I have a 1973 350 El Camino in Michigan. For the past three years, as I've learned about cars (and finally owning an el camino of my own)!, the persistent problem I haven't been able to fix is that it takes 5-10 minutes of me reving the engine on startup until the engine temp gets to 130, then I can step out of the car and wait, but I still have to wait until the engine temp gets to 190 before I can drive it without stalling.
I finally figured out it was the divorced choke. If I hold down the choke with wire so that it stays tightly closed, I can start it and almost immediately drive away. The choke was not holding down unless I forced it down! I then bent the rod to compensate, which worked temporarily, but the I think the choke is so old its not reliable and the metal is all corroded on the spring.
I thought, well, I'll just buy a new choke spring. However, they seem hard to get. Should I change to an electric choke? Is that hard to retrofit? The only divorced chokes I can find on the internet, where you only buy the choke mechanism, are edelbrocks, and then I have to buy a whole new carb anyway. I am restoring on a budget, so what should I do?
I wouldn't change the entire carb just for a choke problem (unless you are going with a hp setup). You should be able to get parts to make the original work again. Just took a look at the Advance Auto web site, it seems that they have the coil for the divorced choke. GP Sorensen part no 779649, $12.
There are others listed, if that is not the correct one. You can also look for a junk carb to steal parts from. I was able to find a used carb with only 20k miles for my '80, threw in some new gaskets, float, and it works like new.
Thanks a bunch for finding the part. The site had an electric choke conversion for $50-60, but at this point it seems just replace the whole carb.
So I'll stay with the divorced thermostat. I couldn't find the choke rod part on the website; mine is all bent out of shape now. Oh well, that part is very complicated and I am sure I can hack something!
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