Starting issues

Discussion in 'Mopar Performance Issues' started by BigBlockMopar28, Jan 3, 2018.

  1. BigBlockMopar28

    BigBlockMopar28 Well-Known Member

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    Long story short, I was having some carb issues with the 318 and after talking to some people, all issues seemed to point to a weak fuel pump (87 w150, mechanical pump behind the alternator), now it doesnt want to start. Re-installed the pump thinking I had not done it correctly the first time, took the carb line off and cranked, it does pump in spurts. Its also very cold in my area, which probably doesnt help anything. New pump, 600 holley vacuum, been fighting with this for 3 days, thought it wasnt getting enough fuel the first time around and ended up flooding it to the point of fouling the plugs, new plugs are in and gapped. It hits and tries to start at random moments, regardless of how much I pedal or don't pedal. Carb is spraying. Any ideas? I realize that this isn't an easy one but i'm stumped and without a car until I can figure this out. Electric choke is connected and working, had no issues before changing the pump. Any help is greatly appreciated
     
  2. j par

    j par Well-hung Member

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    The ballast resistor!
    That's the first place any Mopar guy would go when it's car is cranking over trying to start but won't run.
     
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    • j par

      j par Well-hung Member

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      It's crazy how it can be a completely unrelated problem.
       
    • 318willrun

      318willrun Stomper 4x4... we kept energizer in business

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      if you flooded it to the point of fouling the plugs, be careful that you didn't end up with a lot of gas in your oil. That gas will go right past the rings...
      • It appears your getting the gas, but in the cold weather, they don't like to dry up once flooded good an proper. Is it in a heated garage? can you get it to one? Maybe a quick shot of starting fluid?
      • With J par, ballast resistor is a very cheap, and fast check.
      • If that don't work, make sure you ECU is getting a good ground. I've seen cars not start on account of that.
      • check back after you have checked off the above list.
       
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      • j par

        j par Well-hung Member

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        Also in these cases I like to check to make sure I'm getting spark cuz it sounds like you're getting plenty of gas. Is it possible to turn the ignition on and check the positive side of the coil to see if it's getting juice?
         
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        • j par

          j par Well-hung Member

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          I just worked on a 51 Chevy truck yesterday and it was just a bad coil. The guy looked at it and said it looks new LOL...
          Or my very favorite, it was working the last time I used it LOL and one more LOL..
           
        • BigBlockMopar28

          BigBlockMopar28 Well-Known Member

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          Would be kind of odd to have one spontaniously go out after changing a pump but i guess it never hurts lol. I have a spare coil just incase too
           
        • 318willrun

          318willrun Stomper 4x4... we kept energizer in business

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          As we all know the needs....
          1. gas/air ratio
          2. spark
          3. timing (valve and ignition)
          4. compression. with these 4 things, it's gonna run. Good news is, you can be off a little on all of them and it will still run. Process of elimination, and pretty easy to check. Ok, I guess I'll throw in a 5th, it needs to be able to exhale, exhaust cannot be fully plugged :D
           
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          • BigBlockMopar28

            BigBlockMopar28 Well-Known Member

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            Well this is odd. Fuel is good, has been getting plenty more than it did, so i guess good call on the pump change. Tested spark, from wire to screwdriver to block, spark is orange and slow, which is what I assumed to be weak. Checked distributor, rotor button was toast, replaced it, still just as weak. Put a new coil on, still just as weak. Here's where it gets weird: a buddy called me right about the time j par posted about the ballast resistor, and said the same thing. On the way to my house i stopped and got one, but I dont think my truck has one. Did my research on google and the fsm, its nowhere people were talking about, not on the firewall or anywhere, but somehow the parts house had a part # for one for my truck. From what i was able to find, some trucks had some kind of lean burn system, mine doesnt have the computer behind the battery, or, to my knowledge, a computer anywhere... either way the spark is weak from something and I dont know where to start.
            Ballast resistor - any ideas?
            Coil and rotor button are definately good
            Plug wires are new duralast, but dont seat well on the distributor, atleast not like the previous ones did
            Timing is good
            Distributor was new when I bought the truck, no spark advance and no given reasoning as to why it was changed, thats all I know.
            Any ideas here? As always, big thanks in advance
             
