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Old 08-03-2003, 09:02 AM   #1
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My 84' 310 Can't make the Hills....

I have been struggling with a nagging problem with my 84' 310. It continues to have a problem with losing power anytime I begin to climb a steep hill. It feels like it's not getting gas, cutting out. Started about a year ago. Took it to my local mechanic. Now remember I know nothing about engines etc so I'll try to explain what's been done to it up to the point.

Remplaced all the wires etc on the Distributer Cap....

Went through and overhauled the carburator...

Replaced the fuel pumps and filters....

Last time I picked it up he said he had the problem fixed (was sure it was the Carb) and now it has more power....It felt like it had more power on the flat land.

Sure enough going over my first big hill it begins to lose power and cut out.

I talked with someone who works on MH's and he believes I have a vapor lock occuring. He recommends tracing the fuel line and wrapping it or putting a heat sheild where ever the line is close to heat or where heat may be building up. I had a Banks system put on a couple of years so I'm not sure if that would have done anything what would be causing the problem.

Anyone have any thoughts on what may be happening? HELP....the summer's slipping away and my kids are hammering me.
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Old 08-03-2003, 09:40 AM   #2
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Ken,
1. Do you have an additional electric fuel pump in the rear?
2. Do you run your timing @ 4 degrees BTDC?
(factory setting). If so have a knowledgable and experienced mechanic advance your timing. Todays Gasolines just don't cut it @ 4 BTDC
Read my post on this subject:

http://www.airforums.com/forum...&threadid=5139
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Old 08-03-2003, 09:52 AM   #3
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I do have a pump in the back and had it replaced a couple of years ago with a heavy duty one per the mechanic. I know little about timing but will ask the person working on it. So what should it be set at? Fuel filters seem to also be a big problem out there. I'll need to have someone show me how to check and replace it. Is that tough to do?

Thanks
Ken
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Old 08-03-2003, 10:18 AM   #4
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Ken, most of the answers to your questions could already be found in my link.
You need to find out if there is a fuel filter present in front of your rear fuel pump. If so, it is probably clogged, like mine was.
It would be prudent for you to know the location of your fuel filters and carry spares. It is not worth getting stuck in the middle of nowhere, because of a stupid little filter.
I can not tell you the best setting for your timing. It varies to much from engine to engine, altitude and gasoline grade.
Also, timing set to advanced can damage your engine.
Experienced mechanics will tell you to set your timing under heavy load conditions at a point just before pinging using a good grade gasoline.
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Old 08-03-2003, 10:27 AM   #5
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I'm with Peter.

Sounds like a fuel starvation problem. If the only fuel pump on this vehicle is the mechanical on the motor and the tank is at the rear it's not enough under heavy load. The engine will consume fuel faster then the float bowl can be filled and it will basicly run out of gas under throttle. A second electric pump close to the fuel tank should be installed with a safety switch. THe safety switch is a oil pressure switch that if there is no oil presure it turns off power to the fuel pump. Standared switch used on GM vehicle with carbs from 80 up. On those vehicle is was used to cut power to the electric choke.

The electric pump should overcome any possiblilites of vapor lock. In a nut shell vapor lock is where the fuel is boiled. It either expands after the fuel pump and over comes the pumps output pressure or it boils before the pump and the pump is trying to suck air and it can't create enough suction to pull fuel from the tank. A remote pump will push fuel to the pump and then the return line would come into play and send the boiled fuel back to the tank to cool. It would then move enough fuel to end the problem.

Next question is if the secondaries are working correctly. On the Quadrajet the main bores are rather small so that you can get fuel echonomy and off the line power. The secondaires come on as engine needs it. You could put your foot to the floor and if the engine isn't moving enough air it will simply not open thesocondaires. That's why the carb off your 454 could be bolted on a 305 and run near perfect. The adjustment is tricky and since the last quad factory was over 13 years ago tuning these carbs is a forgoten art.

A mis adjusted choke could cause simular problems because it has a lock out that does not alow them to come on till the choke is FULLY open.

ANother problem is overtightend bolts holding the carb both together and to the intake can warp the the carb body and jame the flaps on the top for the secondaires.

Last possiblity is vacuum leaks. Actully this should be the first thing to be checked for. it would cause a lean out condition that would lead to detonation. The engine would start to sound like a wood pecker. (non opening secondaires would cause same symptoms). On GM motors of that era they also used several vacuum switches. on the water nect may be a unit that is temperature contrled valve. When cold it would lock out a vacuum pot on the side of the carb that alows the secondares not to come on. On thses versions this is the second secondary lock out. Also the same device is used to force the secondaires to close if you get off the throttle to help prevent a over rich condition and exhaust back fires on deceleration.

