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Old 02-07-2014, 04:29 PM   #1
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Angry Defeated by the Carb

BACKGROUND: Newbie. First time jeep owner, purchased this week. '90 YJ. 6 cycl. 5 spd. Carb. 85k on the odo.

SYMPTOMS: Stalls at idle. Dies at stop signs. Can be driven if you stay on the gas pedal. Has a loud "banshee" squeal when the RPMS pick up, but I think this may be unrelated as the belts were recently changed.

ADDITIONAL FACTORS: Upset wife. Limited mechanical ability/knowledge. No garage; have to use auto-hobby shop, about $3.50 an hour (not a problem).

After doing some research I found the following article.
Fix idle and stalling problems on a jeep cj-7 or wrangler yj

I successfully completed this and was feeling good and, given my lack of experience, was feeling pretty victorious. Unfortunately it did not fix the problem, the jeep still won't idle, and I left the shop feeling defeated. It seemed like the engine was running a little better, but it still stalls.

I should add that the jeep is dirty. As in, greasy. The choke plate was pure black. The air filter was pure black. The "tray" that holds the air filter had oil/gunk in the bottom of it. I wiped the engine and found that its not actually black its silver.

I'm not sure where to go from here. Can anyone give me some ideas on how to troubleshoot this?

I've heard it could be a vacuum leak--how do I trouble shoot that?

For now, here's my plan. I know it probably wont help, but I'm going to change the oil tomorrow, throw on a quality filter. (how many quarts should I pick up?). Get a new air filter, and put some sea foam in the tank. I'd like to think that sea foam would take care of this, but I'm skeptical.

Also, a "flexy" hose that goes from the exhaust to the air cleaner fell off when I took the lid of the air cleaner off. It's rusted, and brittle, I could barely get it back on so I'll be picking up one of those with some new screw clamps.

Thank you in advance for the advice and sorry for the overload. I'm a man's man but I'm diving into some new territory here (mechanical work).

Mike

P.S. I have read zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance.

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Old 02-07-2014, 06:30 PM   #2
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I bought mine with the weber carb swap done so im not sure about the "layout" of the carter. With that being said i had some similar symptoms, stalling if the revs. weren't high enough/squeling, it turned out the gasket where the carb attaches to the manifold dried up and was causing a vaccum leak. I didn't have time to replace it because it was the middle of the week and its my dd so i tourqed the bolts down good and haven't had any problems since.

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Old 02-07-2014, 06:48 PM   #3
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Also the oil capacity is 6 qts. but mine will take 6 1/2 so if you buy 7 you should be safe.
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Old 02-07-2014, 07:17 PM   #4
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If this is your first YJ with a Carter then that's the issue. When I bought mine it also had a Carter and it used to do this all the time. There is really no fix but to rebuild carb but I decided to upgrade to Weber. Wow! What a difference. It's been 10 years with no issues. Although, I think I might have just messed up by putting premium gas. If you can use a shop you can do this upgrade yourself, just make sure you follow directions and remember were all the hoses, etc. were connected before. I took pictures during the process.
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Old 02-07-2014, 10:58 PM   #5
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I also have a 90 4.2 with the Carter carb. Everyone bashes the Carter, but since I had mine tuned by a mechanic who knows carbs, it runs just fine with no more stalling. I had it adjusted a year ago to pass smog and it has stayed in tune. I also used Seafoam in the gas and I think it helped. CA emissions laws won't allow me to swap out the carb for another brand, our only option is TBI, and for me, that's just not worth the cost.
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Old 02-07-2014, 11:02 PM   #6
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Thanks for the tips. I will research rebuilding vs replacing the carb.

When you say "where the gasket connects to the manifold" are we talking from the air cleaner?

