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BirdsThaWord
04-24-2010, 06:03 PM
Car is a '68 Firebird with a 350, holley carb. Just replaced the points distributor with an HEI. While at it, I replaced the wires. Keeps seeming soooo close to starting, but just won't. Also, as I move the distributor around, it spits fuel up & out of the carb sometimes, depending on where the distributor is. Smells like it's getting WAY too much fuel. I ran the power to the distributor from an unused, keyed hot post on the fuse panel. My multimeter says 11.98 volts at the post I attached to. I made sure TDC and plug wires in right order. What am I missing? Please give me some ideas on what else to check. Thanks!

baktrak09
04-24-2010, 07:01 PM
Do you have a pressure gauge on the fuel line? Not trying to insult you intelligence, but are you sure your getting spark? Are you positive that you are not 180 out?

smhigh
04-24-2010, 07:28 PM
Pontiac Firebird- 350 V-8 tuneup specs

THE FIRING ORDER IS AS FOLLOWS

1-8-4-3-6-5-7-2 DISTRIBUTOR ROTATION IS COUNTERCLOCKWISE,AND THIS APPLIES FOR THE YEARS 1967-74 AND COVERS THE 350,400 AND 455 V8 FIRING ORDER

SPARK PLUG GAP SETTING IS 0.035

DISTRIBUTOR POINT DWELL IS 30

IGNITION TIMING FOR MANUAL AND AUTO IS 9B

IDLE SPEED FOR MANUAL IS 850 RPM AND FOR THE AUTO TRANS IS 650 RPM


My friend and I were doing his Firebird and had problems and discovered we had the dist. wires set in clockwise.... changed them to counter clock wise and the engine roared to life.

Too many sbc chevys over the years

BirdsThaWord
04-24-2010, 07:38 PM
Do you have a pressure gauge on the fuel line? Not trying to insult you intelligence, but are you sure your getting spark? Are you positive that you are not 180 out?
I'm surely getting spark. Did the pull the plug and watch it fire thing. Sure I'm not 180 degrees out. Checked it twice with the finger on plug hole blown off at TDC and button facing #1. Not sure of fuel pressure, but it sure is pumping a crap load of gas into carb, if anything too much gas.

CamaroAJ
04-24-2010, 07:58 PM
sounds like its a tooth or two off.

BirdsThaWord
04-24-2010, 08:35 PM
Pontiac Firebird- 350 V-8 tuneup specs

THE FIRING ORDER IS AS FOLLOWS

1-8-4-3-6-5-7-2 DISTRIBUTOR ROTATION IS COUNTERCLOCKWISE,AND THIS APPLIES FOR THE YEARS 1967-74 AND COVERS THE 350,400 AND 455 V8 FIRING ORDER
Checked all that!
SPARK PLUG GAP SETTING IS 0.035

DISTRIBUTOR POINT DWELL IS 30
HEI, no points or dwell to adjust
IGNITION TIMING FOR MANUAL AND AUTO IS 9B

IDLE SPEED FOR MANUAL IS 850 RPM AND FOR THE AUTO TRANS IS 650 RPM Can't set idle speed yet. Gotta get it running first.


My friend and I were doing his Firebird and had problems and discovered we had the dist. wires set in clockwise.... changed them to counter clock wise and the engine roared to life.
Set counter clockwise. Followed this: http://boxwrench.net/specs/pont_265-455.htm
Too many sbc chevys over the years


Read in another thread about a sticking float causing similar symptoms. Will check for that tomorrow.

BirdsThaWord
04-24-2010, 08:36 PM
sounds like its a tooth or two off.
How would I correct that?

baktrak09
04-24-2010, 09:27 PM
is the rotor pointing to #1 plug wire?

LSx_88_Ciera
04-24-2010, 09:39 PM
1 or 2 teeth off I hate that saying, there is no such thing. You just have limited adjustment room not a wrong tooth since there is no certain tooth engagement required.

