Car constantly wants to die!


Old 01-12-12, 02:16 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: USA
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Car constantly wants to die!

I've got an old 76 nova, original engine and trans, small block 350 but I put a Rochester 2 barrel carb on instead of the stock 4 barrel. Better mileage and all. It's run perfectly until recently (15 yrs since it was switched).

Anyhow, the Choke does not move at all when I hit the gas. Either the petal or manually on the carb. However, the choke DOES move freely when moved by hand, so it's not frozen. It's just like its no longer connected to the throttle.

I recently replaced the water pump cuz it was leaking and it had a minor incident where it overheated. Also, the thermostat has failed (in the OPEN position, so it's running cold, so the choke should be closed longer, instead of not at all like it is...). But I'm gonna replace the thermostat anyhow, even though I doubt it'd cause this...

Is there any screws or linkage that would cause something like this? Please help!?
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Old 01-12-12, 04:39 AM
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: USA
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Probably need more information to those here on DIY. Did you check for setup accuracy. I usually go to my local library and they have about everything concerning automotive. Also if you have a library card you can search their Data Base for automotive repair. Here is a typical link from Google search, maybe check that out?

Rochester 2-barrel carb linkage - Welcome to, 1955 1956 1957 Chevy Forum
Old 01-12-12, 07:40 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Ontario, Canada
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Normally there will be a thermostat coil at end of choke shaft, attached to carb, or a rod that will go from choke linkage down to thermostat coil in manifold. Some of the thermostat coils on the end of the shaft were also electrically operated. Keep in mind as well that if engine is up to normal operating temperature, the choke should have nothing to do with engine wanting to stall. Find yourself an old mechanic in the area if too far over your head and they should be able to straighten out pretty quick.
Old 01-12-12, 07:19 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Texas
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I am guessing also that it needs a new choke thermostat. Often many of them that had a coil on the end of the shaft rusted out over time behind the plastic housing that secured it to the carb for one thing. The ones mounted on the exhaust manifolds were not much better, but that technology was used when cars didn't usually last more than 100k miles either due to engine failure or body rust. Back in those days there were lots of cases of either them not closing properly or opening enough causing the engine to choke out or run rich. Some people back then out of frustration would just install a $2.00 choke cable, attach a mounting bracket for the cable under the dash and operate it manually. That is always an option also for you if you need it and are not able to find a replacement part easily. Alot of cars up to the end of the 50's came that way from the factory and in some ways the manual cable was more reliable.
Old 01-12-12, 09:36 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: USA
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Someone I work with said that there's adjustment screws on the thermostat coil where it connects to the choke. Said they may have rattled and shook with engine movement and may be loose. It'd be a miracle if there were any screws on the car that WEREN'T loose after all the miles it has under the tires (555k and counting, not a typo!). Gonna check this tomorrow on my lunch to see if this is the case.

The car seems to even out a bit when it warms up, but it takes a while to warm up due to the wide-open thermostat. Maybe idle screw needs adjusted too, but not until choke and thermostat issues are done.
Old 01-13-12, 04:18 AM
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If it is a coolant-sensing thermostatic choke - side of the carb, round, and with a coolant hose clipped next to it - the adjustment is simply to loosen the three small screws holding the thermostat to the housing and rotate slightly. There are probably index marks on the parts. I would go ahead and remove it and check the coil inside for the issues equinox mentioned.

At 15 years, you might want to consider getting a rebuild kit and giving the carb a going over/cleaning with new gaskets, float needle & seat, etc.
Old 01-13-12, 08:55 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: North Central Indiana
Posts: 905
Get the thermo replaced first so it is up to temp. With the car cold open the throttle and the choke plate should snap shut. As the motor warms up the choke should gradually come open. Then well go from there.

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