Need to get this engine started!!! - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old Feb 17th, 07, 03:19 PM Thread Starter
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JB
 
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Need to get this engine started!!!

Ok, I'm pretty much a novice with a 327 in a 67 RS. I have a HEI distributor with a built-in coil and a MSD 6AL box for my ignition, along with an Edelbrock 1405 (600 CFM) carb for fuel. After months of assembling the engine, I finally reached the point of trying to get it started but have been unsuccessful in getting the timing right.

I do have spark and I do have fuel, so I'm assuming it can only be the timing, right? I've tried and tried the old "thumb in the #1 cylinder hole" routine to where I'm pretty sure I'm at TDC and then try to arrange the spark plug wires appropriately, but each time to no avail.

Does anyone have any tips you can give on how to get the timing on this thing right? HELP!

As always, thanks in advance for anything you can offer.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old Feb 17th, 07, 08:58 PM
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Re: Need to get this engine started!!!

It sounds like the engine doesn't start at all? If so, it could be many things, besides timing. If you do a search on the subject here at camaros.net there have been several great tutorials on this subject of setting initial timing. Another option is to take the 6AL out of the system. Simplify until it works. Good luck!

1968, M20 PDB 12posi-3.73 400SB (KB125 5.7"r AFR195 CS286H 750cfm-mech-annular_boost 10.2CR AirGap 6AL)
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old Feb 17th, 07, 09:13 PM
 
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Re: Need to get this engine started!!!

if you have fuel, spark and compression, thats all you need to make an engine run...(making it run right is another story)...sometimes cams with a large valve overlap will feel like they have compression on 2 of the four strokes, although one of the 2 will be much less...do the finger in the cyl thing till you feel compression...make sure the timing tab shows 0 for tdc, and line the rotor up with the number one plug wire/tower...wire the cap as 18436572 clockwise...you will want the 1 spot on the cap just forward of the rotor, and it should at least fart for you...if all it does is fart,turn the motor over to tdc again, and turn the rotor 180 degrees, and drop the dist back in...hope this helps and wasnt too long winded...
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old Feb 17th, 07, 09:46 PM
 
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Re: Need to get this engine started!!!

If you stab the dizzy at tdc you will have to advance it as far as you can to get it to start. What I do is bring the balancer up to around 12* btdc and then drop it in on #1. This will get you in the ballpark of 12* initial advance and should start.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old Feb 17th, 07, 09:50 PM
 
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Re: Need to get this engine started!!!

if the vac pod is at 9 oclock with the rotor installed pointing an cyl 1( looking directly over the top of the motor) you have aprox 18 deg either way for timing...probably even more...
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old Feb 19th, 07, 11:59 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Need to get this engine started!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rogue68 View Post
Another option is to take the 6AL out of the system. Simplify until it works. Good luck!
I took the 6AL out of the system and although I'm able get the engine to sputter a bit, it still won't start. Also, I'm sometimes getting flames coming out of the headers!!! Any ideas now?
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old Feb 20th, 07, 02:40 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Need to get this engine started!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rogue68 View Post
It sounds like the engine doesn't start at all? If so, it could be many things, besides timing.
After trying to get the timing right time and time again, the engine still won't start.

What are some of the other things I should be looking for? Is it possible that the heads are bad? (the valves seem to open and close appropriately when I have the valve covers off) Could the pistons/rings be bad? (they all seemed to operate normally when I had the heads off). I really appreciate any suggestions...HELP!
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old Feb 20th, 07, 03:02 PM
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Re: Need to get this engine started!!!

Have you done a compression test?
You said you have flames at the headers. Is the engine backfiring?
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old Feb 20th, 07, 03:04 PM
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Re: Need to get this engine started!!!

Did you have an HEI on the car before? I just wanted to make sure you have rewired for the HEI since it has different wiring requirements than the points distributor.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old Feb 20th, 07, 03:33 PM
 
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Re: Need to get this engine started!!!

make sure you have 12 volts to the hei...you cant run on the original ign wire if it has a resistor inline...also make sure your firing order is correct...backfiring could mean the dist. is 180 out...is the carb dumping fuel???check this stuff and let us know..
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old Feb 20th, 07, 04:03 PM
 
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Re: Need to get this engine started!!!

