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Hi All, hopefully this post is in the right forum - engines or general IH tech?

I have a '71 444 tractor, and have been having a heck of a time with the float needle sticking and flooding. If I can get to it in time when it starts to sputter, I can rap on the float bowl with a wrench and it will sort itself out. But too often, it will die before I can do that and then it's a bear to get started again. I have installed an electronic ignition to replace the points since they seemed to get burned easily when trying to start it when it's flooded.

Two years ago I rebuilt the carb, and it worked great for a few months after that. All I can think of is that some kind of grit is getting into the carb and causing the needle valve to stick open. For its age, it wouldn't be surprising if the tank has some rust. Haven't really been able to tell very well by looking inside, I probably need to drain it to get a better look.

Anyway, I don't know how effective the sediment bowl is. I've thought about adding an automotive type fuel filter, but was advised that this might lead to other problems because the filter is too restrictive. However, I noticed that my shop manual shows a fuel pump on this tractor. Mine doesn't have one. When or where it would have been removed I have no idea. If I replaced the pump, would I be able to put a better filter on - downstream of the pump - without worrying about fuel starvation?  Does it sound like that would help the situation? Or is the only remedy cleaning out the fuel tank and the whole fuel system to make sure there's no dirt or rust?

And if a pump is worth trying, would I be okay just getting an aftermarket electric fuel pump that's rated for the right pressure output?  And what is that?  I guess I'd never thought about it back when I had cars with carburetors, but what keeps the fuel pump from overwhelming the float valve and just pushing fuel in and flooding it? (Motorcycles are easier - gravity-fed and no pump). Is it just matching the right pump pressure to the carb/float valve?

Thanks for any help.  It's warming up here in Minnesota, and it'll soon be time to that that tractor working again!

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Welcome to the forum. General IH gets more traffic and fuel issues are common on many older gas tractors.  I have a 444 gasser it has an inline fuel filter and one of those facet electric fuel pumps on it. I have no issues with it flooding the carb. Below is a link to NAPA site showing what pump I have.

https://www.napaonline.com/en/p/BK_6102001

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Hey Bob, thanks. Good to see that it works out for another 444.  Do you run the filter before or after the fuel pump?

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Our 444 also has an aftermarket fuel pump, but it's been on it for as long as I can remember so I'm not sure what size or brand. We also have an inline filter that I believe is between the sediment bowl and the electric pump but I'll double check tonight when I get home. Our 444 will flood if the throttle isn't all the way at idle when you start it, but once it's been run awhile it would start at wide open throttle if you wanted to.

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6 hours ago, jflaw92 said:

Our 444 also has an aftermarket fuel pump, but it's been on it for as long as I can remember so I'm not sure what size or brand. We also have an inline filter that I believe is between the sediment bowl and the electric pump but I'll double check tonight when I get home. Our 444 will flood if the throttle isn't all the way at idle when you start it, but once it's been run awhile it would start at wide open throttle if you wanted to.

Ours is set up the same way inline filter between tank and left pump inlet and to start leave throttle at idle.

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