Author Topic: 1986 Chieftain Problems After Sitting  (Read 426 times)

Offline RonV

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  • Posts: 13
  • Member since: 2019
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1986
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain 22
  • Chassis: Chevy
  • Engine: 454
1986 Chieftain Problems After Sitting
« on: August 16, 2019, 10:53 PM »
 Hello everyone
I bought a 1986 Chieftain 22 foot, it has a 454 on a Chevy chassis with a Quadrojet carburetor and it will not start now after sitting for 2 years.
It ran fine when I parked it and I added fuel stabilizer, the gas in the tank smelled like varnish so the fuel stabilizer went bad, I bypassed the fuel tank and connected 5 gallon gas container to the manual fuel pump on the engine.
When I turn the Key nothing but the break light comes on when I try to start it, turn signals work and wipers and a/c fan on dash, horn and headlight do not work.
Ran a wire to the starter solenoid and to the battery + side and put in a bush button, turned the key to on and pushed the button and it started and ran for 30 seconds or so and died, the carburetor is getting gas but will not start and only turns with no sign of starting, any idea what the problem could be?.
From what I read it says to pour about a ΒΌ cup of gas in the vent tube of the carburetor to fill the float bowl, I would think this is a common problem everyone here has had one time or another and would save some time asking first.
Some say check the line fuse if it has 1 or more, and check for spark and the ICM and others things which I will do, just trying to see if that is correct, if it started the first time it might be something different.
Why will it not turn over with the key? Why no horn and headlights?
My plan was to get new spark plugs and wires and a new ICM Ignition Control Modulator and Distributor cap and rotor but need to figure what happened from the time I parked it to why nothing works now.
Any suggestions on where I should start?, if I can get it started first I can trouble shoot why the lights and horn and key switch does not work, no sign of mice or rats or other things chewing on anything.
It took me a week to find the fuse box under the radio and there are no documents on Winnebago website for a 1986 Chieftain 22 foot, I got lucky and found this place after several hours of searching
Thanks for any help you can provide.
Ron
 

Offline Rickf1985

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  • Posts: 5422
  • Member since: 2013
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1989
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain
  • Chassis: Chevy
  • Engine: 454
Re: 1986 Chieftain Problems After Sitting
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2019, 08:55 AM »
First main question is going to be did the gas have ethanol in it? Fuel stabilizer is only good for 6-9 months at best and that is with a completely full tank. Where are you located? If it had ethanol in it and it sat for two years you have a major case of phase separation and you probably have a carburetor that looks like it had acid run through it. The alcohol will absorb water from the air and that will accumulate in the tank and lines and carb and form acid.
As far as it not starting from the key that can be any things starting with the neutral safety switch. Could be a bad connection at the solenoid above the alternator. Two years without running, were the batteries kept charged or are thee new batteries. reading your description again sounds like the neutral safety switch, make sure it is in neutral or park. Hold it in start while running the gear shift back and forth through the whole range and see if it catches anywhere. You can carefully just dump some gas down the carb and try to start it gain, keep a large rag handy in case it catches on fire so you can just smother it out. If it starts again that way then the pump is probably bad also or the filter at the carb is clogged. No matter what the carb will need to come off and be rebuilt.

Offline RonV

  • *
  • Posts: 13
  • Member since: 2019
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1986
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain 22
  • Chassis: Chevy
  • Engine: 454
Re: 1986 Chieftain Problems After Sitting
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2019, 11:13 AM »
Thanks for the reply Rick.
I live it Texas and it is hot here 107 at times, the gas has ethanol in it 10%, I just pumped 7 gallons out of the fuel tank that is a 30 gallon tank I think, the gas looks reddish and might be rust? So I will drop the fuel tank and clean it out or replace it. The in tank fuel pump clicks for a few seconds and might be good but will check it or get a new one.
Here are some pictures of the carb and solenoid,


 stamped on the carb is what I think is the carb number 17085212   0066  HPA, I could not see any other numbers on the carb where it said the numbers would be.
I pulled the batteries when I parked the rv and installed new ones when I started it

