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Old 07-02-2012, 04:05 PM
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Have spark, have fuel, no start.

I'm taking out the computer and harness and put on a new qjet and a used mechanical advance distributor that came out of a running car that I got for free. Its on TDC on the compression stroke. After trying to start it and rotating the distributor back and forth we still had no start. Pulled a plug to check for spark and it has fuel on it, you can see the fuel in the carb, and it has spark. I know for a fact because the plug zapped me haha. Now my dad says the distributor is 180 out so i turned it around and pointed the rotor at cylinder one but it doesn't look right to me. The wires are supposed to be facing the front of the car right? Reversing it 180 would have the wires facing the fire wall like this.




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Old 07-02-2012, 04:14 PM
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Depending on the oil pump drive rod position, the #1 tower on your dist could be in almost any position. Just because you got zapped doesn't mean the plug is firing, if it's soaked, it isn't.

Relocate #1 piston to TDC on the compression stroke, stab the dist, if the rotor isn't pointing at the 5 o'clock position looking toward the firewall, you might want to turn the pump shaft to allow plenty of timing rotation. With DRY plugs, it should fire, don't flood it trying.
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Old 07-02-2012, 04:27 PM
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We dont really care where the rotor points to without the cap on. The important thing is it points to THE NUMBER ONE SPARK PLUG TERMINAL on the cap. Then follow clockwise 1-8-4-3-6-5-7-2. Turn the oil pump drive until it is in the postion you need it in and the dist. drops right in. This may require several tries. Dont forget to check pump drive clearance by putting dist. in with no gasket and be sure there is no bind(up and down). Then put your gasket on and drop her in.
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Old 07-02-2012, 08:02 PM
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I've been trying to get it going all night and still no luck. I'm positive when I put the dizzy back in #1 was at TDC compression. I even took off the valve cover and watched the rocker arms. Mark on the balancer was set right at 0 and the rotor was facing the #1 wire terminal. Turning the dizzy counter clockwise caused it to almost start but not quite, turning it clockwise did nothing but make gas sputter up from the carb.
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Old 07-02-2012, 08:08 PM
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Sounds like you are 1 tooth retarded. You said this ran before, right?
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Old 07-02-2012, 09:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richiehd View Post
We dont really care where the rotor points to without the cap on. The important thing is it points to THE NUMBER ONE SPARK PLUG TERMINAL on the cap.
No we don't, but we do want to ensure you have enough room to rotate the distributor and nothing interferes with the rotation to time it, the wiring harness, vacuum canister against the manifold, etc.
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Old 07-02-2012, 10:57 PM
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Well the distributor was in my dads running truck about 3 years ago and it's been sitting there ever since. The carb is just a remaned qjet
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Old 07-02-2012, 11:05 PM
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did this engine run before the swap? if so you should be able to make it go again. is the fuel fresh enough to let it run properly? did you check for any unplugged vacuum lines?
pull the plugs and replace or at least dry and clean them. you could check the compression at the same time if you want to make sure what you are stting with.
check the timing marks. sometimes the outer ring on the vibe damper can move, or the timing tab isn't the correct one or whatever. what i am saying is don't totally trust the zero mark till you check it for acuracy. with #1 spark plug out, be sure it is actually at tdc (use a drink straw, or something else that won't scratch, in the plug hole and have a buddy slowly turn the engine over while you watch as the piston pushes the straw out of the hole. when it stops pushing that will be tdc, or close enough for you to check the zero mark on the timing marks)
make sure it is on the firing stroke. you might have to watch your rockers for that one to be sure.
when you have that figured out and a new zero mark confirmed, turn the engine backwards say to 20deg before tdc, so you go too far past what your timing would be, then bring it up to say 8 deg btdc in the forward direction. this will take care of any slack in the timing chain and gears etc and you will end up close to what you want the timing to be for it to start up.
now mark your distributor body on the outside, straight down from where the centre of number one plug wire is connected, you can use masking tape or something if you don't want to mark the housing itself. this will be your reference for the rotor to line up when you drop the distributor in the hole. now you should be able to drop the distributor in, assuming the oil pump drive is lined up correctly to fit into the slot on the dist. shaft. it may take a few trys to get the pump shaft lined up so you end up in the right spot in the end, but when you get it in the distributor body should be in a position so the wiring fits well and it is still in the correct place for the rotor to line up perfectly with your mark on the housing.
