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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-27-09, 10:39 AM Thread Starter
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frown Startup problems 390FE -67


Hope that anyone can give some help, soon giving up...

The story begins with a rebuild (during this winter) of my 390FE -67, this was done due to problems last autum (broken plastic camgear ).

The rebulid consists of complete set of new bearings, honing, new piston rings, cam, Edelbrock Performer 390 Intake and so on...

At first startup the engine started but didn´t run a well as expected. Due to a broken oilpreassure sender (couldn´t see the oilpreasure)I aborted the "breake in" after just 2min or so...

After this I haven´t been able to start it. As I try it only floods cyl8 and it doesn´t even try to ignite. I´ve checked the ignition timing and replaced the coil. Got spark when trying "outside the cyl".

Compression seems quite even around 11Bar (160PSI)

So, it has fuel, spark and compression. As far as I can tell it´s what it need or am I missing something?

As I understand, SB could have a different firing order depending on what camshaft they use, could this be the same for 390 BB?

And, it´s fitted with a Holley 670 Streetavenger that worked fine before the rebuild.

Any suggestions are gladly accepted...

Thanx, David (from Sweden so the spelling might not be perfect

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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-28-09, 07:39 AM
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Re: Startup problems 390FE -67

The firing order of your 390 is the same as the small block 1-5-4-2-6-3-7-8. There is a lot of variables in getting an engine to run, and to get it to run good.

Give us some more information as to the install of your componits such as cam. oil pump, fuel pump, ignition, carb settings, distributor, for example... all these things must be known to pinpiont your problem.

When you did have it running what was it doing?? Starving, knocking, popping???
What is your height above sea level also?

It could be a major problem, or a minor problem....give us more info.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-29-09, 05:47 PM
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Smile Re: Startup problems 390FE -67

Just to pick up on a few of your symptoms - The flooding of #8. Check carby for flooding via a stuck needle and seat. Even a known good carby can get its needle/seat jambed up simply from the fuel in it evaporating and leaving residue when it has been sitting. It seems the fuel these days (here and USA) does not evaporate cleanly like it used to. The flooding would answer all symptoms. Just cranking an engine over a few times even with a few pumps of the throttle shouln't drown a plug. Look down into into carby with throttle wide open and someone cranking engine (disconnet coil for safety) - there should not be fuel leaving the carby into the manifold.

What about initial ignition timing and as above all plug leads in correct order with No1 correctly identified?
Initial timing can be easily set but the method depends on your ignition system (points/electronic). Do you have a consistant fat spark? It should be abe to consistantly jump a 3/8 air gap with a "fat" yellow/blue spark at cranking speed. Not good would be thin feeble spark that only just jumps 1/4 inch.

Your measured compression would tend to elliminate mechanical reasons (at least for not starting). That leaves fuel and electrical as you indicate. Starting with the basics will get it going !
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-01-09, 07:46 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Startup problems 390FE -67

Hi again!

Thanx for the replies...

It now look like the problem is solved. Spark plugs.

Borrowed my father in laws old spark plugs (Autolite BF42), just to test, and wow!!! started at first crank.
What used to work fine before the rebuld didn´t work now.

Now it´s "just" to get it to run propperly and enjoy some summer cruising.

Thanx again for your help.


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