The vast majority of automobiles manufactured for the 1980 production-year were equipped with a carburetor, since fuel injection did not become a common feature until the later-half of the decade. Although the carburetor had been in use long before 1980, its basic design remained unchanged due to the component's relatively simple design. Troubleshooting a 1980 carburetor is a fairly straightforward process, but doing so should not be attempted without a familiarity with carburetors.
Remove the carburetor from the engine with a wrench without draining the fuel from the carburetor bowl.2
Examine the contents of the fuel in the carburetor bowl for contaminants, such as water, dirt and other foreign matter. Pass a magnet throughout the fuel bowl to capture any iron oxide dust that might cause a leak and the intake needle and seat.3
Inspect the gasket surfaces on the body of the carburetor and on the underside of the air horn for burs or nicks. Smooth the damaged area with a file. Note that some carburetors produced in 1980 were equipped with a vacuum piston passageway. If a leak is present around the passageway due to an uneven gasket surface, the engine may hesitate when cornering.4
Ensure that the carburetor flange nuts are tight with a wrench. If the flange is loose, air can enter the intake manifold from beneath the throttle plate and adversely affect idle quality and engine performance.5
Fill the carburetor with clean fuel before installing it on the engine to prevent any dirt trapped in the fuel system from becoming dislodged by a sudden rush of fuel.6
Run the engine at a low idle after allowing it to warm. Remove the choke heat pipe and block its opening with a finger. If little or no vacuum is detected, inspect the choke housing for leaks or a plugged vacuum passage. If vacuum is present, inspect the vacuum passages in the carburetor between the choke housing and the intake manifold for clogs.7
Depress the throttle pedal to the floor and ensure that the throttle plates are wide open. Adjust the linkage if they are not, because high speed performance will be adversely affected.8
Trace the carburetor's fuel line from the carburetor to the fuel pump while inspecting the line for sharp bends. Such a restriction can lead to vapor lock. Shorten or replace the line if you discover a bend.