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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When in doubt, ask the best! I've got an 81 318 4bbl, MSD ignition and the last couple days seems to have developed a cough. I've only had the rig a few weeks and haven't had problems until a couple days ago. The timing is sitting at 12 btc, same as when I got it. I did adjust the choke a couple weeks ago because it seemed to be opening to quick. When I fire it up, warm it a minute or two and take off, if I accelerate it coughs. Sounds like its coughing back up in the carb. The choke seems to be set where is was. I don't know where to go next. Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance for any advice!
 

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By cough do you mean backfire through the carb. If so, you might want to try adjusting your timing. Do it by ear, forget the light until after to see where you have it. Just loosen the nut on the distributor holding thingamabob (way back by the firewall) and with the engine warm, turn slowly until it "sounds" right. You can tell by how high it idles. As you turn it you will hear it go up and then down...you want to stop it when it is at it's fastest.
If I messed you up on how I described it, just search for timing by ear on the board or in your browser.
Tim
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It doesn't quite sound the same as a backfire through the carb, I'm familiar with that more than once stabbing in a new distributor or so during my years. But of course when this is happening now I'm not right next to it with the air cleaner off.

Its after I get up and rolling, clear first and second (automatic) and moving along about 35mph and I give it some throttle to cruise onto the freeway. It flat out coughs (best description), bucks and shudders the rig a couple times. If I take it to the floor it'll jump right up without a whimper or a cough. After 5-10 minutes of running its over with and not a problem the rest of the day if I'm driving it on and off. If I get to work and it sits all day...yeeehhiiii, I'll buck the first stretch of my leg home. I can ease (I mean really ease) my way up to freeway speeds and not have a problem, except pissing off folks trying to get around me. :) However my style of driving is Dodge's lead the way.

I guess one of my struggles is I'm not really sure of the variables that cause a stumble, cough, backfire, etc. This rig has one of the old MSD adjustable timing systems with the knob on the dash. I can dial it from TDC to 15BTDC. MSD sent me the instructions data on it and also mentioned its an old unit but very bulletproof and reliable.

The engine is adjusted to run smooth and idles fine. It runs smooth up at highway speeds too. Its that middle area that has the problem, it doesn't sound or feel rough but at half throttle it'll hack away when its cold. Of course my tendency is to let off when it happens or jamb it to the floor if I'm merging onto the freeway. I tried to hold it in the same postion the other morning and it coughed about 4 times one after the other and I let off. Sorry about the long post...I'm baffled.
 

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what carb u got ? This is carb related . also u change the fuel filter recently ? Seems like u might have a stuck jet or got some crap in the carb . I will assume u have a edelbrock more thna likely . i think u need to pull the jets out of the front of the carb and check the m out or replacethe . Edelbrock has a rebuild kit for that carb .
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It's a Carter AFB (bout close as you can get to an Edelbrock or vice versa)...and the filter probably hasn't been changed for a while. I'm into the third tank of fuel since I picked it up and the guy that had it hasn't driven it but a few times a year for the last several years. Couple hunting or wood cutting trips is about all. So I may be knocking crap loose all over the tank. The gas gauge was screwed up, as he said it was but these last couple tanks in a short period of time seem to be correcting it. I'll tackle the carb this weekend and see if that takes care of the problem.

Thanks
 

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You might try pouring a can of berrymans chem-tool in the fuel tank. That stuff is amazing. I was having some similar problems with my edelbrock, and it turned out to be the floats were botched up, and not allowing the bowl on the left side to fill up the accelerator pump reservoir. So, that might be something to try. But, run some Berryman's thru it first, that's the easiest. if it's just needing a good cleaning of the jets, that'll help alot. Good luck.
 

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Sounds like the choke is sticking to me. You recently adjusted it right?
After it has cooled down completely (or first thing in the morning) remove your air filter, start it up and watch the choke as it warms up. If it doesn't start opening in the first few minutes, I'd re-adjust it.
Also, you may try to reproduce the scenerio, have somebody get in the driver seat, put their foot on the brake and give it some gas as you watch the carb, at a safe distance of course, and see what is going on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the great suggestions!! I'll shove the Berrymans in today and change the fuel filter. The check on the choke will happen in the early morning. I rolled out this morning for a 90 mile round trip to Portland and it never bucked once, however I drove out pretty easy.

BTW there are four RC's sitting in the U-Pull-It on Foster Rd if anybody is around that neck of the woods. No wiring harness or mirrors worth anything if you are following this post Cooter .
 
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