I have a '79 olds w/3.2 car starts & idles, but cuts out when depressing accelerator, if I put it in gear and hold accel. down, it bucks--cutting out as if it is not getting spark

Asked by Jul 27, 2015 at 12:29 AM about the 1979 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme

Question type: General

as above, but wif I hold accel. down, it will cut in & out, alternately firing & misfire, release accel & it dies, will restart & idle, but don't touch accel.

14 Answers


symptom/condition sounds lean, like no fuel pressure or volume, what are your results of fuel system testing? what is your current maintenance history ? do you just drive till it drops? or have you been careful and maintained it ? can you hear the pump ? or is it a mechanical pump? on the engine, vehicle being 36 years old, what parts are in use?

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Has the vehicle sat somewhere for years? now you are getting it running? whats the history surrounding it? the volatility of the fuel you have, a sample could be taken and left sit to look at. check odor, who knows, we cannot see it from here.


Clean carburetor with a can of spray carburetor cleaner use the whole can.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

If that 3,2L was carbureted, the two circuits for fuel delivery you describe acting up are main metering and acellerator pump, but first, what is the fuel amount, condition, pressure, and volume ? alot can be told from basic inspections and simple tests. what is the condition of your timing marks at tdc? compression stroke. Is your distrib cap wired correctly? are the cylinders numbered the way its wired currently? what is the current condition of the tuneup parts, all the maintenance parts. simple stuff ? vacuum hoses condition ? dteriorated? loose fitting ? grommets elbows and fittings are snug, not cracked or broken? might be easier to tow it to a tune shop or ask a technician friend to stop by.

Best Answer

I had one like this once where they had taken all of her savings, putting guess fixes on a poorly maintained GM engine. She had spent 1200 $. Wouldn't make it out of the driveway. she asked for help, 30 mile drive, Arranges to borrow money. !0 minutes later, we had trimmed the hose ends that fit loose on the carb/TBI, and found it still had the OEM rusted fuel filter 10 years+ in age. Whats the condition of your basic maintenance?

Best Answer

Her symptoms were like yours. pretty close, anyway. Theres a bulletin on hard starting and poor idle cold, dies when accellerate, its just a bunch of.. "nope it cant be that".. items

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

I disconnected & plugged the vac.line, started & ran with NO hesitation & revved it up, now to figure out what is next. Thnx to all!!

Thanx to all!!!! Some good things to check, it has been sitting for 1 1/2 mo. when this started, things to check are gas filter (about 1 yr. ago),vac hose (s), vac module. BUT, the last time I checked timing, I could not see the timing mark. Have had it since '82, it was my Mom's car, when she passed & I inherited it. Since I have had vinyl top replaced, painted, electric sun roof installed, E&G Classic Continental kit & Cadillac Gold grill, finally dual exhaust. Wife says get rid of it, I say no its paid for, still catches attention & I dare say there isn't another like it in US. I does need front suspension work & tranny leaks (after being overhauled) don't ask.


awesome, so it was sukkin air, what, to the one for the air cleaner (TAC bimetal) temperature jobbie? (vents vacuum for the air cleaner preheat door at specified temp) or some other vacuum line, or elbow or pcv line


You can clean the balancer, then wipe some touch up paint across the groove, then after it dries, wipe the balancer surface clean leaving the lighter paint color in the groove, ykno, the timing scale can be judged by its AVAV shape alone. but i like to have everything set with a vacuum gauge attached, bump the distrib, and see it improve or lose vacuum. since the parts arent exacly what the general intended. Excuse the ramble......................So when you trace your wires and get them plugged in right, maybe the timing mark will be in the scale?


trans leak can be positioning of dipstick tube, mine made the oring leak, but didnt look right, straightened around on it and it quit leaking. removed and sealed the pan bolt threads one bolt at a time. replaced the speedobullet (th350) B4 ' 73 and servocover o ring and spring less than 30 bucks total and had to sneak in the back of a trans shop to talk it over. This was after the rebuild the third time. I know why you say dont ask. She's sweet now tho. happy olds


It sounds like restriction in air flow. You`re catylick converter is plugged up. Suggest you disconnect it and try your test again. Good luck

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Thanks trumper, how long you been diagnosing catalysts with that technology?


He had a lean condition, he found a vacuum line problem.

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