View Full Version : Dumb Question

03-18-2002, 08:22 PM
I'm no genius with a wrench so I'm looking for some help. My 3-speed manual is tempermental which is fine with me (no one's going to get far trying to steal this van). But it does one thing that gets on my nerves. When starting in 1st gear it lugs, shimmies, rocks, whatever you want to call it. It makes a racket and then is fine going into 2nd and 3rd. I try all kinds of approaches when starting into 1st, revving, not revving. There doesn't seem to be a sweet spot to let out the clutch. Any suggestions?

03-18-2002, 09:11 PM
How old is your clutch? Sounds like it's glazed, or the cushioning springs in the clutch hub have collapsed. At any rate, a clutch runs from $100 to $400 depending on how heavy duty you want. The ReMan clutches are fine behind a stock motor, any hi-perf mods and you'll want a better one.

03-18-2002, 10:36 PM
I got a 250 and no delusions about getting anymore power than necessary.

03-18-2002, 10:39 PM
I got a 250 and no delusions about getting anymore power than necessary.

Jack A. Yager
03-19-2002, 05:19 AM
A new clutch pack sounds like the right answer, and its always a good idea to have the flywheel ground.


03-19-2002, 09:45 AM
seamus, just a word of comfort, there are no dumb questions if the answers are useful to make repairs on your van. at times i feel like i ask dumb questions, but i usually get a good reply on the topic that i am questioning.

good luck on your work


03-19-2002, 11:05 PM
After looking at a diagram of the clutch there seem to be two control rods, one that controls 1st and R (the two gears giving me problems) and the other doing 2nd and 3rd (both of which work fine). Could this mean anything?

03-20-2002, 02:42 AM
Seaamus, I had a problem very much like what you are discribing and it turned out to be the pilot bearing. It is located in the end of the crankshaft. If it is worn, each time you push in the clutch and begin to take off (in 1st or reverse)the clutch will not be perfectly centered and will wobble and cause the clutch to shake, stumble and stutter. Try double clutching or double pumping the clutch when you take off and it may make it quit. But this is just a band-aid. You can tackle this job with the help of a friend. Remember, all vehicles are just nuts and bolts, that's all. If you are still having doubts, as you take each part or nut and bolt off, put it in a paper lunch bag and label it. I did my whole 250 engine like this 25 years ago and had never done anything close to this mechanical task, in my life. Put it all back together bag by bag, fire it up and it ran great. You will make yourself proud. To your problem, remove driveshaft, transmission, throwout bearing and bell housing. Remove clutch pressure plate and flywheel. You are looking at the end of the crankshaft with the pilot bearing right in the middle. Go to parts house and get throwout, pilot pressure plate and clutch and have them re-surface your flywheel and borrow a pilot bearing removal tool. Go home and put it back together. Take it apart on Friday afternoon and you will be back on the road by noon Saturday and save yourself 300 bucks. You'll be grinning all the way to the bank. If you technical help or words of encouragement, call me. (504)488-9438.

03-20-2002, 02:51 AM
Oh yeah, the reason it is not doing it in 2nd or 3rd, is that the clutch is already centered from being in 1st gear. If it is not lined up perfectly it will stumble and will slip enough and center itself and quit stumbling. But, you and I know, this gets old pretty quick. Go for it!!!!!

03-21-2002, 03:14 PM
Alright, I'm set to do the task this weekend. As long as I'm under there...
My gas pedal has a nasty way of sticking which gets my blood pumping but isn't too fun for the passengers. What are the usual causes/remedies for this situation?

03-21-2002, 05:31 PM
If it does it all the time, it is easier to fix. It is really hard to fix something that acts up sometimes and then you decide to fix it and what happens, it starts working fine. Look at you bushings in your linkage close to the carb. You might try to unhook the linkage from the carb and see if that is any dragging or sticking. With the linkage off, open the butterfly (throttle) a couple of times and makes sure it is working freely. Sometimes a varnish build-up from gasoline forms down the throat of the carb. Start the engine and spray some carb cleaner down that sucker's throat, it will stumble a little and try to die. Spray in short burst and keep it running. Check under the pedal and around it for any grime build up. This rascal is almost 40 years old, so you need to check the condition of all rubber and plastic parts------------at least once every 25 or 30 years, wheather it needs it or not.

03-21-2002, 05:35 PM
Carb cleaner? That's called a tune-up where I come from.
I guess I'll have to do some looking and see what I find. It only does it once in a while. I was just wondering whether this is a usual condition with a usual suspect. Thanks for all the help.

03-21-2002, 05:39 PM
Just reading over my reply and got to thinking this is really true "every 25 or 30 years". Vehicles made 15 or 20 years ago were pretty much crap that falls apart under your butt. Go back to the 60s and if you kept that car cleaned and lubed, you could easily be driving it today. Been driving GMs for over 30 years. Seamus, it is easier to check the throttle linkage, looking through the grill and from up top in the drivers seat

03-21-2002, 06:21 PM
Check to see if you are missing any of the springs that keep tension on the accelerator pedal. There should be a spring or two at the carb and there should be a spring attached to the bottom of your accelerator that hooks to the front panel of the van (this is under the floor). If any of these springs are broken/worn/missing/ your pedal might not want to pull itself back up after you press on it. Another likely culprit is the plastic bushings used in the pedal assembly. They tend to wear out and fall out.


03-21-2002, 07:37 PM
The floor tends to rust and fall out in that area too.... http://www.vcvc.org/ubb/wink.gif

03-21-2002, 10:52 PM
No matter what part of the country you live in!

03-21-2002, 11:26 PM
Except California.

03-25-2002, 02:20 PM
Everything went well. Thanks. Of course it didn't solve all my problems, but it helped. I definitely need to go through the whole throttle link to the carb and the carb itself.

chevy van 5150
03-31-2002, 10:16 AM
If the left motor mount is broken the engine will torque over when you step on the gas and bind the mechanical linkage. This is a real common problem with the first design motor mounts before they went to the interlocking type. Chevrolet had a recall that called for a safety cable that would hold down the engine in the event of a motor mount failure. Also make sure your engine is grounded. I know it sounds obsecure, but I have heard of the engine trying to ground itself through the throttle linkage resulting in an electrical arching while driving, and the linkage actually welding itself together. This whole scenario was also common on Chevelles and Camaros Etc. around this time. Thats why you find that ground strap on the throttle linkage (unless someone took it off). Anyway thats my 2 cents worth......