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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Had the Chrysler lean burn system in my 84 RC with 318.  It had a crank/no spark condition and everything tested good as far as I could tell.  Everything was good up to the coil, just nothing was coming out.  Coil tested within normal spec.  So I did the GM HEI conversion.  Pulled the dist with vacuum advance off an 85 318 I had sitting on the engine stand and wired up the module.  She fired up and holds a decent idle by ear (have set timing other than by ear).  I'm also still using the original carb. I've read around and have seen the debate on ported vac vs manifold for advance, but I think maybe just to get this 84 rolling again (been parked for 10 years) Im going to be running the dizzy off of manifold vac.  But she feels like there is a vac issue when in gear...coughing and no power..wants to stall.  New plugs, cap, rotor, wires.  Could this be timing issue also or do I need to look at vac somewhere?  Looking for advice from those who have done the HEI conversion.  Thanks

 

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mazzif said:
Had the Chrysler lean burn system in my 84 RC with 318. It had a crank/no spark condition and everything tested good as far as I could tell. Everything was good up to the coil, just nothing was coming out. Coil tested within normal spec. So I did the GM HEI conversion. Pulled the dist with vacuum advance off an 85 318 I had sitting on the engine stand and wired up the module. She fired up and holds a decent idle by ear (have set timing other than by ear). I'm also still using the original carb. I've read around and have seen the debate on ported vac vs manifold for advance, but I think maybe just to get this 84 rolling again (been parked for 10 years) Im going to be running the dizzy off of manifold vac. But she feels like there is a vac issue when in gear...coughing and no power..wants to stall. New plugs, cap, rotor, wires. Could this be timing issue also or do I need to look at vac somewhere? Looking for advice from those who have done the HEI conversion. Thanks
I'd switch to ported vacuum just as a trial. However, sitting for 10 years says crud in carburetor to me. There's a lot to consider - old gummed up fuel, broken down charcoal canister, and then non-carb issues like vacuum leaks and bad lines, etc.

Lastly, is your carb a feedback carb? That was sometimes part of the Lean Burn system - actually that is Lean Burn, technically the ignition timing/dizzy stuff is "Electronic Spark Control". So you had ESC and you may or may not have the Lean Burn part too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for that information.  I'm not sure if the carb is 'feedback' or not. This actually the first time I've ever seen a spark control equipped system.  I was planning to change out the carb eventually when I had a few more bucks in my pocket, and was hoping I could get the truck driving somewhat in the interim.  Seems these Holley 2280 style carbs are getting harder to find on ebay for a decent price anymore.  Do you know if  there is another type I can be looking for?  Carter/Rochester or even these cheepo Chinese knock offs I keep seeing that would be direct fit?  Any feedback is appreciated.
 

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mazzif said:
Had the Chrysler lean burn system in my 84 RC with 318. It had a crank/no spark condition and everything tested good as far as I could tell. Everything was good up to the coil, just nothing was coming out. Coil tested within normal spec. So I did the GM HEI conversion. Pulled the dist with vacuum advance off an 85 318 I had sitting on the engine stand and wired up the module. She fired up and holds a decent idle by ear (have set timing other than by ear). I'm also still using the original carb. I've read around and have seen the debate on ported vac vs manifold for advance, but I think maybe just to get this 84 rolling again (been parked for 10 years) Im going to be running the dizzy off of manifold vac. But she feels like there is a vac issue when in gear...coughing and no power..wants to stall. New plugs, cap, rotor, wires. Could this be timing issue also or do I need to look at vac somewhere? Looking for advice from those who have done the HEI conversion. Thanks
I would have gone with the Chrysler electronic ignition conversion. I've converted many a lean burn to the regular ignition. I've always preferred it to the GM type for space purposes, plus I think it's a superior system.

Like another poster said, you probably have nasty fuel in the tank and carburetor. I'd also check to make sure the exhaust isn't plugged. A vacuum gauge is your friend on this. After sitting for 10 years, I'd be surprised if the muffler didn't rust and collapse or rodents didn't build a nest in the tail pipe. I dug an old D100 out of a barn once and it would run and the guy held his foot to the floor to get the engine speed up. It bogged then made a loud pop and blew mice and mouse condo parts all over the yard. The little cheese thieves can really plug things up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Tank was drained so was dry.  The truck is actually very clean, and I have yet to find any evidence of rodents.  Seemed it was stored decently.  I did order a  Mopar Electronic Ignition kit, but the GM HEI was something I could do right away with parts on hand to get it to run.  So I will have my choice, but the GM solution is very simple with less components.  I did end up finding a Holley 2280 7990 off a 78 which is the same as in my 85 (but with a 76 block). Will give that a shot and see where we land.  I was actually very happy to hear it run.  The PO told me it needed a new engine because it didnt run.  It didnt have a battery in when I went to look at it, so I never heard it crank or anything.  I just took it to mean engine was seized or the like.  I was OK with the prospect of putting an engine in it.  As I said, I have an 85 318 sitting on a stand.  But I like where we are landing with it so far.
 

