Team Camaro Tech banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
84 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I am the 73 camaro that wouldnt start. Still no luck. Is there a way to check and see if you are getting spark out of the distributor. I seem to have power to the coil and the points spark when the ignition is on and you move them. I Cant seem to figure out why this motor wont at least act like it wants to get going, unless I am losing current between the distributor and the spark plugs. Ok here are the details: New Battery, points, coil, carb kit. Starter is turning the motor. Timing chain is good cause I get movement in distributor. This is getting frustrating and it is probably something stupid.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,182 Posts
Take out a plug and have someone crank it while you watch for spark.

If it's an automatic, check the switch that prevents you from starting it in drive. Try starting it with the shifter in different positions. If it's a 4 speed, does it have the same type of switch on the clutch pedal? Just a couple "stupid" type things to check out.

Mark
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
84 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Ok I will check that out. It is an automatic but most of all the stuff that keeps it from starting have been taken off. However, I have been trying to start it in neutral instead of park. That will really chap me if that is all it has been. I will let you know what happens.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
10,144 Posts
I'm guessing this is point ignition.
Either way, you can use an old spark plug on one of the wires and lay it on a good ground, crank and watch for sparks.

You can use a test light and go from a good ground to the coil neg terminal. Crank the engine and the light should blink.
If the light stays on, you have no connection to ground through the points. Either the points are not touching each other or a break in the circut to ground.

If the light stays off when cranking, you either have no power going to the coil or have a short in the distributor or condenser, or the point gap is not opening.

Please come back here and find this message and add to it. Don't start another post as your information will get spread over several messages and someone wanting to help you will not see all the past info on your problem.
When you add to this message it will pop back up to the top of the list and be viewable to all.
David

------------------
Check my web page for First Gen Camaro suspension info:
David's Motorsports page
First Gen Suspension Page
67 RS 327
69 Camaro Vintage Racer
65 Lola T-70 Can Am Vintage Racer

[This message has been edited by davidpozzi (edited 11-20-2000).]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
84 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
More excellent advice. I will let you know what the outcome is. I love this car(my wife hates it, oh well) and want to get it running again just to run around in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
622 Posts
I was led to believe by a haynes manual that a spark seen when you open the points with the key on is a sign that the condeser is crap. i learned this on a british land rover I once owned (LUCAS) The condenser cured the problem... Any other thoughts on this diagnostic procedure??
John
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
If your points are adjusted too tight, they will not open and close when you crank your engine. You can check this by 1) removing the distributor cap and have someone crank the engine -- the points should open & close creating a spark between the points, or 2) remove the distributor cap - if the points are resting on the flat side of the distributor they should be touching, crank or hand turn the motor to rest the points on the pointed side of the distributor and the points should be open.

As long as the points are opening and closing you should be able to start the car, then you have an adjustment though the window in the distributor; turn the hex alan wrench to the right until the car starts to die (i.e. sputters, then turn the alan wrench back 1/2 turn turn and you points should be set approx. correct.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
84 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Unfortunately I have not had time to try the remedies suggested here. I will this weekend. I wonder about the condensor because it is new. On this particular distributor the condensor and the points are all one part. The design of the part makes it very difficult to set points gap initially. I will post results of my efforts to get this ole buggy running again. Thanks for all your suggestions and keep em coming.

------------------
Scott

74 Camaro with a 73, bored 350. Wishin it was a 427.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
288 Posts
Hey Scott,

The first thing I would do is pull the coil wire out of the dist cap, leaving it in the coil. Hold the end of the coil wire tightly------- oh wait a minute, don't do that. Hold the coil wire about 3/4's inch from something metal and have someone turn the engine.If it sparks the try Dave's sugestion on the used plug to check for spark.

If the coil wire don't spark, then see(test light)if you have 12V on the + side of the coil, if you do turn the engine and see if you loose voltage or not. If you loose voltage starter engagued here is what to do; at the starter there are two small terminals, the one fartherest from the engine block is called the shunt wire, marked R on the solonoid. Run a wire from this to the + side of the coil. This gives battery voltage to the points during cranking only.( in testing the + side of the coil will not be 12V because of resistor, but will light test light )

If it still don't start go back to Daves post and do the check on the - side of the coil, the flashing light lets you know the points are working.

If all of this checks out and you have fire and it still won't start, change the plugs they are fuel fouled.

Larry
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
First see my previous response to this post, and either follow my suggestions or somehow make certain you are getting spark to the plugs (e.g. use a timing light, pull a plug wire & hold to a ground -- this is hard because of the boots keeping the metal away from the ground). If you determine you are getting spark to the plugs, here is the next step:

Make certain your carberator butter fly
throat valves both on top of the
carberator and bottom are opening --
you may be flooding the engine.

Spark - Air - Fuel --- Timing

Good Luck,

Mack
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,047 Posts
Just a thought here. The camaro wouldn't fire, out of the blue one day. I did ALL the tests recomended here. I was REALLY stumped when I pulled the plug and SAW a spark. I had a friend come down because I'm stuck at the mall parking lot, and he suggested maybe there wasn't a strong enough spark. Sure enough, the power wire to the dist. was cut halfway thru at the housing. It was throwing spark all the way to the plugs, but not enough to fire it. We swapped dist. and I drove away.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
10,144 Posts
Good advice Steve.
There is spark, and then there's SPARK!

