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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 02, 05:07 PM Thread Starter
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Well here goes, Have a 73, 350 in a 74 camaro. 5 years ago it ran great. Wife talked me into putting it up so it was garaged for last 5 years. (stupid) Now I want to get it going again. So far have rebuilt carb, new points, plugs, wires, dist cap., & rotor. Now it runs like crap. When cranked it will barely start and then you have to play with the gas to keep it running. It chugs a lot and now is backfiring out of the carb. A friend that supposedly knows what is going on helped me get it close on timing but he doesnt now if the timing chain has jumped. My carb overhaul (Quadrajet)is questionable since I hadnt done it before. Not real sure I did evrything necessary. Replaced parts that came in a carb kit and followed all directions. So, what is your opinion. How can you tell if timing chain jumped without tear down. I dont have a huge budget but am willing to do work myself and I need a little guidance on where to start first. Is this viable or am I just pissin in the wind. Fianally, what could be the potential problems within the motor due to the long garage time. Sorry this is so long bt nay help will be appreciated.
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 02, 05:32 PM
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timing chain jumping a tooth very unlikly. but you can check it by pulling the water pump and timing cover, then line up the two marks on the cam and crank gears which will be tdc for #1 piston. befor you do all that, double check the firing order of the plug wires, check the point gap again, set timing with vac advance hose pulled off the dist and plugged, check/replace fuel filter, recheck set-up on carb - float level, air-fuel mix screws 1 1/2 turns out to start, both the same. sounds like a fuel or timing prob. let us know anything else you can rule out.
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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 02, 08:32 PM
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My money's on the carb. If it ran great 5 years ago, it should run great now with the tune up. I've never known anyone who had a timing chain jump a tooth. I've heard a lot of people suggest that as a reason for their motor running poorly. It just doesn't happen in the real world. A lot of knowledgable people may try to tell you to start there, I would look at everything that was changed, including the obvious. Start with the plug wires, make sure they're correct and also that they're not all rotated on the cap by a cylinder. Check the point gap and dwell, make sure all your plugs and wires are good, I've seen both those items not work right out of the box. I'd do those first because they're the easiest and don't cost anything to check. Then I'd try to borrow a quadrajet that a buddy might have that you know works well and try it on your motor. If that solves it, it's back to the drawing board on your rebuild. The fact that you can rev it to keep it running should suggest your fuel pressure is good, problem sounds like it'll be in the carb. Good Luck,
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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 02, 10:47 PM
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i assume the gas isn't 5 years old...

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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old Aug 7th, 02, 01:48 AM
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Novaderrik nailed it. The fuel is trashed by now. Fix that first then go for the regular tune up settings.

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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old Aug 7th, 02, 05:21 AM Thread Starter
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Well, stupid me, the car had maybe a gallon of gas in it and wasnt drained because I would go out periodically and try to start it and let it run for a bit. I added a couple of gallons of good gas before I was advised to dump any gas that was in the car. Bummer. So do you think I should go ahead and get rid of any gas that is in there and start over? Also, anyone have any tips on the carb overhaul? I suppose I should go ahead and re do it.
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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old Aug 7th, 02, 05:45 AM Thread Starter
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Another thing. What would you do, rebuild the carb or replace it. I dont have anyone to try another carb onthe car so I am left with this decision. Buddy of mine said that what I did was just go as far as replacing the parts that came with the carb kit and there are a lot of other things to do in an overhaul. I thought it seemed to easy. He also said that even doing a correcct overhaul might not fix the carb. What do you guys think? Sure wish I had unlimited funds to get this car running but that would be to easy.
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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old Aug 7th, 02, 10:12 AM
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The gas that was left sitting in the fuel lines and carb probably varnished up. I'd be surprised if the carb wasn't varnished and maybe a little gummy inside.

Maybe I didn't read the earlier posts closely enough, but it wasn't clear to me what you did to the carb. Take it off and clean it all out with a thorough rebuild. After letting it sit this long it'll probably need to be dunked in the nasty carcinogenic carb cleaner stuff that you can get at places like NAPA.

I had a similar experience. Carb sat on a shelf full of gas for 10 years. It was a mess! I had to totally strip it and clean it and reassemble.

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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old Aug 7th, 02, 01:00 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, here is what I have done next. Didnt drain the gas so I will have to deal with that later. Changed the fuel filter so hopefully that will help for now. Got the car at tdc and the matched up #1 wire on distr. to rotor position. I know his is probably pretty crude but it worked as well as anything. Got it to crank but it wont stay runnning unless you keep giving a bit of gas. It does however backfire out of the carb now. Mostly when I rev it a bit. Also, I am seeing waht looks to be some oil burning around the #7 spark plug area. Cant see any leak but there is some old oil in that area and on the exahaust manifold where it connects to the rear exhaust pipe. Hopefully that was some careless oil fill in the past. keep the comment coming, I still need them. Guess my next move is to break down the carb. I need the dummies guide to carb overhauls I think. Cant really afford to have real mechanic do this work so hopefully I can muddle through it. If anyone has any good ideas on the carb please let me know. Thanks everyone.
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old Aug 8th, 02, 05:29 PM
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A long shot, but any chance water got in the fuel tank? It's just a thought but that will make it run the way you described. If there is any chance of water, then pour a bottle of rubbing alcohol in the tank and see if that helps.

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post #11 of 30 (permalink) Old Aug 9th, 02, 01:38 AM Thread Starter
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Right now, I decided to go ahead and replace the carb and the timing chain. Cost me some bucks but at least I know it should be good. I want to get this car to daily driver status and this should reduce problems down the road. Just happens to be an expensive solution up front instead of a 3rd car payment. My biggest hope is there isnt any internal problems. Time will tell.
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post #12 of 30 (permalink) Old Aug 9th, 02, 01:36 PM
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Before you tear it apart, drain the fuel out and replace with fresh, replace the carb, with one that you know is good, then try to start it, I would try that before changing the timing chain. good luck Mike
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post #13 of 30 (permalink) Old Aug 9th, 02, 02:03 PM
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Definitly take out that fuel before you go off and put money into it (unless you were going to do it needed an excuse to tell your Seafoam won't even really help with gas that has lost its volatility.

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post #14 of 30 (permalink) Old Aug 9th, 02, 04:08 PM Thread Starter
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Pulled about a gallon of the old fuel out today. Wasnt much more in there than that. Went ahead and bought a rebuilt q-jet and installed it. I am going to push it out of the garage and try to get it going tomorrow. Hope it all works. As for the timing chain, I am not sure if I am going to go ahead and do it or not. At TDC the #1 wire on the dist. seems to be rotated toward the carb and not off center a bit like the manuel shows. Dont know if this is unusual or not. What do ya'll think. Also, should I try to crank it first then do the timing chain or go ahead with the timing chain install? (another job I have never done before, but willing to learn)
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post #15 of 30 (permalink) Old Aug 10th, 02, 04:58 AM
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As mentioned before, I doubt that it is your timing chain. I have never seen a small block chevy jump time. I suppose that it could happen, but it is unlikely. If your new Quadrajet doesn't fix the problem, look at the firing order. It should be 1-8-4-3-6-5-7-2. Check your manual for cylinder numbering. If you have a GM intake, the cylinders should be numbered as well. A few wires in the wrong place will cause the engine to do just what you are describing.
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