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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The HEI wiring harness I got came with a piece I had to splice between the ignition and bulkhead for the distributor. Rookie mistake I made, the piece I had to splice wasn't completely connected to the ignition which I guess was enough to throw me and my dad off because the timing light and spark light worked expected. Thanks for everyone pointing out the wiring.

I learned a valuable lesson today folks, double check that wiring!

Feel free to read the details

I have a 63' Wagon that at one point had it's engine swapped with a 250 from a 1977 C10. When me and my dad bought It a couple months ago it ran like a sick dog.

Since then we replaced the older HEI distributor in it with a new one, bought a new reproduction monojet because the one on it was so unbelievably awful it was unsalvageable, and replaced plugs and fuel pump. We already checked for spark, are positive we have fuel, and we have compression on all cylinders. when we turn the key it cranks really fast but never starts, though it wants to.

we're thinking it might be related to the distributor, it stopped running after we switched it out and we aren't sure if we bought an HEI distributor for a 1963 194 or a 1977 250, or even if it could even be causing issues. We're gonna swap the old one in and see if it changes anything. We're also unsure if it has something to do with the timing in general. We're still unsure though.

We got the car so I could learn off of and be a fun project but I'm but a novice and my dad hasn't tooled on a car in probably 20 years and it has both of us stumped.

Sorry of its a dumb question to ask but it's hard to learn without asking questions. If you need any information I'd happily provide. I might also post this on the C10 forums I'm not sure where to ask.
 

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Cranking fast without firing is often spark related on older cars. Could be the timing is too advanced.

First item, if you are running an HEI distributor it needs 12 volts for power. The stock wire in your '63 (pink) is resistive and provides I think it is 9 volts. Start there. Related, HEI did not debut until the mid '70s. You car originally had points.

Next, you need to make sure the distributor is installed at top dead center on the compression stroke, with the rotor pointing at cylinder #1's terminal on the cap. Check firing order.

I would recommend a book on automotive fundamentals - 1969 Auto Mechanics Fundamentals ~ Martin W. Stockel, Hardcover, SHIPS FREE | eBay

AND the 1962 Chevy II factory shop manual - Passenger Car Shop Manual 1962 Chevy II | eBay
 

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it tries to start while cranking but dies when you let off the key?...is that correct?...
You have the distributor power wired in wrong. Need constant 12v. Run it off the constant 12v on the starter solenoid.
 

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Run these checks:
Locate the hot wire at your distributor. Use a circuit tester light or volt meter to verify you have 12 volt with key on. Should also be 12 volt when you turn key to start position. Have someone watch light or meter when you turn key to start. If reading 12 volts at both key position, voltage connection OK. If not run wire as stated in post #4

Trace your plug wire from number 1 cylinder (first one at front of engine) to distributor. Remove plug and turn crank (can use socket and and pull handle on crank pulley) until piston is top center. Shade tree method is to hold your thumb over the spark plug hold as you are turning crank until you feel the air pressure escaping from that cylinder. Once you feel sure piston is at top, use a piece of tape to mark distributor base (under cap) at the number one wire location of HEI cap. Remove HEI cap and verify rotor is pointing at the location where you put the tape. Also check to see where the mark on the harmonic balance and timing mark tab. They should be in line.

Replace HEI cap, plug, plug wire and she should fire up.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The HEI wiring harness I got came with a piece I had to splice between the ignition and bulkhead for the distributor. Rookie mistake I made, the piece I had to splice wasn't completely connected to the ignition which I guess was enough to throw me and my dad off because the timing light and spark light worked expected. Thanks for everyone pointing out the wiring.

I learned a valuable lesson today folks, double check that wiring!
 
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