1980 Buick Century 3.8 2 barrel Dies Under Load

86 Salon

Mar 14, 2021
For the the starting issue, what is your starting procedure? Are you setting the choke correctly? In your second video, it has a misfire. If a new coil was installed, make sure that the center button and seal were installed along with the ground strap and make sure that the four coil mounting screws aren't too long. If they are, they will poke through the cap and cause a misfire.


Oct 1, 2022
Hello all, I have a 80' century 3.8 2 barrel that dies under load. Basically, it has a ton of trouble starting, once started, it idles normally, but will die under normal acceleration. The car has a new carb, accelerator pump, distruputer, belts, alternator, battery, spark plugs & wires, valve covers, and fuel tank lines. Fuel pump is old but I took the fuel line off and cranked it and it shot a bunch of fuel out. Some vacuum lines are replaced, some are not, but are not horrible. Note, I drove the car for 3 years 0 issues and then one day it just died idling and that's when this started, carb has been cleaned since that and didn't help. Only thing im left to think is maybe a clogged cat however the exhaust does shoot out somewhat strong/normal if anything its worn. Would greatly appreciate any feedback. The large
Could be fuel tank sock clogging on suction and demand you might want to try taking the fuel line loos at the fuel pump and plugging the end with a bolt ok take some 3/8 copper or even neoprene gas line and run it to a can of gas sitting in the front floor board on passenger side .then drive the car if your bog or starving quits you drop the tank take float cover off and clean the tank out good nex t that fuel filter take it off and see if you can blow through it ...yes put up to your mouth and blow through it air should go through fast not just slow ...you mentioned plugs"...im mentioning them to as a recommendation not cure take them out and spray them off with ether ( starting fluid)... check the gap .use some 180 sandpaper to sand between the electrode and tip you can even close the gap to 30 thousanths yes it will not effect anything relevant at this point.(no explanation) nothing has been said about spark length'...how far will the spark jump? it should jump at least 5/8"or more if you hold the wire near and metal on the car ie valve cover ect a good spark with good distributor will throw a 3/4" spark while cranking engine (watch)and should look white to purplish. Check several wires this way if some are not jumping the same length you likely have a bad distributor cap or rotar burnthrough..(ditto) no one has mentioned valves likely because no one wants to do a valve job..An old hack for carburetors was to use a peice of wire to wire the choke plate into a half closed position to see if this could eliminate half of the pulling ( driveability) situation...if wireing the choke halfway shut gets you to say 50 mph then you know it's starving .look at the fuel filter line connections tank sediments fuel pump carb inlet restrictions ( float valve) when you don't know what us causeing it you have to measure everything fuel amount spark length, compression .ect the large fitting on the front of your carb is hiding a filter inside it take (filter) out and check it I sometimes took the drain back valve out of the end of those filters to allow gas to flow just a little faster..last while your engine is idling spray wd 40 at the carb base gasket and around the vacuume line connections try blocking the big vacuume line to the brake booster off with something like an old spark plug to see if booster is bad..you have to get creative sometimes personally if your carb looks like the one in the pic I would get an older non emission non computer carb befor now


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