If I don't make any progress tomorrow I'll see if I can track down a local mechanic familiar with carbs.
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Old 02-08-2014, 07:26 AM   #7
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The carburator is bolted to the intake manifold with 4 bolts. In between the carb and intake mainifold there is a gasket. On mine it had dried up enough to cause a vaccum leak and was causing very similar symptoms. I tightned the bolts down and was planning on replacing the gasket later but it wasnt nesscessary because tightening them fixed it. Ill post some pictures later. BTW it was a very quick and easy fix and took me a half hour in a friends driveway.
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Old 02-08-2014, 09:14 AM   #8
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Is the carb you all are talking about a Carter YF? If it is I had one on a Ranger never was able to get it to run right. I even had it rebuilt by a carb expert friend of mine. He said it will run better but these carbs will NEVER run tight.I finally replaced it with a Holley/Webber off a Pinto to get it to run right.
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Old 02-08-2014, 09:56 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mowrangler View Post
Is the carb you all are talking about a Carter YF? If it is I had one on a Ranger never was able to get it to run right. I even had it rebuilt by a carb expert friend of mine. He said it will run better but these carbs will NEVER run tight.I finally replaced it with a Holley/Webber off a Pinto to get it to run right.
It's the Carter BBL
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Old 02-08-2014, 05:15 PM   #10
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This carburetor is notorious for the problem you described. I too live in CA. and can not replace it with a weber. I'm on my 2nd rebuilt carb.and it's now running great, but the last one only lasted about 2 years.The rebuilder said the computer controlled stepper motor driving the veritable jets you can see from the top fails and goes into a condition causing too much air in the mixture. It is difficult to rebuild at home and requires a new stepper motor (the big thing on the side with all the wires going to it). Get a quality rebuilt carb. or better yet change to a new weber if it's legal there.
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Old 02-08-2014, 05:27 PM   #11
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This is the weber carb so its more simplified and doesn't have as much shrouding for the air cleaner. The intake manifold is stock so that should look familiar.

Attachment 746601



Attachment 746617

These two show where the carb attaches to the manifold and the gasket in question.

Attachment 746625



Attachment 746633

These two show the bolts that would need tightened. The first pic shows the side of the carb on the driver side, the second one is closer to the engine. Theres 4 bolts, one on each corner.

Attachment 746641



Attachment 746657
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Old 02-08-2014, 06:12 PM   #12
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IF you are suspecting gasket/vacuum leaks, get a can of carb cleaner (you are gonna need this anyway so get TWO) and when it is running, spray the cleaner around the carb. IF the engine speeds up when you spray a specific area, there is a vacuum/gasket leak there.

Also, clean the throttle body and all linkages. Did your write up include adjusting the idle mixture screws? Did you adjust the slow/fast idle screws????

If you do not understand these questions, find an OLD TIME hot rod mechanic. Most of the newer guys do not understand the mechanics of the older venturi carbs.

CLEAN is a carb's friend.......
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Old 02-08-2014, 07:24 PM   #13
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If I can chime in, take bc3_Jeep's advice about finding a vacuum leak. From your symptoms, that's my number one guess. Ignore these fellow posters about the weber carbs. The webers are great while they're tuned but require quite a bit of maintenance to keep that way and you don't seem like someone who needs that hassle. A motorcraft 21xx or holley 2300 with float springs are the better carbs to put on a jeep anyway. The carters do run fine once rebuilt and installed on an engine with proper timing and other tuning. Rebuild cost is usually around $300 from a shop. This guy on ebay can set you up with a better carb and install kit for the same price if your smog laws aren't too uptight. http://www.ebay.com/itm/Motorcraft-2...7f10d3&vxp=mtr
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Old 02-08-2014, 07:33 PM   #14
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The weber carb is a good carb and ive never had to tune it. Anyway i haven't been sugesting a weber ive been describing a easy fix for a problem that ive had with the gasket where the carb attaches to the manifold. As far as i know, and correct me if im wrong, those 4 bolts are the same on the carter.
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Old 02-08-2014, 07:45 PM   #15
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x2 on what bc3 and c5 said..holleys and motorcrafts seem to give more troublefree operation than other carbs you can change to. I had a holley on a 4.2 that worked great
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Old 02-08-2014, 08:44 PM   #16
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Quote:
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The weber carb is a good carb and ive never had to tune it. Anyway i haven't been sugesting a weber ive been describing a easy fix for a problem that ive had with the gasket where the carb attaches to the manifold. As far as i know, and correct me if im wrong, those 4 bolts are the same on the carter.
Didn't mean to seem rude or anything, I said webers are great as long as they hold a tune, which 80% of the time they don't. You're just the lucky 20% then The OP has to find the vac leak before tightening anything down first though.

