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Hot Rods wits end-283 won't start

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by vetteson, Apr 10, 2020.

  1. vetteson
    Joined: Oct 7, 2010
    Posts: 188

    vetteson
    Member

    Another SBC won't start story. Purchased a McKinnon 283 (chevy) that was removed from a '65 Studebaker and rebuilt, I purchased it fall of '19. I installed it in my '55 Stude Speedster. Once installed and hooked up it started and ran. After sorting the usual idle adjustments I timed it. During winter of 19-20 I routinely started it to run a bit. As winter wore on it got harder to start. Eventually, I could only start it with starter fluid but once started it ran. As winter entered to spring it would not start even with starter fluid. I tried a few ordinary things/ I drained the gas and replaced it with fresh premium fuel. The carb has been professionally rebuilt and I have good fuel pressure and it squirts gas when pedal depressed. On a warm day I tried to start it and fiddled with the choke and idle screws. Eventually I was able to get it running after pumping the gas and keeping the choke closed, even after a fire started in the carb from too much fuel in the intake. After it ran a bit, and warmed up, it would start, with some difficulty, and run. Once it cooled off it would not start again.

    So I had already previously installed new ignition wires. The distributor came with the engine and is an aftermarket with a Petronix unit. I then replaced the coil, no affect, replaced Pertronix ignitor module, no luck, checked the distributor ground, cleaned contacts, no result. Then I noticed that the rotor contact plates were loose, a ha, I'got it. Nope. The only thing I have not replaced is the distributor cap, but it looks fine! Oh, and I have 12 volts from the ignition switch to the distributor. I have a ballast resistor, but the feed to the distributor is before the resistor. Suggestions?
     
  2. dana barlow
    Joined: May 30, 2006
    Posts: 3,956

    dana barlow
    Member
    from Miami Fla.
    1. Y-blocks

    Spark,gas,timing,compression=that's it,if one is off you get nothing. Time tells on it self by back firing out carb or EX, tells on its self by dry plug,and spark shows by no spark or weak yellow.
     
  3. Mike VV
    Joined: Sep 28, 2010
    Posts: 1,979

    Mike VV
    Member
    from SoCal

    First off, never...NEVER, start an engine for a few minutes (even to full temperature) then shut it off because of no winter driving.
    Just...let it sit. Keep the battery charged, hood down, ignition off.

    As for your current problem(s). No idea. You need someone to have hands-on to find out what's going on...or not. Trying to figure out these types of things over the internet is always a crap shoot. Someone "may" guess at it, but having someone there is key to help you and your engine.

    As Dana said, only a couple of things required for an engine to run. Run down each requirement separately, one at a time. See what turns up.

    Mike
     
  4. karl share
    Joined: Nov 5, 2015
    Posts: 103

    karl share
    Member

    Have you tried changing the plugs, my 68 corvair did the exact same thing. Checked everything, finally fitted a new set of spark plugs and it fired up straight away, old plugs looked ok. :confused:
     
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  5. spanners
    Joined: Feb 24, 2009
    Posts: 942

    spanners
    Member

    My uninformed guess would be lifters bleeding off while sitting and therefore timing is out when trying to restart.
     
  6. southcross2631
    Joined: Jan 20, 2013
    Posts: 3,834

    southcross2631
    Member

    With this new crap gas once they are gas fouled it is hard to get them to run again unless you have one of the old Champion cleaners and spark plug testers.
    Spraying starting fluid is very bad for an engine. It drys out the cylinders. I was working for the park service as a heavy equipment mechanic. One sub zero morning a couple of guys were trying to get an old Ford truck running they had flooded it and started spraying starting fluid to help get it running.
    We heard a loud explosion from outside of the shop. We went running outside and they had a fire extinguisher putting out a carb fire but the gas had exploded in the oil pan and had made the oil pan about twice it's normal size. It swelled out to where we had to hammer it back in to get the oil pan off because it completely covered the bolts. Ended up replacing the oil pan and the bearings. Be careful with the starting fluid.
     
    Ulu, 53 ford, town sedan and 3 others like this.
  7. VANDENPLAS
    Joined: Dec 14, 2009
    Posts: 2,443

    VANDENPLAS
    Member

    What carb are you running?
    Fuel pressure?
    Choke apply or coming off fully?
    Any rodents or bugs built a house anywhere and plugged something up?

    distributor used?
    Pertronix used?
    And rust corrosion etc anywhere?
    And visible wear on any thing?

    fat blue or orange spark ?

