My first post and it's a doozy

5thtimesthecharm

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Probably a silly question, the pcv valve(driver side)and the breather(passenger side). Does it matter which one is on which valve cover, or can I freely swap back and fourth provided the grommets fit? I know you can on most Chevy's, just making sure there is nothing special about their position on the LA motors
 

Aspen500

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Either way will work. Non lean burn LA, (and big block), along with Magnum engines, had the valve on the passenger side, breather on the drivers side.
 

5thtimesthecharm

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I have a safety appointment set up for the 5th Ave next week.
So we will know what kind of condition the rest of it is by mid next week
 
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5thtimesthecharm

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Or not, passenger side caliper, a brand new (reman) caliper, blew out yesterday.

I had no brakes trying to back it out of the driveway. Spent half an hour playing with vacuum and booster. Finally noticed a small trail from the front of the driveway. Take the tire off and brake fluid is everywhere. The seal around the piston blew out. My luck -.-

And then to add insult to injury, I was putting my timing light away, and when I put it in the box as I had done numerous times now the bottom end of the box let go, and timing light went straight to the concrete floor. Needless to say need a new light now.

Anyways a new caliper isn't likely to be a quick find around here. Likely will be a rockauto purchase so safety probably isn't happening till next week now.
 

5thtimesthecharm

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Seems I got lucky, a local store had a caliper in a sister store a few hours away, so I should have it today or early tomorrow.

If I can pick anyone's brain I have what I think is an issue, but am unsure.

When the brakes were working, I was attempting a small power test to make sure the car was tuned well enough to drive down to the safety test.
In doing so, foot hard on the brake, car in drive, and hold the accell pedal down.
Rpm gauge is not hooked up at the time, it would rev up to about half of total pedal travel. After that point the car would start to bog down more and more as the pedal went down, until it it would eventually cough from the carb and stall. I could recreate this consistently.
If I went straight to WOT, instant stall.
I could help the situation by opening my carb mixture screws, and it wouldn't die until further and further on the pedal. At this point I could consistently smell gas no problem while the car was running. But I think I was just masking the issue by giving it gogo juice.
I had read elsewhere that these torque converters have a really low stall rating. Is it possible that's all the issue is?

Also if I cover the carb with my hands, with a good enough seal of course. It dies almost instantly. So I believe any vacuum leaks, at least any major ones that I may have had are gone.

Any ideas all?
 

5thtimesthecharm

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What are these two vac lines in the middle of the picture? Black one goes to the vacuum tree. Gray one goes to the heater hose teapot

PXL_20240709_175410088.jpg
 

Mikes5thAve

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There are vacuum lines that feed the heater controls and the heater valve on one of the hoses. That should be the only stuff needing vacuum passing thru the fire wall.
 

5thtimesthecharm

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There are vacuum lines that feed the heater controls and the heater valve on one of the hoses. That should be the only stuff needing vacuum passing thru the fire wall.
Thank you, the black one that runs to the vacuum tree, it's connector broke off at some point during my recent engine work. Gotta figure out how to re-attach it lol
 

5thtimesthecharm

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Ok so after a bunch of brake diagnosis, and unfortunately a now stretched front parking brake cable the brake issues have been diagnosed.
My luck is so fantastic that I got two faulty calipers, one that blew out around the piston seal (passenger side)
And driver side that seems to just not hold pressure. These were Nugeon reman calipers, unfortunately, I bought them last year before winter and did not get to putting them on till spring this year, so warranty null and void.

I currently have two raybestos reman calipers on the way, and a new front parking brake cable at the same time. And then I will reschedule the safety check.
I did get to take the car for a ride! Only have rear brakes but dammmn are these cars ever floaty haha it's awesome.

I do have to ask, fuel wise. I noticed a lot of photos through the forums quite a few people are not using return lines, just single straight through filters. Even on stock systems.
I have the return line, plus tank vent, plus my locking gas cap is vented.
Is there such a thing as "too much" venting?
 

Aspen500

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I had all sorts of problems with my reman calipers (Napa). Solution was brand new calipers. Kind of hard to find from regular places but they are available. Darned if I can recall where I got mine from, but this place has them. About $102 for the pair.

Some of the trouble with remans of 45+year old calipers is, the casting is shot from being remanufactured too many times. The bore is too big, the hose connection seat is worn/eroded away, so the copper washer will never seal tight anymore, etc...

