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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I'm brand new and just bought a 78 last week. It runs smooth and the air blows cold. I just went and looked the whole car over yesterday and tomorrow am installing new shocks, radiator (due to a slow leak), and water pump. That seems to be all that is really needed at the moment. The only problem that I am having is the rough idle. It jumps a bit here and there, then it tries to die on me like the alternator is going out or something, the battery light kind of flickers on and off. It also seems to lose a little bit of power sometimes when turning. The power steering pump was replaced the day I bought the car. And it turns good and smooth, just once in a while theres a split second power loss when I'm idling through a turn especially. As soon as you give it gas its on it and running strong. The car has been garaged for 4 years after the original owned that had it passed away. It also gives you a little bit of hell on cold starts here and there. Im going to replace the spark plugs and look over the wires tomorrow, so hopefully that will fix the problem. If not I'll be needing some suggestions on where to start! Thanks for any help...
 

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VINTAGE MOTORHEAD
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Welcome aboard, Scotty! Sounds like you have a nice ride. Good luck with it. As far as your idling concerns you might want to start @ square one which should solve your problems.

Time the motor carefully to stated specs.Make sure you set crank (initial) timing with the idle less than 750 rpm with vacuum distributor hose disconnected and plugged to prevent vacuum leak while testing.Check your manual, but 10 degreesis probably close. While you have the timing light hooked up watch the balancer and timing marks to see if the timing advances as you rev the motor.

Check for vacuum leaks around carb base and check all hoses to be viable and hooked up.

After timing the motor set your idle mixture screws slowly and patiently, with a vacuum guage if possible, to achieve the highest vac or rpm as you act on these screws one at a time. Then set your idle speed screw to achieve a smooth idle when in drive (with parking brake on or foot on brake to see if the idle remains strong under light load.

Clean air & fuel filters and plugs always help. Check the inside of the distributor cap for arcing, cracks and make sure the carbon contact is spring loaded and not burned up.

These basics will either help out or point to larger issues. Let us know how you make out.
James (LOCKJAW)

Photos of your cruck would be real nice.
 

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With what you are doing, I suggest you also: Change the lower radiator hose, making sure the wire spring is in the new one, change all the belts as it will be really easy, and change out the thermostat. All these are easy and cheap, yet the source of problems later on that would be hard to diagnose. Make sure as well to change the oil, tranny fluid, coolant and if possible, the rear end fluid and brake fluid. The brake fluid is hardest, yet if it has picked up and water in it while sitting, it could rust out the lines and make a REALLY difficult task replacing them. Make sure you do NOT get the silicone type fluid.

When you have nothing else to do!!! :yell: pull all the fuses and clean them really well. Push them in and out several times to clean the fuse block, and with that other cash just burning a hole in your pocket, change the ground wire from the battery to ground, and remove and clean all other grounds you can fine around the engine and frame.

Do most of these thinsg ONE AT A TIME, then start and run around the block. If you do them all at once and it would start after, you wont know where to look.

Good luck and WELCOME!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
still workin'

So far spent a day and got and installed new shocks front and rear (old ones had no bushings left at all) radiator, water pump, thermostat, installed water and oil gauges in the dash, new alternator, spark plugs (what a pain in the ass) fan clutch and power steering pump...got a few cosmetic things and will be posting up some pictures once I get my last trim piece in the mail. We are still running a little hot. In the 210 range..and it looks like it has been spiking a little bit to almost 230 in stop and go. Its riding really smooth and has the idling issues still once in a while. I think a lot of it is coming from the fact that the car sat for a couple of years. Its getting better the more I drive it. I might rebuild the carb soon and am thinking the next thing on the list is a new catalytic converter and exhaust system. Im going to try and see if that might help take my temperature down a bit. If it doesn't then I'm pretty stumped as to what I'm going to do once it gets really hot this summer. All of my hoses and things are pretty new so there doesn't appear to be any issues there. I might look into an aftermarket fan or something if it doesn't start running a little bit cooler.
 

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I have a hard time keeping my cool too. Play with different temp stats. The one that worked best for me is 160 degrees. I was thinking about a electric push fan just in case my regular fan wasn't enough or working right. Good luck
 
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