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Old 04-11-2003, 09:05 AM
Gas Guzzling Democrat
 
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Help! My '64 gmc truck died last night and i had to leave it parked on the street in Queens and I don't know whats wrong!

History: the engine is a '73 350 with a holley 4160 carb.

All winter there's been problems with it not starting well, especially on wet days, when it would run very chunky for awhile. I've traced that problem down to the distributor, but haven't had the time to change the points, condenser, etc. Sometimes I open it up and spray wd 40 in there and it gets better.

Also the carb was having problems, it would sometimes just die in the middle of driving, no fuel. so last weekend I rebuilt the carb, put it back on and everything seemed great for the whole week. it ran fine, with some slight idle problems that i hadn't had a chance to fine-tune.

but last night i drove it to a friends birthday party up in queens (not a long drive from brooklyn). It was running fine, i parked it, and was at the party for about two hours.

then we get in, start it, and it just runs like hell, won't keep idle, sounds real chunky, the only way to get any idle at all is to pull out the choke all way, and rev up a bit... then if i take out the choke at all or try to drive a bit, it just stalls, dies.

I tried to mess with the distributor but to no avail... Was too late to really attack it and didn't want my girlfriend to have to sit there too long, so I parked it and took a taxi home.

don't know what to do... a vacuum leak?? I'm kinda out of ideas.....

thanks so much in advance...

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Old 04-11-2003, 09:07 AM
Gas Guzzling Democrat
 
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okay, now that i've vented a bit, i guess what i need to do is check the spark on all the plugs, and, what else.... check compression?

Does this seem wise?
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Old 04-13-2003, 07:16 PM
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okay so i guess i'm still talking to myself here, but i guess it still helps.

went to work on the truck saturday morning, and it started right up, clean as a whistle. ran just great all the way home... filled it up with a new tank of gas, put in some SEA FOAM in the tank, watched the black junk come out of the tailpipes, parked it and went to work in the garden.

bout an hour later i go to drive it down to the shop to get some tools, and lo and behold, it runs like s**t again, same exact problem as the otherday.

so now I'm real confused, but I do some research on the site here, and I'm wondering if perhaps I'm getting some percolating fuel in the carburetor, since the truck doesn't have a shroud on it yet and is probably running pretty hot. There's a spacer between the carb & engine but it's metal and conductive.

So I'll try to perhaps adjust the fuel bowl level a bit - see if its too high perhaps, and see if that helps.

If my Floats are sinking, would it cause this kind of problem?
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Old 04-13-2003, 08:35 PM
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The way it runs good one minute and bad the next makes me suspect you may have some trash somewhere in the fuel system or a partially clogged fuel filter.

Disconect the fuel line right before it goes into the carb and insert it into a clear plastic bottle. Disable the ignition and turn the starter over for 10 seconds. Hold the clear bottle of gas up to a good light to see if you have any trash floating around in the gas. If it has been a long time since you have replaced the fuel filter put a new one on and cut your old one in half with a hack saw to examine its contents.

There are several things that can cause your problem but I would start with this. It also sounds like you may have a vacuum leak. If it will only start while the choke is completely closed, this is most likely the culprit.
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Old 04-14-2003, 05:06 AM
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thanks, i'll check the fuel line out. I did notice the other day some gak at the bottom of a gas tank i sometimes use.
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Old 04-14-2003, 05:30 AM
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Fuel filter frist. Vaccumn leak next. Fuel pump after that. Then consider the last thing you fixed. You rebuilt the carb. Let us know how it turns out.
Slider in Wa.
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Old 04-16-2003, 08:10 PM
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update:

The filter seems okay, the fuel in it was clean and I can blow through it easily.

The truck ran fine today, but i didn't drive it too far. The problem only seems to happen when it gets really hot. I know i need to put a shroud on the fan, but I don't know where to find one.

nevertheless, this problem is indeed new.

I'll check for vacuum leak tomorrow, but I have another question... It's kinda embarrasing, but when I took the carb out to rebuild it, there were three vacuum lines connected to it. ONe went to the pcv valve, one to the vacuum advance on the distributor, and one (i think) to the transmission. When I disconnected the lines, i wrote where they went on a piece of paper which i then promptly lost (the embarrasing part).

There is a chance, then, that I switched the vacuum advance and (xmission?) vacuum lines... one hooked into the carb base, and the other one next to the front fuel bowl (its a holley 4160)...

The truck seems to drive okay, though... but i'm wondering if anyone knows which port I should hook these up to... could this be THE problem....

thanks again
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Old 04-17-2003, 06:15 AM
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hmm... drove it around this morning, and then checked for vacuum leak with carb cleaner. seems that theres' a slight leak around the driver's side intake gasket. very slight, though. I've got some new gaskets that I'll put on there when I get a chance.
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Old 04-23-2003, 07:51 AM
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Whoohoo. looks like i found it. The distributor centrifugal weights were all gunked up and sticking, probably because I sprayed too much wd40 in there. So I just cleaned it all up, made it all rotate good.

and it started right up.

lets hope its all good.

thanks so much everybody.

I'm sure I'll need some more help soon ...
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