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Thread: Things you don't see much anymore

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    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Things you don't see much anymore

    Things you don't see much anymore
    By Eric Peters
    for immediate release

    Have you noticed there are fewer skid marks on the road nowadays? Thank anti-lock brakes (ABS) for that. This technology -- which is now a mainstream safety feature installed injust about every car, truck and SUV made -- keeps the brakes from locking up the wheels (and thus the tires) during emergency stops. Before the mid-1990s -- when ABS was a rare feature found only on a handful of very high-end cars -- slamming on the brakes typically resulted in sphincter-tightening wheel lock -- and a violent screeching skid directly into whatever you were trying to avoid.

    Black tire marks on the pavement served as monuments to each crash -- and near miss. We'd see them -- and wonder what happened; whether anyone got killed.

    ABS has pretty much taken care of the skid marks -- and saved who knows how many lives by preventing the wheels from locking up during a panic stop, which in turn keeps the vehicle steerable --instead of barelling headlong into the tree, telephone poll or car you're trying to keep from hitting.

    Another increasingly uncommon sight is significant outer body rust-through on cars less than 20 years old. It's actually pretty challenging to find any late model car with Swiss-cheesed quarter panels, eaten away by road salt and corrosion. Before the mid-1980s, though, it was routine for cars less than five years old to have bubbling paint and rust-pocks mottling their fender lips, back quarters and other areas where water would accumulate. Poor body panel fit -- and terrible sealing -- let that water get in their and fester. The process was helped along by completely ineffectual factory anti-corrosion protection and low-quality paint jobs.

    All it took was one stone chip to expose that unprotected metal -- and within a couple of months it was as well-ventilated as a Copacabana beach bar.

    Today, however, cars -- even the cheapest bottom feeders-- are superbly protected against corrosion by factory-applied sealants and protectants, as well as by vastly better multi-stage paint jobs, tight-fitting body panels and weatherstripping that prevents moisture from getting into areas where it shouldn't be. Generally speaking, a modern car's body will outlast its engine by many years -- exactly the reverse of the way things used to be.

    Be grateful!

    Chokes are gone, too. Remember them? In the morning, you'd pull the knob back (or, on later model cars with "automatic" chokes, tap the gas) to close it before cranking the engine -- and hope the thing caught when you turned the key. Being a mechanical device, the choke required fairly frequent adjustment -- because it was often out of adjustment. When it wasn't set right, the engine would be hard to start, stall -- or take forever to warm up. Chokes disappeared when carburetors were replaced by fuel injection in the late 1980s -- and most of us haven't missed those old 4-barrels one bit.

    What else has changed over the years?

    How about ashtrays.

    Remember them? We used to be a Joe Camel nation -- and as recently as the '80s. Every car came equipped with several ashtrays -- plus a prominently located cigarette lighter.

    Not anymore.

    Today, you sometimes have to pay extra to get an ashtray -- part of a "smoker's package." There are often more cup holders than ashtrays -- and the cigarette lighter is now technically speaking a "power point" -- with objectionable, non-politically correct smoldering cigarette icons excised.

    Smoking is now a serious taboo -- only a few steps removed from popping open a cold one with one hand on the wheel while doing 90 in the rain.

    The automakers care, apparently -- and want to protect you. Or protect themselves from lawsuits, anyhow. So we have buzzers and lights nudging us to "buckle up," radar and laser-guided systems to keep us from bumping into things and more air bags than most beds have pillows.

    At least they dropped those ridiculous 85-mph speedometers cars were required to have for a few years back in the late 1970s.

    We've also got satellite radio and "telematics" -- onboard DVD players, Playstations, etc.. These have replaced 8-tracks and Citizens Band radio. In the '70s, CB radios were everywhere -- even available as factory-installed equipment. People yakked in their own special language -- warning of "smokeys" lurking up ahead, or offering a critique of the cuisine purveyed by a roadside "choke and puke."

