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ARGHHH!!!! No Spark!

Okay, here's the deal.. I finally got the engine and trans back in my truck last weekend and proceeded to hook everything up over the course of the week. Yesterday was the do or die time to start her up and well obviously I need some assistance in the wiring deptartment.
Yesterday I turned the key on and the engine was turning over but not starting. It was spitting smoke and yes even a 2 foot fireball out of the carb.
I have a eledbrock 600 cfm carb. Points type dizzy and a new accel coil.
The first thing I did was assume it's not in time so I turned the engine manually with a wrench on the altenator bolt until the grove on the crank was at 12 oclock. I then took the dizzy cap off and yes the rotor was pointing at number 1 cylinder. I then proceeded to double check to see if the spark plug wires are going to the correct cylinders, and they are. Lastly I check to see how I wired the coil (since this was the ONLY thing I forgot to log during my engine pull).. Here's how I have the coil hooked up.
There is a blue wire coming from the fuse box on the driverside of the truck connecting to the postive side of the coil. There is a small cylinder type thing hook on the coil bracket and that wire is also going to the possitive side to the coil. There is a yellow wire and the wire from the dizzy going to the negative side to the coil. The yellow wire is coming from a (junction??) on the firewall.
After I attempted to start the truck and got the spitting and sputtering shooting out of the carb I proceeded to reverse the wiring on the coil.(since I rulled out the timing issue), This did nothing at all...but produce a very small amount of smoke coming from under the dizzy cab... oops...
I'm sorry for the long post but I wanted to give as much info and be detailed as possible, thanks for any and all sugestions, please note that I"m a newbie and retarted as heck when It comes to auto wiring... :embarrass
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Guys when it comes to setting the timing, I'm mostly at a loss. The only thing I know to do is get the crank grove at 12 oclock and make sure the rotor is pointing to #1. If you can give me some simple procedures for setting timing that would be great, thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Okay, in haste I could have pointed the wrong end of the rotor to the #1 cylinder :embarrass . I will confirm this tonight. My last question regarding timing is after I verify that the rotor is pointing to #1, when I put the dizzy cap on, does the cap have to be arranged so wire going to #1 spark plug is over the rotor?
 

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JJ350 said:
Guys when it comes to setting the timing, I'm mostly at a loss. The only thing I know to do is get the crank grove at 12 oclock and make sure the rotor is pointing to #1. If you can give me some simple procedures for setting timing that would be great, thanks.
You need to make sure that the valves on #1 cylinder are both closed when you set the crank to 0 (compression stroke). The most simple way to do this is to take out the spark plug, stick your thumb over the hole and have someone bump the starter until your thumb pops of...then make sure the crank is at 0 and THEN check to be sure the rotor is pointing to #1 in the distributor.

The camshaft turns half as fast as the crankshaft, so the crank will hit 0 twice for every revolution of the cam.
 

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Assuming this a Chevy engine.

#1 cylinder is on the passenger side, front of the engine.

Rotate engine to TDC (top dead center) by lining up the crank slot with the timing tab on the block at 0*. NOT 12 o'clock.

Make sure engine on the compression stroke as described before. Or remove the valve cover and observe the #1 cyl. rocker arms. They will be loose.

Dist. rotor should now align with the #1 plug wire position on the cap.

You have the coil wired correctly per your description. If it backfired you have ignition.

vicrod
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
VICROD, thanks i will do that , although it might be alittle tough, becuase the timing tab is very hard to read, i cleaned it off but it's old and it seems to be tacked to the block, not bolted so I couldn't replace it, I guess what I need to do is get a picture of a timing tab so I know where 0* is.. again thanks everyone.
 

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Doc here, :pimp:

Pull #1 plug, You want # 1 TDC, COMPRESSION, Both intake and exhaust valves DEAD closed..Timing marks aligned to "0" degrees..

If you have that, your mechanical timing is correct (Cam , Crank)..For absolute TDC, you can use a "Poor-man's " piston stop..a Slurpee straw from one of those mega 600 gallon drinks, put it in the cylinder when close to top, and move the crank by hand until , no matter what direction , it moves down..That is dead top center (and it won't nick a piston :pain: )

NEXT, check the rotor..Traditionally, It should point to between the 5 and 7 O'Clock position on the distributer. Confirm your cap # 1 plug tower matches It's location..If not reset the dizzy. Be advised , Because the cam and Dizzy gears are diagonal, when you stab the Dizzy on #1, as it seats, it will advance about a tower or more in width..you must gauge that and set the rotor BACK back , in order for it to come out right.