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The feedback carburetor look the same as the 2280 but it has a mixture control solenoid in it. You have to look for a pair of extra wires going to the carb. Personally I would replace the carb regardless. But if it's the electronic carb it won't work right without the whole system in place, so it's junk.
 

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mazzif said:
Tank was drained so was dry. The truck is actually very clean, and I have yet to find any evidence of rodents. Seemed it was stored decently. I did order a Mopar Electronic Ignition kit, but the GM HEI was something I could do right away with parts on hand to get it to run. So I will have my choice, but the GM solution is very simple with less components. I did end up finding a Holley 2280 7990 off a 78 which is the same as in my 85 (but with a 76 block). Will give that a shot and see where we land. I was actually very happy to hear it run. The PO told me it needed a new engine because it didnt run. It didnt have a battery in when I went to look at it, so I never heard it crank or anything. I just took it to mean engine was seized or the like. I was OK with the prospect of putting an engine in it. As I said, I have an 85 318 sitting on a stand. But I like where we are landing with it so far.
If the previous owner said it had a bad engine, I wonder if it just ran bad because of the timing chain jumping one tooth. How many miles on it? It might just need a timing chain set if it's over 140K on the engine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Dont know about the mileage, its not the original gauge cluster but it looks too clean to have all that many.  And the engine runs just fine now.  PO could not get it to start.  They changed the coil, cap, wires, fuel filter, alternator, fuse box, plugs.  Just about anything you could think of...except for removing the spark control computer and changing to another ignition system.  As I said, as soon as I cranked with the HEI wired in, it fired up.  Carb is a feedback style.  Has the solenoid in the back with wires coming off it.  I slapped on an old beat up 2280 that was missing half its linkage and it still fired up and runs.  Need to dial in the timing and route vac appropriately, but I feel like I have a runner.

 

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mazzif said:
Dont know about the mileage, its not the original gauge cluster but it looks too clean to have all that many. And the engine runs just fine now. PO could not get it to start. They changed the coil, cap, wires, fuel filter, alternator, fuse box, plugs. Just about anything you could think of...except for removing the spark control computer and changing to another ignition system. As I said, as soon as I cranked with the HEI wired in, it fired up. Carb is a feedback style. Has the solenoid in the back with wires coming off it. I slapped on an old beat up 2280 that was missing half its linkage and it still fired up and runs. Need to dial in the timing and route vac appropriately, but I feel like I have a runner.
So is it running better now with a regular carb on it? Not sure if that's what you were saying
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
ToxicDoc said:
So is it running better now with a regular carb on it? Not sure if that's what you were saying
I wouldn't say its any better, but it is running. The feedback carb was fluctuation all over the place with ups and downs. But I didn't expect this carb to perform well anyways. It's a parts carb thats been picked off of. It holds an idle though, and that's about it. I tossed it on as an afterthought when I pulled off the original today. I have a new reman coming in this week. Still feels to me like timing and/or vac needs adjusting. I also have a new dist coming in too. The one Im using is pretty gnarly.

Thanks for all the input.
 

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mazzif said:
I wouldn't say its any better, but it is running. The feedback carb was fluctuation all over the place with ups and downs. But I didn't expect this carb to perform well anyways. It's a parts carb thats been picked off of. It holds an idle though, and that's about it. I tossed it on as an afterthought when I pulled off the original today. I have a new reman coming in this week. Still feels to me like timing and/or vac needs adjusting. I also have a new dist coming in too. The one Im using is pretty gnarly.

Thanks for all the input.
From what you're saying, they probably messed with all the settings. It'll just be a matter of getting everything set back like it should be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Carb from ebay showed up today. Bolted it on and set my fuel mixture and idle screws and started her up.  She held a steady 800 rpm right out of the gate.  Shut the hood, and put her in gear (rpm dropped to about 550) and took her out for a drive.  Went the gas station and gave her about 10 gallons.  Went out and hit some dirt to 'test' the suspension and front axle.  All is good on that front too. 

I feel like I got a runner on my hands now.

Thanks all for the input.
 
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