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Symptoms of engine running problem...need help troubleshooting?


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Hello Fellers,

My '37 Dodge motor is giving me trouble and I initially thought it was carburetion- but not so much anymore since I removed and inspected my carb.

Here are my symptoms:

1. car won't start or remain running unless my 1-barrel is choked closed, almost fully.

2. If I open the choke while driving the engine back fires and pops.

3. I get backfiring through the carb if I try to run unchoked sitting still.

Does it sound like any problem of timing or other adjustments?



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Better to set the timing with the engine stopped. Turn the engine till the timing marks line up and then check the points. They should just be opening. You can use a test light, connect one wire to the movable point arm and the other to ground. Turn the distributor slowly. When the points open the light will light.

If you can't find the timing marks or think the vibration damper may have shifted there is a way to verify the timing marks. There is a small pipe plug on the head above the #6 piston. Take this plug out and you can drop a screwdriver in the hole. Turn the engine slowly by hand until the piston is at TDC.

Initial timing at TDC is correct for these engines. Once you get it running you can advance it a bit but not too much. Maybe 3 or 4 degrees.

Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)
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