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Bucking Ford

I have a 1982 Ford Granada with only100,000 miles. Last April I took the car to a private garage that’s also authorized emission inspection place. I needed a New Jersey state inspection. The mechanic made a series of adjustments (not specified) in order to get the car to pass the emission test. He told me that the State of NJ adopted a tougher emission test for older cars. Passing 1982 standards was no longer sufficient for my car. It must now meet the same standards as newer cars. Now I’m having idling problems. When I start the car when it’s cold, it runs fine. The prblem happens when it thoroughly warms up, and when I shut the engine and let it cool for about 30 to 60 minutes. When I restart it in a semi-warm condition, the engine bucks when it’s in drive and at a standstill. Could the mechanic have adjusted the carbeurator too much toward the lean side? Could this be a timing issue? I adjusted the idle stop screw about half a turn and it helped the situation slightly. But, I don’t want it idling to fast either. Any comments opr suggestions?

It’s hard to say. It depends on what the shop did. If all they did were tuning adjustments, I guess the adjustments were among: warm idle rpm, warm idle ignition timing, and carb warm idle fuel/air mixture.

Maybe try resetting those settings to the car’s shop manual recommendations and procedures? If it were my car I’d check out the ignition timing and idle rpm first, as those are easy for me to check.

I have had this same problem by the way. So I always insist to watch the mechanics at the smog-check place 100% of the time. If the shop doesn’t allow it, I go to a different shop. My shop always changes the idle rpm, so I learned mark it with a felt tip before going to the smog test, then when I get it back home it is easy to put it back to the way it was.

I feel sure that a carbureted 1982 Ford cannot be tuned well enough to meet the emission standards for 2012 automobiles…

Rod, I’m thinking the same way. I wonder what they think about my '62 T-Bird? No cats, no EGR, and everything vents to the atmosphere, including crankcase and gas tank.

Thankfully, the Atlanta, GA area stops emissions testing after the car is 25 years old.

“Passing 1982 standards was no longer sufficient for my car. It must now meet the same standards as newer cars.”

That is absolutely not true.
I am a NJ resident, and I can tell you that a car is only required to meet the emissions standards for the year of its manufacture.

The OP needs to take his car to an older mechanic who understands how to adjust or to rebuild a carburetor. Most younger mechanics simply do not know much of anything about carburetors, and will be pretty much useless in a situation like this.

That being said, I doubt if a carbureted 30 year old car exists that does not need to have its carb rebuilt or replaced, so the OP should not be surprised if he needs a rebuild/replacement. Once this is done–by someone familiar with carburetors–the problem will likely be resolved.

The mechanic I took it to IS an older mechanic with plenty of experience with carburetors. Also, the carburetor is fairly new, it’s not the original.

Without car in hand, knowing how things are adjusted, and what the mechanic did along with the unknowns about any vacuum leaks and so on it will be impossible to determine what’s going on; at least from my vantage point.

What I absolutely don’t get is the bit about a 1982 car having to conform to newer car standards and would be interested in knowing how that is accomplished.