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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have a 59 galaxie fairlane 500 with a 292. The engine is from a 57 based on ID codes. The original carb was a autolite 2100 and the choke was toast (all the mechanics were seized). I ended up replacing it with the Holley counterpart and added an auto choke.

I started with the idle mixture, turning them in all the way and backing them out about 2 turns as a starting point. I tried making small adjustments and based on engine RPM and sound it seems happy around 1.5 turns out.

I have moved onto idle speed which is am a little confused on. I have seen numbers anywhere from 450 to 1500+. With the engine at operating temp, the idle seems quite high to me. Using a tach I am getting around 1500. If I try and dial it back at all the car stalls. Currently when putting the car is gear (automatic trans) it almost always stalls. I tried playing with the timing / advance by rotating the distributor but haven't had much luck. An additional thing I noticed was that the autolite carb has a thick cardboard like spacer gasket and the Holley has a flat gasket. Maybe I need to to get some sort of spacer.

Could someone point me in the right direction on how to get this setup properly. This is the first carb I have ever tried to tune so any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks
 

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i think that sounds like a vacuum leak. start spraying starter fluid around the carb base, see if you can get the idle rpm to change with the spray.
if you can, you've found the leak.
also check any soft hoses, etc.

does this one have a vacuum line down to a vacuum modulator on the transmission?
 

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I agree on the vacuum leak. Also, when it starts to die as you slow it down, can you try to cover the choke with your hand. Does it help or hurt? Show whether it needs more gas or more air. If it helps, more evidence of the vacuum leak. If it hurts, maybe too much gas. Try adjusting the screws in some, then see if you can adjust the speed down.


Pat
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
The only vacuum connection is for the windshield wipers. There is then a vacuum going from the carb port to the advance on the distributor. I just replaced the gasket with a new insulated gasket and tightened everything down. This seems to have helped a little. RPM is around 1200 - 1300 now. Its still stalling out when going in gear. It acts like it puts too much of a load on the engine and it dies. I try adjusting the mixture again and see if i can find any leaks

EDIT:

I just went out and did some more testing. One of the vacuum lines was a little loose for the wipers but didnt seem to make a difference. I tried putting my hand over the choke and the RPMs increase. I also tried turning out the screws another half turn. One thing I did notice is that I am getting smoke coming from the rear of the engine on the passenger side. At first i thought it may be some residual oil on the exhaust headers burning off. It only appeared once the engine was up to temp. Im beginning to think maybe the valve cover gasket is bad and causing a leak
 

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Have you checked and set the float levels? You didn't mention what Holley it was, but a lot of them have float levels which need setting up.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Its a remanufactured Holley 2300 which was suppose to be setup by the company and ready to go. I know slight adjust may still be needed. I have not touched the float levels
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I have not tried the starter fluid yet. Another friend suggested replacing the fuel filter. He suspects that its not getting enough fuel and thinks there may be a clog somewhere. I will try both tomorrow if time allows
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Weather has not been co-operating lately. I replaced the fuel filter and checked the float level. I was going to try spraying the base of the carb with starter fluid to check for a leak. Unfortunately my fluid no longer has any propellant to spray lol. Looks like I'll have to pick up a new can.
 

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Weather has not been co-operating lately. I replaced the fuel filter and checked the float level. I was going to try spraying the base of the carb with starter fluid to check for a leak. Unfortunately my fluid no longer has any propellant to spray lol. Looks like I'll have to pick up a new can.
please dont use eather(starting fluid) its a fire waiting to happen. try carb cleaner
 

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If the Holly has a port for PCV, that's where the air is coming in.
What happens when you try to lower idle with the idle screw, will it get down to 600 rpm?
Are you 100% convinced that your distributor is not off by a plug?
 

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So, I would first sort out the ignition as it sounds like you are trying a few things at once.

1 - Make sure you have a good set of points and condenser, set correctly.
2 - Set timing with a light at 10-12 degrees BTDC, even though that's likely not the stock setting, don't touch again.. Advanced diagnosis would also be to watch the advance come in at higher RPMs to make sure it isn't sticking or hanging
3 - Warm it up until the choke is open, unless it's a hand choke, then just get it hot and push the choke in
4 - Once engine is at full operating temp, set idle speed around 700
5 - Turn each adjusting screw in until it stumbles, then back it back out until it runs the smoothest, usually 1.25 to 1.5 turns from seated
6 - Reset idle speed
7 - Repeat idle adjustment and idle speed, should be good, but sometimes you get a little closer after reset

