My 1972 350 shuts off randomly going down the road. After a few mins it will start up again and run fine....then do it again.


Asked by Sep 01, 2014 at 10:44 AM about the 1972 Chevrolet C/K 10

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I just had the carb redone, new fuel lines and a inline filter. It has a HEI distributor for over a year now.

20 Answers


I'd suspect a bad connection in the ignition system. Check the wiring at the starter, ignition switch, and the distributor. With the engine running wiggle and jiggle the wiring. When the engine quits, you've found the problem. HTH. -Jim

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

That's the second time I've heard that. I try that sometime this afternoon and repost. Thank you

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Would the Voltage regulator do that? Or would it just stop working completely?

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

Could also be the typical HEI module as they sometimes act like that as do the distributor pickup, but I'd try the module first.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

Most likely not the voltage regulator. A bad voltage regulator will make the alternator light come on while driving or stay on after the ignition is turned off. HTH. -Jim


Along with Js answer, an often overlooked problem is the Ignition Starter Switch located on the steering column inside the cab, under the dash. The 12v to the distributor coil is supplied directly (not fused) by the "RUN" position on this switch and out on the pink (pinkish purple) wire. The key controls this switch mechanically with a push rod. The contact inside the switch can go bad or if the switch is misaligned or loose and the detentes are worn (the whole thing is made of plastic) the contact may act "flaky". If it breaks contact, 12v is interrupted to the distributor and the engine dies. Start your engine and wiggle your key. If it causes the engine to hesitate or die then this is a sure thing. I would replace the switch because the contact problem may only be intermittent and the "key wiggle test" may not show any problem.

4 of 4 people found this helpful.

my car does the same thing.. Its a 69 camaro.. But my does it at a low idle.. no warning just shuts off like somebody turn off the key. Ill be siiting at a stop sign, getting ready to go and Bam!! shuts off, pulling in the garage making sure im in the right spot... Every time.. it just turns off. Never when Im driving it.. just whens its barely rolling.. Need to figure this out! Its making me nuts


Check the points contact plate and the wires, if the ground wire is broke and well as the condenser and coil trigger wire it can cause the problem.

I have a 89 Chevy Caprice Classic I have changed the distributor cap The rotor Ignition module Fuel pump Fuel filter Fuel injector Carburetor And it still starts up And shuts off Within 20 to 30 minutes


Have you replac d the distributor pickup coil?

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

no,, im upgrading i think. im installing a whole new MSD ig wire and coil this thursday. Everything will be new.. Im hoping it takes care of the problem. Some pretty weird stuff has happened, weird symptoms. But these cars are always a work in progress. Ive replaced everything.. I just feel like im missing something or looking right at it


If you are going ful MSD Ignition system then you most likely will cure your problem. Are you going with a certrifical advance distributor or a combo vacuum/centrifugal unit?


vacuum advance.. Its the MSD billet drop in distributer


OK A lot of people like the vacuum units, some go with centrifugal, especially if the engine is used in the upper RPM scale. Sounds like your on the right track.


I hope so.. at this point, there is nothing on the car that is not new except the distributor. My car is just a weekend driver. No high Rpm. I just really want reliability... and a little bit of speed.. you cant have these cars and not pounce on them every once in a while


my 62 chevy c10 is doing the same thing. dies after 10 minutes of driving, soon as i hit the freeWAY AND GOT TO ABOUT 50 it bogs and dies. will fire back up but gradually gets worse until it wont start. i got a msd vacuum drop in distributor and a edelbrock 600 on a 350. it breaks down on me EVERY DAMN TIME.just cost me $400 getting it towed off the freeway/tow away zone today. runs strong. great even. but after 10 minutes, sometimes 3 minutes it just loses power and dies. i thought i knew these old chevys really well. but this 62 is wooping my ass fellas...

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

Sounds like an ignition module failure.

had same problem with HEI conversion on 72 camaro the older cars couldn't handle the voltage draw ran a heavier wire and switch solved my problem

I have a 84 cutlass wit a 350 small block it's run gud but it just sit there it will cut off can someone tell me wit it is today it cut off on me y I was bout to pull off


Check the accelerator pump, it should give you a squirt of fuel everytime the throttle is moved, and I mean everytime, if it doesn't then it needs replaced, also if the carb hasn't been redone with the new methanol resistant components now would be a good time to do so.

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