mon, Kevin, you know there is no longer any such thing in California! The concept of "rain" is nothing more than a hoax put out there by rumormongers dedicated to the promotion of some crazy cult called "Climate Change." So, ....that musta been a small poodle you ran over!

@edsnova posted:

As @Stan Galat advised (and I think @DannyP will concur) "turbo hats" are just the ticket when aiming for performance over looks. They keep water out, fires contained and noise down, no turbos required.

—only downside being they look dorky a.f. . . . to those who don't know.

Behold, the "placeholder" 2110 that's somehow been back there since the spring of 2019.

I don't know, man - "dorky a.f." seems kinda' strong.


... or maybe not. The whole thing looks a bit more Buck Rogers with the DTM, I think. Regardless, it's not as cool as naked velocity stacks - but whatcha' gonna' do?


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  • 2110
Last edited by Stan Galat

Stan, that looks great.

Don't listen to a guy with a wannabee MG on a VW chassis and powered by a Subaru. Now THAT'S dorky!

I'm not running my turbo hats anymore with EFI. But I can't hear so well. The 48 mm t-bodies really TALK.

Stan, drill a 1/16" hole in both wings of the wingnuts and use springs between them. You'll never lose one again.

Last edited by DannyP
@Stan Galat posted:

Behold, the "placeholder" 2110 that's somehow been back there since the spring of 2019.

I don't know, man - "dorky a.f." seems kinda' strong.


... or maybe not. The whole thing looks a bit more Buck Rogers with the DTM, I think. Regardless, it's not as cool as naked velocity stacks - but whatcha' gonna' do?

Hello Stan, did you modify the snorkels on those hats to point downward?

No, Michael - they're available in several different configurations . These are one of the choices. I picked them because it's in my long-term plans to cut out a lot of the rain-tray, and I was concerned about water in the engine.

The extent of my prep work on them was to throw them in the blast cabinet, to get a nice, sand-cast finish on them. They'd be brighter (and maybe nicer, depending on the look you're after) raw from the box.

It took me a hot minute to get used to the look, but Henry Reisner had mentioned using them on his carbureted builds probably 10 years back. I thought it was a phenomenal idea when he mentioned it, but never did it because "I was never going to have that problem". When I melted my 3/4 carb (by catching it on fire at the TdS in 2018), I got over the aesthetic.

Personally, I don't think it looks any dumber than having fiberglass bread-pans over the top of your air-filters, and this has some additional functionality.

@Stan Galat

Since I'm probably going to go this route (and soon, just to reduce the noise back there), did you use the CB Perf 7617 & 7618 pair?  And what K&N filter element did you use?

Might as well get something that I know will work.

Thanks, gn

Yes, I used the 7617 and 7618, and just bought a pair of 7303 filters from CB as well.

As an aside, I use K&N oil on the cheap CB/EMPI air filters all the time. I've had K&N filters, and I don't see any difference.


Stan, as long as you're already going rogue on the intakes, have you considered turning those 'hats' around so the tubes face forward and ducting them through the firewall into the space that's open to under the car?

Instant cold(er) air intakes. The filters could mount in that space or (since it's out of sight) you could fab up some other kind of filter box. Would clean up the engine compartment, too.

I notice a lot of modern cars have snorkel tubes from in front of the radiator leading back to an air box in the engine compartment. (The BMW 2002 had something similar way back in the '60s.)

And while you're at it, you could hide your nitrous bottle there, too.


Last edited by Sacto Mitch

Well, how to top that?  When it comes to @Stan Galat, dorky really has no definition.  He is his own man, and proud of it.  If it works, it's on.   As to the dork quotient, I suppose if they could be pointed up, he might look more ... um ... excited??  I wonder about the air restriction here, but suppose its not an issue.  As to bread pans, after I got my hydrolock, and before I got rain hats, I indeed bought a pair of thick aluminum foil bread pans and hooked them up.  I guess they worked, but did not hold up all that well over time. and that was REALLY dorky.  When I repainted my engine shroud with a rattle can metallic silver, the rain hats got that too.  Overall, I do not think they look so bad.

@barncobob posted:

maybe a touch of  blue loctite for those wingnuts

I don't know, anything that's on the threads that can sluff off when the wing nuts are unscrewed and the carb top removed, seams like a bad idea for the idle jets. I found the cause of my rash of jet blockages was from that washer under the wing nut. The rubber on one side would wear on the threads when removed, making perfect little jet blockers. I trimmed the rubber back so it didn't touch the threads, and problem solved.

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