First of all verify that you don't have any loose connections, you are not using a ballast resistor, the coil has power in start position not just run. If all those check ok then I would start from scratch with the dist install. Sorry if this is over simplified but it is my method and I am never more than a few degrees off at start-up.

Remove dist.
remove plugs they're probably fouled by now
bring #1 up to TDC comp (by hand not bumping starter)
install new plugs
drop dist in far enough to engage cam gear orient it where you want #1
mark dist housing where #1 terminal lines up
remove cap
lift dist enough to disengage cam align rotor to mark drop back into cam gear
install cap
bump motor while holding dist down til it drops into oil pump shaft
tighten clamp enough to prevent unassisted movement
fire and set timing

H2Ogbodies
04-24-2010, 09:44 PM
Well, IF you were a tooth or two off, you would need to pull the dist. and turn the oil pump shaft a little and drop the dist back down in. You could have a worn chain too-how well did it run before? Is the HEI all new, used? #1 position on an HEI cap is two terminals from the plug-in clockwise. Your plug gap should be .045 with the swap to HEI. You also need full 12 volts to the coil at least....although at this point I doubt this is your problem with it not firing. If your float is too high or if you have a stuck needle/seat, this could dump too much fuel-fouling your plugs making it too hard to start now. Btw, if you have a worn chain, stock timing settings don't mean much-instead set your initial timing to your highest intake vacuum reading by using a gauge to go off of-that will compensate for the slightly worn timing chain unless it is excessively worn-most often this is an issue with stock type nylon coated steel teeth-not so much with aftermarket rollers.

H2Ogbodies
04-24-2010, 09:52 PM
You may want to also check primary and secondary coil resistance too. I believe primary should be .3K to .9K, and secondary is 9.30K to 30K. If primary reads even at 1.0K or 1.1K, it can keep from firing.

BirdsThaWord
04-25-2010, 07:48 AM
is the rotor pointing to #1 plug wire?
Yes. Had a buddy verify to make sure I'm not crazy.

BirdsThaWord
04-25-2010, 07:49 AM
I think you're right. After reading another thread on here, I'd say the plugs are fowled by now. I'm going to start from scratch again as you say, with new plugs in.

1 or 2 teeth off I hate that saying, there is no such thing. You just have limited adjustment room not a wrong tooth since there is no certain tooth engagement required.


First of all verify that you don't have any loose connections, you are not using a ballast resistor, the coil has power in start position not just run. If all those check ok then I would start from scratch with the dist install. Sorry if this is over simplified but it is my method and I am never more than a few degrees off at start-up.
Remove dist.
remove plugs they're probably fouled by now
bring #1 up to TDC comp (by hand not bumping starter)
install new plugs
drop dist in far enough to engage cam gear orient it where you want #1
mark dist housing where #1 terminal lines up
remove cap
lift dist enough to disengage cam align rotor to mark drop back into cam gear
install cap
bump motor while holding dist down til it drops into oil pump shaft
tighten clamp enough to prevent unassisted movement
fire and set timing

BirdsThaWord
04-25-2010, 07:54 AM
Maybe the chain is worn, not sure as I haven't pulled the front off. It had run before, but after driving a few blocks, it was stumbling to the point that I had to keep gassing it just to make it back home. Was told on here that the coil may be bad. That's why I pulled the old distributer and went with an HEI. I'll gap the new plugs at .045 as you say. I don't have 12 volts, just under at 11.98. I'll also check the float today. How can I set the initial timing at the highest vaccum reading without it running?

Well, IF you were a tooth or two off, you would need to pull the dist. and turn the oil pump shaft a little and drop the dist back down in. You could have a worn chain too-how well did it run before? Is the HEI all new, used? #1 position on an HEI cap is two terminals from the plug-in clockwise. Your plug gap should be .045 with the swap to HEI. You also need full 12 volts to the coil at least....although at this point I doubt this is your problem with it not firing. If your float is too high or if you have a stuck needle/seat, this could dump too much fuel-fouling your plugs making it too hard to start now. Btw, if you have a worn chain, stock timing settings don't mean much-instead set your initial timing to your highest intake vacuum reading by using a gauge to go off of-that will compensate for the slightly worn timing chain unless it is excessively worn-most often this is an issue with stock type nylon coated steel teeth-not so much with aftermarket rollers.

