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Here We Go Again - Engine Quitting 77 Toronado

Here We Go Again - Engine Quitting 77 Toronado

Old April 28th, 2019, 03:20 PM
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Here We Go Again - Engine Quitting 77 Toronado

Got my 77 Toronado out of storage yesterday and what a nightmare. Last fall as indicated in an earlier thread I had a lot of problems with the engine quitting. With lots of input from those on this forum and with the assistance of my buddy we rebuilt the carb and the filter, did a major tuneup including cap, rotor, module, coil, plugs and wires. Then replaced all the vacuum lines and eliminated a clogged and secondary EGR check valve . After a few weeks of methodically replacing or rebuilding things it looked like the problem had been solved and the car ran great. So well that I even drove it the 60 miles to the new home we moved into and used the highway no less and the car just purred along at 75mph. When I got here I had a storage facility all lined up so I topped off the tank with premium fuel - no ethanol - added stabilizer and drove the few miles to the storage unit. Parked the car, pulled the battery, put on the car cover and thought all was good. That was last November and something went funny between now and and then.
When I got it out of storage yesterday which is only about 6 miles from my house the car died 9 times on the drive home. Would not accelerate and sputtered and missed like crazy. Before I pulled out of the storage unit I did let the car warm up for a good 10 minutes and it idled fine but the minute I put it into gear it almost quit but I caught it in time to keep it running.
So now I am at a loss to figure out what the problem might be. As I said it ran fantastic last fall before I put it away.
I have a few crazy theories on what the problem might be and would appreciate any thoughts if these make any sense to anyone:
1. My first suspicion is that it is fuel delivery related because of all the work done last fall. Perhaps by coincidence the fuel pump is packing it in or maybe their is a pinhole leak in the line somewhere.
How to track that down.
2. Wondering if sitting in unheated storage for 6 months maybe the fuel has gone off. Have figure out how to dump a whole tank of fuel and get new fuel in it.
3. Is it possible that the MISAR controller may have been affected by sitting in cold storage for that long and maybe cold/condensation has gotten to it and once it dries out it may perform properly again.
4. Is it vacuum related somehow. Can't figure out why as I replaced all the lines except the ones to/from the MISAR control.
5. Is it carb or ignition related again and if so what.
My first challenge is to get it running long enough to go from my side drive to the front drive and into my garage. It is too blessed cold and wet to be working on it where it is. Temp here is 40F and raining everyday. No fun doing this outside in that weather.
Would welcome any suggestions and especially any tips on how to test out some of the systems.
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Old April 28th, 2019, 03:29 PM
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Fuel filter? That came to my mind immediately.
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Old April 28th, 2019, 04:08 PM
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A new fuel filter is certainly high on the list to check out Jaunty.
Also now have a vacuum gauge I want to test out. Where do you hooks yours up to?
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Old April 28th, 2019, 04:24 PM
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Any source of manifold vacuum. I connect mine to the port where the cruise control vacuum line attaches. It's right next to the fuel filter. When I got my car, for reasons unknown, that port was blanked off and the cruise control disconnected. I put a brass elbow into that port and connected the cruise control vacuum line there. (See photo below) I know it's not factory, but so what.

You could connect a small piece of vacuum hose to that port, connect the other end to a T-fitting, and connect the cruise control vacuum hose to another port on the T. Put a cap on the third T opening and remove it whenever you want to take any vacuum readings. It's sort of a permanent vacuum diagnostic port.

You could also just pull off the cruise control hose and connect the vacuum gauge right to that port. But that eliminates the cruise control from the vacuum system, and for all you know, a vacuum leak might be in the cruise control system somewhere. There's a vacuum line running all the way to the brake pedal as it is a second way that stepping on the brake disengages the cruise, so there's a not-insignificant amount of vacuum line associated with the cruise system. That's why I like to have all systems connected when doing vacuum readings. That way all possible source of vacuum problems are attached and being accounted for.


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Old April 28th, 2019, 04:39 PM
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I like the fuel filter as a culprit, but a potential problem is that there are actually TWO fuel filters, with the second one attached to the pickup pipe in the fuel tank. There is no way to get at that one without removing the tank. But if your problem persists, it might be worth the trouble to drop the tank and check it out. Unless the tank has been off the car already at some point in the not too distant past. But if the tank filter is original, it could be the problem. If you go through the trouble to take the tank down, it's likely worth replacing the sending unit, anyway. It'll have a new filter on it.


Here's what the top of my car's gas tank looked like when I removed it from the car, and below that is the new tank with the new sending unit installed.






Here's what the sending unit itself looks like. Part number FG110B at rockauto. You can probably get one through your local auto parts store, too.

That white thing at the bottom of the pipe is the filter.

