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2.8L Carburetor Choke Problem?

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Old 03-12-2006, 01:38 AM   #1
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Smile 2.8L Carburetor Choke Problem?

Hello, I have a 1984 S10 Pickup with a 2.8L. In the morning, I let it warm up about five to ten minutes and when I start out driving, if I give it any gas, it either hesitates a lot, or kills it. I think it is running too rich, or the choke is staying closed for too long. Some days even after driving all day, it still hesitates when I put my foot into it. A mechanic friend said it might be the choke sticking. Is this easily remedied? Or should I take it to a mechanic? I'm not THAT mechanically inclined.

Also, I was wondering what I could do to help gas mileage and add a little power. I'm planning on doing a tuneup because I just got the truck and haven't changed the spark plugs or cap and roter, and I think it needs it. I'm also going to get a K&N filter because it really needs that changed. Would a good exhaust help a lot with gas mileage?

I was looking at Edelbrock Titech coated headers which are sposed to add some power and a Dynomax Super Turbo Exhaust. With a V6 this small, would it be better to go dual exhaust or single outlet? A true dual header back exhaust, or a catback single?

Also, when I was into Hondas, I learned that in four cylinders, if you take the cat off, you lose a lot of torque, but add a little high end power. Well I would rather keep torque or add to it, so since my truck is too old for emissions testing, should I take off the cat or just get a higher flow cat? Will it make the sound raspy if I take it off? Thanks for your help. Sorry about so many questions.
Old 03-12-2006, 02:51 AM   #2
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Re: 2.8L Carburetor Choke Problem?

I'm new to this forum but here's what you can do. Warm it up and kill it by stepping on the gas. Then pull a spark plug and look at it. If it's black and sooty then you are running rich, which could be a stuck or misadjusted choke, or maybe just a dirty air filter. If the plug is clean then you are running lean, and the problem could be a vacuum leak, bad power valve or accellerator pump, plugged jets, etc. So if the air filter isn't dirty and you can't find a vacuum leak then it's probably time to get the carb rebuilt. Hope that helps.
Old 03-12-2006, 03:50 AM   #3
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Re: 2.8L Carburetor Choke Problem?

Thanks, that might be it cuzz the filter looks pretty dirty. The choke light always comes on though when it dies....

Anyone have any answers to my exhaust questions?
Old 03-12-2006, 02:00 PM   #4
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Re: 2.8L Carburetor Choke Problem?

I had an '82 years ago and the choke light did the same thing even though there wasn't anything wrong with it, so I think that's normal. But don't dismiss the vacuum leak because the air filter is dirty. Cracked vacuum lines are common with older vehicles. Check those plugs!

As for the exhaust, you can plonk down lots of money but you will get marginal improvements because the 2.8 is a marginal engine to begin with. My suggestion would be to get rid of the cat and put your money into the top end instead, by swapping the carb for a TBI setup. This system is more efficient, more responsive, -much- more reliable and with a lot less fuss. Just about any air filter will do -- the K&N is really meant for folks who are trying to trim a few points off their 1/4-mile times with wide-open throttle.

There are several other things you can do to improve mileage and get more power (or rather, waste less of the power you have). Make the vehicle lighter with fiberglass body parts, reduce friction by making sure everything is well lubed, get some lightweight wheels, etc. If you have an automatic and lots of money, get a torque converter with a higher conversion factor (not the same as stall speed) and you will notice a -big- improvement when you step on the gas.

Or you could just toss that tired old 2.8 and drop in a fresh 3.4.
Old 03-12-2006, 02:20 PM   #5
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Re: 2.8L Carburetor Choke Problem?

those rotton chester carbs were the worst! I had so many probelms with my old 82 that I traded it in a few years later on a fuelie which gave me no problems for over 100k.
Old 03-12-2006, 06:25 PM   #6
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Re: 2.8L Carburetor Choke Problem?

Quote: Originally Posted by Scott89racin
those rotton chester carbs were the worst! I had so many probelms with my old 82 that I traded it in a few years later on a fuelie which gave me no problems for over 100k.
I got rid of mine after the distributor slipped a bit, the engine backfired and literally cracked the carb in two. At the time it was $800 to replace it -- ridiculous. So I just bought an aftermarket Holley and installed a manual choke. Worked great until they tightened up emissions.
Old 03-13-2006, 02:14 AM   #7
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Re: 2.8L Carburetor Choke Problem?

How hard is it to convert it over to TBI? Is it expensive? I know they have rebuilt Holley Carbs for it....should I look into it? They're about three hundred bucks. I don't have enough money to invest in getting a 3.4L right now. I just want to make my 2.8L more reliable and get a little extra power outta it. Oh yeah, I changed the air filter, and it's still running bad. Also, I got some STP carburetor cleaner and put it in my gas, and that hasn't helped either. I haven't checked the plug thing yet, haven't had the time. I guess for now I'm just gonna hafta deal with the hesitation and try not to pull out in front of anyone.
Old 03-13-2006, 05:26 AM   #8
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Re: 2.8L Carburetor Choke Problem?