BirdsThaWord
04-25-2010, 07:55 AM
You may want to also check primary and secondary coil resistance too. I believe primary should be .3K to .9K, and secondary is 9.30K to 30K. If primary reads even at 1.0K or 1.1K, it can keep from firing.
How do I check this? Please explain. I do have a multimeter.

BirdsThaWord
04-25-2010, 12:02 PM
O.K. Here's what I did today:
1. Started from scratch, removing the plugs first. FOULED with a capital F. Wouldn't have produced enough spark to run a go cart. Replaced the plugs.
2. Ensured 12 Volts getting to "Batt" plug on distributor.
3. Found TDC on #1 with timing at (close to) 0. Button facing approx. #1 cylinder direction.
4. Re Installed plug wires accordingly (Counter clockwise) to firing order.
5. Tapped float housing to possibly loosen possibly stuck float (This is a carb I put on a month ago, rebuilt Holley)

Results: Stopped spitting gas. Still wont start.
Anyone live in Orlando?

BirdsThaWord
04-25-2010, 03:26 PM
I take that back, it's still spitting gas, but now it's on fire when it comes out! WOOOOOOOAH! I tapped the feed wire into the pink ignition wire under the dash. The fact that it's now on fire when it comes out tells me that it wasn't getting as much spark before. Now what? Anyone? Anyone? Don't want to foul the new set of plugs!

NOT A TA
04-25-2010, 03:41 PM
Are you positive you're not at TDC on the end of the exhaust stroke instead of compression?

AtomicFirebird
04-25-2010, 04:03 PM
Car is a '68 Firebird with a 350, holley carb. Just replaced the points distributor with an HEI. While at it, I replaced the wires. Keeps seeming soooo close to starting, but just won't. Also, as I move the distributor around, it spits fuel up & out of the carb sometimes, depending on where the distributor is. Smells like it's getting WAY too much fuel. I ran the power to the distributor from an unused, keyed hot post on the fuse panel. My multimeter says 11.98 volts at the post I attached to. I made sure TDC and plug wires in right order. What am I missing? Please give me some ideas on what else to check. Thanks!

Shows you how much I know, I was going to say it was the rebuilt Holley and/or the fuel lines. The distributor does not control the release of fuel into the carb, the fuel pump does. The pontiac fuel pump sits up against the cam. As long as the cam is turning, fuel (will) come out of the carb. Now, unless the filters and fuel lines are clogged and the jets are dirty and/or clogged it should give fuel to the cab. If the carb is not getting fuel properly, it's a fuel problem. You had spark and sometimes fuel. Now the carb is not getting fuel! Sorry brother, West Palm Beach.

AtomicFirebird
04-25-2010, 04:05 PM
Never mind about the fuel.

Gitter Dun
04-25-2010, 04:16 PM
Bad coil?

rohrt
04-25-2010, 05:36 PM
All right I will give it a try.



Put a compression tester on it. This should veify if you have some valve train issues.

Look down the carb while cranking. Pull the coil wire so you don't blow yourself up and see if the fuel pump is over powering the needle seat combo and dumping gas while cranking. The squirters should be pushing fuel when you move the throttle.

Depending on the age of the engine I might suspect the timing chain. I have a few cars that would start spitting out the carb due to a slipped timing chain.

If the reason the car won't start is due to flooding you should be able to hold the peddal to the floor and get it started.

BirdsThaWord
04-25-2010, 06:43 PM
Are you positive you're not at TDC on the end of the exhaust stroke instead of compression?
No, I'm not sure, but the timing mark is close to 0. If it was TDC on the exhaust, would it be there?

