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Smoke from air filter during start?

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Had trouble starting the car, was pumping the gas as I normally do when it struggles. Then, the battery didn't have enough juice to turn the starter.

I opened the hood, and put the booster box on my battery. After a few more tries, I heard a burping sound and smoke starting coming from the air filter.

I let the smoke stop (not too much smoke, just like a candle was blown out), and then was able to start the car.

Do you think the smoke was just a little backfire that came through the carburetor instead of the tailpipe? Maybe I had it flooded?

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You answered it yourself. Just a backfire. I'd check that your car is tuned properly (timing, point dwell, valves, plugs, etc) if it happens often. My car is tuned as well as I can get it in its current form and it still has a minor backfire once in a while on cold mornings if I flood the motor with a bit too much fuel in my haste to get warmed up.

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Good to hear I didn't blow anything up! I was afraid someone was going to tell me a fried my carburetor.

I replaced the spark plugs and cleaned the battery terminals and now she fires right up!

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