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Old 01-09-2005, 11:37 AM
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First atempt at starting street rod...not starting.

Just a quick break down of what I have going. 350 chevy from my everyday driver. I have put a new HEI, 1405 edelbrock carb, and a newer intake (no brand has firing order on it so I'm thinking it's a gm aluminum factory intake). I have changed out all the vacuum hoses. When I set the the distributor in I turned the car to TDC, and set the rotor bug facing #1 cylinder. Also I am putting fuel in my tank for the first time. By the way, My altenator is not hooked up yet (waiting for delivery).

Hopefully, I have given enough info to help. I put gas into the carb. kicked it over several times, and I get a puff of smoke out the headers....it did this a couple of times. I added a little more fuel to the carb, and got a puff of smoke from the carb (no flames and it puffed only one). The engine started for about 2 seconds. When trying to start it again my battery went dead.

I am going to recheck my grounds on the car because The battery was having a hard time turning the engine over.

Do I need to keep trying to start the car the way it is or does it sound like my distributor is 180 out?

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Old 01-09-2005, 11:45 AM
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Try pointing the distributor at the number 1 terminal. Then recheck the timing. I would leave the distriutor in, disconnect the power wire, get the rotor to point at the number 1 terminal then remove it, this is so it will fall right back in when you restab and be in alignment without having to let it fall back in the oil pump shaft and knocking it out a tooth. next remove the number 1 spark plug and get it at TDC on the compression stroke, the pressure should force your finger off the spark plug hole. then restab and go from there. The battery will need a full charge, and without the alternator I wouldn`t run it long, being the HEI pulls a lot of power and will run the battery down fast, but it being out of time will also run it down fast as it tends to make starting harder.
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Old 01-09-2005, 11:57 AM
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It sounds to me like it's just way to advanced. It's cold and engines arn't very cooperative in this condition. It doesn't blow flames out the carb or exhaust does it? I think if it was 180' out it would backfire out the exhaust. BOOM!!!
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Old 01-09-2005, 12:05 PM
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bad idea to pour fuel in the carb. if you are unexp.many cars have been burnt down like that.you would know if it was 180 out esp. by squrting raw fuel into the carb.an easy way to check your timing is to hook up the timing light,unplug your dist. vacum and spin it over and shoot the timing. that will tell you if its close or not .
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Old 01-09-2005, 12:18 PM
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no flames or backfiring as of yet.
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Old 01-09-2005, 12:47 PM
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Check your timing!!!
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Old 01-09-2005, 12:49 PM
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Thanks guys. There is no backfiring so I believe it is the timing. I just tried starting it again, and it will start for a second so I'm sure it''s the timing. I am picking up a light from the father in law tonight to set it.
Oh, and I promise never to pour raw gas into the carb again.
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Old 01-09-2005, 12:52 PM
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quote.....When I set the the distributor in I turned the car to TDC, and set the rotor bug facing #1 cylinder.

Possibly, distributer is out 180 degrees.

You need to make sure you are on the comprssion stroke, then aim it at #1
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Old 01-10-2005, 05:14 AM
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If it was 180 out it probably wouldn't do much more than belch fire out the carb. If you have it on top dead compression and point the rotor dead onto the #1 plug wire it should fire right up and run. Maybe it has a big vacuum leak like the wrong carb base gasket causing it to go real lean.
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Old 01-10-2005, 08:36 AM
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check, double, triple and quadruple check your wires. Your problem sounds VERY MUCH like a couple of wires are off (very common mistake, did it to mine too!).

make sure you're getting 12 volts to the coil... WHEN THE MOTOR IS CRANKING. Very common to hook up a 12 volt source that is switched off at the ignition during cranking (as are most systems). Something to check, anyway.

Is the motor cranking evenly? Are you certain that the valves aren't adjusted too tight? This would cause 0 compression in one or more bores, seen that one done too.

Bring your motor to TDC according to your balancer. Point the distributor at the #1 plug terminal and use a black marker or grease pencil to mark the distributor and the intake with a line that connects the two. Any time these two marks are lined up, you're at TDC with 0 degrees of advance. Of course, your motor will never run with this setting, but its good to have for reference, and you'll likely move the distributor around a bit getting it bolted down and the cap on etc. Mark it and you don't have to worry about keeping it in the same position while you work. After you've got that done turn the dist. Counterclockwise about 3/8-1/2 an inch and tighten the hold down enough so that it will stay, but can be moved by hand.

Should start with just a few nudges of the dist, if not immediately.

Best of luck, post some pix!!!

K
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Old 01-10-2005, 09:22 AM
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Thanks guys..Killer I have photos in my Journal.
I am going to do a little more messing with it (I now have a timing light) and will post my results.
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Old 01-10-2005, 10:04 AM
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Killer, actually it should start and run at tdc, it would just be a little flat.
And you can still be 180 out on the distributor even if you are on TDC. It needs to be TDC on the compression stroke of the #1 cylinder.
For those who don't quite grasp that, it is because the engine makes 2 revolutions for every one that the distributor makes.
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Old 01-10-2005, 10:17 AM
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sounds like no gas in the carb yet, didn't you say it's the first time putting fuel in the tank? If you open the throttle plate do you get fuel out the accelerator pump? If you do get fuel then it's timing.
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Old 01-10-2005, 10:18 AM
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Willowbilly,
What is the symptoms of the engine being at TDC, but the distributor being 180 out?

I did turn the engine to TDC, and then faced the bug towards #1 then put the distribtor in.

I am going to recheck my wires tonight, and mess with the vacuum advance. Yes I will also check that it is getting gas. my sender may not be picking up or something.
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Old 01-10-2005, 10:23 AM
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Mostly it would just belch fire out the carb when you cranked it, if it was getting fuel. If you have help you can pull the #1 plug and have someone bump the starter until you feel the compression, then turn it by hand to TDC. It will probably take a couple trys because it will go past until you get your helper to bump it right.
I do this myself with a remote starter switch
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