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Old 09-19-2015, 04:08 PM   #1
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Hard Starting 454

I have a 1985 Pace Arrow with a 454 carb engine. The starter spins fast but it seems to take forever for it to start and requires a lot of pumping of the gas pedal. Last month the booster pump in the rear went out and it would not start at all. After replacing the booster we are right back where we started, hard to start but runs great. Is it possible that the engine driven fuel pump is not working?
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Old 09-19-2015, 08:27 PM   #2
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Had a Chieftain with the same issue. Had the Carb replaced and it made a World of difference.

Carb. is not keeping gas in the bowl.
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Old 09-19-2015, 08:32 PM   #3
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Carb/choke, vacuum, or fuel filter would be my guess. You might ask for assistance in the Workhorse forum (located under RV Forums) - lots of smart 454 folks over there.
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Old 09-19-2015, 09:15 PM   #4
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Some of the old Qjet carbs had porous fuel bowls. They would drain, slowly into the manifold while sitting parked.

I remember a test was to run the engine until it nice and hot then shut It off.

While off, pull the air cleaner and watch for vapors rising out of the intake, while sitting. That would be a sign of fuel dripping into the hot intake manifold.

I had a boat with twin Qjet carbs. It would start fine after sitting 1 or 2 days. If it sat for 4 or 5 days, It would crank a long time before starting.
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Old 09-20-2015, 07:33 AM   #5
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Thanks for the information. Does it affect the driving performance or just starting? Heading for the RV rally in Nashville next weekend don't think I will have time to change it before that.
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Old 09-20-2015, 07:41 AM   #6
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Thanks for the information. Does it affect the driving performance or just starting? Heading for the RV rally in Nashville next weekend don't think I will have time to change it before that.
Look for a "check valve". You should be able to find out whether it is in or near the carb.
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Old 09-20-2015, 10:11 AM   #7
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If it is a "thermo-quad" there is a gasket under it between throttle body and carb that dries out as well.

Try this;
Turn key on and count to 5 then turn key off.

Repeat 3 times then start it.

This may allow the tank pump to fill float Bowl.

Also how long before it is a problem as the vent will allow evaporation over some time.
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Old 09-21-2015, 09:13 PM   #8
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If it is a "thermo-quad" there is a gasket under it between throttle body and carb that dries out as well.

Try this;
Turn key on and count to 5 then turn key off.

Repeat 3 times then start it.

This may allow the tank pump to fill float Bowl.

Also how long before it is a problem as the vent will allow evaporation over some time.
That should only work with TBI where it pulses the injectors on the key turn. If he has any electric fuel pump at all, it should turn on and stay on any time the key is on. With the old 454, I used to let the pump run for about 20 seconds before cranking the engine. That was enough to fill the carb, and it always started right up, even in the dead of winter.
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Old 09-21-2015, 09:45 PM   #9
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Man, its a long time ago, but I think, my fuel pump didn't run until I had oil pressure.
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Old 09-22-2015, 05:40 AM   #10
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I have a 82 with a 454 I start mine, twice to the floor and turn the key turns over for about 10 seconds turn key off and then re try and she fires off in about 5 seconds. I had to replace the 2 filters under passenger side and this is how I start her every time spring summer fall.
Good luck, Tim
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Old 09-23-2015, 03:40 AM   #11
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If you have a booster pump, and have replaced it, then turn the key on for 20/30 seconds, let it have time to fill the float bowl, then start as normal.
The older q-jets boiled the gas out of the float bowls a lot, when shut off hot! Replacing the gasket under the carb with a thick one sometimes helped with this problem. Hope this helps you! Rail!
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Old 09-27-2015, 12:49 AM   #12
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If it is a "thermo-quad" there is a gasket under it between throttle body and carb that dries out as well.
The 454 Chevy will have a Quadrajet. The Thermo-quad was on the 440 Dodge engine.
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Old 09-27-2015, 10:00 AM   #13
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Our boat with small block Chevy has one...

Our old rv with the 440 also had one and was told it could pass just about everything except a gas station...

Anything is possible.
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Old 09-27-2015, 05:56 PM   #14
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Man, its a long time ago, but I think, my fuel pump didn't run until I had oil pressure.
X2
My 90 with the Qjet wont turn on the electric fuel pump till oil pressure is achieved.
It just dawned on me, have you looked to see if the choke is setting? Some years ago my electric choke quit working and it took a little to start and it took awhile for the engine to warm up. Look to see if the choke is closing when you pump the throttle before start up.
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