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Discussion Starter #321
I am having trouble with my ignition. It turns but won't turn to the position that actually starts the car. I can't move it any further. Car is in park.
404021
 

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Mike - 74 Nova Baltimore, MD
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Sorry... I'm not knowledgeable about the keyed ignition switch in the steering column.
Hopefully, someone else with experience will chime in.

The only thing I can think of is to turn the ignition key back to the lock position... and as you are turning the key to the start position, try shaking/hand banging on the steering column to see if that helps (since the switch was working before).
 

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Mike - 74 Nova Baltimore, MD
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One other thing you can try... with the gear selector still in the PARK position, grab the portion of the steering column that is closest to the dash (the part that rotates as you move the gear selector) and try to turn this portion of the steering column counterclockwise as far as you can. If the tachometer that is mounted on the steering column is hitting something as you are trying to rotate the column counterclockwise, you need to shift the tach to gain clearance.
After you have done this, try and start your engine again.

If the above suggestion does not work, you might want to try starting a new discussion in the Steering, Suspension, and Chassis section of SNS with your same question about the ignition key not turning to the START position.
 

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I don't know if the 71 Nova had locking mechanism in the steering column on not. I think the 72 did. But just for the heck of it, try turning your steering to either side and see if the key will turn to start position.
 

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Yes, my 72 has the locking mech.

Not sure where you're wheel is positioned right now Gano but if this helps:

Mine locked-up on the young car storage employee while maneuvering into her winter's rest. He stalled her deep into a tight turn and when he went to re-start, he habitually turned the key to lock then the key wouldn't turn at all anymore. He was at a loss.

I had to take a run into town only to find the wheels were deep into the turn. I knew the steering wheel needed to be turned just a tad more into the turn he stalled her in. Once I turned the wheel the extra ~1/4 inch, the key was free to turn again and she started right-up.(Personally, I think she just wanted me to put her to bed - but that's my fantasy).

The young fella was mesmerized. Thought I was a Nova whisperer or something. Nope, just older n' dirt.
 

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If your wheels are hard over L or R as Taco caster discusses:
Try turning the wheel slightly to the L and R as you gently try to start the car. Also, try pulling the shifter handle towards you( unlock it) and pull up into park then, while holding it in that position, try starting the car.
I see the large hose clamp mounted. that is usually for a tachometer, but it could indicate damage to the column.
The switch is actually down by the floorboard on top of the column the reach rod links the key tumbler to the switch.
you key switch looks like it had ben removed/ replaced, and I think the 71 had a chrome ring around the outside.
You can also try cleaning out the key slot. Maybe a can of air and then some lube.
I think you are going to end up pulling the steering wheel and finding what is broken and or jammed.
 

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Discussion Starter #327 (Edited)
Ok. I managed to get it by fiddling with it and a shot of WD-40. Still not in good shape. Good info here. Thank you. I was wanting to buy a tilt column and move the shifter to the floor. Maybe I will be doing this sooner than later.

Anyways I set timing To 14 btdc and plugged the VA and carb ports. Now it's sputters around 30mph
 

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Mike - 74 Nova Baltimore, MD
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Your key switch looks like it had been removed/ replaced.
I think you are going to end up pulling the steering wheel and finding what is broken and or jammed.
If your wired ignition switch (located under the dash - on the upper side of the steering column) is not jammed and the issue is with your keyed ignition switch, below is a pretty good video for R&R of the keyed ignition switch.
NOTE: You are going to need a couple of special tools to accomplish this task (tools are shown in the video).
Steering Wheel (and Harmonic Balancer) Puller - This may be available as a loaner tool at some auto parts stores.
Steering Column Plate Spring Compressor
 
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Discussion Starter #329
If your wired ignition switch (located under the dash - on the upper side of the steering column) is not jammed and the issue is with your keyed ignition switch, below is a pretty good video for R&R of the keyed ignition switch.
NOTE: You are going to need a couple of special tools to accomplish this task (tools are shown in the video).
Steering Wheel (and Harmonic Balancer) Puller - This may be available as a loaner tool at some auto parts stores.
Steering Column Plate Spring Compressor
Thank you. We can leave this for another time or thread. Did you see my last post? Sputtering around 30mph now.

Also car died and front bowl was empty.

I installed an in line fuel pump and it was constantly jumping. This correct?
 

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Mike - 74 Nova Baltimore, MD
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Sorry... I missed your post where you got the ignition key to turn to the start position.

Anyway, back to the current issues.
Changing your timing to 14° BTDC should not cause your engine to sputter at 30 mph. I have my small block chevy engine's initial timing set to 15° BTDC @ 800 rpm... and if I disconnect and plug the VA line on my HEI, my engine still runs just fine.

Up until this point, I was thinking that a timing issue (too much VA) might be causing your engine misfires while cruising... but now I think it might be something else.

I think you may be having fuel delivery issues based on your last comment "car died and front bowl was empty".
I have a feeling that your fuel filter may be getting clogged, thereby starving the carb of gas... and possibly letting dirt get into the carb. This might explain why your engine was running pretty decently when you initially installed your brand new carb... and now the engine (with the new carb) is starting to have the same issues again.

