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Engine won't start

1201 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Tom Mobley
I have a 350 which i rebuilt myself for the first time, HEI ignition,edelbrock 650 carb and intake. I followed everything word for word in a great engine book when putting it together. Now when I crank it, I know there is spark cuz I have open heads and it was spitting flames out(even cooler at night!). I put my timing on the balancer at 10 degrees advanced. I really dont know much about timing, so I'm pretty sure its off somewhere. What should I do? By the way, we were pouring gas in the carb and when it was cranking over, it backfired up the carb and blew it off the manifold(I didnt use long enough bolts). Any advice? Also, what is the hole in the back of the carb for??? bought it used..
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· Gold Founding Member
484 Posts
i am assming you set the cam timing correct in relation to the crank??..

be sure that the distributor rotor is pointing to #1 plug wire(vs #6) when #1 cylinder is on the COMPRESSION stroke and not the exhaust stroke...identify the compressin stroke by slowly turning crank while watching the valves on #1...both valves should be closed (no movement)from 90 degrees before top dead center to 90 degrees after and rotor should be coming up to and pass #1 wire position .... if the exhaust valve is open as you are coming up on timing mark and rotor is coming up on #1wire (position rather than #6) then the distributor is 180 cam/ 360 crank degrees off...if you find that is the problem let us know and we will tell you how to rectify

quit dumping raw fuel down the carb... if anything a little starter fluid but for petes sake be careful...and thats only if carb isnt primed with fuel...gasoline and especially starter fluid are very volatile /explosive as i guess you have careful!

be sure to break in correctly once she fires..

Cocoa Beach, Fla
Team Chevelle #380
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66 El Camino 57 Chevy pickup 2004 Tahoe
25,548 Posts
The hole in the back of the carb is most likely the problem, it's a huge vacuum leak and must be plugged before trying again. If it's threaded it's probably 1/4" tapered pipe (NPT) and you can get that plug at any hardware store. Don't pour any more gas down the carb, this can create a real fire/explosion problem, people can be injured.

Congratulations, I've been doing this stuff for 28 years and you are the first guy I've ever heard admitting he blew the carb clear off the engine with a backfire. I think you get extra points for this!
Just kidding, no offense meant. I once blew a F*rd distributor clear across a street using ether on an engine....

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