350 sbc will not start!

Glesnak

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Jan 30, 2020
47
18
wabamun,Alberta Canada
hi everybody!

I have two questions today, which i do believe i need help with. My wife says its amazing that I actually am seeking help.

hmm. brownie points. haha

anyhow, hello from Alberta!

my 1978 pontiac grand lemans with my little 350 , i messed things up.

firstly, she was running rough, so i removed the entire distributer, marked where the rotor was etc.

My Son accidently cranked the ignition, vs just turning it on. Now the Old Girl isn't even trying to fire! i cant get er to fire, and it is now spring, and i cant drive her! I suppose I threw a dummy move , but this is where i humble myself and ask ya'll...

How can I get her to run? after reinstalling the distributer , i have loosened it off , and either way i turn it, she wont fire.
Vacuum advance disconnected, everything. i effed it up.

My second question is, I picked up a rallye package for gauge/clusters.

its out of an '85 gp.

how do i plop the rallye in to make er work? i threw a new oil pressure sender for gauge, new water gauge sensor, i cannot get oil pressure to recognize, but water, fuel, and battery are functioning.

Ive been all over the interweb looking as to how i can get the tach on the rallye package to work....it will not work how it is, however i hooked up another tach i have by running my own wires , and it works.

Question is, how can i get the rallye tach to work off my harness in dash?

ive seen so much about a wire thats white that i need to reposition in the plug, but by golly im confused.

some say i may be a dummy?

haha. anyhow, this is what i need help with friends ,

oh, and my brakes.

ive put new proportion valve,master cylinder, all new hardware in my drums in the back, but.....i changed all the line to 3/16 , vs the 1/4" and 3/16" that was in there before.

is this something that will be ok?

once again, i screwed everything up.

thank you.

Jay
 

scoti

G-Body Guru
Supporting Member
Sep 5, 2019
637
93
Texas
hi everybody!

I have two questions today, which i do believe i need help with. My wife says its amazing that I actually am seeking help.

hmm. brownie points. haha

anyhow, hello from Alberta!

my 1978 pontiac grand lemans with my little 350 , i messed things up.

firstly, she was running rough, so i removed the entire distributer, marked where the rotor was etc.

My Son accidently cranked the ignition, vs just turning it on. Now the Old Girl isn't even trying to fire! i cant get er to fire, and it is now spring, and i cant drive her! I suppose I threw a dummy move , but this is where i humble myself and ask ya'll...

How can I get her to run? after reinstalling the distributer , i have loosened it off , and either way i turn it, she wont fire.
Vacuum advance disconnected, everything. i effed it up.

My second question is, I picked up a rallye package for gauge/clusters.

its out of an '85 gp.

how do i plop the rallye in to make er work? i threw a new oil pressure sender for gauge, new water gauge sensor, i cannot get oil pressure to recognize, but water, fuel, and battery are functioning.

Ive been all over the interweb looking as to how i can get the tach on the rallye package to work....it will not work how it is, however i hooked up another tach i have by running my own wires , and it works.

Question is, how can i get the rallye tach to work off my harness in dash?

ive seen so much about a wire thats white that i need to reposition in the plug, but by golly im confused.

some say i may be a dummy?

haha. anyhow, this is what i need help with friends ,

oh, and my brakes.

ive put new proportion valve,master cylinder, all new hardware in my drums in the back, but.....i changed all the line to 3/16 , vs the 1/4" and 3/16" that was in there before.

is this something that will be ok?

once again, i screwed everything up.

thank you.

Jay
You need to get the engine timing baseline established for the distributor timing adjustments. To start, you'll need to rotate the motor so that the No1 piston is @ top-dead center on the compression stroke. Once done, the distributor can be installed by indexing the rotors position relevant to the distributors #1 spark-plug cap position. Google 'How to Find Top Dead Center' for ideas on what you'll need to do to make it happen on your model of motor.

Can't help you on the gauge question/set-up.

You should be fine w/the change from the brake line sizes. The larger line allows more volume within the system but won't be a deal breaker on functionality. One w/experience might notice a variance of pedal pressure required between one size vs. the other but I doubt the average Joe would once the system is bled/purged of air.
 
Last edited:

Glesnak

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Thread starter
Jan 30, 2020
47
18
wabamun,Alberta Canada
You need to get the engine timing baseline established for the distributor timing adjustments. To start, you'll need to rotate the motor so that the No1 piston is @ top-dead center on the compression stroke. Once done, the distributor can be installed by indexing the rotors position relevant to the distributors #1 spark-plug cap position. Google 'How to Find Top Dead Center' for ideas on what you'll need to do to make it happen on your model of motor.

Can't help you on the gauge question/set-up.

