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Unless the carb is cracked or badly warped,a rebuild should fix it. A carb will make a certain amount of hissing when it's running, so I can't say if what you hear is normal or not.
 

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To be honest from what he describes, I don't think its the accelerator pump. The accelerator pump only does something when you step on the gas harder. It squirts a little fuel in to the carb which gives the carb a change to see an increase in fuel demanded and compensate. Thats whats nice about fuel injection, the response to more fuel is almost immediate, while a carb takes a second to catch up. The accelerator pump is there to compensate for this delay. Usually an accelerator pump problem would be when you go to pull out into traffic the vehicle hesitates badly.

There are so many things that could be wrong, it could be ignition, it could be a vacuum leak, it could be the fuel pump, it could be..........................
 

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I was using accel pump as an example of possible degradation. I'm leaning more towards degraded float and flooding/run rich causing immediate issue.
Yeah, there is a good chance if he doesn't have a brass float the foam float has soaked up fuel and is too heavy. The bad part of them is you can't tell by looking like you can with a brass float. I can't remember if rebuild kits come with floats or not, but I think they do. My experience was if you wanted a vehicle to run real sharp, you needed to rebuild the carb every couple of years.
 
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