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Old 08-09-2011, 07:49 AM
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1985 Chevy 305 202k orig. miles won't start...

'85 Caprice 305 4bbl quadrajunk 202k original miles ran when parked...

I drove this car as a back-up, only put 16k miles in the past 7 years... my first car so I have alot of love for her. I drove this car for a solid week or two straight with broken collector on the driver's side with a great sound and smell to boot I was waiting for parts to come in for my daily driver. I use to beat on this thing all the time and she keeps dishing it out. I did just the same for those couple of weeks. I drove home from work, parked her and she sounded normal as any other day. The next morning, she didn't catch. Crank crank crank, no catch.

A year later, charged up the ol' optima, changed the 2 yr old oil covered spark plugs, a set of the cheesy/fancy clear dist cap and rotor, finally found the coil was deader than a door nail and replaced with a tested-good Accel super coil. Now I'm starting to get a little bit of fire. The only other thing that I could think of to replace (easily) was the capacitor inside the dist. I love how all the HEI parts are cheap

I still can't get her to fully catch though. I put an inline spark tester on the #1 spark plug and saw an orange spark, then a few times showed a bit faint of an orange spark. Could this mean I'm getting not such a great contact from that cheesy/fancy dist cap and rotor or maybe a weakening coil? Am I neglecting the fact that it could be low compression all over the cylinders or am I missing something completely under my nose? Tune in to find out, same Bat-time, same Bat-channel...

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Old 08-10-2011, 05:21 PM
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Weak spark is usually a sign of a bad coil or bad ground somewhere.
The fact you have spark tells you most likely the internals of the distributor are working.
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Old 08-10-2011, 05:35 PM
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Try dumping a teaspoon(no more) of fresh gas into the carb and turn it over quickly before you put the air cleaner assy back on. Only blip the throttle quickly once. That should tell you if its in the ignition or fuel circuits. If it tries to start, you may have bad/old gas or some other fuel type problem. If it doesn't try to start, look at your ignition.
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Old 08-10-2011, 07:28 PM
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Orange, yellow spark means weak spark.
If the engine has that many miles on it the timing chain is completely shot.
Changing it wouldn`t be a bad idea.
Quadrajets are not junk. They are the best carb ever made and many will testify to that statement. They can and have been used successfully on the street and on the race track. I learned over the years what a junk carb is and that`s a Holley, they are very cheaply made and have poor quality control. Just because you don`t understand a Quadrajet don`t make it junk.
If your Quadrajet still works after that many miles, I wouldn`t call it junk. You would have never gotten that many miles out of a holley.
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Old 08-10-2011, 08:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleVision
Orange, yellow spark means weak spark.
If the engine has that many miles on it the timing chain is completely shot.
Changing it wouldn`t be a bad idea.
Quadrajets are not junk. They are the best carb ever made and many will testify to that statement. They can and have been used successfully on the street and on the race track. I learned over the years what a junk carb is and that`s a Holley, they are very cheaply made and have poor quality control. Just because you don`t understand a Quadrajet don`t make it junk.
If your Quadrajet still works after that many miles, I wouldn`t call it junk. You would have never gotten that many miles out of a holley.
Please don't be offended Double, I was just throwing around a name I've heard. I never had a problem out of my Quad on The Wagon, though I have had a bad Quad on a parts 'Bird I obtained once. It had fresh gas that wouldn't start the 'Bird but it ran great on starting fluid. I slapped on a spare Edelbrock a.k.a. Glorified Quadrajet and the 'Bird ran great on its own. That particular Quad was not so good in my defense. Sorry.

Update: I did put 5 gallons of fresh gas in The Wagon and I know for a fact it was almost empty. I still tried to spray starting fluid in the carb and she still didn't change.

I seriously doubt the timing set is so worn out that it failed to start the day after it parked fine with no abnormalities. I'm not saying you're wrong, I'm just trying to squeeze a few more tanks of gas out of her since she is the only truck I got and I need to take a 350 to get machine work done on.

