1970 Chevrolet Malibu Classic - Difficult to start

Difficult to start
Completely restored 8 yrs ago
Under 3,000 miles?

need a little more info. what do you mean difficult to start?
is it a carb or fuel injected?
did you go to electronic ignition? or do you have points?
if its points and condensor make sure its set right.
1970-75 Chevrolet Tune-up Specifications (tpocr.com)

How old is the gas?

3,000 miles since restoration 8 years ago? Did the engine get a quality rebuild? Are you using non-ethanol gas? If using ethanol gas, was the fuel system redone with ethanol compatible components? Was the engine modified, if so, what modifications were made?
Please answer the above questions and those asked by other responders and which engine and maintenance that has been performed.
If this is the first carbureted car you have had, to start you must set the choke. To do this, depress the gas pedal to the floor, release, then depress the pedal halfway, then turn your key to start it.


Carburetor maintenance every year or two is often necessary for a car that is not driven daily.

I would expect the fuel system parts used during restoration were of modern quality, we have been using gasohol for more than 30 years.

When I was a kid my family had a newish 1970 Malibu Classic. It was difficult to start back then. I remember my dad installing fuel filters and carrying spray cans of silicon to help it start when wet.

I’m not aware of a 1970 Malibu with ‘Classic’ in the name. That started in '74.

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My WAG, the OP meant he considers his Malibu to be a classic.

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Used to store my carbureted Camaro over winter. I never tried to fill float bowls and car always cranked a long time. Is this an issue of hard to start after sitting 1 week or 6 months?

I had a 70 Cutlass with a 350, I think Olds 350s were Olds specific. But carbs and ignition systems were common to all GM vehicles. Stored for 15 months while I was in the Philippines. Never had a starting problems.
But until the OP chooses to return…

First, I gotta ask is your 1970 Chevrolet Malibu Restored? Restored classic vehicles are classic cars that have been refurbished to their factory specifications using original factory parts… For a “restored” car, the end goal is to repair and refurbish the vehicle so that it looks and operates exactly the same as the day it rolled off the assembly line.

Or is it a Resto-mod? A resto-mod is a classic car that has been restored, but modified with modern parts and technology. Aesthetically, the vehicle looks the same until you look under the hood or reach for the radio.

Or finally, is it really just Fixed-up? The engine, tranny, rear end, carburation, electronics, brakes, etc… may have been swapped out to update or just replace. Has all the bodywork been completed and properly performed (no bondo…)?

I have heard so may “yahoos” tell me they had their engine completely “blueprinted”, and in the same breath, they tell me how the heads were ported, polished, and cc’d, the cam is upgraded for more HP or torque, the push rods, lifters, electronics, etc… all swapped out with aftermarket products, heck, the block is not even original specs, they had it punched it out, got high lift pistons, yadda, yadda…

Then you try to tell them, that “blueprinting” is to return the engine to Exact Factory Specifications…

So, when the folks ask for additional they really need it! For example, the 1970 Chevy Malibu was offered with a trio of 402 engines available, ranging in horsepower from 330 to 350, and finally, 375 horsepower. The 330 horsepower version came with a single exhaust, and was available in any V8-optioned body except the SS-optioned Malibu or El Camino. And they even offered it with a “250 Turbo-Thrift–a 6-cylinder”…

So, when “Enquiring Minds want to Know” you need to tell 'em…

A ton of questions need to be answered to be able to even venture a guess.

Difficult to start means engine turns over slowly by the starter or does it mean cranks over fine but won’t run.
Still have contact point distributor and a Quadrajet carburetor? Problem came on suddenly or gradually?

Just a few of many questions because right now your car complaint is similar to someone leaving a message for the doc stating they don’t feel well with nothing more added to it.


I think we have another drive by OP who will not return to answer any questions.

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I agree. I posted my response right after he asked and we have not heard back from OP.

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When my similar vintage Ford is hard to start it is usually a fuel systems problem, often a clog in the carburetor. OP might try a fuel system cleaner product. Might work. Otherwise carb is probably going to have to come off for a look-see.