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Old 04-07-2011, 09:02 AM
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Fresh Valve Job, now engine won't turn! What the heck?

So,
I got a valve job on my 289 heads. Stock heads. Now the engine is having trouble turning over with plugs in! I did pull the plugs, and motor turns over fine. Had the starter checked, turned out ok. Battery is good as well. What gives?

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Old 04-07-2011, 09:12 AM
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That is good.

You have compression and seat pressure.

Use a flywheel tool to rotate, do not use crank bolt.
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Old 04-07-2011, 09:52 AM
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Thanks for the reply. Yeah, I thought it was good too. Good compression is good, right? Now I just need to start it! I was thinking that it may need a high torque starter, but for a stock 289? I dunno, that doesnt sound right to me. Wouldn't the compression be the same as stock from the factory? Or at least a handful more? The motor will turn over, but VERY slowly. And wont start because of that. Without the plugs, no prob for the starter.

Last edited by jsm1847; 04-07-2011 at 09:53 AM. Reason: Mispelled words
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Old 04-07-2011, 10:14 AM
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Are you sure that you have your timing right. If you are out of time your engine can be hard to turn over.
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Old 04-07-2011, 10:18 AM
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have you check valve height....fresh valve job might have missed on valve height...wrong valve height might not get picked up on compression test
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Old 04-07-2011, 10:26 AM
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Did you disturbe any of the battery power or ground wires? Be sure they are tight and not causing a drop of voltage. The cables themselves may be the problem and not just the connection. Do a voltage drop test on the cranking circuit. You said the battery checked good, was it tested under a load? These are just some additional things to think about.
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Old 04-07-2011, 10:26 AM
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sounds like you might have a timing tooth off. my motor was on a test stand, tried to fire it up, turned out the timing on the cam to crank was off 180 degrees. got that fixed, put it on TDC, thought it was firing on #1, and it was having a REAL hard time turning over. then found out that i was too far advanced. adjusted it one time retarded. baby fired right up
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Old 04-07-2011, 11:11 AM
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My 9:1 compression engine builds would not turn easily with the plugs in, and can break the balancer bolt head. Using a high torque starter and a timing retard device, they crank fine with 18 degrees at idle .

This is a no/slow crank situation? Check power connections for full voltage and retard by hand. Then advance back the timing. Make a start mark and a run mark with a scribe.
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Old 04-07-2011, 12:30 PM
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Was the battery ground attached to the head? Check the voltage drop from the engine to the batt.
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Old 04-07-2011, 12:59 PM
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no start

when you had the battery and starter checked, did they do a load test on the battery, load at 50% of the cca rating for 15 sec, if volts go below 9.6 then the batt is toast.
I would do a check on the timing setting, or just try retarding the distributor some and see if it fires. the timing for initial start up is a guess anyway, and should be final set on an engine at operating temp with a timing light, after the carb etc have all been adjusted.
if your heads were done at a reputable shop, the valve height should be ok. if it was overlooked the valve would be protruding too far out of the head and would cause the valve to be open if anything, which would mean less compression. grinding the valve seats causes the valve to sit deeper into the head, so stick out the back side more, so cause tight valve clearance. a new valve job shouldn't give you any more compression than what that engine had when it was brand new. that starter worked then, and has been checked as ok, so what else changed.
check this stuff:
- battery connections. not just the terminals, check the wire as well. sometimes they are green down inside the wire. usually can tell that because the wire is quite stiff next to the terminal and then down a way it gets more flexible. it will pass enough power to crank the engine over without the plugs but maybe not enough for when the plugs are in.
-cable connections at the starter solenoid and at the starter. you can do a voltage drop test to make sure. if it is a stock style starter with no solenoid attached, just a cable from the fender mounted solenoid, take the cover off the side of the starter and make sure that the contact under there is in good shape. when those starters get power, first the bendix is slung out into the flywheel teeth and then that set of contacts connects and sends battery power through to the starter motor, so the stater doesn't grind it's way into the flywheel teeth every time. I have had engines do what yours is doing and that was the problem.
-cable connections at the ground connection to the engine block. not on a painted surface, clean and tight. wouldn't hurt to take it off, clean with sandpaper or something to get down to shiny bare metal, put a star washer under the cable end just to make sure all is good. some guys will then paint it so it doesn't corrode, or oil/grease it.
-double check the static timing, make sure the centrifugal/vacuum advance mechanisms in the ditributor are working properly while you are there.
-make sure you have the right spark plugs. check the reach (length) against the plugs that came out. possibly the wrong plugs, which would mean they hit the pistons. I have seen that before. usually the ground electrode is bent though.
keep us posted
dsraven
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Old 04-07-2011, 01:01 PM
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My money is on the timing being too advanced.
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Old 04-07-2011, 04:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schovil69
My money is on the timing being too advanced.
X2. Quick check would be to take the coil wire off and see if it cranks okay.
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Old 04-08-2011, 10:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adantessr
X2. Quick check would be to take the coil wire off and see if it cranks okay.

Good idea! Be certain to leave the plugs in for this test so you are only eliminating the spark. If it cranks okay with the plugs in and the ignition disabled, it's definitely timing.
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Old 04-08-2011, 12:04 PM
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-make sure to ground the coil wire so it is not as hard on the ignition system and less chance of something going wrong, (like a fire). if it cranks good with plugs in but no speak, wahlaaah, timing issue. set the static timing and make sure the firing order is good and try it again with the spark connected. remember if you were cranking without spark you may have fouled up the cylinders with fuel, so try it without the choke first.
-to set static timing, get the #1 piston (some intakes are labelled so you know which one is #1) up on top dead centre at the end of the compression stroke, you may have to remove a valve cover to make sure both the valves for #1 are closed, or use a compression gage or whatever. then when it is at top dead centre, take the ditributor cap off and line up the rotor with the #1 spark plug wire tower connection on the distributor cap. just turn the distributor till it is all good. you may want to check the crank timing pointer to see where it all lines up down there , but when at tdc the pointer should line up with "0". then put it all back together and try to start. once started you may have to play with the timing to get it to run decent, then when it is warmed up adjust the timing to the correct spec.
dsraven
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Old 04-08-2011, 12:58 PM
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Thanks for the reply all!
Let me give some more info. I dont think it is the timing because it was in time before valve job, and the distrubutor is stuck in place!!! So it didnt move! HA HA.
I did remove a ground that was on the head, and relocated it to a body panel. That is the first thing I will try and remedy. After that I will get back with all and give an update! Thanks again!
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