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Help! Engine will not start!

 
Old 06-10-2019, 07:52 AM
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Davoforty
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Default Help! Engine will not start!

Hello! I bought the 79 vette I asked advice for in my other post 'Advice on 1979 L82'. I got it all cleaned up and tried to start it and it would not start. The engine cranks over fine but the engine will not run. I drained as much gas from it as I could (gas could have been sitting awhile) put in 2-3 gallons of premium gas with a fuel additive and I thought it would start up but it didn't. Any suggestions? I pumped the gas, tried starter spray in the carb to give it a shot but did not work either! When I originally looked at the car it fired up about 5 times and ran but would not idle.

I also cleaned the distributor and there was some carbon buildup in there but not bad and my next step is to do the spark plugs. Any suggestions and what to check for? Strange it won't start after starting about 5 times when I originally looked at it!


Previous Post: https://www.corvetteforum.com/forums...-1979-l82.html
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Old 06-10-2019, 10:00 AM
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henrikse
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You need to isolate problem. You need spark and gas? Are you getting either? Pull a plug wire and hold close to ground. (with insulated pliers or lay) When you give it gas can you see the spray in the carb. It could be many things so start with these
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Old 06-10-2019, 10:06 AM
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1Hotrodz
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Stating it wouldn't idle properly is a problem. Yes check for spark, then give it a tune-up and then check and or rebuild the carb (most likely gummed up from the ethanol fuels)
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Old 06-10-2019, 10:24 AM
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F22
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Welcome to the world of C3's. You're going to learn a lot here, and a lot of helpful people. Here's the first tool you should have for your new find. All you have to do, is have someone attempt to start the car and you can lay this on the spark plug wire and you'll know instantly whether there's anything at all, going to the plug. A remote starter is also very, very handy, in case nobody is around to help.


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Old 06-10-2019, 10:37 AM
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I had the same problem with my 1972. It turned out she just likes gas. She will only start if i give it lots of gas and keep the gas going to idle it for 3-5 minutes then it runs on it's own. As previous posts state, it needs to be set up. Mine has no fast idle hooked up on the carb.
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Old 06-10-2019, 02:21 PM
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bradleyb66
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Did you maybe accidentally disconnect the 12 volt wire to the distributor? I would probably spray a little bit of starting fluid down the carb, or dump in 2-3 tablespoons of gas. If that makes it fire up for second, then concentrate on gas/carb issues. If you still don't even get a 'pop' out of it, then you probably lost spark.
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Old 06-10-2019, 05:02 PM
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Davoforty
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Originally Posted by bradleyb66 View Post
Did you maybe accidentally disconnect the 12 volt wire to the distributor? I would probably spray a little bit of starting fluid down the carb, or dump in 2-3 tablespoons of gas. If that makes it fire up for second, then concentrate on gas/carb issues. If you still don't even get a 'pop' out of it, then you probably lost spark.
Thank you all for the comments. We cleaned off the distributor and the caps as there was some carbon and gunk buildup. We then tested it to see if we got spark from the distributor which we did which is good. It was a noticable spark too.

Next thing I am going to do is change the spark plugs. I tried using starter spray down the carb and it still wouldn't pop at all I was very surprised especially when it started 5 times when i was looking at the car. I also smelled gas to the carb when I pumped the gas to start it which is good. I attached a few pics of the carb and the number to it. It looks brand new or rebuilt!

Thank you all for your help! I guess the next step would be to change the plugs.



Last edited by Davoforty; 06-10-2019 at 05:02 PM.
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Old 06-10-2019, 05:45 PM
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KenSny
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Yeah, we got a couple of pics with a new, rebuilt, or cleaned carb.
I would have hoped the pic would have shown the connector on the HEI since he said they cleaned it.
Could be something inside the distributor was not put in the right place?
Plug wires back in proper order?
Start with what you changed or cleaned.

