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Old 11-11-2013, 11:59 AM
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SBC sputter and dies while driving

My hot rod is a 34 ford but a custom build from the ground up. It a whole fresh build with 6,000 miles on it. It runs a 307 Chevy small block. S-10 rear end and 5 speed transmission. Edelbrock 1401 (750cfm). The car was running great till one night we went for a cruise down the freeway (65-70 mph) for about 30-45 minutes which isnít out of the norm since I take it to numerous car shows and I have taken it on 4/5 hour road trips before in the past with no problems. When I exited the freeway I pushed the pedal to give it gas and I lost all power. The motor sputtered and died like I had sucked the fuel tank dry. After cranking over the engine 2 or 3 times it fired back up and idled fine so we started to drive again and it ran for about 1 mile then it started missing, losing power, bogging and then die. I had to have it flatbed towed home. Once I got it home I started to diagnose and here is what Iíve done so far with no positive results. New fuel filter, when I changed my fuel filter there was a wad of what it seemed/assumed was the inside filter itself that dumped out of the filter like a wet slimy Kleenex. I replaced it with a new glass filter. New fuel pump. New platinum plugs and msd 8mm wires. Stock GM ignition coil, New carb (same as old) I went through the old one and did a rebuild on it. I wanted to see if any gunk from the old filter was plugging the jets, the new carb is still on the car. I did inspect and clean the points on my cap and rotor, but did not replace it. After changing each one of these things it would start it up and the car would idle fine (no odd sounds), I would take it out to drive it and to see if I had fixed the problem and it would consistently start to sputter, loose power, bog, and die out in the same spot and time into my drive. I have racked my brain and am starting to lose sleep over what it could be. If anyone has had anything that sounds like this or run across this, please help. I can answer any questions. Thank you.
-Reece L.
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Old 11-11-2013, 12:40 PM
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not running

u didn't say what u did to the gas tank ??? since u got stuff in the filter u'll need to go further into it.. don't look like a major problem since the tank in on the back. if u've done this and there is NO way for fuel to be the problem then i would be looking at the coil.. when it starts to die grab the coil and see if if it's hot.. i'll assume your running a ballast resistor too...
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Old 11-11-2013, 12:44 PM
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I agree, I would definetly be looking at the tank and pickup. Did it have fuel sitiing in it for anextended length of time? Take the fuel line off at carb and crank over, make sure you have good pressure and volume.
In this day and age, why are you running points ignition?
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Old 11-11-2013, 01:10 PM
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Sorry for confusion, i did not mean points. What i meant was i cleaned the individual contacts in the cap for each cylinder/spark plug and the rotor.
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Old 11-11-2013, 01:12 PM
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Also no sitting fuel. Since mechanical completion of the car 2 years ago car has been driven regularly. And when i take the fuel line off the carb and crank it over, it pukes healthy and clean fuel.
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Old 11-11-2013, 01:16 PM
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Vapor lock?
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Old 11-11-2013, 01:34 PM
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Glad you are not running points!!! and is that tank vented? Nobody crawled up that vent and died there? That sludge you found had to come from somewhere.
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Old 11-11-2013, 01:41 PM
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No way of anything to get into the fuel tank. and i think the stuff that i pulled out of the filter was the inner working of the filter it self. i put 92 octane in it and they have now started putting 10% ethanol in the fuel in Washington state. So i am wondering if the 10% ate away the inside of the filter and thats what came out of the filter...
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Old 11-11-2013, 02:51 PM
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Do you have a fuel regulator on it?
Eddy carbs don't like more than 5 psi.
Do you have a heat plate under the carb, preferably plastic or wood?
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Old 11-11-2013, 03:09 PM
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No fuel regulator, just a new fuel pump. i do have a inch spacer in between the carb and intake manifold. i think is aluminum.
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Old 11-11-2013, 03:48 PM
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Plastic or wood is better for a spacer. Sheds heat better.
If it quits only after getting up to a certain temperature each time, you might be flooding just a hair. Your old filter might have provided enough fuel restriction until it crapped out, now you have too much fuel pressure.
Check summit for regs.
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Old 11-11-2013, 03:53 PM
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Eliminate fuel issues first

Because of the fuel filter issue I would unplug the fuel line before the pump and let gravity flow the fuel into a container. Does it slow after the line is empty. This would signal a clog from the tank or in the pick up. A small amount of air pressure up the line may unclog the pick up in the tank. You would have to clean the tank later. It sounds like you are running out of fuel after the carb bowl is used up. If the problem is the coil you will have no or very weak spark when the car dies. This would be easy to check at the plug when it happens. Check the spark at the plug wire with a screw driver and see if it jumps to the block. Clean all the connections at the HEI plug and make sure it's tight.
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Old 11-11-2013, 04:03 PM
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Had a very similar issue to what you are experiencing years ago. The fuel pickup in the tank became partially plugged. After driving for a while the demand for fuel would exceed the supply. If we let it idle for a while when it started to bog out it would be fine again for a while.
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Old 11-11-2013, 04:11 PM
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I haven't ruled out my cap and rotor or electrical & spark. But it really feels and acts like a fuel issue when it dies.
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Old 11-11-2013, 09:01 PM
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If you don't have a fuel pressure regulator I'd strongly suggest putting one one. Set to 5psi then drive it for a while.
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