Quote: Originally Posted by S10_4x4
How hard is it to convert it over to TBI?
That depends on how mechanically inclined you are. The hardest part is installing the oxygen sensor, which requires some welding in a tight spot. There are several articles on the net that discuss the conversion.

Quote: Originally Posted by S10_4x4
Is it expensive?
It can be less expensive than a custom exhaust system which, of course, won't solve your carb problems. Get hooked up with a local mechanic or club and see what someone would charge to do the swap. Make sure the person has done it before -- and done it sucessfully.

Quote: Originally Posted by S10_4x4
I know they have rebuilt Holley Carbs for it....should I look into it? They're about three hundred bucks. I don't have enough money to invest in getting a 3.4L right now. I just want to make my 2.8L more reliable and get a little extra power outta it.
It might be better to figure out the problem first, then consider your options based on what needs to be done to get it running. For example, if the carb IS bad then you will need to decide if you want to fix the stock POS carb, buy an aftermarket carb, or swap to a TBI setup. On the other hand, if it's a cheap fix like a cracked vacuum line or bad timing then you are free to spend your money on whatever you want.

As for extra power, just remember that no matter how much power you get you'll always want more. But the stock 2.8 has limits. You could build one to get the HP of a 3.4 or 4.3 but we're talking new pistons, rods, balancing, roller lifters, ported heads...... and more money than simply swapping in a stock 3.4 or 4.3. I find it best to stay within the design limits of the engine and modify the rest of the truck to best utilize the power available.

Quote: Originally Posted by S10_4x4
Oh yeah, I changed the air filter, and it's still running bad. Also, I got some STP carburetor cleaner and put it in my gas, and that hasn't helped either. I haven't checked the plug thing yet, haven't had the time. I guess for now I'm just gonna hafta deal with the hesitation and try not to pull out in front of anyone.
Sounds like a plan, I guess.
Old 03-13-2006, 11:34 PM   #9
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Re: 2.8L Carburetor Choke Problem?

Quote: Originally Posted by S10_4x4
Hello, I have a 1984 S10 Pickup with a 2.8L. In the morning, I let it warm up about five to ten minutes and when I start out driving, if I give it any gas, it either hesitates a lot, or kills it. I think it is running too rich, or the choke is staying closed for too long. Some days even after driving all day, it still hesitates when I put my foot into it. A mechanic friend said it might be the choke sticking. Is this easily remedied? Or should I take it to a mechanic? I'm not THAT mechanically inclined.

Also, I was wondering what I could do to help gas mileage and add a little power. I'm planning on doing a tuneup because I just got the truck and haven't changed the spark plugs or cap and roter, and I think it needs it. I'm also going to get a K&N filter because it really needs that changed. Would a good exhaust help a lot with gas mileage?

I was looking at Edelbrock Titech coated headers which are sposed to add some power and a Dynomax Super Turbo Exhaust. With a V6 this small, would it be better to go dual exhaust or single outlet? A true dual header back exhaust, or a catback single?

Also, when I was into Hondas, I learned that in four cylinders, if you take the cat off, you lose a lot of torque, but add a little high end power. Well I would rather keep torque or add to it, so since my truck is too old for emissions testing, should I take off the cat or just get a higher flow cat? Will it make the sound raspy if I take it off? Thanks for your help. Sorry about so many questions.
I've got an 83 with the Varijet as well. Your hesitation problem may not be choke related at all. This model is equipped with an EFE system - basically a heater mounted under the carb that's controlled by a sensor screwed into the water jacket on the manifold. If this thing fails you'll get some hesitation occasionally, but, really bad when its cold. You can check it out with a Volt-Ohm meter to see if its functional. I took mine out simply because it was causing vacuum leaks, and, put up with the hesitation. I also took the convertor off my truck - seemed to give it a bit more power.

Regards:
Oldengineer
Old 03-17-2006, 12:10 AM   #10
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Re: 2.8L Carburetor Choke Problem?

Ok, instead of replacing the stock crappy 2 barrell Rochester Carb, I've been thinking about replacing it with a 4 barrell. If I'm going to put money into it, I might as well do something to get more performance out of it. I found an Edelbrock intake manifold base and a top on summitracing.com for a four barrell square bore carburetor that fits my engine. Does this mean that I will be able to fit on any Chevy four barrell square bore carb? Does it have to be for a V6 or can it be one for a small block? There is a Rochester 4 barrell that Holley remanufactures that is for a 4.3L. That's the only V6 one I saw on that site. Would a 600cfm carb fit my engine? Would a 2.8L do alright with that big of carburetor?
Old 03-17-2006, 02:11 AM   #11
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Re: 2.8L Carburetor Choke Problem?

