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Hey...Got a '68 Electra that doesn't seem to have the oomph it once had.  Runs great, steady vacuum, doesn't burn oil or smoke.  Just seem to remember that at one time it seemed a lot more responsive to the throttle.  Any of you Buick-with-the-430 owners have any data on what typical 0-60 or quarter mile times should be?

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Are you talking "WOT" performance or "off-idle torque" performance?  TWO different situations.

 

Personally, as long as the ignition dwell and timing are set to specs, the carb is working well and the hot base idle speed is correct, then everything should be reasonablhy fine.  If off-ldle response has a flat spot or "sag", that can be a carb issue, for example.  IF it might not lay as much rubber as it used to, it could be that newer tires have more traction than the prior tires did?.

 

What MIGHT be an issue is "carbon build-up" in the combustion chambers.  To fix that, no quick and easy way.  Just put a quart of Barryman's B-12 fuel cleaner (or similar) in the tank and fill it up.  THEN take it on a 200 mile round trip Interstate/highway cruise.  That continued "heat of combustion" will clean things up a bit internally.  When I took our '66 Chrysler to college (290 miles away), each time I got back to school, the car seemed tro be runing just a tad bit better.  It never did run bad, but it was apparently getting the gunk cooked out of the combustion chambers.  Only reason I could think of.

 

As for performance figures, seems like there are some Buick 430 car road tests archived at www.wildaboutcarsonline.com, in the magazine section.  BUT seeking to duplicate those earlier road tests can be frustrating, I suspect.  In modern times, using cell phone GPS data to log acceleratioin and such can be more accurate than the old "stop watch" methods of earlier times.

 

It sounds like the car runs decently well as is, so just tweak the tune-up a bit and take it on that extended cruise a few times and see if things don't improve a bit.  A fresh engine oil and oil filter change can help, too.

 

Enjoy!

NTX5467

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Thanks for the reply.   Bought "The Queen" from the original owner 32 years ago, and she's been my favorite ride ever since.  Just turned 200,000 miles last month and I've had no major mechanical issues to date.  Did a timing kit at 150k...just in case.  I've taken her on many VMCCA and AACA tours over the years and have always kept the vacuum high and the throttle easy....she's just been a great cruiser.   I do seem to remember that years ago you had to be a little careful with your right foot, because mid- and low- range response could be crisper than you expected.  Even under the rare WOT-throttle situation nowadays, I don't seem to hear the secondaries like I used to (of course, I don't hear like I used to, either).  Just for the heck of it, I did a 0-60 trial yesterday, and 17.25 seconds seems really slow!  The choke pull-off seems to be working fine and the lock-out, too.  I had the carburetor rebuilt a few years ago and the mechanic noted that it was not the original, but was actually for a 350.  However, I think that's the carb that was on the car when I bought it....I sure don't remember ever having to change it (of course, I don't remember like I used to, either).   I'm leaving on the 19th for a 2000 mile trip through Colorado, the Dakotas, Montana, and Idaho, and just making sure all is well with the car.

queen and piper.jpg

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1 hour ago, Ben Bruce aka First Born said:

Well shucks, Rod, I am not as crisp as I once was either. She is getting OLD.😆.

 

  Seriously, with 200,000 miles I would not expect the same power as earlier.  BUT, as Willis said,  she will probably improve by the end of the trip.

 

  ENJOY.

 

  Ben

Ah, Ben, you're my hero and example for living!  You know I'll turn 80 on this next trip?  The Queen's a youngster, compared to me.  I need a good tune-up and a few parts replaced!

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4 hours ago, Rod Frazier said:

I did a 0-60 trial yesterday, and 17.25 seconds seems really slow! 

Should be around 10 seconds.  I'll bet the secondaries are not opening.  "use it or lose it"...prolonged conservative driving my 76 Olds 455 will render the secondaries non functional.  Spray that area liberally with WD40 and take it out for more "exercise".

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3 hours ago, old-tank said:

Should be around 10 seconds.  I'll bet the secondaries are not opening.  "use it or lose it"...prolonged conservative driving my 76 Olds 455 will render the secondaries non functional.  Spray that area liberally with WD40 and take it out for more "exercise".

You know, that was my feeling too, but the secondary linkage is working right and the secondaries are opening, but whacking the throttle wide open quickly in the garage will only  open the air doors a little bit.  I figured maybe under full load they would open completely, but maybe not.  How would you go about testing that?  Your idea of WD40 is good but, frankly, nothing seems tight or bound up.  I spend a lot of time in this car in the mountains, up to 10,000 feet, and I know I'm giving it enough throttle at times to open the secondaries, but I don't hear that characteristic sound!

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2 hours ago, Rod Frazier said:

I spend a lot of time in this car in the mountains, up to 10,000 feet, and I know I'm giving it enough throttle at times to open the secondaries, but I don't hear that characteristic sound!

