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454 chevy engine wont start

I love my Chevy Chevette!
Posts: 1
Joined: 08/13
Posted: 08/21/13 02:39 PM

Hay guys I have a 1968 camaro with a saganaw 4 speed and 454 that I recently replaced the distributor intake and carb on now when I go to start it it will sputter it won't start up all the way I have checked timing more than 1 time I have tried a piston stop and I made sure the spark plug wires are new and in the right place the only 2 cylenders that are fireing are #1 and #8 why is this I can't figure it out any help would be appreciated  

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I mow my lawn and find Chevys
Posts: 2738
Joined: 08/09
Posted: 08/21/13 05:18 PM

Hi there,
 What rotation are you trying??
 Just a thought?  All the best  

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I have an SS396 tatoo
Posts: 251
Joined: 03/13
Posted: 08/21/13 07:12 PM

piston stops verify the location of the timing pointer vs the harmonic damper mark...

lets do it a different way.... and i am hoping that you did not bend any valves with the piston stop..

do you have a remote starter switch..???   hook it up..

pull the #1 spark plug.. pull the distributor cap.. but leave the rotor installed.  make sure that the rotor is NOT going to catch anything as it goes around...

stick your finger LIGHTLY over the spark plug hole.. NOT in it.. you want to be able to allow air in and out..

with your other hand.. use the remote starter switch and crank the engine while you observe the rotor spinning..

does the rotor point towards the #1 spark plug wire position when the compression is coming out of the #1 spark plug hole...  

if the rotor is not pointing toward the #1 spark plug wire location.. you have the distributor out of phase..

bump the engine over with your finger over the spark plug hole.. when you feel compression.. bump the engine slightly until the timing marks line  up at about 6 degrees before TDC... if you go past.. either go around 2 more turns  of the crank.. or use tools to move the engine the other way... and bring it back forward.. to 6 before again...

why.. because the crank turns 2 times to one of the distributor..

now.. if the rotor is pointing toward the #1 position in the cap.. you are home free..

with the distributor out.. you can now.. drop it in with the so the rotor points toward the front drivers side.. when it falls in.

please make sure the distributor is seated on the oil pump shaft.. i will use the remote starter switch to bump the engine around again and reset the crank with my finger over the spark plug hole again..

now.. if the rotor is pointing in the proper direction. you can turn the housing so when you grab the rotor and turn it against the spring tension.. that as you begin the twist.. the points just start to open...

if you have an HEI.. turn the housing to align the teeth of the pickup coil and the reluctor.. you can now lock the distributor down and reassemble the cap and wires.. the engine should start and run and be very close to perfect timing..


sorry i don't have a video on this yet.. its dirt simple.. once you would see it..

i can stab a distributor in a few minutes and start the engine up..

info behind this..

the chevy motor harmonic damper timing mark is at TDC when either the #1 or #6 cylinder is ready to fire...

so you could easily be 180 degrees out of phase..

the HEI.. will fire the coil when the pickup coil teeth and the reluctor teeth line up perfectly..

the point type distributor will fire the coil when the points open.. and you can set the distributor so the mechanical advance will just rotate off its stop to open the points..  

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I love my Chevy Chevette!
Posts: 9
Joined: 10/10
Posted: 08/22/13 02:12 PM

I having the same problem. I have change the cam in my motor and put it to top and it spins over but does not start? the intake valve closes and the distributor is pointing at 1. it has gas and has a good distributor some miss firing as i move the timeing around but it wont start? any help would be great.  

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I love my Chevy Chevette!
Posts: 11
Joined: 08/13
Posted: 08/22/13 02:35 PM

Can you turn the crank by hand from the pulley?  

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I have an SS396 tatoo
Posts: 251
Joined: 03/13
Posted: 08/22/13 04:10 PM

ok guys..

4 strokes..

intake stroke,  intake valve opens as the piston starts down.. closes as it reaches bottom..

compression stroke.  begins as the piston starts to move up in the cylinder .. the intake valve closed as the piston started moving upward.. it is close all the way. up as compression builds..
just before the piston reaches the top. the spark plug lights...

the power stroke begins as the spark plug lights  the air fuel mixture... and the explosion pushes the piston down. both valves are closed .. at the bottom of the the power stroke. . the exhaust valve opens..  

the exhaust stroke begins with the exhaust valve opening and the piston starts moving upward to expel the exhaust gases...  as the piston reaches the top of the stroke.. the exhaust valve closes and the intake valve starts to open to begin another intake stroke..

during the compression stroke and the power stroke both valves are closed..  the spark plug lights at the top of the compression stroke..


so. 2 turns of the crank to one turn of the cam...

set the distributor rotor pointing at the #1 spark plug wire location..  the valves SHOULD NOT BE moving within half a crank turn of the spark...

one of these days.. i am going to have a chevy on the stand or actually any motor .. and a friend to video tape it..  so i can show you how easy this actually is...

oh.. one more thing thats confusing.

the cam sprocket alignment dot..

with the DOT up away from the crank.... the cam is ready to fire the #1 cylinder..

with the DOT down.. close to the crank.. the cam is ready to fire the #6 cylinder..



firing order..  is 18436572

so one go turn of the crank is

6572 the next is

1843.. then

6572... again and again..

the trick is to get the distributor so the rotor is pointing at the proper position when the cam is in the proper position. and there is compression on the #1 cylinder..


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