1985 Trans Am project. Hard to start, stumbles

The car is equipped with the original E4ME Quadra Jet which I believe is a rather quirky system. I don't really understand this carburetor although I have
kitted several of the older quadrajets in years past. What is that CLICKING noise we hear before the car starts? Does it continue to click while its running? The electric choke opens as it should, fully open in about three minutes, but the car stumbles and runs poorly for up to a minute after it's started. Maybe we've become spoiled by years of driving fuel injected cars, but I can't think it started like that when it was new. Once it's fully warmed up, it runs great. Is the answer a new aftermarket carburetor? If so, what is the best one to be used with a semi-computered Trans Am from 1985?
What is the horsepower rating of this car's 5.0L engine?
So far this project car has been sanded to ready it for a good paint job. Lately most of its driving has been in and out of the garage. My 17 year old son will be the owner as soon as he parts with his '91 Grand Prix. I hope this is a good idea.
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Yes, the E4ME is original. The 305 vin H is a pig of a motor though :(. About 160 hp stock.
The clicking is the mixture control solenoid cycling--this is normal.
The answer to the problem is likely a complete carburetor rebuild. If you've done Q-jets before, this one is no different except you should replace a couple of electronic parts (the M/C solenoid and TPS are in the carburetor) while you do the rebuild. It sounds like you have a bad choke pulloff or misadjusted/old/tired unit.
A little TLC and attention and this car should run like new. Nothing beats a Q-jet as factory equipment on a GM car. Nothing runs better or can touch it.
You'll get it there, just be patient. Invest the money in a GM shop manual (cheap on Ebay) and it will reward you. I had one, sold it there some time ago though :).
Joe--ASE Certified Parts Specialist & 10th Ann.Club Tech Director '80 Carousel Red Turbo T/A, 26k orig. '79 "Y89" 400/4 speed 10th Ann. T/A, 57k orig '84 Olds 88 Royale Bgm 2 dr, 307 "Rocket" (lol), 141k and still going.... '80 T/A project car...
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