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83 Toyota corolla chugging and dieing

I have an 83 Toyota corolla with 130 thousand miles on it. It is a California model so it has stricter exhaust stuff I am told.

When I start it up I have to give a little gas and recently right after I start it unless I rec it a little it will die. Say I put it in reverse and stop to put it in drive it will die unless I gun it, at which point it will kinda stutter and off we go. Once I drive it for a while it is usually fine until the next time I start her up.

I wonder if the idle is too low or maybe a tear in a vaccume



Mac in New Mexico

Does this have a carb or is it fuel injected? If carb, could it be the accelerator pump?

You can get the thing doctors hang around there neck to listen to you heart and you can hear a vacuum leak when moving it from line to line.
If you cannot get one spray WD40 on lines and if idle speeds up you found a leak,if it has a carb spray around manifold also.

This rig is carburated, and it sounds like it’s not running suffuciently rich when cold. The control for this is a spiral bimettalic spring that moves the choke plate and the setting for the throttle plate, a setup called the “high idle cam” that opens the throttle a bit at idle when cold.

It’s also possible that the float bowl is draining down back into the gas tank when you’re parked, and it’s taking a minute to fill back up. You have an electric fuel pump, so you can test this theory by putting the key in the “on” position rather than the “start” position for a few 4-second cycles prior to trying to start the car. If the float bowl draining is the problem, that’ll give the pump a chance to refill the float bowl and it’ll run properly.

You need to have an old-time tech familiar with carburators look at it to fix it, but of my post above works you can just get in the habit of doing that when you start the car and you’ll be fine. .

Thanks for all the replies. I had a significant hole in the heat. It
looks like it tore pretty bad. I replaced
it yesterday evening and the one time I drove it it seemed better.
I will also try the wait and start method. Will let you
know how it all goes.

Still having the issue. I think it may be running too rich. It will die multiple times if I am doing tricky manuevering.
So what would my first step be? Change the fuel mixture?
Thanks again.

This sounds like a carburetor choke problem; either with a sticking choke flap or a faulty choke pull-off pod. (The latter is supposed to pop the choke open about 1/8" when the engine is first started cold.)

Another possibility is that many vehicles of this era were prone to vapor lock issues, which means the gasoline in the carburetor float bowl is boiling when the warmed up engine is turned off. You show to be in NM so heat is definitely an issue.

I think this carburetor has a sight glass on the float bowl. After driving it and the engine is hot shut it off, wait 4-5 minutes, and then look at that sight glass. The fuel level should be still and at the mark in the middle of the glass.
If vapor lock is a problem you may see the gasoline percolating like coffee in a pot.