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Old 01-10-2018, 08:37 PM   #1
milanoliver
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Default 1978 244 Cold start issue (B21A)

European 1978 Volvo 244 with B21A (Stromberg). I have a hard time starting my engine when it's cold outside. It takes a while for it to start, even with the choke pulled all the way. Sometimes, even when I drive for a while (normal engine operating temp), it stalls when idling , and then, having a hard time to start it again. Now I'm afraid to be stranded somewhere remote. Recently replaced the fuel pump (the mechanical one in the engine bay), still no change. Has new spark plugs and wires, and battery is relatively new.

What should I look for? Carburetor? Generator? Wiring issue? In tank fuel pump?

Please help!!!
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Old 01-10-2018, 08:55 PM   #2
ghettobrick
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If it's the same as a Canadian car and has points and condenser they may be your problem. The Stromburg 175CD should have a diaphragm in it that can tear as well and cause weird issues. Both were common problems and are relatively easy to check, adjust, or replace.
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Old 01-11-2018, 09:16 AM   #3
petiww
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Yes, ignition wise the contact breaker can crap itself fairly easily, causing all sort of issues. If the contact surfaces are worn you wont get a clear "breaking" signal - unstable ignition, no start and poor running conditions. My buddy once got stranded because the bakelite follower broke in half...
Clean contact faces, properly set up gap (0,4mm on ours), good condenser and a properly set up ignition advance with a strobe light is the key.

Carb wise, I don't know if your car sat for a relative long time, but gunk from older fuel can block the main jet nozzle (I had this on my beige donor car) so maybe it would be a good time to order a gasket set, tear it apart and clean it. Usually there is no need to adjust anything when its apart, and fortunately its a fairly easy design. Diaphragm can be faulty as well, along with the lack of ATF oil on the top.
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Old 01-11-2018, 09:46 AM   #4
vwbusman66
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What prompted the fuel pump change?

I would first check for oil in the removable diaphragm piston- if none, put a thin oil of any type in there.
Then, I'd look for a vacuum leak by spraying some kind of petroleum aerosol- vac advance or any remaining emissions equipment could be culprits. Finally, let it get into its warm stall.

To me, this sounds like a fuel related issue. If it were electrical/ignition based, cold starting and hot starting would both be comparable and wouldn't cause the low idle/sputter situation. The performance/stalling/running would suck across the whole RPM range. Does the engine pop/spit when you blip the throttle?
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Old 01-11-2018, 04:13 PM   #5
milanoliver
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vwbusman66 View Post
What prompted the fuel pump change?

I would first check for oil in the removable diaphragm piston- if none, put a thin oil of any type in there.
Then, I'd look for a vacuum leak by spraying some kind of petroleum aerosol- vac advance or any remaining emissions equipment could be culprits. Finally, let it get into its warm stall.

To me, this sounds like a fuel related issue. If it were electrical/ignition based, cold starting and hot starting would both be comparable and wouldn't cause the low idle/sputter situation. The performance/stalling/running would suck across the whole RPM range. Does the engine pop/spit when you blip the throttle?
The old pump had a leak.

And yes sometimes the engine would jerk when driving, like the fuel supply was suddenly interrupted. It's not happening too often though, both stalling and jerking.
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Old 01-11-2018, 04:17 PM   #6
milanoliver
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petiww View Post
Yes, ignition wise the contact breaker can crap itself fairly easily, causing all sort of issues. If the contact surfaces are worn you wont get a clear "breaking" signal - unstable ignition, no start and poor running conditions. My buddy once got stranded because the bakelite follower broke in half...
Clean contact faces, properly set up gap (0,4mm on ours), good condenser and a properly set up ignition advance with a strobe light is the key.

Carb wise, I don't know if your car sat for a relative long time, but gunk from older fuel can block the main jet nozzle (I had this on my beige donor car) so maybe it would be a good time to order a gasket set, tear it apart and clean it. Usually there is no need to adjust anything when its apart, and fortunately its a fairly easy design. Diaphragm can be faulty as well, along with the lack of ATF oil on the top.
Thanks for your advice! I'll look into it.

I also keep an eye on your project progress. Awesome job dude!
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Old 01-11-2018, 04:21 PM   #7
milanoliver
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghettobrick View Post
If it's the same as a Canadian car and has points and condenser they may be your problem. The Stromburg 175CD should have a diaphragm in it that can tear as well and cause weird issues. Both were common problems and are relatively easy to check, adjust, or replace.
I'm pretty sure it's a Canadian equivalent. When I bought the car 3 years ago, I had the carburetor checked. It didn't need any adjustments or gasket replacement. Though the PO said the car had sat for 10 years, till about a couple years before I bought it.
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