Ha, that may be the issue...even big blocks run like a 4 banger (but not the modern ones with turbos) at that altitude.  I describe my cars going over mountain passes like a goat (a 3-legged goat with asthma)

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3 hours ago, old-tank said:

Ha, that may be the issue...even big blocks run like a 4 banger (but not the modern ones with turbos) at that altitude.  I describe my cars going over mountain passes like a goat (a 3-legged goat with asthma)

I'm sure you're right about that, but I still feel the difference at lower elevations, though maybe not quite as much.

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The QJet secondaries open due to "air flow" over that upper "air valve", which also has a spring resistance which they work against.  The vac pull-off also keeps them from openning too soon, but only initially.  Best way to check them is to use "passing gear" on the Interstate, at about 60mph or so, when the engine rpm will be high enough for them to do more than just crack open.

 

There is also a small spring adjustment on the rh upper area near the secondary air valves, which the air valves work against to open.  Usually, this adjustment is not touched in a carb rebuild, so I would consider it to be a minor thing.  But that adjustment is usually stated in the carb specs, somewhere, in the Buick Chassis Service Manual.  IF the secondaries open too quickly, the engine will BOG and not go any faster until rpm will slowly increase to use that addtional air flow.

 

For good measure, get some quality carb spray cleaner and spray the primary throttle bore/venturi area to get it cleaner.  Check the secondaries (with the engine off) after spraying down their air valve pivot shaft.  Then you can replace the PCV valve, too.  Make sure the accel pedal movement is not stopped too soon by floor mats (or similar) behind the accel pedal, too.

 

Considering that at least 90% of possible driving is done on the primary side of the carb, make sure that part works well, too.  Which is where off-idle response and part-throttle transmission downshifts and upshifts occur.  How well the car responds in those modes of normal driving are what make things "Nice" and enjoyable.  AND as economical as they can be on a trip.

 

Enjoy!

NTX5467  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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36 minutes ago, NTX5467 said:

The QJet secondaries open due to "air flow" over that upper "air valve", which also has a spring resistance which they work against.  The vac pull-off also keeps them from openning too soon, but only initially.  Best way to check them is to use "passing gear" on the Interstate, at about 60mph or so, when the engine rpm will be high enough for them to do more than just crack open.

 

There is also a small spring adjustment on the rh upper area near the secondary air valves, which the air valves work against to open.  Usually, this adjustment is not touched in a carb rebuild, so I would consider it to be a minor thing.  But that adjustment is usually stated in the carb specs, somewhere, in the Buick Chassis Service Manual.  IF the secondaries open too quickly, the engine will BOG and not go any faster until rpm will slowly increase to use that addtional air flow.

 

For good measure, get some quality carb spray cleaner and spray the primary throttle bore/venturi area to get it cleaner.  Check the secondaries (with the engine off) after spraying down their air valve pivot shaft.  Then you can replace the PCV valve, too.  Make sure the accel pedal movement is not stopped too soon by floor mats (or similar) behind the accel pedal, too.

 

Considering that at least 90% of possible driving is done on the primary side of the carb, make sure that part works well, too.  Which is where off-idle response and part-throttle transmission downshifts and upshifts occur.  How well the car responds in those modes of normal driving are what make things "Nice" and enjoyable.  AND as economical as they can be on a trip.

 

Enjoy!

NTX5467  


Thanks for the advice and comments.  Actually, I may have been a little less than clear in my questions.  In fact, I probably am on the primaries alone even more than 95 per cent of the time.  I bet I find myself needing WOT about once every 5,000 miles!  Where I feel like power is most  lacking is particularly on slight to moderate uphill grades, where somewhere around half throttle or less should be sufficient to maintain speed, but isn't.  It just seems that the secondaries under those conditions should open a bit earlier.....or maybe the problem is something else entirely, since I typically keep the rpms pretty low.  Not enough airflow, perhaps.  I tried the 0-60 test just because it was something quantifiable, and would indicate whether or not the secondaries were operating properly, at least at full throttle.  I'm going to try your suggestions today and I'll let you know what I find out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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21 hours ago, NTX5467 said:

The vac pull-off also keeps them from openning too soon, but only initially.

If the choke isn't opening fully the secondary air valve will be locked shut.  This could be due to a bad pull-off or an issue with the choke linkage or adjustment.

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Everything seems to be working well, except the linkage needed a little adjustment to get full throttle, which was not the real concern.

 

Thanks, everyone, for the help.

 

I happen to have a correct rebuilt carb on the shelf....maybe I'll put it on, just for fun.

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Finally got around to putting on the rebuilt (correct) carburetor, and......sshhhh-BOOM!    I got SECONDARIES!!  

 

Only thing I can think is that the mechanic who rebuilt the carb a few years ago screwed something up, since the car now runs just like she used to.  Thank goodness.  I thought my memory was false.

I don't notice much if any difference at part throttle, unfortunately, since that's where I spend 99% of my driving time.  Guess I shouldn't expect too much climbing 10% grades at anywhere from 7-10,000 feet.

 

Thanks, all, for the input and suggestions.

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Compare the linkage with the one now on your car.  Pay particular attention to the choke action and the linkage to the secondary air valve lockout.

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