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gene, RV Mechanic
Category: RV
Satisfied Customers: 1100
Experience:  28 yrs exp in the industry
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I just bought my 1982 chevy sport coach rv with a 350

Customer Question

I just bought my 1982 chevy sport coach rv with a 350 exactly one week ago. It passed smog (unless PO had a "special smog) just fine. The PO says the smog tech had to flip the air cleaner lid upside down to get it to pass smog.The rv ran beautifully, no issues. It was redone inside with new paid outside. Looked great ran great.Then... I was out with my family in the local harbor. We had spent most of the day there. I have no generator and don't have solar, so I started my rv and let it idle for maybe 20-25mins to charge the batteries. There was no issues no hiccups at all. About two hours later I start the rv so we can leave and it starts acting and sounding like it's running out of gas... motor is chugging and popping, there's very little to no power. Tbe gas gauge reads 1/4 tank. (Still on the gas from the PO). I then park the rv and get gas in a gas can from the gas station (5gals). The gas didn't help. The PO says he's ran it past 1/4 before.My buddy comes to try and help. We've put new plugs and wires on it. He checked the cap... we actually ran a new cap thinking it may be it. He checked the weights under the cap. It's getting spark to all cylinders. There's no vacuum leaks...I'm at a total lose. We can't figure this out. Any help would be greatly appreciated.Thank you.-Todd
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: RV
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
also, we found what appears to be oil inside the cap n rotor. There is no oil or residue on the contacts or even on the inside of the cap itself. Just a small poolof oil at the bottom of the Inside of the distributor.The motor seems to have a misfire of some kind. At low RPM there will sometimes be a pop... a blow back through the carburetor. At super light throttle its kinda drivable. At less than medium throttle the motor has no power and chugs.
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
There is no inline fuel filter.In park, the motor sounds good at high rpms.
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
This bad boy is my new home. I need it operational ASAP is why the rush. I currently have it parked in the local harbor and have to keep moving it every 72hrs. Its now been 3 full days since this started.
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
The timing is on point. My buddy checked it.Whats weird is the distributor is funky... it appears that its not set at the chevy firing order. I guess its set at a ford firing order my buddy believes. He looked it up online and he found its possible to change the firing order by changing the tdc of the cam. I don't know why someone would go through the troubleof doing that... but it was running fine like that days ago.
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Battery has a full charge too.
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
EGR is working.
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
One minute it was fine and the next its got a misfire or what sounds to be a misfire. The motor will even shut down by itself while driving if no throttle is given.
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Compression was 145-150 on the two rear cylinders. (Drivers side / facing the front of the rv) right side back two.
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
My buddy pulled the coil for cylinder 3... drivers side 3rd back. And it made no change in idle or running. But gets spark. Put all new plugs and wires on anyway. Still no change.
Expert:  Gary replied 3 months ago.

Hi Todd,

A few things I see here.

The camshaft determines the firing order from the grinding manufacturer, how it is timed to the crankshaft does not alter the firing order.

No fuel filter is bad.

What carburetor do you have on here?

I would say it would have some rubbish in there.

Is it only cylinder 3 that shows no change? Have you tried this on all other cylinders?


Customer: replied 3 months ago.
It has a fuel filter on the carb.The carb is a 4 barrel. Thats all I know about it.We pulled the coils from all of the spark plugs one by one... cylinder 3 was the only one that seemed to not have any change to idle or running when we removed it.Ya, I don't know whats up with the firing order... my buddy says its not chevy. Right now its set up as the 3 right side cylinders go to the right side of the distributor in the same order as the cylinders... and the same for the left side. My buddy says its not chevy abd it confused him to how it could run like that. Then he googled it and he says it can run like that if you time the cam shaft just right. Either way the rv was running just fine with that set up before.Now its chugging like its running out of gas when I'm driving it. It sounds like it has a mis when I'm driving it. If I give it any real throttle under load it doesn't like it very much... it almost sounds fine when I give it throttle while in park.
Expert:  Gary replied 3 months ago.

Hi Todd,

That's good it has a fuel filter.

If you tell me what the carb is, could be a Rochester Quadrajet, or Holley etc?

Your driver side 3rd back is cylinder 5, numbers 1,3,5,7 on drivers side.

Sounds like you have a bad cylinder NO. 5, new plugs and wires didn't help.

Are you saying this one and the rear cylinder (7) have abnormal compression?

Compression is not always accurate, a leakdown test is more accurate.

How old is the fuel? Does it have trouble starting?


Expert:  Gary replied 3 months ago.

Can we continue tomorrow Todd?

It is 10pm for me here.

You can give me more info when you are free, and I will check back in the morning.

Thank you


Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Hello Gary.My buddy thinks it may be a valve. He says we've tried everything (he knows).Its just weird that I bought it last Friday, it passes smog same day, I drive it home with no issues, I drive it for several days with no issues. Then 5 days ago it pops a trailer fuse (20amp) then the next the next day it starts the motor mishap.It's exactly like I said, was sitting at the harbor all day... started it and let it run for 20mins to charge the battery. About 2hrs later went to start it (on 1/4 tan of gas) and all of a sudden its missfiring. I don't get it.Your gas question, I'm not sure because I just bought it... but I'd assume it was good gas. It just passed smog.