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Old 06-27-2011, 05:08 PM
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350 olds Rebuild, WONT start

Hey guys,
I recently just finished rebuilding my 1972 oldsmobile cutlass, the only problem is that it wont start. The only new things are that I replaced the cam shaft, carburator, and intake. This has been confusing my and a couple of my buddies for quite a while. So far we are pretty sure that we have canceled out that the spark plugs, the distributor, carburator, timing, battery, and gas lines are all not the problem.
What happens when I try starting it is that when I try starting it the engine turns over but it wont fire. We have gotten the exhaust to pop every once and a while but it just wont start. One of the weird things that happens when we turn it over the carburator has smoke coming out the top and spits out gas. What we think is happening is that the gas is not getting sucked into the engine enough.
Any help would be much appreciated..
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Old 06-27-2011, 06:02 PM
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Either the distrib is 180 degrees out or the camshaft is not installed correctly.
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Old 06-28-2011, 04:26 AM
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does it have spark? if so is it backfiring at all?
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Old 06-28-2011, 05:57 AM
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Do a compression check. If the timing chain is off then the compression will be low.

Pump the gas and look down the carb to make sure the carb is pumping fuel into the intake. If it isn't, try some starting fluid or dump a little gas down the carb.

In most cases, the distributor is off a tooth or more. twist the distributor around to see if you get a better response.
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Old 06-28-2011, 09:49 AM
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You had to pull the distributor to change the cam. You've reinstalled it 180 degress out. Pull it and reinstall it correctly.
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Old 06-28-2011, 01:47 PM
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I know that we have spark for sure and it will backfire every once and a while.
We have also tried pouring some gas down the carb but that hasnt helped at all.
And multiple times we have gotten the engine so that cylinder one is compressed and we then checked the distributor to see if it is pointing at one and we have gotten it so that it is but that still wont work.
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Old 06-28-2011, 02:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigMike1972
I know that we have spark for sure and it will backfire every once and a while.
We have also tried pouring some gas down the carb but that hasnt helped at all.
And multiple times we have gotten the engine so that cylinder one is compressed and we then checked the distributor to see if it is pointing at one and we have gotten it so that it is but that still wont work.
The distributor will make a spark whether it's installed correctly or 180 out.
The fact that the rotor points to the no. 1 plug does NOT mean that the no. 1 cylinder is on the compression stroke. How did you verify that the no. 1 is on the compression stroke? Did you pull the valve cover or just put your finger in the spark plug hole? There will be some "compression" in the plug hole even on the exhaust stroke.

Once again, the most likely problem is that the distributor is 180 deg out. If that's not the problem, you either have the firing order backwards (Olds distributors turn opposite of Chevys) or you have the cam installed incorrectly. By the way, did you pump the new lifters in a can of oil to fill them before installing them? If not, it will take some time for the oil pressure to build and fill them.

And don't keep pouring gas down the carb. You'll wash all the oil off the cylinder walls and cause wear to the rings once it does start.
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Old 06-28-2011, 03:36 PM
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Did you actually rebuilt it or just the stuff you mentioned? I also think you have the dist or the cam out of time but another possibility might exist if you had the heads redone. The Olds are zero lash and just tighten until the stand bottoms out. I have seen them heads come back from the machine shop with the installed heights on the valves wrong and it might be holding a bunch of the valves open. As mentioned, do a compression test and it will tell you a lot.
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Old 06-28-2011, 04:53 PM
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How can you tell if the timing chain is not lined up correctly? The carb is not sucking the gas down to the heads and when I have the valve cover off I can see the valves traveling up and down a good 1/2 inch.
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Old 06-28-2011, 05:26 PM
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I agree your timing is 180 out. Just swap the dizzy around and try it
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Old 06-28-2011, 06:03 PM
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Re-check yourself on the timing i agree with the others on this.



Cole
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Old 07-12-2011, 09:44 AM
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I'd double check timing as noted. Just because no1 is up doesn't mean it is TDC. Also keep in mind the more you crank this the more your cam lube is getting wiped off. So if you can, pull the cam back out re-lube it, double check the chain with the gears. Put it back in and re-adjust the valves.

Before you take came out (which I would really do) you can do the compression test. Take all your plugs out while doing this so the engine can turn over easier. It def could be your valve adjustment. Look for atleast 120 pounds per cylinder, but you could be 150 or 180 etc per cylinder, just make sure they are consistent.
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