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I have a '66 coupe with a rebuilt 302 engine. I just started having some problems with getting it started. Even if I've just been driving it and I turn it off for a few seconds, I have to really gun the engine for it to catch. Otherwise, it just sputters and dies. Once I do get it started and put it in gear, it sputters and acts like it's about to die. Any ideas? I've attached a picture of my engine set up. The PSI on the fuel pressure gauge always reads at 5, even when I accelerate.
 

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Engine tuning.

The overall causes/effects can be innumerable in engines of this age so to diagnose, we have to start with a baseline that tells us what we are starting with.
First, and easiest thing to start with is timing. Many time by using a vacuum gauge and adjusting the timing for greatest vacuum.
They hook the gauge to a tube coming from the carb which is manifold vacuum. If you have power brakes, you could use that tube.
The more common use of a timing light presumes the balancer marks are on, many have reported that their marks are not accurate.
The next thing to do is to look for vacuum leaks around the carb, purchase some starter fluid spray and spray around the base of the carb, if at any time the engine speeds up, then the spray is being sucked into the manifold via a vacuum leak.
Then we move on to if your spark is hot enough, this would require cleaning/replacing the points/condencer and setting the dwell. Many upgrade to electronic ignition to make this easier.
After we are sure about the ignition, then we might start looking at what shape the carb is in and if your compression is good.
Compression is easy to check but requires a compression gauge.
On carb stuff, we have many experts around the forum, but I punted and put on a new Edelbrock, cause I am just not that good at carbs.
For more extensive help, you will need to get the exact model of carb, exact ignition system, etc....
 

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Thanks so much for the detailed response. I have a Pertronix II with Flamethrower Coil ignition setup. My carb is a 4 bbl Edelbrock. I think its from their Performer or Thunder series.
 

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I would start with checking your choke is setup and working properly. On a cold engine the choke plate should be closed all the way, on a warm engine it should be open all the way. What you are describing sounds like an overrich condition which is why you are having to jam the throttle down to get the engine to catch. Make sure your electric choke is hooked up to an "on in run" power source. Also make sure that the carb linkages aren't bound up anywhere preventing the choke plate from opening like it should. There is also a fast idle cam that may need adjusted to get the correct cold idle rpm set. This is on the passenger side of the carb.

Once you have verified these things make sure your idle mixture is set right. It is not a tough procedure, in fact your carb should have come with a procedure for doing such. YOu need a vacuum gauge to do it right though.

As mentioned above, timing, or vacuum leaks can cause issues so definately check there as well. Maybe verify your firing order is right. I once swapped 2 wires and had no indications of a wiring problem other than the car had no power, although i noted this right away and pulled back into the garage before i gave it a chance to start sputtering and backfiring.

I know the pertronix works with the ballast wire in, but not sure if the flamethrower coil plays well with it. Someone might chime in on that though. Something to check out.

Jafo
 

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Just looked at your pic there, it does looke like that passenger side linkage is uncomfortably close to your heater core line there(blue hose). Definately check that out. I think a carb spacer needs to be in your future plans.
 
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