I'm almost dead set on low compression. A new question would be should I soak the rings over a day or two with some Marvel Mystery Oil (an old trick I learned) and change out the oil and put in some Cylinder Restore? That should give me a good shot just shy of rebuilding the engine... I hope.
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Old 08-11-2011, 12:32 AM
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I was saying it`s likely the weak spark is why it won`t start. When you get a weak spark, it can be it`s only sparking every other revolution and when you perform a spark test what you use is less resistance than a spark plug so it`s likely to ark it, but not the plug itself. Electricity is smart and lazy, it will always take the path of least resistance. Next is low compression and a bad timing chain is a double whammy. Using any kind of engine additive unfortunately won`t bring it back. Even if the engine has 5:1 compression it`ll still start if it`s got air/fuel and spark. One of those three your not getting. In the past I`ve seen Oldsmobile 260`s with 150,000 miles have 60 psi cylinder pressure left, they would still start, but wouldn`t rev over 2500 rpm and wouldn`t go over 25 mph but as long as it had air/fuel and spark, it would still run.
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Old 09-28-2011, 07:38 AM
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Update

Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleVision
If the engine has that many miles on it the timing chain is completely shot.
Changing it wouldn`t be a bad idea.
Yessir That chain is completely shot. I decided (was forced) to mess with it yesterday and to my surprise there was so much slop in the chain when I rotated the crank pulley back and forth without seeing the rotor button move hardly. Tore off everything on the front and the timing chain came off with ease. The cam pulley has about 1/4 or 1/5 of the teeth run down. Damn! To more of a surprise the cam pulley is aluminum! ***!?!? I can understand the aluminum cam gear at least compared to my dad's old V6 Pinto having nylon timing gears.

Well I wrestled the new double roller timing set on there and then I felt like rubber so I called it a night. Tune-in later folks.

Last edited by 68NovaSS; 10-01-2011 at 07:19 PM. Reason: Profanity. Please see: general board guidelines.
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Old 09-29-2011, 07:38 AM
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Update

Enjoy this broken SBC aluminum cam gear from the original timing set... after I put a wire wheel to it of course.
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Old 09-30-2011, 10:30 PM
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More than likely that timing gear was Nylon coated, yes, GM did the same thing. Now the next part of the problem. The nylon gets brittle from heat and wear, breaks off, falls into the oil pan, the oil pump sucks it up into it`s screen which kills the oil pressure until the point enough of it`s on the screen with a little sludge and no more oil pressure. Next is the engine locks up and the ball game is over. Seen that happen on countless engines, especially fords from the mid 70`s. You`ll have to remove the pan and clean the oil pump screen. If not, your running a time bomb. Sorry I don`t have better news.
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Old 10-01-2011, 02:43 PM
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Thank you

Thank you for shaking some sense into me. I didn't know those were nylon coated. I was thinking at first to drop the pan to change the oil pan gasket for good measure, also to fit the timing cover in place but I squeezed that back in without having to do so. I will put that on top of the to-do list right underneath "get-'er-runnin' ". I'm still not certain if she will crank up since I'm most likely still producing an orange spark. I did find a corroded ground wire right by the t-stat housing and I'm in the middle of fixing that now. Here's hoping...
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Old 10-02-2011, 06:46 PM
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She lives!!!

The timing set fixed it! She ran beautifully and so very strong and then she didn't even make it a half-way down the street I found my temporary fix finally wore out on my gas tank. I had a jbweld patch on a hairline crack for over 3 years now and then all my gas was gone by the time I left the driveway. BUT SHE LIVES AGAIN! Time for a new gas tank and some more TLC. Thank you for your wisdom doublevision, it helped tremendously

On another obvious note, I had no weak spark. I stupidly didn't realize that my in-line spark tester is always going to flash orange. After I ran the car, the clear dist. capwas showing blue spark to each contact. Glad it was one thing and nothing else.

Last edited by ViperMonster800; 10-02-2011 at 06:50 PM. Reason: forgot to add another comment
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