Online BamBam

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  • Posts: 64
  • Member since: 2018
  • I own: I don't own one but I want one!
Re: 1986 Chieftain Problems After Sitting
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2019, 11:39 AM »
What Rick said! I'd also spray a bunch of Gumout carb cleaner through that carb once you get it runnin. I'd also clean up some of your electrics as well. Good Luck

Offline Rickf1985

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  • Posts: 5422
  • Member since: 2013
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1989
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain
  • Chassis: Chevy
  • Engine: 454
Re: 1986 Chieftain Problems After Sitting
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2019, 01:19 PM »
The red is degraded gas and if you had 10% ethanol in there for three years I think you are going to find you will have to replace anything made of rubber in the fuel system. Pumps, hoses, carb parts. And the carb may be a special case. I have a picture of one that was left with ethanol gas in it, I will try to find the picture, it is not pretty. Nor is it rebuildable.
Here it is, notice all of the white powder? That is aluminum oxide from where the alcohol attacked the carburetor body.









Offline RonV

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  • Posts: 13
  • Member since: 2019
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1986
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain 22
  • Chassis: Chevy
  • Engine: 454
Re: 1986 Chieftain Problems After Sitting
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2019, 02:32 PM »
Rick is this a good starting point?
I can get a gallon of new gas and attach it to my manual fuel pump on the engine to bypass the fuel tank pump and see if it will start, should I fill the fuel bowl first or just put some gas in the carburetor to see if it turns over.
If it turns over, next step to rebuild the carburetor if it does, if it does not start then the carburetor needs to be rebuilt, if it starts after the rebuild then I can work on the fuel system and flush out the tank and check the in tank fuel pump if it is good or needs to be replaced and flush the lines and replace what is needed.

Offline Rickf1985

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  • Posts: 5422
  • Member since: 2013
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1989
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain
  • Chassis: Chevy
  • Engine: 454
Re: 1986 Chieftain Problems After Sitting
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2019, 10:58 AM »
If you have a small squirt bottle then fill the float bowl through the vent tube sticking up. These carbs have a huge bowl so it will take quite a bit to fill it. You can try the can to the fuel pump but to be honest I would replace the fuel pump anyway. If the carb is all white and chalky inside like the one in my picture you are better of buying a replacement since nothing in that carb will be any good.

Offline RonV

  • *
  • Posts: 13
  • Member since: 2019
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1986
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain 22
  • Chassis: Chevy
  • Engine: 454
Re: 1986 Chieftain Problems After Sitting
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2019, 03:42 PM »
Thanks Rick, I found the carb number
Quadrojet 17085212   0066  HPA, and the rebuild Kit for it but can't seem to find a replacement carburetor if I need to replace it.

Offline Rickf1985

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  • Posts: 5422
  • Member since: 2013
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1989
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain
  • Chassis: Chevy
  • Engine: 454
Re: 1986 Chieftain Problems After Sitting
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2019, 07:18 PM »
Summit sells them or a lot of people replace them with Edelbrock Performer carbs.

Offline RonV

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  • Posts: 13
  • Member since: 2019
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1986
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain 22
  • Chassis: Chevy
  • Engine: 454
Re: 1986 Chieftain Problems After Sitting
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2019, 07:24 PM »
Rick a suppler said why would I need a replacement carburetor if I already have a carburetor, he said I just need a kit to rebuild it, he said just clean the parts with brake and carb cleaner with tooth brush and a tooth pick and do not use any metal or brass brushes and clean every hole and inch of it.

Did you mean buy another carburetor or the kit to rebuild it? 

