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Old 11-25-2006, 12:32 PM
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Engine stalls when trans put into gear

I own a 57 Chevy sedan delivery. (see attached photo)It has been a race car since the mid 60's. Starting as a junior stocker and then super stock in the late 70's. It has a C.M.C. prepared 60 over 283 with a 670 lift crane roller cam, Holley 700 dbl. pumper, Mallory dual point distributor, 1-7/8 fender well headers, 513 gears, 10 bolt posi rear. This car used to run high 12's with a cast iron Vitar power glide, 5000 stall speed converter and 7" slicks. The car was mothballed for the last 25 years. Recently we decided to put it on the street and have some fun with it. The power glide trans was no good and had been removed. We installed a rebuilt TH 400 with a 2500 stall speed converter in it's place and connected the headers to some side pipes.The rest of the car is pure 30 year old technology. We have it running, the engine still runs like a bear, and it's a work in progress. We are having some difficulty with the trans. When we put it in gear it stalls the engine. The car is idling at 1200 rpm. If we raise the idle to about 1800 rpm and put it in gear it will almost stall the car but it will keep running although you can feel the car straining. We are not sure if we were having an idle fuel problem or a transmission/torque converter problem. At 1800 rpm droping this in gear creates quite a lurch. We have driven it on the street and it shifts fine. Everything else seems to be working good. Any help or suggestions would be appreciated. Did I mention the fact that me and my buddy have not wrenched race cars fin the last 25 years and have forgotten most of what we knew.
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Old 11-25-2006, 12:44 PM
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Niice car...sounds to me like you need a higher stall converter..but that is just me..maybe some others might have something to say on this..

I have tried most all of it and now do what is known to work..
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Old 11-25-2006, 12:45 PM
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RJ57 has a couple of these
I think he is a 57 chev freak
He even has one of the Tradesman wagons (windowed delivery--no back seats)

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Old 11-25-2006, 01:41 PM
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A major vacuum leak will cause the motor to want to stall at idle, too. If you have any 25 year old rubber vacuum hoses running to the engine, check them for cracks. Although, most full on race cars don't have much vacuum operated accessories.

It could be the idle circuits in the carb or too radical of a cam or any of a dozen other things. If you suspect the carb, especially if its been setting up for 25 years, try and find someone who can loan you a different carb to see if thats the problem.
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Old 11-25-2006, 02:07 PM
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I would verify the carb condition and settings..... engine timing too.

the converter could have some problems.

What is the history on the converter? New? Used & sitting around for years?

Dont worry how old you are... it is the mileage on your body that adds up.
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Old 11-25-2006, 03:00 PM
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Engine stalls when trans put into gear

Thanks for the quick replies guys. To answer some of the questions.
We have checked for vacuum leaks and found none. Cam is wild and registers 6" at an idle of 1000 rpm.
The only vacuum hose on the car is the one running to the modulator on the trans and that is new.
The converter was purchased new when we installed the trans not too long ago. We previously had a new converter installed that was 1500 stall speed and changed out for the 2500 thinking that this was the problem. Same result.
Carburetor is less than three years old and was purchased new. Float settings and idle mixture seems to be fine. We have tried drilling 1/8" pilot holes in the primary butterfly's like the Holley hop up tip tells you and we even changed the power valve from the 10.5" stocker to 4.5" and still no difference.We thought maybe when we put it in gear and the vacuum drops that we were starving the idle circuit. When we put a light on it the timing seems to be very advanced, some where in the neighborhood of 28 - 30 degrees at 1200 rpm and we have tried moving the distributor and even backing up a tooth but we can't seem to get it to run decent any lower. We have forgotten what we used to time this thing at but we do remember having to power time it at 2000 RPM with the Delco dual point distributor that we are still currently running. Is there anyone out there who could give me some idea of where this timing should be . I have the cam spec's. I am going to call Crane next week to see if they can help. As I said we have driven this and it seems to run like a bear other than a slight hesitation from idle to full throttle this thing still screams.
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