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jakeduke
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Date Posted:09/28/2018 3:44 PMCopy HTML

Growing up in the 70's and 80's the sound of a car cranking and not starting always got my attention.  I suppose it was related to the strange feeling of being stranded at times with my stepmom in a parking lot at the mall or grocery store.  Cars were unreliable at the time, and it was not uncommon for her to have problems with her Nova.

The first experience I had that really attracted me was in 9th grade.  My debate teacher was an attractive lady, mid-30's and drove an mid 80's Oldsmobile station wagon.  She drove me and 5 other classmates to a debate in a nearby city.  When the debate was over we went to a restaurant for dinner.  When we finished and tried to leave her car wouldn't start.

I was sitting in the passenger's seat.  She had on a dress, pantyhose and 80's style open toe dress shoes.  I felt butterflies in my stomach as she twisted the key for long periods of time, and the wagon showed no signs of starting.  The red lights on the dash were pulsing as the car cranked and cranked.  After about 5 tries she waited for about 3 minutes and tried again.  I remember feeling embarrassed as I stared at her foot holding the accelerator to the floor.  I wanted to watch but felt like she knew I was staring at her.  The engine would periodically sound like it was going to catch, but wouldn't start.  I wish I had a video of that incident.

Murmur79 Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #1
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Re:First Experiences

Date Posted:09/28/2018 6:26 PMCopy HTML

Wow great story! :-) How did it end? Did she get it started? Did she made any comments?
coldblooded2 Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #2
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Re:First Experiences

Date Posted:09/29/2018 8:54 PMCopy HTML

Did she flood it, was she pumping at the beginning or holding it to the floor the whole time? were the other kids upset or quiet? How did you get home?
jakeduke Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #3
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Re:First Experiences

Date Posted:10/02/2018 7:13 PMCopy HTML

Did she flood it, was she pumping at the beginning or holding it to the floor the whole time? were the other kids upset or quiet? How did you get home?

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Initially, everyone was talking.  It wasn't until the 3rd or 4th unsuccessful try to start the car someone said "Uh-oh".  Then everyone was quiet.  I could tell she was embarrassed and getting upset, but trying to be calm.


She didn't really do anything wrong.  She gave it a couple of gentle pumps and tried several times.


After it was obvious that the car was flooded she would wait about 3-4 minutes in between tries and hold the pedal to the floor.  The car would sound like it was about to start and she kept her foot on the floor like she was supposed to do for a flooded car, it just wouldn't turn over.  


I know she knew I was staring at her foot---she was too several times, just to make sure she had it all the way down, I guess.  


She would hold the key cranking longer and longer each time, in desperation. 


After about 20-30 minutes of cranking, waiting and cranking, she went back into the restaurant and called her husband to come help.  When she came back the battery was getting weaker.  She would pump it in once or twice in between tries but mostly held it to the floor.  The car never started.  Her husband took us all back to school.

dudedillio Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #4
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Re:First Experiences

Date Posted:10/03/2018 1:13 PMCopy HTML

What was her normal starting routine? Did she pump it a couple times to set the choke/prime the carb? Or Did she hold it slightly down, perhaps adjusting the position of the gas while cranking, trying to find what the engine wants? Or Did she gently feather it while cranking (my favorite - it’s like tickling the car while it’s laughing back at her)?
jakeduke Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #5
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Re:First Experiences

Date Posted:10/04/2018 1:19 PMCopy HTML

I don't know what her normal starting routine was. This was the only incident I witnessed. I have fantasized about that ever since. She had red toenail polish and was an attractive lady. She didn't really gently feather the floor mounted pedal. She was more of a firm pump and hold, and really had her foot on the floorboard--- kind of mad and embarrassed the Oldsmobile wouldn't start. If I were her husband, I would have taken advantage of the opportunity to see her cranking that car. The sound of that car almost starting, but not quite catching was awesome, with the look of concern on her face. If I were him, I would have made sure that car was really flooded before she tried to leave the house on multiple occasions and enjoyed!
badmotor12 Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #6
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Re:First Experiences

Date Posted:10/04/2018 11:20 PMCopy HTML

What did the problem end up being did she ever get it running again after that night?
coldblooded2 Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #7
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Re:First Experiences

Date Posted:10/05/2018 12:41 AMCopy HTML

Obviously I wasn’t there so this opinion is based on my experiences with GM cars of the 70/80’s. Assuming that the engine was still warm from he drive to the restaurant and assuming from the description of her outfit that it was a warm night( don’t know where you lived) the few “gentle pumps “ she gave the olds before she cranked it was a bad idea. Her pumps probably set the choke in a too rich position and the extra gas in the carb was enough to cause a problem. If she had immediately held the pedal down it might have worked, but it sounds like the choke was stuck and wouldn’t allow enough air in the mix to let the engine fire completely. If someone had opened the air cleaner and stuck a pen in to open the butterfly it probably would have started. Did her husband try to start it or help her or did he just pick you up and leave the car?
dudedillio Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #8
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Re:First Experiences

Date Posted:10/05/2018 9:25 AMCopy HTML

My mom had to stick the pen in her Ford Ranger a few times. Also had to do it with her C-10 a couple times, though one time it really wouldn’t start because the coil was failing.

jakeduke Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #9
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Re:First Experiences

Date Posted:10/05/2018 1:21 PMCopy HTML

Her husband did try to start the car a couple of times, but the wagon wouldn't start for him either. He didn't bother to open the hood. She was at school the next day. I'm not sure what happened to the car. Maybe they went back later and got it going.
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Re:First Experiences

Date Posted:10/05/2018 1:51 PMCopy HTML

I agree with the GM cars analysis. If she pumped it and it was warm she probably stuck the choke. We had a Oldsmobile Delta 88 that my wife drove. She would flood it and end up stranded on almost a monthly basis. She would always pump the accelerator whether the engine was warm or cold. The car could usually be unflooded by holding the pedal down and turning the key. But there were occasions when the choke would stick and she would crank and crank and it wouldn't start.
coldblooded2 Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #11
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Re:First Experiences

Date Posted:10/06/2018 8:55 PMCopy HTML

I can't count how many times I helped out a woman in a gm car who was stuck with a closed choke and a warm engine. even if they held it to the floor it didn't matter if the butterfly was closed or almost closed, they were flooded and stranded if they didn't know hat to do or have someone help them. It happened with other makes of cars too but gm was definitely the worst... I have a feeling that your teacher had problems other times. she wouldn't have known to pin the pedal to the floor unless someone had told her and she had flooded it out before.
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Re:First Experiences

Date Posted:10/08/2018 1:27 AMCopy HTML

I can attest to the closed choke. Although slightly entertaining, it was an aggravation to get a call from my wife in the middle of the day when she was stranded in a parking lot because she flooded the Oldsmobile again and again. She refused to learn how to take off the air cleaner and unstick the butterfly. I would get an angry call, "The car won't start again! It smells like gas, and I've tried it over and over with the pedal to the floor!" If I was lucky I could get to the parking lot before she ran the battery all the way down. As I drove up I would hear the sound of the flooded Olds cranking and cranking as she beat on the steering wheel and slammed the pedal into the floorboard. Other times I would have to break out the jumper cables and fix two problems--- a dead battery and a stuck choke and flooded carb.


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