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Old 04-03-2008, 03:17 PM
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Unable to start SBC 383, timing issue?

Hi

I just installed my 383 which had been running perfectly a couple of years back but had had the distributor removed. With fresh oil, filter etc I am now trying to restart it.

The distributor points to cylinder no.1 with the engine at TDC and my thumb over the No.1 spark plug and feeling compression. Order is checked (and rechecked a few times!) as 18436572 clockwise around the distributor cap.

I am getting the occasional half hearted attempt at it firing but it never catches.

Interestingly when I put my hands on the headers after a minute or so of trying to start it the only cylinder that has a hot'ish header is No.8? Not sure if this means anything but I am getting a little frustrated at something as simple as setting the timing.

Any help appreciated,
Paul
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Old 04-03-2008, 03:38 PM
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What time is it?

I am guessing you checked for a good hot spark across the plug gap?

Is this the same distributor? points or electronic ignition? If you have new plugs gapped for modern day ignitions and you are using points, you may not be able to get the spark to jump the gap.

You verified you are getting fuel? Are the plug wires old? How old/worn is the distributor cap? Didn't forget the rotor did you?

Flooding is a common problem when having troubles starting a car.

The choke is also another big issue. In both cases, holding your foot to the floor while cranking will help solve the issue after 5-15 seconds of cranking.

Do you have a timing light?

Steve
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Old 04-03-2008, 03:55 PM
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Have you actually checked at the plug for spark. Also answers to the questions in the previous post would help diagnose the issue further

gather up the requested info and get back to us

Chet
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Old 04-06-2008, 06:34 AM
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So here is the bottom line.

After scratching my head having checked and rechecked the timing several times I decided to replace a couple of items to remove them from the equation.

I only got as far as replacing the spark plugs and the engine fired immediately!

So, they must have some issue even though they look fine.

I am replacing the wires this morning and rebuilt the carb yesterday (which took me from a slightly rough rev to a very crisp, responsive engine).

Thanks for the input on the issue, much appreciated. Another problem fixed and a little more learning done.

Paul
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