Offline BrandonMc

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  • Posts: 189
  • Member since: 2016
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1987 coach / 1988 chassis
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain
  • Chassis: P30
  • Engine: 454
Re: 1986 Chieftain Problems After Sitting
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2019, 08:49 AM »
Rick a suppler said why would I need a replacement carburetor if I already have a carburetor, he said I just need a kit to rebuild it, he said just clean the parts with brake and carb cleaner with tooth brush and a tooth pick and do not use any metal or brass brushes and clean every hole and inch of it.


I'd try the kit and clean and rebuild first unless you want to spend 400+ bucks. Take it off first though, and see what you got like rick had mentioned.

Offline ErikTande

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  • Posts: 53
  • Member since: 2017
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1984
  • Make: Fleetwood
  • Model: Southwind
  • Chassis: Chevy
  • Engine: 454
Re: 1986 Chieftain Problems After Sitting
« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2019, 11:14 AM »
This video is excellent for a quadrajet rebuild:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLpUqS9zrP8

Offline Rickf1985

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  • Posts: 5422
  • Member since: 2013
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1989
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain
  • Chassis: Chevy
  • Engine: 454
Re: 1986 Chieftain Problems After Sitting
« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2019, 11:23 AM »
Well, rebuild kits used to be 10-15 bucks. Now they are 30.00. And if you think you can rebuild a carb with a couple cans of cleaner and some brush wires then good luck. I specialized in carburetor rebuilds for almost 40 years, there is just a little more to it than that. the welsh plugs need to be removed and the bores cleaned and new plugs put back in.


Hey, It is your vehicle, your carb and your money. If it is not all white and fuzzy inside then I would suggest you get yourself some Berrymans 0905 carb cleaner and a good size ultrsonic cleaner and give it a few thorough washings through there. Or just the 5 gallon bucket and soak it in there. That is what I did for 40 years. If you are not going to strip out the throttle and choke shafts then go with the Berrymans 0996 since it will not harm the shaft seals. It will not clean as well as the 0905 though.
But by the time you buy all the chemicals and rebuild kits you could get a new quadrajet 800 from Summit or a 750 Edelbrock from them.


And a little hint here, do NOT go poking metal wires into precision aluminum holes!! You will no longer have precision holes.

Offline RonV

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  • Posts: 13
  • Member since: 2019
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1986
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain 22
  • Chassis: Chevy
  • Engine: 454
Re: 1986 Chieftain Problems After Sitting
« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2019, 12:51 PM »
I like this forum, great people with sound advice.
At 65 years young rebuilding the carburetor will give me something to do, buying a new or rebuilt will save some headaches or guess work down the road.
I wish to thank everyone for their help and suggestions in helping me "Thank You"
To help others with this same problem I will keep notes on cost and links and pictures so the next person who has the same problem can quickly decide the cost on whats best for them.

Offline Rickf1985

  • *
  • Posts: 5422
  • Member since: 2013
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1989
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain
  • Chassis: Chevy
  • Engine: 454
Re: 1986 Chieftain Problems After Sitting
« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2019, 03:12 PM »
Take it off ad tear it down and decide at that point what you are going o do with it. That way it hasn't cost you a cent at that point. If all is is is all gunked up and you have experience at rebuilding carbs then go for it. If you insist on running something through the ports use the bristles from a stiff bristled brush. As long as they are not metal they will not destroy the passages.

Offline ClydesdaleKevin

  • 11 year member
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  • Posts: 4255
  • Member since: 2005
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1995
  • Make: Itasca
  • Model: Suncruiser 32RQ
  • Chassis: Oshkosh
  • Engine: Cummings Turbo Diesel
Re: 1986 Chieftain Problems After Sitting
« Reply #15 on: August 19, 2019, 04:16 PM »
I had a P30 for many years and many miles, so here is my advice:

The Quadrajet carburetor is arguably the very best gasoline carburetor ever made...and they are also the hardest to rebuild successfully and adjust properly.

