AMGBA Technical Sections (Vol. III & IV) - copies of tech topics published from 1997 to current in the Octagon on CD-Rom/USB drive/emailed, indexed: $25; printed version $50 (see club store at for ordering details)

Main Menu

AMGBA website home page or AMGBA Photo Gallery or AMGBA Club Blog

Join or renew for 3 years and receive a free t-shirt
or tech sections on USB flash drive /emailed/CD or past Octagon issues on USB flash drive/emailed/CD
see details in the join the club section at!

Car Stalling

Started by 2022, August 09, 2022, 12:10:54 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


I am experiencing a problem with a '72 Midget that I picked up last September.   I am not sure of the cars mileage as the prior owner noted the engine is not original, but overall, the car is in good shape. The only change to the car that's obvious, the prior owner installed a Weber 32/36.

The car had been sitting for 3-4 years prior to me purchasing it.   Using the car's fuel pump, I drained the old gas (indicating the fuel pump is working ok). I checked out all the fluids, brakes, plugs and other obvious stuff, put in fresh gas and (with a squirt of starter fluid) the car started but would only stay running with full choke.   

If the choke was opened, the car stalled.    In this condition, I drove it twice, about 24 miles total, it seemed to run fine but had to keep the choke pulled the whole time.

Last weekend, I cleaned and rebuilt the carburetor with a Redline kit.   I changed the power valve diaphragm, accelerator pump, float valve and float seat (and all necessary o-rings). I took care to note the float height was adjusted correctly (41 mm?). The mixture screw is turned out 2 full turns.

After the carb work, the car started easily and ran great.  I did 3 short trips, 5, 6, and 14 miles and there were no problems.   Later that afternoon, on the 4th trip, after driving for about 10 miles, the car started sputtering and bucking badly, and in rapid succession.    When I pushed in the clutch to down shift, it stalled.  The car restarted after about 5 seconds of cranking, and while sitting still, the engine rev'd fine.

Since I was relatively close to home, I gunned it through 1st and 2nd gear (to gain some speed so to coast closer to my house if needed), but as soon as I shifted into 3rd, it started sputtering and bucking again.

I did get the car home, and concerned the symptoms were indicating it might be out of gas (the gauge doesn't work), I added more fuel. The next day I test drove it and was able to go for about ¼ mile and go through all 4 gears without a problem, but after a u-turn, the car started sputtering and bucking as soon as I shifted into 3rd and 4th gear.

I did check out the cap, rotor and points and all appear quite old and am planning on replacing them. Do you think this is indicative of a fuel or electrical problem?

Thank you,
Michael Joyce


Since you've been through the carb, and I assume you've got a fuel filter by the carb, I'd work with the distributor. 
The best bet for sure is to have it rebuilt by Advanced Distributor in MN or British Vacuum Unit in NH.  If you're going to change the points and condenser yourself, keep in mind that many of the new condensers are faulty or fail quickly. Your old one might be good.
Timing is critical.  Use a dial back timing light to set the timing at 32° BTDC at full mechanical advance, vacuum disconnected.

But again, it might be the fuel! 

Let me know how you solved this.
John H Twist
John H Twist
University Motors Online
100 East Beltline Avenue SE
Grand Rapids, MI  49506


If you have found my technical advice helpful, please consider making a contribution to help defray my online expenses.  Go to my website and click the PayPal button:

   back to AMGBA website home page or AMGBA Photo Gallery or AMGBA Club Blog