I made an interesting discovery this morning on my '38 car.
Yesterday I was investigating the apparent non-operation of the starting carb. The needle was not sucking down as it should, and no characteristic hissing noise.
I have rigged up a manual switch under the dashboard for it. With the solenoid removed, I can switch on and the plunger pulls in as it should, sometimes all the way in, and sometimes about 1/16" short i.e. not quite all the way in, but a gentle touch on the floppy disc caused it to pull in the last 1/16".
With the plunger removed and the solenoid installed, the carb apparently works, needle pulls down and hissing noise.
Measurements time. Inlet port face to solenoid mounting face 1/4". Floppy disc fully in to solenoid face 1/8", but 3/16" when not fully pulled in. Seems like not enough clearance., there ought to be more. Could the manifold vacuum be pulling the floppy disc closed against the pull of the solenoid?
Then I realized there was no gasket in the solenoid mounting seat.
I bought a fiber washer, 1-1/8" OD x 7/8" ID x 1/32" thick, Hillman part #780288 from Ace Hardware, put it in this morning.
Success! The starting carb now works as it should, the car starts immediately on one or two revolutions of the crankshaft, the needle pulls down and the hissing noise is back. Apparently raising the solenoid that 1/32" with the gasket made all the difference.
BTW a tip for you all; I was holding the solenoid in my hand, testing it and switched it off, and the plunger and beehive spring flew out, and I spent 10 minutes hunting for that beehive spring. I put a little bend on the small end so it is loosely captured on the plunger shaft and will stay with it if I pull that stunt again.