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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Running late for work this morning at 4 AM, I had only a minute to warm up the TD before I left. I have a couple of questions now that it's getting colder in the mornings.

I usually warm up my truck for 10 mins in the morning. Any less, and it hesitates and threatens to stall for the first couple miles or so. And I can't accelerate very quickly either. (note: after work, it needs to run for about 3-4 minutes.)

This morning the thing damn near stalled in my driveway when I put her in gear. When I throttled up to get out of my driveway, it stumbled quite a bit and did so until I drove a mile or so, then it was almost normal, with just a little hesitation from a dead stop.

So, should I tune my carb for the colder weather since the air is a little more dense or does that matter?

The engine is a 360 2bbl with what looks like an emissions carb with the emissions stuff removed. Don't know the part number yet, but if needed, I can locate it (I hope). Oh yeah, it's a 79 with over 170,000 miles on the original engine.

I've heard of piston slap when the engines are cold and probably should have waited until the heater was blowing hot air, but I want to know if a 10-15 minute morning warm up time is normal? (My last truck had a 20-30 minute warm-up time, but that was a 318 with almost no vacuum at cold idle and serious problems.)

Any thoughts? Or am I just spoiled by new fuel injected vehicles?
 

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Sometimes I think having an electric choke can be a problem. I had a furd with a 302 and it did not have a choke and it would start even below freezing. It would stumble a little but after 3 or 4 minutes I had no problems. Even on the RC with a 318 I do not use the choke-it is manual. I think the choke has more to do with the problems you are having.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Possibly. How can I tell if my choke is vacuum or thermal? I don't think they were putting electic chokes on 360s in 1979, but I could be wrong. How do you adjust it?

Note that it idles at about 1100 rpm (if my tach is right) when warming up, but it will not idle down by itself unless I hit the gas a bit; and only after it has warmed up all the way.
 

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this is the normal fun of an old Dodge in winter. Here is the way I do it. Get a manual choke. Cheap, easy, and reliable, just like a good woman ;D ...but I digress. I assume you know how to work a choke so I won't get into that. then cut a piece of cardboard to fit in front of the rad. Will have to undo the overflow. Then start cutting a hole in the center. Cut so it's just big enough to cool the engine a little. You want it to warm up a little past normal while idling. I have done this on both my old Dodges and it works extremly well. I am talking about Utah and Idaho winters too. And if your heater is anything like mine you will cook yourself out even on the coldest days. You can also put in a block heater. This will help a bunch too, but I like my white trash solutions! ;D I like the block heaters that go into a freeze plug hole.
 

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Manual choke is the way to go ..... just [pull that choke open and leave it that till it warms up ... i think with electric chokes tend to close to fast .... you can put a heavier spring the choke horn adn that will make it stay open longer as well adjusting the tension on it ...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So even with a manual choke, I will still need to warm it up for 10 mins or so before using it? Or are you saying that I can drive it right after start up, but just keep the choke open until it's warm?

RevJayBear, I've never had the pleasure of a manual choke, so clue me in man! ;D Also don't have a problem with it being UTAH cold here...barely hits freezing...then again, I'm at a higher altitude now, so it may get colder. I just don't know yet. :) I love the cardboard idea. ;)

Damn, I've been spoiled by modern convenience far too long. :p ;D
 

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Manitoba winter here,i have my auto choke set to factory specs,i use a remote starter on my carbureted 80 power wagon for warm ups.even on real cold days,i run it for about 2 minutes before driving away wit little problems.the hardest thing is getting all that iron to turn when its frozen solid......and the square tires.
 

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hey jimmy.... its the nature of the beast like revjaybear said.... my PW ( when she runs) does the same thing as does my 71, and 72.... the 68 is a real biatch to get warmed up.. no choke at all... wired open... so i would not worry bout it.. thats normal stuff... but if you want faster warmups put in a block heater and make sure teh thermal choke is working right... and yes you do have thermal.....
 

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BrianT said that electric chokes close too fast.

If an electric choke requires 12 volts in order to heat the choke's element, would it be possible to somehow reduce the voltage in order to slow the element's heating time.

Maybe wiring the choke's power wire to a switch and mount it to the dash where you could turn off the power until the engine warms up enough.

Don't know if this would work, but I'm sure that someone here does.

Gonzo
 

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Hey Jimmy,
I’d junk that OEM choke. It’s junk. Get a manual choke from the HELP parts. Install it so it goes from totally shut to wide open. When you first go to start in the morning close it all the way and give it a few pumps of gas. Then start. It should fire right up but then start running rough real quick(too rich). Then slowly open it till it smooths out(leaning the mix). Then it should warm to fast idle. Continue to open as it warms up. You can drive with the choke partially closed but I don’t like to because my rpm’s are too high. Once it’s warm your fast idle should kick down with a quick rev of the throttle. I don’t know what kind of carb you have but this is how it works with my AFB. Also when it’s fairly warm outside you may not even need to choke it or just not all the way.
;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'll figure something out. I'm going to be getting a new carb for it anyway, when I'm done paying for everything else. :-\ I might just go with the manual choke though...seems less complicated than the thermal setup. I switched to electric on my old truck and that solved many problems, but like you guys said, it didn't function just right in the dead of winter.

Thanks for the info guys. As long as I know my rig is in OK shape, I'm happy. Will look into new choke though. ;)
 

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I would recomend an Edelbrock/AFB with a manual choke. That is if you're going 4bbl.
 

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I never had a problem with either the divorced choke on my old 360 2bbl or the electric choke on my old 318 4bbl, even in winter.

Although, now I have been spoiled by the tbi on my 90. ;D
 

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My 77 440 with the factory Thermoquad usually takes a bit to come off high idle but I dont have any problems with the choke. I rebuild the carb on a regular basis and replaced the choke thermostat once. Still kicks butt in the winter. Have you tried rebuilding the carb and/or replacing the choke thermostat? Also need to check your hot air intake if equipped or your heat riser on the exhaust manifold if equipped.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Chump said:
My 77 440 with the factory Thermoquad usually takes a bit to come off high idle but I dont have any problems with the choke. I rebuild the carb on a regular basis and replaced the choke thermostat once. Still kicks butt in the winter. Have you tried rebuilding the carb and/or replacing the choke thermostat? Also need to check your hot air intake if equipped or your heat riser on the exhaust manifold if equipped.
Haven't rebuilt it yet. I honestly don't know if it has ever been rebuilt. There is a coil hose leading from my exhaust manifold to the intake, so I will fix it on there a little better. Other than that, she runs just fine when fully warmed up.
 

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on my 85 318 2bbl, there's a voltage limiter before the divorced choke spring that lesent the voltage to make it take longer to warm up and fully kick off. This had been bypassed so the choke ws getting full voltage and kicking off too soon. Put the right part back in and it greatly improved the cold running.
 
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