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Dear Allpar,

If someone could help i would be eternily greateful. I have a 1976 Dodge D100 Adventurer with a 360 LA 5.9L with a 2 barrel Holley 2245 carb. This is a California model as far as emissions goes. I cannot get it to start. Engine will not even fire. It is getting fuel the carb is shooting gas down the intake. It ran up until I was at the autozone one night bleeding the brakes when i was finnishing up i noticed the vacume hose from the power booster was running to what looked like a tree with open pipes not connected to anything. I put plastic caps on them and started the truck up and went on my way. after I did this I noticed a huge performance difference for the better. As i was driving back to base it died on the off ramp so I threw it in neutral and fired it back up. I managed to make it right inside the front gate at the duty hut before it died again just after I got waved to pass by the marine on duty. Sence then It has been 3 weeks of me wrenching on this thing, resealing and gasketing the intake and valve covers. I bought new fuel lines(old ones where dirty on the inside), filter(dirty), and pump(only 20$ replacement part, might as well). Cleaned the carb and bought a rebuilders kit and literaly baby stepped putting it back together the right way. Replaced the ignition coil, distributor, rotor, cap. Turned crank to 0 casting number for TDC Then put the new distributor in the same way I took it out. (facing the engine) Vacume advance on the left, wiring on the right, rotor arm looks to be pointing to the number seven cylinder. capped it and wires running to appropriate firing order where number one wire is running from the hole directly above the rotor arm. I even replaced the starter and checked every wire for maby a cut or burn. nothing. I am literaly at my wits end and need help badly I dont know what the deal is its not fuel i checked for the proper octane fuel and the battery isnt dead. I have no clue why It wont fire. It is getting air, fuel, and power I have no clue why it wont crank. Last night it sounded like only one cylander would fire in my best atempt to replicate the sound (chew, chew, chew, budda, budda, chew chew, budda) over and over until the engine wont even shake anymore and all I hear are the chew noises. earlier when it did almost start it sounded like hell and shook like crazy, almost like it was starving for air or fuel, shortly after i died and never fired up again, on ocation I would get a little white thin smoke coming from what looked like the headers but not any more. PLEASE HELP!!!!!
 

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Do you have a good, strong (white or blue 1/4") spark and is it at the right time?
If it is mechanical, possibly the timing chain has jumped? Is compression OK?
With the timing marks at 0 deg, is the rotor facing just before #1 cyl?
Are the spark plug tips wet with fuel or black with carbon fouling?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The harmonic balancer is lined with "TDC" but the rotor arm is facing the number 7 cyl, compression i dont know how do I check? and the spark plug i did pull being the number 1 spark plug was in fact covered in black i did notice that when i pulled it to insure the spacing was correct so the rest could be true for the others. As far as the spark I dont know how to check that without having someone else here i trust to help. There are literaly no old timers who know these things around able to assist and the only ones who could are shops that wont teach me they only want me to pay them to fix it. If you can help with procedures please be as literal and assume I know nothing, I dont have an organ called feelings so you cant hurt me by "insulting my intelligence" I only care about learning.
 

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Rotor must point to #1 pin on the cap. I think the black plugs are the result of the vacuum tee being un-capped, forcing more fuel into the engine. I am leaning toward an open ballast resistor. It is a white ceramic rectangle on the firewall toward the passenger side. Check it's value with a VOM.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Because I am allways leary of old electrical I bought all new stuff considering the parts for this thing are cheap as hell. only electrical i didnt buy all new where my ignition modual and most the wiring. But I will look into running the volt meter over everything tonight when I get off work.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Also I guess I failed to mentone that the distributor is set up so that the rotor arm is aligned with the #1 wire but its pointed towards the # 7 cyl. i only menton this because I read that the rotor should point towards the #1 cyl as well as the #1 wire.
 

