Tips for cold starts?


Old Man with a Hat
Mar 27, 2011
Reaction score
As for the cold start issues, with the engine cold, remove the air cleaner and move the throttle cable at the carb to see if the choke plate closes fully. When it's closed, then try to move it to "open". IF you feel a slight resistance to that, other than spring pressure, accompanied by a shiny spot on the casting the air cleaner stud screws into, then the carb air horn has waarped a bit due to the air cleaner stud having been over-tightened for a long time. Not unusual on the Holley 2210/2245 2bbl carburetors, from my experiences with them on our '72 Newport 400 2bbl.

When that part of the carb warps, it also compromises the seal between the float bowl and the venturi area of tghe carb. With the choke closed, even to spec, there is enough velocity through the venturis to actually pull raw fuel through the resultant gap between the top and middle pieces of the carb, from the float bowl into the venturis. This will cause a very lumpy idle until it dies, unless you catch it quick enough to raise the rpms enough to keep it running. The exhaust will also have black smoke coming out of it, due to the extreme richness of the mixture. NO adjustments will fix this, by observation. BUT as soon as the engine runs long enough to warm up, then it will run fine, except about only 11mpg no matter what.

When that upper casting deforms, it also opens the vacuum passage to the power valve, which enriches the mixture under loads where more power is needed. So, no vacuum = "power mixture" all of the time.

So, even if everything works well when warm, getting to "warm" can be an issue with this situation.

The starting procedure which has worked well for me with all carbureted vehicles is what is in the '66 Chrysler Owner's Manual. Cold or hot starts, about 1/3 throttle, then turn the key. This allows the accel pump to squirt additional fuel and also lets the automatic choke do its thing, too. When the engine starts, the choke pull-off will open the choke plate enough to let the engine run at the higher "fast idle" speed. After a minute or so, when things stabilize a bit, then tap the throttle to allow for lower "fast idle" speeds as the engine continues to warm up. Then put the car in gear and gently drive off. KEY thing is to get familiar with the car and what it likes. Things tend to work better, that way, by observation.

Personally, I like the design and engineering behind the Holley 2210-family carburetors. Better venturi designs than the other 2bbls that Chrysler has used, it seems, BUT the air cleaner stud issue has dogged almost all of Chrysler's 2bbl carbs, except possibly the Carter BBD 2bbl they used up to the 1969 model year on 383 2bbls. Which might be a bolt-in replacement, if needed?

Hope you get everything figured out!

Take care,


Illegitimi non carborundum
FCBO Gold Member
May 21, 2013
Reaction score
Marcellus, NY
I know it was not related to my cold start issue, I just was putting it in here just because I didn’t want to make another new thread.

but now I’m learning about how to properly start the car. WHEN the damn starter gets replaced, I’ll know how to properly start it

Just making sure you (and everyone else) understands they are two different issues. They can be related in that a hard starting car can break or burn out a starter though.

Not trying to insult you, but we get such a varied level of experience that I sometimes figure I need to state the obvious or everything gets confused.:thumbsup:

the motor still cranks but Elijah (my brother) and I think the starter isn’t staying engaged long enough to fire over the motor. It cranks then whirs. Cranks then whir. If it was a broken starter drive, would it still crank or just go directly to whir or whatever noise it makes

The starter drives often don't fail completely. They can do exactly what you are describing.I've repaired enough of them !


Old Jagoff with a Hat
FCBO Gold Member
Nov 1, 2015
Reaction score
Orlando, FL
This is my first carburetor car and I have been struggling with cold starts (45-55*). I can get it started then it dies about twenty seconds later then I can’t get it started because it’s flooded and or it cranks then whirs.

I’ll be taking it on a 1000 mile road trip in October to admire the fall colors and would like to learn how to start it on cold mornings.
It is a 1973 Newport with the 2 barrel 400.

my dad said to keep the throttle pinned while cranking to help drain the fuel. I did that then it starts for a second then die.

for the record, I’m Deaf and I can’t rely on “oh when you hear it…” advice. Some people have told me that
One thing I would recommend for you as a hearing impaired driver, is the addition of a cheap tachometer mounted somewhere that doesn't hurt the dash (I'd go under it). It will make some of the stuff you're dealing with easier and provide you an easy way to know the engine's speed when idling or trying to raise RPMs for whatever reason.

Also know that while the answers here cover everything from replacement of parts (that may not need replaced) to old "tricks" folks used to make worn, out of adjustment cars work back when carburetors were common. You can properly set the adjustments following the FSM (factory service manual) procedures or have a competent and willing mechanic do it for you (hard to find). The biggest downside of carbureted fuel systems was the periodic maintenance they require and their inability to adjust themselves as a modern fuel injection system can, to changes in ambient conditions (mostly altitude) or wear issues. Once properly set, a carburetor will run fine in all but the most extreme climatic or altitude changes.