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Old 08-22-2009, 04:39 PM
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BBC hard to start when hot and low oil pressure

I have a 427 BBC in a jeep I use for mudd bogging. Last week I noticed it was hard to start I checked the timing. I have it at 38 total degrees. I also noticed the oil pressure would be 75 when I start it but when it gets about 160 - 180 it drops to 50 but doesn't go any lower than that. Today when I got ready to make my second run. I couldn't get it started. I turned the distributer clock wise and it started and it ran fine but the oil pressure was between 50 and 75. The oil pressure is fine until it gets warm like 160 or so. I am running havoline synthetic 20-50 racing oil. I have ran that type of oil all year oil and never had a problem with the oil pressure until last weekendI was told my gear on the end of the distributor could be worn??? I have no clue I am lost any help would be greatly appreciated
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Old 08-22-2009, 05:19 PM
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That distributor gear would be the first thing I would check. I have seen them wear out quickly.

On a 481 BBC, the new intake manifold was so thick, it would pop out of the oil pump drive when I loosened the distributor to set the timing. It took out the gear that very same weekend of racing. I had to keep adjusting the timing to make the finals.
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Old 08-22-2009, 08:21 PM
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what would make the gear wear out like that?? Its only a couple of years old????
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Old 08-22-2009, 09:25 PM
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It's alignment into the camshaft gear. After any changes to the engine, such as camshafts, cylinder blocks, cylinder heads.......mechanical parts, or head gasket/ intake gasket thickness changes.......etc. Changes will be made to the depth of the distributor, to camshaft gear lobes.

We would refresh our engine in between the monthly racing events, and carry a spare engine(after that weekend), and a magneto, and a second MSD distributor, and new timing control box.

I also don't know how you 'winterize' your engine, if you back the valves off, or not. Weakening valve springs can allow the camshaft to be pushed farther forward. This in turn, will take out the distributor gear. I have seen this on SBC's, and BBC's.

We used 15 quarts of Kendall GT1 50W racing oil, and a quart of Morey's oil additive. Lubrication was never a problem.
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Old 08-22-2009, 11:29 PM
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Hot start:

Replace the gm starter solenoid. They are cheap to replace and they do not last forever (especialy with headers).
Make sure your starter motor has the rear starter motor mounting bracket/brace installed. If its missing go to a GM parts dealer and get one and install it. The OEM BBC brace is bigger than the SBC brace, but they look similar.

Install a starter motor heat shield (Moroso) and heat reflecting starter wrap around the starter and solenoid. (mandatory with headers)
Inspect the starter +cable and end connectors. Clean the cable ends.
Inspect and clean the battery ground cable and ground points. (engine block, body,frame) You must have a good clean ground connection.
Measure the battery +cable and ground cable for resistance with a Volt/OHM meter. replace if nessessary. They also do not last forever.

Install a inline Ford starter solenoid on the + battery cable between the battery and GM starter. And a jumper bypass wire between the +battery terminal and "S" terminal on the GM solenoid. Mount the Ford solenoid on the inner fender near the battery. The Ford solenoid must be steel mounted or grounded with a ground wire to the engine block, if not grounded thru the mounting. The car body should be grounded to the engine block with a ground strap. Clean the ground points periodicly as part of battery cable maintaince.
("Motor home Start 'em up kit")
This takes the switching duty off the GM solenoid starter. Now when you turn the key to start, The Ford solenoid does all the controling, the GM starter mounted solenoid only engages the starter drive on the starter motor.)

Install a dash mounted Ignition power intrupt switch to allow you to disable the spark power when hot cranking the engine. Crank the motor over (spark off)1-2-3 , then throw the spark interupt switch on and it will fire right up easily. Takes all the stress and strain off the GM starter motor on a hot engine restart. SPST 15A rated auto/RV switch on the HEI 12+ power feed wire.
Doubles as a anti theft device.

Your GM starter motor will now last just about forever assuming its not already cooked from the header heat.

Oil pressure: It is normal for the engine oil pressure to be a good bit lower at idle speed, when the engine is hot than when it is cold. The hot oil pressure should return to full pressure when the engine is @ 2000rpm or more.
Check the oil pressure hot with the engine revs at 2000 rpm. Should be 70 PSI or what ever is full oil pressure.

http://www.heatshieldproducts.com/st...eat_shield.php
http://www.thermotec.com/

http://www.chevyhiperformance.com/te...fix/index.html

Any common replacement HD 60's 70's 80's era Ford type V8 starter solenoid will do.

No more slow cranking strained hot start. No more burned out starter motors.

Last edited by F-BIRD'88; 08-22-2009 at 11:46 PM.
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Old 08-23-2009, 08:30 AM
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the only time its hard to start is when the timing seems to be off. I have never had a problem starting it when it has been hot except the past couple of times. I readjusted the timing and it started fine so it has nothing to do with the starter.
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Old 08-23-2009, 08:32 AM
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on the timing gear will it be worn on the teeth or on the underneath where it goes over the oil pump shaft???
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Old 08-23-2009, 08:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inquiring_mind2
on the timing gear will it be worn on the teeth or on the underneath where it goes over the oil pump shaft???
On the teeth.
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Old 08-23-2009, 09:35 AM
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ok thanks I will check it later this week
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Old 08-24-2009, 10:13 AM
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If I remember correctly you just upgraded to a solid roller cam. Did you put a bronze distributor gear on when you upgraded?
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Old 08-24-2009, 11:15 AM
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I have a solid hydraulic cam I wish I had a roller and I didn't replace the gear on the distributor
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Old 08-24-2009, 11:34 AM
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My bad I thought you had traded up already. I have no other useful input at this time.....lol
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Old 08-24-2009, 12:03 PM
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I do have one question...... Why is it only hard to start when it is hot if the gear is bad??????????????? When it is cold it starts right up and the oil doesn't fluctuate until its hot either
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Old 08-24-2009, 07:19 PM
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F-Bird 88

Whatever else is at fault, following the advice of FBird will enhance starting performance, especially when hot.
John
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Old 08-24-2009, 11:10 PM
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its not hard to turn over till it gets hot and I have to turn the distributor a little to the right and then it starts fine. the only reason its hard to start is because of the timing. You fix the timing and it starts great. I have an after market starter not a stock one. its for high compression motors. and I have checked every thing he said to check and there is not any problems with anything. Like I said you turn the distributor just a little and it fires right up
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