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Discussion Starter #1
78, 350 chevy pick up will not start until the temp, warms up to the 60's. After it warms up it runs great, but will not start in the early AM when it is cold.
I have tried starting with the choke open on day and closed the next day pumping the gas one time and not the next, by the time I have run the battery low from grinding it is flooded. Go to work and when I return it is warm and I try and start it and it fires right up!!
So do I replace the Plugs, Coil HEI, and mod in the distributor wires or WHAT ???
 

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I would start with a good tune-up. ;)
 

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Doc here, :pimp:

Check the BATT wire with a DVOM, Set to DCV, VX50, while cranking, If it falls below 10 Volts, you have some bad connections, and/or bad grounds. less than 10 Volts an HEI won't fire.

Check your body / Engine Grounds. You may be loosing full power under the added CCA load on a pre~60 degree day during cranking.

Run a properly gauged Ground cable from the battery to any handy block bolt at or near the starter, From that same bolt get a Battery cable at the parts store, that has two 3/8 ring terminals on each end and attach it there and to the Frame, make it as shout as applicable.

Next get some 10 gauge wire and ring terminals and run that from your block bolt on the block to the Firewall, and another separate wire to the Alternator bracket , lug or mount bolt.

If the Bracket and alternator is power white remove them both and their hardware, sand or pressure wash them until clean semi shiny metal, dry and reinstall.

You have electrolysis there..and it will also eat a water pump impeller up faster than any acid..The Alternator Bracket and Alternator housing is Aluminum and the block is Steel..(what were they thinking?)

When you go to reinstall the brackets, go to the hardware store and get some aluminum wire compound, and coat everywhere the mount hardware meets steel (bolts, mount surfaces Ect..)

Next get some Wire Braid, (Radio Shack) and install braid from the radiator support to the frame, Fenderwells to frame , hood to firewall, Doors to door posts, gas flap to body, tailgate / Trunk to body.

At each point the wire is grounded, Burnish ALL the paint and grease off to bare metal. Use a proper star-washer and lock. Use sheetmetal or Tech screws where no screws are available.

It sounds like a lot of work, but after you assemble all the parts, it's only a few hours to do..and you'll end up with a system that will work reliably for many years to come..and can eliminate that from your troubleshooting list.



Doc :pimp:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hey, thanks Doc,
I have had this truck for 26 years and everything is factory and kept in good condition and maintained. so it baffled me when the old girl got cranky the other morning. I guess she did not like the cold spell we had and refused to get up and run!!
I thought it might be the ing. Module as it failed a few years ago (3) and a new one cured everything, so I was going to start with that. the plugs are A/C rapid fire and the one I removed looked good but wet from being flooded. I guess I will work my way down from the distributor, R&R one piece at a time and try it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
docvette said:
Doc here, :pimp:

Does this have a Qudra Jet?

Doc :pimp:
.................. 10-4, it was rebuilt the last go around, and after it is running there are no changes, seems as usual !! Why did you zero in on the qudraflood ??
 

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Doc here, :pimp:

The bottom Lead plugs on the Throttle body are known to leak just sitting, filling the manifold...many of these need epoxy after / during rebuild.


Doc :pimp:
 

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The great flood...

I have never seen Doc give bad advice yet. Make sure you do everything he says.

Is this an HEI ignition system or does it have a separate coil mounted away from the distributor? How old is the coil? what brand?

Also, no doubt that choke needs to be on when the engine is cold on a cold day. It's supposed to set to close when you press the pedal to the floor once. Verify that's happening.

Is it an electric choke? If so, that thing starts warming up as soon as you turn on the key. You need to crank the engine very soon after that key goes to on to have the choke be on while trying to start a cold engine on a cold day.

An old trick that I GUARANTEE works every time....if it's flooded, hold the gas pedal to the floor while you crank. This dumps the excess raw gas out of the system and allows you to get back to conditions where it will start.

If the engine doesn't start with the choke closed, then hold the pedal to the floor. Within 15 to 20 seconds of cranking (if flooded) that engine should be started. If not, then I'd look at that coil and then do everything Doc said for electrical maintenance ...which can only help whether or not it has anything to do with the starting problem.

