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Old 08-30-2007, 10:01 PM
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i'm stuck

hello all i have a 1972 chevy c20 i recently had to replace the starter easy enough right !!! well i replaced the starter and now am not getting any spark to my hei distrib. now some back ground i bought the truck from a guy who pieced this truck like frankenstein he used speaker wire for wiring etc.. so now why don't i have spark truck wants to start when i let up on the key it kills it self so no power to distrib any ideas why this is also when cranking i get fuel spewing up from carb. i also noticed the spring from the button?? is strained is that the possibliity of no fire to the distrib

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Old 08-30-2007, 10:18 PM
F&J F&J is offline
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Sounds like you disturbed the original feed wire to the coil.

They may have tried to wire the HEI by using the original 72 external coil feed system. The old coil was fed by a resistor wire that ran from the bulkhead connector, down to the inside small terminal on the starter/solenoid. Then a non resistor jumper wire ran up to the old coil. That jumper allowed full voltage to go to the coil during cranking, but after letting go of the key, the resistor wire fed the coil. Sounds like maybe a bad wire-broken wire in that starter harness.

You shuld have power in that harness with the key "on". If you don't, trace it back through the bulkhead and then to the ign switch. It should have a heavy wire to feed the HEI, not the original thin stuff for an old coil.
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Old 08-30-2007, 10:22 PM
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i also noticed the spring from the button?? is strained is that the possibliity of no fire to the distrib
I don't understand what you mean.



Also, the gas. If gas is coming out of the top vent pipe, it means the needle & seat is sticking in the carb, or has a speck of dirt holding it open. Edit: Try tapping on the carb near the fuel inlet pipe with a tiny hammer or similar tool.
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Old 08-30-2007, 10:23 PM
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can i by pass that some how
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Old 08-30-2007, 10:27 PM
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Yes. You need to look at the back of the ign switch. Look for the terminal marked "IGN". Take a heavy gauge wire 10 or 12 gauge, and run a new wire from IGN to the feed terminal on the HEI cap (not the "tach" terminal)
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Old 08-30-2007, 10:27 PM
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in the hei the coil sits on top of the piece that sends down the volts in to the distrib not sure whats it called any its a piece of brass or copper with a spring on the end that i assume feeds this piece the energy for the distrib
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Old 08-30-2007, 10:32 PM
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Yes. You need to look at the back of the ign switch. Look for the terminal marked "IGN". Take a heavy gauge wire 10 or 12 gauge, and run a new wire from IGN to the feed terminal on the HEI cap (not the "tach" terminal)


so this will feed straight to the distributor for power .. is there a fuse that may be bad??? my idea is if it worked before if nothing else was touched it should work now
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Old 08-30-2007, 10:35 PM
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Not sure which piece you are talking about on the HEI. There is a spring and button under the rectangular coil pack (if you took it apart) , that gives hi voltage to the rotor.

There is also a wire plug & harness that plugs into the top edge of the cap, which is for the module in the dist.

The main feed wire from key is a single wire that plugs into the outer edge of the cap, facing upwards. That terminal may be marked "BATT"? I am not sure. But there is one extra terminal right next to it marked "tach".
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Old 08-30-2007, 10:40 PM
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so this will feed straight to the distributor for power .. is there a fuse that may be bad??? my idea is if it worked before if nothing else was touched it should work now

They could have put a fuse in that line, but I doubt it. If you only did a starter swap. I think you disturbed the wires that go to the inside small terminal on the starter.


You can get the truck to run with a jumper from the battery post marked +, to the feed terminal on the HEI....but it won't shut off unless you unhook it.
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Old 08-30-2007, 10:40 PM
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yes the button i decided to replace the coil on the distrib that button was twisted and tweaked. but if theres no power to the distrib i'll run a thicker guage wire to the distrib. so then when i start key all the way over that starts the starter when i release the power then goes into the distrib am i understanding that right
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Old 08-30-2007, 10:45 PM
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yes the button i decided to replace the coil on the distrib that button was twisted and tweaked. but if theres no power to the distrib i'll run a thicker guage wire to the distrib. so then when i start key all the way over that starts the starter when i release the power then goes into the distrib am i understanding that right
If the truck still runs until you let go of the key, then you either need to find the break in the ignition wire, OR run a new wire.

The reason it can run in start position, is that the small jumper wire from that inside terminal, sends power to the HEI when cranking only. If it quits when you stop cranking, that means the feed wire to the inside terminal is dead.
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Old 08-30-2007, 10:51 PM
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so tommorrow i will buy new 12 guage wire and rewire that to the batt.
is there anything that shold be done to the distrib wire replacement wise i also did replace the module on the distrib
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Old 08-30-2007, 11:02 PM
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feed wire to the inside terminal is dead ???? what is that where is that located at
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Old 08-30-2007, 11:11 PM
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Sorry I got that wrong. Hey I'm old


There are 2 very small terminals with nuts on the starter solenoid (on either side of where you connect the main battery cable to the starter)

I messed up on which is which. The inside terminal closest to the motor block is where the purple wire goes. That is connected to the "start" or "s" terminal on key switch.

The outer small terminal on the solenoid is where the IGN wire goes to.

Check that outer terminal with a test light with key ON. I'll bet it is dead. The reason it can start when cranking, is that there is an internal connection in the solenoid, that gives temporary power to that outside terminal when it is cranking. That internal connection stops when you let go of the key.
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Old 08-30-2007, 11:20 PM
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your not old your helping alot with this its easy to forget something....

so how about this take a 12 guage wire run it from the battery to the hei connections or something thatts always hot start the truck and see if that works.. i also noticed that my brake lights and tail lights weren't working thats why i asked if there were any fuses in the fuse block
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