Quote: Originally Posted by S10_4x4
Ok, instead of replacing the stock crappy 2 barrell Rochester Carb, I've been thinking about replacing it with a 4 barrell. If I'm going to put money into it, I might as well do something to get more performance out of it. I found an Edelbrock intake manifold base and a top on summitracing.com for a four barrell square bore carburetor that fits my engine. Does this mean that I will be able to fit on any Chevy four barrell square bore carb? Does it have to be for a V6 or can it be one for a small block? There is a Rochester 4 barrell that Holley remanufactures that is for a 4.3L. That's the only V6 one I saw on that site. Would a 600cfm carb fit my engine? Would a 2.8L do alright with that big of carburetor?
Quick answer: No. Want more power? Get a bigger engine. It's that simple. For the money you would spend on getting the same HP as, say, a stock 3.4, you could buy a 3.4 and it would last a lot longer.

Now for the $64,000 question: Why not just pull a spark plug and look at it? Or check for cracked vacuum lines? Why assume that the problem is the carb when it's very possible it's not? Or are you just looking for a reason to try and blow up your engine?
Old 12-23-2008, 12:23 PM   #12
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Re: 2.8L Carburetor Choke Problem?

Quote: Originally Posted by BajaWa
I had an '82 years ago and the choke light .........
Ok , my choke light doesn't come on. I hate electronics - anything fairly simple I could check to get this choke working?
Old 12-24-2008, 07:21 PM   #13
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Re: 2.8L Carburetor Choke Problem?

I do not agree with calling the orig varajet (2se/e2se) carbs a POS. Much better mpg yet still allowing for decent power for daily/average use (if you want a bit more at the expense of worse mpg then a weber or holley replacement can be had of course).

I've tried the Weber, and Holly wasn't even entertained (piss poor mpg). Although the move to tbi or fi is beneficial, every experienced carb tech I've spoken to and learned from has relayed the same about the old rochester 2bbl's. Really, it's more of a case where most people haven't a clue as to how to maintain/rebuild these old rochesters (and it really isn't too involved nor expensive).
Old 12-24-2008, 07:24 PM   #14
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Re: 2.8L Carburetor Choke Problem?

Quote: Originally Posted by lowmileage
Ok , my choke light doesn't come on. I hate electronics - anything fairly simple I could check to get this choke working?

You can put on a new choke, I've done it myself. Buy replacement choke, drill out pop rivets, note it's setup/install...install new elec choke (using screws/nuts instead of re-riveting if you want).

A full cleaning and new float/needle/seat would be a good call too.

New efe gasket (or go with a non-heated base gasket if you're not in real freezing climates). Torque carb back down nice and snug.
Check vac lines (replace 1 by 1).

Or buy a reman 2se/e2se at guaranteedcarbs.com

Last edited by joed; 12-24-2008 at 07:26 PM.
Old 12-24-2008, 07:28 PM   #15
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Re: 2.8L Carburetor Choke Problem?

Quote: Originally Posted by Scott89racin
those rotton chester carbs were the worst! I had so many probelms with my old 82 that I traded it in a few years later on a fuelie which gave me no problems for over 100k.
Says you.
300K on this 85 s-10. Still running like a champ.
Old 12-24-2008, 07:57 PM   #16
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Re: 2.8L Carburetor Choke Problem?

Quote: Originally Posted by joed
Says you.
300K on this 85 s-10. Still running like a champ.
hey, you never know, he could have changed his mind in the last 3 years(well almost) this thread has been open.
Old 12-24-2008, 08:47 PM   #17
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Re: 2.8L Carburetor Choke Problem?

Hahahhaa...

Oh my, sorry. I didn't notice the age of this one.
Hilarious.

happy holidays!!
Old 12-24-2008, 09:43 PM   #18
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Re: 2.8L Carburetor Choke Problem?

Quote: Originally Posted by joed
Hahahhaa...

Oh my, sorry. I didn't notice the age of this one.
Hilarious.

happy holidays!!
happy holidays
Old 12-29-2008, 09:14 AM   #19
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Re: 2.8L Carburetor Choke Problem?

Quote: Originally Posted by joed
You can put on a new choke, I've done it myself. Buy replacement choke, drill out pop rivets, note it's setup/install...install new elec choke (using screws/nuts instead of re-riveting if you want).

A full cleaning and new float/needle/seat would be a good call too.

New efe gasket (or go with a non-heated base gasket if you're not in real freezing climates). Torque carb back down nice and snug.
Check vac lines (replace 1 by 1).

Or buy a reman 2se/e2se at guaranteedcarbs.com
I did a rebuild of the carb a few years back so the needle/seat and float were replaced. What I meant by the choke lite not coming on is that I think I'm not getting power to the wire that heats up the choke spring. The fuse isn't blown in the fuse panel that says "choke" and the line from the carb goes into a conduit. When the power is on, is there a volt rating that should be on the line?

And yes, belated Merry Christmas
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