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Hot Rods Starting 401 Nailhead first time in 24 years

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by HotRod28AR, Mar 19, 2011.

  1. Engine is a '66 Buick 401 Wildcat 445, and the last time it ran was in 1987. I replaced the plugs, fuel pump, cap, rotor, and points today. It seems to be getting fuel out of the carb (crusty old Carter AFB) and I have spark on the plugs. It cranks over good and sounds tight, but all it's doing is either popping out of the exhaust once or twice, or backfiring up through the carb. Can't get it to catch. Now bear in mind everything else is still old on the thing, and the plug wires themselves look pretty bad. Any thoughts on what direction to go in first? Timing? New wires/coil? Thanks,
    -Dean
     
  2. George/Maine
    Joined: Jan 6, 2011
    Posts: 949

    George/Maine
    Member

    I would take the valve covers off and put some oil on everything.Check and make sure any valves are not stuck,sometimes a pry bar to getem going.If you hook up were the push rod and use as lever to unstuck.You didn,t say you changed the condenser.
     
  3. Haven't changed the condenser yet. Changed the oil of course. I had a cover off before I started trying to fire it and it looks pretty clean, haven't checked since though..
    -Dean
     
  4. Maybe a compression test. Pull all the plugs and give each cylinder a shot of penetrant or Marvel Mystery Oil to free up the rings. Spin it over a few seconds, let it sit for an hour, and repeat several times. While you're waiting check the mechanical and vacuum advances in the distributor and at least "eyeball" the timing to make sure ir's close.

    Maybe pump out a fuel sample and make sure it's nor contaminated with water and rust.
     

  5. if you change points you have to change the condecer I would pull the dist and prime the oiling system.
     
  6. telriv
    Joined: Aug 24, 2005
    Posts: 67

    telriv
    Member
    from Conn.

    When the ole "Nails" sit for extended periods the intake valves especially have a tendency to stick or get stuck in the open position.
     

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