You should be fine w/the change from the brake line sizes. The larger line allows more volume within the system but won't be a deal breaker on functionality. One w/experience might notice a variance of pedal pressure required between one size vs. the other but I doubt the average Joe would once the system is bled/purged of air.
thank you, scoti.....yea ive been trying the tdc with a small chunk of shop towel in #1 cylinder.....ill give er a go again.

thanks for answering man!
 

scoti

G-Body Guru
Supporting Member
Sep 5, 2019
637
93
Texas
thank you, scoti.....yea ive been trying the tdc with a small chunk of shop towel in #1 cylinder.....ill give er a go again.

thanks for answering man!
Many will say to pull the valve cover but a finger over the spark plug hole can work as well for the novice to help determine where in the stroke pattern the engine is for a situation like yours (where it was running & then inadvertently turned over w/o the distributor in place). Have a helper bump the motor over w/your finger firmly over the spark plug hole. On the compression stroke, you should feel the push of air that would be getting compressed. Once you have an idea of where it is, you can slowly bump the engine over 2 more cycles @ the crank balancer slowing down & turning it by a breaker bar @ the balancer/pulley bolt.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Rktpwrd

64nailhead

Goat Herder
Supporting Member
Dec 1, 2014
2,942
113
Upstate NY
OPTION 1

1st - you to make sure you have the firing order correct on the cap. The rotor spins clockwise, check and re-check.
2nd - using the finger over #1 plug hole, piston stop method, or whatever #1 tdc method you want - determine what mark on the balancer is 'close-ish' to #1 TDC. Be advised that depending on the balancer, there might be more than one mark on the balancer (thank you GM). Mark it with some nail polish or equivalent
3rd - hookup a timing light and crank it over - see where it's at when the light is on #1 plug - MAKE SURE IT FLASHES to indicate you have spark

This is where it gets tricky - you have to decide if you want to get it running quickly or want it to be factory correct. Here's the steps to get it running quickly (it involves alot of plug wire movements on the cap).
4th - move the timing from plug wire to plug wire until you can see the timing mark on the balancer. Move the dizzy until it's anywhere from 5-20 degrees BTDC.
5th - move #1 plug wire to the plug wire location that you had the timing light onto to see the balancer's timing mark, and then move each wire incorrect order in relation to where you just put #1 wire

Crank it and recheck the timing and move the dizzy to 5-15 degrees BTDC. At this point you had a 50/50 chance of it running in time. If you were unlucky enough to pick the exhaust stroke, then onto step 6

Step 6 (only needed if not running on step 5) move every wire to the position on the opposite side of the cap (180 degrees where it is right now) and start the motor. It should run with ease.

OPTION 2

1st - same as option 1 1st step - make sure the firing order is correct on the cap
2nd - with the timing light hooked up to #1 plug wire, move the plug wires 1 position clockwise and recheck. Lather, rinse, repeat until it runs and you can move the distributor to 5-15 degrees BTDC.

==================

Both methods work and both methods will result in the plug wires not being in the factory correct positions, but the car will be running if everything else with the motor is good. Option 2 can be done in 2-3 minutes with a helper cranking the motor over - done it many times when the dizzy is stabbed in the miscellaneous location. If you have a crap ton of accessories on the front of the motor that don't allow for easy engine rotation by hand, then option two is very quick, down and dirty.

You can always pull the dizzy later and get it set correctly, or say the heck with it and enjoy the car. Depends on your amount of anal retentiveness for making it factory correct. You have a SBC in Pontiac - I know what my choice would be lol.

**Remember - you have to have the wires in correct firing order on the cap for any system to work - MAKE SURE THEY ARE!!
 
Last edited:

g0thiac

Master Mechanic
Sep 6, 2020
267
43
64nailhead

Thankn you very much for the reply. Tomorrow I'm going to hit er up. I really appreciate your help, and will update as I go along! Than you everyone
Good luck my Albertan friend, engine issues are no fun tbh.
 

Steve 82 Elly

Apprentice
Feb 2, 2020
70
18
The way I've always done this is as follows:
- Remove all spark plugs (this make turning the engine over with a breaker bar much easier)
- Have a helper hold a finger (or thumb) tightly over the #1 plug hole to feel for compression stroke.
- set the timing timing mark on the damper to the 0 degree on the pointer.
- At this point there is some trial and error.
- mark on the base of the distributor where #1 plug wire is and then take the cap off.
- hold the rotor in the #1 position and look at the very bottom of the shaft that drives the oil pump visualize the angle that it will be once installed.
- Using a long flat blade screw driver down the distributor hole, move the oil pump drive to where it will align with the distributor. Remember that the gears are helical and will rotate the rotor several degrees (clockwise if I'm remembering correctly) when they engage each other so rotate the rotor counter-clockwise (they should engage easily if everything is aligned do not force).
- repeat until you have everything where you want it!

All these guys are giving you good options, pick the one you like best and good luck
 
  • Like
Reactions: Rktpwrd and g0thiac

Similar threads

G-Body Performance Upgrades

GBodyForum is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Amazon, the Amazon logo, AmazonSupply, and the AmazonSupply logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.

Please support GBodyForum Sponsors

Classic Truck ConsolesDixie Restoration DepotMike's MontesP-S-TSouthside Machine PerformanceUMI Performance

ContactAdmin@GBodyForum.comfor info on becoming a sponsor