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Starting issues
#1
Parked the 72 a week ago and haven't been able to get it to want to fire back up. It'll just crank and crank, sometimes it would just click when when I turned the ignition, so I replaced the solenoid first. I replaced the battery a few days ago because the current had a dead cell. Then I turn the key, it still just cranks. I checked and I know I'm getting spark, fuel and compression.

After I tried it again and it cranked for about 5 seconds it just made a loud CLICK and there was no power. No fuses blown, double checked all the wiring and no issues. Jumped the solenoid and it's back to cranking. Grabbed a beer, sat down and thought for a while, put the key back in the car and the power is back.

The solenoid's bad now and whenever I reconnect the battery the car spits spark at my face and goes back to cranking with no turn over.

My plan for the afternoon is to get a new solenoid, have the starter checked and pick up a new reman starter. It's usually taken a while to crank over and start, so I'm hoping the starter might be the issue, but any insight would be appreciated.

Mike
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#2
Michael, how is the cranking speed? Unless it is barely turning the engine or not engaging I am not sure a starter will do you any good. If it's cranking real fast it may be a timing chain. What are the compression numbers? It sounds like a possible timing issue. If you have spark, fuel and compression in the proper amounts, it must be timing.

Just a couple of quick thoughts.

Jeff T.

Low buck, touring style, '73 Convertible "rolling restoration", 351c, 2v heads with a shave and a haircut, Performer intake, Holley 650(ish), roller rockers, screw in studs, guideplates, stainless valves, Duraspark / Motorsports MSD, T-5 conversion. 1-1/8" front, 3/4" rear swaybars KYB shocks and some home brewed subframe connectors. Future plans; JGC steering box, Cobra brakes and... paint, interior, etc.

When I die I want to die like grandpa, peacefully in my sleep... not screaming, like his passenger.

[Image: 1_12_09_14_10_15_11.png]
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#3
I agree with Jeff on this one, I drove in one night in one of mine the next morning would just crank over and not even try to startAngry It had jumped time, replaced the chain and was good to go. Do a compression check
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#4
So I replaced the starter, voltage regulator, solenoid, coil pack and distributor cap. Primarily put of frustration and noticing they were all worn anyway. Tested them and installed but still just cranks, though many other issues are taken care of. I do notice the radio doesn't come on, though the fusebox is fine. I checked for spark the old fashioned way and didn't get anything but tomorrow I'm going to get an inline spark checker to make sure. I know fuel is there and everything is almost new in the ignition system now. I haven't tried to take care of the timing check yet. I really have never played with timing before, I'm learning a lot of this as I go along and from my roommate, but he's a fighter jet mechanical Tongue

Now can I adjust the timing cold by marking and turning the distributor? I can't get a timing light for a few days and just need to get it running and to a safe place where I can adjust the timing properly. I guess I'll know for sure it's timing after I get that inline done tomorrow, but my gut feeling is that it is. Any advice or links to a guide on timing adjustments? I can't get to the chain where I am without the right tools, and tow trucks aren't allowed up here. Sometimes the military can be pretty inconvenient.

Mike
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#5
A flooded carb will do that to a car. Just hold the pedal to the metal and then start the car. See if that'll start it for you. The spitting battery sparks is a concern cause even with my hood light, radio illumination, clock and alarm, my battery, when reconnected, will only give a small sizzle of a spark. Nothing major like spitting sparks as you described. Could be a short somewhere in your ignition system. Get a multimeter if you don't already have one and look for shorts or parasitic draws. Good luck!
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#6

I would also check for bad grounds. Check engine to frame ground, clean and make sure its good. The same for battery cables and battery.



Here is a video about timing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYGU7mTwsZc







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#7
just make sure the car is in park. could be the neutral safety switch.

The fuse for the radio is tied to the turn signal lights, see if your turn signals are working or not.

if the signal lights are not working when moving the lever then suspect the fuse box has corrosion and the fuse has lost contact pop the fuse out, inspect it again, wouldn't hurt to just replace it anyway. take a firm tooth bush or a fine wire brush and scrub the contacts in the fuse block, you can wipe a little dielectric grease on the contacts to help corrosion in the future. then retest the turn signals and the radio. if just the radio is out suspect the radio power connector reach behind the radio pop it out and then reinsert it it might have corrosion on the connector it will be impossible to inspect that connector without taking the center dash apart and pulling the radio out.
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#8
Have you tried checking to see if the distributor rotor turns when the starter is engaged. If it doesn't turn it could be the timing chain and gears, distributor gear, or the cam gear. If it turns smoothly when cranking it could still be the problem(s) others have identified including "jumping a tooth" in the timing chain set. Let us know what you find. Chuck
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#9
T-K;44724 Wrote:I would also check for bad grounds. Check engine to frame ground, clean and make sure its good. The same for battery cables and battery.
Here is a video about timing.

That guys good! Talk about knowing your shit Big Grin I've watched him a few times and has helped me with understanding timing. Yup, I'm an University of YouTube student Smile Awesome video!
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#10
Advice: Don't try to set the timing until you know it may be off. If you want to, grab the distributor and try turning it. It's possible that your hold down got loose and the distributor has turned enough to keep it from starting.

But really you have to go with the basics. Until you confirm spark don't mess with any settings. Once you confirm spark then verify fuel. It's always possible you have 'too much' fuel and it is constantly flooded. Do you smell gas when you first try cranking? Crank it a few times and then, while not cranking, look down the carb. Open up the throttle plates... did you see gas shoot from the accel pump? If not then you may not have gas. If you did, take a look inside the manifold, is there a puddle of gas.

Again, don't start adjusting things until you know what is wrong or you will only make the situation worse.

Jumped timing chain is pretty rare but it does happen.

'Mike'
73 Convertible - 351C/4V CC heads/4bolt/forged flat tops/comp 270/rhodes/mallory unilite/tri-power/hookers/glasspacks/c6/3.50 limited slip/Gear Vendors/Global West sub frames, strut rods and shelby style traction bars/ Rear sway bar/tilt steering (not original)

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