The Direction of rotation is Clockwise, (to the passenger fender on the cap..)

1,8,4,3,6,5,7,2...BE sure 5 and 7 aren't reversed..common error by both novices and pro's alike because both ends are next to each other..hand over hand them to be sure.

If all that checks out..

I'd look for tight valves..back them out a 1/4 turn and see if it starts (assuming this is a fresh "0" time engine)

Doc :pimp:
 

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vicrod said:
Assuming this a Chevy engine.

#1 cylinder is on the passenger side, front of the engine.
UMMMMMMM!!! :nono:

#1 cylinder is on the DRIVER'S side looking from the front of the engine. :D

Unless you have right hand drive. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Okay guys, sorry for being such a retard about this, let me get this straight. The #1 on the dizzy cap HAS to be over the rotor when it's pointing to #1 cylinder?? If it's not would this cause me to have no spark??
 

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JJ350 said:
Okay guys, sorry for being such a retard about this, let me get this straight. The #1 on the dizzy cap HAS to be over the rotor when it's pointing to #1 cylinder?? If it's not would this cause me to have no spark??
Yes to your question.

Read docvette's reply again. He has it written fairly simple to understand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Okay, I'm assuming also if my cap is arranged to where I can't turn it to index the #1 on the cap under the rotor then I can pull the plugs from the cap and arrange them to where number one is under the rotor and then put the plugs on correctly from that point on??
 

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JJ350 said:
Okay, I'm assuming also if my cap is arranged to where I can't turn it to index the #1 on the cap under the rotor then I can pull the plugs from the cap and arrange them to where number one is under the rotor and then put the plugs on correctly from that point on??
Ok, let's make this simple...

1. Remove distributor and wires from car.
2. Take distributor and wires to local bank.
3. Rent safe deposit box.
4. Put distributor and wires in safe deposit box.
5. Give key to safe deposit box to your mother.

Now that you haven't gotten the distributor and wires out of your sight, use linked instructions to get the #1 piston to TDC on compession stroke. After you have verified correct TDC setting, get the key back from your mother, retrieve the distributor and wires and install according to linked instructions.

You can mess the distributor all you want but if the engine is not in the correct position FIRST you will never get anywhere.
 

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JJ,
NO the wires can't "just be" indexed/moved anywhere on the cap

when #1 piston is on TDC compression, the timing chain positions the camshaft on the base circle for both valves for #1.....the camshaft gear drives the dist rotor.....the rotor tip points to what has to be #1 plug wire when the camshaft is on the base circles

yes, if the crank is at 0*TDC then you can drop in the dist with rotor pointing to any position and use that for #1 wire.....but "KISS"...drop it in with the rotor pointing to 5-7 oclock

stick a piece of masking tape on the damper pointer for contrast or paint it white?
 

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JJ350 said:
Lonestar, okay ,okay... I guess I deserved that :D I read the links and I should be good to go... thanks for putting up with me everyone... :)
No problem...I know what its like when you get frustrated. Sometimes it takes a slap to get you thinking straight again.

No offense intended...we are here to help but you have to listen.
 

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JJ350 said:
Okay, I'm assuming also if my cap is arranged to where I can't turn it to index the #1 on the cap under the rotor then I can pull the plugs from the cap and arrange them to where number one is under the rotor and then put the plugs on correctly from that point on??
The wires in the cap can be anywhere you want them to be as long as the #1 wire position in the cap is lined up with the rotor when the #1 cylinder is at TDC and the rest of the wires are installed in the cap in the correct firing order.

Looking from the front of the engine, the distributor of the SBC is "usually" installed so that the rotor will be pointing in approximately the 5-7 o'clock position when the #1 cylinder is at TDC on the compression stroke. This will locate the vacuum advance housing slightly pointing towards the passenger side front wheel. It will also allow for rotational adjustment of the distributor to set the timing. If the distributor can not be installed so that the rotor is pointing in this location it is because the 'drive slot' at the top of the oil pump shaft is not located correctly to slip into the 'tang' at the bottom of the distributor shaft. This can be changed by inserting a long screwdriver into the oil pump shaft slot and rotating it so that it will line up with the distributor when it is inserted.

When the distributor is being installed the rotor will rotate slightly in a clockwise direction because of the helix angle of the drive gears. After the distributor has been installed, place the cap to determine which spark plug wire tower is in line with the rotor. This will be where the #1 spark plug wire will be installed. Install the remaining spark plug wires in the cap in the correct firing order in a clockwise direction.

For everyone reading this post, see JJ350's additional question at Fried something inside
 
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