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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
New Rebuild too stiff to turn over with starter. Well... it turns but not fast enough to get it to start.

I suspect the rings / cyclinder hone as the problem.

What can I do to fix this without tearing the engine down again?
 

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You got a leaky spark tube...
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Did you or whoever assembled the engine spin the engine after each piston/connecting rod was installed and torqued to check for binding? How does the engine spin by hand now? Put a socket on the crankshaft bolt and try to turn it by hand with the spark plugs removed. If it spins freely then you may have an issue with an electrical ground, low/dead battery. Do you have an automatic or a stick? Maybe there's binding somewhere between the torque converter/clutch and the transmission or the engine?

If there's an internal problem with the engine then it would have to come apart to fix the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
As I built up each cylinder set (New Piston and Rings). It became stiffer.

I have always been able to rotate the crank by hand (New Bearings) and when it was assembled it became striffer with the plugs in.

I guess my question is about the ring friction being too tight due to new rings and maybe not such a good honing.

Can I use a squirt or two of trans fluid in each cylinder through ther plug hole and rotate it with the plugs out to loosen it up a bit?

I am not trying to fire it up yet, just get it rotating freely.
 

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Maybe, you have a weak starter.........I would try another one that you know is good. Also, try it with the ignition disconnected and see if it turns easier.


When the plugs are out, you should be able to turn it over by hand with a Johnson bar smoothly............
 

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sjclayden said:
Took plugs out and it spins like a champ.

I guess the valves are not opening.

Will re-check valve adjustment.
Valves are opening,,,,,just with the plugs out, there is no compression, thus its a lot easier to turn over.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Vlaves way out - set them according to one book -wrong- but found a Ford shop manual and got them tightened the right way.

Valves now working. I hear the exhaust cycle releasing into the manifolds.

Engine is turning better but not enough to start. Will recharge the battery and get a new starter, no idea how old the current one is.

I suppose a weak starter can spin the engine with the plugs out and no compression.
 

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starter

You might invest in one of the permanent magnet starters, found on a 85 galaxie. the reason i use that is because the parts counter guy will want to know, along with ''is that ps, ac car? lol. jim.
 

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I just built a new motor with a blower and it takes 55 ft lbs of torque to turn the motor with no plugs in it. It is in the car and the tras is bolted to it. So I am turning the motor the blower and the converter and trans pump, with 55 ft lbs of torque. This shound give you some idea of what it would take to turn the motor over.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I am just confounded bythis problem.

If the plugs are out the starter whirls it around just fine.

With the plugs in it just makes 1/2 rev per second or less.

I have fully charged battery with lots cranking amps.

New starter which acts and sound just like the one I replaced.

The wires from the battery are heating up pretty good.

I can turn it by hand and a breaker bar with plugs in or out.

This is a 1969 351 windsor engine, a/c, ps are attached.

What next?
 

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Way out of left field here, but if this is a new Motor are the plug wires routed correctly? Did you advance the Cam at all? Are you certain the Harmonic Balancer is good (degreeing tape?). Did you have the Starter checked? Is this a new complete Build (new Car?)-if it is, what gauge of Battery Cables did you use? Did you have your Battery Load Tested?
 

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starting new engine

Back in the 70's I rebuilt an engine and thinking i'd be smart I used STP oil treatment as an assembly lube. Needless to say it was very stiff to turn over. About like what your experiencing. We tried using 2 fully charged batteries, that was better but still very slow. Out come the starting fluid (ether I think it is. Commonly used to start diesels in cold weather). Still nothing. :sweat: I was about to give up and pull the motor out and wipe all the STP out of there but decided to give it one more try. :sweat: Hit the key, one crank and varooom. Startled the hell out of me. For the next 2 weeks it wouldn't turn fast enough to start when it was hot but started fine when cold. after that all was well.
 

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1) As mentioned, check gauge of starter cables. That could be a problem.
2) There should be a ground cable from the block to the chassis. Make sure this is good and big enough. You might want to connect a cable between one of the starter bolts and chassis. If you're using engine plates that directly bolt to the frame and engine you can skip this step!
3) If the timing is to far advanced the engine will be hard to turn. Try cutting back the timing a little with the distrubutor and see if it turns easier -- you can do this while it's cranking. It won't hurt to break the engine in with the timing retarded a bit.
4) It's more likely that the bearings are tight than the rings. Did you check bearing clearances w/plastigage? I didn't once, and it turned out that the bearings were tight.
5) Did you "prime" the carb? Pour about 1/4 cup of gas down the carb then start. Make sure the air filter is on and don't stand over it. An open carb and a back-fire could torch the hood insulation, that's why I say put the air filter back on after doing this. Any time I've started a car it's had a little gas trickeld down the carb first, even if it was just run out of gas. Works every time! If it fires but doesn't start, do it again. Might take 2-3 times pouring a little gas down the carb to get it started. I'd do that rather than use starting fluid.

I hard a hard time gettng a flat head six to start a long time ago. Luckily it was a stick and I lived on a farm at the time. Dragging it down the road for 200-300 feet in second gear with the tractor did the trick! Make sure you have a 30' or longer tow strap/chain, don't want to hit the tractor when it starts! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Mystery solved - I'm an idiot.

I double checked the timing and found that on the compression stroke the distributor was out 180 degrees, which means I screwed up on the timing gear.

I tore down the timing case and guess what, it's true I am an idiot.

Correcting the timing gear orientation in the morning and expect it to start right up.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Thanks for all the shared wisdom and great stories, I learned a lot.

I know better, thought I had double checked but must have rotated the crank once before I set the gears - crap - two days wasted on the project but lots of great info from you guys.

Thanks again.
 
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