Last edited by KenSny; 06-10-2019 at 05:46 PM.
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Old 06-10-2019, 05:58 PM
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blue427
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I would think that you totally flooded it,pull the plugs and let it air out,change to new plugs while you're at it.let it sitwith no plugs for at least 4 or 5 hrs.
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Old 06-10-2019, 06:11 PM
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bradleyb66
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Originally Posted by Davoforty View Post
I attached a few pics of the carb and the number to it. It looks brand new or rebuilt!

The numbers (at least the 17059211) look like it's a stock 79 carb. Maybe somebody else can verify the other row of numbers.

I still think it sounds like a spark issue as opposed to fuel, so as KenSny mentioned, list everything you did while 'cleaning it up' (basically which items you removed and re-installed during the process).
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Old 06-10-2019, 06:14 PM
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Davoforty
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Originally Posted by KenSny View Post
Yeah, we got a couple of pics with a new, rebuilt, or cleaned carb.
I would have hoped the pic would have shown the connector on the HEI since he said they cleaned it.
Could be something inside the distributor was not put in the right place?
Plug wires back in proper order?
Start with what you changed or cleaned.
I labeled each wire to make sure they went in the order that I pulled them from so there should be no problem there. I cleaned the distributor and wires after it wouldn't start up. I think those might be ok! Especially getting a spark. Unless they were in the wrong place to begin with?

Originally Posted by blue427 View Post
I would think that you totally flooded it,pull the plugs and let it air out,change to new plugs while you're at it.let it sitwith no plugs for at least 4 or 5 hrs.
Thanks for the advice. If I pull the plugs out and let the air out and change the spark plugs that could make a difference? Is there any other way to see if its flooded? It could be..I let it sit overnight and tried to start it again today with no pumping of the gas and it didnt start. Appreciate the help!

Last edited by Davoforty; 06-10-2019 at 06:26 PM.
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Old 06-10-2019, 06:34 PM
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Check the firing order too. It should be 1-8-4-3-6-5-7-2. That's how the spark plug wires should be arranged on the distributor, going clockwise from the top. Ideally, the #1 wire should be more or less pointed to the front driver's side corner of the engine block (where the #1 cylinder is at). The driver's side cylinders are odd 1-3-5-7, front to back and the passenger side is even 2-4-6-8, front to back. The flooding (if it happened, you can tell, because the fuel smell will be real strong in the engine compartment) should clear up in a matter of a few hours.



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Old 06-10-2019, 06:51 PM
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When it's all dried up, fuel wise, you've checked the firing order and the plugs and plug wires look good (they're all in order and firmly seated on the plugs), here's how I'd attempt to start it. Turn the key. Pump the gas pedal three times and then push the gas pedal just a 1/2 inch. Crank the engine and wait two or three seconds for it to fire up. If it doesn't fire up, feather the pedal a few times while cranking it. If it doesn't catch or sounds like it wants to start, stop. If you hear it, wanting to fire up, keep feathering intermittently until it fires up. Feathering it, means only pushing it down a little bit. Don't do this for more than ten or twenty seconds. At this point stop. Get out and give a sniff to the engine compartment. Does it overwhelmingly smell strongly of fuel? If this is the case,try this, because this is how you clear a carb, now that it's flooded. Get back in the car and floor the gas pedal and keep it floored. Don't pump it, just put it to the floor and start cranking it. Keep cranking it. It may pop, sputter and it might even come to life. Worth a try.
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Old 06-10-2019, 07:31 PM
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In your distributor you have a rotor check the tip for wear, and below that you have a ignition module un bolt it and change it
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Old 06-10-2019, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by F22 View Post
When it's all dried up, fuel wise, you've checked the firing order and the plugs and plug wires look good (they're all in order and firmly seated on the plugs), here's how I'd attempt to start it. Turn the key. Pump the gas pedal three times and then push the gas pedal just a 1/2 inch. Crank the engine and wait two or three seconds for it to fire up. If it doesn't fire up, feather the pedal a few times while cranking it. If it doesn't catch or sounds like it wants to start, stop. If you hear it, wanting to fire up, keep feathering intermittently until it fires up. Feathering it, means only pushing it down a little bit. Don't do this for more than ten or twenty seconds. At this point stop. Get out and give a sniff to the engine compartment. Does it overwhelmingly smell strongly of fuel? If this is the case,try this, because this is how you clear a carb, now that it's flooded. Get back in the car and floor the gas pedal and keep it floored. Don't pump it, just put it to the floor and start cranking it. Keep cranking it. It may pop, sputter and it might even come to life. Worth a try.
My wife's 79 does not like to start hot. We flooded it, followed the procedure above, and got it started at WOT, preventing an embarrassing stranding.