BirdsThaWord
04-25-2010, 06:45 PM
Bad coil?
Man I hope not. Brand spankin new! Not saying that doesn't happen, but would it be breathing fire if the coil was bad? I don't know. Starting to feel like a dummy here.

BirdsThaWord
04-25-2010, 06:48 PM
I'm afraid to do this. I don't want gas face! Any other, safer way to check this?:dunno: Ithink compression is fine. Car ran fine before and it's a beeeeotch to hand turn over with the plugs in.

All right I will give it a try.



Put a compression tester on it. This should veify if you have some valve train issues.

Look down the carb while cranking. Pull the coil wire so you don't blow yourself up and see if the fuel pump is over powering the needle seat combo and dumping gas while cranking. The squirters should be pushing fuel when you move the throttle.

Depending on the age of the engine I might suspect the timing chain. I have a few cars that would start spitting out the carb due to a slipped timing chain.

If the reason the car won't start is due to flooding you should be able to hold the peddal to the floor and get it started.

BirdsThaWord
04-25-2010, 06:51 PM
Would junk in the needle valve prevent it from starting at all? If so, I'm kind of a dummy about carbs. Can someone tell me how to check this? BTW, I noticed something wierd about the carb, no float adjustment screw like my last Holley had. I'm getting real close to throwing in the towel and having a pro look at it.

Gitter Dun
04-25-2010, 08:12 PM
What model Holley is it?

H2Ogbodies
04-25-2010, 08:39 PM
Hold on a sec-you said before the engine ran but you had to floor it and let off just to keep it running...sounds like a crapped out timing chain to me. You said this motor had points before and you swapped out to HEI. If this is true, I am putting my money on a bad timing chain. If all else fails, pull a valve cover off and try cranking the engine over and over again and monitor whether you have any or much oil at all coming up through the pushrods and over the valve springs-if you have none or very little, I would pull the timing cover off. I'd be willing to bet the nylon teeth have all but sheared off, leaving the aluminum gear teeth exposed. The low oil pressure would be a result of the plastic pieces collecting inside the oil pickup screen assembly. I've had that happen to me and what you are describign sounds very much like a worn out timing chain.

LSx_88_Ciera
04-26-2010, 01:53 AM
No, I'm not sure, but the timing mark is close to 0. If it was TDC on the exhaust, would it be there?

yes

Sounds to me like you are indeed 180 out.
The easiest way to know for sure that you are on compression is to remove the plug and hold you thumb over the hole to feel the compression or even better insert a compression tester hose and hold your thumb over the end of the hose.
If you don't have anyone around to help you can also use the valve method for finding #1 TDC. Remove drivers side valve cover and watch #1 valves as you roll the motor over roll the motor until you see the front valve (1E) go through a open/close cycle as it is about to close you will be near TDCe on #1 and TDCc #6 pull cap and verify that the rotor is pointing @ #6.

AtomicFirebird
04-26-2010, 07:01 AM
I really hate to see you with this problem, I really hope you can work it out!!

AtomicFirebird
04-26-2010, 07:54 AM
Don't give up yet. Take a breath and take a brake. We are going to help you figure this out. Ok, What year is the Pontiac motor or give me the # on the block near the distributor or front of block on the A/C side. This is the gap you need.

This is the gap for the Pontiac motor over the years
67 to 72 spark plug gap is 0.035
73 to 74 '' '' '' '' 0.040
75 to 77 " " " " 0.060
78 to 79 " " " " 0.045

AtomicFirebird
04-26-2010, 10:20 AM
check your e-mail

rohrt
04-27-2010, 07:34 AM
I'm afraid to do this. I don't want gas face! Any other, safer way to check this?:dunno: Ithink compression is fine. Car ran fine before and it's a beeeeotch to hand turn over with the plugs in.

I will give you the benifit of the doubt that the distributor is in correctly and the timing is close.

The compression test is checking more then just compression its checking that valves are closeing and sealing too.