So basicly any vacuum problems could be causing the same problems. Also don't just look around the engine. The HVAC system uses vacuum for control flaps. Brake booster also uses it. A problem with the EVAP system could also be causeing a problem. If not working poperly it may be placing a vacuum on the fuel tank. This vaccum could overcome the fuel pump(s). A quick check would be with a low tank (so fuelk doesn't pour out the fill) leave the gas cap off.

Another thing to check is the Air cleaner housing has a pree heat flap that pulls hot air off the exhaust manifold called a heat riser. It aids in cold start and cold weather it may partly open to preven frost from forming in the carb bores. Once warm it should be pulling cool air from the main inlet.

If that were not to function properly then two problems are caused. One your sucking hot air. Two the inlet from the the heat riser is rather small and it absolutly cant flow the amount of air the engine would require under load. It would basicly choke the life out of the engine. \

Your unit should have the full vacuum control version. If you pop the air cleaner off there will be a small vacuum line pluging into the carb. Pull it and plut the place it was connected. This will make sure it doesn't open.


THis could also be an ignition problem. I doubt your unit has ESC (Electronic Spark control). It was a deal where the ignition system had a Knock sensor and would retard the timing if it heard detonation. I am pretty confident you have HEI. One thing that sometimes happens is the mechanical advance in the dirstributor will get hung up. The gasees from the crankcase will some time go up into the distributor shaft. The mechanical advace rides on a second shaft inside the first. those gasses will form deposits and coke up the advace causing it to hang or not funtion. The distributor needs to be checkd for this.

Ok now you probably know as much as your mechainc about what you have. Go bury him and make him work for his money.
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Old 08-03-2003, 10:57 AM   #6
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OH MAN....I'm dizzy. A ton of great information. I'm printing it off and heading down to hammer my mechanic. Thanks a lot for the great information. I'll let you know what I find out and also get a major lesson on changing fuel filters.

Thanks again,
Ken
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Old 08-03-2003, 11:46 AM   #7
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Yeah, Ken, please let us know.
We all learn most from getting feedback on how the problem was resolved.
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Old 08-03-2003, 12:01 PM   #8
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Will do....
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Old 08-03-2003, 12:12 PM   #9
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If you do have an electric fuel pump back at the fuel tank it may be running but it may not be pumping fuel. I took my old one off and placed one end of the inlet hose in fuel can and the other hose end in a empty fuel can. The pump ran but it did not pump gas. I replaced it and tried the same test and it worked fine. Also I have three fuel filters in my 1984 345. One at the electric pump, one located at the steps and one in the carburetor. I experienced the same problem you are having, once I replaced the filters and pump it is running fine.
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Old 08-03-2003, 05:43 PM   #10
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welcome back to our forum Ken, as you have a lot of good ideas here to go on, I won't add any, but please let us all know the result.
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Old 08-03-2003, 06:38 PM   #11
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well i have the same problem. sure was a pain climbing the cumberland mountain this weekend. last trip ran fine but hot. now is is a dog wont hardly pull the mountain. had to disconnect the toad. momma wasnt happy she had to drive. almost home i had finally burned all of the gas and it was not running very well at all. put 10 gals of new gas and it came to life again but not completely. im going to replace the filter on the frame rail this week and look at taking my tank down and clean the filter in the tank. i replaced the filter on the carb it did help some but i suspect the filter on the frame rail will need replacing. i dont have a fuel pump at my tank . and i havent needed one the silver weeine will peg the speed on a flat straight away I-565 . just for a mile to check the performance of the drive train. and normally pulls the toad at 65 mph with power to spare.
im going to try to back flush the tank filter after i replace the frame rail filter and take a rune up the mountain south of me. if i can get over the mountain an still be doing 45 mph i have fixed my problem. i really think it is the tank filter getting collapsed with water. my water in fuel light was on , which usually means just what is says. lol
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Old 08-03-2003, 06:41 PM   #12
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to add a confusion factor my generator ran all weekend and didnt miss a beat. it usually goes nuts when i get gas that has water in it.lol
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Old 08-03-2003, 06:44 PM   #13
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well i have the same problem. sure was a pain climbing the cumberland mountain this weekend. last trip ran fine but hot. now is is a dog wont hardly pull the mountain. had to disconnect the toad. momma wasnt happy she had to drive. almost home i had finally burned all of the gas and it was not running very well at all. put 10 gals of new gas and it came to life again but not completely. im going to replace the filter on the frame rail this week and look at taking my tank down and clean the filter in the tank. i replaced the filter on the carb it did help some but i suspect the filter on the frame rail will need replacing. i dont have a fuel pump at my tank . and i havent needed one the silver weeine will peg the speed on a flat straight away I-565 . just for a mile to check the performance of the drive train. and normally pulls the toad at 65 mph with power to spare.
im going to try to back flush the tank filter after i replace the frame rail filter and take a rune up the mountain south of me. if i can get over the mountain an still be doing 45 mph i have fixed my problem. i really think it is the tank filter getting collapsed with water. my water in fuel light was on , which usually means just what is says. lol
al
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