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Old 11-08-2010, 09:03 PM
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problems starting - trying to troubleshoot

Hello all-

Have a few questions for those with knowledge in electrical components of old chevys.
I have a problem starting my nova sometimes. I thought it was because the starter was overheating, however i installed a remote ford solenoid and thought it cured my problem. Until it happened again.
So I run through the trouble shooting..
I have 12v at the starter
12v at the HEI "batt" side
Fuel is flowing and entering the carb

The only thing I havent checked was spark. Its hard because when this happens, I'm alone and cant crank while checking the plug for spark (soon will buy an inline tester).

Another thing, if I wait an hour or so, try again, it starts up no problem.

So... could it be that the starter solenoid went bad and it wouldnt matter if I installed the ford solenoid?
If I find that there is in fact spark, what would be the next test to run?


I appreciate all answers, im new at this and am hoping to get up and running again! thanks

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Old 11-08-2010, 09:56 PM
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When it doesn't start is it turning over properly? Or is it just not turning over at all.
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Old 11-09-2010, 02:58 AM
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If you installed the ford solenoid under the hood, you can engage the starter by jumping the terminals there, turn the key to the run position and fun a jumer across the small terminals and the starter should engage. Has the car been sitting for any lenght of time when this happens? On mine if it sits for a day the fuel filter empties and I have to crank stop a few times to get it full again then she'll start right up.
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Old 11-09-2010, 06:47 AM
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All my hot start problems went away when I swapped my big heavy Delco starter for a Robbmc starter.. The Robbmc also comes with the Pinion support..

Besides shaving a pile of weight off the heaviest side of the car, I can also set my initial timing very high and my 462 will start with no troubles..

http://www.robbmcperformance.com/pro...rter_home.html
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Old 11-09-2010, 07:37 AM
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I drive it every day (which might be the problem).. but when this happens it just sits there and cranks. It doesnt sound like its having trouble cranking either. I have a remote starting switch, which I've tried hooking up but still it'd only crank it wouldnt start up.
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Old 11-09-2010, 01:40 PM
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If it cranks normal and wont start you are either missing spark or fuel. You need to determine this first. Also check to be sure the choke is functioning if you have one.
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Old 11-09-2010, 02:24 PM
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I agree, it's not the starter.. Try holding the gas pedal to the floor and cranking it the next time it happens..

Do you smell gas?
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Old 11-09-2010, 04:45 PM
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Hook up a light to the distributor 12 volt feed and ground and put the light inside the car so the next time it won't start you can see if there is power to the distributor. I'm guessing the ignition switch is intermittent or a loose connection.
Now if that is not the problem, connect a timing light to one of the plug wires and put the timing light inside the car. The next time is won't start activate the timing light while cranking to see if you have spark.
Ignition switch, coil, dist. module all can have intermittent problems.

vicrod
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Old 11-09-2010, 06:28 PM
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pitts,
I did notice last time I could definitely smell gas.

Vicrod,
Thanks for the input, I'll try doing that..it sounds like a pretty good idea especially since its a very irregular occurrence.
However, I dont have a timing light, would using an inline spark plug tester work? I've seen these cheapo ones in the bins at Napa... there might be a reason why they're cheap though...if they even work correctly..
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Old 11-10-2010, 12:53 PM
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The in-line spark tester will indicate if you have spark while cranking.
Possibly you could leave it installed on the engine in a place where it's visible and you can still reach the ignition.Or you could put a start button under the hood.
Don't forget to turn on the ignition.

vicrod
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Old 11-10-2010, 06:26 PM
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If it was ignition and heat related I'd think the car would die while runnning, not just on a hot start

what carb? Any chance of fuel getting hot and flooding it out after shutoff?

While cranking it hot, slowly press the gas down a liitle at a time to give mire air and little fuel. After 3 seconds of cranking you'd be at 50% throttle. Does it have any effect at all? My vote is fuel issues not ignition
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Old 11-10-2010, 08:37 PM
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you know, as much as I hate it when it happens, now i want it to happen so i can tell you all what im doing haha... or at least take some video of what it's doing while i try to start it. up.

The carb is a edelbrock 600cfm (engine is 327ci) if that helps.

I plan on filling up tomorrow and friday and trying to drive around to see if i can get it to happen again.
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Old 11-11-2010, 06:03 AM
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Mine also has the Elddy 600 cfm......hmmmmm wonder if this is a common problem
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Old 11-12-2010, 02:30 PM
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Okay, so results time...

I was able to determine there is spark... now I have two problems I'm facing.
I hooked up a 12 gauge wire from the IGN slot on the fuse block to the BATT side of the HEI, I noticed it was running a little weird..maybe because the previous wire was 18 gauge so I switched back to 18 gauge and it started running a little better. Would the wire difference make a difference in how it idles?

Next, found that when I pulled one of the plugs it was dark black, with a little oil or gas around the ring part, couldnt tell by the smell of it what it was. I'll post up some pictures too..

So today it did its little thing by just cranking... so I sat there with my foot on the gas pedal to the floor and after about 4-5 seconds it started up, but was running really rough. It starts to idle about 700 rpm and then climbs to about 1400 or so... usually if I rev it up real quick it lowers back down but now its only doing it once in a while.

Next thing I noticed, it'll sit in the drive way and run okay, but once I try to drive, it starts acting up like its getting too much fuel maybe? I drove it down the street and it just died on me while driving. The rmp's start to go up but the car just starts slowing down.. So at this point, would I need to rebuild the carb? It has an electric choke and there is a spot to adjust on the side of the carb whether it runs lean or rich, should I try playing around with this? Because im not real confident with what im doing..

I appreciate all comments, thanks!


One more thing to add... when driving it, I stepped on the gas to get up to about 35mph and it accelerated decent, but just driving at low speeds is when it was running really rough and died on me while driving.






Last edited by nastypurplenova; 11-12-2010 at 02:45 PM.
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Old 11-12-2010, 04:52 PM
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one more thing, im not sure if it helps, when i took the air cleaner off after i turned the car off, there was a little smoke coming out of the front 2 barrels that has the choke, not a lot but just a little. would this indicate the carb is flooding also?
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