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Old April 28th, 2019, 06:22 PM
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I am leaning towards fuel delivery as the problem as well. Did have the tank dropped last year to fix a gauge problem and they claim it was a poor ground. It did fix the gauge although it is a little bouncy sometimes. Should have had them replace the sender unit at the time seeing as they took my full tank of gas and gave me back a quarter tank. Hope to find a shop that will drain and drop the tank and scope the inside to see if there is anything that should not be there. Then replace the sender and all the rubber lines that are in the fuel system. I have a fairly new Spectra fuel pump on it with another new one in the box. But am seriously considering going back to the bigger OEM pump that you located in an earlier post because I am not convinced that the smaller Spectra unit is quite up to the task.
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Old April 28th, 2019, 06:28 PM
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Jaunty speaking of fuel tank sending units, did I ever tell you the story about the fuel tank sending unit on a 72 Eldorado I once owned. The gauge did not work from the time I got the car. Had a shop drop the tank and install a new sending unit that I found. When they pulled the old one out, lo and behold the filter sock and the float were nowhere to be found. Just bare metal hanging out. How that car managed to start and run at all with all that dissolved material in the fuel system is beyond me.
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Old April 28th, 2019, 06:32 PM
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Hey, I just noticed that your new fuel tank says "Made In Canada". Now isn't that great. Maybe I can finally get something locally without some of the steep freight charges.
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Old April 29th, 2019, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by ByronF View Post
I have a fairly new Spectra fuel pump on it with another new one in the box. But am seriously considering going back to the bigger OEM pump that you located in an earlier post because I am not convinced that the smaller Spectra unit is quite up to the task.
I bought that pump from Amazon. It wasn't just a matter of the pump being capable enough. It was also a matter of fit. The Spectra pump is about an inch shorter in height which means that the steel carb-to-pump fuel line, which is not adjustable, would not fit.

It was interesting because I tried local auto parts stores. The local NAPA store showed the correct, full-height pump on their computer screen, but when the guy went to pull it off the shelf so I could take a look at it and verify that it was really the correct pump, what was in the box turned out to be the shorter one. He was quite surprised about that, and he was not sure that he could get the one shown on his computer screen.

Here's the correct one. Airtex 40736.

https://www.amazon.com/Airtex-40736-Mechanical-Fuel-Pump/dp/B0023QP022/ref=au_as_r?_encoding=UTF8&Make=Oldsmobile%7C51&Model=Toronado%7C586&Year=1978%7C1978&ie=UTF8&n=15684181&s=automotive&vehicleId=3&vehicleType=automotive https://www.amazon.com/Airtex-40736-Mechanical-Fuel-Pump/dp/B0023QP022/ref=au_as_r?_encoding=UTF8&Make=Oldsmobile%7C51&Model=Toronado%7C586&Year=1978%7C1978&ie=UTF8&n=15684181&s=automotive&vehicleId=3&vehicleType=automotive




And here's what everyone sells that is supposedly a replacement. Spectra Premium SP1102MP. Rockauto also shows availability of the Airtex Pump, but it's under their "Economy" group whereas the Spectra Premium pump is listed in their supposedly-better-and-more-expensive "daily driver" category. It costs $27 at both Rockauto and Amazon, and the Spectra Premium pump is only $15 at Rockauto. So the "economy" pump is nearly twice as much as the "daily driver" pump.

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Old April 29th, 2019, 08:39 AM
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Sounds like water in the tank, drop it, tilt it siphon the low end into a jar, if you see any globs in gas you've gotta clean out the tank good or replace it its rusty inside
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Old April 29th, 2019, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by ByronF View Post
Hey, I just noticed that your new fuel tank says "Made In Canada". Now isn't that great. Maybe I can finally get something locally without some of the steep freight charges.
But it's probably more a matter of where it's being shipped from, not where its made. The tank is Spectra Premium, but I don't think Spectra Premium sells directly from their website. You still have to find a local vendor to get local shipping rates, I would think.

Curiously, the tank is not readily available from everyone now. When I bought mine two years ago from Amazon, it was in stock, and I received it in two days with free shipping because it was an Amazon Prime item, and I'm an Amazon Prime member. But now Amazon shows it as shipping in "1 to 3 months." Yikes. Rockauto lists the same tank, GM40U, but it is currently "out of stock." They show another tank, Liland Global IGM40U, as available and considerably cheaper at $148 versus about $240 for the SP tank at Amazon. If you really need a tank, that Liland Global might be worth a look.

I checked the Autozone website just now, and they show the same tank, Spectra Premium GM40U, as available for $299. Steeper in price, but at least they apparently have it. NAPA also shows it, but it says "pricing temporarily unavailable online" and to call the store for information.
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Old April 29th, 2019, 09:19 AM
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Next time it dies don't do another thing until you pull the air cleaner lid actuate the throttle and see if you get several strong pump shots of gas from the squirters?
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Old April 30th, 2019, 04:53 PM
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Well we got a break from the rain today so I went out and put in the new fuel filter. Even replaced the spring as well. It was 38F today so was a little chilly working outdoors. Needed to get it done today becasue they are calling for rain for the next 3 days. Enough about the weather report. The filter made no difference.
What I did notice is that the choke may not be working properly. I have enclosed a picture of the carb, before I started the motor and after I had stepped on the pedal a few times to try and set it. As you can see the choke plate is not closing fully. Also notice all the little soot spots on the secondary valve which seems to be coming in via the connection at the back of the carb which I understand is the choke stove. So maybe the choke is mucked up because it is getting all this carbon rather than clean heated air.


