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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
WARNING, WARNING, very long story.

I marked a spot on the harmonic balancer that should be 36* and got it timed (guess it is locked).

Shut the motor down and started to tidy things up in the engine bay and clipped a piece of tie strap off, and it just had to fall into the alternator :mad: I could possibly get it with a tweezers as it was just sticking out a little, but nope, just pushed it all the way in :slap:

Took the alternator out, shook it, and shook it...... it just would not fall out. So I take the four bolts out to take it apart, and just when I split it, the piece falls out. Figures......anyway, put it back together and hear a snap :confused: , maybe just binding a little? Anyways I put it back in.

Start the car back up and decide to take it for a spin around the block, first time since tearing it down to the short block, and first time this year :D . I did notice the gen light was lightly glowing on and off. I go around the block and halfway around I decide to goose it a little and...... up comes the hood all the way! :eek: Need to almost stick my head out to make sure it was safe to pull over and not sideswipe a parked car :bored:

The dip***** that I am, had forgotten to close the hood all the way before pulling out of the garage. :rotfl: Okay, get out and try and close it. Not going to happen, it pulled it out of alignment and is binding. Now I need to drive with it a third of the way up for half a block. Take it easy and made it home safe.

I leave the car running to see if she will get hot, had overheating problems last year when idling, but added an electric aux fan this spring and she held fine, so I shut it off.

Get the hood aligned again and go to start it again and a loud clank, pause, another clank. It would not start! :beat: I was hoping it was not hydro locked or something hit. Take all plugs out and they look kind of sooty, but not too bad, none are all that wet. Number one had a little oil on the threads though, but not on the rest. Never had hard starting problems before.. :confused:

A while had passed while dinking around with it. Try to start it again and clank, clank, vroom...... it starts again!:D Better get it in the garage :yes:

Park it, then shut it down and notice that the batteries negative terminal was smoking a little. Not good. I go to touch it and it was hot! I let it cool off and notice that there was a little anti-freeze near each of the terminals from when some spilled out off the radiator the day before. I clean it off then decided to sand off the spot where the battery was grounded to the motor as it was freshly painted and maybe the ground was not good. I then tapped the hole to make sure there was not too much paint in it to make a good contact.

Hmmm.... I wonder if it was running off of the battery and not the alternator and that is why the gen light was lightly glowing on and off. I did hear that snap when putting it back together.

I take the alternator out again and take it apart....again. Sure enough, I had broken a piece of one of the brushes off the first time. I go to fix the problem and can not figure out how to keep the brushes in when putting it back together.

I had noticed a neighbor a few houses down had one of his street rods out, why not ask if he knew the trick. This guy has a 40's buick convertible that he has fabricated so many things for. He put a mid 90's caprice frame, well the front and rear part of, the middle he made himself, under the car and put an LT1 in it. I could right a dozen paragraphs on what he had shown me, all I can say is the man has some INCREDIBLE talent! :yes:

Anyways, he told the the paperclip trick, go and put it back together after launching the springs a couple of times and lucky enough to find them. I go to start the car up to see if the gen light was off, and sure enough, that problem is solved.

Go to take a few more spins around the block with the wife and gas was real low, so better go get some. Do I take the risk of it not starting again? Sure, why not live life dangerously :rolleyes:.

I pull up to a very long stop line and was watching the temp, it looks fine, oh wait, huh? Climbed from around 190 all the way up to 220 in two seconds. Better turn around now! It then starts to drop as I start to move. I forgot to fill the cooling system all the way up, only about 3/5 full in the radiator and never did lift the front end up to try and get rid of air bubbles. Dummy....

Fill up with gas, go to start it, clank, clank, oh snip..... vroom.... Whew... Better head home. Get home and back into the garage, then shut it off.

I decided to try and start it, clank, clank..... nothing. Did I lock up the starter? Better let it cool off.

Hour later, tried it again. Nothing. Dash lights on, but no sound at all from the starter. No clicks, or anything.