And this leads me back to the request I asked you about in post #43...
I suggested that you remove the fuel tank, remove the upper sending unit/fuel pick-up, and inspect the inside of the fuel tank for any signs of rust and/or crud/dirt in the tank.
- Did you ever drop your gas tank for an internal inspection?
If there is any rust/dirt/crud that is in your fuel tank, you are constantly going to be chasing all kinds of issues due to this.

Some additional questions about your current situation.
You installed an electric inline fuel pump and now "something" is jumping.
  • What is jumping?
  • Can you give a better explanation of what "jumping" means?
  • Did you check to see what kind of fuel pressure the inline electric pump was sending to the carb?
  • Did you install a fuel filter between the gas tank and the new electric fuel pump?
At this point, I think you should also install a fuel pressure gauge (even if it is only temporarily installed) so you can monitor your fuel pressure while driving your car... but only after you confirm the inside of the gas tank is in decent shape.
 

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Discussion Starter #331 (Edited)
Some additional questions about your current situation.
You installed an electric inline fuel pump and now "something" is jumping.
  • What is jumping?
  • Can you give a better explanation of what "jumping" means?
  • Did you check to see what kind of fuel pressure the inline electric pump was sending to the carb?
  • Did you install a fuel filter between the gas tank and the new electric fuel pump?
At this point, I think you should also install a fuel pressure gauge (even if it is only temporarily installed) so you can monitor your fuel pressure while driving your car... but only after you confirm the inside of the gas tank is in decent shape.
I'm sorry, I installed an fuel Gauge. Not a pump apologies. The needle is jumping like crazy but it only hits about 3 on the gauge.

Haven't dropped fuel tank

I have put multiple new fuel filters on and cut them open and didn't see not seen anything.

Even the new carb sputtered at 60mph.

I did the vent test you told me and I don't think it's an issue but I'm buying a new one anyways.
 

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Mike - 74 Nova Baltimore, MD
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The fuel gauge needle may be jumpy due to the mechanical fuel pump's diaphragm pulsing as it pushes the gas to the carb.
  • What happens if you rev the engine and hold it at about 2000 rpm... does the fuel pressure go up (and the needle stabilizes) as the RPMs are increased?
  • What is the fuel pressure as you rev the engine?
Try above again, but this time remove that gas tank filler cap.... any changes?

There is also a chance that the fuel pick-up in the gas tank could be clogged. You could try this test to see if there is a restriction somewhere in your gas tank.
- TEMPORARILY run a length of fuel line hose from the inlet port of the fuel pump into a gasoline container with about 1-2 gallon of fresh gasoline. Connect the outlet port of the fuel pump to your carb as normal (you may also want to install a new fuel filter to eliminate it as a possible cause to the engine sputtering).
- Start your engine and observe your fuel pressure gauge (DO NOT DRIVE THE CAR LIKE THIS).
Did the fuel pressure change at idle?... or while revving the engine?
 
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Discussion Starter #333
Sorry for the lack of updates men. Had to finish up some big projects on the house. Haven't had time. To work on the car.

I will be getting back at it this week.
 

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Gano, stupid question but to be sure and to save some of Mike's hair, you do have the fuel filters orientated (flow direction) correctly, right?

Sorry to jump-in Mike. but sometimes the simplest things...... Excellent advice provided so far. We're all learning here.
 

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Discussion Starter #335
Gano, stupid question but to be sure and to save some of Mike's hair, you do have the fuel filters orientated (flow direction) correctly, right?

Sorry to jump-in Mike. but sometimes the simplest things...... Excellent advice provided so far. We're all learning here.
I have the arrows on the filter pointing to the engine. They flow the way in which the gas is pulled into the engine.

I do plan on. Dropping tank and checking everything this week. I just need to get all of the gas out of it first. Stay tuned
 

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Gano, stupid question but to be sure and to save some of Mike's hair, you do have the fuel filters orientated (flow direction) correctly, right?
Sorry to jump-in Mike. but sometimes the simplest things......
Hey Tacocaster! Glad to see the extra support for GanoMan!... and good call out!

I do plan on dropping tank and checking everything this week. I just need to get all of the gas out of it first. Stay tuned
GanoMan, Before dropping the gas tank, did you ever get a chance to do the "tests" suggested in post #332?
If so, what were the results?

I was trying to see if you might be having fuel pump issues... or possibly a kink in the fuel line somewhere between the engine and the gas tank.
 

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Discussion Starter #337
Hey Tacocaster! Glad to see the extra support for GanoMan!... and good call out!


GanoMan, Before dropping the gas tank, did you ever get a chance to do the "tests" suggested in post #332?
If so, what were the results?

I was trying to see if you might be having fuel pump issues... or possibly a kink in the fuel line somewhere between the engine and the gas tank.
I will do that tests tonight and report back tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter #338
Before I start running these tests I have a question. Will these tests work for me if i don't have the car in gear? Because I can rev the car in park and it never sputters.
 

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Mike - 74 Nova Baltimore, MD
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Yes, you should leave the car in Park... I'm more interested in seeing what your fuel pressure is doing during these test.
 
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Discussion Starter #340 (Edited)
So there isn't a change in the fuel pressure when I remove the cap. And no change when I rev the car up.

I will buy a new gas cap anyways.

Will finish the separate fuel tank test tomorrow.
 
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