I get a lot of this because we have a lot of 6V tractors still around. Things have to be just right to work.

I've found a too wide plug gap will put too much load on the points and make them spark excessively.
We had a 6V tractor with the plugs incorrectly set at .032" instead of .025"
This killed points by pitting them in a fiew months.
Jump starting from a 12Volt pickup would spark off the carbon deposits on the points enough to allow it to run for a fiew hours then suddenly it would just quit.

Anyway, back to the all in one point set. They should be pre set enough to start but if not. Make shure the locating pin is in the hole on the point plate. And make shure the wiring is in good shape and not grounded anywhere.
If you use the test light, you can get it to blink when cranked by turning the point adjuster in or out one turn from where it was set.

Allways come up on correct dwell by turning the screw clockwise. Otherwise it could slip back a bit after running for a while.
David

------------------
Check my web page for First Gen Camaro suspension info:
David's Motorsports page
First Gen Suspension Page
67 RS 327
69 Camaro Vintage Racer
65 Lola T-70 Can Am Vintage Racer
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
You may also want to check your compression!Afriend of mine had the same problem not too long ago.After he checked and fixed his ignition the dam thing still wouldn't start.
it turns out the unburned gas washed the oil from the rings,causing enough of a compression leak to keep the engine from starting.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
I don't know the previous history on your car, you mentioned you had posted earlier, so I don't know if the car was running before the recent work you have done on it, or if it was running after the carb work.

I know what you mean about those "point sets" with the condenser and points on the same unit. I REFUSE to use those on my car! I usualy buy my parts at Pep Boys, and their "select" Borg Warner points are separate. In the last couple of years I have been using Accel points, simply because they are made better and last longer. They are also separate and the wires don't pressure clip in, they screw on like they SHOULD be!

I had an odd thing happen with my 73 a few months ago. I went to do a regular tune up, I replaced the plugs, and the points, low and behold it would not start. It took me a few days to figure it out, frustrated the hell outta me!

I set the point gap, which you NEED to do, they don't always come set properly from the manufacturer. The car still wouldn't start. The tension on the points felt a little strange to me, but I hadn't replaced them in a very long time so I didn't trust my instinct, the car had been sitting for over a year (in running condition). I tried putting the old condenser back in, just in case it was defective, still no start. Then on a whim, I put the OLD points back in...SOB started right up! I had defective points!! Never in 15 years have I come across that! I got a new Accel set, and it ran just fine.

I guess my point is, once you feel you have exhausted all the other possibilities and made sure you have power going to those points/distributor, don't overlook the small things like any parts you have replaced.

Good luck, I hope you find the problem!

------------------
Fawn
73 Camaro RS 350 (the love of my life)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,047 Posts
Good point fawn. I've bought several parts over the years that were defective out of the box. I even bought a shorted battery one time that was brand new.

------------------
Steve
67 SS 396,4-sp
67 RS 327,4-sp
72 RS 350/350
69 4X4 suburban 350,4-sp
73 3/4 ton 454/400
http://www.geocities.com/stevocamaro
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
288 Posts
Well Fawn, in talking about the points with the screw I think of something else. I have seen the screw get tightened and the wire turn just enough to ground to the breaker plate.

I don't think I have ever seen unipoints with a screw for the hot wire, but it's worth checking.

Larry
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
102 Posts
Did you do the carb and distributor at the same time? I try to do just one system at a time so if there is a problem you at least have some idea where to start looking. Look at the plugs. Are they wet with gasoline? If not you may not be getting fuel but have plenty of spark. If plugs are dry you may want to put a small amout of gas down the carb to see if it will fire up. Don't look down the carb.

[This message has been edited by RAY NORLIN (edited 11-26-2000).]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
84 Posts
Discussion Starter #18

Ok I am back at it trying to get this ole buggy running. Here is where I am at. So far I have tried some of the suggestions here and these are the results. First, and what seesm to be a big problem, I havent seen spark at sparkplug. I did the light test on the negative side of coil at it blinks. Checked coil wire near metal and am getting a small spark from about 1/4 inch away. Doesnt look to strong. Move points and I see spark. Replaced all plug wires with new and new plugs as well. I know I am getting gas based on view in carb and see squirt. So, any ideas on the no spark to the plug. Seems so simple yet I just cant get the answer. Thanks for any help anyone can give.

------------------
Scott

74 Camaro with a 73, bored 350. Wishin it was a 427.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
10,144 Posts
If you haven't gotten it running since you put the new points in, the points are probably set good enough to make a spark, but not good enough to fire the plugs under engine compression. The higher the pressure on the plug, the higher the firing voltage required.
Also, every degree you are off in point dwell setting, you are off two degrees in timing.

Either set the points with a feeler guage, or use a dwell meter and crank the engine to read the dwell.
The dwell reading will change a bit when the engine is running but you can set it by cranking this way.

------------------
Check my web page for First Gen Camaro suspension info:
David's Motorsports page
First Gen Suspension Page
67 RS 327 original owner. 69 Camaro Vintage Racer, 65 Lola T-70 Chev SB Can-Am Vintage Racer
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
84 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Ic But would that be enough to keep absolutly no spark in the plug? Also, these points make it extremely difficult to set with a gauge since they have the condensor on the points set. Any suggestions?
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top