Back from machine shop, wont fire - Vintage Mustang Forums

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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 07:39 PM Thread Starter
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Back from machine shop, wont fire

I recently got and installed my rebuilt 1970 351 4v Cleveland into my 69 stang.

Went to go fire her up for the first time today and all I get is cranking but it wont turn over. Occasionally it will burp/pop out the exhaust and the carb.

I checked the firing order.

I pulled and reinstalled the dizzy with the rotor pointing at the #1 plug wire and the balancer at TDC

Everything worked fine 2 months ago when the motor was pulled and rebuilt by the shop.

Im assuming its probably a timing issue but I hate to admit it, my car has sat so long due to life and kids getting in the way...my troubleshooting skills on the car is very rusty.

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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 07:58 PM
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You know the balancer will be at TDC twice for a given power cycle. Once on the compression/ignition stroke and once on the exhaust/intake stroke. I'll bet it's 180 off at the distributor. Take out the number one plug, put your finger over the plug hole, and rotate the engine until you feel compression start to build. (you can use a remote start switch to bump the engine over, or you can disconnect the battery and use a socket/ratchet/breaker bar to turn the engine. Once you feel the compression see where the rotor is pointed. It should be about number one on the cap. If not, reset the distributor 180 degrees from where it's pointing. Then try again.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 08:09 PM Thread Starter
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thanks greg b, Ill give that a try

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 08:59 PM
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While unlikely, it's possible the timing gears weren't installed correctly. Just a few months ago, a friend of mine couldn't get his freshly rebuilt 302 to fire. When it was turning over, it didn't sound right to me and I suggested the valve timing was wrong. My friend and I checked and double checked the ignition timing. It was correct.

After many days of frustration, my friend ran out of time and took the car to a mechanic he trusted. The mechanic immediately determined the cam was installed 12 degrees off. He pulled off the front of the engine, repositioned the cam on the timing chain, buttoned everything up and it fired right up. Of course, the machine shop which assembled the engine refused to admit they could have possibly screwed up. Whatcha gonna do?
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 09:36 PM
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It's a good idea to check everything and assume nothing when you receive your short block/engine back from a shop, Check rod/main clearances with plastigauge, degree the cam, check the torque on all the bolts etc.


After you pay for the work at the machine shop, you own it, and the warranty ends when they load it into your trunk. Even if they stand behind the work, you will have many hour of diagnostic, then comes the R&R.


I received an exotic engine back from a particularly good machine shop who set one of their flunkies loose with an impact wrench my rod bolts. He damaged every rod nut and bolt.

Last edited by Crallscars; 05-16-2017 at 09:43 PM.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 10:39 PM
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Did you check to see if the coil was actually producing a healthy spark? Pull the coil wire off of the cap and hold it close to a good ground and crank if over and see if it gives off a good spark (don't let it bite you). If your timing works out to be set correctly, you might want to check that the lifters are set properly if it has hydraulic lifters. A friend of mine could not get his engine to fire and we finally figured that someone had set the lifters too tight and it had too little compression to ignite the fuel mixture. Just another thing to check.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 07:44 AM
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Once you determine the distributor is installed properly, try turning it just a bit at a time and keep trying to start it. Helps to have a helper cranking the engine while doing this. I just installed a new distributor, got the timing close but it wouldn't fire. Had my son crank the engine while I rotated the distributor slowly, it finally caught.

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 07:51 AM
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Assuming you are getting fuel - I would guess timing too. Could be pointer is off. I had the wrong pointer on my first mustang - not sure how I ever got timing right. Need to make sure you have air pushing out of number 1 when setting to tdc. Also can take valve covers off to confirm position of valves to ensure tdc and pointer being correct.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 08:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by palerider View Post
"....... Also can take valve covers off to confirm position of valves to ensure tdc and pointer being correct.
^^^^^^^^^

just taking off the passenger side valve cover so you can see the #1 cylinder valves can be a real timesaver.


Z

PS. was the cam replaced,? If so the firing order might have changed from the stock firing order.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 07:52 PM Thread Starter
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ugh! talk about getting the nerves going now after all these responses LOL. The cam was reused so the firing order is the same. The coil is def putting out spark......my hair is still sticking up to prove it LOL.

Im going to try to get back at it tomorrow or friday during the day before work, hopefully ill have some better news then

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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 10:10 PM
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Last time I changed plug wires I ran them reverse order on the cap. Glad no one was around to see that.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 01:04 PM Thread Starter
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ok so the dizzy was 180 out. I pulled and reinstalled. After some persuasion I was able to get the engine to idle. I put a timing light on it but for some reason When I go to advance the distributor, the dizzy hits the T-stat housing and I still need to add more timing. When looking at the timing marks, with the timing light even with the dizzy maxed out against the T-stat housing, it looks like it is running about 10* ATDC.

Any ideas?

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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 01:14 PM
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Move the plug wires around one place on the distributor . Then re time . You may have to pull the distributor up and rotate it one tooth, but often not.

Z
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 02:00 PM Thread Starter
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Zray, may be a stupid question im sorry, but which direction should i shift the plug wires? Clockwise or CCW?
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 07:36 PM Thread Starter
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Got it running finally. I pulled the dizzy again and reinstalled it with the balancer at 6-8* BTDC. This gave me enough swing of the distributor to fine tune it.

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