My friend and his wife are stuck up in the Columbia River Gorge in their RV and I'm trying to get him a little carb help.
They're trying to make their way to Montana from California.
When they left here this morning, I noticed a strong gas smell as they pulled away.
He said when they were climbing a long hill the thing choked, sputtered and died. He managed to get it restated and limped it into Mosier. He let it sit for awhile but now it won't stay running well.
It's a Rochester Quadrajet on a 454 with a turbo 400 tranny. The rig is an 86 Winnebego, 33 foot long.
Is there a quick version for giving that carb a quick adjustment? He's going to be pulling some big mountains as they cross into Montana.
Could he have picked up some bad gas? Has he checked the fuel pump? Once I had a 67 Camero with a 350 4V Quadrajet and the thing suddenly died. Turned out the culprit was a defective mechanical fuel pump.
Would that make it load up like it was running too rich?
The first thing I would check would be to see that the choke was not closed.
See if the fuel pump was pissing out the overflow hole on the body if it has one, probably the diaphragm ruptured.
Is it possible the float/needle valve is sticking.
Hey much thanks guys. I'm passing all of this along to him. He's going to check it all out in the morning.
Please keep 'em coming if anything else occurs to you.
Agree with Mike. If no other leaks are visible the float could be stuck causing an overflow out the vent. A closed choke would cause a stall but not the strong smell of fuel. A couple of sharp raps with a hammer handle might free it. Just guessing. Not enough info.
How far did they travel after there last fill up. I had a lode of bad gas one time but I only got a few miles, was able to restart and limp on home and called ARCO and they came and picked it up, drained and flushed it and (refilled it) was good to go, no charge. May not be, but should be looked into.
There is a choke brake that is hooked up to the intake manifold. If you can't get a new choke brake, simply get the engine started and then pull the rubber vacuum tubing off and plug it with a pencil until you can get another choke brake. You will have to do this on each cold start.
I just passed that along Charlie, thanks.
Bob, they filled up here at a Chevron where I get gas about once a week. I've never had an issue getting gas there, but you never know.
My friend Mark texted back a moment ago - "Damn, I guess I better go buy me a Model T when I get settled so I can connect with all those guys. Sounds like a great bunch of dudes. Tell them I send along a big thanks."
Thanks Frank! Just passed it along.
If it smelled like raw gas "when they left here this morning", it's not bad gas that he picked up along the way. The needle or seat is letting to much gas into the manifold, or something like that. if the choke is closed the engine wouldn't have run at all. When you start a hot engine, the choke is not activated. Take the air cleaner off and look down the carb while trying to start the engine and you may see what's wrong. Don't get to cozy with the carb though because a backfire will give your eye brows a new contour (and a funny smell). A rich running engine will have black exhaust ("white" smoke=oil, "white" steam=coolant).
The acceleration pump?? You need a mechanic from the carburetor era to look at it. The carbureted 454 is a good engine, but a gas hog.
If the choke is ruled out as suspect, it can very well be a bad float (plastic type not supposed to sink-but) or leaking at the plugs in the bottom of the bowl. The plugs can be sealed with finger nail polish, your choice of color. Common problem for Quadra jets, float or bowl. KGB
Quadra jet carbs are the cause of many GM fires from the float coming apart due to ethanol gas. The floats in this carb are sintered small shards of plastic squeezed together under hi pressure. Over the years the fuel will permeate the float and cause it to sink and small shards will interrupt the operation of the float needle and seat.
There is a simple fix to replace the float and needle and seat with modern replacements that are designed to withstand ethanol additives. This process is easy and should take you less than an hour and they will be on their way.
Brasscarguy is right. New floats and seats
If you ask for the marine float, it will be brass instead of plastic.
I help a friend struggle every season with a chevy p30 chassis with 454. Same carb. always gives trouble. Needle and seat - float in this case would be the first item to replace. from there, a rebuilt carb from advance auto?
or git home best ye can and get a holley to replace it.
Again much thanks guys. I have passed all of this along to Mark. He definitely appreciates the advice!