While I was at it decide to hookup the vaccum guage and see what was up. Let the engine run for about 15 minutes to get it warmed up and then installed the guage. The reading I got was in the green was just a hair over 17 in
Hg which I gather is good. Also when I revved the engine the needle dropped and then very quickly came back so I am guessing that vaccum is ok. To double check I shut off the car started it again and checked the reading again. Got the same number but this time there was a little bouncing in the needle - not much maybe 1in Hg either way but I chalked this up to the fact that the engine was idling a little rougher than it was on the first test. So here is a picture of the Vac guage test.
Jaunty how does this compare to yours?


I was going to try and do a pressure test on the fuel pump as per the service manual. But frankly it was too dang cold at that point so I packed it in.
I am still leaning towards the fuel system as the culprit despite the clean filter. It could be just bad fuel or a weak fuel pump but will have to wait for clear and warm weather to play with it any more.
Am also thinking it may be time to reach out for a factory reman carb because the choke situation has me a little suspicious/concerned.
Incidentally Jaunty, I checked on the price of a new Spectra Canadian made fuel tank. The local price is $697 CAD!!!! At that price its cheaper for me to order out of the US and pay freight and taxes and brokerage. For a product made here 5 hours from my house. Go figure.
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Old April 30th, 2019, 07:53 PM
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Byron, a few comments.

1. I think your vacuum reading is fine. A steady reading between 15 and 22 is considered normal.

2. I actually think your choke plate position is fine, too. I don't think it's supposed to be fully closed when the choke is set. It should be slightly open, or the engine would starve for air. This would only be an issue when starting a cold engine. How easy is the car to start when it's been sitting overnight or longer?

3. I agree that the black spots could be coming in through the choke stove. Have you ever removed the black cover on the choke and looked inside? Have you ever removed the choke stove tube from the engine to see what shape it's in? You remove the two bolts and pull it out. There is a tube under there that runs in and out of the manifold to pick up heat from the engine and draw it across the choke coil (where the suction for this to happen comes from that connection on the back of the carb). This causes the coil to expand as the engine warms up and thus opens the choke plate, reducing the amount of choke. If the stove is not working correctly, the coil may not be getting heat from the engine and thus not opening the choke. This would cause the engine to run rich and presumably not run well. Maybe your overall problem is that the engine is simply running way too rich?


Watch at least the first five or so minutes of this video to see how a properly adjusted choke on a four-barrel Rochester carb is supposed to work. The photography isn't the greatest, but it works well enough, and the fellow talking is Canadian!


You can get replacement choke stoves from Fusick. The description says '70-'72 V-8, but I bought one for my car, and it fits just fine. I don't know why Fusick doesn't acknowledge that it would work for more model years. They'd open themselves up to more sales.

Here's a couple of photos of the old stove when I pulled it out of the engine. The problem I was having was not the stove itself but rather where the pipes above attach to it. They were cracked and broken on my car, which caused an air leak and reduced the effectiveness of the stove. If this tube on your engine has a leak in it, that could account for the black spots on the carb.







Here's a photo of the one Fusick sells. It's the exact same thing. It comes with a gasket.

http://www.fusickautomotiveproducts....p?number=CS642








An alternative is to put in an electric choke. Joe Padavano has a good thread on this, and I followed his instructions to put one in my '67 Delta 88. Works very well. I haven't put one in my Toro because the original choke is working ok.

I did what is described in the first post in this thread.

https://classicoldsmobile.com/forums...-wiring-31892/



I would hate to see you replace your carburetor. I doubt your problem is the carburetor itself, and spraying it with a little Gumout ought to clean up those spots. If you do decide that the carburetor might be an issue, rebuild it. That keeps the car original, and it's really not that difficult. I rebuilt my car's carb in an afternoon. Parts kits are only about $20 or $25 (at least in the U.S.), and there are plenty of good how-to videos on youtube.
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Old May 1st, 2019, 10:35 AM
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With the engine is cold, you depress the accelerator once maybe twice. This sets the choke closed and shoots extra gas at the throttle plates for a richened start. The choke should completely close. As soon as the engine fires and produces vacuum which is almost instantaneous the choke pull off diaphragm kicks in and pulls the choke plate open just a bit to a specified gap or "choke opening spec". If the pull off diaphragm is leaking this is obviously a problem. It is a service(able) replacement.

The black plastic choke cover rotates in either direction to set the closed position tension. That is a spec too.(provided it's not still factory riveted in which case they are drilled out and screws replace the rivets, screws and tabs usually come with the rebuild kits).

The theory is: Depress accelerator. Fire engine. Choke immediately pulls off from the closed position to a set gap so it doesn't flood. As the bi-metal spring in the choke heats and tightens up, with hot air in your case, it slowly winds(tightens) the spring to 3/4. The choke won't go full verticle until you kick it off or at minimum normal part throttle acceleration. The choke also locks out the rear secondarys until warm to prevent the driver from hammering on a cold engine and producing more CO and other medium to higher ends.