Now, at that point, if it stalls, or you cannot get the idle where you want, you need to start diagnosing why. If it's not running smooth, check all plugs and plug wires, if all good, gently cup your hands over the car, don;t use the choke, and as you close over, if it starts idling higher before it chokes, you likely have a vacuum leak

A vacuum leak that affects running is rarely the carb or a hose, generally it is an intake manifold gasket as those directly starve a cylinder and affect it more. However a close look to make sure there is no hose off anywhere, big one like 3/8 or bigger is a good idea before you start the checklist above
 

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Discussion Starter #13
please dont use eather(starting fluid) its a fire waiting to happen. try carb cleaner
I tested spraying near the base of the carb and had no increase in RPMs so I'm fairly confident i can rule out a vacuum leak

If the Holly has a port for PCV, that's where the air is coming in.
What happens when you try to lower idle with the idle screw, will it get down to 600 rpm?
Are you 100% convinced that your distributor is not off by a plug?
The carb does not have a PCV port on it.I have not been able to get it to run at low RPMs


So, I would first sort out the ignition as it sounds like you are trying a few things at once.

1 - Make sure you have a good set of points and condenser, set correctly.
2 - Set timing with a light at 10-12 degrees BTDC, even though that's likely not the stock setting, don't touch again.. Advanced diagnosis would also be to watch the advance come in at higher RPMs to make sure it isn't sticking or hanging
3 - Warm it up until the choke is open, unless it's a hand choke, then just get it hot and push the choke in
4 - Once engine is at full operating temp, set idle speed around 700
5 - Turn each adjusting screw in until it stumbles, then back it back out until it runs the smoothest, usually 1.25 to 1.5 turns from seated
6 - Reset idle speed
7 - Repeat idle adjustment and idle speed, should be good, but sometimes you get a little closer after reset

Now, at that point, if it stalls, or you cannot get the idle where you want, you need to start diagnosing why. If it's not running smooth, check all plugs and plug wires, if all good, gently cup your hands over the car, don;t use the choke, and as you close over, if it starts idling higher before it chokes, you likely have a vacuum leak

A vacuum leak that affects running is rarely the carb or a hose, generally it is an intake manifold gasket as those directly starve a cylinder and affect it more. However a close look to make sure there is no hose off anywhere, big one like 3/8 or bigger is a good idea before you start the checklist above
I have removed the points and have replaced them with an electronic kit from pertronix along with a new coil. I test the engine to TDC and checked that the distributor was pointing as plug 1. It was too bright out for the timing light the other day to check exactly where timing is set exactly but if memory serves it was near the 10-12 degree BTDC that last time i checked it. I will try to verify this again tho. As stated previously i cant get the engine to run at low RPMs. The fuel in the tank is low so I am going to try filling that up too just to be on the safe side. I may also test the fuel pressure to see what kind of pressure I'm getting and to see if its steady. I may need to install a regulator
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Checked fuel pressure just for the sake of checking it. I connected the gauge directly to the output and when cracking over the engine I got around 5.5 psi. I'll be doing my best to get a timing read on it. The sunlight has just been overpowering the timing light. Might have to check it in the evening when its darker
 

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As stated previously i cant get the engine to run at low RPMs.
Does your Gal have a Dashpot? Try removing it or at least make sure it is not keeping the throttle open.
 

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Let's back up a bit.
Biniecki - all you did is replace the carburetor, right? And then it wouldn't idle down properly?
Was it running/idling properly before the carb swap?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Let's back up a bit.
Biniecki - all you did is replace the carburetor, right? And then it wouldn't idle down properly?
Was it running/idling properly before the carb swap?
I was having issue with the car running properly all year. I started by replacing the points with an electronics ignition kit. At that time I also replaced the coil, plugs, and wires. The car very smooth afterwards but did I did have issues with it stalling out when putting it in gear. Eventually the issue got to the point where I was unable to take the car out anymore. It would only idle in park. At that point I decided to start trying to tune the carb i had on it. I noticed right away that the choke assembly no longer moved and parts were shot. This is when i decided it was probably just best to replace the carb. The problem still exists with the new carb and its apparent that something else is causing the issues. Determining what that is, is proving to be difficult. I have checked for vacuum leaks, tested fuel pump pressure, replaced the fuel filter, checked the distributor position at TDC. I still have to check to see where timing is set to. Its been proving difficult to do this (hard to keep the car running, hard to see the timing light). The only other thing I can think of doing is pulling the intake manifold and replace the gaskets.
 

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block off the pcv valve, put a dollar bill over the oil fill. if it gets held there, you have an intake manifold vacuum leak internally
 
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