I don't consider myself 'Smart' by a long shot,
But I do remember my mistakes, and when I find something that doesn't look/feel quite right, I dip back to why I sold this or that because I couldn't get it running correctly when I hear of someone else finding a 'Fix' for the same issues I had and apply it towards what I'm dealing with.
Experience is a wonderful thing if you remember what you already had to deal with and don't stop trying to figure out the problme even after it's long gone.
I read about all these people that have such issues with the stock ignition, put in an HEI clone, and the vehicle started to run 'Correctly' again...
I wonder how much of that is faulty ground to the ignition module through the distributor housing,
And the simple act of changing distributors simply scratches away the oil residue buildup and you get ground to the new distributor...
Or when people change carbs because they simply can't get the stock carb to run 'Correctly', when it might be something as simple as float level, vacuum leak or incorrect external adjustments...
Changing carbs will usually fix base plate vacuum leaks,
And with a new carb, you are likely to have INSTRUCTIONS on adjustments they might not have been able to find for the stock carb.
On a completely unrelated note,
I purchased an '82 blazer in very good shape, lots of extras, custom wheels & tires, ect. for CHEAP simply because the owner believed the engine was 'Blowed Up' and wouldn't listen to me when I said I though it was something else.
Turned out to be the alternator front bearing had went out and was making a knocking noise.
I purchased the little CJ-5 I drive around now because the owners (AMISH!) were using it to pump water.
They had the rear end jacked up, two wheels welded together and used it to turn a belt driven water pump.
The owner SWORE it was a 'Blown Up' engine, and I offered him $400 more than he was asking since I KNEW it wasn't the engine,
He simply wouldn't hear it, told me if I didn't want to give $600 for it, he would sell it to someone else or scrap it...
So I gave him $600, went home, replaced the passenger side header that was rusted through...
No more knock!
Some people you CAN help, others you can't, and it's taken me a lot of years to tell when to back away and just let them think what they are dead set on doing.
The guy I wrote about above is TICKLED TO DEATH with his Jeep now,
But it's been so unreliable for so long he won't drive it out of town yet, but he's been ripping around in it since I got it done about 2 weeks ago,
So he's LOVING it so far...
One other thing I forgot to list was it would quit running like someone shut the key off once in a while, especally after he hit a bump, but not always.
Sometimes it would fire right back up, other times he would 'Wiggle' everything under the hood, and it would eventually start back up.
He had TWO $195 tow bills from that Jeep this summer, and the Jeep would start right up when they dropped it off the hook in his driveway...
So I checked the coil terminal connectors, and they were BADLY misshapen.
Some time with a tooth pick & needle nose pliers, and the sudden dying has gone away.
I find this to be a common thing on the '78-'86 models, and it's on my 'Check Everything' list...
After 25+ years of hammering away on that harness, I'm surprised that ANYTHING works under the hood at all!
Anyway, GROUND EVERYTHING!
Fill your connectors with dielectric grease, Messy, but VERY effective at keeping corrosion to a minimum,
And don't forget to pay to the Jeep Gods at least once a week!