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Old May 1st, 2019, 06:23 PM
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Jaunty and Drolds thanks so much for your input.
1. I am pretty happy with the vac gauge reading as this appears to be normal - so no apparent leaks and apparently no other major issues indicated - ie valves, rings or head gasket
2. Am still puzzled by the choke plate. My understanding is the same as Drolds is that the choke should be almost closed (a gap the thickness of a dime) after one maybe 2 pumps on the accelerator, but it took 3-4 pumps to get this partially closed position which is considerably more than a dime. Again my understanding is that the second it fires the choke plate would pop open to about the position it is in the photo. I think because it is not closing enough may be the reason why it takes 2-3 attempts with the ignition key to get it to fire.
3.I have not had the black choke cover off but seems like a good idea to see what is going on under there. I am aware that I can richen or lean the choke setting by turning the black cover a few degrees left or right. Presumably this is accomplished by varying the tension on the coil spring.
4. Before I touch that choke setting, I think I will try to tweak the mixture screws to see if that addresses the rich condition I think is going on. All that black soot out of the exhaust (and in the carb) suggests to me that it is too rich. Saw a good you tube video that suggested the simple way to do so was with a warm engine turn one needle at a time until the rpm increases and when it drops off go back a hair and then do the same for the other needle. This should then give the optimum setting. Then check the idle rpm and adjust the idle speed screw in or out to get the right idle rpm.
(As I recall in another post somewhere Jaunty outlined the start point for these screw settings, I just need to locate it to use as a place to start to compare with where mine currently are set.)
5. The same fellow also pointed out how to adjust the choke hi idle speed via a little screw under the choke linkage but before mucking with that I need to pull the choke stove to see if something has rotted or broken inside the manifold part as suggested by Jaunty. My guess based on the fact that black soot is now present in the carburator is there must be a break in that pipe and that is allowing carbon exhaust gas into the carb/choke. Does this make sense?
6. I am also going to try and get a shop to drop the tank, drain the fuel and scope for crap and contaminants. Would also like to replace the sender unit and and the rubber lines and have the metal lines blown out. This should eliminate the second filter as an issue and the lines besides cleaning any crap out of the tank. Should mention in crawling underneath the car the exterior of the tank (bottom only) looks like the tank was replaced in the not too distant past. There is no signs of undercoating on it and the metal is fairly bright and clean. That is just a guess on my part based on what I see and my view that the original tank would or should show some signs of rust or ageing. So hopefully it can be saved.
7. What is really frustrating is that the weather is not co-operating. It is non stop cold and rain and this is supposed to be spring. We had better weather in March. I cannot get the car to stay running long enough to take it from my side driveway to the front of the house into the garage to work on it. It will idle in Park or Neutral all day long but the minute i put it into gear the engine starts to sputter and die and working out in the rain is not my idea of fun.
If I have missed something or you have any other thoughts would like to hear them.
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Old May 1st, 2019, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by ByronF View Post
I cannot get the car to stay running long enough to take it from my side driveway to the front of the house into the garage to work on it. It will idle in Park or Neutral all day long but the minute i put it into gear the engine starts to sputter and die.
This is what, to me, is so weird. I would think a fuel problem would be more likely to appear when the car is under hard acceleration or you're simply trying to cruise at highway speeds. That's when fuel demand is greatest. The moment you drop it into Drive with your foot still on the brake is not the moment when it suddenly starts sucking lots of gas. But, on the other hand, a weak fuel pump could be the problem.

A couple of thoughts. Did you ever check the PCV valve? Make sure it's clean and properly connected?

Does the car start to stall after you've actually put it in gear, or does it start to stall before that, when you step on the brake pedal just before you shift from Park to Drive?

I was reading one thread on a forum where a guy with a quadrajet was having the same problem, and it turned out to be idle mixture screws turned almost all the way in. You've probably not adjusted those, so this is probably not it. Just something I read.
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Old May 1st, 2019, 08:21 PM
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Jaunty, I did check the PCV valve and it is clear. Just to clarify, when I put it into gear with foot on the brake there is a slight but noticeable drop in rpm. When I press the accelerator to pull away is when is sputters sags stumbles call it what you will and if I keep pressing it will die. The only way to over come this is give it a bit of gas to increase the rpm, foot on the brake and then drop it into gear (which is hard on the tranny I am sure) and see how far it gets before it stalls out. Restart and try again. The other day when I was tinkering it idled fine for a while then started getting lumpy or rough after 10 to 15 minutes. Turned it off waited a few minutes and started it up again. Started right off no problem but was a little rough. Tweaked the throttle a few times and it smoothed out. 10 minutes later got lumpy again. But it never died. Which leads me to believe it has to be fuel pump or carb but which is the actual culprit I am not certain.
My gauge has the capability to measure the fuel pump and there is a procedure in the service manual with a spec. Just need to get some fuel hose and remove the metal line from the pump to do the test.
Saw an interesting bit on a Cadillac site on a simple way to clear crud from a carb. Pull the throttle cable to about 3000 rpm and manually close the choke plate and just before it dies release the choke plate.This supposedly clears any crud out of the carb.
I still think as you have also suggested that it is running too rich and tweaking the mixture screws may help improve things. Also I gather that disconnecting the choke stove at the rear of the carb should not affect anything other than the choke and may be a temporary solution to getting it running more smoothly or at least stops the carbon crap from getting into the carb.

