engine won't start after valve adjustment - Chevy Nova Forum
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Old 19th-November-2012, 09:11 PM   #1
Stuntman Mike
 
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engine won't start after valve adjustment

I just got done doing a valve adjustment on my 350. It has hydraulic lifters. I looked around and ended up going with the method on hotrodders.com. Here's the link: http://www.hotrodders.com/forum/best...bc-132599.html post #6 by "Frisco". I've had it in the car and running fairly decent for about 6 months now. I've probably driven it around 30 or so miles total. But it ran pretty good. I noticed what I thought was excessive valvetrain noise, so I figured I'd go through and make sure all the valves were good. Going with this method, they all needed to be cinched down a little. After the adjustment, it won't run. It turns, but it doesn't fire at all. All I did was take the slack out of each valve in the described method from that post. What might have gone wrong?
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Old 19th-November-2012, 09:25 PM   #2
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By you tightening the lash, or the noise out of it, the valves are probably not closing all the way and not making any compression. You only put about 30 miles on in six months? Sounds like me driving my car. Have you put a compression gauge on it? It's possible that you started to eat the cam and that was the extra clacking that you heard. If you do a compression test, it will show if you have compression. How much did you have to tighten them to quiet them up? Also, if the rockers don't move up and down much, could be the cam. Dave
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Old 19th-November-2012, 09:39 PM   #3
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I'm sure the cam is fine. The rockers travel plenty as I spin the engine. I'm looking around elsewhere online right now and I think I over-tightened. Seeing it didn't even start, does that mean I didn't hurt my engine? Or could I have done some serious damage? Anyone have a better method than the one I used? I need to get this thing right already.

And yes, 30 miles in 6 months. I've been steadily working on other areas of the car and haven't been driving it more than a couple miles at a time after each time I tweak or replace something.
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Old 19th-November-2012, 09:43 PM   #4
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Set intake when exhaust starts to open. Set exhaust when intake almost closed. Now loosen adjusting nut then tighten back while rotating pushrod till you feel slight tension there your zero lash tighten another half turn your done ! Yeah somebody will probably say chiltons says full turn but I never go full turn! Jmo!!
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Old 19th-November-2012, 09:47 PM   #5
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Here's what worked for me... Rather than spinning the pushrod and attempting to get the correct 'feel', hold the pushrod between two fingers and lift the pushrod up and down while slowly tightening the adjustment nut. When you reach the point where there is no more up and down movement you will be at 0 lash. Tighten an additional 1/4 to 1/2 turn. I did this with a cold motor and all valves adjust correctly.
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Old 19th-November-2012, 09:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badbowtie557 View Post
Set intake when exhaust starts to open. Set exhaust when intake almost closed. Now loosen adjusting nut then tighten back while rotating pushrod till you feel slight tension there your zero lash tighten another half turn your done ! Yeah somebody will probably say chiltons says full turn but I never go full turn! Jmo!!
I did 1/4 turn when I felt tension while rotating the pushrod. Apparently, that was too much. I went back and checked; No compression in cylinder 1 when I spin the engine. I adjusted them in the exact order of that post on hotrodders. Maybe I just went too tight? Or is that guys method no good?
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Old 19th-November-2012, 09:51 PM   #7
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It might be a coincidence something else died that is causing the engine not to fire. Lifters need to be a long way off not to even sputter or try to fire. Check for spark and fuel and go from there.
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Old 19th-November-2012, 10:01 PM   #8
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The method I mentioned is how crane cams recommends I've used this method for years without a problem done a cylinder at a time is a little less confusing also is good to let lifter sit for a few minutes after loosening to allow the retainer to seat back into a neutral position against the lock.
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Old 19th-November-2012, 10:04 PM   #9
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It might be a coincidence something else died that is causing the engine not to fire. Lifters need to be a long way off not to even sputter or try to fire. Check for spark and fuel and go from there.
Taz is right it take three things to get fire AIR FUEL IGNITION !
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Old 19th-November-2012, 10:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badbowtie557 View Post
Set intake when exhaust starts to open. Set exhaust when intake almost closed. Now loosen adjusting nut then tighten back while rotating pushrod till you feel slight tension there your zero lash tighten another half turn your done ! Yeah somebody will probably say chiltons says full turn but I never go full turn! Jmo!!
Exactly. I work the pushrod up and down, except for the last little bit you need to spin it with your fingers back and forth. Don't need to spin it fast, just feeling for the resistance. As soon as you feel the resistance put a quarter to half turn on them. I set them like this and forget them. Fire it up and drive it or high idle when breaking in a new cam. I doubt anything is hurt, just reset the valves and give it a go.
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Old 19th-November-2012, 10:18 PM   #11
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It did sound weird when it cranked. I assumed this was due to the valves being off after adjustment. I know that I have fuel. Maybe I managed to knock the wire loose on the distributor when I was moving the plug wires around. I give up for tonight. I'm both disgusted and disappointed...and drinking now. I guess I'll go back over to the garage tomorrow after work and see what I did wrong. I really wish I had internet over there so I could look this stuff up on a real computer instead of my phone. Oh well, I'm going to finish this beer and go to bed. I give up on the Nova for tonight.
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Old 19th-November-2012, 10:21 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Stuntman Mike View Post
It did sound weird when it cranked. I assumed this was due to the valves being off after adjustment. I know that I have fuel. Maybe I managed to knock the wire loose on the distributor when I was moving the plug wires around. I give up for tonight. I'm both disgusted and disappointed...and drinking now. I guess I'll go back over to the garage tomorrow after work and see what I did wrong. I really wish I had internet over there so I could look this stuff up on a real computer instead of my phone. Oh well, I'm going to finish this beer and go to bed. I give up on the Nova for tonight.
Just set the valves as we described and you will be fine, but chill and do it tomorrow. Easy fix.
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Old 21st-November-2012, 11:03 AM   #13
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I think they all bled out whatever oil was left, so that when you went back and shored them up again and rotated the motor, they pumped back up way too high, keeping them off of the seats. No way that thing will fire if the valves aren't anywhere near the seats.
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Old 21st-November-2012, 11:46 AM   #14
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Just an idea... have you checked to see if it will start w/o the valve covers on? Sounds crazy but hear me out. A pal of mine years ago was just getting into fixing his own stuff and decided he would change the valve cover gaskets on his 72 short wheel base Chevy. After he finished.... no start. He panicked and called me over. I look at it... offer my condolences.... then offer to buy it just for the body... 500$... (he had paid 1500 3 months before). I then tell him.. look at the wire going to to coil.... he had pinched it between the valve cover and head grounding it out causing the no start. I loosened the cover pulled the wire out taped it up and started "my" new truck... I "sold" it back to him for a cpl of cold ones while we talked... Just an off the wall idea that might help... good luck
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Old 21st-November-2012, 01:35 PM   #15
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It cranks, just doesn't fire. No pinched wires. I just screwed up the adjustment pretty bad. I had strong compression in the number 1 when I turned it to TDC. After the adjustment, no compression. So I need to go back and do it over. How can I bled the oil out of the lifters?
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