    You won't find a CB radio in any new car; along with leaded premium and catalytic converter "test pipes" (remember those?) they're gone with the wind -- bits and pieces of an automotive past fast receding into a murky Dark Ages whose odd reality will be marvelled at by future generations -- who alredy take reliable, well-built and safe cars as givens.

    END

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    Re: Things you don't see much anymore

    Eric:

    Of interest is the paragraph on Automatic Choke (on my '75 Impala). Before, I used to be able to start the car by depressing the gas pedal, turn the key, and it starts right away. Not anymore. It stallsright away. Now I have to depress the pedal twice, and even then it hesitates briefly before catching on.

    Must I lubricate the choke or what?

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    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Things you don't see much anymore

    Quote Originally Posted by ChevyMan
    Eric:

    Of interest is the paragraph on Automatic Choke (on my '75 Impala). Before, I used to be able to start the car by depressing the gas pedal, turn the key, and it starts right away. Not anymore. It stallsright away. Now I have to depress the pedal twice, and even then it hesitates briefly before catching on.

    Must I lubricate the choke or what?
    Hi Chevy,

    Do you know whether your Impala has a 4-barrel carb?

    If it does, it's a Quadrajet, with a "heat stove" choke that needs periodic adjustment. The air valve on the primary side (the front two barrels) may also be out of adjustment.

    It's not rocket science to adjust/tune a Q-Jet, if you have a good shop manual and follow the procedures... have you got one of those?

  4. #4
    D_E_Davis
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    Re: Things you don't see much anymore

    Another increasingly uncommon sight is significant outer body rust-through on cars less than 20 years old. It's actually pretty challenging to find any late model car with Swiss-cheesed quarter panels, eaten away by road salt and corrosion. Before the mid-1980s, though, it was routine for cars less than five years old to have bubbling paint and rust-pocks mottling their fender lips, back quarters and other areas where water would accumulate.


    The biggest factor in that was the availability of sheet steel that was galvanized on both sides smoothly enough that a finish paint job could be applied. During 1985 seven new plants began producing electro-galvanized steel for auto use - by the 1987 model year every maker was using double-sided galvanized steel.


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    Re: Things you don't see much anymore


    <<< Do you know whether your Impala has a 4-barrel carb ?>>>

    Yes, it's a 4-bbl carb, Rochester, I think. I've had repairs and/or adjustments to the choke done by a auto shop several times before.
    No, I do not have a shop manual, just a Chilton manual covering 1968 to 1988 Chevrolets.I've had various repairs done by the same shop since I'm not very good with repairs .

  6. #6
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Things you don't see much anymore

    Quote Originally Posted by ChevyMan

    <<< Do you know whether your Impala has a 4-barrel carb ?>>>

    Yes, it's a 4-bbl carb, Rochester, I think. I've had repairs and/or adjustments to the choke done by a auto shop several times before.
    No, I do not have a shop manual, just a Chilton manual covering 1968 to 1988 Chevrolets.I've had various repairs done by the same shop since I'm not very good with repairs .
    Good deal!

    On the passenger side of the carb, you'll see the choke assembly, which consists of a fairly large round housing (with a flat cover held in place by three small screws) on the carb itself that contains the heat-sensitive coil. This is what "loads" and "unloads" the choke mechanism. There are two screw-in tube connections that run into the manifold (where they are subjected to engine heat) from the choke housing, etc.

    With the engine completely cold, remove the air cleaner assembly so you have access to the carb. Use your hand to move the throttle arm on the driver's sidebackwards ( toward the firewall). You should immediately hear a mechanical "clink" sound and be able to see the chokeplate on the primary side of the carb (the front two barrels) snap shut. If it stays open or only closes a little bit, you're choke's not set properly - and this will explain the rough starting/stalling.

    The Chilton's manual has the procedure for adjusting the choke and it is not technically difficult; just take your time and follow each step carefully.

    Quadrajets can look intimidating but once you get to know them you'll find they are excellent carburetors; remember, GM bolted millions and millions of them onto cars ranging from the OHC Pontiac Sprint Six to big-block 396 and 454 Chevy V-8s!