    12 v at coil during cranking?

    what do the plugs look like? Wet? Dry?

    Electric or mechanical fuel pump?

    condituon of oil ? Fuel diluted?

    I suspect your choke is buggered or the unit is over fueling for whatever reason and you have glazed or fouled the plugs.

    see it a lot at work with propane, unit over fuels and glazes the plugs, fix the over fuel issue and you still have a no start as the plugs can’t fire correctly.


    Good luck, keep us posted on what you find.
     
    Truckdoctor Andy likes this.
  8. OLDSMAN
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,424

    OLDSMAN
    BANNED

    Lifters bleeding down will not change engine timing
     
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  9. sliceddeuce
    Joined: Aug 15, 2017
    Posts: 2,982

    sliceddeuce
    Member

    Connecting rod is hitting a cam lobe...I just know it.....:oops:
     
  10. egads
    Joined: Aug 23, 2011
    Posts: 728

    egads
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    ^^^^^^^^^ Can I like this twice?:D:D
     
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  11. irishsteve
    Joined: Jan 10, 2017
    Posts: 769

    irishsteve

    Check every piece of rubber hose in the fuel system.If theres a crack,or a hose can move on a fitting the pump will pull air,and not move gas.
     
    norms30a and X-cpe like this.
  12. Starting fluid is the worst thing to do for a good engine .
    If it won’t fire on ether,,,,there must be no spark or bad plugs .

    Ether should only be used on diesels as a last resort,,,( heavy equipment ),,,,,eventually they won’t even start with it .

    Like the others said,,,,fuel ,,fire ,,compression,,,,,not necessarily in that order .
    Check the fuel,,,,is the carb squirting gas down the butterflies ?
    Check the fire,,,,pull a wire and see if it is blue fire,,,if yes,,,,swap in a new set of plugs .
    The compression should be good,,,,although it might be low,,,,I don’t know how old or condition the engine is in .
    It should start,,,it might run like crap,,,but it should start .
    If it runs badly,,,then you start checking the other stuff,,,,carb,,,timing,,,wires,,,distributor ,,compression . All the support systems are secondary .
    A lot of times,,,bad plugs will fire after warmed up,,,,it is just really hard to get them warmed up,,,,since it won’t start .

    Tommy
     
    pitman, town sedan and VANDENPLAS like this.
  13. spanners
    Joined: Feb 24, 2009
    Posts: 942

    spanners
    Member

    They will if instead of opening a valve they leave it shut therefore not allowing fuel into the combustion chamber.
     
  14. OLDSMAN
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,424

    OLDSMAN
    BANNED

    That is not changing engine timing. Also a lifter bleeding down will not hold a valve open. That will not fully open a valve. A valve sticking in a guide will hold it open, but nothing but a timing chain jumping will change valve timing
     
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  15. fred farmer
    Joined: Apr 9, 2020
    Posts: 10

    fred farmer
    Member
    from earth

    That's the dumbest thing i've ever heard. Tha'ts not even possible.
     
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  16. Gasoline Junkie
    Joined: Nov 20, 2010
    Posts: 327

    Gasoline Junkie
    Member

    Would you mind explaining this? I always thought it was a good idea to let it warm up and get the fluids moving once in a while
     
  17. bschwoeble
    Joined: Oct 20, 2008
    Posts: 562

    bschwoeble
    Member

    Please don't take this as being critical. Were the timing gears replaced? Short story. I bought a Chevy decades ago because it wouldn't start. The owner did the usual, plugs, points, condenser, cap, rotor, plug wires, carb., nothing. It sounded like dist. was extremely retarded when trying to start. I bought the car because I suspected it was timing gears.
     
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  18. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 4,257

    BamaMav
    Member
    from Berry, AL

    I'm leaning the same direction. Had an OT PT Cruiser that sat for a couple of weeks, suddenly it wouldn't start. Put a set of new plugs in it after checking other multiple things, and it fired right up. The old plugs looked fine, but must have had a glaze or something keeping them from firing. You probably glazed them over the first time it flooded and it didn't run long enough to burn it off, then every time you flooded it trying to start it again just added to the glaze. Like was stated, the additives in gas now don't always burn away quickly like the old stuff did.
     
