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78 Biarritz Stutters at Speed

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  • Jim
    My 78 Biarritz was recently tuned up, but still has an annoying and frightening habit of losing power at speed, sometimes around 60 MPH, sometimes 70 or 75.
    Message 1 of 7 , Jan 2, 2012
      My 78 Biarritz was recently tuned up, but still has an annoying and frightening habit of losing power at speed, sometimes around 60 MPH, sometimes 70 or 75. The engine loses power, as if I'd taken my foot off the gas, or as if the carb were flooding. If I ease off the accelerator and then very very slowly reapply the gas I can sometimes "work through" the sluggishness. If I pull off, wait at the ramp light, then re-enter the expressway, the problem seems to clear itself. Both fuel filters were replaced about a year ago, and I haven't had bad gas problems since I dropped and cleaned the rusty gas tank when we refurbished it in 2006. Any ideas? (PS: The car is for sale. Check out 78eldorado.com
    • bob
      The fuel pump might be failing. Sometimes when they go they can continue pumping a small volume that is sufficient for low fuel requirements but can t keep up
      Message 2 of 7 , Jan 2, 2012
        The fuel pump might be failing. Sometimes when they go they can continue pumping a small volume that is sufficient for low fuel requirements but can't keep up when the beast starts drinking, such as when you cruise at higher speeds.

        Just a thought anyway. Other than that, I'd be looking at a carb float problem.

        --- In Big_Eldorado@yahoogroups.com, "Jim" <jamespfitz@...> wrote:
        >
        > My 78 Biarritz was recently tuned up, but still has an annoying and frightening habit of losing power at speed, sometimes around 60 MPH, sometimes 70 or 75. The engine loses power, as if I'd taken my foot off the gas, or as if the carb were flooding. If I ease off the accelerator and then very very slowly reapply the gas I can sometimes "work through" the sluggishness. If I pull off, wait at the ramp light, then re-enter the expressway, the problem seems to clear itself. Both fuel filters were replaced about a year ago, and I haven't had bad gas problems since I dropped and cleaned the rusty gas tank when we refurbished it in 2006. Any ideas? (PS: The car is for sale. Check out 78eldorado.com
        >
      • Tom Gore
        A new fuel pump sorted out my similar problem, (also a `78). Happy New Year everyone. ... From: Big_Eldorado@yahoogroups.com
        Message 3 of 7 , Jan 2, 2012
          A new fuel pump sorted out my similar problem, (also a `78). Happy New Year
          everyone.

          -----Original Message-----
          From: Big_Eldorado@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Big_Eldorado@yahoogroups.com] On
          Behalf Of bob
          Sent: 02 January 2012 20:14
          To: Big_Eldorado@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [Big_Eldorado] Re: 78 Biarritz Stutters at Speed

          The fuel pump might be failing. Sometimes when they go they can continue
          pumping a small volume that is sufficient for low fuel requirements but
          can't keep up when the beast starts drinking, such as when you cruise at
          higher speeds.

          Just a thought anyway. Other than that, I'd be looking at a carb float
          problem.

          --- In Big_Eldorado@yahoogroups.com, "Jim" <jamespfitz@...> wrote:
          >
          > My 78 Biarritz was recently tuned up, but still has an annoying and
          frightening habit of losing power at speed, sometimes around 60 MPH,
          sometimes 70 or 75. The engine loses power, as if I'd taken my foot off the
          gas, or as if the carb were flooding. If I ease off the accelerator and
          then very very slowly reapply the gas I can sometimes "work through" the
          sluggishness. If I pull off, wait at the ramp light, then re-enter the
          expressway, the problem seems to clear itself. Both fuel filters were
          replaced about a year ago, and I haven't had bad gas problems since I
          dropped and cleaned the rusty gas tank when we refurbished it in 2006. Any
          ideas? (PS: The car is for sale. Check out 78eldorado.com
          >




          ------------------------------------

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        • Jim
          Both great ideas. Thanks!
          Message 4 of 7 , Jan 3, 2012
            Both great ideas. Thanks!

