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Discussion Starter #1
Well today I was driving down the road and suddenly it sounded like my transmission dropped out. So we pushed it to the side and looked at it. It won't start but everytime you turn it over it kinda starts and has a grinding sound.

Could it be the timing chain?

It has 95,000 miles on the engine and I believe its never been changed.

Thanks,
Dude
 

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So it will turn over? Might check that your distributor didn't move. I had a distributor that would get loose every time I got to around 3000 rpms and then it would retard the timing and I'd have no power. Once the engine actually died because it moved so much. Put a new one and no problems since.

What kind of grinding noise? Where is it coming from? Front of the engine? Back of the engine? Left bank? Right bank?

Matt
 

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Discussion Starter #3
SuperNova69 said:
So it will turn over? Might check that your distributor didn't move. I had a distributor that would get loose every time I got to around 3000 rpms and then it would retard the timing and I'd have no power. Once the engine actually died because it moved so much. Put a new one and no problems since.

What kind of grinding noise? Where is it coming from? Front of the engine? Back of the engine? Left bank? Right bank?

Matt
My distributor is tight. It sounds like its coming from the front of the engine.

I had to have a tow truck come get me and tow it to my house :(. Embarrasing lol.

Thanks for replying,
DuDe
 

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You could check the chain by getting #1 cylinder to TDC and looking at the rotor to see if it's still pointed at #1 on the cap. If the timing is off the engine could misfire and cause the starter to kick back and make funny noises. RM
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Real McCoy said:
You could check the chain by getting #1 cylinder to TDC and looking at the rotor to see if it's still pointed at #1 on the cap. If the timing is off the engine could misfire and cause the starter to kick back and make funny noises. RM
Would it just randomly make a noise and die though? And if im trying to start it how would the starter kick back and make the noise while its turning over?
 

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Yes to both questions. RM
 

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You say it starts for a second and then dies? If I'm understanding this, then it doesn't sound like your chain is broken. If it's really old, it might have jumped a tooth. You might try moving the distributor while trying to start the engine.

Matt
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It doesnt always start for a second. I just went out there a little bit ago and tried it and it started for like half a second and then died. I will try moving the distributor around if I have time tomorow. Stupid school finals and final projects :(.
 
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If the timing chain set is stock GM, the upper sprocket has a plastic coating on the teeth. Very high mileage sets can shred the plastic off the sprocket and cause timing issues for both the cam and ignition.

First thing I'd do is check the timing with a timing light, vacuum advance disconnected and line plugged. You can do this by setting the timing light up as usual, then cranking the engine over with the starter motor, reding the timing scale.

Might post the results here.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The timing light I have just blinks the light when it goes around. Do I have to get a more advanced light?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well I mean mine doesn't have like a place where it has number or anything it just plugs on battery and light blinks. There is no place to read anything. It was the cheapest one :p
 

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Yeah that's how they work. It blinks when the spark plug it's connect to fires. Hook it to the number one plug, point it at the balancer and look for a white line to show up. It should like up with the 10º mark on the tab for a good starting point.

Matt
 

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Just bring #1 cylinder to TDC and check the rotor position. If it lines up right, it's not the chain.
 

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Real McCoy said:
Just bring #1 cylinder to TDC and check the rotor position. If it lines up right, it's not the chain.
And incase you don't know how to do this, take the frontmost spark plug out of the block on the driver's side. Stuff a paper towel in the hole and try to start the engine. When the paper towel blows out of the hole, go look at the balancer. Get the line on the balancer lined up with the zero on the timing tab. Then, follow the spark plug wire for the plug you removed all the way to the cap. Mark or remember which post it goes to and remove the cap. The metal part on the rotor should be pointing towards that same post. It may be off by a bit (maybe a centimeter?) depending on your timing, but it should be pretty close.

Matt
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Well I got it to tdc and the distributor was off 180 degrees, pulled the water punmp and everything and the timing chain was loose. Pulled the gear and the plastic is all ripped off and the teeth are grinded down. Replacing the gears and chain with a double chain set-up :).

Could anything have messed up in the engine while it breaking down or trying to start it a few times?
 
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