350 Starting Problems - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old Oct 25th, 05, 10:00 AM Thread Starter
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Cameron
 
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Location: Lexington, KY
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350 Starting Problems

I have a 69 Camaro, but I also have a 72 Chevy LWB pickup. I've had it for about 6 months and it has always been hard to start, but it has gotten worse here lately. Yesterday, I stopped by the bank and it wouldn't start at all. I came back later yesterday afternoon, installed new plugs because I thought I had fouled them, and after cranking on it for quite a while, I finally got it started and back home.

Anyway, my truck has a bone stock 350 in it. It still has the points ignition system. It has a fresh tune up with new points, distributor cap, rotor, new coil, plug wires, and new plugs. After you get it started, it runs perfect. The first thing that I am going to check is to see if the wire that runs from the starter to the coil that supplies a full 12v to the coil during starting is hooked up correctly. I am pretty sure that it is though. What else could cause the hard starting problem. It seems to be intermittent, but it is always hard to start when it is dead cold. Sometimes a hot start is super easy and sometimes it isn't.

It seems like the spark is hot enough to keep the engine running and just barely hot enough to get it started. What else should I be checking for? I suppose that I could upgrade to an HEI.

49 Chevy 3100 Project
Acro Sport II Biplane
69 Camaro
400 Small Block
AutoGear M22 4 Speed
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old Oct 25th, 05, 11:34 AM
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Don
 
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Re: 350 Starting Problems

Check it out,, Fire, Fuel, Compression. All three have to be there. Check on thing at a time. Verify each component. Remember if you go to Hei or some good electronic,,, you dont need the resistor wire that was orginally suppling fire to coil or dist.

Don
TC # 349
Zdld17:69 Z/RS,306, NOR141111, 9N554XXX, 12A, X3G, 59/59,723, AFR 195,CCC282/290HR, TKO 600, BU1122B1E Owner since Dec 1968

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old Oct 25th, 05, 11:40 AM Thread Starter
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Cameron
 
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Re: 350 Starting Problems

I am getting fire fuel and compression. That is what is baffling me on this. I just think that there is enough spark to make the engine run, but only barely enough to make it start. From what I understand, it takes a hotter spark to start an engine than it does to keep it running.

49 Chevy 3100 Project
Acro Sport II Biplane
69 Camaro
400 Small Block
AutoGear M22 4 Speed
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old Oct 25th, 05, 12:11 PM
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Chris
 
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Cool Re: 350 Starting Problems

Did your truck just start doing this? Did you do the tune up and then this started?

Some ideas:

1. Check the dwell on the points. I would replace the points with a Pertronix unit or an HEI.

2. Check the carb. Is it flooding - black smoke when it finally starts. Do you pump the gas pedal 2 or 3 times prior to cold starting.

3. Does your starter spin fast enough. If not check the starter, cables and battery. A new Optima batter will spin over your engine amazingly fast.

4. Do you have bad fuel or a bad fuel filter?

Good Luck

1967 Chevelle 496BB/TH400/Dana-60 (Show and Go)
1967 El Camino 388SB/700R4/12-bolt posi (Daily Driver)
1967 C10 Short-Wide 496BB/TH400/12-bolt (The Shop Truck)
2008 Harley Davidson Dyna Low Rider


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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old Oct 25th, 05, 03:06 PM
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Don
 
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Re: 350 Starting Problems

Again , check cranking point voltage. Remember that there is a resistor wire that is in the system and there is a voltage hand off ( i call it ) from cranking to run . If you run electronic ie. Petronix set up, instructions may tell you what to do about this resistor wire.

Don
TC # 349
Zdld17:69 Z/RS,306, NOR141111, 9N554XXX, 12A, X3G, 59/59,723, AFR 195,CCC282/290HR, TKO 600, BU1122B1E Owner since Dec 1968

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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old Oct 26th, 05, 07:31 AM Thread Starter
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Cameron
 
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Re: 350 Starting Problems

My truck has steadily been getting worse over the last couple of months. But is has been hard to start when cold since I got it. The tuneup made it run smoother, but it didn't help with starting. I have still got to check the voltage that the coil is getting during cranking. I should get a chance to do that this weekend.