My bet is one of thousands of vacuum lines that comes stock on these jeeps, or the stock spacer under the carb is plastic and does crack if tightened too much or just age. The carter can have many vac leak locations on the carb itself like the choke housing, throttle shaft, etc.
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Old 02-08-2014, 09:00 PM   #17
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Didn't mean to seem rude or anything, I said webers are great as long as they hold a tune, which 80% of the time they don't. You're just the lucky 20% then The OP has to find the vac leak before tightening anything down first though.

My bet is one of thousands of vacuum lines that comes stock on these jeeps, or the stock spacer under the carb is plastic and does crack if tightened too much or just age. The carter can have many vac leak locations on the carb itself like the choke housing, throttle shaft, etc.
Im trying to help the OP same as you and theres no doubt that all those vacuum lines do more harm than good. I was not aware the stock spacer was plastic so he'll have to watch that. The OP said he had to keep the revs. high and there was a loud squeel and that sounds very similar to a problem i had with the carb not being tightened down enough. If what im suggesting doesn't help then he's going to have alot of searching and inspecting ahead of him.
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Old 02-09-2014, 08:13 AM   #18
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My 90 had similar issues, found a vacuum leak at the base gaskets so I replaced them as they were brittle and squashed. It came with a Weber when I purchased it last year. I replaced the gaskets and did a thorough cleaning on it. Runs a little better, not stalling as much now. I don't think it was set up right to begin with. I'm going with the Motorcraft 2150 from the guy on e-bay in Colorado, he'll set it all up for you so all you have to do is bolt it on, hook up the linkage, fire it up and adjust the timing. It's the same price as a rebuild. Also the Team Rush mod is worth the little amount of $$ and if you don't have to go through emissions the Nutter bypass is also a good mod. Never feel defeated, just move 4ward.
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Old 02-09-2014, 08:34 AM   #19
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. CA emissions laws won't allow me to swap out the carb for another brand, our only option is TBI, and for me, that's just not worth the cost.
The Motorcraft setup the guys are talking about that's on Ebay is available in two different versions. One non-smog and one that will pass emissions. I would look into it. He's got ones on now that are NEW, not rebuilt. Bought mine last night. :-)
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Old 02-09-2014, 09:32 AM   #20
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Again, thanks for the replies.

Had a good day in the garage yesterday. As I mentioned earlier this is a new-to-me YJ and it was neglected.

As Laredo suggested I changed the oil asap. It was pure sludge coming out of the oil pan. I was able to get 6 1/4 quarts in there, with room to spare, probably could have fit 6 1/2 as was mentioned. I also changed the air filter which was pure black, and dumped some sea foam in the gas tank.

Changed the fuel filter. I'm not sure what model I was watching in the youtube video, but the filter was behind the driver side rear tire. Found out mine is much smaller and is located in front of the carb. Easy swap. $7 part from NAPA...

A friend, and previous wrangler owner, joined me as I was buttoning everything up, and noticed that the idle screw was all the way out. I don't doubt that was causing part of the problem, but it isn't the whole problem. We were able to adjust it to keep it running, but its running high, about 1500 rpms. At least its driveable around town now. I'll fill up the tank drive around a bit, let the sea foam get through and see if I can start backing off on that idle screw. No doubt a carb cleaning/rebuild or replacement is due in the mid term. I didn't touch the screw under the idle screw, not really sure what that does (limited knowledge here).

On to the questions...

Is taking the carb apart, cleaning it, putting it back in with new gaskets synonymous with carb rebuild? I found this online at napa. This would be something I'd undertake with someone who has done it before.
NAPA AUTO PARTS

The jug that holds engine coolant is bone dry. I'll pick up some antifreeze today. I have heard in the past that you cant just dump that in, you want to mix it 50/50 with water. Also, maybe its best that I just drain whats in there and then fill it. Thoughts? How much does the engine usually take?

