VintAGE-Vans

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BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER.... A's, G's & E's


First Post: Looking for Guidance

BigMac1897
BigMac1897

Number of posts : 3
Location : Rochester, NY
Registration date : 2020-07-03

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Post by BigMac1897 Sun Mar 28, 2021 7:57 am

Hello!

I have a 1973 Dodge B200 Sportsman van. I noticed there was no specific place for "B" vans, so I figured I'd start here.

As of right now, it runs great. But I sometimes have a problem getting it to start. When I do get it going, it will crank twice and start up pretty quickly (while holding half throttle). But sometimes it will crank and crank without so much as a sputter, and begin to smell like gas. If I leave and come back the next day or even a few hours later, I can usually get it going.

I'm 23 and this is my first project car. Would anyone have any places that I could begin diagnosis? I have already changed the fuel filter after a random shut down, and the battery is fresh as well.

Thank you!
First Post: Looking for Guidance 99pmsn10

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donivan65
donivan65
Governor
Governor

Number of posts : 12038
Location : San Diego, California
Registration date : 2008-05-12

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Post by donivan65 Sun Mar 28, 2021 9:38 am

You are in the right place,,,,,the old van section,,,,,the ones with hoods,,,,,sounds like you have a spark problem,,,,,those vans might have the dual ballast resistors and electronic ignitions,,,,,so,,,,,looks like you are going to start off by checking the voltage signals at the coil or just hot wiring it,,,,,,,however,,,,,,we need some pictures of the engine compartment to see what has been changed over the years,,,,I would like to see what breaker plate is on that distributor, and what parts are on the firewall, like above the radiator,,,,,

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BigMac1897
BigMac1897

Number of posts : 3
Location : Rochester, NY
Registration date : 2020-07-03

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Post by BigMac1897 Sun Mar 28, 2021 10:05 am

donivan65 wrote:,we need some pictures of the engine compartment to see what has been changed over the years,,,,

Excellent! I will start there and keep this thread updated as I work. I will get photos ASAP, but this is an umolested 318.
donivan65
donivan65
Governor
Governor

Number of posts : 12038
Location : San Diego, California
Registration date : 2008-05-12

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Post by donivan65 Sun Mar 28, 2021 11:40 am

Lots of stuff could get changed in 48 years,,,,so we got to know what you got,,,,,how about the choke,,,,does it close,,,,,does it open,,,,,is the problem only if the engine is cold or hot,,,,,do you see a whole bunch of gas down in the carburetor after it dont start,,,,do you still have have points and condenser? You need to dig up clues so we can solve this mystery....

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donivan65
donivan65
Governor
Governor

Number of posts : 12038
Location : San Diego, California
Registration date : 2008-05-12

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Post by donivan65 Sun Mar 28, 2021 1:51 pm

,,,,Another test is to when it does not start after a few cranks, take the air cleaner off and shoot a few seconds of carburetor cleaner or starting fluid down into the carburetor and see if the engine starts,,,

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Digz
Digz

Number of posts : 3784
Location : United States Six Lakes MI
Registration date : 2008-05-17

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Post by Digz Sun Mar 28, 2021 8:15 pm

I will add the chokes on these girls are somewhat touchy at times.

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BigMac1897
BigMac1897

Number of posts : 3
Location : Rochester, NY
Registration date : 2020-07-03

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Post by BigMac1897 Tue Apr 13, 2021 5:31 am

Hello again,

I haven't been able to dig around the distributor or carb since the last post. However, I don't think it'll be necessary. With some help from a friend I was able to track it back to user error. This is my first carbureted car, so I had a tendency to flood the engine and keep it from turning over. I think all she needs is a tune up, which I'll bring to a shop to do.

Thanks for the insight!
donivan65
donivan65
Governor
Governor

Number of posts : 12038
Location : San Diego, California
Registration date : 2008-05-12

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Post by donivan65 Tue Apr 13, 2021 8:57 am

If you think its flooding, you can check the operation of the choke......., when the engine is cold and
before you try starting it, look at the choke, see if it slams shut to cut off the air going down into the carburetor when you step down once on the gas pedal and let it up,,,,,if it does, crank the engine without touching the gas pedal, it should start,,,,,AND,,,,,the choke  should open automatically about 1/4" to let air in,,,,,it should not stay shut or open all the way,,,,,see what your choke plate does,,,,you could always have a flooding problem if the needle and seat in the carburetor are letting too much gas into the engine and drowning the spark plugs,,,,,,,so thats some stuff to check if you want.......

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