  19. VANDENPLAS
    Joined: Dec 14, 2009
    Posts: 2,443

    VANDENPLAS
    Member


    I have always been told and have done,
    Fresh oil
    Full tank of premium gas with a couple bottles of stabilizer.
    Run the car a bit to get the stabilizer into the carb.

    and shut it down , disconnect the battery and leave it.

    letting an engine idle or just revving it with no load , really does nothing to keep it “ good” or maintained.
    In the spring I pull the plugs couple squirts of oil in the cylinders and fire it up for its maiden voyage of the season.

    running an engine at idle does not have correct oil pressure in most cases, won’t really get the engine to operating temp and does nothing.
     
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  20. sliceddeuce
    Joined: Aug 15, 2017
    Posts: 2,982

    sliceddeuce
    Member

    Thank you...Just trying to fit in amongst the geniuses.:)
     
  21. egads
    Joined: Aug 23, 2011
    Posts: 728

    egads
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

  22. OLDSMAN
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,424

    OLDSMAN
    BANNED

    Yes start it and let in warm up completely. Never start it up and right away shut it off again
     
  23. X-cpe
    Joined: Mar 9, 2018
    Posts: 973

    X-cpe

    If you hold a spark plug wire off of ground, do you get a nice blue 1/4" + long spark from it? If so then pull a plug and ground it and see what kind of spark jumps the gap. Have also heard that rodents like to nibble on rubber lines creating a vacuum leak.
     
  24. Lobucrod
    Joined: Mar 22, 2006
    Posts: 4,120

    Lobucrod
    Alliance Vendor
    from Texas

    Massive vacuum leak?
     
  25. sliceddeuce
    Joined: Aug 15, 2017
    Posts: 2,982

    sliceddeuce
    Member

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  26. Tri-power37
    Joined: Feb 10, 2019
    Posts: 510

    Tri-power37
    Member

    Keep it simple stupid (sorry I didn’t mean to say anyone is stupid). Pull all the plugs and look at them are they gas soaked? If so purge the cylinders and spin it over. Take 1 spark plug and ground it and see if you are getting a good spark. If getting a good spark try running a compression test while the spark plugs are out. Now if you know you have good spark and compression while the plugs are still out remove the valve cover turn the engine over by hand until you get TDC on number 1 cylinder and confirm the rotor is firing number 1 spark plug . You already stated you have gas readily available at the carburetor.

    Put the plugs back in ( wires correct firing order) and valve cover back on and if you have a strong battery and starter it should start.
     
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  27. What’s going on is stuff is getting smarter !
    Like brake fluid, gasoline, and apparently now connecting rods.
     
  28. ClarkH
    Joined: Jul 21, 2010
    Posts: 931

    ClarkH
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Years ago I worked in a marine service shop. Every spring, as boats came out of storage, I'd get a flood of no-start calls like this. Nine times out of ten it was the plugs.

    On the phone I would always stress, "replace them with new plugs and try again." This took care of the majority, but roughly a third of them would call back to say they'd replaced the plugs and it still wouldn't start.

    Me: "Did you install new plugs, or did you install the old plugs from your last tune-up that you kept as 'spares'?"

    Them: "I installed my old spares. They look good and worked fine when I took them out."

    Me: "They don't work now. Try again with new plugs."

    That was usually the last I heard from them. But sometimes they had the courtesy to call back and thank me.
     
  29. Tri-power37
    Joined: Feb 10, 2019
    Posts: 510

    Tri-power37
    Member

    31Vicky with a hemi ....yeah exactly right! Kinda like the thread - how do I remove fuel from the cylinders :confused: .
     
  30. MeanGene427
    Joined: Dec 15, 2010
    Posts: 1,443

    MeanGene427
    Member
    from Napa

    "Oh, and I have 12 volts from the ignition switch to the distributor. I have a ballast resistor, but the feed to the distributor is before the resistor."
    Huh? How does that work? Where is the after-resistor wire connected? And agree with trying new plugs- this is a deal often found in the antique tractors with 6V ignitions. Plugs will look fine, but won't start. New plugs, starts. Funny thing is once it's warmed up, you can put the old plugs back in, and it will start right up
     
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