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Old 01-15-2004, 11:16 AM
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72 350 w/ HEI won't start

I have a 72 GMC p/u with a 350, standard trans. I recently put an HEI distibutor with new coil, 8.5mm wire, new plugs (.06 gap), and timing at 16 btc. It has an edel. 625 carb, new about about 12000 miles an 16 months ago. Before this new distributor, I had another HEI distibutor in it I got from a junk yard...the truck ran just fine until the bushings in the old distributor went south on me, necessitating a new distributor. The truck ran great for about 150 miles after this new distributor swap, but this morning I was stopped at a stop light, the engined surged twice, and then died, and wouldn't start. It will crank and crank, but won't start. There is fuel into the carb, and good spark to the plugs. The plugs don't appear wet from fuel, and there is not a gassy smell on the engine dipstick. I am unfamiliar with HEI, but could the ignition module or coil be bad (I got them from NAPA), or could it be something else? Would the fusable link cause this sort of problem?

Thanks in advance.

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Old 01-15-2004, 11:25 AM
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Since you have spark, I would suspect fuel. Can you look down the carb throat and see gas squirt when you open the throttle? Try and pur a small amount of gas down the carb and see if it will run.

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Old 01-15-2004, 11:26 AM
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If the module were to go bad than no spark would be seen. The module tells the coil when to fire the plugs.

Run a compression check on a few cylinders to verify the timing chain has broken/slipped. Crank it over with a timing light hooked up to verify the distributor is rotating with the cam.(sheared dist. gear).
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Old 07-14-2005, 01:33 AM
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72 GMC distributor connection

I see your submission was made some time ago so you may have already solved this. For every one else: Most GM's built in "73" and before had Breaker points. The positive DC supply for the coil had a ballast resistance that reduced voltage to the coil and I assume this was the wire you used to supply DC to the HEI distributor. In most cases, there is no physical ballast resistor to be found--the resistance is in the wire. The second wire that connects to the coil of older GM's is from the solenoid on the starter. This conductor is standard wire and has no resistance added. It supplies the full 12 volts at high current while starting--when the engine is running, no voltage is found because the solenoid opens the internal switch to this conductor. The possible consequences of using the wire with the ballast resistace is to reduce the voltage to the coil and distributor ( which is fine for a breaker point type system. What it does to an HEI distributor is to starve it of voltage causing it to draw more current so that it will overheat and eventually destoy one of the components in the trigger module. Route a new wire from the fuse block (switched) and connect it to the HEI
Hope this helps someone out there.
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