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    Re: Things you don't see much anymore


    Eric.

    Thanks for the excellent detailed instructions for fixing a minor choking problem.
    BTW, in my previous post, I neglected to mention that this starting "problem" occurs only when I start the car first thing in the morning after sitting idle overnight. I can park it on the street for as long as 8 hours straight, and it starts on the first try. The over-night temperature in this region is above 76 f right now and about 88 f. in the afternoon.


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    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Things you don't see much anymore

    Quote Originally Posted by D_E_Davis
    Another increasingly uncommon sight is significant outer body rust-through on cars less than 20 years old. It's actually pretty challenging to find any late model car with Swiss-cheesed quarter panels, eaten away by road salt and corrosion. Before the mid-1980s, though, it was routine for cars less than five years old to have bubbling paint and rust-pocks mottling their fender lips, back quarters and other areas where water would accumulate.


    The biggest factor in that was the availability of sheet steel that was galvanized on both sides smoothly enough that a finish paint job could be applied. During 1985 seven new plants began producing electro-galvanized steel for auto use - by the 1987 model year every maker was using double-sided galvanized steel.

    I wasn't aware of this - very interesting info - thanks for the post!

  9. #9
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Things you don't see much anymore

    Quote Originally Posted by ChevyMan

    Eric.

    Thanks for the excellent detailed instructions for fixing a minor choking problem.
    BTW, in my previous post, I neglected to mention that this starting "problem" occurs only when I start the car first thing in the morning after sitting idle overnight. I can park it on the street for as long as 8 hours straight, and it starts on the first try. The over-night temperature in this region is above 76 f right now and about 88 f. in the afternoon.

    You bet!

    And what you describe makes sense in terms of the choke being slightly off. Even after it's been sitting for awhile, the engine will still be slightly warm - and if the choke is partially closing, that'll be sufficient since the engine's not stone cold. You might begin your troublshooting by getting a can of WD-40 and spraying the mechanical linkages adjacent to the choke housing; these sometimes bind up and get "sticky" over time. The WD-40 may loosen things up and solve your problem without your having to do anything further....

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    Re: Things you don't see much anymore

    But won't some wd40 mixed with some gas in the bowl create a minor starting trouble. How about if I just spray on both endsof the horizontal shaft on which the choke valve is mounted on or must I spray deeper down the bowl?

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    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Things you don't see much anymore

    Quote Originally Posted by ChevyMan
    But won't some wd40 mixed with some gas in the bowl create a minor starting trouble. How about if I just spray on both endsof the horizontal shaft on which the choke valve is mounted on or must I spray deeper down the bowl?
    Don't spray the inside of the carb!!

    I should have been more clear: Use the WD-40 to lubricate the EXTERNAL linkages on the side of the carb. You'll be able to see a couple of rods and cams adjacent to the choke housing on the passenger side of the carb. Spray these - and the throttle arm/linkage on the driver's side, then work the throttle arm back and forth manually, using your hand. This may free up the choke if it's just sticking as a result of grime, etc. Nothing should be sprayed IN the carb throats other than some Gumout/carb cleaner!

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    Re: Things you don't see much anymore

    Eric

    Regarding the use of WD40.

    I hear u loud and clear.

    Thanks.

    Larry

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    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Things you don't see much anymore

    Quote Originally Posted by ChevyMan
    Eric

    Regarding the use of WD40.

    I hear u loud and clear.

    Thanks.

    Larry
    Roger that - and keep me posted!

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    Re: Things you don't see much anymore

    >>Roger that...and keep me posted<<


    Hi Eric,


    I removed, or rather moved the air cleaner aside and was able to determine that I do have the 4-bbl Quadrajet Rochester carburetor, altho' I'm not sure what the model is since Chilton covers several model, e.g., M4ME, 4MV, 4MC and M4MC, but aforementioned models covers cars in the 1968 thru 1979 year.

    Anyhow, I W4Ded those mechanical linkages on both sides so I'm hoping those actions will at least solve these minor starting problem.