After two unsuccessful rebuild attempts of my own...and then after buying a bad rebuild from Summit Racing...I threw my hands up in the air and bought a brand new Edlebrock 1411 and the adapter plate from Summit.  And I am so glad I did!  My gas mileage stayed about the same...but the power was smoother, and I had no further carburetor issues after that.  Not a one in around 30K miles.

Do a search through my posts for Edlebrock...lots of good info buried in there, including what I used for an aluminum plenum for a remote air filter and cold air intake.

So click "search" from the menu above...then type in "Edlebrock ."  Then in the window where it says "from users" type in "clydesdalekevin."  That will bring you up a bunch of links to posts I made over the years...and many hours of woe...that should answer just about any question you have about your P30 fuel system.

It ran great after that...for many many more miles...until the transmission cracked and I ended up the blessed new owner of an Itasca diesel pusher.   My 1989 Holiday Rambler had over 140K hard miles on her before I had to retire the old girl.   

Kev
Kev and Patti, the furry kids, our 98 Cherokee lifted beastie tow vehicle, and our 1995 Itasca Suncruiser Diesel Pusher.

Offline RonV

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  • Posts: 13
  • Member since: 2019
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1986
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain 22
  • Chassis: Chevy
  • Engine: 454
Re: 1986 Chieftain Problems After Sitting
« Reply #16 on: August 19, 2019, 11:03 PM »
Keven read a lot of your post and all I can say is wow, when I bought the rv 5 years ago I had it checked by a friend who was a fleet mechanic and told me it was well maintained, being 0ver 30 years old might be time to start adding new parts and upgrading.
The boss my wife wants me to gut it and rebuild it for her needs...lol so I have some work to do.

Offline Rickf1985

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  • Posts: 5422
  • Member since: 2013
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1989
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain
  • Chassis: Chevy
  • Engine: 454
Re: 1986 Chieftain Problems After Sitting
« Reply #17 on: August 20, 2019, 10:27 AM »
A lot depends on what your plans for it are. If you plan to pull time in it and you are doing a complete top to bottom rebuild then I would opt for a fuel injection unit. It is going to cost close to 1,000.00 compared to 400.00 for the carburetor but the advantages are instant starting, perfect air/fuel ratio at all altitudes which equals better gas mileage and longer engine life. And absolutely no issues with vapor lock. You are not going to gain any massive gains in horsepower regardless of what the marketing will tell you, 1-3 MPG at best. You will gain a much smoother running engine. I am just throwing this out there because it is expensive but if you are going all out anyway it is definitely something to consider.
\
Here is one I was considering for mine


https://www.summitracing.com/parts/fif-30003/overview/
You will also need a supply of high pressure gas so either a high pressure pump in the tank or a setup like this.
https://www.summitracing.com/parts/hpf-40004/overview/


Online BamBam

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  • Posts: 64
  • Member since: 2018
  • I own: I don't own one but I want one!
Re: 1986 Chieftain Problems After Sitting
« Reply #18 on: August 20, 2019, 11:11 AM »
A lot depends on what your plans for it are. If you plan to pull time in it and you are doing a complete top to bottom rebuild then I would opt for a fuel injection unit. It is going to cost close to 1,000.00 compared to 400.00 for the carburetor but the advantages are instant starting, perfect air/fuel ratio at all altitudes which equals better gas mileage and longer engine life. And absolutely no issues with vapor lock. You are not going to gain any massive gains in horsepower regardless of what the marketing will tell you, 1-3 MPG at best. You will gain a much smoother running engine. I am just throwing this out there because it is expensive but if you are going all out anyway it is definitely something to consider.



A lot of people in the muscle car world have done this and are happy with the results. With this so called reformulated gas with alcohol in it has caused so many a problem for the carbureted world and this seems to be the only fix for the problem. Good Luck

Offline RonV

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  • Posts: 13
  • Member since: 2019
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1986
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain 22
  • Chassis: Chevy
  • Engine: 454
Re: 1986 Chieftain Problems After Sitting
« Reply #19 on: August 20, 2019, 02:56 PM »
Ok pulled the carb and it looks like it has never been rebuilt because the idle mixture screws are plunged

Should I cut off the plugs like in the picture or just leave them on?