Last edited by ByronF; May 1st, 2019 at 08:28 PM.
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Old May 1st, 2019, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by ByronF View Post
Just to clarify, when I put it into gear with foot on the brake there is a slight but noticeable drop in rpm.
But this isn't exactly answering my question. The engine SHOULD drop in RPM when in Drive but the car is not moving. The tune-up specs in my service manual say that normal idle RPM in Park is 900 while in Drive it is 550.

The normal procedure in shifting from Park to Drive is to put your foot on the brake FIRST, and then shift into Drive. Does the drop in RPM happen after you step on the brake but before you shift into drive? This process is usually one smooth, fairly quick motion, so you may not notice exactly when the RPM drop occurs. The reason I'm asking this is perhaps the vacuum booster has a leak, and it's the putting your foot on the brake that's causing the problem, not the car being in Drive. In other words, is there any change in engine RPM if you simply step on the brake while the car is in Park? This might explain why you have to hold one foot on the brake while you feather the gas while sitting at a stoplight to keep the engine from stalling. You're fighting the vacuum leak that's created by holding your foot on the brake.

It would be interesting to get a friend or your wife to sit in the car and step on the brake while you're under the hood looking at the vacuum gauge. I presume there'd be some normal amount of drop in vacuum simply because the brake is engaged and the vacuum booster is in use. But maybe it drops too much?

I'm just thinking out loud here.
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Old May 1st, 2019, 08:45 PM
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Applying the brake does not cause the drop in rpm, putting it in gear does. I would expect it to drop as per the manual but my ear tells me it wont hold idle while in gear. When I did the vac test did have my wife in the car and we tested in park neutral and in gear (foot on brake) and the readings were fine. But the moment you try to give a bit gas to pull ahead a few feet it starts to stumble.
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Old May 1st, 2019, 08:50 PM
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Well, it was a thought.

Sounds like a fuel delivery issue. It will be interesting to see what your fuel pump test shows.
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Old May 2nd, 2019, 01:09 PM
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Jaunty, when you replaced the stove did you have any problems with the bolts breaking off? If mine break how does one get the broken bolts out? Do you drill it out and where do the metal shavings end up? In the exhaust?
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Old May 2nd, 2019, 03:26 PM
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Yes, both bolts broke off when I tried to loosen them. I ended up drilling them out and tapping new threads and putting new bolts in. Most of the metal shavings from the drilling come up out of the drill bit and don't actually fall down inside the manifold. I have never worried about what did fall inside, if anything did, and it has been two years of driving since I did it with no problems.
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Old May 2nd, 2019, 04:22 PM
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That is what I was concerned would happen. But it is what it is I guess. I read somewhere that the bolts do not go all the way thru but are only about 3/4” deep and guys that were having to drill them out were tapping them with a special bottom tap for a 5/8” bolt. Based on your experience is that the case and will that fix work.?
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Old May 2nd, 2019, 04:38 PM
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That aint no 5/8" bolt. Its more like a 1/4x20. If you don't have the confidence to drill and tap take it somewhere. The other option is to remove the intake and have the bolts EDM'ed out.
Whatever you do, install new hardware with copper-based anti-seize to avoid this in the future.
Don't touch any carb settings except for the A/F screws. You want the highest reading...no backing off a bit. Adjust the timing simultaneously with the A/F screws to get that highest vac reading.
I'll bet the choke assembly just needs a cleaning and fine adjustment and possibly a pull off diaphragm.
Time for a rebuild/refresh. You'll be amazed what a carb rebuild will do. Even during a rebuild large adjustments are not required. The AVS spring usually needs a tweak too as it weakens as it ages causing the infamous Quadra-bog.
If you have the confidence to rebuild it go for it. It's not that hard just very detailed and time-consuming but rewarding. I did my first carb when I was 15.
My advice to you is to find a good carb rebuilder. Cliff is one. Great guy to talk to. Very knowledgable too. Long turn around times but very high-quality work. Or purchase a new rebuild and stash the OEM or send it off for a rebuild. You then can drive it while you wait for the rebuild. But even a new outa the box carb will need fine-tuning. Cliffs carb would be 99% ready to go with minor A/F adjustments.

