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Thread: Sticky throttle linkage

  1. #1
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    Sticky throttle linkage

    A funny thing happened to me today. I started the car as usual. I usually let the engine warm up about minute and a half or so.By that time I should be able to open the choke by tapping the gas pedal, right, ? BUT according to the vacuum gauge needle the choke valve was still closed so I let it warm up about couple of minutes more. Tapping the gas pedal still showed the needle in the same position so I just went on my way but the way the car was going, the choke was still "closed". I stopped on the side of the road, removed the air cleaner and noticed the choke valve in the "open" position. Obviously the throttle linkage were sticking so when I got home I used my WD40 on the linkages, and will test it in the morning with a cold engine. OR IS THERE SOMETHING ELSE I HAVE TO CONTEND WITH??

    Larry

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    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Adachi View Post
    A funny thing happened to me today. I started the car as usual. I usually let the engine warm up about minute and a half or so.By that time I should be able to open the choke by tapping the gas pedal, right, ? BUT according to the vacuum gauge needle the choke valve was still closed so I let it warm up about couple of minutes more. Tapping the gas pedal still showed the needle in the same position so I just went on my way but the way the car was going, the choke was still "closed". I stopped on the side of the road, removed the air cleaner and noticed the choke valve in the "open" position. Obviously the throttle linkage were sticking so when I got home I used my WD40 on the linkages, and will test it in the morning with a cold engine. OR IS THERE SOMETHING ELSE I HAVE TO CONTEND WITH??

    Larry
    You have a Rochester Quadrajet 4-barrel (if memory serves). The choke mechanism is controlled by a heat coil; there is also a "choke unloader" - also on the passenger side of the carb. It looks like a small vacuum canister with a metal rod/linkage.

    The choke mechanism requires periodic cleaning/adjustment as it sometimes gets sticky. Rather than WD-40 (which is for displacing moisture/protecting against rust, mainly) get a can of spray carb cleaner and thoroughly spray the exterior of the carb. You can do this with the carb on the engine; just remove the air cleaner assembly. Do this with the engine cold, incidentally - and put a clean rag on top of the carb's butterflies to prevent gunk from getting inside the carb. Your job here is to clean the exterior parts - especially the carb's linkages. Work the throttle arm/choke parts as you spray. Let the carb dry.

    Now, start the car from cold and see whether the problem is still there. The choke should engage (cold engine) with a light tap on the gas pedal/throttle linkage. The engine should start immediately - and settle into "fast idle," around 1,500 RPM or so. Another light tap on the gas pedal should cause the idle speed to drop a few hundred RPM. The choke should release after not much longer - a minute or two unless it is really cold outside. (The exact specifications for idle speed, etc. should be on a sticker on the radiator shroud. If not, you can get them in a Chilton's or Haynes manual.)

    If the choke's not operating correctly - hard starting, stays on too long, incorrect idle speed, etc. - adjusting it is pretty basic and I think you could handle it. No special tools are needed. Just a good manual (Haynes or Chilton).

    PS: Have you checked/changed the filter in the past two years? People often forget this and the Q-Jet is very sensitive to clogged/restricted filters. The filter is located in the carb body, right where the metal fuel line screws into the carb.

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