Originally Posted by newdad1
I need some help on this one. I have a 1981 El Camino that came with a 267 cubic inch motor and th250 transmission. I have swapped out the 267 with a 350 that I rebuilt myself. It has not been started since the rebuild so I have to do the initial breakin of the engine, i.e start it, bring the motor up to about 2000rpm for about 20 minutes, etc.
This is the problem;
I cant get the thing started. When I turn the switch, I get nothing, the motor doesn't turn over or nothing. If I turn the lights on, only the parking lights come on. Everything worked before I took the original motor out. The motor that I put in--the 350--is from the '78-'79 era. I noticed when I bought the car a couple of months ago that some of the wires were not hooked up in the engine compartment, but it was running. At the bare minimum, I only want to get the thing started so I can break it in, then I will
worry about making everything look nice. Some of the wires that were hooked up on the original motor--the 267--are not hooked up on the 350 because there is no hook up for it. The 267 was all original. The 350 has a holley 750 with vac sec sitting on top of an edelbrock intake manifold.
Correct me if I am wrong, but this is how I have it wired now;
1 wire from the firewall to the back of the motor.
1 wire from the positive post on the battery to the BATT terminal on the HEI
1 small wire going to the starter solenoid
A couple of bigger red wires/cable going to the big terminal on the starter, one of which is from the battery.
What else at a minimum do I have to have hooked up just to get this thing started.
The wire from the firewall to the engine is a chassis ground to the block which should then have a major ground cable from the block back to the battery's negative terminal.
The best way to power wire the starter circuit is a big cable from the battery's positive post to the big terminal on the starter solenoid. (There should be a heavy but short bus bar that connects the solenoid to the starter below this terminal.) When installed in the car there is a large gauge #10 wire that goes from this terminal into the wire harness to the fuse box or the start/run switch in the latter case the wire is a fusible link, once smoked must be replaced. This is the B+ line which supplies power to the chassis systems, ignition and back from the alternator. There is another much smaller wire retuning to the small post on the solenoid which is 12 volts from the start/run switch to energize the solenoid. There should be another heavy cable that connects from the battery negative post to the engine block to provide a high amperage path from the starter back to the battery's ground side. This can be a configuration that mounts to an intermediate ground stud on the chassis, such that a cable attached from the neg term of the batt and cable from the block also attaches to the stud. There may be other smaller attachments depending upon the accessories.
To run the engine, you need all these big cables and the chassis to engine ground. The HEI can be jumpered off the battery's positive side.
Where the small (usually purple) wire attaches to the solenoid, you can install a push style starter switch (available from the parts store to bump the engine around when working on it). Connecting one lead to the small terminal and the other to the large terminal. If this doesn't crank the engine, then you've got a dead battery, bad cable or connector, faulty solenoid or starter, or a bad "bump switch".