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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So Ive searched and searched and read so much I'm going crazy so i figured I'd just post. So here is my setup, 350, vortec heads #062 casting with 2.02/1.60 valves, dual plane intake, holley 750, HEI ignition (Summit Racing brand) cam is a hydraulic roller on the high side of mild, new plugs. This car ran and drove about 4 years ago but has been sitting since due to some electrical and charging issues. Since I started working on it again I pulled the old Mallory HEI out of it and replaced it with the Summit HEI and put a new battery in it. Also replaced the in tank fuel pump with an external and manual pickup. Also took apart the Holley carb and freshened it up.


I've gotten it to start, but wont stay running and timing is jumping all over the place. I put the old distributor back in and now it will just sputter and pop like it wants to start but wont crank. Ive checked timing over and over. Im getting plenty of fuel. Triple checked plugs and wiring. Full 12v at the dist. Set and reset and confirmed TDC on #1 on the compression stroke. Balancer has a cover on it so not slipped. Just pulled the valve covers and initial inspection seems good.


I have no idea what could be the issue as it was running before and I've gotten it to start recently now nothing. Any idea and help would be greatly appreciated TIA!
 

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Did you replace the 4 years old bad gas?

Did you turn the engine over while the distributor was out?

Are you timing with vacuum advance disconnected? Must be disconnected...

The engine spins over twice for each one spin of the distributor... a common problem we see is the distributor stabbed in on the wrong crankshaft spin...
.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Completely drained the tank when i did the manual pickup install and put fresh 92 octane and purged the whole fuel system, vacuum advance is disconnected and plugged, #1 is TDC on compression stroke (did the finger in the spark plug hole trick).
 

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With that out of the way we look for all the spark plug wires run correctly... check them over 3 times... they have a magic way of getting on the wrong plugs... don't ask how I know that... LOL!

Check for hot fat blue spark at the spark plugs... not yellow or white...

Make sure carb. is full of gas...

Drop a thimble of gas down the carb. and start it up...
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Plug wires are checked OK, fuel in carb bowls set and squirting fuel, tried gas in the carb and even starting fluid, sputtered and popped a bit more, thats it. any suggestions for checking the spark on the plug?
 

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Recheck TDC with a stiff wire carefully down the plug hole. Mark wire at TDC and rotate engine by hand 360 to recheck wire for TDC mark. Also make sure both valves are closed. You should be able to rotate push rods. If one valve is open , your either 180 out or your timing chain has jumped teeth.

Sounds dumb but do it anyhow.

BB :D:D
 

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Make sure the engine and with it the distributor are grounded well. Went through this once with a new engine on a run-in stand, stand worked well for two previous engines but then would not fire the third....turns out the distributor was not grounded well enough.

You can use one side of a pair of jumper cables to clamp around the distributor and clamp to the battery negative post as a temporary check.
 

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JMHO, this is usually a symptom of a bad timing chain
(Or timing with vacuum advance connected... loose distributor clamp... no cam button/clamp with roller cam... bad rotor... bad cap...)

How many miles on the timing chain/engine?
 

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(Or timing with vacuum advance connected
JMHO, usually at steady rpm it only causes a steady change in timing (up or down, depending if connected before or after timing), Usually doesn’t jump around

... loose distributor clamp...
JMHO, usually causes a change when starting/stopping the motor or blipping throttle, really loose it would walk one way, usually not jump around

no cam button/clamp with roller cam...
JMHO, this will definitely cause movement/jumping

bad rotor... bad cap…)
JMHO, usually causes a miss/backfire or not start, I’ve not seen it cause timing to jump around

Of course I could be wrong, and no disrespect is intended.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for all the info!!! I'll start digging a little more this afternoon before work and see what I can come up with. This car drove when I put it into storage, only things I did was fuel pump and distributor. :confused:



(Or timing with vacuum advance connected... loose distributor clamp... no cam button/clamp with roller cam... bad rotor... bad cap...)

How many miles on the timing chain/engine?

Engine is still new and barely even broken in, less than 100 miles on engine and timing chain (nothing special double roller). It does have a hydraulic roller cam, but I cant see me forgetting a cam button. Would I have been able to drive it before without one tho?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Make sure the engine and with it the distributor are grounded well. Went through this once with a new engine on a run-in stand, stand worked well for two previous engines but then would not fire the third....turns out the distributor was not grounded well enough.

You can use one side of a pair of jumper cables to clamp around the distributor and clamp to the battery negative post as a temporary check.



Ill recheck all the grounds on the motor and try this
 

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So Ive searched and searched and read so much I'm going crazy so i figured I'd just post. So here is my setup, 350, vortec heads #062 casting with 2.02/1.60 valves, dual plane intake, holley 750, HEI ignition (Summit Racing brand) cam is a hydraulic roller on the high side of mild, new plugs. This car ran and drove about 4 years ago but has been sitting since due to some electrical and charging issues.

Have these been fixed? Under or overcharging can ruin a distributor module pretty quickly. Are you using an AL6 box? These need to be well grounded as do the heads and intake or the ground side from the plugs can wreck havoc with the electronics from the modules in the distributor to the components in the AL6.

Since I started working on it again I pulled the old Mallory HEI out of it and replaced it with the Summit HEI and put a new battery in it. Also replaced the in tank fuel pump with an external and manual pickup. Also took apart the Holley carb and freshened it up.


I've gotten it to start, but wont stay running and timing is jumping all over the place.

This is a powerful indicator that something is wrong either with the distributor, its drive off the roller cam, or the cam setup including its drive mechanism as well. The problem with distributors is without putting them on a distributor machine everything you do is guesswork, substitution can be helpful but these days it's not uncommon to get new faulty units from anybody name brand or not. Another problem that could show this way is the cam to distributor gear mesh; a roller cam requires the distributor either have a Melonized steel gear, or a brass/bronze gear, or a composite gear. If not using one of these then a conventional distributor gear against a roller cam's distributor driving gear will destroy one or both of those gears quickly. It needs to remembered that the distridutor delivers the sacrificial gear, even the Melonized gear doesn't last forever but should be good for tens of thousands of miles. The brass/bronze or composite gear wears pretty heavy especially if also pushing a high pressure or high volume oil pump.


I put the old distributor back in and now it will just sputter and pop like it wants to start but wont crank. Ive checked timing over and over. Im getting plenty of fuel. Triple checked plugs and wiring. Full 12v at the dist. Set and reset and confirmed TDC on #1 on the compression stroke. Balancer has a cover on it so not slipped. Just pulled the valve covers and initial inspection seems good.


I have no idea what could be the issue as it was running before and I've gotten it to start recently now nothing. Any idea and help would be greatly appreciated TIA!
So ypu have some things to look at.

Bogie
 

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#1 is TDC on compression stroke (did the finger in the spark plug hole trick).
This gets guys into trouble sometimes because even when the exhaust is open the upward rising of the piston creates a pressure that blows the finger off the plug hole even though its at a far less pressure than at TDC it can fool ya. You really have to verify that both valves are closed and at proper lash to be certain number 1 is at TDC of the compression stroke and NOT TDC of the exhaust stroke.
 

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Sure sounds like distributor out of time a tooth or so ...you're beginning to suffer from " paralysis by analysis "...
That wouldn't matter as long as rotor pointed at #1 at TDC... or maybe a bit before TDC

And since it ran before, timing chain shouldn't be a tooth off... IF it ran WELL 4 years ago...
 

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So we're clear , I said the distributer a tooth or two off. I made no mention of the timing chain ...
To be clear, my first sentence talked about something with a "rotor"...

2nd sentence went into eliminating the timing chain... hopefully...
 
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