2 Pcs Front Brake Caliper for 1979 Dodge Aspen
 
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AMC Diplomat

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I had all sorts of problems with my reman calipers (Napa). Solution was brand new calipers. Kind of hard to find from regular places but they are available. Darned if I can recall where I got mine from, but this place has them. About $102 for the pair.

Some of the trouble with remans of 45+year old calipers is, the casting is shot from being remanufactured too many times. The bore is too big, the hose connection seat is worn/eroded away, so the copper washer will never seal tight anymore, etc...

2 Pcs Front Brake Caliper for 1979 Dodge Aspen
Don't those have the hose in a different spot than later M bodies?
 

Aspen500

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I guess something is different. Different p/n's. Had no idea they changed them in like 1980 or 1981.

So,,,,,,,my previous post about new calipers, NEVER MIND! Oops.
 

5thtimesthecharm

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Well hopefully these raybestos replacements do the trick. Just the amount of brake fluid I've gone through trying to get this sorted is gonna have me living in a cardboard box lol

If not though I can try to give those a shot. I know of another company that sells new, "tour de force" I have a driver side from them but finding a pass side is apparently unobtanium for some reason.

In better news the motor is running quite nicely, after a decent drive, a seafoam treatment and a few minor things it's actually gotten pretty smooth. Timing is rock solid stable (with my brand new fancy digital timing light) starts up and idles nicely. Adjusted the carb from fresh, sitting at 3 1/2 turns on both and that is where it seems to be happy.
It has a weird light shaking anywhere from 40-60km/h but my tie rods, links and all those front end rubber balls/bushings are all likely saturated and will need to be replaced. Ujoints probably need to be replaced too. I'm not worried about that stuff yet, unless it gets called during the safety inspection but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it

I get the new calipers tomorrow, I have to replace ujoints in my father's drive shaft and put that back in his Escape. After that I'll slap the calipers on, borrow some hobo off the street to help bleed them. Put that new front park brake cable on and see if I can get it in for the safety check next day.

Gotta say I'm growing quite the box of parts from this thing lol
 

5thtimesthecharm

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Hey while I have you guys, I think a nice wood grain steering wheel would suit this car very well.
Any recommendations and any ideas what kit would be needed for the swap?
 

5thtimesthecharm

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I got a new choke thermostat to cover my bases, and it doesn't fit. I swear it feels like I'm beating my head against a brick wall with this car sometimes. Rod length seems to match but the inner thermostat itself sticks out and stops it from seating.

PXL_20240716_125342656.jpg


PXL_20240716_125451878.jpg
 

5thtimesthecharm

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So one small issue I've noticed.
When I first start the car, say in the morning. It'll start (2-3 pumps of gas later) this is every cold overnight start. Not a big deal, my fuel vent line from the carb is wide open so probably evaporating gas.

The issue is it starts and runs fine on high idle. Give it a shot it drops to low idle, all good.
Give it a bigger shot and it just flat out dies. Or if you try to drop it into gear, especially drive. No stumbling no knocking nothing. Just completely dies in a split second. I thought I had rectified this by tuning up the carb A/F screws, but no dice.

I can restart it no problem right after, and it will again run fine. Once it's warmed up, mostly or fully it runs fine and will drive normal the rest of the time. This only happens on the overnight starts.
I checked my vacuum kick canister on the back of the carb and the choke thermostat via AHB's methods in the first page of this post. And both check out as good.

The only thing I can think of is that the accelerator pump cup in this 2280 is still the original one from when I pulled it. The kit I had did not have a replacement cup.
I have a proper kit coming (allegedly today) that has that cup and will replace asap. Just food for thought.

But on that note, the 5th is gone for safety, and I drove it down, wish me luck haha!
 

Mikes5thAve

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That sort of thing I usually choke related especially when it doesn't do it warmed up. Sometimes an adjustment of the idle screw for cold.
Your 3 1/2 turns out of the mixture screws is a fair bit so that could be compensating for sinething else out of whack with the carb.
 

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5thtimesthecharm

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Anything Is possible I suppose.
I guess I will have to try and source a new choke thermostat. That one I got, yes it looks right but the plastic on the inside stops it from mounting where it should. I would have to grind about an inch off the chokes home if I wanted to make it fit, and I'd assume that could introduce even more issues.

I thought 2.5 turns was just a base starting point when it comes to the mixture screws?

In better news, it passed the safety check! With only a few minor things.

Right rear brake is adjusted to tight(my fault)
Steering wheel off center(again my fault from when I repaired the ignition switch)
Steering box has a slow leak
And they thought my front rotors were...ahem, questionable lol just old and slightly rusted. With some driving they should clean up.
 
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