Flooding, choking, dying...

Hi all. I hope you all can offer some advice on this...
My 1980 Bronco, 351M, C6, with a Holley 600 and manual choke is flooding, I think, something fierce. Here's the deal, and I hope someone can help!
I'm driving it home today and it's running like a dream - like it always does. I just start to go down a steep hill and it suddenly just dies. Sputters and dies.
It won't start. But is cranking like mad. So I hold the gas to the floor and hold the key on. After a few seconds it starts something rough, black smoke billowing from the exhaust and the smell of gas. I take my foot off the gas, it idles good for two seconds then the idle drops down (as it should) and it sputters and dies quickly. It always seems to start with the gas pedal on the floor, but dies as soon as you take your foot off and the revs go down.
Also, the battery gauge has moved from dead centre towards the "C", about half way. Keeping the revs up makes it come back to the centre a bit. The battery is new and the connections tight. And it turns the starter like crazy!
Also, I noticed it was running a little hot today as the weather warmed up today and I had the grill bra on, but it was open, and the needle was still in the "normal" zone.
The truck has about 250K (150 miles) on it and I am the second owner. It has been exceptionally well taken care of, but I'm not sure how old the carb or ignition and fuel systems are, as it's always ran great and I never screwed with any of it.
I'm not sure what to do here. As long as you floor it to start it, it will start (with a lot of black smoke and a strong gas smell), but take your foot off the gas to put it in drive and it sputters and dies. Some gas comes sputtering out the top of the carb when it dies and then it smokes from the butterfly. (Setting the high idle with the manual choke does not help, nor did turning the idle screw to increase the idle.)
Well guys, until I can get some assistance in this group, I'm hoofing it. Please help if you can...
Thanks!
Brad
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Brad and Mia wrote:

Sounds like flooding to me also. First, check the obvious: Is the choke opening? It should be closed to start then opened as the engine warms. Your cable may have come loose and is not opening the choke. At this point the engine sounds really flooded. Don't bother trying to close the choke to start it. Being a Holley, I would suspect a stuck or saturated float, blown power valve, or both. This signals time for a rebuild. Disconnect the ignition module (you could pull the coil wire but I wouldn't trust the stray spark around raw gasoline). While looking down the carb throat, look for fuel spilling out while cranking the engine;Make Sure You Disable The Ignition!! If you see this, it is a problem with the float, needle and seat, or power valve. Find a competent mechanic to rebuild the carb. Strictly my opinion, I'm sure others will disagree: I've found Holley carbs to be a major PITA. They tend to be finicky, leaky and not really reliable. If it were my vehicle I would ditch the Holley and install an Edelbrock (Carter) carb. YMMV.             Tom Adkins
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Tom, thanks for the advice! I suspect the same thing but it's nice to have someone second your opinion. I talked to Ford today and I'm going to take it in on Monday. They quoted me about 2 hours plus parts for a rebuild - seems to be the cheapest way to go.
Thanks again!
Brad
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I would be checking the timing chain first if I was you. it has all the symptoms. exp the too fast cranking. KB
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Okay. The chain was replaced about 10 years ago IIRC, so what would I look for?
Thanks.
Brad
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Open your distributor cap. Watch the rotor, or better yet remove the rotor and watch the distributor shaft. Now by hand or with a socket and ratchet or breaker bar, spin the crank shaft and see how much slop you have. When you move the crank shaft the distributor, which runs a gear on the cam shaft that is spun by the timing chain, should move as soon as you start spinning the crank. You can move the crank back and forth to see how much slop is in the chain. The worse the timing chain the more the slop.
Good Luck
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thanks man. That sounds easy. Either way, it's going in, but I will do this before I call the tow truck and see. I'll let you know BTW what it turns out to be. Besides expensive, that is. ;)
Brad
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Hey all. Just an FYI, I got my Bronco back from Ford today. It turned out to be the carb... pretty much shot. I got the Ford boys to rebuild it as opposed to getting a rebuilt one. Well, it runs fantastic with a lot more power.
BUT, they charged me for the inspection ($50) and the infamous BS "shop supplies" ($36). My ass hurts. I'm going to fight both of these cause they're crap. If I get one back, I'll consider myself lucky.
But again, it runs great! Thanks for all the help guys!
Brad
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When is the last time you bought or priced a pail of carb cleaner.
Bill
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All the time... tried that and banging on the carb when it died on the road. Needle was shot. Float and power valve were pretty much toast too.
Brad
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and incidentals necessary to rebuild the carb, ran a compressor and lights you probably would have spent more than $36.00 (excluding the cost of the rebuild kit).
Bill
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