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Discussion Starter #1
I've had my '83 El Camino for almost one week now and it has been lots of fun. Some people like it, others hate it. I have really been enjoying it and I'm very pleased with how comfortable the car rides.

I would like some of your expert opinions on starting the car when it is cold. It has been in the 20s and 30s this week in the morning when I go to start the car. I have been pressing in the accelerator one time and then attempting to crank it, but that almost never starts it on the first time. I usually end up getting it cranked after a few more attempts and a few more pumps of the gas pedal. I know this may be typical for a carburated engine, but do any of you have any suggestions that may help me out?

Oh, once I get the car warmed up, she runs great and never shuts off until I turn the car off.
 

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i usually pump it twice before cranking, but i also park in a garage, so that may help it start a little bit easier.
 

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Elky85 said:
I usually pump it twice before cranking
Same here...been dang cold here in Atlanta so far and we're expecting low 20's again tonight.

Another thought, have your battery checked...since the car is pretty new to you. Cold weather kills a weak battery.
 

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COLD in MN

Here in MN we have been having weather around 0 degrees so very cold. My car has been having the same problem replaced the battery and checked everything. Well this cold weather did something to my car and now the carb leaks a little bit through a gasket so that means replacing that. So that may not be your problem but I know that the cold killed that gasket. So may want to look into something along that line.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the advice everyone. Mine is parked in a garage too, but I haven't insulated the garage yet so it is about as cold in there as it is outside. I'll try pumping it twice before I crank it tomorrow morning. And I'll have the battery checked soon too. I haven't seen any leaks.
 

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I usually pump it a few times in the morning before i start mine, sometimes it helps when i pump it a few times then i hold the gas down all the way and hold it there while starting the car and let off when it starts....
 

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I pump mine 2-4 times depending on how cold it is. I also hold the throttle just cracked when cranking while cold.

I also have to let it warm up before driving. :(

I am also running a nippindenso starter which cranks much better when cold than direct drive GM starters.
 

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Gotta love those E4ME Q-jets. :wink:

In below freezing weather I give the pedal two pumps to set the choke and get a little gas into the intake, then I turn the key. The engine starts right up. I leave it on the high idle cam for about two minutes and then I pump the gas once to drop it to low idle cam. I let it warm up for another 2-3 minutes and then off I go. This works for both my 87 Elky and my 86 MCSS.

:mrgreen:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Since I originally posted this question, I've been giving the gas pedal two pumps before starting and I've had to hold it at about 1500rpm for 10 or 15 seconds, then it will idle on it's own and warm up. I think there is some considerable carbon build up so last night while driving I decided to blow it out by going at wide open throttle. I was going about 45mph when I nailed it. The transmission went down to 2nd and the car let out a nasty cloud of black smoke. I then did this two more times but no more dirty exhaust. I think I did a decent job of blowing out some carbon. The previous owner that put about 30k miles on the car didn't seem like the type that ever went WOT, so I'm guessing that combined with long warm up periods may have cause the carbon build up. I've also bought one of those 12oz bottles of fuel treatment that is supposed to help get rid of carbon build up. I'll use it next time I fill up with gas. This morning when I cranked up, I only had to give it two pumps of gas - I didn't have to hold it at 1500rpm.
 

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Two possible causes.

First do you have a Rochester Quadra Jet?

The Quadra Jet is notorious for developing a fuel leak in the reservoir or Bowels. If you flip it over and look at the bottom you see dead center two fuel horns or Jets and they have been closed on the bottom. This is where the crack occurs. You have to clean that area and epoxy it. It is the reason that, with a Rochester you have to turn the engine over some then pump the pedal then it will start.

The reservoir leaks out into the intake manifold over night and in the morning your car has no gas or not enough gas in the carb to allow the accelerator pump to pump anything. With an Aluminum intakes you can often see the discoloration on the plane.

If that is not it then it is probably your choke. It could need cleaning or adjusting or replacing. Over the years they get old and weak and sometimes need to be re-adjusted.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I have a Holley. Does it have the same problem that the Rochester does?

I'm thinking the choke may need adjusting like you mentioned.
 
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