One thing after another...

Deano

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I could be cruising along, car is running fine, and then it seems to die. Only thing is, it doesn't lose spark. Feels like putting the car in neutral. Doesn't rev. It always "starts" back up, but I don't have to restart it. Is everyone thoroughly confused yet? I know I am. This weekend was the Hot Rod Reunion at Beech Bend and I had planned to drive it, but the route I take has several hills and curves, so I decided not to in case it up and quits on me.

I believe that I used to have the same problem my old '79. I would go through a ballast resistor once every three or four months. The engine would run as long as I had the starter engaged. Second I let off, it would die. A mechanic friend from school finally figured it out. When whoever converted the Lean Burn to electronic ignition, they didn't swap out the coil. He told me that there's a difference between the two. After he switched them out, the engine would start immediately. Six or seven months later, I totalled it.

Could this be my problem? I don't really know how to describe it thoroughly, to where anyone knows what I'm talking about.
 

M_Body_Coupe

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How is the car set up right now?

What I mean by that is: Lean Burn or regular electronic ignition? Fuel feed: factory fuel pump, or aftermarket? Venting: what carb is this, it is getting vented properly to the charcoal can, and is the tank vented?
 

Aspen500

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Usually when the engine runs in "start" but not "run", it's caused by the ignition module. If it's a dual pickup distributor, also can be the "run" pickup coil. Of course a bad dual ballast will do the same thing. Am referring to what you said about your '79 btw. If you're not losing spark though, none of that applies, lol.
 

Mikes5thAve

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On your old one that was a bad ballast that makes it stop when you let go of the key. The coil is the same when you convert.

My first guess would be your current problem is more fuel related.
 

Deano

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Not getting enough gas? Weak or bad fuel pump? Float level?
Not sure about the float level. It's a TomCo reman BBD that I bought from O'Reilly's November of 2021. Obviously that doesn't mean anything, considering how bad ethanol is on carburetors. I was thinking that the needle valve was stuck, but it wasn't. More than likely start using some sort of ethanol treatment like Lucas.

How can I check the float level without having to buy an entire rebuild kit just so I could use one gasket out of it? I've watched videos on how to check them, so I can figure out how to get it done, but don't really know how to not destroy the gasket at the same time.
How is the car set up right now?

What I mean by that is: Lean Burn or regular electronic ignition? Fuel feed: factory fuel pump, or aftermarket? Venting: what carb is this, it is getting vented properly to the charcoal can, and is the tank vented?
Regular electronic ignition- single ballast resistor. It was converted shortly after the car was purchased. I have an instruction sheet I found in the trunk from Direct Connection that shows how to wire and all that good stuff. Aftermarket fuel pump, reman BBD 2 barrel, vented to canister, not sure if the tank is vented properly. Not sure how I could figure out if it was or not.
Sounds like vapor lock.
If it was, wouldn't the engine quit completely? If I leave my foot on the accellerator steady- like, it always "fires back up". Aggravates the shit outta me.
 
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Duke5A

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If it was, wouldn't the engine quit completely? If I leave my foot on the accellerator steady- like, it always "fires back up". Aggravates the shit outta me.

What'll happens is you'll have to press the gas further and further down to maintain speed. Eventually it'll die. Usually it'll idle just fine. Falls on its face under load and only when warm.
 

Deano

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What'll happens is you'll have to press the gas further and further down to maintain speed. Eventually it'll die. Usually it'll idle just fine. Falls on its face under load and only when warm.
Like I said, it feels like I take it out of gear. The motion of the vehicle itself, not the sounds of the engine. No revs or anything. I wish I could take my camera and take a video of it happening so people would know what I'm getting at. I did say camera. My wife and I are ones of the very, very few that do not own cell phones.

If vapor lock is what's going on, how do go about correcting this situation?
 

volare 1977

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Sounds like it may be a bad accelerator pump that you are describing unless I misunderstood your explaination.
 

Aspen500

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You can check if the tank is venting by driving until it acts up and then, quick as possible, loosen the gas cap. If you hear a whoosh sound, it's not venting.

As a check also you could drive it without the cap and see if it still acts up.

How does it do on WOT acceleration? If it dies out like running out of fuel, maybe the in tank filter is restricted. I'm sure you've changed the filter after the pump already.

Sometimes if you remove the carb top plate screws and LIGHTLY tap around the edges with a small hammer, you can break the seal without destroying the gasket. All depends on how long its been in there. Then you can invert the cover. The float should basically be parallel to the cover. Better is having an actual float gauge from a kit but who ever saves them?

Just throwing out some ideas off the top of my head.
 

Deano

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If it is vapor lock, would heat shield sleeving around the underhood fuel lines do the trick?
 

Aspen500

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It would help. Modern gas has a lower vapor pressure and boiling point. It's made for EFI fuel pressure.
 

Duke5A

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Got a fuel filter with a return line fitting on it? Kink it with a zip tie and go for a drive.
 

Deano

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I ran about 5 -10 lbs of air pressure through the return line from the filter and there was a second of nothing and then a sudden blurb and then I could hear it blowing through the fuel tank. Didn't really do anything as the car is still hesitating some, but now the return line isn't clogged anymore.
 

Deano

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I went into town today and got almost home and the thing quit on me again. I looked down into the throat of the carb and there was no fuel from the jets as I worked the throttle. I took a small hammer from my Harbor Freight tool set and rapped on the carb a few times right around the fuel bowl and after a few tries, it fired up. Guess the floats need readjusting or the needle valve is faulty?

I fueled up with 90 octane non- ethanol while I was out. $5.18 a gallon. Don't give a shit how much it is as long as it'll run halfway decent.
 
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