Cliffs High Performance
20579 Berry Road
Mount Vernon, Ohio 43050
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https://cliffshighperformance.com/

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Old May 2nd, 2019, 06:41 PM
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Should just clarify that the guys who were drilling and tapping were doing so for 5/8” bolts in LENGTH and presumably were using just 1/4-20/bolts. I gather that by drilling and tapping just a bit short their thinking was to avoid having small metal particles down in the manifold. Seems logical to me. I am wondering if just 1/2” long bolt would do the job, after it is only anchoring the choke stove which isn’t that large or heavy.
I had the carb rebuilt last year but I don’t believe the choke assembly was done and i suspect that you are right that the choke assembly probably just needs a good cleaning and won’t surprise me to find the pull off diaphragm needs replacing.
Based on the carbon inside the carb on the secondary I think the choke stove assembly also has a problem.
The first thing I am going to try is to tweak the mixture screws, hoping that leaning it out a bit will smooth out the idle and cure the surge/sputtering problem
Still plan to test the fuel pump per the manual once I figure out how to rig up a rubber fuel hose to get by the metal line from the pump to the carb. The weatherman says no rain this weekend so hope he is right.
The manual says to hook up a hose from the outlet into an unbreakable container and start and idle engine for 15 seconds. It says A mechanical pump should supply 1/2 pint or more. I would guess that assumes there is enough fuel in the fuel bowl to run the car for 15 seconds.
The next step is then to connect a vacuum gauge to the fuel pump and crank the engine until the max vac is reached and it should be at least 12 inches. After that the manual says to work you back and test each section of line with a vacuum gauge. If the pump an lines check ok the drop drain tank and replace sender/strainer.
Having the carb towed into a shop on Monday to have them drop the tank and check the sender and replace if necessary because I just don’t have the facilities or equipment to do this in my driveway.
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Old May 2nd, 2019, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by RetroRanger View Post
Sounds like water in the tank, drop it, tilt it siphon the low end into a jar, if you see any globs in gas you've gotta clean out the tank good or replace it its rusty inside
to elaborate I once bought a 12 year old truck w 13k miles on it. (carburated) I didnt make the 5 mile drive home and it died on me (sputtering and spitting) i called the guy i bought it from and he said yeah itll do that just throw some dry gas in it. Sure enough added drygas and off i went. Well over the next two months it would run for days w no issue, then suddenly die sputtering and spitting, if i couldnt restart I would come back in a half hour and it would restart. I added about 2 gallons of drygas in the pint bottles over that time

I finally had my limit and dropped the tank, to my surprise there was about a quart of water in there !!! i siphoned it out and dryed the tank and never had the stalling issue again !!!

looking at your last thread carb rebuild, distributor rebuild, plugs wires etc i think your ready to take a look at the tank for water
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Old May 2nd, 2019, 07:34 PM
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Retro, I agree with you which is why I am sending it into the shop on Monday to have them drain and drop the tank, scope it for junk and if it is not all rusted up then replace the sender and put it back in. While they are at it I would like them to blow the lines. And replace all the rubber fuel hoses. Would like to eliminate the fuel delivery system as a source of problems once and for all. If the problem persists then I will know it is most likely carb related.
i do have a question for you - what is dry gas? I have never heard of it. Where does one get it? Is it harmful to the vehicle?
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Old May 2nd, 2019, 08:31 PM
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"DryGas" is a brand name. It's an additive that is supposed to remove water from gasoline by binding with it chemically and dragging it through the combustion process so it gets removed from the system. You should not need it if you're going to have your tank drained and cleaned as you would presumably be putting fresh gas in it.

https://www.yourmechanic.com/article/what-is-dry-gas
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Old May 2nd, 2019, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by ByronF View Post
That is what I was concerned would happen. But it is what it is I guess. I read somewhere that the bolts do not go all the way thru but are only about 3/4 deep and guys that were having to drill them out were tapping them with a special bottom tap for a 5/8 bolt. Based on your experience is that the case and will that fix work.?
I don't remenber if the bolts went all the way through or not. I also didn't pay close attention to the specific size bolt I used. I just wanted it to be long enough to go reasonably far into the metal and the right size to fit through the holes in the choke stove bracket. Nothing rocket sciency-here. Just something to hold it on.
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Old May 4th, 2019, 12:34 PM
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Here's a photo of my choke stove and associated piping. I just used a couple of hex-head bolts to hold it down. The biggest issue for me, and it wasn't all that big, was that the original tubes were far enough gone that I needed new ones, and no one has the larger of the two tubes--the one that ultimately connects to the back of the carb with a rubber hose. It's pointed at with a yellow arrow. It's too long (or, at least, it was longer than the one it replaced), but it didn't hurt anything to just leave it as is and run a longer piece of rubber hose.





Fusick sells a two-tube kit, but only the smaller one fit correctly. It's the p-shaped one that runs from the stove to the choke housing. I bought this kit. They don't list '78 Toronado as an application for this kit, but they don't have a kit specifically for this car, and the one below was close enough.