Online BamBam

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  • Posts: 64
  • Member since: 2018
  • I own: I don't own one but I want one!
Re: 1986 Chieftain Problems After Sitting
« Reply #20 on: August 20, 2019, 05:16 PM »
That was a pollution control item they first started so people wouldn't screw up the idle mixture making it rich and all. They allow very little adjustment travel, like a 1/2 turn either way.  If you pull them, take note at how many turns they are backed out from bottoming out for a good starting point when completed. You can tweak them as needed when once you get it running. Good Luck

Offline Rickf1985

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  • Posts: 5422
  • Member since: 2013
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1989
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain
  • Chassis: Chevy
  • Engine: 454
Re: 1986 Chieftain Problems After Sitting
« Reply #21 on: August 20, 2019, 06:05 PM »
You have the smooth plugs on yours and the picture on the bottom appears to show the early style raised steel plug that mated up with a keyed screw. What you need to do is google the procedure for removing the emissions plugs from a quadrajet first. You will cut two grooves on either side of the plug from underneath and pop it out with a chisel. Do not improvise or you could damage the idle screw. But before you go to all that trouble take the accelerator pump pin at the pivot and carefully drive it in towards the top of the carb, it will not go al the way in because it hits the top of the carb, go just short of that and you can remove the accelerator pump lever. Then take the choke plate lever screw out and take that linkage off. Now you can take out all of the screws that hold on the top of the carb, don't miss the two inside the throttle well. Carefully lift the top off and pay attention to the one linkage on the side that will still be attached. As you lift you will see that if you turn it will come loose. Remember this for reassembly. Now you will see what the inside looks like and you can decide if you are going to rebuild or not.

Offline RonV

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  • Posts: 13
  • Member since: 2019
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1986
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain 22
  • Chassis: Chevy
  • Engine: 454
Re: 1986 Chieftain Problems After Sitting
« Reply #22 on: August 21, 2019, 04:20 AM »
Took off carb and dissembled air horn and found a little dirt on bottom of the bowl, sprayed some carb cleaner and it removed it, going to take off the bottom and let them soak a day or 2 and rebuild it with a new kit.I read on the accelerator pump do not use the black bushing and use the blue because ethanol will make it hard and crack it?

Offline BrandonMc

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  • Posts: 189
  • Member since: 2016
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1987 coach / 1988 chassis
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain
  • Chassis: P30
  • Engine: 454
Re: 1986 Chieftain Problems After Sitting
« Reply #23 on: August 21, 2019, 09:03 AM »
Looks rebuild-able!

Offline Rickf1985

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  • Posts: 5422
  • Member since: 2013
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1989
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain
  • Chassis: Chevy
  • Engine: 454
Re: 1986 Chieftain Problems After Sitting
« Reply #24 on: August 21, 2019, 10:23 AM »
Looks exceptionally rebuildable! I can't speak for the bushing color, I have not read that but if the kit you are buying is a modern kit it will be fine. Get yourself a couple cans of carb cleaner and be sure to spray out every hole and orifice and then blow out with air. Also check the welsh plugs at the bottom of the main jets, they are probably already coated with epoxy but if not it is a good idea to get yourself some JB weld and do so. Be sure you do not use to much and block the top housing from mating with the throttle plate. These carbs had one main failure point and it was those plugs leaking and draining the fuel bowl into the manifold after sitting for a few hours or days.That is another one you can google and find some really good info on. I tend to refer to google a lot since I am a good mechanic but a lousy teacher, the videos you find on these subjects can be very informative. BUT! Be sure to look at several of them and you will see a pattern of the right mixed in with one or two wrong ways of doing it. The differences are usually pretty obvious.

 

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