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'76 Running Like Crap (long)


Guest Anonymous

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Guest Anonymous

I just got back from school to find my mostly stock 76 running like crap. On start-up, it looks and feels like it's only running on 3 or even 2 cylinders (removing plug wires doesn't seem to affect the idle, though), and I'm getting a lot of white smoke out of the tail-pipe. After it starts to warm up a little, idle immediately surges to about 2500 rpms, and I start to get white smoke coming from around the exhaust manifold/distributor area.

I've searched the archives, and have found a variety of possibilities that address some of the symptoms, from vacuum leak to cracked head (ugh), but no one post seems to have all of these symptoms combined, so before I start unbolting things, I was wondering if anyone has any immediate thoughts.

Thanks,

Matt

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Guest Anonymous

So 'just got back from school' means it was sitting for a few months?

If it was running OK when you left, with no symptoms of a cracked head, I wouldn't think a cracked head is likely. This white smoke from the manifold/distributor area, is it possible that oil has leaked out onto the exhaust pipe? When the motor is smoking, and you shut it off, does it continue smoking?

The most likely culprit is ignition and carburetion. Start by pulling the plugs and looking at them, make sure they are clean and properly gapped. Then look at the insides of the distributor cap, rotor, and particularly the points for corrosion. Check the fuel pump, have a look down the carb barrel to see if there's any junk in there. Check everything for vacuum leaks. Also check for coolant leaks at the back of the head, which could be another source of white smoke/steam if coolant is dripping onto an exhaust pipe.

How many miles are on the motor? Was it stored indoors or outdoors? What kind of climate?

Mike

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Guest Anonymous

Mike-

Thanks for the quick reply. Yeah, the poor girl has been sitting for about the last 2 months, outside here in Florida. Another interesting quirk about the car's condition is that it has a completely dry brake system right now, as a result of an exploded rear wheel cylinder just before I left. I don't know if that has anything to do with what's going on, but I thought I'd add it.

I'll go check the plugs and dizzy today. Is it possible that these symptoms could be attributed to bad gas, or possibly water-fouled gas? Thanks again,

Matt

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