ZDL,
I know about the resistor. The coil is only fed about 6 volts while the engine is running so that the points don't burn. But, during cranking, the coil is fed 12 volts to make the engine easier to start. I don't know if the circuit that does that on my truck is working or not. I think that it is though. I am just trying to see if there is anything that I am missing here. I have been around small block Chevy's for quite a while, but I have never run into this problem before and I don't claim to know anywhere close to everything about a small block Chevy.

Anyway, keep the suggestions coming.

49 Chevy 3100 Project
Acro Sport II Biplane
69 Camaro
400 Small Block
AutoGear M22 4 Speed
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old Oct 26th, 05, 10:36 AM
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Steven
 
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Re: 350 Starting Problems

Check the operation of the choke ... will definitely impact cold starts ... Also, check for vacuum leaks ... vacuum leaks can also impact cold start ...vac leak can be a hose or from intake
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old Oct 26th, 05, 05:26 PM Thread Starter
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Cameron
 
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Re: 350 Starting Problems

I forgot to mention that. The choke is operating fine.

Hopefully, I'll get a chance to look at this thing this weekend.

Keep the suggestions coming.

49 Chevy 3100 Project
Acro Sport II Biplane
69 Camaro
400 Small Block
AutoGear M22 4 Speed
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old Oct 26th, 05, 07:55 PM
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Steven
 
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Re: 350 Starting Problems

You need a multi-meter and a buddy to test your starting circuit ...particularly making sure that you are getting the 12 volts to the coil when starting. On early points cars, you wolud find ballast resistor ... on later point cars, you would find a resitor wire ... Also, check to see that there is not another load on your ignitoin circuit compromising the voltage distribution ... And, going full circle, if you have to feather the car to keep it runnning when it initially starts when cold, do look for a vacuum leak .... And, when you say you replaced the points, you did do the condensor too, right ?
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old Oct 27th, 05, 06:57 AM Thread Starter
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Cameron
 
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Re: 350 Starting Problems

After I finally get it started, it runs great, even when dead cold.

Yeah, when I replaced the points, I did replace the condenser as well. I did not, however, use a dwell meter to set the points. I just used a feeler gauge. But, I don't see how that would affect spark energy, and like I said, after you get it running, the truck runs great. I'll put a voltmeter on the coil while cranking sometime this weekend.

49 Chevy 3100 Project
Acro Sport II Biplane
69 Camaro
400 Small Block
AutoGear M22 4 Speed
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old Oct 27th, 05, 09:04 AM
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Steven
 
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Re: 350 Starting Problems

Setting the dwell affects spark duration which, in turn, affect the spark enery. After changing the dwell, it is always a good idea to go back and re-check the timing. Changing the dwell will affect timing .... Changing timing DOES NOT affect dwell ... And, keep in mind, that , if you check system this weekend, on a points setup, you should only see the full 12 volts when key is actually in cranking position ... Once you release the key, the voltage should drop ...
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old Oct 27th, 05, 11:18 AM
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Chris
 
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Cool Re: 350 Starting Problems

You MUST use a dwell meter to set the points. I like to set mine at 29 degrees.

1967 Chevelle 496BB/TH400/Dana-60 (Show and Go)
1967 El Camino 388SB/700R4/12-bolt posi (Daily Driver)
1967 C10 Short-Wide 496BB/TH400/12-bolt (The Shop Truck)
2008 Harley Davidson Dyna Low Rider


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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old Oct 30th, 05, 07:32 PM Thread Starter
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Cameron
 
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Re: 350 Starting Problems

Well, I got a chance to look at things today. It turned out that the wire that goes from the starter solenoid to the coil had broken off at the starter solenoid. So, the coil wasn't getting the 12 volts during startup. I hooked the wire back up and everything is fine now.

49 Chevy 3100 Project
Acro Sport II Biplane
69 Camaro
400 Small Block
AutoGear M22 4 Speed
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old Oct 30th, 05, 10:15 PM
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Chris
 
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Cool Re: 350 Starting Problems

Glad you fixed the probem!

1967 Chevelle 496BB/TH400/Dana-60 (Show and Go)
1967 El Camino 388SB/700R4/12-bolt posi (Daily Driver)
1967 C10 Short-Wide 496BB/TH400/12-bolt (The Shop Truck)
2008 Harley Davidson Dyna Low Rider


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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old Oct 31st, 05, 10:34 AM
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Thumbs up Re: 350 Starting Problems

Good ...we always like to try our advice on someone else before we try it ourselves !!!
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