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Thread: Hard To Start

  1. #1

    Default Hard To Start

    I have a question concerning hard starting after extended sitting. I have a '69 Camaro with a 396 engine that is basically stock. The carburetor is a Holley 3310S that I bought new several years ago. It has a Comp Cams Extreme Energy 274 camshaft, 9:1 compression, original L78 "Winters" intake & headers. The distributor is the original points type but has been professionally rebuilt and re-curved to suit the engines needs for today's gasoline. The engine runs excellent, uses no oil and only has 7000 miles on it since built. This is a show car and some years only leaves the garage 5 or 6 times the entire year. Here is my issue that I want to resolve. If the car hasn't been ran in a couple of weeks, when I try to start it, it just spins over like it doesn't have any gas in it. I'll pump the pedal several times and keep spinning it over. When it does crank, it acts like it's flooded. I will mention, it does not have a choke on it. Once the engine is warmed up, it starts up just fine. I can go out there the next day and it will fire right up. The more days it sits, the harder it is to start. Several times after the car had not been started for several weeks or even a couple of months, prior to trying to start it, I will pour about two ounces of gas in the carburetor and it will fire up almost immediately buy after about two seconds it will cut off again. I have looked down in the carb after an extended period of not being ran and when I move the throttle I see gas squirting from the squirters. So that rules out that gas has evaporated from the bowls while sitting. I had the carburetor professionally rebuilt and it still does the same thing. I've heard other people talk about their classic cars doing the same thing. It's also embarrassing if someone comes over and wants to hear my Camaro run, then see me struggle to get it started. Do any of you know why this hard start after extended sitting occurs? Is it normal for carbureted engines? Will an electric choke solve this problem?
    Last edited by Old_Camaro_Man; 02-21-2020 at 01:12 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    I'd pull the primary float level plug, and pour your fuel in the bowl vent until the float level comes up. Then the engine will start. Accelerator pump draws from the bottom, so 3/4 of the volume could evaporate, and the pump will still function until the bowl IS truly empty. Do you run a insulating spacer under the carb? Gary
    Regards, Gary

  3. #3

    Default

    No I don't. The carburetor is bolted directly to the intake manifold. I realize that I don't have a choke on this Holley, which may be contributing to my issue. It's hard for me to believe that GM sold millions of carbureted vehicles that would have experienced this hard starting issue. I'm sure lots of people would let cars sit for a few weeks before driving them. Also, with me running a hydraulic flat tappet camshaft, I want my engine to start almost immediately so it will achieve oil pressure very quickly. I'm concerned that this extended cranking could cause a cam lobe to go flat.
    Last edited by Old_Camaro_Man; 02-27-2020 at 12:24 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    Brisbane, Australia
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    Default

    I'd think an electric fuel pump and possibly return regulator would be of greater benefit.
    My cars always start first hit, because of my electric fuel pumps.
    If you have no choke at all, then either manual or electric choke would help. Gary
    Regards, Gary

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