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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Yep, it's the mother of all questions in car forums: "Why won't it start?".
I'm sorry but I'm so puzzled that I have to ask.

I just came back from the garage after 6hrs of trying to start the old '57.

The engine is a stock 265 with power pack heads and a Rochester 4GC on top.

The engine was taken apart last year and checked. Seemed to be nothing wrong with it and only new gasket set was installed.
The distributor has new rotor,points,condenser,cap and wires. Plugs and coil are new too.
I took the carb apart, cleaned it and installed a new overhaul kit.
I set the timing roughly on place by checking the TDC on cylinder #1 (checked twice).
I also installed new ground straps; one from the back the engine to chassis and one from chassis to body.
Battery cables are also new.

Now the engine turns just fine but no matter how long I crank it, it won't start.
It doesn't even promise. No signs of life so to speak.

It does get gas, I've checked that.
So it must an electrical issue. But all the parts I mentioned are new. What am I missing here??
It should show some signs of life, in my opinion, even if the points and advance are not totally accurate.
 

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Trifive Automotive Electrical Wiring Expert
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First check to see if it's firing. Lay an old plug on the manifold and connect any plug wire to it. have someone crank it while you watch for a spark. If it's not sparking, connect a jumper wire from the battery + directly to the + coil. Then check for firing. If still no spark, recheck the points, check the wire from - coil to distributor for breaks or shorts to distributor housing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
First check to see if it's firing. Lay an old plug on the manifold and connect any plug wire to it. have someone crank it while you watch for a spark. If it's not sparking, connect a jumper wire from the battery + directly to the + coil. Then check for firing. If still no spark, recheck the points, check the wire from - coil to distributor for breaks or shorts to distributor housing.
I forgot to mention I made a new - wire too.
I have to test with a jumper + wire tomorrow. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Just a thought... Would the symptoms be similar if the ceramic resistor on the firewall was broken? I cleaned the contacts on it but I didn't test it.
What values should it give if I test it with a meter tonight?

Another thought..
I replaced the original coil with a similar looking "general coil".
Is the original coil a "pair" with the resistor. I mean, if I change the coil, should I use exactly same type coil and not just a general coil off the shelf?
I do have the original in a box. Maybe I'll test that too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Here`s a thread that explains what voltages & value you should have.

http://www.trifive.com/forums/showthread.php?t=64812&highlight=resistor

Simply the ballast resistor is 1.8 ohms. You measure it across the terminals disconnect the wires on it so you don't measure other parts of the circuit with a multimeter set on ohms.

You need to purchase a coil to be used with a ballast resistor.
Just what I thought! I remembered having similar issue 2 years ago with my '55 Opel Kapitän. It had a wrong type of coil so it didn't start too.
I'll try today with the old coil.
 

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Firing position.

It does sound like no spark from what I've read. If you get it to make sparks but still can't get it started, verify the distributor is installed properly by removing the #1 spark plug, plugging the spark plug hole with your finger, bump the starter, cranking the engine slowly until air escapes, then re-checking the distributor rotor for correct position. The rotor should be approaching the #1 spark plug terminal on the cap, and the timing mark on the damper should be approaching the timing pointer.

:anim_25:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Oh yeah! It's alive!! :happy0030:

After checking, checking and checking, I found out the problem was in the - coil wire. I made a new one and it fired right up.
Although the timing is way off... A lot of backfiring.
A bit difficult to get it right alone. Got to get someone to help me out with it next week.
I had a camera ready in case it would start: (clicking the pic should start the video)


Sorry for the hassle in the beginning. I forgot to put the distributor back together before pressing the rec button.
When it fires, I get so excited that I don't seem to have any self control on the throttle and in the end the pin on the throttle linkage breaks :sign0020:
 

