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Old 04-24-2004, 20:59   #1 (permalink)
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Can't get my engine to fire...

Hi all,

This is my first non-LPG powered v8 that i've had to play with and i've hit a wall.
The engine is a 390 with a 500 holley 2bbl, new leads, plugs, rotor button and dizzy cap (all installed by the previous owner).

Yesterday I fired it up and was reversing the car up the driveway when it had a small backfire and stalled. It hasn't fired up since, it just turns over constantly. I checked for spark by removing one of the leads and holding it 5mm or so from the block and had someone crank the engine over. Spark was visible.

I figured I must have flooded it badly so I took the battery out and put it on charge and left the car overnight. This morning I tried to start it again but no success. Knowing ignition timing can cause problems starting I reset the static timing to about 10 degrees and tried. Nothing. Set to 5 degrees, nothing. All the leads are in the correct order and the car was running prior to yesterday...

So, assuming the balancer hasn't spun and my 10 degrees is actually 10 and the timing chain is OK, where can I go from here? I know next to nothing about carbys and even less about 500's (I have played with the 465 on the XF a little) but i'm of the opinion the 500 is pumping in way too much fuel and flooding it too quickly.

Any advise appreciated.

Greg.
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Old 04-25-2004, 01:06   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Can't get my engine to fire...

do the butterflies look wet??
I have heard of backfires blowing out power valves .. but I have had some beauties over time with no apparent damage.
Obviously if you have another 2 barrel to borrow that will be the best course.
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Old 04-25-2004, 10:10   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Can't get my engine to fire...

Is the carby getting fuel? Maybe the filter or pump?
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Old 04-25-2004, 15:06   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Can't get my engine to fire...

There seems to be plenty of fuel. Looking down the carby and quickly opening the throttle completely I can visibly see a squirt of fuel go into the drivers side butterfly.

The backfire was really tiny, I've done 10x worse and not had a problem in the past.... but there's a first time for everything!

Going with XA's suggestion, anyone from melb have a working 500 holley they can lend me?

Cheers,
Greg
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Old 04-26-2004, 07:16   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Can't get my engine to fire...

its jumped the timing chain!
thats the problem we had... mum drove the car into the garage, fron the garage door, and turned it off, and wouldnt start since... we changed teh dizzy, coil evertyihg.. timed it, then wound it over.. and it was a little out, so timed it again, wound it over, and wsas out again!.... jumped the timing chain so yeh...... check that
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Old 04-26-2004, 19:17   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Can't get my engine to fire...

Yeah I've got a feeling thats the case. I just wanted to know if anyone had a plausable reason why this was happening because of the carby!

This is going to be expensive.... even finding a timing chain for a 390 on the net has proven difficult, let alone gaskets, etc!
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Old 04-27-2004, 04:41   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Can't get my engine to fire...

If it has jumped the timing chain you should be able to pull the distributor out and reinstall it in the right spot again. The same way you would reinstall after changing camshaft etc. Did this to a Falcon yrs ago and worked ok
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Old 04-27-2004, 04:52   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Can't get my engine to fire...

Quote:
Originally Posted by clevokid
If it has jumped the timing chain you should be able to pull the distributor out and reinstall it in the right spot again. The same way you would reinstall after changing camshaft etc. Did this to a Falcon yrs ago and worked ok
not the way to do it
if it has jumped a tooth or more it's the cam timing that's out & not the ignition timing

turn the motor over until the timing marks line up on the balancer to the timing pointer on the timing case,

remove No1 spark plug ( the foward most cylinder head ) & check that the piston is on T.D.C.

whilist somebody rock's the crank over with a socket from the front, foward & backwards just a little, put a small screwdriver into the cylinder from the plug hole & make sure you can feel the piston move up & down

make sure the marks on the balancer line up with the timing pointer on the timing case T.D.C. mark & that the piston is rockin on top dead centre
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Old 04-27-2004, 04:57   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Can't get my engine to fire...

remove the rocker cover from the side were No1 cylinder is & make sure that both valves are closed & that the rockers are slightly loose

remove the distributor cap & make sure the pointer is pointing to No1 plug lead if it is then the cam timing is close

the only real way to check it properly is to remove the cam chain cover & check the marks on it but i would use the above method as a guide before i started to pull anything apart

dont keep cranking the engine over because if the cam timing is out you can run into clearance problems & the pistons may hit the valves causing them to bend

regards
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Old 04-27-2004, 05:01   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Can't get my engine to fire...

just enother thought

before you worry about cam timing Ect

have you checked all the Vacume hoses as one may have disloged when the engine backfired

if there is a vacume hose off from the manifold it may not start

look for all the simple things first

spark, fuel, compression ect

hope this helps

regards
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