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Thread: 68 VW Beetle only idles with butterfly closed

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    68 VW Beetle only idles with butterfly closed

    My 1968 Volkswagen beetle only idles with the butterfly closed. I haven't started it in over a year. I put seafoam in the gas tank. I started up and had to keep my foot on the gas pedal to keep it from stalling out. I started messing with the carburetor and experimented with the butterfly staying closed setting and now it idols without me having to mess with the gas pedal. What could cause this?

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    Guru Member 2013Tdi has a reputation beyond repute2013Tdi has a reputation beyond repute2013Tdi has a reputation beyond repute2013Tdi has a reputation beyond repute2013Tdi has a reputation beyond repute2013Tdi has a reputation beyond repute 2013Tdi's Avatar
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    Re: 68 VW Beetle only idles with butterfly closed

    When an engine is COLD, it uses more fuel, less air. If you have an automatic
    choke, it's not working properly. You are manually choking it when you hold the
    butterfly closed, for it to idle. If you hold it closed, as the engine warms up,
    you should be able to let it go, and it will run. It may only take 14 seconds,
    can take longer.

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    Re: 68 VW Beetle only idles with butterfly closed

    Thanks for your response. You explain the basic workings of an automatic choke. This issue is beyond that. The engine will stall out if the butterfly opens up. I'm just trying to get the car running again and I had to keep giving it gas to keep it from stalling out before and after it was warmed up. I looked closely at the automatic choke and could see the different teeth and how I could use them to keep the butterfly partially or almost completely closed just to keep the engine idling. I'm trying to find out why the engine will run only when the butterfly is closed. It's obviously not getting enough gas but why is that. Could be a vacuum leak? Could it be the seafoam need more time to work?

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    Re: 68 VW Beetle only idles with butterfly closed

    If it sat for such a long time, the primary jet(s) could be clogged.
    Gas turns into a varnish like substance when it sits for a long time,
    even 6 months is enough to cause problems. The fuel filter may
    be all gummed up too, which would limit flow.

    A vacuum leak would also cause it to stall, too much air. It has no effect
    on fuel delivery from the pump, to the carb. If you suspect a fuel problem,
    start at the pump, filter, and so on.

    Seafoam won't clean out a fuel filter, if it did, then all that debris
    will get stuck in the idle and primary jets in the carb.

    You can also have air leaks at the carb to intake manifold gasket, kind of another
    vacuum leak.

    Carburetors that sat for such a long time can be problematic. All the fuel needs
    removed from the lines, jets, tank, everything. If there was any fuel that sat in
    any parts of the carb or fuel system, can cause flow problems.

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