Note that these tubes are just press-fit into the stove. Note the sort-of tapered end on each one.

http://www.fusickautomotiveproducts....umber=CTB40/43


Last edited by jaunty75; May 4th, 2019 at 12:37 PM.
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Old May 4th, 2019, 07:32 PM
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Jaunty, thanks for the photo, it helps to visualize. My tubes are in good shape although we did replace one when we did the carb rebuild. I think my problem is the actual choke stove inside the manifold. Not looking forward to wrestling with that. But it needs doing I think.
Played with the needles today. At 1-1/2 turns out the vacuum dropped below 15 in. At 2-1/2 turns it was back in the green at 17 in. At 3-1/2 turns it loaded up and died. So back to 2-1/2 turns. Now it idles too fast and can't get it to kick down. Backed the idle screw almost all the way out but it would not slow down. It was idling a little better today so maybe I am burning off some of the crud but it is by no means right as it is still rough although not quite as bad as it was.
Still going to have the whole fuel system gone over and have them look at the carb to see if they have any better luck with it. But I am now thinking there is a timing issue which is the only reason I can come with up for the very high idle that will not kick down. Timing on these cars is tricky as you know as you can't and don't move the distributor. In my case it is tweaking the crank sensor after grounding the controller with a special cable, which I can't find anywhere and the crank sensor is mounted below the power steering pump and is covered in oil and gunk. No idea on how one tests it to see if it still functioning.
I have a sneaking suspicion that a new vaccum advance distributor may soon be in my future.
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Old May 9th, 2019, 01:49 PM
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Well it has been an interesting week as the shop has been trying to diagnose the problem with the Toronado. They did not touch the tank yet as they did not suspect or believe the fuel system was the issue. They are focused on the carb and why all the black soot in a carb recently rebuilt. The first thing they looked at was the choke stove so they pulled it. Thankfully the bolts came out clean and did not shear. Sure enough the old stove had a hole in it as you can see in the following photo.

Not only has this gunked up the carb but also the choke itself which is why the primary was not fully opening when the engine was at operating temperature.

Fortunately we managed to find a new choke stove in stock at a GM dealership about 2 hours from here and the part was shipped in to the shop. Too bad they forget to send the gasket as well.

The other issue the shop discovered was that the shafts on the base plate were well worn and sloppy which they believe is contributing to the poor running.
Also the secondary butterfly was a bit stiff which suggests that the upper air horn may be slightly warped or bent to cause the stiffness and contribute to the problem.

As a temporary measure they are adapting a base plate from another quadrajet they had around in order to get the car running in order to test drive.

I also got lucky, (I hope - because I have been down this road before when a firm promised something and did not deliver ) and a local carb rebuilder about an hour from me had the right casting in stock and took my order to supply me with a rebuilt carb at a very reasonable price with an expected delivery of 2 weeks.

So fingers crossed that the temp fix on the carb that the local shop is doing will enable us to get the car back on the road under its own power and to track down any other gremlins such as the fuel system.

Fingers doubly crossed that the rebuilt carb I have ordered does get done as promised.

The only positive out of all this is that the weather here has been lousy with rain everyday, so tinkering and cruising would not have been in the cards. At least the old girl is inside at the local shop.
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Old May 9th, 2019, 01:52 PM
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Sounds like an intelligent group of guys at that shop, and that choke stove sure does look awful. Keep us posted. I'll bet you're on the right track to get that car running well.
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Old May 9th, 2019, 02:49 PM
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Yes so far I am quite pleased and impressed with the local shop. The youngish fellow working on it seems to know his stuff. He was recommended by a new neighbor I met on the next street over. I was driving by his place about 2 weeks ago and what did I see in his driveway but a 72 Toronado. So of course I had to stop and chat with him and we got to comparing notes on our cars. He was just rolling his out his garage for the first time this season. His car was beautiful. I will try and get some pictures of it and post it for everyone here to enjoy.
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Old May 10th, 2019, 04:23 PM
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Got a call today from the local shop that they managed to do a temporary fix to the carburetor by adapting the base plate from another old quadrajet they had on the shelf. They installed it and were actually able to get the car to run for a small test drive. The engine did quit a few times and according to the mechanic moved from rich to lean suggesting 2 problems. The needles on the replacement base plate are an issue even after tweaking them a few times. More importantly he fells there is a timing issue, more specifically, there is no or very little advance which is causing the engine to quit. If he lets its sit for a few minutes and then starts it up, it is fine again as there is no demand for advance but after driving for a few minutes and getting up to driving speed it dies out.

So at this point I am giving up on the MISAR system. Although I did find a replacement controller for a 77 Toronado on oldsobsolete.com there is no guarantee that this part alone will fix my problem and I have not yet been able to locate a cranks sensor or temp sensor which are also integral to making the system work. Also the cost of this controller alone is more than 2x the price of an HEI distributor with mech/vac advance.

My mechanic has found a re-manufactured Delco distributor for a 77 Olds 88/98 for the 403 motor in stock in the NAPA warehouse in Toronto. So I have told them to bring it in and install it.
It may be old school and certainly is not original but at this point I am more interested in simple and consistent reliability.
Hopefully this fix along with the new/rebuilt carb I have on order will address all the problems and get this car back on the road.

As I recall from the last thread on this issue Joe P had indicated that the simple way to bypass the MISAR system was to replace the temp sensor with a simple single wire sending unit and splice it into the wiring from/to the controller. I am still puzzled if this is enough to totally disable the controller's effect on timing based on the fact that Jaunty's car seems to run fine without the temp sensor.
Perhaps I misunderstood and what Joe was suggesting was a way to maintain the temp light operation through the controller but still allow part of the MISAR system to control timing.
Based on this I am inclined to think that maybe the crank sensor plug should also be pulled as well as the wire connector into the distributor as shown on the following schematic that Joe provided.

