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Hi there, I have a 69' Nova I put a 327 into out of a 66 Caprice a while back, I've been dailying the car for a few months now, today I left work at 3, went to a friends, got in my car about 4:30 to go get some food and it won't start now, I've done some work since but now I'm stumped, I've converted from points to HEI, i replaced the rotor as well as the ignition module underneath the rotor, no way the dist spun on me to mess up timing it's tightened down tight, all plugs are on the right plugs wire, the carb is pumping fuel down the intake, I'm at a loss, I've been taught cars run on fuel (check), spark (check), and compression (which not a blown head gasket nor thrown timing chain, no water in oil and that's something I would have heard I feel) so any help is appreciated,
Garrett
 

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What is battery voltage? Is the car trying to fire while cranking then dies? Or does the car try not to run at all?
 

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I've done some work since
Since when. Since it hasn't started or since you put in the motor. Where did you check spark at? Are you 100% sure you have fuel? Looked down the carb to make sure fuel is squirting in, checked a plug to see if it's wet. I always start with the basics. Been tripped up by a fuel gauge that went bad on me while driving. Gauge kept slowly rising as my tank was slowly draining.:confused:
 

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Hey everybody thanks for the replies, yes the rotor is spinning under the cap, I tested spark off of the number 1 wire, kept getting the constant blue spark, I flicked the throttle on the carb and saw the injectors squirt the gas, I could try pulling the plugs to see if their getting gas but where else would the gas be going if it's going down the cab and not leaking out anywhere, as far as battery voltage I'm not 100% sure but the car will crank and crank and crank but just won't fire now
 

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you sure it's not flooded? check condition of a couple spark plugs.

Sure the gas is not bad? Get some fresh gas (non-ethanol) and use a hand sprayer (atomizer) to spray a little in. Keep a fire extinguisher handy as well.

I presume the BLUE spark is while engine is cranking and all the spark plugs are in (IE starter motor is loaded)

Sure your timing chain hasn't jumped?



Hey everybody thanks for the replies, yes the rotor is spinning under the cap, I tested spark off of the number 1 wire, kept getting the constant blue spark, I flicked the throttle on the carb and saw the injectors squirt the gas, I could try pulling the plugs to see if their getting gas but where else would the gas be going if it's going down the cab and not leaking out anywhere, as far as battery voltage I'm not 100% sure but the car will crank and crank and crank but just won't fire now
 

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you sure it's not flooded? check condition of a couple spark plugs.
Yeah pull at least one plug see what's going on. Flooded trying to start and loaded up the plugs? How old are the plugs maybe a new set while you're at it.
 

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I've been dailying the car for a few months now, today I left work at 3, went to a friends, got in my car about 4:30 to go get some food and it won't start now, I've done some work since but now I'm stumped, I've converted from points to HEI,

so any help is appreciated,
Garrett
When this got converted to HEI, do you know how it got wired ?. A possibility is while cranking you may be getting spark but then in the run position the HEI might not be getting power.

Here's how this could happen.

Let's say you have the terminal off of the starter that only has 12V out when the starter motor is cranking and it's connected to the HEI for power. You then might have another wire going to the bulkhead connector that was put in to replace the factory resistance wire. If this is how it was, if the connection would get lost at the bulkhead connector, then the HEI would only be firing the plugs when cranking and then when the key was in the RUN position, the break in a connection to and through the firewall bulkhead connector to the HEI would not allow it to keep firing the plugs.

A quick test is with a meter to see if you do have power on the BAT terminal of the HEI when the key is in the RUN position and the voltage is close to what the battery voltage is. Someone "may" have converted it to HEI, but they might not have removed the resistance wire and before it ran but now maybe there is less available voltage keeping it from running.

Another test too would be to run a fresh wire from the battery positive to the HEI's BAT terminal and see if it runs. This test will not allow the motor to be turned off with the key and power would have to be removed from that wire going to the battery positive.

Jim
 

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The last time I experienced a sudden problem like this, a lose timing chain jumped a few teeth when trying to start. You might want to see if your distributor rotor is pointing to the correct plug contact on the cap.
 

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I've seen 2 HEI equipped cars do what you describe, and both times it was the rotor. Both had pin holes burned though the metal pointer before the tip, allowing the spark to jump at random places. It was very hard to see, but enough to keep them from starting. Was the rotor you installed new?
 

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Ahh troubleshooting, fun fun. Let's cut it in half first. Ignition timing.or fuel.

You got a blue spark so let's assume the module and coil are functioning for now.

So now we're left with fuel delivery. You see some fuel. Is it enough or too much? Check the pressure.

I think I know what's wrong because i had a similar experience with this newer gas nowadays. The gas heats up easier and boils out of the carb bowls and drains into the intake manifold causing two problems, flooded engine and a starved empty carb.

Edelbrock makes a heat soak spacer, about 1/4" thick. Mine wouldn't start after it warmed up. I had Edelbrock carb and HEI. After I put in that stupid little spacer all my problems went away.

If it's flooded you can hold it full throttle while cranking to give it a large gulp of air to compensate for the excessive fuel. Hope that helps you or anybody else.
 

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Make sure you have spark at the plugs . If not check coming out of the cap. Work your way back. Since you said you changed to hei make sure you have 12v to the distributor. If the resistor is still in place you might be getting 8 or 9 v.
Once you are sure you have spark make sure the timing is right . If you did not set the new distributor in the at the same position, it wont start. Make sure the cap is not 180°off. Then go to the fuel system. Make sure you are getting gas to the carb. If you are then make sure the carb is clean on the inside.
 
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