Flames through the headers?
Sounds to me like your 180 Deg. out
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old Feb 20th, 07, 09:03 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Need to get this engine started!!!

I did buy a wiring harness set up for an HEI distributor, so the wiring to the distributor should be fine. Also, when I pull a spark plug and check it, I do get spark so I'm pretty sure there's nothing wrong there.

As far as being 180 degrees out, I have tried every variation of how the distributor is supposed to be aligned at TDC...not a single one gets the engine to start.

I was asked about a compression test, which I have not yet done. Is it conceivable that the compression is so low the engine will not start? I certainly don't get that impression, but I guess I could be wrong.

Still searching for answers...
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old Feb 20th, 07, 09:35 PM
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Re: Need to get this engine started!!!

eeek.... work with me here, k?
Follow the instructions exactly. Don't assume anything, and don't skip any steps.

If you have flames out the exhaust, then you have spark and fuel.
The only way compression could be an issue is if you tightened the rockers down so far the valves never close. That could account for the flames too.

Still, this problem is timing, pure and simple.

Let's make darned sure you're on number 1 compression. Take OFF the drivers side valve cover. Disconnect the hot lead from the HEI. Get a helper or a remote starter button and bump the engine over. Watch the first 2 valves. The second one will open and close, then the front valve. When the front valve starts back down, let go of the button, then little bumps till you see the timing mark on the balancer. Then turn her by hand until the timing mark is aligned with 12 before top dead center on the timing tab.

Pull the number 1 plug (front drivers side) and stick a small screwdriver in the hole. The piston should be RIGHT THERE. Put the valv cover back on.

If it's not, stop and post back.

Put the plug in the number one wire and lay it on the valve cover or intake. (If there is ANY fuel outside the motor, stop till it dries up!)

Follow THAT wire back to the distributor cap. Make a mark on both the cap and the distributor body below the cap aligned with that wire.

Take off the cap. The rotor should be pointing toward your mark.

If it's not, post back and stop.

Loosen the distributor so you can turn it with some effort. Rotate the distributor so the vac can moves toward the firewall and the pass side of the car until the rotor is to the right of your mark. Put the cap back on and plug the hot lead back in.

Make sure that number one plug is laying on metal, not paint. Turn the key on (DO NOT CRANK THE MOTOR!)

Pull the vac can toward the carb until the plug sparks. Stop right when it sparks. You can twist it back and forth if you want, every time at a certain point it will spark. Leave the distributor right at that point. Turn the key off. Make sure the distributor is tight enough that it won't move by itself, but loose enough so you can move it with some effort.

Put the plug back in. Run the wires down the firing order one more time. From your mark, CLOCKWISE, 1-8-4-3-6-5-7-2.

Move the throttle and close the choke. This will put the carb on fast idle. Screw in the idle stop screw so it just touches the throttle arm. Open the choke and move the throttle, fast idle cam should drop, but throttle should stay at that point.

If you don't have a remote starter switch, get a helper to turn the key.
Jack the throttle twice and have your helper crank her over. While she's cranking, pull the vac can toward the carb (advancing the timing) until she either starts or the starter motor starts to labor.

She should fire right up.





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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old Feb 20th, 07, 11:02 PM
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Re: Need to get this engine started!!!

Sounds like a timing issue or crossed wires. It is usually better to have it a little too advanced rather than retarded in order to start.

Just for a visual, when you pull the valve cover, it should look like this (both #1 valves closed) with the rotor pointing at #1:


Driving a #s-matching Z in the rain..... and lovin' it....
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old Feb 20th, 07, 11:26 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Need to get this engine started!!!

Jim, thanks for "dumbing this down" for me. I am going on a business trip tomorrow afternoon and will be gone for a week, but I'm hoping I'll have time to give this a try before I leave. If not, I'll definitely let you know the results when I return. And again, thanks a million!!!

BTW, Dave thanks for the photo as well.
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