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Author Topic: 1980 BCat troubles  (Read 1351 times)

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Offline browniecat

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1980 BCat troubles
« on: April 11, 2018, 09:10:28 PM »
Hello rst-time Bobcat owner here, a brown 1980 hatch-glasser with 2.3 and about 23K original (believed accurate), bone stock, no A/C, automatic, very nice orig interior.  (I learned to drive on my dad's '76 Pinto; it had a 4-spd and was pretty zippy as I recall...)

Have had the car about 3 mos...(before I bought it, story is it sat around for nearly 20 years, was started up once in awhile)...have driven it very little because of poorPOOR acceleration & power.  I feel sure this problem is NOT ignition-related. Here's what I've done:

replaced the fuel-tank (original was full of rusty shizod).
replaced the fuel lines, inbound and outbound.
replaced the stock mech pump (with a new mech pump..)
replaced the timing-belt.
I've checked compression, and it's great (i.e. no head gasket probs)
replaced the plug wires (altho' the original ones were fine...)..
repaced ignition coil (just for fun)
had the carb rebuilt (professionally)
repaced fuel-filters multiple times...

Not gonna bother you guys with the long version of the story, but after the car died on a bridge here in NYC, I had had the carb done...and sure enough, bowl was full of bits of rust (remnants of the old crummy tank..).  Problem was the old girl ran really badly (again no power)....turned out there was still shizod in the accel pump jet.  Carb guy rechecked everything, cleared the jet....meanwhi le we rechecked everything else (timing marks, set to specs, etc...)

Anyways, the car runs and drives now but just has really poor get-up-and-go (No, I am definitely NOT expecting GTO-like acceleration from a Pinto-cat, but she's even challenged to go up hills, unless I kick into low gear...somethi ng's definitely lacking) 

I've read on here that bypassing the EGR is a good plan, and my next step will be to check all the vacuum lines, but since it idles very smoothly and doesn't really have a miss or anything, I might be grasping at straws..  Any suggestions/thoughts would be appreciated if you guys have time.


Offline dick1172762

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Re: 1980 BCat troubles
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2018, 10:15:16 AM »
Sounds like the cam might be retarted one tooth. Easy to miss and the engine will run but down on power.
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Offline Lonny Candel

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Re: 1980 BCat troubles
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2018, 10:00:29 AM »
I had a 76 Chevette, and not long ago it had a sputtering issue. I had the car for 6 years, and had the carb rebuilt as soon as it acted like it was gasping for air. That solved the issue for many years. Then all of a sudden after 6 years, it started sputtering, and it would die in traffic after driving it for about 50 miles. I did all the things you did with your Pin cat to include having the tank cleaned twice, and even added an electronic fuel pump at the gas tank. Although it didn't die again (because of the electric fuel pump in my opinion which acted like a band aid), it still had a sputtering feeling. I know you said that the compression was good. I am not a mechanic, but I feel that an old engine does lose compression over time. Things wear out inside the engine.
I have a Bobcat with the 2.3, and had it rebuilt about a year ago with a Ranger cam. And lo and behold, it gains momentum when I give it gas going up the hills. Nice!
As far as the Chevette that I used to own, I think instead of spending all that money on replacing all those parts that all I needed to do was to have the carb rebuilt again. I just didn't think it needed it because I had it rebuilt 6 years prior, and thought that that wasn't the problem. But I think that would have fixed it since nothing else seemed to. And the Chevette didn't have rust issues. The car was in excellent condition.
My only issue with the Bobcat now is starting. It takes a couple of cranks to start it, and that is only on a cold start. It starts fine the rest of the day until sets over night.  I bought a 'high altitude' carb (at least that is what I requested) for the Bobcat at Pep Boys because I lost one of the adjusting screws on the original carb. Again, I am thinking 'what could be wrong with the carb?' especially if it is a refurbished carb. But I was told that it needs to be rejetted to Colorado altitude. I haven't been able to rejet it yet, but hopefully that fixes that issue.
90 Mustang LX w/ 84 TC 2.3 / 88 TC injectors, VAM, & computer
84 Mercury Cougar LS 3.8
81 Ford Durango 3.3
81 Chevy El Camino 350 Crate

Offline browniecat

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Re: 1980 BCat troubles
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2018, 07:55:21 PM »
thanx for your suggestions, Boys..

So far as the camshaft possibly being retarded, the marks were rechecked for alignment at #1TDC, crank-to-cam, and everything lines up perfectly, so I don't think that's the prob.  Lonny, funny you mentioned Chevette..have a friend here who just bought a nice '79.

Anyway!.. Back to Pintos.  The upshot with mine is that I can drive it now, but like I said, it's just really anemic performance.  I keep comin back to the carb as the potential issue, particularly the accel pump.  Remember the squirter-jet was found to be partially clogged after initial carb install, following the rebuild (there was almost no fuel at all coming out thru nozzle).  It went back to the rebuilder for recleaning and recheck.  It does squirt fuel now, I said, generally disappointing performance, and very annoying "dead-spot" stumble when I start out.

So!!  Do any of you Pintonites know...?   Is there any adjustment possible on the accel pump (I esp want to eliminate the stumble from dead-stop)?  (this is the stock 2bbl Holley...I think they were about the same carb for many years on Pintos)  The carb rebuilder told me that accelpump is NOT adjustable (he did replace the diaphragm).

And......have any of you guys used a modern Weber replacement with the 2.3l.  That's something I'm thinking about trying now because I think my carb must be the root of the problem, despite the rebuild. 

In the meantime, I can drive Her. Cute, but mighty pokey.   Cheers, everyone.  Your comments are much appreciated.

Offline nnn0wqk

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Re: 1980 BCat troubles
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2018, 11:27:47 PM »
Have you considered a plugged exhaust? A lot of the symptoms you have kind of point in that direction. You might want to measure the back pressure and see what you have. The last vehicle that I got running that had sit for 20 years had that issue. Was a V8 and had to drop both headers pipes from the manifolds to get it started. Mice have a way of getting into everything. Once I had it running then I was able to bring the header pipes back up and start blowing and burning out the junk in the muffler. Not a pleasant smell. Muffler lasted about 6 months before it fell apart. I have also seen cat converters plug pretty tight. Especially the honey cone style.