Author Topic: 1973 351 2V Cleveland Won't Start  (Read 4797 times)

a_eagles

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 4
  • Gender: Male
  • Mustang: 1973 Convertible
  • Location: Toronto
1973 351 2V Cleveland Won't Start
« on: September 03, 2010, 12:06:44 PM »
I'm new to this forum and look forward to contributing.  Presently, I have a problem with the engine starting.  Last time I started it, it turned over, fired, started, backfired, stalled and now won't start.  So far I have done the following:

Checked gas to carburator - okay - won't start
Checked spark from plug in first cylynder - white/yellow spark visible - won't start
Installed Pertronex Ignitor and Flame Thrower Coil - won't start
Checked rotor position after cranking on first cylinder - okay
Compression (cold engine) in first cylinder is 115psi - not sure if this is enough or indicative of a timing chain slip - what is the expected compression?  Intend to check the remaining cylinders compression as well.

After all of above, car still won't start. Any ideas of what to try next or what might be wrong are greatly appreciated

Jeff73Mach1

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 471
  • Mustang: 1973 Mach 1
  • Location: Nashville, TN
Re: 1973 351 2V Cleveland Won't Start
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2010, 04:14:42 PM »
If the distributor has been out since it ran properly than it may be installed 180 degrees out

The Piston is at Top Dead Center matching the mark on the balancer TWICE in an ignition cycle.

Easiest way to tell is to turn the engine over (by hand) with the #1 plug removed and your thumb plugging the hole.  When you feel pressure from the cylinder continue to turn the engine over until the timing mark is at "0"

If your timing is 180 degrees out, just move all the wires at the distributor 4 places over in the direction of rotation.

An ignition set up 180 degrees out will run badly and backfire when it will run at all.

115 PSI is a meaningless figure when taken from a cold engine with 7 of the 8 plugs in place.

proper compression for that engine is likely in the 140-150 range with the engine warm and all plugs out and spinning it with a fresh battery.

What you are looking for is a 10% or less variation from the best to the worst cylinder

a_eagles

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 4
  • Gender: Male
  • Mustang: 1973 Convertible
  • Location: Toronto
Re: 1973 351 2V Cleveland Won't Start
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2010, 08:00:22 AM »
Jeff

Thanks for the reply. 

I did the TDC check turning the engine by hand to line up the timing mark on two rotations.   The Rotor position moved 180 degrees on each rotation and on the compression cycle stopped between the #1 and #3 wire lead from distributer. Turned the distributer to adjust rotor position, but with no success starting.  Your advice re compression on cold engine is welcome news.

Car still won't start.   

Jeff73Mach1

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 471
  • Mustang: 1973 Mach 1
  • Location: Nashville, TN
Re: 1973 351 2V Cleveland Won't Start
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2010, 10:28:20 AM »
How long has it been since it ran?  If an extended time, the gas may be bad.  You may need to have the carb rebuilt, but should be able to give it a shot of starting fluid to determine if it is a fuel related problem.

Also you still need to deal with timing.  If it is cranking slow, it is usually retarded.  One easy method if you have a friend available is to loosen the distributor enough to just be able to turn it by hand and then turn it a bit at a time while someone else cranks the engine.  If your gas is bad, you will need to drain the tank, but until then you can run a small tank to the fuel pump and make sure that is the problem.  Since a 73 doesn't have a fuel drain in the tank, draining the tank is a huge pain in the ass if it is full and as expensive as gas is, wasting 10 gallons or more isn't cool.

Was up in your city last month-enjoyed the Brass Rail LOL

a_eagles

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 4
  • Gender: Male
  • Mustang: 1973 Convertible
  • Location: Toronto
Re: 1973 351 2V Cleveland Won't Start
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2010, 10:53:36 AM »
Hey Jeff...Glad to hear you enjoyed Toronto and the Brass Rail is a landmark for sure... I work about 10 minutes from there!

I used the car last Monday which is when the problem started.  Had just filled with 94 octane gas which is what I have always used so that is not likely a problem.  Got stranded with the car when it wouldn't start and had to have it towed home. 
The Holly carb is no more than a year old.

Am going to try putting in new plugs, rotor, cap and wires to complement the Pertronix ignitor and coil switchover I did and see if that works. 



Jeff73Mach1

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 471
  • Mustang: 1973 Mach 1
  • Location: Nashville, TN
Re: 1973 351 2V Cleveland Won't Start
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2010, 11:38:05 AM »
Okay, assuming carburetor and fuel pump/filter are all good then it is likely an ignition or ignition timing issue.

Has it run since you installed the pertronix?  Does your coil have proper voltage?  I know some of the converters require you to run a 12 volt lead instead of the reduced voltage point use.

If you just used the existing wire, you could burn up the module (but doubtful)  If you installed an always hot 12 volt lead you would fry the coil.

I think your timing is off, but your spark could be weak.  I like to see a fat blue spark, though lighting can make seeing a spark clearly difficult.

As I suggested before, I thing a loose distributor and a friend would get it started, simply by turning and listening, if the spark is strong.

Get out a multimeter and start checking voltage, both key on and key off.  Substitute a known good coil if you have one, esp if you had the wiring wrong.

a_eagles

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 4
  • Gender: Male
  • Mustang: 1973 Convertible
  • Location: Toronto
Re: 1973 351 2V Cleveland Won't Start
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2010, 01:47:42 PM »
Jeff

Pretty well tried everything including removing the timing chain cover and lo and behold as you can see in the pics, there is no evidence of a timing chain slip/skip, however there is some slack in the chain and I have ordered a new chain/gear assembly.  Have tried to substitute the coil wire with a new one and it did not work.

To recap, we know we have gas to carb, we have spark which is yellow/white and probably should be blue (I am going to try an in-line spark tester to check all plugs but again, until this happened, no indication of a failure anywhere) rotor and timing chain at TDC appear sound, removed distributer and noted gear and pin are in solid condition.

It has not run since installing pertronix which was done to try and deal with this.  I've heard since that pertronix isn't always the best thing so am thinking about going back to points and condenser until it gets running, then will try pertronix again. 

Definitely perplexing!  Any other thoughts are welcome.

Soaring

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 4279
  • Gender: Male
  • 1965 Mustang coupe 289, '03 Mach1, 03 Lariat
  • Mustang: 1965 coupe 289, and 2003 Mach1
  • Daily driver: '03 Ford F-150 Lariat
  • Location: Wimberley, Texas
Re: 1973 351 2V Cleveland Won't Start
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2010, 02:49:53 PM »
When I first installed my pertronix I left out the rotor.  Wouldn't start.  After slapping myself, I put the rotor on and she fired right up.   ;D

 

+-Navigation

Other languages
ESPANOL
FRANCAIS
Soaring
Soaring
In memory of our moderator Glen Wren AKA Soaring
1943-2011
Links



Dallas Mustang


Menu
LO-FI Version
Mustang classifieds
Muscle car classifieds
Classic Mustang FAQ


Mustangs for sale


Top Posters

Soaring
Posts: 4279
Thierry
Posts: 1379
66GTKFB
Posts: 845
rmodel65
Posts: 681
Jeff73Mach1
Posts: 471

Used Cars for sale - Ford Mustang classifieds - Forum Camaro FR

Powered by EzPortal