I have a 1965 Chevrolet C10 pickup with a Gen 1 early 80's Chevy 350 5.7L V8. I am having problems keeping it running. Sometimes while driving down the road it will just turn off and I will have to wait a while to get it started. Sometimes it will start, sometimes it won't. Currently I can't even get it to run for more than 4 or 5 seconds before it dies out. If I get it running and pump it too much to try to keep it running it backfires up the carburetor. I have replaced the gas tank, all of the fuel line, the fuel pump (Holley Red now), fuel filter and am currently rebuilding the carburetor. Holley 4 barrel 4160 600 cfm. Fuel line is routed away from any heat sources as is the pump. Pump is also mounted below the gas tank. If rebuilding the carburetor doesn't help, what could the problem possibly be as I will have replaced every part of the fuel delivery system from tank to engine?
Backfiring suggests you're losing spark, not fuel. If you're using the HEI distributor, you might suspect the pickup coil around the distributor shaft. The wires on it flex each time the vacuum advance turns the plate and eventually those wires break off. A clue that works sometimes is to disconnect and plug the vacuum hose. That will prevent the plate from turning. If it doesn't start at all or if it runs continuously, suspect that coil.
February, 9, 2011 AT 7:50 AM
Thanks for the reply. That was our first assumption so I replaced the distributor coil about two months ago. The old one looked ok but I replaced it anyway. I will definitely give your suggestion a shot. Could it be possible maybe that the coil is good but perhaps the ground screw or threads have corrosion?
February, 9, 2011 AT 8:16 AM
Nope. The screws just hold it in place. They aren't used to ground it electrically.
I suppose you could have an intermittent module, but they really didn't cause much trouble compared to the stuff on newer cars. You might try a different ignition coil too.
Look too at the toothed reluctor wheel to see if it is cracked. I read a lot about that but I've never actually found one myself.
February, 10, 2011 AT 11:58 PM
So I finished my carb rebuild to no avail. As the distributor coil is already new I guess my next move is to replace the distributor itself. I was contemplating going to an MSD HEI anyway so now I have my excuse.