          • RedFish

            RedFish Well-Known Member

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            87 model may have had the lean burn ignition unit. It was pretty big box mounted on the side of the breather canister and had the vacuum servo for spark advance mounted on the end of it. It got a bunch of wires plugged into it too. I'll guess someone changed yours, deleting all that, and installed the earlier ignition module. This was a fairly common practice. The thing to know is without the ballast resistor, the coil could overheat and fail. Anyway... You'll need to finger out what wiring mods they did and what they didn't do. You may find the root fault within that and realize there wasn't a fuel pump issue.
             
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            • AJ/FormS

              AJ/FormS 367 FormS clone 3.09-1.92-1.40-1.09-.78od 3.55s

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              And it started and idled fine before the pump changes?
              I would still check the timing chain slack.
               
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              • BigBlockMopar28

                BigBlockMopar28 Well-Known Member

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                Well, kind of. It idled and revved fine in nuetral, but idle in gear was kinda rough, and half throttle was a pure nightmare. Cold starts were iffy but the choke was disabled for various reasons. There is some slight timing chain noise, nothing horrible but it is in time, and hasnt jumped (yet lol).
                 
              • BigBlockMopar28

                BigBlockMopar28 Well-Known Member

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                Could the pickup coil be shot? Or is there a way I can test it while its in the truck? From what i'm hearing they tend to go bad over time, and with the rotor button being like it was, i'm curious
                 
              • BigBlockMopar28

                BigBlockMopar28 Well-Known Member

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                That's true, no lean burn computer behind the battery but the wiring situation is a mess in that thing
                 
              • AJ/FormS

                AJ/FormS 367 FormS clone 3.09-1.92-1.40-1.09-.78od 3.55s

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                My experiences are
                Pick-up coils work or they don't.
                mopar timing chains don't make noises.
                starting issues at near or below freezing are almost always an A/F issue, unless the cam-timing is off or the ring/valve seal is so poor that the falling piston just won't pull a charge in. When an engine has been flooded as badly as yours appears to have been, the oil gets washed off the cylinder walls, and then the rings are so dry, that the engine just cannot pull a rich enough A/F charge in to sustain combustion. Then if the engine has other known issues to which you admit, then all bets are off.
                IMO, you need to prove the cam timing,
                and get some oil on the rings,and
                do a compression test. Then
                fix the doggone choke, and
                prove the engine isn't sucking air, once it starts, and finally
                fix the carb issues.
                If the fuel bowls are full or near full, you don't even need a pump; on a carb'd engine, it is just a fuel transfer device.
                The ignition timing can be out from, 7 to 10 degrees (and more) either way from ideal, and with proper fueling, it will still start and run.
                It is possible to test the ignition system by; pulling the distributor out, near-grounding the coil wire, turn the key on, and simply spin the driveshaft, to observe a stream of sparks issuing from the coil wire.
                For maximum coil output you can jumper the coil plus terminal directly to the battery,just don't forget to remove the jumper later,cuz the engine will not shut off by the key.
                The colder the engine is, the more critical adequate compression becomes. Dry rings on a tired engine will make building enough compression nearly impossible. Throw in late valve timing, and a lousy A/F charge, and maybe here is where you are.
                 
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                • BigBlockMopar28

                  BigBlockMopar28 Well-Known Member

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                  All very good points, didn't think about the dry rings. I guess at this point the obvious thing to do would be to fix the spark and go from there, i dont doubt that there may be some A/F issues, especially with the way that carb has acted since its been on there, but none of that matters without a spark. I just have very, very basic knowledge of distributors, kind of iffy about pulling it out of the truck, but i suppose if i have to i will lol.
                   
