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-Hi guys I am new to learning about cars. My dad has a 1987 Pontiac Firebird v8 5.0L.

-Story about the vehicle:

He used to drive this car all the time until it leaked oil one day (this was around 2004~2006). He didn’t know much about cars so he got a “mechanic” that one of his friends knew to look at it for him. This guy told him that the motor was the problem and it was leaking. So my dad bought a 2000 Chevy Venture. Later on once I was able to drive I told my dad to try and fix his car so I can drive it around.

The reason I wanted to drive it was because I sat in the backseat and had some good memories. I saw that the oil was coming from the oil pan. We replaced this and the old oil and it didn’t run. The car has been sitting for 6/8 years so it was bound to happen. He got another “mechanic” to look at it and he replaced the fuel pump, fuel filter, and gasoline. Didn’t start he got a third “mechanic” and he put in a carburetor and a fender. This guy didn’t adjust the carburetor but he did attach most of the components. Later on after about a week or so the car died after I was reving it a bit. Now the car doesn’t start but I think the carburetor is flooded because I can smell the gas from the carburetor.

-Question:
Where do I start with the car?

I was thinking I should attempt to start the car with starter fluid. If it starts then I should adjust the air to gas mixture from the instructions in the manual also the idle screw. But I imagine there is a lot I might be missing
 
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Knightrider189

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-Hi guys I am new to learning about cars. My dad has a 1987 Pontiac Firebird v8 5.0L.

-Story about the vehicle:

He used to drive this car all the time until it leaked oil one day (this was around 2004~2006). He didn’t know much about cars so he got a “mechanic” that one of his friends knew to look at it for him. This guy told him that the motor was the problem and it was leaking. So my dad bought a 2000 Chevy Venture. Later on once I was able to drive I told my dad to try and fix his car so I can drive it around.

The reason I wanted to drive it was because I sat in the backseat and had some good memories. I saw that the oil was coming from the oil pan. We replaced this and the old oil and it didn’t run. The car has been sitting for 6/8 years so it was bound to happen. He got another “mechanic” to look at it and he replaced the fuel pump, fuel filter, and gasoline. Didn’t start he got a third “mechanic” and he put in a carburetor and a fender. This guy didn’t adjust the carburetor but he did attach most of the components. Later on after about a week or so the car died after I was reving it a bit. Now the car doesn’t start but I think the carburetor is flooded because I can smell the gas from the carburetor.

-Question:
Where do I start with the car?

I was thinking I should attempt to start the car with starter fluid. If it starts then I should adjust the air to gas mixture from the instructions in the manual also the idle screw. But I imagine there is a lot I might be missing
Sounds like maybe the float might be stuck in the carburetor causing it to flood and not start.


Black 1989 Pontiac Formula Firebird 5.7L, WS6, automatic, T-tops, all OEM...
 
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Knightrider189

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Would I have to open the carburetor for that?
Yes sir. The float is inside. You could try using a screwdriver or something blunt to lightly tap on the side of the carb to try and free it but use caution and don’t break the carb housing. Not saying this is what’s causing your flooding issue but it’s a start.


Black 1989 Pontiac Formula Firebird 5.7L, WS6, automatic, T-tops, all OEM...
 
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I got it to start today it was really a rough idle, lots and lots of white smoke from exhaust only, and the rev at idle is too low.

The rough idle maybe due to the spark plugs since I had a friend come over once and try to change them but he stopped after a little while and I don’t know which ones he changed and didn’t and I have to check them for the proper gap.

The excessive white smoke maybe due to the gas/air mixture and I still have to check that float. The smell was strong and was like gasoline.

Rev idle is something I can adjust with the screw on the carburetor.

Any input is appreciated.


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Knightrider189

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I got it to start today it was really a rough idle, lots and lots of white smoke from exhaust only, and the rev at idle is too low.

The rough idle maybe due to the spark plugs since I had a friend come over once and try to change them but he stopped after a little while and I don’t know which ones he changed and didn’t and I have to check them for the proper gap.

The excessive white smoke maybe due to the gas/air mixture and I still have to check that float. The smell was strong and was like gasoline.

Rev idle is something I can adjust with the screw on the carburetor.

Any input is appreciated.


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Lots of white smoke from the exhaust sounds like it could be a head gasket blown.

Hard to say not looking at it.

How’s the coolant level in it? New spark plugs, wires, and distributor cap and rotor could be something to look at also.

Have you changed out the old fuel for new?

You did say it sat for a long time.


Black 1989 Pontiac Formula Firebird 5.7L, WS6, automatic, T-tops, all OEM...
 
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Knightrider189

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If I have to have it rebuilt is it possible for me to do it myself or should I just hand it over to a professional?
Have what rebuilt?

If you are talking about the engine and if you don’t have any mechanical experience rebuilding then yes, I would recommend a professional to rebuild it for you.


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Alright, so as I was changing the oil I smelled and saw that there is gasoline mixed in.

Also when the tube.



Spat out the oil from a tube connected to the air filter it smelled like gas.
 
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