My friend popped off the distributor cap and said the pins looked a little worn down. $7 for a cap and $3 for the rotor at napa so no big deal there, i'll just replace them (being careful to put the plugs back on in the same position. Should I just go ahead and do the spark plugs while I'm at it?

Finally, still no progress on the squealing. I thought it might have been a belt because the belts are brand new. I loosened up the bolts holding the alternator and raised it a little bit. You can only hear the squeal inside the cab, its too loud with the engine running, from under the hood it sounds like its coming from the back of the engine, maybe on the passenger side.

Thanks again for the help, this thing is really coming along. Also thank you laredo for taking the time to post those pictures. I'll take a look at those bolts.
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Old 02-09-2014, 10:02 AM   #21
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Im glad your making progress. When i got my jeep i had pretty basic knowledge but i just kept reading and learning and now im able to help others. As far as the plugs i would replace them since you already did the cap and rotor and it sounds like the PO really abused it. Not sure if the chilton manual has a plug diagram but the haynes has pictures and descriptions of plugs on back page to let you know if the engine is running hot, fouling, etc. that could help diagnose some problems. The coolant is 50/50 ethylene glycol based antifreeze, if you flush the system yourself its pretty easy but you have to capture any fluid and dispose of it properly because it is toxic.
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Old 02-10-2014, 07:52 AM   #22
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Where in Oklahoma are you located? I might be able to help you out on a few things, if you're not on the other side of the state that is...
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Old 02-10-2014, 09:30 AM   #23
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Altus. :-( about an hour west of Lawton.

I think im going to buy a gasket kit for the carter, take it out, clean and reassemble it.

For you guys with the new carbs, did you switch to manual choke?
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Old 02-10-2014, 10:00 AM   #24
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Poo. I'm in McAlester. That's a pretty good run for me.
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Old 02-10-2014, 12:51 PM   #25
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Just had a friend look at it, who isn't a jeep owner, but recognized that the pressure control valve (pcv) needs to be replaced. Its got oil/gunk "all up in it."
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Old 02-10-2014, 10:32 PM   #26
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There is also a breather filter on the inner rim of the air filter housing, the one on mine was gunked up pretty bad. They're cheap to replace, you can cut a universal fit one to size. Also check out this site, it has a lot of useful information on the carbed engine.
http://home.sprynet.com/%7Edale02/
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Old 02-11-2014, 08:12 AM   #27
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Thanks for sharing that link. Kind of funny actually.... because there is a wire dangling and I have been trying to figure out what it is. Its that 02 sensor, only it is plugged in there (like in the picture). But what does it go into. The computer under the dash?
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Old 02-11-2014, 06:19 PM   #28
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I got a Motorcraft carb that has been converted to fit the Jeep on ebay. the guy converts the carb and has all the instructions to make the change. Increased the gas mileage and eliminated the massive vacuum problem.
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Old 02-11-2014, 07:25 PM   #29
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thanks teemo, that's what I'm looking at.

Today I've discovered that I smell like exhaust whenever I drive this thing. Not good.
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Old 02-11-2014, 11:53 PM   #30
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Quote:
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Thanks for sharing that link. Kind of funny actually.... because there is a wire dangling and I have been trying to figure out what it is. Its that 02 sensor, only it is plugged in there (like in the picture). But what does it go into. The computer under the dash?
There should be another wire for it to plug into. On my 90, the plug end of the wire coming from the computer (I guess that's where it's coming from) is cracked and almost broken, thankfully it stays plugged in. You should post some pics, your carb may have had the Nutter bypass where the computer is bypassed and no longer communicates with the carb or O2 sensor. You can google Nutter bypass to see what it looks like. It also gets rid of a lot of vacuum lines. It's a common procedure on Jeeps in states without emissions laws. If you post a pic of your setup, the guys will be able to tell you if it's been nuttered.

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