1986 Fleetwood Won't Start
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RWD 19xx-1984 DeVille and Fleetwood,
1985-1996 Fleetwood and Brougham Forum Discussion, 1986 Fleetwood Won't Start in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; It all started when I wanted to clean the EGR valve in the Olds 307 engine. I read a few ...
  1. #1
    Lord Fleetwood is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): Now: 95, 86, & 76 Fleetwood Brougham Past: 83 CDV, 92 Fltwd
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    1986 Fleetwood Won't Start

    It all started when I wanted to clean the EGR valve in the Olds 307 engine. I read a few things saying they get gummed up and should be cleaned and that it would help performance, and since I've never done it, I thought I'd give it a try. The full procedure to do this in my factory manual was to remove the EGR and remove the carburetor. Removing the carburetor ended up being a waste of time, since the tubes were quite clean and I discovered I never needed to do it, but I wanted to have the experience of removing the carburetor so at first I didn't mind. The EGR valve itself had a lot of black deposits around the plunger of the valve, so I scraped the deposits off. When I put everything back, the car would not start. When turned over it will begin to run but then dies immediately when it is supposed to idle. If I hold the pedal down half-way upon starting it will run, but as soon as I take my foot of the pedal it dies. I checked all of the carburetor connections many times. I am almost positive everything is connected as it was, that is, about 10 air hoses, 2 electrical connector, the throttle cable and cruise control cable, the fuel line, and a couple other screw-on connections. The EGR value was also put back as it was, which was only two bolts.

    Anyone have a clue as to why it won't start??? The factory manual does have an entry for starting and only running at half-pedal, but I feel I am over my head with checking some of the stuff. The 3 major things in the manual that relate to what I have done are seeing if there is air leaking in between the carburetor and the air intake, the float level and possible flooding, and the EGR valve. I feel confident the carburetor is seated correctly on the air intake, but it is hard to actually see and I don't want to take it off again if I don't have to, so I think it is but am not 100% and might have to reseat it, though it went on fine. I have no clue how to check the float, since the book mentions some tool I don't have that measures the float. I can stick a small screwdriver in, but the book measurement of 11/32" +/- 2/32" doesn't seem to make sense since the depth is much more than that and must be just looking at it. Also, how would the float now be off anyway? Could I have messed something up in the carburetor when it was off? I never really did anything to it, but did turn it slightly to look under it, but there is no way I turn it more than 30 degrees from level, so I don't know if the float was ever even disturbed, or at least it doesn't seem like it was. The only thing I did modify was the EGR valve, but could cleaning off disgusting deposits do this? The EGR plunger moves fine manually and is not stuck. Overall, the seems like it is getting fuel and spark, so perhaps the mixture is now too rich or too lean, but how would I know which and why? To be clear, I never did anything to the carb itself, just disconnected I and reconnected it.

    In retrospect I wish I had never touched it, but I can't go back in time and I am frustrated that something that was supposed to help the car somehow made it not work and that it is all my fault. I would like to avoid the cost of towing it to a shop and admitting my idiocy to a profession, so if someone could offer me help or a simple solution I have overlooked, I would be very greatful. Recharging the battery is also getting annoying. Thanks in advance for any help or expertise offered.

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  3. #2
    Angry Matt's Avatar
    Angry Matt is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: 1986 Fleetwood Won't Start

    When the EGR valve in my cutlass was clogged up it would not idle. As soon as I let off the gas the car would stall, it would only run with my foot on the pedal. I'd start there, it doesn't sound like you did too much to affect anything else. If it was a float issue you'd be smelling gas. Try plugging the vacuum line to the EGR and see if it runs. Stick your fingers in the bottom of the EGR valve and see if the plunger moves freely. If it's crunchy or frozen, you need to clean it better. I think I just sprayed carb cleaner and moved it around until the motion felt smooth.

  4. #3
    Lord Fleetwood is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): Now: 95, 86, & 76 Fleetwood Brougham Past: 83 CDV, 92 Fltwd
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    Re: 1986 Fleetwood Won't Start

    Freeing up the EGR worked and now it starts and works great. Thanks for your help! I just get paranoid with the carburetor since I always feel I don't know enough, but I guess I should have just been confident that, like you figured, I didn't mess anything up. Luckily it was a simple solution. Thanks again!

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