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Old 09-10-2018, 04:12 PM   #1  
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440 Stalling

Hi Guys, looking for a little assistance with an issue I've been facing since getting my car out of storage.

A little background info:
I recently starting working on my dad's car, a 73 dodge charger 440 SE, its all original and at this point I just want to be able to drive it from A to B without it stalling after driving a few blocks.
I pulled it out of storage this year and had to have the rad rebuilt, as last I remembered she was hemorrhaging coolant out of any and every orifice. The shop I had the rad rebuilt at only had a top pan with the inlet on the same side as the air pump, so I deleted the air pump, replaced the water pump and thermostat and connected up the rad using some flex hose. After this we simply fired the car up with the old carb and a fresh battery.
The car will sit and idle to no end and we are able to pull some revs out of it and do not experience any stalling or choking of the engine at all while stationary. Temp, oil pressure and voltage all seem to be within a happy range while at idle or driving.
Its once we jump in the car and drive a couple blocks the Revs tank (no sputter, backfire or other noises), no throttle response and she dies. If I wait 5-10 minutes she will fire right back up and continue along the way.

At this point we've replace fuel lines, new fuel filter, fuel pump, fuel rail, carburetor, spark plugs, plug wires, coil, distributor cap and rotor, as well as the ignition module, voltage regulator and ignition resistor.
We've tried placing a remote fuel tank under the hood and bypassing the old fuel system to see if we were experiencing blockages in the old gas tank or fuel line but even with high octane direct from a jerry can under the hood she still just dies once we drive around for 5-10 minutes.

I'm running out of ideas and I'm hoping some of you salty old dogs can point me in the right direction.
Any guidance would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 09-10-2018, 05:32 PM   #2  
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When the car stalls go under the hood pull the air filter and crack the throttle(ignition off). Look to see if it squirts any fuel. If it doesn't open the gas cap to see if there is a vacuum on the tank as this is a common problem with cars that have sat for some time. Can be plugged tank vents or plugged cap( I am not sure what your year car has). Also if there is no fuel the carb may be vapor locked if it is really hot. If it does squirt fuel then pull a plug wire and check for spark. I have seen the electronic distributer pickup have temp issues.

When you use the jerry can to run the car are you connecting to the fuel pump inlet or directly to the carb using gravity feed?

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Old 09-11-2018, 04:51 AM   #3  
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If you can put a temporary fuel pressure gauge on and see what happens when it stalls. Big blocks have a fuel pump rod which can wear not allowing full stroke of the fuel pump. Check your ignition box ground. Ambient and underhood temps can also cause a vapor lock the way you described it. Good luck keep us updated as this could help others. This seems to be a common problem with stored vehicles.
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Old 09-11-2018, 06:19 AM   #4  
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Based on your description, pretty much what the guys said, and how to check for it.
Only thing I'll add, is that if it looks like it's getting fuel, you might want to check the vacuum lines. A vacuum leak could lean you out and give those symptoms.

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Old 09-11-2018, 12:53 PM   #5  
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When we used the Jerry can we ran it through the fuel pump, not gravity feed.
I checked the gas cap for vacuum after the stall and it was not apparent, I also checked for fuel through the intake as suggested after the last stall (with ignition off) and there was fuel.
I'm going to replace the distributor tonight, and purchase some clear gas line to see if I am getting vapor lock.
I will see if I can source some sort of temporary fuel pressure gauge and see if the fuel pump rod could be at fault, what kind of pressure should I be expecting?
I was suspicious of a vacuum leak as the idle seems to hang quite high and only drops when I give throttle a quick snap. In my minimal experience with motorcycles RPM's hanging and dropping slowly can be a result of poor vacuum lines or a leak.

I appreciate the help and will keep you guys posted.
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Old 09-11-2018, 01:15 PM   #6  
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The higher than normal rpm at idle can mean a vacuum leak.
Just squirt some water around the gaskets and hoses (don't forget the power booster) and see if the rpm or sound changes.

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Old 09-12-2018, 09:30 AM   #7  
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Installed the new distributor last night and experienced the same issue with the car dying after driving it around for about 10-15 minutes.
Sprayed a little brake fluid around the carb last night and found I have a vacuum leak on the back. I will pull the carb and adapter plate and some new gaskets will be reinstalled.
I found that sometimes the starter would not engage when the key was turned to the start position, after the car dies but if I waited 5 minutes it will start right up, so I am going to look at the ignition from the steering column moving forward, since we have replaced and checked pretty well everything in front of the firewall to the plugs..
It almost feels like your driving and someone just turns the key off for you so my thoughts are failure at the ignition could explain why the car falls flat on its face and does not sputter or backfire when it dies.
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Old 09-12-2018, 08:18 PM   #8  
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Numbers matching, and carb adapter plate?

The 73's had electronic ignition. I know you swapped out the control box, but, try another one. The orange box works well with a stock motor. Sorry to have to add this, but make sure all the wires (including grounds) are solid.

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Old 09-13-2018, 09:23 AM   #9  
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Yeah car is a numbers matching car, I just replaced the existing carb (I plan on rebuilding it) with a newer Holley which required an adapter plate.
I'll run through grounds this weekend . I did replace the condenser as it looked pretty rough.

Hopefully will have time tonight to do some more testing. I will keep you guys posted.
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