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Old 11-18-2002, 09:25 AM
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Post starting a rebuilt motor

I attempted to start my rebuilt 350 this morning. All I got was a half hearted backfire. Suggestions Please!!! I verified power to HEI distributor, checked to make sure I wasn't 180 degrees out (I pulled the driver side valve cover and confirmed TDC, #1 piston is at TDC on compression, timing mark on balancer is at 0). I turned the distributor approx. 5/16" counter-clockwise to give a little advance (6-8 degrees is what I figured), am I wrong on this? I hooked the distributer to the full vac. port on the new edelbrock carb. Let me know if you need more info.
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Old 11-18-2002, 09:38 AM
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Are you sure its getting gas?? Is there fuel in the fuel bowl on the carb. Can you pour a little fuel down the carb? <img src="confused.gif" border="0">

[ November 18, 2002: Message edited by: Maverick ]</p>
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Old 11-18-2002, 09:44 AM
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I filled the float chambers with gas prior to first attempt to start. I also gave the motor about a 1-2 second shot of starting fluid.
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Old 11-18-2002, 02:47 PM
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Do not use starting fluid! Recheck cam position,make sure the lifters are set correctly, recheck timing, check fuel supply and hit the key. Sounds like you might have the lifters set too tight, but just a guess.
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Old 11-18-2002, 03:12 PM
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When I set my lifters, I would tighten down just to the point that I could not rotate them anymore then went another 1/2 turn. I read thru some books today and one said when you can't move the pushrod up or down anymore then go another 1/2 turn. I did the method in which you set half the valves then rotate the crank one turn and get the rest of the valves. From what is above, would you all think my lifters are set to tight?

I only shot starting fluid in the one time, will this hurt anything. I checked the fuel line coming into the carb, but I don't think I've cranked the motor over enough to get the gas from the tank to the motor. It is in a Suburban, so there is a lot of fuel line to run thru.
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Old 11-18-2002, 04:26 PM
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Smile

Turn the distributor 180 degrees and see what happens.
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Old 11-18-2002, 05:04 PM
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Do a compression check to see if any of the valves are tight enough to be staying open. I set them by using my left hand thumb and index finger. I lightly turn the pushrod back and forth until I feel I have all the lack out and then turn 1/4 turn tighter and leave it. If the fuel bowl in the carb is full you don't need to worry about the pump bringing fuel up already. I doubt the starting fluid did much but if you feel you need it something is wrong. Take your time and go slow. Let us know if you have any more trouble. Ryan
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Old 11-19-2002, 03:08 AM
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In regard to the lifters, the procedure sounds right. However, if you have hydraulic lifters and they are dry (not pre-soaked in oil), the stopping point on finger tightening the adjusters is very subtle. If you miss it and compress the lifters down too far, you will lose compression.

a. If the motor cranks way too freely, you have tightened the lifters too far, and are releasing your compression because the valves don't fully seat.

b. If you are getting a normal cranking sound, you are probably ok. If one lifter is over-tightened you should hear hissing when the engine runs. Removing one spark plug wire at a time will isolate the problem.

In regard to the distributor, sugggest this process to static set the timing:

1. Move the engine to TDC.
2. Remove #1 spark plug wire. Get another plug (or use #1 if you don't have a spare plug.) Clamp this plug to a convenient metal part of the motor (alternator bracket) and then attach the #1 spark plug wire to the clamped plug.
3. Turn the igniition key to the normal run position, but do not start the motor.
4. Release and rotate the distributor slowly until you see a spark. This is the static set position for the distribtor at TDC. Repeat the process a few times until you get the position right, then clamp the distributor right at the sparking position.

You will have to use a timing light later to get the distributor exactly set, but this has been successful for me in starting a new engine.
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Old 11-19-2002, 12:31 PM
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I went out today and reset the valves/lifters and guess what, the motor fired up on the first shot!!! What a relief. I let it run for about 20 minutes at between 2000 and 2500 rpm. I want to thank all of you, this is my first sbc and has been a learning experience. Heck, I doubt I would have ever got this done if it wasn't for this forum, such a wealth of information.

Now lets see if the motor will stay together!!!
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