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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone,
I'm hoping that I can get some help because after all of the forum reading, research, experiments that I've done, I just can't get my '65 289 to idle. It fires right up, but dies as soon as the gas is let up, and sometimes even with the gas being pressed down. The previous owner had the same issue. Here are all of the things that I've done to try and fix it.

Replaced Parts:
Battery
Switch to Petronix electric distributor
Starter
Spark plugs and wires
OEM Autolite Carb (automatic choke)
All new gas lines, filter, and electric pump

Things done/tested:
Static timing
Spark check
Plugged open vacuums on carb
Resistor Wire (from ignition to coil) checked = 1.5 ohm

This is the 2nd motor that I've ever worked on. The first was a '65 Cleveland 351, which I did quite a bit on and was able to get running, so the 289 is pretty familiar to me. One thing that stands out as different between the two are the breather ports. Both have a breather tube coming from the oil cap going back to the carb. But the left side valve cover on the 351C had a an breather port on it too, just as a vent. I learned that when I plugged it, it would immediately die. This 289 valve cover doesn't have any breather port on it at all like the 351C. Could that be part of the issue?

What else am I missing? What else can I try?

Any help would be so appreciated.
 

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1966 289 3-speed
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My guess is you have some kind of vacuum issue related to the PCV or choke. You don't mention if the engine/intake/carb is stock or not. Post a pic so we can see that PCV set up.

You should have a breather tube going from the rear of the carb riser to the passenger valve cover on a stock 289 setup. You should not have a breather tube going from the oil cap to carb. California cars did have a "closed system" with a breather tube going from the oil cap to the AIR CLEANER, not the carb.
 

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Maybe try spraying carb cleaner around the carb and intake to see if there is a vacuum leak. Good luck.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Here is picture of my set up. Its how I got it. I'm thinking that the pcv is incorporated to the oil cap (per the picture), that's how it was set up with my 351C, just looked different. The breather tube goes from the oil cap into the spacer on the back. Does that look normal?

The engine and intake are stock and the carb is stock, but brand new.

If the California "closed system" should go to the air cleaner instead of the carb spacer, should I do that and cap the spacer, or was that just an emissions guideline for manufacturing them?
 

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Here is picture of my set up. Its how I got it. I'm thinking that the pcv is incorporated to the oil cap (per the picture), that's how it was set up with my 351C, just looked different. The breather tube goes from the oil cap into the spacer on the back. Does that look normal?
No that's not correct. You have a closed system style oil cap. That tube should go to the air cleaner not the carb.
If the California "closed system" should go to the air cleaner instead of the carb spacer, should I do that and cap the spacer, or was that just an emissions guideline for manufacturing them?
The port on the back of the riser is for your PCV which I don't see anywhere. Can you post pictures of the other side of the engine?
 

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This is what a closed system look like. Looks like your original air cleaner is gone so you can't run it that way anymore. I'd just replace your cap with a standard one.
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This is what your PCV should look like on the passenger valve cover. That hose runes to the back of the carb riser that your oil cap in connected to. Do you have a PCV valve on the other side?
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Here is the other side. No PCV, everything is just closed up. What should be ran where and what should be plugged up in this case?
 

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The factory setup draws air through the air cleaner into the driver side valve cover via a hose, and recirculates oily air back to be burnt through a hose running between the carburetor spacer and PCV valve (passenger side valve cover, rear). @AZ_Ryan has given you some great pictures on what this setup looks like.

Your factory air cleaner is gone, so you may not be able to run a hose from the cap to the air cleaner. Consider a push-in style valve cover breather like this:
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They can be found at your local auto parts store in a variety of sizes. The grommet goes into the valve cover, and then the breather goes right in.
 

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Here is the other side. No PCV, everything is just closed up. What should be ran where and what should be plugged up in this case?
I'm at a loss. Either someone used the wrong valve covers or that's not a 289. I just noticed where your oil cap is attached...I've never seen a set up like that. Perhaps someone else can help here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ok, thank you guys. At least I have another direction to pursue. I will get back after I have checked on those things. Thank you for the input!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I just went through a big box of parts that came with the car, and this is what I found. I would guess that someone completely changed the set up. I'm assuming you would recommend that I clean these up and set up the hoses like you've shown in the pictures?
 

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I just went through a big box of parts that came with the car, and this is what I found. I would guess that someone completely changed the set up. I'm assuming you would recommend that I clean these up and set up the hoses like you've shown in the pictures?
Well other than the color and the missing top of the air cleaner that looks correct lol. The PCV valve is still in that cover there. Where is you current dip stick?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well other than the color and the missing top of the air cleaner that looks correct lol. The PCV valve is still in that cover there. Where is you current dip stick?
I hope that all works, based on everything you guys have shown me, that seems like that would be the issue. The dip stick is right under the oil cap on the left.
 

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Edited to remove a comment made because of my lack of reading comprehension. Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Edited to remove comment made because I lack reading comprehension. Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.
Nope, never idled, and the previous owner couldn't get it to either. I will definitely set it back up like you guys showed me and get back to the thread. Thanks guys!
 

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Go get a vaccum gauge its a very useful tool to have around. Have you set your timing and confirmed it to be where you want it? Is the carb delivering fuel at idle, might be clogged? I would think it would breathe through the pipe but if you think its not breathing take off a valve cover. wont make a mess if you dont rev it. but i would think you have a major vacuum loss issue. check intake bolts are not loose. sounds dumb but happened to me before. bought a rough running truck and found the intake bolts rattling out.
 

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another thing. if you turn the fuel screws too far in it wont idle. if you turn the throttle stop out too far it wont idle. are these things you have tried adjusting?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
another thing. if you turn the fuel screws too far in it wont idle. if you turn the throttle stop out too far it wont idle. are these things you have tried adjusting?
Yes, those are all part of the things that I've tried to adjust at the first go. I'm going to put those valve covers on and update the thread after that. Thanks!
 

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some carbs call for 1.5 turns out on idle. some 1. the brawler 770 i just put on came with them .5 turns out and thats what it likes. I got that carb off the holley refurbished carb page. good deals there. sometimes it time to give up on an old carburetor.
 
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