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Old 06-07-2013, 11:48 PM
moonshine34 moonshine34 is offline
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78 Stalled truck..just finished carb rebuild


Here's the specks on my truck, in case anyone needs them.

1978 Ford F150
8cylinder 5.8 liter
2150 2 barrel carburetor
351M engine

I just got done doing my first rebuild, or really my first of ANYTHING as it relates to trucks. I wanted to learn about carbs and how they work, so decided to do the rebuild myself.

Rebuild is complete, followed the 2100/2150 rebuild step by step instructions on the jeep site online. Made sure the carb kit worked with my carburetor (D8PE-ATA). Took everything apart and soaked in carb bath for around a day or so. Blew out all passages with carb cleaner. Re-installed everything with new power valve, needle and seat, and gaskets. I DID use the old float, so maybe that is where I'm having my problem.

Problem: I cranked over carb first time after buddy added gas to the carb between the butterfly, truck starter right away but didn't want to remain running unless I continually gave it gas. And gas started pouring out of the two holes on the carb plate(believe these are the overflow holes??) Buddies had to leave, so kept turning over the truck, think I almost drained the battery as truck eventually wouldn't turn over at all. Battery is probably ancient, so jumper cabled truck battery to my car and charged for 20 minutes or so and tried starting again. Truck turns over real strong now, but doesn't catch AT ALL.

I adjusted the choke prior to installing so choke plate JUST closes. Choke diaphragm is new and there is plenty of vaccum. Counted the turns on idle screw before disassembling carb and put the idle screws back to that setting after rebuild. I DIDN"T replace the EGR valve or the starter solenoid.

Problem...gas is coming out of carb, carbon is showing up on the butterfly, strong odor of gas from under the hood, and truck turns over but won't catch and start up.

Also, another buddy came over and attached a timing light to 1 cylinder wire and light WAS blinking, but VERY slow and he said it should be pulsing fairly fast.

I tried adjusting the fast idle cam linkage, but not sure I knew what I was doing. The screw is turned almost all the way out and that seemed to be right because when you then went to pull in on the choke pull out, it catches the rod????

Sorry for the really long post, I just wanted to explain as much as I could to get all the info out there. Any help or laundry list of things to check would be greatly appreciated. I'm hoping I can get the carb adjusted or that this is a non-related carb issue, but will bring the carb to a professional if I can't figure it out.

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Old 06-07-2013, 11:52 PM
moonshine34 moonshine34 is offline
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Once more quick thought....

Oh...just to add something really quick, I DID take the carb top off several times to see if the needle was stuck and I'm pretty sure its not right now and I'm still having these issue. Gas in the fuel bowl is about an inch from the top of the reservoir.


P.S. Also, it was getting dark, but I seemed to notice a darkening of the gas inside the float bowl when I took the carb top off to check the needle.
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Old 06-08-2013, 01:11 AM
martyshel martyshel is offline
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I had the same problem (carb shooting gas out the top) on my truck a couple of months ago. It would happen about 5 out of every 10 cold starts. Long story short.... I put a new $10 float in it and it hasn't done it ever since.

There was no noticeable difference between the old and new float in the palm of my hand.
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Old 06-08-2013, 02:00 AM
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wilcam47 wilcam47 is offline
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Was the float metal or some kind of composite material? if it was metal did it sound like it was empty by shaking it? If it was composite I think I remember someone saying they can get fuel soaked and not float like the should.

Check for movement of the float. Take the keys out of the ignition and Take the air filter off and look down the carb, actuate the pedal lever see if theres gas spray going into the carb.

next you need to see if you have spark. The timing light isn't going to work right unless its running...your coil could have died on you...

You need to have a good charged battery...Autozone will check/charge it for free..
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Old 06-08-2013, 07:19 PM
moonshine34 moonshine34 is offline
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Off to get a new float

Thank you for the replies, martyshel and wilcam47, I appreciate it. Non of us newbies would learn anything if others didn't take the time to reply, even though it's been discussed a thousand times.

Yea, I think you guys might be right an its the float. When I was doing the rebuild, I tried adjusting the metal tab on the float to get it to sit at the right height in the fuel bowl, but I don't know that I was doing it properly. I talked to my dad last night and he explained to me the process with the float and the needle and how that works, and I seem to recall that the needle wasn't seated all the way when the float is all the way up and the there is gas in the fuel bowl. I tried adjusting the tab and may have pushed on the needle too hard, so may have damaged the needle too.

I'm off to get a new float and maybe a new needle...I'll report back and let everyone know if that solves the problem. I guess I shouldn't feel too bad about having to buy a float, as I never replaced it to begin with.


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Old 06-09-2013, 12:49 AM
moonshine34 moonshine34 is offline
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I got the new float and just got done installing it. (Just an FYI, my original float had the additional stability spring, so I made sure I put that back on the right way before installing the float) I checked the needle before putting it back in the seat visually and by sucking on the end of it, and a small stream of air IS coming through the tip. The float bowl was almost empty, so tightened down the top plate again, put some gas down her throat, and fired her up. It turned over a couple of times, and after the 4th or 5th crank and some gas, it started up. It won't stay running though and continues to stall. I only got it running twice and had to continually give it gas to keep it going. The third time it wouldn't start and now it wont even turn over and makes a slight gurgling noise and that is it. Could this be that the truck is getting flooded?? I checked the carburetor plate after firing it up the first two times, and it looks like there is NO gas coming out the carburetor anymore, so that problem seems to be fixed..

I'm going to replace the rotor, distributor cap, and spark plug wires tomorrow to rule that possibility out.. Do I need to replace the spark plugs as well right now, to rule out that being the problem, or can I hold off on that??....I need to get a spark plug tool. I'm just trying to get the truck started, then I can go hog wild replacing things as I get the cash. Thankfully, this isn't a daily driver, so I can do the repairs as I get the cash and time.

Could this possibly be the fuel pump, as I haven't looked at or replaced that?? I just read somewhere that if the fuel pump psi isn't low enough, it will put TOO much pressure on the needle and the needle won't seat right and that can in turn cause the truck to stall. The truck is turning over and the lights are coming on in the cab, so although the battery is old and needs to DEFINATELY be replaced, it's working for right this second.

I'm a newbie and I learn EVERY time one of you guys is willing to respond to my answers, so I will listen and try out anything you have to say. Going to start again tomorrow morning(Sunday).

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Old 06-09-2013, 10:23 AM
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fmc400 fmc400 is offline
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Have you gone through and done all the standard adjustments yet? Curb idle speed, idle mixture (with a vacuum gauge), choke index, fast idle index, fast idle speed, choke pulloff clearance? All of these should be documented in the rebuild sheet; you're flying blind until you walk through all of these.

How did you adjust your dry float height, and what did you set it to? If you're concerned about the float adjustment, you can use the same float gauge to do a wet float height measurement (with the engine running and the air horn removed). You have to be extremely careful when doing this.
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Old 06-09-2013, 10:23 AM

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