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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,
My first post here.
I bought a 69 Chevelle a month ago. It was running but still needing lots of love.
I know very little about mechanics, buying the car is my attempt to teach myself what I'm doing.

I put a new intake manifold and carburetor on. That was simple enough. Reconnecting everything though was a lesson in how I should have paid more attention to what I was unhooking. I believe i have everything hooked up right now, but at one point I did have a geyser of oil spewing out over my intake. I also didn't mark my distributor location when removing it..

The problem now is that the car turns but wont start. I DO have gas in the carb. I don't have spark.

I think everything is now hooked up right. My neighbor came and double checked me and said it appears correct now and he put my distributor in "correctly".
Since it wouldn't start, I replaced the battery, distributor cap, rotor, points, condenser and coil.
I tried using the wire that goes from the coil to the top of the distrubutor to test for spark. I put a screw driver in the boot and held the screw driver close to the block while the car was cranked. I got no spark. I've tested the coil with a volt meter and I believe I did it right and it tested correctly. I swapped the wiring going from the starter to the positive on the coil. The fuse box has power and i tested the ignition wire from the box and its good.
With the coil hooked up and the key in the on position, i have 6 volts at the coil. With the car turning over i then get the full 12 volts.

At this point I'm completely lost as what to do next. I would really appreciate any advice you all have. I really wanted to solve this "myself" and not call a mechanic, but its looking like I probably should.

The only other thought I had is that the timing is off. I did make a mess of putting the distributor in. My neighbor seems to know what he's talking about, but could be incorrect. As far as we could see, I have no timing indicators on the harmonic balancer. My neighbor showed me a way of rotating the distributor after pulling the spark plug and feeling for compression. Could the problem be we put it in at a 180?

Or there is an unhooked wire somewhere that I can't find...
 

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Did you set the gap on your points? Also referred to as setting the dwell? Use a .019 feeler gauge and follow these instructions. We can teach you how to use a dwell meter later. Fitting and adjusting contact-breaker points

The dwell reading on a dwell meter should be 30 if you use one.

After you have done this, check for spark at one of the spark plugs. You may as well pull #1 plug, and we'll double-check your timing on the distributor install before we go further.

You might want to pick up a timing marker that bolts to the timing chain cover bolts. We'll have to get into timing once you have that installed. Small block...Mr. Gasket Timing Tabs 4593 BIG BLOCK....1930-2008 Chevrolet Truck Parts | T4961 | Chevrolet Big Block with 8 Balancer Chrome Bolt-on Timing Tab without Pointer | Classic Industries

Your voltage to the ignition coil is low to the + on the coil. It should be closer to 8-9 volts. Did you hookup the ground straps from the firewall to the engine? Is your battery fully charged? If so, please recheck this voltage from the + on the coil to a good ground source, like the batt - post.

What size engine?
 

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Switch it to a HEI distributor. Points suck. Keep the OE distributor so when you sell the car you have original part. The biggest mistake I see is when you convert to HEI is the feed wire. Instead of 6v you will need 12v. Even if the distributor is stabbed wrong you will have spark. Just not at the correct cylinder. Should pop and backfire..
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Did you set the gap on your points? Also referred to as setting the dwell? Use a .019 feeler gauge and follow these instructions. We can teach you how to use a dwell meter later. Fitting and adjusting contact-breaker points

The dwell reading on a dwell meter should be 30 if you use one.

After you have done this, check for spark at one of the spark plugs. You may as well pull #1 plug, and we'll double-check your timing on the distributor install before we go further.

You might want to pick up a timing marker that bolts to the timing chain cover bolts. We'll have to get into timing once you have that installed. Small block...Mr. Gasket Timing Tabs 4593 BIG BLOCK....1930-2008 Chevrolet Truck Parts | T4961 | Chevrolet Big Block with 8 Balancer Chrome Bolt-on Timing Tab without Pointer | Classic Industries

Your voltage to the ignition coil is low to the + on the coil. It should be closer to 8-9 volts. Did you hookup the ground straps from the firewall to the engine? Is your battery fully charged? If so, please recheck this voltage from the + on the coil to a good ground source, like the batt - post.

What size engine?
Thank you so much for the reply!
I did set the gap with a feeler gauge. It is entirely possible that I screwed it up though. Once I get some coffee I will go out and double check that.
Definitely ordering that timing tab.

"Did you hookup the ground straps from the firewall to the engine?" - No I didn't, but I don't remember unhooking one. I will double check the voltage to the coil, I'm pretty sure it was only around 6 with the key turned to the on position.

I have the battery on a charger, it's fully charged. And it's a 350.
Thank you so much!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Switch it to a HEI distributor. Points suck. Keep the OE distributor so when you sell the car you have original part. The biggest mistake I see is when you convert to HEI is the feed wire. Instead of 6v you will need 12v. Even if the distributor is stabbed wrong you will have spark. Just not at the correct cylinder. Should pop and backfire..
After this ordeal, I will absolutely be doing this, plus a wire harness. I have so many "McGyvered" wires that I can't make heads or tails of what they were for or suppose to be connected to.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
check the ground wire on your distributor plate.
I've removed the points and reconnected the ground twice now, just to make sure I didn't screw that up. It's still possible that I did, so I will triple check the ground.
Thank you.
 

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Disconnect the wires at the coil, run a 12ga jumper wire from the battery+ terminal to the coil+ terminal. Hold your screwdriver in the hv coil wire near ground and momentarily short the coil- terminal to ground. You should get a spark. If you don't replace the coil. If you do the problem is in the distributor, point setting, distributor installed wrong not on number 1 @tdc, bad condenser, bad ground to the advance plate or bad wire from the points to the coil-.
 
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Discussion Starter #10
Did you set the gap on your points? Also referred to as setting the dwell? Use a .019 feeler gauge and follow these instructions. We can teach you how to use a dwell meter later. Fitting and adjusting contact-breaker points

The dwell reading on a dwell meter should be 30 if you use one.

After you have done this, check for spark at one of the spark plugs. You may as well pull #1 plug, and we'll double-check your timing on the distributor install before we go further.

You might want to pick up a timing marker that bolts to the timing chain cover bolts. We'll have to get into timing once you have that installed. Small block...Mr. Gasket Timing Tabs 4593 BIG BLOCK....1930-2008 Chevrolet Truck Parts | T4961 | Chevrolet Big Block with 8 Balancer Chrome Bolt-on Timing Tab without Pointer | Classic Industries

Your voltage to the ignition coil is low to the + on the coil. It should be closer to 8-9 volts. Did you hookup the ground straps from the firewall to the engine? Is your battery fully charged? If so, please recheck this voltage from the + on the coil to a good ground source, like the batt - post.

What size engine?
I just tested the coil as you said. I have 12volts with key in on position and 10volts when trying to start car.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I re-gapped the point...car started. I guess that was the problem.

Thank you all for replying! I hope to get to know all of you through more posts. Thank you!
 

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The points plate ground wire is spot welded to the points plate, and connects to the forward vacuum advance screw on the body.

Also, don't "dress" the points, no sanding, no filing, leave them alone. The contact faces are tungsten coated, to help lower carbon buildup, if they are bad loaded, they need replacement, as dressing them will make them build up carbon faster
.

And, as I have harped on everybody for so long, checking the coil past what you did needs to be on a run tester off the car, so they can be dynamic tested at operating temperature, NOT cold resistance for the windings. You have tested the power input, that is good, but if you have any more problems, do take the coil off and get it to one of the run testers that good auto parts stores have, and when on the machine, let it run, get it hot, up to operating temperature.

Sounds like you ae on the right track.
 
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