Has anyone with one of our cars ever had an issue with stalling due to transmission issue?  Twice now car would be running fine, then would stall.  Starts effortlessly every time, but either stalls the instant you put it into gear, or simply fades out before you can shift into drive.  Thought it was a fuel pump issue, but then when tow truck came, we had to push the car a few inches and voila!  It started and shifted into gear just fine, and drove home fine.  I'm thinking moving the car a few inches had something to do with it...any thoughts?

Views: 865

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion


 you have to increase your idle speed a few hundred RPM so your engine can  and will keep running with the increase when put  it in gear 

Not sure which carb you have but ——-turning your idle adjustment screw in will increase you RPM but be sure you are adjusting the correct screw— that is on the side of the carbs linkage 

you may have to have the engine off  and open the carb full throttle —-to see the adjustment screw— as I had to do on my Carter and Edelbrock carbs if that is the one you have 

you may have to make a screw adjustment — start the car —and repeat until you are idling correctly in gear 

Do a quarter turn at a time 

I do not see how moving the car had much to do with your issue —but I would love to know that answer for myself   and why there might be  any need to be moving the car at  all due to a stalling issue ( strange tow truck driver I think ) 


Thanks Tony, that's good advice.  I actually have had a pretty good smooth strong idle, sometimes it would die as soon as I shifted, last night it would stall out after half a second before I even had a chance to shift.

Thinking it through, I am back to suspecting a bad fuel pump.  The one in there is really old...plus when I was able to get the car running, it didn't sound right, even when I had the gas pedal halfway down.  After I wrote my post I went out to the garage and tried again, wouldn't stay on for more than half a second.

Today I'll try feeding it gas manually from a bottle and see if it stays running that way.  Don't look forward to replacing this myself, which I'll have to do because I live in metro Detroit and there are no mechanics who will touch a classic car for anything - you can't even get them to put new tires on anymore.

Thanks again.

Maybe time for a carb rebuild.  Depending on the carb, most shops will not be able to even recognize what you have.  The original Carter and Rochester do not have a idle adjustment screw. The carbs have an air adjuster screw and fuel idle screws.   A total of 3 screws to adjust, and it is very easy to misadjust and have the engine run lean causing an overheat issue. 

If you have a newer Edelbrock carb, there is an idle adjustment screw. 

Send the carb out to specialty shops. There are several reputable shops, and maybe in your home town.

Thanks Russ!  Actually I did a rebuild on the carb last year, and it has been running great ever since...new accelerator pump, gaskets, needles, seats, screen, everything cleaned (it was flooding due to dirt trapped in the seats).  But now, even when you have your foot halfway down on the pedal, it stalls out almost immediately.  No amount of gas you can give it to keep it going.  So the more I think about it, the more I think fuel pressure is way too low.

I'll go buy some gas today in a can and try feeding the carb with a tube, see if that fixes it...if so, I guess I'll have my answer, ugh.  Right now it's in the garage with front bumper inches away from the wall, so doing this myself will be an ordeal.  Guess I have no choice though, since no mechanics will tough it.  Ironic, considering I live in the "Motor City" which should be the #1 place in the world to get these cars serviced, LOL!!

Update:  Started the car this morning, ran smooth and strong until I tripped the choke for warm idle...then it stalled.  Restarting is easy, but runs shorter and shorter before stalling.  Wait half an hour, it runs fine until you trip choke, then stalls.  So maybe Russ is right and there's a carb issue?  There is no leaking/flooding.  Distributor, rotor, cap, plugs, wires, ignition coil, voltage regulator all less than 2 years old.

Tried adjusting air mixture and fuel mixture screws for faster idle, no change.  Stills stalls on warm idle.  Never had a problem with this car before, 8 years it never stalled once.  This came up out of nowhere, happened overnight.

Totally mystified!


The fuel pump usually works or just stops working —No in between - so I do not think your fuel pump is the issue

So very sorry no one will touch your car where you live — hate that - that’s nuts in motor city to boot 

if your carb does not have an idle adjustment screw as Russ ( who knows better than me ) says  I would not be making any carb adjustments unless you have the correct tools ( instruments ) to be making the adjustments ( a Dwell meter - with expanded Rpm meter ) due to the three adjustments Russ explained 

carb adjustment should only be done once after a complete tune up with engine on spec ( last adjustment made ) 

If you have a point dist —you need to be checking the point wear and timing —which could be the problem here ( tune up every 6,000 miles ) due to how this suddenly happened 

worn points and timing out of adjustment —-will do this 

if you have a Pertronics ignition replace the dist ( often overlooked due to no point replacement needed  ) and check the timing again 

I think ——you have to move —so you can keep you great Antique Cadillac  running great as  good as it should———LOL !

Where are you located ?

I think you should find a fellow  63-64 Cadillac owner in your area with good mechanical skills that might be of some help at times with no shops willing to help you where you live 

we should have a list of independent fellow Cadillac owners ( and shop owners ) with mechanical skills that would be willing to help others in different locations on this site 


I would almost always be checking the points and timing if using the stock dist — when ever any issue comes up with the engine not  running correctly —-as more often than not that will correct the problem 

A go to first —in many cases for me as this is at the heart of the engines performance and must be correct first before trouble shooting further 


Thank Tony, yes I'm back to thinking it's the fuel pump.  Nothing else makes sense.  I rebuilt the carb 18 months ago (since no shop will touch it) and it has been running beautiful ever since.  I also put in new distributor, plugs, wires, coil, etc., at that time.  Three days ago I was driving the car across town with zero problems - now suddenly I can't get out of my own garage.

