Crank,no start but have spark fuel

Status4az

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Jan 13, 2022
6
3
I’m new to the form but used it from time by google. Don’t know where to post it but here it is

I have a 78 cutlass 4.3. I went in to replace my intake gasket because of small coolant leak (car was running). To start off I put the rotor pointing at spark terminal 5 first and removed distributor while I know it was to be on one. I had it aiming at cylinder one. I put it all back to together to have no spark and fuel. Went for the spark first not knowing I clogged the fuel line because I decided to use Teflon tape to help seal the line at carburetor before the filter. So I reset top dead center and put the distributor back in pointing at terminal one. Then found the clog and now have gas to carburetor. Before I found clog I went chasing spark. After I already reset it but now I have a new distributor because I shorted the old one. ( I left the battery connected and wires on while chasing tdc) so now I have spark and fuel but no start. I have tried starting the car and turned the distributor slightly to only kill my battery. The spark right now is bluish at the tip and a red line behind it; is that normal? It felt normal after it ran into my fingers. I did get the spark to jump high before that. Any suggestions to help start my car? Im being honest but looking for help from any one.

I may have use a little more rtv then needed but no leaks. I blow smoke into the brake booster vacuum line to only have it come out of the carburetor. I did try a vacuum gauge while starting but the needle didn’t move.
 
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Max Headroom

Master Mechanic
Sep 8, 2011
398
63
I'm not sure I understand what you did when you pulled the distributor. Why did you point the rotor at #5 when you pulled it and then installed it at #1, or am I missing something.
Also, you could have the distributor installed 180 degrees out of phase.
 
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Bonnewagon

Geezer
Sep 18, 2009
8,275
113
Queens, NY
When I am confronted with a situation like this here is what I do. I find TDC on cylinder #1 by watching the valves open and close. Verify that actual TDC and the timing tab are accurate. I set the distributor so the rotor is pointing at #1. I remove all the spark plugs and put the plugs into the plug wire ends and lay them on the intake so they are grounded. Now I can spin the engine with no compression. Watch for spark and don't get bit. If good, I get a fully charged battery and hook up a timing light. I have someone crank the engine while I use the timing light to set the initial timing. It will spin fast enough to really see the timing flashes, but not fast enough to have the timing advance come in. Once this is done you can be confident that the engine is timed and you can rule that out. Putting the plugs and wires back where they belong should get the engine running nicely.
 
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Status4az

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Thread starter
Jan 13, 2022
6
3
I'm not sure I understand what you did when you pulled the distributor. Why did you point the rotor at #5 when you pulled it and then installed it at #1, or am I missing something.
Also, you could have the distributor installed 180 degrees out of phase.
I pointed the rotor to cylinder one and it landed on #5 (the last owner had white paint on the cap) and didn’t question it more when I saw it was not on top dead center. My mistake on my part.
 

Status4az

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Thread starter
Jan 13, 2022
6
3
When I am confronted with a situation like this here is what I do. I find TDC on cylinder #1 by watching the valves open and close. Verify that actual TDC and the timing tab are accurate. I set the distributor so the rotor is pointing at #1. I remove all the spark plugs and put the plugs into the plug wire ends and lay them on the intake so they are grounded. Now I can spin the engine with no compression. Watch for spark and don't get bit. If good, I get a fully charged battery and hook up a timing light. I have someone crank the engine while I use the timing light to set the initial timing. It will spin fast enough to really see the timing flashes, but not fast enough to have the timing advance come in. Once this is done you can be confident that the engine is timed and you can rule that out. Putting the plugs and wires back where they belong should get the engine running nicely.
I’m going to try this and let you know how it goes
 

ELCAM

Master Mechanic
Jun 19, 2021
276
43
It did backfire a lot when I had no spark. after the new distributor and spark it’s not back firing as much now
It cant backfire with out spark. Sounds like it is wired or timed incorrectly.

Chevy HEI.jpg

SBC firing order.jpg

If you don't pull a valve cover to determine TDC 1 you can set it at TDC and if it backfires especially out of the carburetor it is 180 crank degrees off. Put it back on TDC by the timing mark pull the distributor cap and if is pointing at number 1 tower move it to 6 tower. If it is on 6 tower move it to number 1 tower. That moves it 180 degrees.

firing order is 18436572
stack them like this and you know the companion cylinder.
1843
6572
The ones stacked on top of each other are 180 crank degrees out from the other.
 
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Status4az

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Thread starter
Jan 13, 2022
6
3
It cant backfire with out spark. Sounds like it is wired or timed incorrectly.

View attachment 190216
View attachment 190217
If you don't pull a valve cover to determine TDC 1 you can set it at TDC and if it backfires especially out of the carburetor it is 180 crank degrees off. Put it back on TDC by the timing mark pull the distributor cap and if is pointing at number 1 tower move it to 6 tower. If it is on 6 tower move it to number 1 tower. That moves it 180 degrees.

firing order is 18436572
stack them like this and you know the companion cylinder.
1843
6572
The ones stacked on top of each other are 180 crank degrees out from the other.
Very interesting and now I see what max was saying about the 180 degrees off. Thanks
 
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Status4az

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Thread starter
Jan 13, 2022
6
3
I got it to start with the firing order 180 degrees off. Thanks to everyone who helped. I was hoping to get the help I need here on the GBody Forum. Man I’m ecstatic and I can move on hooking up the heat core. The only thing is I was using the Haynes manual; what did I miss? Besides me points the rotor at cylinder one.
 

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