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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 70 Chevelle 350 w/ hei. Since the day I installed the hei I have had problems with the car starting.
The car will run for a month and then I will park it for a week and it won't start. I tinker with the hei and some how it starts. So I got tired of tinkering with the hei and purchased a new one. But I am having the same problem, but now it will run for a day, then next day I try to start it up and it wont start. So I jump started the car and it started. So I thought it might be battery. Took it to autozone, battery was fine. Next day try to start the car doesn't start, so I try jumping it. Won't start. Lights turn on radio works, car is cranking but it wont start.
So I checked the wire going to the hei from the ignition it is 12.57 volt, but when the car is trying to start it drops to 9.36 volts. Does any one know what is causing my car not to start up?
 

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Did you get rid of the resistor wire when you installed the HEI? Check all connections for cleanliness.

Since it starts when it's jumped, you may just have a weak battery. Autozone's test isn't definitive. Cranking your engine likely puts a larger load on the battery than their test equipment does.

Try this, put your voltmeter on your battery while cranking and see if the battery voltage drops to nearly the same level as what you're measuring at the ignition. If so, you need a better battery. If not, the problem is in the wiring. In that case I'd suggest running a new hot wire to the HEI. I prefer 12-ga. wire to feed an HEI.
 

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I had the same intermittent starting problem. Sometimes the car (starter) would go "click" but it would not turn over. The battery was fine. It turned out to be the power wire from the batt to the starter. It looked good but it was marginal... I changed it and I have no more problems.

Check, or even better, replace your power and ground cables to your starter. They are cheap and available at any autoparts store.


OOOPS... I did not read all of your post regarding the voltage drop to the HEI. Check the HEI hot wire voltage at the source. If there is a drop there also, pick another ignition controlled hot source.

Theo.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The hot wire is conected to the fuse box it is cut off by the kill switch. Where else can I connect the hot wire?
 

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"Won't start" is pretty vague. It's easy to misjudge what you mean.

Does the starter turn the engine over fairly fast when it won't start?

Or does the starter turn the engine over too slow to start?

If it turns the engine over too slow, turn on the headlights and see if they are bright or dim.

Agree with verifying your battery connections are clean and in good condition. Verify the connections where the battery terminals connect to are tight and not corroded.

In intermittent problem like this is usually a bad/loose connection, partially cut/damaged wire, or corrosion at the connection.

Steve
 

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Originally posted by motown:
The hot wire is conected to the fuse box it is cut off by the kill switch. Where else can I connect the hot wire?
The HEI should be tied to the IGN terminal on the fuse block. Doesn't matter if you install a kill switch, as long as it's in that line somewhere.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Battery connections are clean. Hot wire is connected to ign on fuse block. Engine turns over fast. Might their be something wrong with the starter?
 

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If the engine turns over fast, the starter sounds good. Does it try to fire as you let go of the key?
 

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First thing I would do is put a timing light on any plug wire to see if you are getting fire, then go from there.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Doesn't try to fire at all it, the engine is turning. Sometimes it has a light spark or it wont spark at all.
 

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If all your wiring is good and you're getting 12V to the battery terminal, you probably have a bad module or coil.

Every time I've had a module fail, the car got me home one last time, then it wouldn't start.
 

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Chad's right. If the engine is spinning, you can always jumper battery + directly to the HEI input. If that doesn't make the engine fire there's a problem with the distributor.
 

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Here is some good HEI troubeshooting info.

Connect a volt meter to the tach
Run a test light from positive to the green pickup lead
When you tap the test light to the green it should trigger the ignition module.
With the current flowing the tach voltage should drop below 10.4v
If the voltage drops and you get no spark then the coil is bad.
If the voltage does not drop then the ignition module is bad.
At least that is how I remember it from twenty years ago....

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Yeah I tried to jump it directly from battery +. Wouldn't start. I have a brand new coil and module. Do you think the pick up coil is bad?
 

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Usually if pick-up coils begin to act up it's because the wires off of it are frayed and dry. The replacements aren't that expensive but it takes some time to change them.
Does the coil have the ground strap installed on it?
If you have a solid 12 volts to the HEI input and no spark, problem is normally the module acting up.
 
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