Tomorrow I'll try feeding the carb gas manually, that should settle it one way or the other...will keep everyone posted just for the hell of it.



Pls check your points and timing first —-then go from there with further  trouble shooting they need  to be right no matter what else is going on 

Trust me  mechanical fuel pumps just stop working and stop pumping fuel  when they break - they do not pump a reduced amount of fuel - just stop working 

When a pump diaphragm breaks it will contaminate the crankcase oil with gasoline 

You oil will smell like gas if that happens and the oil needs changing ( good to know ) 


Thanks Tony, that's a good tip, I'll look into it.  This afternoon, I tried spraying starting fuel into the carb and turning the engine over - that should have been good for a couple seconds of running, but zero.  So fuel doesn't seem to be the issue.  

I then put a brand new ignition coil on, no difference.  Checked plugs, they're fine.  Checked distributor rotor & cap, still new looking.  But I've never changed out the points and condenser, so who knows how old those are.  Will try that Sunday if I can find a shop with them in stock.

I can usually figure out what's going on but this mystery has me stumped!


As you do not know how much time you have on your points and condenser  tends to be strengthening  my thoughts that that is your issue 

You should experience a nice boost in performance when new  points go in and the timing is correct 

Do not adjust old worn points but put in new 

I use a Borg Warner point and condenser combo ( one unit ) that is very easy to pop in and adjust 

Always recheck your timing after you tighten down the dist —for accuracy 

Clean and grease your dist weights under the rotor while you are there ( white lithium grease ) 

White out on the timing marks is a good tip 


Thanks Tony I've been reading up on this, don't think I will try it myself.  Apparently there is play on how/where the unit is screwed down, has to be spot on within thousands of an inch.  There is no way I would be able to get it matched up that precisely.

No repair shops, no clue how to fix this so looks like I'm done.  1963 Cadillac for sale, doesn't run but a great bargain for a mechanic!!!



  • Add Photos
  • View All


64 tranny mount

Started by Ron Perry in 1963/64 Cadillac Specific Discussion 20 hours ago. 0 Replies

Hi Guys Hoping someone could recommend a vender where I can purchase a transmission mount for my 64 Sedan De Ville.  Thanks!Continue

Jason's September 26, 2022 Ramble - Gone Like a '64 Cadillac

Started by Jason Edge in General Discussion. Last reply by Jason Edge 21 hours ago. 2 Replies

Well, parts car #58 is history. Rear end came out late yesterday (1st Picture below), it was delivered to the metal yard this morning (2nd picture) and for the first time since I bought my 2013…Continue

Was there Originally Carpet Inside 1964 Eldorado Center Console?

Started by C. Van Tune in 1963/64 Cadillac Specific Discussion. Last reply by Bobby Brown yesterday. 6 Replies

Is there supposed to be carpet inside the '64 Eldo center console?There is carpet in mine, and it's a deeper pile than what's on the floor (which has probably been replaced.)Here's some pix of mine.…Continue

63 Lower Front Bumper Ends?

Started by Peter Greenway in Wanted to Buy. Last reply by Peter Greenway yesterday. 3 Replies

I'm looking for 2 good condition lower front bumper ends for a 1963 car. Can anyone help please?Continue

Blog Posts

electric fuel pump question on 63

Posted by Kim K Kaiser on September 27, 2022 at 11:30pm 0 Comments

I suffered another vapor lock today,  and im bout ready to go to electric.  It can get really hot and dry out here in MT and it was only 88 yesterday when I stalled.   car ran flawless all day..  got into my town, did some slow and idle driving, and temp on gauge got to about 195.   To get to my house, I have to climb a pretty steep hill, and as has happened on other occasions, has stalled about half way up.   I checked the bowl, it was at the bottom.  The fuel pump was HOT!!!,,,I had it…


Trunk Open and Lock Mechanism is in Closed Position

Posted by Chris Anderson on September 13, 2022 at 7:14pm 7 Comments

While working on my trunk lock on 64 Cadillac, I mistakenly closed the locking mechanism while the trunk was open.  Is there an easy way to manually release the lock back to the open position?


Fuel Pump Failure

Posted by Jon Shields on August 6, 2022 at 6:48am 4 Comments


I'm located in Melbourne, Australia and my 64 sedan de ville is stuck in the garage due to failed mechanical fuel pump. The first after market mechanical fuel pump lasted a few years before it failed & left me stranded 5 hours from home. A hire car and tow got us home. On inspection, I noticed a valve not seated within the housing. I was optimistic, pressed it into place and assumed the pump was good to go. But alas, no. From what I can now determine, the diaphragm pushrod…


Renovation project 1964 Cadillac Deville convertible

Posted by Balachne on May 31, 2022 at 7:00am 3 Comments

Renovation project 1964 Cadillac Deville convertible



To achieve an excellent result of vehicle restoration, it is essential to  manage this task as one manages an industrial project.

To do this we will use a certain formalism of project management and therefore start by defining the need. It is from this that we will deduce the scope, then the time of execution of the…



  • Add Videos
  • View All

© 2022   Created by Jason Edge.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service