next check that you have the plug wires connected properly and in the right firing order for the direction of travel of the distributor when the engine is running. clockwise right? number one is on the drivers side front and all the odd numbers follow it back from there, in order. so 1,3,5,7 number 2 is on the passengers side, and so on.then verify that the plug wires are actually going to the correct plugs and they aren't crossed up and connected to the wrong plug, and that they are connected to the plugs well.
now connect the power wire for the distributor, the wiring plug from the distributor to the cap. tighten the clamp down but not too tight so you can move it for adjustment.
one other thing, the coil/cap look like they were just replaced. make sure there is a ground wire for the coil under the coil, like before you screwed the coil down there was a little strap or a wire that had to be installed right? otherwise the coil doesn't get a ground and won't work properly. also, the usual direction for the distributor cap to face is so the wiring connectors are on the drivers side. like previously mentioned though, it doesn't really matter where the distributor ends up sitting as long as you have enough wire for everything to fit, and you can still access the distributor hold down clamp with a wrench.
give it a go and see if it starts. try to have the air filter on so it doesn't backfire up through the carb and burn your eyes or hair etc.
remember that turning the distributor housing counterclockwise will advance the timing, and clockwise will retard.if you have a timing light that would make life a little easier to finish up.
good luck.
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Old 07-02-2012, 11:20 PM
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My engine was just running 2 days ago and has fresh premium gas in it. Checked all the vacuum lines and ports and they're all connected or plugged. I'm positive that the coil ground wire is where its supposed to be but I can double check in the morning. Another thing I noticed was that the weights on the dizzy move about freely and don't snap into place or anything. I don't have any experience with mechanical advance type so i'm not sure what's supposed to do what, but it seemed odd.
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Old 07-03-2012, 12:02 AM
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the weights should move freely but should come back by themselves and not be too loose and floppy. when you take the rotor off and look there should be 2 little springs that bring the weights back towards each other. check to make sure they are there and the plastic bushings are still ok for the weights. if it is worn out or the springs are stretched it will have an effect on the timing for sure. before you take the rotor off just give the rotor a little twisting motion. it should be able to turn one direction against the springs and then spring back by itself against a stop. there are weight kits available for reasonable money that come with new weights and springs etc if you need them. they also have a little direction as far as maximum advance so you don't end up with pinging and detonation problems. a slightly worn dizzy shouldn't stop the engine from starting though, unless it is really bad and the rotor has too much free movement.it sounds like the timing was way too retarded for it to start. if, when you were installing the distributor, you started out at zero btdc and tried starting but no go, and it was better when you turned the dizzy counterclockwise (thereby advancing the timing) , then you were probably too far retarded. try starting with the timing at 8 or 10 deg btdc on the timing indicator with the rotor pointing at #1, or just turn the dizzy a bunch counterclockwise and see what happens when you crank it over. if it trys to stop the starter then you went too far.
good luck and keep us posted
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Old 07-03-2012, 01:24 PM
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Pull the distributor and turn the shaft 1 tooth clockwise.
I agree that it sound retarded.

It is true that is doesnt matter where you put it in but it is not any harder to put it in the factory position than in a random one.

From you picture the distributor is backwards from "normal'. Usually the wiring is on the drivers side and #1 is at 5 o'clock.
The rotor should spring back against the mechanical advance springs, if not they are either broken or gummed up
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Old 07-03-2012, 02:24 PM
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okay thanks guys i'll give that a shot. The rotor doesn't spring back either...
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Old 07-03-2012, 05:58 PM
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She's alive boys. I made sure it was on compression while I had someone tap the key. Set it to 8* before TDC on the tab and got the rotor and everything lined up like normal. Took a little advancing the dizzy to get it to run and idle properly. I will check the timing with a light tomorrow. I need some plug wire sleeves because my wires are pretty close to the exhaust.

Thanks everyone
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