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Old 08-15-2004, 02:14 PM
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Exclamation 350 sbc upgrade... Engine will not start

OK, I have a 76 nova, 350 4bbl. I put a bunch of crap on the engine, Edelbrock RPM heads, RPM camshaft and lifters, RPM manifold, roller rockers arms, pushrods, 750 cfm Edelbrock carb, edelbrock fuel pump, radiator, timing chain, Mallory distributor and a bunch of other small stuff.

My problem is that my engine will start. the first time I tried, it sounded about like a shotgun. It'll turn over but won't start. It just backfires like crazy.

Someone told me that it was the distrib off 180 degrees, changed that and it wasn't it. I put the engine at TDC and reset the distributor and it still won't start.

ANYONE have any ideas???

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Old 08-15-2004, 02:33 PM
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For starters I would pop the distibutor cap and snatch the number 1 spark plug, have a friend bump the engine over and make sure the rotor is pointing at the number 1 terminal when the engine reaches TDC on the compression stroke, with your finger over the spark plug hole you`ll feel the compression when it begins to build, if the rotor isn`t pointing at the number 1 terminal then you`ve found the problem. If that checks out okay then check the rockers and make sure none are too tight or too loose. lastly make sure it`s getting enough fuel. my guess is the timing is still off, and I would also check and make sure the firing order is correct, it`s very easy to get 5 and 7 backwards since they run together in the order of 1 8 4 3 6 5 7 2.
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Old 08-15-2004, 02:59 PM
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Distributor

[color=yellow][size=2]Doc Here

As DV said, check the fire order. You say the timing is right, Be sure you have #1 Compression Both Valves closed...( For Watch the lifters) For TDC so I'd look At the Fire Order Next.

Photo below shows fire order #1 plug wire with tape on it(stock location) is at 5 O"Clock, Direction of rotation is clockwise, the plug for the power and tach faces left, wires 7&2 are between the plug.

If that won't get you running, look at Valves too tight, that will backfire on good timing.

Also if all fails pull the timing chain Cover and check to see you set the cam right.

Both marks will face up at 12 O'Clock on #1 TDC and Dot to Dot on #6 TDC.

If thats right, or if you need to correct it, before you put the cover back on, check the distributor and ensure it is set to #1 before you put it all together again. It'll save time later.

Doc
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Last edited by docvette; 08-15-2004 at 03:15 PM.
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Old 08-15-2004, 03:16 PM
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OOpS!

[color=yellow][size=2]Doc Here

Sorry about that had trouble with the upload...

Doc
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Old 08-15-2004, 04:36 PM
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ive had the same problem with my truck, the distributer is most likely 180 off
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Old 08-15-2004, 07:17 PM
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same prob starting the 388 for the first time, wires I think 3 and were switched.

K
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Old 08-15-2004, 10:46 PM
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If you installed a new cam or timing chain set and lined the marks on the crank gear with the mark on the cam gear then installed the distributor, your timing is 180 degrees off.

Found out the hard way about 20 years ago doing a SB in one of my '57s.

After fighting with it a few days I finally figured out after you do this alignement of the marks you need to rotate the crank till the mark on the cam gear is at the top. Then drop in the distributor. This places the engine so it's now ready for #1 cylinder to fire.

After I did this, engine fired on first try.
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Old 08-15-2004, 11:09 PM
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did you have # 1 at tdc when you lined up your timing marks?if not,you probaly are off 180*or 90* or something.when ever you put a timing set in you start at tdc and with the crank timing gear mark at top.that will put your cam gear mark at bottom. and when you drop in your dist. first make sure your oil pump drive shaft slot is pointing between 5/7 cylinders,drop in the dist. and your rotor will point to # 1 on your dist.cap.one other thing to look at is under driver side valve cover.your two front rockers should look like identicle twins.i mean side by side in the same place not one up and one down.you should be able to touch them and find the slightest bit of movement in both.if all this happens it will start withn out back firing.the bigest problem people make is in the very first step.starting the tear down from tdc.simple mistake,i've done it myself.
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Old 08-16-2004, 10:27 PM
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Hey thanks guys for all the input. I pulled my timing cover and it was right on, but my distributor was off 180 degrees, but my valves were also not closed on the compression stroke. So, I fixed it all and it cranked, but idled quite rough and if I didn't press the gas pedal it would die in about 5 seconds.

Naturally I thought it was the timing but later, when I go to set it my starter brakes. Sparks and a little bit of fire was coming off my starter. I took it off and it had blown out a gasket/seal and two screws. So now I've gotta fix the starter, but I'm probably just gonna buy a new starter. Probably a high torque mini starter.

So, would I be better off fixing mine or spening the money and buy a performance starter? How much does the mini starter help?
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Old 08-16-2004, 10:44 PM
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buy a mini starter...... you can always switch it from future enginesd, thats wht i do, i buy the part once instead of a few times cheaper,

edelbrock water pump

air gap.

750 holley

etc.. see they can all be reused.. just like amini starter
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Old 10-08-2010, 03:26 PM
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Poping nova

I have a chevy truck and everyone said to put the time marks on the chain point to Point it didn't work so I put them 12 and 12 it fired right up
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