Con't saga of HEI weak spark - Doc (or anyone) take a look at these pics please! - Page 3 - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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  #31 (permalink)  
Old 02-18-2007, 07:57 PM
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Hi Doc,

First, thanks again for taking the time to help! I know I'm just a stranger on the internet, but know that I do appreciate it!

I don't understand the part about turning the vacuum advance. I'm pretty sure mine is a one piece unit, I don't see how I can turn it or make any adjustments to it.

Does that make any sense?

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  #32 (permalink)  
Old 02-18-2007, 08:13 PM
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Doc here,

If you have a Dizzy with an Advance unit on it..(that big Pot looking thing hanging off the side of it), Remove the Vacuum line and plug it.

Then do your tests, and reconnect it. Check your Idle, correct if needed ( with Idle screws) and tighten the dizzy down.

Some have Electronic advance, (No big pot looking thing on the side of the dizzy), In which case, set your dizzy so it can turn EACH direction with the hold-down loose , 1/2 each way off plug tower #1..(advance/retard.)

Some customs, have only mechanical advance, (internal weights) and no pot looking thing on the side..same applies there.

You won't be turning the Vacuum advance, but rather pushing on it to move the dizzy forward and back as it is running, from the mid~position..do you follow what I mean?


VACUUM ADVANCE SHOWN ON LOWER PHOTO:
ELECTRONIC ADVANCE ON UPPER PHOTO.

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  #33 (permalink)  
Old 02-18-2007, 08:27 PM
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Hi Doc, here's the dist and the vacuum advance pot:




The car has a vacuum gauge mounted in it!

So, I'll unplug the vacuum pot, plug the line going to the carb (do I need to plug the vacuum pot itself too, I'd think not), and rotate the dist until I get max vacuum. Correct?
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Old 02-18-2007, 08:40 PM
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Also, what is that blue/yellow valve on the vacuum advance line?

It seems to be a one way valve, but going the wrong direction. It allows air to flow TOWARDS the vacuum advance, but not away from it. In other words, if I put a vacuum on the blue side, I can't pull anything, it is blocked.

Can I just remove it??
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Old 02-18-2007, 08:40 PM
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Doc here,

Unplug it from the Advance and plug it...not the carb.

You have a spark delay valve in there , that is a one way check valve that pulls at about 5 lbs, and is full advance at about 10 lbs..it will hold the advance full on..Why are you using it..that is for smog type Cars only..(usually)

I'd Remove that valve..(the blue/yellow thing on the line)

You will see it will respond when the advance/retard is moved, as opposed to now, it's full max in.

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Old 02-18-2007, 08:47 PM
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Thanks doc.

The valve is leftover from all the smog stuff (EGR, etc.) that used to be on the car. I will remove it.

Still not clear on what to plug. Pretend I could disconnect the advance vacuum line right in the middle. Which do I plug, the line going to the carb, the line to to the advance pot, or both?

Thanks!
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Old 02-18-2007, 08:50 PM
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Doc here,

The carb side, you don't want any open Vacuum ports while testing.leave the advance side OPEN.

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Old 02-19-2007, 03:42 PM
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Check to see if the dizzy is grounded when installed in the engine.
The gasket under the flange will insulate it from the engine.
The hold-down clamp must be in place for a proper ground.

vicrod
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Old 02-19-2007, 05:07 PM
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Good gawd, another crazy day!

Film at 11.
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Old 02-19-2007, 07:17 PM
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Maybe that should be POOR CHEVY!!
JK
Chevy's are almost as easy as V'dubs but have 4 more Cyl. I mean Porches, These folks come to the rescue every time!!
Sorry to hear your learning curve has been so short, but many of have spent a long time (30-40 Yrs.) learning all of these things, you learned it on the first engine and with the best instructors!
This can be put down as a significant learning experience, one you will look back on for many of engines!!
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Old 02-19-2007, 08:10 PM
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I think it's like an organ transplant, the organ is rejecting the body!

Or maybe the SBC is just fighting back from the indignity of these valve covers!



One thing I've had a heck of a time with on this engine is adjusting the valves. It's very hard to get it at a balance where it runs strongest, but without any valve noise. The engine seems to run best with the valves on the loose side.

Someone told me the engine might have zero lash or fasts pump lifters, or something like that, where they are adjusted different than standard lifters, with a lot less (or none?) tightening on them.

I do know if you adjust the rocker to where the pushrod can rotate easily, adjust down to where it starts to feel tension, and then do one full turn, the engine run horribly. With 1/2 turn, it doesn't seen to run as strong as it can. It seems to like 1/2 or 1/4 turn. That's where it also pulls the highest vacuum at idle.

Anyways, one of the valves was making a loud ticking noise yesterday, so this morning I checked the adj. on all of them. Kick the engine over with a remote until a cyl hits TDC, adjust, then move on. Because of the valve noise, I went with 1/2 turn, rather than 1/4. I figured that would give me my best chance of no noise, and if it didn't run right or pull full vacuum, I'd just go back in and give each a 1/4 turn looser.

