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Older 318 shuts down while driving

2119 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  TWX
Here's my problem: After driving about 15-20 minutes my van just stalls as if I had turned the key off.
I had issues previously and had to drive for at least an hour and a half to get the problem to happen.
I had already had issues with the ballast resistor and coil so I replaced the ignition system and switched to an HEI distributor and regapped the plugs to 040 and put new wires on. I also ran a seperate power source through a toggle switch directly from the battery in order to eliminate the original wiring as it is an '84 B250 and thought this would help.

After installing the new distributor the truck fires up like gangbusters and runs pretty good but I still had the stalling issue after running for some time. Because of the new ignition I deduce that it must be a fuel issue so here is where I went with that side..
I pulled the tank to make sure there were no floaters or contamination in it and it was clean, the strainer looked intact and I could blow through it no problem. Also noted the return line with a little check valve in it and it has resistance to flow as I assume it should.

I replace the neoprene jumper hoses to the front lines which are still steel and appear intact. I replaced the fuel pump and it's neoprene jumper lines and filter.
Cut open the old filter and found nothing in it.

So after changing the ignition, checking the tank, replacing the fuel pump I still had this shutting down issue so I figured there is a restriction or something in the carb so I switched with another one and still the same issue.

I had previously changed the carb as I had flooding issues (2bbl BBD) with the old one so I bought a remanned one.

I road tested the little gem and found when I get on the throttle in gear it takes off ok but after I get up to about 40mph the sucker runs like it is starving for fuel (at this test I had the dog house off and the air filter housing off so I might get a better idea of what is happening, I also had a spark indicator on the distributor wires to see if the spark shuts down and a voltmeter on the power into the distributor) the engine just bogs down and then I pull over to the side wait a minute and can fire up again) however it will shut down again after I start driving for a little bit. When I restart the engine it will run up no problem to 3000 to 4000 rpm but stalls while driving when warmed up.
This engine is a "030" over 318 with an RV cam and has about 5000 mile on it since rebuild. I usually run at 2000 rpm at 60 mph and rarely drive faster than this.
I have a permanent tach and vacuum guage and it idles around 18"-20" at 700-750 rpm, I have always had loading up with fuel issues and erratic idle issues.Some times it will idle perfectly for 10 to 15 minutes and then start to run rich and stumble and stall. Never found a

For such a straight forward engine and systems I'm ready to put a gun to my head as I can't rely on this old girl.
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1,912 Posts
Bulkhead connectors are a known problem on B vans.

· Registered
6,087 Posts
I don't see where you state what year the van or the engine is. If the van's from the 70's, perhaps it's the electronic control module getting hot and shutting it down. If it doesn't have that, then I'm guessing it's a carb problem such as a float level not being at the proper height or the needle valve sticking.

· Registered
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Never did find an issue but the stalling never happened again and the GM HEI distributor is the best money I've spent on this truck as it lights up immediately when I crank it over.
Still have intermittent idle issues with the Carter BBD carb and hopefully will come across a decent used 4bbl manifold like an edlebrock torquemaster one of these days and flip it over to a 4bbl to take advantage of the rv cam that I put in when I had the engine rebuilt. Anyone got a manifold with a spreadbore setup so I can use a Quadrajet carb?

1,333 Posts
Well, you'll probably want an old Edelbrock SP2-P for the LA engine, the ports are smaller and sized appropriately for the 318. Contrast that to the Performer 2176/3776, which has ports more appropriate to a 360.

I had a SP2-P for awhile, but sold it some years back. Pulled it from a truck in a junkyard.
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