    Then I started the car but I had to depress the gas pedal twice before it caught.

    Larry (Chevyman)

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    jillsuncle
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    Re: Things you don't see much anymore

    Yes American poepl driving American cars. >

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    Re: Things you don't see much anymore

    This morning I checked the choke valve's position upon moving the throttle linkage backward twice and noticed the choke valve (I hope that's the choke valve..measuring 7/8 inch wide by 3 1/2 inch long running parallel to the width of the windshield..)does not close completely but remained "ajar"approximately 1/8
    of an inch. Shouldn't it close fully? I wonder what I should to close the valve all the way? I'm really mystified .

    Hi Eric,


    I removed, or rather moved the air cleaner aside and was able to determine that I do have the 4-bbl Quadrajet Rochester carburetor, altho' I'm not sure what the model is since Chilton covers several model, e.g., M4ME, 4MV, 4MC and M4MC, but aforementioned models covers cars in the 1968 thru 1979 year.

    Anyhow, I W4Ded those mechanical linkages on both sides so I'm hoping those actions will at least solve these minor starting problem.

    Then I started the car but I had to depress the gas pedal twice before it caught.

    Larry (Chevyman)


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    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Things you don't see much anymore

    Quote Originally Posted by ChevyMan
    This morning I checked the choke valve's position upon moving the throttle linkage backward twice and noticed the choke valve (I hope that's the choke valve..measuring 7/8 inch wide by 3 1/2 inch long running parallel to the width of the windshield..)does not close completely but remained "ajar"approximately 1/8
    of an inch. Shouldn't it close fully? I wonder what I should to close the valve all the way? I'm really mystified .

    Hi Eric,


    I removed, or rather moved the air cleaner aside and was able to determine that I do have the 4-bbl Quadrajet Rochester carburetor, altho' I'm not sure what the model is since Chilton covers several model, e.g., M4ME, 4MV, 4MC and M4MC, but aforementioned models covers cars in the 1968 thru 1979 year.

    Anyhow, I W4Ded those mechanical linkages on both sides so I'm hoping those actions will at least solve these minor starting problem.

    Then I started the car but I had to depress the gas pedal twice before it caught.

    Larry (Chevyman)
    Hi Larry,

    The various dsignations refer to the type of choke system but Q-Jets are all basically similar. Your late '70s car should have the kind I described in an earlier post - with the round choke housing ont he passenger's side (with a plastic cover held in place by three screws and "lean" and "rich" marked on it, etc) plus a hollow tube that screws into a fitting in the intake manifold, etc.

    Just follow the directions for your year and make any adjustments as necessary. It sounds to me like it's not closing fully when the engine's cold ...


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    Re: Things you don't see much anymore


    Eric,

    I'll see what I can do further to have the choke closed fully. If not,I'll continue starting the car by depressing the gas pedal two or more times if necessary. After all, it isn't that I couldn't start it at all, is it? It could be worse, you know. Previously I had a bigger problem where I tried to start it and it would flood so badly that fuel would drip out of the carb so much that a tiny spark could ignite the resultant fumes and start a fire.

    Anyhow, thanks for all the past advice and instructions given to solve my automotive problems and will continue to ask for advice whenever I run into any other car trouble in the future, Eric.

    Have a nice weekend.

    Larry

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    Re: Things you don't see much anymore

    You won't find a CB radio in any new car

    Funny thing ..I fitted my old one into my car about 8 months ago. I never turn it on....so much crap being spouted....BUT it did come in useful recently when taking friends to an early morning flight 100kms south of here. Traffic stopped and it was great to be able to get good advice from the truckies as to the short cuts.
    Rex
    On the Sunshine Coast, in the Sunshine State Queensland (QLD), Australia

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    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Things you don't see much anymore

    Quote Originally Posted by jillsuncle
    Yes American poepl driving American cars. >
    I like the idea - but I've gone over to the Dark Side. We have a Nissan pick-up that has been just outstanding; and all my bikes are made by Japanese mfgrs. They are superb...

    What about your H1???

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