                • halifaxhops

                  halifaxhops I guess I have a gold member no one likes? FABO Gold Member

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                  If needed I can send you a dist that is rebuilt to try, just pay the ride both ways or buy it if you want, I need to know all the specs, so happens I have a 87w 150 as a driver also\, no lean burn.
                   
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                  • BigBlockMopar28

                    BigBlockMopar28 Well-Known Member

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                    I appreciate the offer, i've considered just replacing this distributor and getting mine fixed for my other 318 going in the dart.

                    Might be a stupid question, but when replacing a distributor, i just need to make sure the rotor button on the new one is pointing to where the old one was removed right? Without twisting of course, just dropping straight down where the old one was?
                     
                  • AJ/FormS

                    AJ/FormS 367 FormS clone 3.09-1.92-1.40-1.09-.78od 3.55s

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                    Before you pull it out, bump the engine over until the rotor is pointed to an easily recognizable reference point. Then continue or back up until the nearest reluctor vane is in direct line wuth the pole-piece of the pick-up. Then drop the new one in to the same reverence points.
                    Now, it has happened that, some new Ds won't drop in there, cuz the driveshaft key is offset to a different spot. So, the best idea is to always set the D to the factory installation point, so that this situation can easily be spotted.
                    The factory drop-in point is with the #1Piston at TDC compression, and the rotor pointed to the front intake bolt on the driver's side. Then the Vcan is pushed all the way to the firewall, and then pulled forward until the nearest reluctor vane lines up with the pole piece.
                    If your new D does not drop in this way, then you have two options;
                    Option 1) is to rotate the intermediate shaft down in the hole, until you get pretty close, and then the reluctor line-up thing again. Then additionally, the nearest cap-tower to the rotor, will have to be indexed to the rotor, and the cap possibly rewired so that the firing order is correct. and
                    Option #2) is just to skip the intermediate shaft reindex and just go straight to the cap indexing and rewiring.
                    But I gotta tell you, if the computer is sparking the coilwire, then the pick-up is fine, and a new D will get you exactly nothing.
                    The coil wants a minimum of about 12 volts during cranking and about 8.5 after the ballast resistor has warmed up.
                    So; Warm up and Charge the battery, then Dig out your VOM.Warming up the battery could take more than 24 hours. After charging the battery, make sure it's rest voltage is at least 13 to 14 volts, and test it's recovery with a load tester. If it passes, charge it up again, then install it.

                    And finally, It has happened to me that when converting a lean-burn to a non-Lb that the pick-up polarity was reversed. And this produces the symptoms you describe. I could set the idle-timing, and get it to idle just fine . But as soon as I would rev it up a little the timing light showed the timing was jumping all over the place, forward, backwards and dropped sparks. So I reversed the polarity and reindexed the D, reset the idle timing and all that monkey business went away.
                    Afterwards I found out that the pick-ups are application specific and color-coded. The one for LB has a grey wire and a black. The one for the non-LB has an Orange. They both plug into the same harness connector.
                     
                    Last edited: Jan 5, 2018
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                    • halifaxhops

                      halifaxhops I guess I have a gold member no one likes? FABO Gold Member

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                      • halifaxhops

                        halifaxhops I guess I have a gold member no one likes? FABO Gold Member

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                        And finally, It has happened to me that when converting a lean-burn to a non-Lb that the pick-up polarity was reversed. And this produces the symptoms you describe. I could set the idle-timing, and get it to idle just fine . But as soon as I would rev it up a little the timing light showed the timing was jumping all over the place, forward, backwards and dropped sparks. So I reversed the polarity and reindexed the D, reset the idle timing and all that monkey business went away.
                        Afterwards I found out that the pick-ups are application specific and color-coded. The one for LB has a grey wire and a black. The one for the non-LB has an Orange. They both plug into the same harness connector.[/QUOTE]

                        All good points and slant six are black and white wires. I sometimes have issues with the electronic on the dist machine jumping and also adding firing positions, 99% of the time it is a bad ground to the dristributor body.