As the Frisco said, a good tune up is always a good idea anyway.

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The last rebuild I did the JB weld on the plugs, and the coil , mod, and plugs were replaced.After 26 years we have become as one, she ******es I listen!
The quality of the ignition parts today do not seem as good as they were 20 years ago, the last time I replaced the dist parts. I replaced everything 3 years ago and it is starting to fail again. I used all Delco parts including A/C 8.00 spark plugs!!
Nothing is too good for this old gal, we have been together a long time, and she does not get rode hard and put to bed wet. I looked at the odometer yesterday and she only has 165K and her valve seals are a bit hard or gone and that is the only thing that is noticeable when starting (cough) an true survivor, you know water pump, fuel pump, transmission, brakes, seat covers.
The choke is mechanical works off the manifold heat and the heater on the manifold has vacuum to the air cleaner.
I just went out and to start her and no good, lots of gas, weak spark!!!!. Rotor, cap, coil, mod, plugs, NEXT!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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solidaxel said:
The last rebuild I did the JB weld on the plugs
I sure don't understand this statement. Why did you put JB Weld on the Plugs? :confused:

solidaxel said:
I replaced everything 3 years ago and it is starting to fail again.
I'd say this is to be expected after three years. ;)

solidaxel said:
I just went out and to start her and no good, lots of gas, weak spark!!!!. Rotor, cap, coil, mod, plugs, NEXT!!!!!!!!!!!!!
As I originally suggested; Time For A Tune-Up! :rolleyes:

Plugs, spark plug wires, cap, rotor. New air filter. Check and re-set the timing.
Adjust carb. Then you can just drive and ENJOY!!! :D
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hey Solid,
how about an update? did you get it fixed yet?[/QUOTE]


Well the last 8 days it started 5 out of the 7 times I went out to use it, but the weather was not as cold high 30*. Today VERY cold(for us) 30* and heavy frost......... no start!!!
When it is running it runs like always, great. This is a thermal problem and I am thinking just the coil or module. what else could be causing a HIGH OPEN in the ignition circuit due to temp. ??
I love crawling into the engine cavity to work on the distributor when it is cold, and when it is fair outside it runs so I am putting it off until it really pi**es me off !!!!!
Thanks for reminding me that I need to fix this thing so the wife is HAPPY and has her trust in the old dog !!
 

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Doc here, :pimp:

BE ADVISED... A module is more likely to be a HOT start problem than cold on a thermal..(unless it is a condensation problem..) SAME with The coil..

Put a meter on the Coil power ( Batt) and measure WHILE cranking, it if drops below 11.5 volts you need to find a secondary source for crank power ( the "I" terminal on the solenoid for instance).

I'd look at the Choke, make sure it isn't sticking ..than flooding..

Also, I' d check plug gap..too wide = Weak spark..and wires, even new..cheap sets won't sometimes provide the power you need.

Doc :pimp:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks Doc,
I will look at the voltage, or run a hot wire from the batt. to the dist. and see if it will start when cold.
The choke I have propped open before starting and after I tried to start so I know it is not the choke and the oder of gas is strong, and the acc. pump is working.
I hate to throw $$$ at it the way the garages do R&R everything and you know it is fixed (maybe!!)
I will pull some plugs and see if they are wet and go from there.
Thanks for keeping me on my toes guys!!
 

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Doc here, :pimp:

You want the choke DEAD CLOSED on a Cold start...that is why it is not starting...

On a Q~jet..the fuel will pour into the manifold and STAY there..(strong oder) until the vacuum is CLOSED off by the choke butterfly to suck it into the induction system..

Bet ya , if it's always open, that is why it won't start..

BTW: I have a Vette with a Q~jet that Will not run, on a Cold start IF the choke is ANYWHERE but DEAD closed..you'll wear the battery out first!

Doc :pimp:
 

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I would bet on a choke issue, check to be sure the pull off is working. This will usually cause a almost start and then a flooded condition. Plug gap is also something to look at, especially is they are 3 years old. The could be worn. Electrodes should be flat and clean with no pitting.
 
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