Dang....... what did I do now.......

why do I have a muscle car again :popcorn:

edit: should this be in drivetrain, electrical, or 3rd gen, bs section?
Just need ideas as to what might have happened.
 

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I'll offer my opinion but will take flak from the timing experts that figure a welder is a timing tool.

It's not going to run right without a timing curve, it'll start hard when hot and overheat easily at idle. Get the centrifugal unlocked and use a curve. Using vacuum advance will also lower your idle temps dramatically.

The starter is grunting against the pistons being forced back down before they reach TDC, or the NORMAL 8-16° most motors like. Well those that don't live in a black hole where all logic and laws of physics break down.
 

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Sounds to me like you need to find a trailer and haul it over to my house for the meeting/BBQ tomorrow Bill, I'm sure we can figure out the problem:yes:
 

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In order to keep those brushes in there is a little hole in the back you stick a coat hanger wire through to hold them in while you assemble it. Once its back together you pull the wire out and the brushes fall into place. It took me a while to figure it out lol.
 

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Doh just read the rest of your post. Any ways I too have wondered at times why i have an old car but even when its just sitting in the driveway just dead (sorta) i can't help but thinking....Damn thats a HOT car and this motivates me. It's wierd sorta. :D
 

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Yea with all that timing its too much for the starter to overcome when hot. You can:

1) get a distributor with an advance curve

2) unlock yours and set it up for an advance curve

3) MSD makes a start retard module you wire to the MSD and the starter so when cranking it pulls out 20* of timing so the car starts up(I have that set up in my car with the crank trigger distributor and 38* timing)

4) hook the ignition to a toggle switch so you can crank the engine over and then flip the switch so the ign fires and car starts(nascar style)

just some ideas.
 

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it'll start hard when hot and overheat easily at idle
Mine starts just fine 99% of the time, if it's real hot outside and doesn't spin right away, I switch the power off and spin it up then flip the switch on.
And I can idle all day under 180°
 

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I think with a 2800 stall you're going to want to run some kind of advance curve. Unless you have a really long winded cam. That wouldn't make sense though with that low of a stall speed.
 

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I think with a 2800 stall you're going to want to run some kind of advance curve. Unless you have a really long winded cam. That wouldn't make sense though with that low of a stall speed.
I agree, if your converter has a low stall rpm then you should run a mechanical advance. Locked out is for racing or people that are too lazy to tune the advance curve.. :D

A good article to read
http://www.gnetworks.com/v4files/barrygrant/Ign%20timingwithimages.pdf
Correctly timed ignition will cause peak cylinder pressures to occur around 12- to 15-degrees after TDC. If the peak cylinder pressure is reached too early, power will be lost as the piston fights to compress the burning air/fuel mixture. Detonation may also occur which can lead to engine failure. Conversely, if peak pressure is reached after the 12- to 15-degree range, energy is wasted and dispersed through the exhaust system as heat.
-Dan
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Sounds to me like you need to find a trailer and haul it over to my house for the meeting/BBQ tomorrow Bill, I'm sure we can figure out the problem:yes:
I would like that, but have no trailer, and don't know anyone with one. That is why I have never been to a drag strip :(

Thanks for all the suggestions guys. I ordered an HEI with adjustable vacuum advance, just need to wait until it arrives.

Yeah, originally when I bought the car, it had a 4000rpm stall converter and I swapped it out for a 2800. I guess I should have bought a car closer to stock if I just wanted to cruise it, but did the impulse buy...... oh it has a 454, 4.10 with a posi....okay, I'll buy it!:D

thanks again guys

edit: I tried it again this morning and nothing happens. The starter does not spin or even click. I will need to crawl under and see if it is locked up engaged, or ? I am starting to think I killed my starter. :( Time to find a high-torque mini-starter.
 

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You might want to check your battery first. Maybe it still isnt charging correctly and is just low on amps. If you have a battery charger, hook it up to the battery and see if it will turn over then.

-Dan
 
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