Check for fuel when you pump the gas pedal (or linkage, if alone). If you have gas, you likely have too much gas.
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Old 06-10-2019, 09:30 PM
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On these older cars, if they haven't been started for a long time, they can take a long time to start. They do much better driven regularly, but let them sit and they are very reluctant to come to life. You may have to keep trying on multiple attempts to get it going and sometimes, that's the way it is. Again, check the spark plug wiring, the firing order, how the plug wires are seated and how the #1 wire is positioned, relative to the #1 piston.
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Old 06-10-2019, 09:36 PM
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Also ... just below advance weights-springs ... there is HEI's pickup coil ... and its pesky, somewhat fragile, fine green & white wires.

Those thin wires do flex as dist advances-retards and they can fray-short against dist body or open short.

Either way, they'll turn the ignition off as though you'd pulled the plug.

Standard Ignition pn LX-302
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Old 06-11-2019, 07:52 AM
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1Hotrodz
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Check a spark plug to see if it's wet. If it is then you flooded the engine with fuel. Once the plugs get gas fouled they are junk. Take all the spark plugs out, disconnect the 12V lead to the Dist. and crank the engine over for about five seconds to clear the fuel from the combustion chambers. Replace all the spark plugs with new ones, if this is the case.
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Old 06-12-2019, 11:03 AM
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Davoforty
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Originally Posted by F22 View Post
When it's all dried up, fuel wise, you've checked the firing order and the plugs and plug wires look good (they're all in order and firmly seated on the plugs), here's how I'd attempt to start it. Turn the key. Pump the gas pedal three times and then push the gas pedal just a 1/2 inch. Crank the engine and wait two or three seconds for it to fire up. If it doesn't fire up, feather the pedal a few times while cranking it. If it doesn't catch or sounds like it wants to start, stop. If you hear it, wanting to fire up, keep feathering intermittently until it fires up. Feathering it, means only pushing it down a little bit. Don't do this for more than ten or twenty seconds. At this point stop. Get out and give a sniff to the engine compartment. Does it overwhelmingly smell strongly of fuel? If this is the case,try this, because this is how you clear a carb, now that it's flooded. Get back in the car and floor the gas pedal and keep it floored. Don't pump it, just put it to the floor and start cranking it. Keep cranking it. It may pop, sputter and it might even come to life. Worth a try.
Thank you for these suggestions! I almost got it running. I assume it means the spark plugs are fouled up? It could be because the engine is/was flooded and the spark plugs were wet. I will check them this weekend and see what they look like.
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Old 06-17-2019, 08:25 PM
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Got it going! Thank you all for your advice. Changes the plugs, cleaned the distributor, and it fires up instantly now and idles perfectly. Love that sound!

Next are the brakes. I added brake fluid to the master cylinder and pumped the brakes but can't get the brakes to work. The car has sat for awhile could the calipers be seized up? Tomorrow I am going to bleed the brake lines and get the fluid in there. So far no leaks or anything but the brakes aren't currently working. Any suggestions?

Heres a pic of the plugs. They were bad!

Last edited by Davoforty; 06-17-2019 at 08:25 PM.
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