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86 Chevy c10 stalling at speed

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Dec 20, 2009, 9:29 PM

Post #1 of 2 (3571 views)
86 Chevy c10 stalling at speed Sign In

I'm looking for some advice in troubleshooting a stalling problem with my 1986 Chevy c-10. First, the particulars:

1986 Chevy c-10
6 cylinder 4.3 engine
About 85,000 miles

I few months ago the engine started stalling out when traveling at speed. I'd be cruising along and it would just die. Most of the time it would restart after I came to a stop. Recently, it has been more stuborn with it either taking a few mintutes to restart or, in one case, not restarting even after nearly an hour. On that occastion I called AAA and got towed home. I unloaded the truck (was on the way home from Lowes) and, on a whim, tried starting it and she started right up. Talk about frustrating.

I had it into the shop and they suggested the carb was shot. Since they had a hard time finding a replacement I started looking myself and found a good rebuild on the internet. I replaced the carb and the engine started right up. Also, it sounded alot smoother than it had in quite a while. Before the new carb it was sometimes hard to start and it seemed the engine would never settle into a low idle after warming up, even after tapping the gas. With the new carb it started right up and was just purring.

Given that this was may first attempt at a car repair, I wasn't really confident I had fixed the problem. But, my wife, ever the optimist, suggested we take the truck to run a few errands. So off we went.

About 15 minutes into the trip the truck stalled out again. No warning or anything...the engine just cut out. While coasting to a stop and pulling over, I heard the engine backfire. I pulled over and she started up after just a few seconds. We drove another 15 minutes. Stopped at a store and then headed home.

The engine stalled twice on the way home both within a mile or so from our house. The first time it took just a minute or so to restart. After that, it stalled again about 1/4 mile up the road. This time it took several minutes before it would restart. After these restarts the engine sounded rough. I was kind of bummed as it seemed the nice running engine I had was now gone.

I'm not sure if this helps at all, but when trying to restart the engine, it seems that I have better luck when pumping the gas pedal somewhat vigorously. Then again, the times it hasn't restarted, this technique didn't seem to work.

It's been about 10 days since that trip and I had some time to tinker with it again today. I replaced the PCV valve (the old one still rattled a little but not as freely as the new one) and breather hose/filter. Once I did that the engine seemed to be running a bit smoother again, but I didn't have the guts to take her out on the road. Before I do that, I was hoping to get some suggestions for what else I might look at. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Tim Q

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Dec 21, 2009, 2:31 AM

Post #2 of 2 (3559 views)
Re: 86 Chevy c10 stalling at speed Sign In

Guess: I know it's low miles but do check the valve timing (timing chain) and fuel pump pressure,


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