            --- In Big_Eldorado@yahoogroups.com, "Tom Gore" <tomgore@...> wrote:
            >
            > A new fuel pump sorted out my similar problem, (also a `78). Happy New Year
            > everyone.
            >
            > -----Original Message-----
            > From: Big_Eldorado@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Big_Eldorado@yahoogroups.com] On
            > Behalf Of bob
            > Sent: 02 January 2012 20:14
            > To: Big_Eldorado@yahoogroups.com
            > Subject: [Big_Eldorado] Re: 78 Biarritz Stutters at Speed
            >
            > The fuel pump might be failing. Sometimes when they go they can continue
            > pumping a small volume that is sufficient for low fuel requirements but
            > can't keep up when the beast starts drinking, such as when you cruise at
            > higher speeds.
            >
            > Just a thought anyway. Other than that, I'd be looking at a carb float
            > problem.
            >
            > --- In Big_Eldorado@yahoogroups.com, "Jim" <jamespfitz@> wrote:
            > >
            > > My 78 Biarritz was recently tuned up, but still has an annoying and
            > frightening habit of losing power at speed, sometimes around 60 MPH,
            > sometimes 70 or 75. The engine loses power, as if I'd taken my foot off the
            > gas, or as if the carb were flooding. If I ease off the accelerator and
            > then very very slowly reapply the gas I can sometimes "work through" the
            > sluggishness. If I pull off, wait at the ramp light, then re-enter the
            > expressway, the problem seems to clear itself. Both fuel filters were
            > replaced about a year ago, and I haven't had bad gas problems since I
            > dropped and cleaned the rusty gas tank when we refurbished it in 2006. Any
            > ideas? (PS: The car is for sale. Check out 78eldorado.com
            > >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > ------------------------------------
            >
            > Yahoo! Groups Links
            >
          • doornobk
            78 was a prime era for having the charcoal canister have issues which usually resulted in bits of carbon ending up in the carb. The little bits end up
            Message 5 of 7 , Mar 6, 2012
              78 was a prime era for having the charcoal canister have issues which usually resulted in bits of carbon ending up in the carb. The little bits end up intermittently plugging the jets in the carb.

              Other thing that fits your problem is the the cracked wires on the pickup coil. The pick up coil is around the distributor shaft and is what gives the signal to the module to fire the main coil. As the vacuum advance operates the coil moves and the lead wires have to flex. What can happen over time is the wires crack so in certain positions you loose the connection. When the engine looses spark the vacuum changes and moves the advance which may restore the connection. Pick up coil is easy to test. Remove cap and rotor. Use ohm meter to test the coil while manually operating vacuum advance and or flexing the wires.

              Another possibility is the plastic timing sprocket may be falling apart and letting the timing drift enough under some conditions enough to cause the issue.

              To replace the pickup coil the distributor has to come out. With the distributor out you can peek down the hole and get an idea what sort of shape the came sprocket is in.
            • Todd Overton
              I had suspected the timing gear in my 77 Eldo was the guilty culprit of some annoying driveability issues and it turns out that it was. when we pulled the
              Message 6 of 7 , Mar 6, 2012
                I had suspected the timing gear in my 77 Eldo was the guilty culprit of some annoying driveability issues and it turns out that it was. when we pulled the cover off, we saw that the gear had cracked in 3 places. I am not sure why it hadn't completely come apart. Suffice it to say that new gears and chain made a huge difference. I had always heard about the notorious nylon gear woes and now I know that it wasn't just a bunch of fiction!

                Sent from my iPhone 4S


                On Mar 6, 2012, at 8:18 AM, "doornobk" <doornobk@...> wrote:

                 

                78 was a prime era for having the charcoal canister have issues which usually resulted in bits of carbon ending up in the carb. The little bits end up intermittently plugging the jets in the carb.

                Other thing that fits your problem is the the cracked wires on the pickup coil. The pick up coil is around the distributor shaft and is what gives the signal to the module to fire the main coil. As the vacuum advance operates the coil moves and the lead wires have to flex. What can happen over time is the wires crack so in certain positions you loose the connection. When the engine looses spark the vacuum changes and moves the advance which may restore the connection. Pick up coil is easy to test. Remove cap and rotor. Use ohm meter to test the coil while manually operating vacuum advance and or flexing the wires.

                Another possibility is the plastic timing sprocket may be falling apart and letting the timing drift enough under some conditions enough to cause the issue.

                To replace the pickup coil the distributor has to come out. With the distributor out you can peek down the hole and get an idea what sort of shape the came sprocket is in.

              • Jim
                Thanks, doornobk. Great advice.
                Message 7 of 7 , Mar 7, 2012
                  Thanks, doornobk. Great advice.

                  --- In Big_Eldorado@yahoogroups.com, "doornobk" <doornobk@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > 78 was a prime era for having the charcoal canister have issues which usually resulted in bits of carbon ending up in the carb. The little bits end up intermittently plugging the jets in the carb.
                  >
                  > Other thing that fits your problem is the the cracked wires on the pickup coil. The pick up coil is around the distributor shaft and is what gives the signal to the module to fire the main coil. As the vacuum advance operates the coil moves and the lead wires have to flex. What can happen over time is the wires crack so in certain positions you loose the connection. When the engine looses spark the vacuum changes and moves the advance which may restore the connection. Pick up coil is easy to test. Remove cap and rotor. Use ohm meter to test the coil while manually operating vacuum advance and or flexing the wires.
                  >
                  > Another possibility is the plastic timing sprocket may be falling apart and letting the timing drift enough under some conditions enough to cause the issue.
                  >
                  > To replace the pickup coil the distributor has to come out. With the distributor out you can peek down the hole and get an idea what sort of shape the came sprocket is in.
                  >
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