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Old 08-14-2002, 11:03 AM
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Unhappy 4 jaw - need help with SBC 400!

You seem to answer many questions, I hope you have lots of time! I have a SB 400 in my 38 chevy street rod. It has an edelbrock Performer intake, Edelbrock 600 electric choke carb, Mallory ignition, etc. The engine has been installed inthe car (as it has been built) for about 7 years. It recently started to die after the engine gets good 'n hot. The carb has gas and the engine will re-start and idle, but WILL NOT rev up. It simply dies if you try to move it off idle. I have cleaned the carb, cleaned the tank and replaced the gas and installed a new filter. Checked the timing, etc. While the engine is running (about 10 minutes) it iis incredibly strong, though it does seem to load-up up a bit. I convinced Edelbrock that this was a carb issue and they replaced the carb - same problem with the new one! Help!

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Old 08-14-2002, 04:34 PM
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Worn out fuel pump? Do a volume test and a pressure test to be sure. What's the timing at, does the timing move when you rev the engine, is it running hot?, is it hard to start?.

I'm not the only knowledgeable guy here, many are better than I. Give us some more info and we all can help you better.

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Old 08-14-2002, 05:11 PM
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Are you running a HEI Dist? if so try disconecting the vac advance,some times the wires break right at the pickup coil and shut down the ignition when advancing.
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Old 08-14-2002, 05:52 PM
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O , I see you have Mallory!I must start reading the posts better! must have skiped right over that part? But if u have good fuel presure, whould check the dist out.You can use a timming light to see if the ign shuts down just watch the light.
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Old 08-15-2002, 12:41 PM
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smoke way to much kgb to remember anything-(as you may have noticed)- but i think i had this same problem last year when my coil wire was burned in half in the middle, had wire at both ends but when i tore it apart the middle wasn't there. i have a uni-lite. replaced the module ($100) and nothing changed so looked elsewhere. so change the coil wire real quick and rev it up. good luck

[ August 15, 2002: Message edited by: bullheimer ]</p>
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Old 08-15-2002, 01:31 PM
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Thanks guys...roys63 & bullheimer, I was headed toward the ignition. I have it torn apart checking the wiring now. Actually redoing some of what I didn't like about the way the shop mounted my coil & resistor. I had them put inside the dash out of sight, but they put the out of reach, behind the air conditioner! -- 4 jaw, the fuel runs at 5.5 lbs pressure like edelbrock recommends. I aasume the flow is ok. The pump probably has 200 miles (but 5 years) on it. I have it set at 17 degrees of timing if I can trust my light and yes, the timing moves when it revs.
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Old 08-16-2002, 12:20 PM
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the coil wire i was talking about changing real quick is the one out of the center of the dist. cap. just shotgun with a piece of old plug wire and see if anything happens when you rev it
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Old 08-18-2002, 07:44 PM
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Hi guys - I got the engine running and seem to have overcome the previous problem. The problem must have been ignition related rather than fuel. I replaced a bunch of the secondary wiring, the coil wire, etc. Now I have another question regarding timing...when I set the timing with the light, at 18 to 20 degrees, the engine starts OK but doesn't run really good. When I put a vacuum guage on it, it shows "Late Ignition Timing" and reads anout 15-16 inches of vac. When I set the timing to 20 inches of vacuum, the engine runs better, but I get hard starting. So, what do I have to do, split the diffewrence?
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Old 08-18-2002, 07:56 PM
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On the vacuum timing, adjust your carb idle screws to run the best with a tach. While at idle speed turn the distributor until you get the maximum vacuum. Then turn the distributor back the other way until it reads one less. If you got a maximum of 20 turn the distributor back until you get 19. I time 4 cars like this and it works great for me. Give it a try.
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Old 08-19-2002, 10:29 AM
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Doesn't the vacuum reading depend on your altitude. I think you get 20/21 at sea level but much less at 2500 ft. The reason I ask it that I am gettinig a top reading of 16. I had to back mine out 2 to 14 to keep it from knocking. I am at 2500 ft.

If 20 is correct at my elevation than I have a ring problem according to the vacuum guage site. Mine does go down to zero when I rev it not 2 or 3 than to 20+ than back down to 16.

[ August 19, 2002: Message edited by: Mertz ]</p>
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