Any words of advice on whether this is the correct way to disable the MISAR system? Am I going in the right direction or missed something? Did I misunderstand Joe's advice and doing as he suggested really is the simple way to disable MISAR?

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Old May 10th, 2019, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by ByronF View Post
As I recall from the last thread on this issue Joe P had indicated that the simple way to bypass the MISAR system was to replace the temp sensor with a simple single wire sending unit and splice it into the wiring from/to the controller. I am still puzzled if this is enough to totally disable the controller's effect on timing based on the fact that Jaunty's car seems to run fine without the temp sensor. Perhaps I misunderstood and what Joe was suggesting was a way to maintain the temp light operation through the controller but still allow part of the MISAR system to control timing. Based on this I am inclined to think that maybe the crank sensor plug should also be pulled as well as the wire connector into the distributor as shown on the following schematic that Joe provided.
Here's what I can respond to.

Yes, I believe that Joe's comments and that schematic show simply how to connect a regular temperature sensor to the existing HOT light. The rest of the system, on my car at least, is still there, and my car has never had the temperature sensor hooked into the MISAR system. When I got the car, and to this day, that temperature sensor has been disconnected. The engine has always run OK. The temperature sensor is supposed to feed into the ignition system and is used by the controller to adjust the timing as the engine warms up. I've always wondered about the effect of having the sensor disconnected as you would think the controller would be always receiving a signal that the engine is always cold or always warmed up, depending on what signal the sensor wiring defaults to when the sensor is disconnected. Yet, as I say, the engine has run fine, and I'm always happy to let sleeping dogs lie. As I talked about earlier, I installed a standard temperature sensor on the front of the top of the engine into the port where it would normally be and ran a wire to a temperature gauge I added under the dash. The HOT light on my car is not connected to anything.

I have never measured or adjusted the timing on my car. I have never touched the distributor in any way other than to replace the spark plug wires attached to it. Adjusting the timing is not as simple as it usually is, which was just connect the sensor clamp over the #1 spark plug wire, connect the other wires to the positive battery terminal and ground, and you're off to the races. On these MISAR-equipped cars, you have to get down under the dash on the passenger side, find the controller, and "connect open reference timing connector (taped to harness) to ground using about a 2 ft. jumper wire" as it says in the service manual. Then you connect a timing light in the usual way. Timing is supposed to be "20 degrees at 1100 RPM." Grounding that open reference timing connector will cause the "check ignition" light on the dash to illuminate, but you just ignore that during the timing setting process. Remove the jumper, of course, when done.
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Old May 10th, 2019, 06:54 PM
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Jaunty, if I understand this correctly the "open reference timing connector" is actually or should be taped to the controller in the car? So there is no need to try and track one done or try to make one however that might look.
Assuming it is actually in the car then it is just a matter of grounding it and then using the timing light to verify initial timing. It may be worth a try if it is there to verify that initial timing is right. But how does one track down what is failing (sensors or controller) if initial timing is ok but there is no advance when accelerating? Also because I can't find parts to replace any of the sensors, assuming one or both are not functioning, it would appear there is no alternative but to replace the distributor.
In light of that, I have sent a message to the guru Joe Padavano asking for his advice on how to disable MISAR and power the new distributor. Hopefully he can guide me through this.
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Old May 10th, 2019, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by ByronF View Post
Jaunty, if I understand this correctly the "open reference timing connector" is actually or should be taped to the controller in the car? So there is no need to try and track one done or try to make one however that might look.
I think it should just be taped to the controller and all you do is connect a wire to it which you connect to ground.

But keep in mind that my diagrams and references are from the 1978 service manual, and things are slightly different between the two years. Here's the diagram equivalent to the one above but for 1978. The "reference timing connector" is clearly shown at the bottom right.

I think that all I'd have to do if I ever wanted to make the HOT light work again in my car is to find the dark green wire connected to the right side terminal E, disconnect it from the controller, and connect it to a proper temperature sensor. But like I said, I'm now using a sensor that connects to a gauge, not an indicator light, and I like having the gauge, so I don't think I would reconnect the HOT light even if I was inclined to start crawling around under the dash.





I agree with you regarding the issue of finding replacement parts for the MISAR system. If anything on your system is not functioning, your best course of action is, as you say, to remove the MISAR system, distributor, etc. all together and replace with a conventional distributor like your mechanic has apparently found.
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Old May 11th, 2019, 02:04 AM
  #40  
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The replacement distributor won't have the round connector that goes to the MISAR computer. Simply disconnect that connector and the three wire connector shown above the MISAR box in the wiring diagram above. This takes the computer completely out of the circuit. Now connect the pink wire labeled "12 volt ignition wire" to the BATT terminal on the new HEI. Done. You will also need to connect a normal temp sensor to the dark green wire to retain the TEMP idiot light function.
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