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Old 06-03-2011, 10:32 AM
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SBC 350 dies when hot

Just cruisin this weekend in my 57 Bel Air, engine temp. at normal (185 degrees). Got hung up in traffic, temp went to about 195 - 200 and engine died. It would turn over but not fire at all. Pushed her to the side looked everything over and basically let it cool down for about 15 minutes, then it started. I thougt maybe the coil was failing so replaced with a new MSD Blaster SS. Seems fine now but have not got it real hot. Any thoughts on what else it might be? Fuel delivery issue? Vaccuum issue?
*Mild build 350
*Conventional water pump / fan
*Edelbrock 600 carb w/ elec. choke and spacer plate
*Manual fuel pump - braided / steel line from pump to carb

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Old 06-03-2011, 01:10 PM
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I had similer problem in my chevelle. Turn out my ignition coil was going bad. If I sit in traffic for a while the 350 would start droping until it spudder and died. It would not start at all. I let the car sit round for a while then crank it and it starts. As long I was cruising the 350 would run fine.
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Old 06-03-2011, 01:23 PM
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Thanks, sounds identical to the problem I had. Do you think the coil is getting too hot in the engine compartment and causing failure? Seems like the MSD coil is well insulated, but their is not a lot of air movement where it is located.
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Old 06-03-2011, 01:39 PM
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It's been my experience that ignition modules also fail in the same manner you describe. If the coil doesn't cure it, look at the module, if equipped w/one.
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Old 06-03-2011, 01:43 PM
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I put a Jacops coil and it's been running fine. It mounted on the rear fire wall, heater box. The MSD6A is mounted just above the box.
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Old 06-03-2011, 02:17 PM
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The typical faults are the ignition coil, the ignition module, The ignition pick up coil (and little wires that go to the module), Fuel pump diaphram or pressure regulator failure, fuel line vapour lock. (especially excessive heat on the feed side fuel line).
relocate the fuel ines, insolate, install a electric pusher pump near the fuel tank.
Fuel pump mounting heat isolator: http://www.sealsit.com/fuel.asp

Edelbrock AFB carbs (especially on performer manifolds) tend to get too hot and overheat the fuel in the bowl.
Carb base heat insolator, and or block off the plenum heat riser passage at the intake manifold gasket.

Applying heat with a hair drier to the suspected component while the engine is running, may help you recreate the conditions that caused the engine stall fault.

Last edited by F-BIRD'88; 06-03-2011 at 02:24 PM.
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Old 06-03-2011, 02:29 PM
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I had a coil do the same thing, heat it up and it would go open and no spark.

Side note do you have your fuel line ran past your headers? I had some braided line ran past my headers and it got hot, the inside line melted and I could tell until it started leaking.
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Old 06-05-2011, 07:04 PM
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So my dilemma continues. I replaced the coil with a new MSD blaster. Took it to a show this weekend and it ran pretty good. Worked on it some more today (dialing her in for tail end of Power Tour) including verifying timing which I set to 11 degrees BTDC. Got it up to about 200 degrees in the driveway (with hood up), shut it off and it would not turn over "or" fire. Let it cool down to below 160 and it fired up. Could it have something to do with the HEI std. distributor / module? I've read that older ones are susceptible to heat failure. Hot starter/ solenoid? I do have braided fuel line and edelbrock rigid fuel line to carb which looks cool, but is fuel getting too hot? Frustrated............any additiaonal help appreciated.
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Old 06-05-2011, 07:28 PM
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My corvette has after market headers and when my engine gets hot the starter wont work till it cools down under 160
In my case its the starter, lucky I haven't ever been stranded for too long. Going to order a starter shield and see if it will help but I think its just plain old heat soak.

I also moved my fuel lines as far away from my headers as I could. Not to fight heat in the fuel, thats another issue but if the inside tube melts or a steel fiber pokes a hole and you may not know it until there is a fire.
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Old 06-05-2011, 09:55 PM
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Does it have a manual fuel pump or electric? It really sounds like fuel vapor lock to me. Try rerouting your fuel lines far away from any heat source, or shield them very well. Also if you end up using an electric fuel pump make sure it is not close to a heat source, preferably place it as close to the fuel tank as possible. Good Luck....
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Old 06-06-2011, 06:14 AM
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Thanks, it's a manual fuel system. Will try shielding / rerouting fuel lines.
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Old 06-06-2011, 04:29 PM
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When it wont start check to see if it has fuel and spark. This will narrow down the problem. Guessing is expensive. When it is dead crank it and check for spark and fuel. One or both are missing. Temperature is a killer of ignition modules but you could also be experiencing vapor lock or boiling the fuel in the carb.
Troubleshoot first, change parts or make adjustments after you are fairly sure what the issue is.
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Old 06-07-2011, 06:17 AM
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Thanks, that's pretty much what we have been doing. Last night I relocated the section of fuel line which was closest to the headers and also put a 160 degree stat. in it vs. the 180 it had in it. I'm thinking about wrapping the starter with Thermo tape also. I'll probably be adding an electric fan soon, until then I think I'll reroute the A/C supply into the engine compartment...ha ha.
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