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Thread: sluggish down low! help!
          
   
   

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  1. #1
    t.thompson259 is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    sluggish down low! help!

     



    Hey guys. So today I drove my car around my neighborhood today for the first time ever! I was super pumped! Brakes work great. Steering is tight! Little backround on it.

    It's a 75 trans am with a 4 bolt main Chevy 350. It's punched to a 355. 10.5:1 compression. Running on Sunoco 93 pump gas. It has cast iron 2.02 camel back heads. Ported and polished. Has a edelbrock victor Jr. Highrise intake with a carb spacer. It's feed by a Holley 750 double plumper mechanical choke. The choke is wired open. HEI distributor. The cam is unknown spec. But it only pulls 6-10 inchs of vacuum.

    Now the bad. It's just extremely sluggish down low. Below 3k I'd say. It breaks up a little also. The car starts fine! No hesitation. Also the idle jumps around a little. Between 900-1100. I'm not exactly sure where the timing is set. It's been a few months since I set it. I wanna say it's at 16 degrees. It did back fire once thru the carb. Should the power valve be replaced? I was wondering if this was a carb/fueling issue or if it's a timing issue or a combination of them. Any insite or things to try is greatly appreciated!

    Thanks in advanced guys! And when in doubt burn out!

  2. #2
    Rrumbler is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    I'm not a tech guru, just an old shadetree wrencher, but from what you have told us, I'd say too much cam, carb not tuned right, and timing way off. The real eggspurts may tune in here pretty soon. Need way more info to address this properly.
    Rrumbler, Aka: Hey you, "Old School", Hairy, and other unsavory monickers.

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  3. #3
    t.thompson259 is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    Thanks Rrumbler. I'm thinking its carb tuning seeing it was my first carb I ever did. Plus the powder valve might be blown. Also timing.

    For any other replies if you need more info just ask I'll give you as much info as I Gah! Thanks for the help!

  4. #4
    rspears's Avatar
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    Any backfire/pop back through the carb points to too much initial timing. I'd back it down to about ten to twelve degrees of base timing and see what it does. And yes, if your Holley runs a power valve, and if you backfired it any then the power valve is likely toast, so get your timing set first, see if it feels any better and then replace the power valve and check plug color to see where your mixture's tracking across the range.
    Roger
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  5. #5
    cffisher's Avatar
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    Holly has a kit to fix the blowing of the power valve. Depending on how old the carb is. The later ones won't need it. Not knowing what the cam is could cause you problems with timing.
    Charlie
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  6. #6
    shine's Avatar
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    my guess is your power curve does not start until 3k + . high comp - big valves- big carb - daily driving it will be a dog most of the time and likely load up a lot .

  7. #7
    Mike P's Avatar
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    It definitely sounds like some basic tuning is on order to optimize the engine and the advice above is all good.

    After that is taken care of I suspect the car will still be a bit of a dog for the very reasons that shine wrote

    "......my guess is your power curve does not start until 3k + . high comp - big valves- big carb - daily driving it will be a dog most of the time and likely load up a lot ......."

    Add to that that that it is a fairly heavy car and the standard rear gear for the car (with automatic) was/is a 2.56, it will be no ball of fire from a dead stop.

    Personally I'd start saving for a deeper set of gears, possibly a looser convertor (depending on the cam) and an overdrive tranny if you plan of doing any highway driving.


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  8. #8
    Dave Severson is offline CHR Member/Contributor Visit my Photo Gallery
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    I'm with the others, timing is probably off and check the power valve. A single plane intake like your Victor won't even start working till 3500 RPM... A dual plane intake and a 600 or650 vacuum secondary carb would move your power band down in the RPM range (probably some big lumpy sounding cam, too?) would make the car a whole lot more street friendly and better power. Bigger is not always better on cams and carbs!!!!!!
    Last edited by Dave Severson; 06-16-2014 at 02:51 PM. Reason: oops!!! Meant dual, wrote single!!!! Thanks Rog!!!
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  9. #9
    rspears's Avatar
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    I would lean towards a dual plane manifold over a single plane for the street, like something from the Edelbrock Performer line that's effective from idle up to 5500rpm or so - Intake Manifolds - Introduction - Edelbrock, LLC.
    rumrumm and glennsexton like this.
    Roger
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  10. #10
    shine's Avatar
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    a 750 on a sbc is way too much for street use. you cant tune away cfm. drop to a 600 first then work from there.
    NTFDAY, Rrumbler and glennsexton like this.

  11. #11
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    If I can be blunt, it's not a carb/fueling/timing issue. It's a package issue. The carb, cam, timing, manifold, compression ratio, displacement, trans type, differential ratio have to complement each other. However, it's pretty hard to make any comment without knowing the rest of the package. What trans and rear axle ratio do you have? The cam specs are also an absolute must.

    I will venture this, though. The carb size and type are probably wrong for the engine, and the manifold is made for high rpm. Unless you have a manual trans, and a low rear gear, the double pumper is going to dump too much air/fuel mixture for the engine to run until it winds up. It appears you have a "package" that's always going to be soft on the low end unless you change some major components.
    Jack

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  12. #12
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    Welcome to CHR!

    I have to concur with most of the above. If this vehicle is intended to see street use, you have too much carburetor, probably too much compression and in all likelihood too much cam. More information would be helpful for a diagnosis and as Jack mentioned the entire package needs to function together.

    Do you have the casting numbers for the heads? Not trying to be negative, but not all camel humps were created equal. Did you assemble? How did you come up with 10.5:1? Are you certain they're 2.02 valves? Did you have the heads surfaced? What was the final volume of the combustion chambers? Was the block decked? If so, what was your final measurement (looking for a number somewhere between 9.025 and 9.000).

    If it were mine, Id pull the heads and measure the deck clearance to determine if I could get the C/R down below 10:1 with a thicker head gasket. Id then e-bay the Victor Jr and go with a Performer RPM and a 600CFM Edelbrock 1406 with the electric choke. You may need to lean down one size on the initial out-of-the-box jets and metering rods.

    Assuming the valves are correctly adjusted, the backfiring is probably caused by 16 degrees of initial timing much too high as is attested to by the fire happening while your intake valve is still slightly open, but with the cam you have it may not idle much less than 12 degrees. Ideally, the initial timing should be 8-10 degrees and 34 degrees all in (around 2000-2200 RPM). If you cannot get to this point, the cam may be too big.

    6-10 inches of vacuum is unacceptable (in my opinion) for a street driven car. 20 inches of vacuum is a better number, 18 is about as low as Id go on a street car with power brakes and below 18 is just scary for overall braking a 3800 pound car in a hurry.

    My two cents - keep us in the loop and once again, welcome to CHR!
    Glenn
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  13. #13
    t.thompson259 is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    Thanks for the input all. Like I said I'm only 23 and learning this whole carb and timing thing when it isn't done by a computer. But I work graveyard and only get time to play on the weekends ill check some other stuff out this weekend. And get back to you guys! thanks a bunch!

  14. #14
    t.thompson259 is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    Hey guys stupid question but could it be total advanced timing? Or would that not matter since its vacuum advanced?

  15. #15
    rspears's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by t.thompson259 View Post
    Hey guys stupid question but could it be total advanced timing? Or would that not matter since its vacuum advanced?
    Like Glenn said immediately above, your total advance should be in the 34 degree range and will be all in by 2000 to 2200rpm. It builds on your base timing, so if you set the base timing (no vacuum at idle) to 8 degrees your total timing might be 30, but if you set your base to 12 it would then be 34. If your base is now at 16 then your total may be up in the 40 range which is pretty tall, but might still be OK depending on your piston choice and cam.
    Roger
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