77 Cutlass surpeme won't start, please help

100

Asked by Feb 26, 2013 at 01:52 PM

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

My 1977 Cutlass Supreme doesn't start if it sits for more than a day or two. To start it, I
have to take off the air cleaner and put some gas in the carburetor. I have had the
carburetor rebuilt, but this was happening before I did that and is still happening after.
Once I do get the car started by putting gas in the carburetor it usually starts for the rest of
the day.

17 Answers

100

Hi and thanks for responding. It's not a Brougham, it's a Cutlass Supreme. It's an automatic, V8, 350 Rocket engine, four barrel. Whatever help you can give is awesome and much appreciated! Alan

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.
100

Hi and thanks for responding. It's not a Brougham, it's a Cutlass Supreme. It's an automatic, V8, 350 Rocket engine, four barrel. Whatever help you can give would be awesome and much appreciated! Alan

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
100

Thanks a lot. I'll wait to hear from you. As I mentioned before, the carb was rebuilt a few months ago but I have had the problem before it was rebuilt and after.

100

I am the original owner. It's not a 442, it's just a Cutlass Supreme. The carb was rebuilt in the last year.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
100

Thanks, that's great. I will look and let you know if I can see the name or model #. I'll look tomorrow. Have a great night!

7,915

Does it start properly when cold if it has not been sitting for a period of time? If it does, but not after an extended time, then the problem is likely a hairline crack in the float bowl, allowing it t drain dry. If you can find another, identical, carburetor, I would try it and see if the problem goes away.

100

Hi and thanks for responding. It doesn't start when it's cold or when it's sat for a day or so. Once I get it started it will start a half hour later or a couple of hours later but not in the next day or so.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
7,915

There is one simple thing to check. Take the cover off the air cleaner, depress the throttle all the way, release, and see if the choke plates close. If so, then the choke is setting. If not, then the choke is not working at all. Also, check that the accelerator pump is working. With the car off, look down the carburetor throat,depress the throttle all the way. You should see the gas sprayed into the carb.

7,915

Ilregal: To find out if the choke is setting or not is the basic first step, no matter the brand. And if the choke is not setting, NO car will start when it is cold. Not without one hell of a fight, anyway. The accelerator pump gives the shot of gas similar to priming the carb with a bit of raw gas poured down the throat of the carb. As for the crack about sticking to Fords, I learned about carbs on a Holley 1 bbl on a Dodge Dart, and about 4 bbls on a Rochester Quadrajet on a 78 Buick Electra. I've also worked on the Carter AFB and Weber square bore 4 bbls. I know from carburetors.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
100

Hi, I looked at the carb and didn't see a name or a model #. I am really bad with this stuff and I apologize for that. I don't know cars at all. My buddy is coming over Saturday or Sunday and he knows way more than me, but not as much as you. He'll do what you suggest and then I'll write back to you. Thanks for everything and have a good few days and we'll talk soon.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
100

Thanks...you've been great help! Very nice of you!

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
100

That's cool, I really appreciate everything you're doing. I'll let you know after the weekend.

100

Well the choke plates close but when I press the gas pedal down, no gas squirts into the carb. It is bone dry. Does that mean for sure it's the accelerator pump? Also I apologize if this next question is a stupid question, but is the accelerator pump part of the rebuilt carb? If it is, then I should be able to go back to the rebuild guys and get them to fix it, shouldn't I ?

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
7,915

The next question is why there is no shot of gas. I suspect that the bowl is dry, which is why. Check the accelerator pump right after you shut the car off. The bowl will be full. My guess is the bowl is cracked and the gas is dripping out over night. Prime it, and it fills. Leave it sit 8 or 10 hours, and the bowl is empty. If the accelerator pump was not working at all, the car would bog and hesitate when you put your foot down on the gas pedal to accelerate.

100

Thanks for everything. I think I got lucky. My mechanic just told me he's just hired a guy that works totally on my type of car. I told him when the nicer weather comes I'll be bringing it t him with your notes and advice. I got my fingers crossed.Thanks for all your help and I should know in a month and a half or so. Have a great weekend!

100

Hi Michael, I hope you are well. It looks like we've figured out the problem with my 1977 Cutlass Supreme. It's the Thermal Vacuum Switch. We got the part but we now need a diagram of where all the hoses go etc. I've been searching online but can't seem to find a diagram. By any chance do you have one you can send me. Sorry to bother you, I just know you been so helpful in the past. Thanks, Alan

7,915

There should be a vacuum hose diagram on the fan shroud or rad support. The good thing is that there are not a lot of vacuum lines anyway. They may even still be routed correctly. I would go ahead and replace all of them as a matter of routine, following that diagram. Failing that, the diagram will be in both the HAYNES and CHILTON'S manuals for the car. They MAY be available new still, or look for the manuals on eBay. Best would be the factory service manual. You may be able to download the pages you need as well.

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