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Old 07-18-2011, 03:53 AM   #1
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Engine Won't Start

Searched up on the forum, and didn't really find anything pertaining to engines with carburetors, might have missed it.

I tried to start it up tonight, but couldn't get it to at all. It turned over, but wouldn't fire up. It is a 1978 Tioga with a Dodge 440.

The previous owner started it up when we picked it up, and it hasn't been run in the 3 weeks since then. Been too many years since I started an engine with a carburetor. I am going to assume I just ended up flooding it, as I could smell gas. It ran great when I parked it 3 weeks ago, and it still has just over a 1/4 tank of gas.

I am going to try again Monday night, so I can get it moved over to the hookups from its current spot. Any tips on this one? If I fouled the spark plugs with gas, will they take care of themselves, or should I pull them and clean them off?
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Old 07-18-2011, 10:51 AM   #2
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It is easy to flood the 440. You only need to prime it with 1 or 2 pumps of the gas pedal. Make sure the choke is closing properly. You may need to use spray starting fluid after the rig sets for several weeks.
If the stock Thermoquad is still installed, then there are 2 o-rings in the bottom of the bowl that can allow the fuel in the bowl to leak out. If the fuel has leaked out, then it can take some cranking to get the fuel back in the bowl. It does have electronic ignition. Ballast resistor is a known weak link.

Dave
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Old 07-18-2011, 10:56 AM   #3
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I agree with what Dave said. Check for spark and if there isn't any change out the ballast resistor. If you have spark then use the smallest amount of starting fluid. One other thing is to make certain the battery is fully charged.
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Old 07-18-2011, 03:01 PM   #4
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Thanks guys :]

Don't suppose almost non-existent running lights would have anything to do with this, would it? Played around while letting the engine sit a bit last night, noticed the headlights lit up fine, but the running lights were very, very faint.
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Old 07-18-2011, 03:10 PM   #5
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Sorry but no. You most likely have a corroded connection on the light circuit that is reducing the amount of current available to the lights.

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Old 07-19-2011, 02:18 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave78Chief View Post
Sorry but no. You most likely have a corroded connection on the light circuit that is reducing the amount of current available to the lights.

Dave
Didn't think so, but hey, worth throwing it out there, right?
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Old 07-19-2011, 04:06 AM   #7
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Tiny hint of life, almost minuscule, when I first turned it over, then nothing. Was getting consistent spark, so I ran over to Wally World and got some starting fluid. Got her started in about 10 seconds.

Have to play with the electrical before we move in a month though. Passenger side running light is dim, drivers is out, no clearance lights on top in the front or back, no tail lights (headlights, brake lights, reverse lights and turn signals front and back work though). Instrument panel lighting was very intermittent as well. Looks like the light switch is worn out at least for that one. Turn the nob back and forth and I could get it to flicker. Think it could be the source of the rest of it? Have to check fuses yet as well.
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Old 07-19-2011, 08:12 AM   #8
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The headlight switch does sound like it may be on it's last legs. However, the dimmer issue may simply be that the contact that rides on the resistance wire is corroded and will clean up with use. If you pull the Light switch out, you can usually see the dimmer pot wire on a older Dodge chassis like yours.
While different coach Mfg's did different things, the best approach to the clearance light installation is to use a relay. The Headlight switch drives the relay coil. That is low amperage that will not overstress the headlight switch. The higher current clearance light circuit is fused seperately and controled by the relay. Same concept used by aftermarket driving light add-ons.

Not knowing what carburator setup you have (Stock TQ or aftermarket Edelbrock/holley replacement) make sure your choke setup is working.

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