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You can turn the crankshaft pulley 1 full turn (360°) to TDC again and the distributor rotor will then be a half turn (180°) from where it was. It should point to either #1 or #6.
Black carbon-fouled plugs won't fire. You need to wire brush or sandblast the porcelain white-ish again. They foul from rich mixture.
Once they fire and run at a correct mixture (not loading up with a choke on or with fuel dripping down the venturi), they are somewhat self-cleaning if they can manage to get hot enough.
If the engine oil smells like raw gas, you might want to change that also.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Ok so I cleaned the spark plugs they where in fact fouled up with black carbon build up, white smoke means oil i do believe so i think oil is leaking into my heads as well as fuel because the oil does smell like it. That shouldnt be the source of it not firing though. At Taz, I did take a multimeter to my electrical and found my dual ballast resistor was in fact showing the proper ohms then proceded to check my five prong ignition modual and ignition coil(i kept getting getting a reading between .7 v and .9 v on the ignition coil positive terminal so that doesnt seem right.) either im doing it wrong but it seems that the problem is somewhere between my ignition coil, distributor, and sparkplug wires. I had my buddy watch as I placed a screwdriver in my number one spark plug wire and tried cranking over the engine but he said there was no spark.
 

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I suggest getting a proper spark tester. That would make it easier to know for certain if it's getting spark or not, though theoretically an inductive timing light should flash when the plug wire is sparked into.

I wonder if something was wrong with the distributor and if the vacuum was unhooked to make it work, and now that there's vacuum advance, it died...
 

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MoparSkaggs said:
Ok so I cleaned the spark plugs they where in fact fouled up with black carbon build up, white smoke means oil i do believe so i think oil is leaking into my heads as well as fuel because the oil does smell like it. That shouldnt be the source of it not firing though. At Taz, I did take a multimeter to my electrical and found my dual ballast resistor was in fact showing the proper ohms then proceded to check my five prong ignition modual and ignition coil(i kept getting getting a reading between .7 v and .9 v on the ignition coil positive terminal so that doesnt seem right.) either im doing it wrong but it seems that the problem is somewhere between my ignition coil, distributor, and sparkplug wires. I had my buddy watch as I placed a screwdriver in my number one spark plug wire and tried cranking over the engine but he said there was no spark.
Blue smoke means oil, white smoke can be water (head gasket).
Another possible cause for gas in the oil is a leaking fuel pump gasket. They are easy to check and inexpensive to replace.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Ok it was in fact fuel in my oil, drained it out and reaked of gas, also the viscosity was changed from the amount of fuel.

Im nearly 100% positive it is in fact an electrical issue now.

Changed my ignition module cause the old one had a small crack forming on the back plate.

I tried starting it last night but to no avail, mostly due to very low battery. Ill try again this evening after work if someone will give me a jump.
 

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OK, time to take it to basics in timing setting. The distributor, when you dropped it it, with the helical gear on the bottom, can be turned one tooth by pulling the distributor up slowly and as soon as it becomes disengaged, moved to the proper location. So, roll the engine over to TDC on the balancer, unbolt the distributor grab the rotor and put a small amount of turning pressure on it, lift the housing until you get it turned the right direction. Sounds like you have about five teeth to move, and the up position will twist as it drops, so make the location as close as possible to the number one first, adjust the distributor housing to get it dead center. The sound you described and black plugs is an indication of timing way off, but not enough to actually make it pop back through the carb or backfire, kind of 90 degrees out actually. If you have spark from the coil, and number one lined up with number one on the plug wire, you have a 50/50 chance of having it right, the other way would be 180 degrees out, and the easiest way to fix that is to swap the sparkplug wires opposite each other on the cap (straight across from each other), speeds up the process. To make sure you need to do this, make sure you are going to rotate the distributor when trying to start about one inch each direction first while starting just to make sure it isn't simply retarded too much. If you don't want to swap the plug wires across from each other, pull the distributor and move the rotor 180 degrees to fix the issue.
 

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I agree, I think the distributor rotation is off. Also, even though it 'should' be OK out of the box, did you set the reluctor gap? It should be done with a non-magnetic feeler gauge to .008" when lined up with a tooth. Then set the ignition timing.
 
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