To do the compression check you need to pull all the plugs and use the compression tool on each cylinder with the carb wide open. You crank it over with the starter several times. No hand cranking. Should be able to pick up a compression tester at sears for around $30 If you don't have one..

You said the plugs were very fouled with gas. Are they still getting fouled out? If so your either pumping to many times to try and start it, the choke is closed all the way and sucking it in or the fuel pump is forcing it past the needle but this would be coming out the vent and I would imagin that you would see this right away.

Wher do you have your meetering screws set at? I'm wondering if they are set way to rich? Might try one turn out for each of them.

With the coil wire pulled you should not be in danger of a back fire. You would want to wear goggles if its spitting gas back out.

Still sounds like a bad timing chain from your description.

Please provide more details.

John Wright
04-27-2010, 07:52 AM
Take the dizzy cap off......turn motor by hand until the rotor cap moves, then turn the motor the opposite direction by hand and see if the rotor button immediately starts turning or if there is a delay....long delay means that the timing gear is probably worn like described earlier by the others and there is alot of slack in the timing chain.

This can let the timing get off enough to make it backfire and hiccup gas out of the carb.

Might be able to see the aluminum on the dipstick if you hold it out in the sunlight....or possibly small pieces of nylon teeth.

BirdsThaWord
04-27-2010, 05:08 PM
Hey all! Sorry to not respond in a few days. It's not that I don't appreciate the help. I really do. I'm just taking the advice that Atomic Firebird sent me. I'm going to stay away from it a few days. With the stress of work, then this, I was probably running the risk of throwing something at the car or (even worse) having a heart attack. I was that pissed!!! :machine: I'm going to leave it alone until this week end. I think you all have armed me with enough info to tackle what ever it is. I'll make sure and let you all know what it came down to. Thanks again!

Taylor1969
05-14-2010, 11:45 AM
Ever fix it?

beep4beep
05-15-2010, 01:31 PM
I have a question? Do you have a tach hooked up? if so unhook it a bad tach can ground out the ignition and not let it start. I know this from past experience. good luck. Randy

kochevy67
05-15-2010, 02:48 PM
Make sure the #1 cylinder is at TDC on the compression stroke. And I hate to disagree with LSX Ciera but you can be a tooth off. Make sure when you turn the key from the crank position to the run position the hot lead still is hot. If you only have power in teh crank position it will spit and not run because ehrn you turn the key back out of the crank position you are losing the power to the coil. I would check the power first then check the rest.

Just my .02

BirdsThaWord
05-23-2010, 06:23 PM
It runs! Here's what got it running:
1.Tapped directly into ignition wire. Fed 14 volts to coil. Was getting slightly less than 12 before.
2. Took everything off and re did everything. Distributor, wires, compression stroke on #1. Not sure what I had been missing, but I sure got it this time. Happier than a pig in poop now!!!

THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH FOR YOUR HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You all are the greatest! :1st:

AtomicFirebird
05-24-2010, 02:56 PM
I am glad you got it running. Now, get out there and drive!!!!

LSx_88_Ciera
05-24-2010, 05:57 PM
Good to hear that you got it going.

rohrt
05-25-2010, 05:36 AM
Thats awsome. Way to go.

BirdsThaWord
05-25-2010, 04:33 PM
Thanks! :cheers: Now I get to tune that Holley. Never tuned a carb before. Found a good write up that someone posted a link to (maybe one of you?). Sounds pretty straight forward. And to think I've been scared to touch a carb all these years!

One thing is for sure, you all have taught me a whole lot about this ignition stuff. I'll be that much more prepared in the future!!!

FireBird455
05-29-2010, 03:51 PM
have you adjusted your carb floats
you may be flooding the motor with the carb there fore fouling the plugs. just an idea
gas shouldnt be flowing out. i would try a carb that you know works and change your plugs good luck

FireBird455
05-29-2010, 03:52 PM
if its a hollry they cant sit for long.