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Old 04-30-2009, 01:57 PM
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Fresh 454 won't start...

Well, alright, the engine isn't brand new, just put it some heads, cam, intake and carbs on. Now the thing won't start and I'm afraid to keep trying to start it with that fresh flat tappet cam.

The engine just cranks with timing set at 0 (#1 piston at TDC and dist. rotor pointing towards #1 cap). Sometimes it'll backfire and shoot flames out the duel edelbrock carbs. When I retarded the timing (don't know how much just kept moving the dist. clockwise), it seemed like it wanted to start, but then nohting, and sounded like it wanted to "diesel" after I stopped cranking the ignition.

Fuel presssure is a steady 4 psi.
The timing marks on the new chain are lined up.
Rotor points to #1 cap when #1 is at TDC.
Valve lash is set at 25.
Advance is 28 degrees.

Shouldn't this engine want to start with more advance and not retard?

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Last edited by 454headache; 04-30-2009 at 02:05 PM.
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Old 04-30-2009, 02:03 PM
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Sounds like a timing issue. Time for a quick trip back to #1 to make sure it's ok.

Pull #1 plug, put your finger over the hole and have someone "bump" the starter until you feel hard compression. Stop bumping and bring the balancer around to the timing mark with a wrench or by hand. THEN, pull the cap and verify that the rotor is pointing right at the #1 cap tower/wire. Chances are it's off one or more and causing you grief.
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Old 04-30-2009, 02:09 PM
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Yeah, the rotor points to #1.
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Old 04-30-2009, 02:12 PM
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sounds like timing.

yes, make sure you are on the compression stroke with the finger over the spark plug hole procedure and then check if the rotor is under #1 wire at TDC.

Then make sure you have the wires in the right order.

should be hard to turn over with timing set at 28 degrees.

is the balancer and timing mark a set? have you check true tdc with a piston stop?
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Old 04-30-2009, 03:13 PM
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The wires are correct. I'm going to recheck TDC for the hundreth time it seems. This is driving me insane. Fuel + Spark = should equal ignition.
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Old 04-30-2009, 03:20 PM
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The timing tab lines up with the mark on the balancer exactly. Can the engine be on it's exhaust stroke?

Does it matter where the distributor sits? As in at what cap the rotor points to when I stuck it in the motor? By that I mean I intalled the dist. with it pointing around to where #1 cap would be and then rotated the entire dist. to where the rotor exactly pointed to the #1 cap.
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Old 04-30-2009, 03:41 PM
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If you are not bringing #1 up to TDC on its compression stroke using the finger in hole method, then it is possible for you to also be at TDC on the exhaust stroke which will put the distributor 180° out of phase. This is easy to mess up, because if you put the distributor in pointing at #1 with the timing dots on the cam and crank gear lined up, you will automatically be 180° out at the distributor. Those dots are good for cam placement only!
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Old 04-30-2009, 03:56 PM
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Sound to me like its all in the timing. Go back through it once again . just like Eric and the others said think you will find you problem. Cole
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Old 04-30-2009, 04:12 PM
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Well I did the finger in hole method and it turns out the dist was 180 out, BUT it still wont start. No backfire, no burp, not anything but pointless cranking.
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Old 04-30-2009, 04:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 454headache
Well I did the finger in hole method and it turns out the dist was 180 out, BUT it still wont start. No backfire, no burp, not anything but pointless cranking.
Plugs are probably soaked from all the cranking. You may want to pull one other than #1 and take a look at it.

Try holding it on the floor while craning with the choke held open if you have one.
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Old 04-30-2009, 04:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 454headache
The timing tab lines up with the mark on the balancer exactly. Can the engine be on it's exhaust stroke?

Does it matter where the distributor sits? As in at what cap the rotor points to when I stuck it in the motor? By that I mean I intalled the dist. with it pointing around to where #1 cap would be and then rotated the entire dist. to where the rotor exactly pointed to the #1 cap.
In theory it does not matter as long as everything is lined up. It just is a PITA for the next guy who assumes it is in the right position.
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Old 04-30-2009, 04:24 PM
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Check for spark at the plugs. If you have spark, then take a look at the plugs. Are they wet with fuel? Or are they dry? If wet, remove them all and let them dry or dry them with a propane torch. If they are dry, pour some fuel down the carb- if it is a new engine you have to get everything in the air/ fuel path to the cylinder wet with a little fuel to get it to fire initially.
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Old 04-30-2009, 04:35 PM
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pulled the plugs, none were wet. Tried starting WOT, not choke. Tried starting WOT with choke. Tried to start it no throttle and no choke. Nothing whichever way.
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Old 04-30-2009, 04:44 PM
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Are the carb fuel bowls full? Is fuel discharged from the accelerator pump when the carbs throttles are opened?

Do you have spark? Verified? If you have spark and the carbs are full of fuel, but the plugs are dry then you need to pour some fuel into the intake manifold thru the opened throttle bores of the carbs to get things wetted down so that there will be some fuel vapor present in the intake manifold.

Is this 2x4 low rise or a tunnel ram?
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Old 04-30-2009, 06:23 PM
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Its a lowrise dual plane.

Fuel is good. I can smell it through the carbs and see it squirting looking down from the top. After a few more tries, I pulled the plugs again, and could smell gas on them, though they weren't wet.

I'm starting to think it's my starter not having enough balls to crank it over fast enough. It cranks slow, slower than yesterday, at least I think. After three or four turns of the engine, the battery quits for the most part. I've had the thing hooked up to my cheesecake trickle charger, but at 10 amps, that thing takes forever. I'm gonna pull the battery from my dad's dodge and see if it's the battery or the starter.

I mean it has fuel, and it has spark now at the right time. And it was burping and backfiring trying to start yesterday, and today nothing. Well, off I go to pull the battery.

BTW, the battery voltage across the terminals reads 12.56 - 12.77. The voltage from my switched power (ignition switch) to the summit cd ignition box only reads 11.0 volts. Shouldn't it be at least 12?
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