78 Thunderbird 302

Asked by May 29, 2019 at 12:57 AM about the 1978 Ford Thunderbird

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Just bought the car and it was sitting for a number of
years. Emptied the old gas, changed plugs, distributor cap
and rotor,  ignition module and fuel filter. Starts right up
now but dies right away. Smells like gas mixing with the oil
now. Planning on getting a new carburetor for it but not
sure what else it could be. Any help or advice would be
appreciated as I'm not used to working with these kind or

3 Answers


Thes old ones no matter what made do not like this so called gasoline we have today, you will most likely wind up either replacing or rebuilding the carburetor(rebuilding is preferable) replacing the fuel pump with a ethanol resistant one, replacing all the rubber fuel lines with the new multi fuel hose. This old you should also check the timing chain slop, actual compression of each cylinder both dry and wet. HTH

1 people found this helpful.

Thank you tennisshoes. That's kinda what I was thinking too. When I emptied the tank I put 10 gallons of the non oxygenated gas back in. But without knowing what the previous owner did for gas I was thinking about rebuilding the carb. Got it to try my hand on restoring it slowly so gonna be replacing almost everything as it is. Good news is motor has 50,000 actual miles and a shop did about 1500 worth of work 5 years ago including timing chain. Thanks for the advice about the ethonal resistant pump and multi fuel hose. I hadn't thought about that.


Old hoses and a rebuilt carburetor just won’t cut it, you’ll be right back in there taking the carburetor back apart to find where it got plugged up. One other thing you might consider replacing is the distributor stator, this old it could have some intermittent connection in the wiring cause they do flex with the throttle and the vacuum advance so they do go bad.

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