Engine won’t start

Discussion in 'Troubleshooting & Diagnosis' started by Jerry M, Mar 15, 2020.

  1. Jerry M

    Jerry M Member

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    Not getting any backfires, it was running on this exact distributer and timing not more than a month ago. No more cats. I haven’t touched the tune since it was running and starting great every time. Now I can get it to start once or twice and then it won’t start and both times I can get it to start it will just die on its own. We have good fuel pressure, carb is rebuilt and cleaned. I’m not sure what’s going on.
     
  2. cadillac_al

    cadillac_al Veteran Member

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    massive vacuum leak?
     
  3. Overtrained

    Overtrained Veteran Member

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    Most likely your HEI module is bad. Youre getting spark but a bad signal. Change the 4 pin module and you should be good to go. I know its “new” but thats a common prob with these distributors.
     
  4. danbrennan

    danbrennan Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Years ago, a friend turned shut off the 302 in his Fairlane, running fine, then when he went to start it the next day it wouldn't start. It turned out his timing chain had jumped 4 teeth the last time he shut it down. We found it with a compression check. He was only getting around 90 PSI in all the cylinders. Also, fuel spit back through the carb when he cranked. His wouldn't start at all.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2020
    Cardinal likes this.
  5. Gasoholic

    Gasoholic Veteran Member

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    We have a saying in the garage, "new equals different, not necessarily good". and "rebuilt equals junk".

    Whatever it was doing last week doesn't matter. Right now doesn't run. Need to verify whether its fuel, air or spark. It's one of those. I guarantee it.
     
  6. Cardinal

    Cardinal Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    I'm betting on a "blown" trimming chain (wiped cam gear) ESPECIALLY if it's the original!

    Pull the #1 spark plug and distributor cap. With your thumb over the #1 spark plug hole while bumping the starter over until the compression blows out. STOP! By hand, rotate the engine until the harmonic balancer 0 aligns with the 0 on the timing tab. Also while bumping the engine engine over, watch the rotor. It must follow the firing order/Rotate with the engine.

    You are now at TDC (top dead center) of the #1 cylinder.

    The rotor on your HEI distributor should be pointing to the #1 cylinder. If not, the timing chain is shot.

    Hopefully, you didn't bend any valves and/or pushrods and/or valve springs.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2020
  7. Ab454

    Ab454 New Member

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    I once had a similar problem. The 3 month old spark plug wires had been internally “cooked” and while almost nothing was visible outside, multiple wires were only firing sometimes and another had a short to ground, the ground being whatever part of the engine it was closest to. A new set of wires and it fired right up. You can’t always tell a bad wire by looking. I seem to remember checking the resistance of the wires to check they were good. If they are all in the same range they probably are good. Just a thought. Simple stuff sometimes gets overlooked.
     
  8. garyandcindy

    garyandcindy Veteran Member

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    Try a dist. module as suggested above.I friend of mine had a car acting about the same as yours.It was the module.
     
  9. dave@ztech

    dave@ztech Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    You would know if the timing chain broke , because the engine sounds different when cranking , if it jumped time, it might start, however run rough, so probably something easy, like a wire off or no spark
     
  10. Zspoiler

    Zspoiler Veteran Member

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    Just how long has the car been sitting It may be bad gas ,But continue to make your checks an eliminate each possible one Its usually something stupid
     

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