After setting at 1/2 turn - Engine wouldn't start! That's weird. Because it's started easily before at 1 full turn.

So I go back in, using the same method, loosen each one 1/4 turn.

Still no start! I try cranking and cranking, but nothing.

After the cranking, I notice that only one of the exhaust pipes has any heat, the others are dead cold. Hmm. That means there's fire in the hole on one, so the ignition is working.

After scratching my head for a while, I decide to pull all the plugs. Yep, they are wet. I dry them all off with compressed air, clean them up a bit with very fine (600 grit) sandpaper, let the cylinders air out for a bit, reinstall.

Hit is with some starting fluid (just in case) while cranking and it fired right up!

By driving it around and experimenting with the timing, I've gotten it very very close to where it was before. The engine is running very well now, except I still have a bit of valve noise. I think it's running too rich, too, so it needs a carb adjust, something I'm not going to do (this is the first carbed car I've ever owned and I know nothing about carbs, plus could I even adjust it without an exhaust gas analyzer?). At this point, I think I'll turn it over to my local hot rod shop to fine tune - adjust the valves, set the carb and timing.

You're right, the help here has been awesome, a lot of great information, despite my often not providing the correct data or my screwing up on a fundamental, which threw everything off. You have a great group here!
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Old 02-19-2007, 10:49 PM
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You are going to miss some great experiences with this tune up!!
That shop is not going to teach you anything but how to sign your check, and you are still going to want to know how to change jets and power valves in that Holley.
Carbs all work the same way, you just have to know where all the parts are !!
Have you tried to set the valves with the engine at idle and some tin foil?
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Old 02-20-2007, 11:35 AM
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Yeah, after thinking about it a bit more, I'm going to try to go a bit further.

Part of the problem is the hybrid nature of the engine, and the fact that I don't have any information about the build.

The hybrid nature causes some issues, because, for instance, with a balancer off a 6 cyl engine, the marks on the balancer are of course useless.

Not knowing the build has caused some issues, particularly with the valves.

I am now fairly convinced the engine has Rhoads lifters, because of the peculiar noise they make at idle, the noise goes away at 3000 rpm or so, and the issues I have had in trying to adjust them using the "normal" procedures, including the engine running method. That method was very, very difficult to do, and I tried it several times. Now I understand why it was difficult - per Rhoad's website, you can't use the engine running method because of the normal high level of noise the Rhoads make when they are running at idle. They have to be set static.

Also pointing to Rhoads is the fact that the engine was built in 1995, when I think these lifters were very popular, and I could see the logic behind using them in this particular car, where you'd like to maximize RPMs and top end power (which is more "Porsche-like"), while keeping good idle and bottom end.

After doing more research, I see that Rhoads lifters are to be adjusted somewhat differently than normal lifters. Mostly in that the "twirl the pushrods" method does not work, because it tends to make them too tight.

So I'm going to give them a careful readjust trying the Rhoads lifters method and see what happens. If that works out, I'll go from there. If anyone has any tips on adjusting Rhoads, I'd appreciate it!

Last edited by Porschev; 02-20-2007 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 02-21-2007, 08:42 PM
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YEEEEE F'EN HAAA!

Did a very careful adjust of the valves, starting from square 1.

Found TDC for Cyl 1, cross-checked and confirmed.

After that, used the method where you only have to turn the engine over once. When it's at TDC compression for no. 1, you adjust half of the valves (there's a list of which ones), then rotate crank 360 and do the other half.

Used the "up and down" pushrod feel method, rather than the twirling method. Adjusted them to exactly 1/2 turn after easy up and down motion was lost. I think that was the problem with the initial adjusts. The twirling method seems more difficult/less accurate because you can be pushing down the lifter spring/plunger, but still getting a fairly easy twirl, apparently. This causes the valve to get adjusted too tight. "Up down" is a more black and white measurement.

It sounds like a sewing machine now, very smooth and very quiet in the valvetrain.

I also regapped the plugs from the .39 or so they were at, to .45.

It's running very well now!

I do have a couple of questions about adjusting the carb and the timing, I'll post them on the Engine forum if anyone is interested. Mainly, is it possible to adjust the carb without an exhaust gas analyzer?

Thanks again!
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Old 06-16-2011, 07:25 PM
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weak HEI distributor spark

I know this is an old thread so don't know if any one will ever read this.

I do have a solution for weak HEI distributor problem. Please note it only works if you have a weak spark. If you have no ignition spark then this will not work.

It works with or without an MSD box, basically it is a ************ spark boost system that converts the HEI to a VHEI or very high energy ignition. I have the blaster x box for racing and it works great.

Last edited by poncho62; 06-17-2011 at 05:10 AM. Reason: Advertising. Please see: commercial posting guidelines.
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