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Right on.... she's alive she's alive ! Can't too much beat the thrill of hearing a long silent engine come back to life, especially after putting so much work into it. Nice job Tommi!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Couple of posts missing here.. But anyways Mikko was here with me figuring out what's wrong with this engine.
Everything double and triple checked: valves & timing should be OK. No luck getting it started properly though.
So we ended up thinking it must be a carb issue.
And I took it off and apart, again.
And it was all clogged, again :s:
Weird because I thought I cleaned it thoroughly the first time. Well, apparently I didn't.
I cleaned it but I didn't put it back on yet. We'll see if that solved the problem. Hopefully. At least fuel should now flow through it..
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The tank was in unusable condition. I ran a new line from filter to fuel pump and a short line from pump to canister.
I also took the fuel pump apart before to check the condition of it and it was fine.
Guess I just had forgot to clean some major part of the carb :confused0024:
Well...NOW I'm amazed if some dirt appears after this cleanup.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
A little tinkering again tonight.. Got the carb finally back on and got it running for full exciting 10 seconds :)
The carb still needs some tuning; if I touch the throttle it stalls almost instantly.

But, something good also. No more backfiring :)
I didn't want to try to make it run longer tonight. It's 11pm and I don't want to upset the neighbours.
After a couple of short starts and the 10 second run, I tested if the exhaust manifold would feel equally warm on all cylinders. All but one were OK. The no.7 cylinder's exhaust felt cold.
Have to check why isn't it firing on that one...
 

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Pump shot.

if I touch the throttle it stalls almost instantly.
The cause could be a defective accelerator pump. Check to see if there is a healthy squirt from the discharge nozzles when you advance the throttle. This check can be done with the engine off.

Also, a bad accellerator pump will make the engine hard to start when completely cold, as pedaling the gas does little or nothing toward priming.

:anim_25:
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
The cause could be a defective accelerator pump. Check to see if there is a healthy squirt from the discharge nozzles when you advance the throttle. This check can be done with the engine off.

Also, a bad accellerator pump will make the engine hard to start when completely cold, as pedaling the gas does little or nothing toward priming.

:anim_25:
Yep, read that tip also from somewhere. I checked and it squirts nicely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
No.7 is firing again. There was just too big gap on the spark plug.
But...I still can't touch the throttle or it stalls.
I intended to put in new spark plugs but I haven't yet because for some reason many of the plugs keep getting wet.
Could this be connected to the throttle issue??
The mixture screws on the carb are as adviced on the manual.

Man..Things could possibly be much easier with a brand new Edelbrock. But I really would like the current stock look with the glass bowl filter and all :dong:

EDIT: Or the second (worse) option; could the compression just be too low to run properly? For example #4 with the wet plug had 125 lb/in2. And that is basically the same reading I get from all cylinders (a couple may have had 130lb). This is a bit strange because this engine was supposed to be in good cruising condition.
If the cam timing would be just slightly off, would it show like this?
I mean, the carb is now double checked. This could be the next thing to check, right?
I really wouldn't like to pull the damper and everything off to check it. But even less I would like to pull the whole engine out at this point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Two nights of work. Took the carb off a couple of times again, some adjusting on the mixtures etc. Some tamprering with the fuel pump, checking the timing again... And behold! It's running! :congrats:
I got that old carb of yours running Steve :) !
Here's the evidence:
http://s28.photobucket.com/user/suotommi/media/video-2013-09-19-22-38-53_zpsce4ea9e6.mp4.html

I don't know why I looked at the camera in the beginning. Maybe I was excited seeing it run :sign0020:

The squeeky sound in the beginning comes from rear shocks scratching against body. Idle is a bit high because I didn't adjust that properly yet. But it responses to throttle quite nicely.

2 setbacks though... The waterpump leaks pretty badly. But that's an easy fix. The second thing is that the engine smokes like crazy.
A couple of minutes after the video, the whole garage was full of blue smoke.
I should propably be a bit worried about that but now I'm just happy I got the carb working.
I'll pat myself on the shoulder, have some milk and cookies as a reward and go to bed.
 
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