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253 wont start after running fine

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by anf355, Apr 5, 2019.

  1. anf355

    anf355 New Member

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    Yep so took the old VB for a quick squirt, ran it for around 15 mins, engine temp was 185 (85)
    car running smooth, no pinging, topped up petrol, added some valve saver (maybe a little more than I should have) had car idling for 5 minutes at petrol station, drove 5 mins down the road to a mates house, let car sit for 15 mins, tried to start when leaving and no go.

    starter spinning easy, I checked fuel line, seems to be a lot of pressure when removing fuel line to carby, (thats when car not turning over). I'm getting spark on 2 of the leads I checked, I tried an aerosol starter and fuel down the carby but still no luck.

    I noticed when putting fuel down carby (2 barrel holley 350) there was a bit of white smoke out the exhaust like a smoking gun. Doesn't smell rich like it flooding and we tried for around 15 minutes to start it.

    I noticed when trying to start it, it seemed like the carby was hot, like smokey but not.

    No knocking noises, when turning, water and oil levels good. One plug was a little loose but looked functional.

    Car has been running fine, not missing, its an old engine, purchased car 6 months ago, ran rough initially but I upgraded ignition system and runs great, I only drive it once a week for 15-20 mins at a time and start it 3-4 times a week usually. ive never had starting issues like this, it refuses to even sound like starting.

    White smoke, could it be water from cracked head or gasket?

    Could too much valve saver be the issue?

    Timing chain?

    My distributor is not tight tight, but tight enough, as I was adjusting the timing a while back but its been like that for a while, never had problems before. I should check rotor on number 1.

    Could the carburettor be to hot, evaporating fuel before getting in, can that happen, but straight fuel down the carb should start it yes? Also I should see fuel out exhaust if flooded?

    Im completely puzzled on this one.

    any help would be much appreciated, will have to get it towed back home to play with it. Hmmm! hopefully nothing serious.

    thanks for reading

    Anthony
     
  2. krusing

    krusing Active Member

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    Nothing like the old Aussie V8,
    They just kept going, I had one in my 77 LX Torana, still wish I had it now, :oops:
    I got rid of the points, and put electronic ignition in, never missed a beat. ;)
    Doesn't sound to serious, sounds more like flooding, or timing,
    as I have an old Black Hawk Timing Light, that never failed, as I always checked to see if it still timed right, never moved.
    What area are you in Victoria ?
    As there maybe a JC Member that may be able to help.
    If you were around the Bayside area, I would gladly lend you a hand.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2019
  3. anf355

    anf355 New Member

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    Oh thanks man, thats very generous, Im out near Tullamarine Airport, but the car is not to far from home, Ill get it towed for now and see what I can figure out. Maybe in a few days if I get desperate, hehe!

    I keep coming back to the valve saver in my head, I loosely put almost a cap in with only 15 litres of fuel, maybe to much.


    anyway, ill keep playing around

    cheers again
     
  4. 1985VK

    1985VK Well-Known Member

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    Probably flooded. The needle in the carby might be stuck.

    Try starting it in park with the accelerator fully to the floor and crank it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2019
  5. 1985VK

    1985VK Well-Known Member

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    That will not be the cause of a no start problem.
     
  6. Bigfella237

    Bigfella237 Well-Known Member

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    When you say you upgraded the ignition system, was this with the factory HEI dizzy from a later blue motor by any chance?

    And does the car miraculously start again once it cools down?

    If so, my money will be on the ign module on the side of the dizzy. Both my VH's (one 4.2L and the other 5.0L) did this exact same thing... starting perfectly from cold, running smoothly, then once turned off hot and left sit for a short period they had absolutely no spark until the engine cooled right down again.

    The first time I tore my hair out for days trying to find the problem, I didn't have my SL/E at that stage so I only ended up finding it once I swapped the distributor with a mate's car and all of a sudden his car started doing it and mine didn't.

    If you do replace the module, you'll need some thermal paste between it and the alloy housing, if the auto parts don't have it, any decent computer store should.

    Andrew
     
  7. anf355

    anf355 New Member

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    Hmm, very interesting about the module, I think that will be my next avenue after I finish exploring something another possibility.
    Oh also im using a Rai distributor with Bosch Module, pretty new.


    I went back to my mates house with the timing gun thanks for the idea Kruising. while cranking I advanced the timing and it did start, but really rough, once running I retarded the timing again and had it running by ear ok, was a little smoky at first but then seemed almost as usual, I had it idling for around 3 minutes, put in drive and it stalled, almost started again but battery dead, it doesn't seem to like the regular timing setting. I then remembered I put 15 litres of 98 octane just prior at the servo where usually I run 95.

    I'd find it really hard to believe that running a higher octane would cause this issue.
     
  8. 1985VK

    1985VK Well-Known Member

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    What condition is the fuel pump in ?
     
  9. anf355

    anf355 New Member

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    Ooh! dunno. But dumping fuel down the carb throat should have made it start though, wouldn't it? Maybe ill turn it over with fuel line off and see how much comes out.

    Ive considered a fuel lock aswell.
     
  10. anf355

    anf355 New Member

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    Hey ah! today I topped up with low octane 91 to dilute the 98 (just to rule it out) so I got the car running, but really rough, bit of smoke and backfired a few times, let it idle for a bit, its as if it hit a flat spot and later stalled, I started it again, backfired, then I had to advance the timing alot, like 18-20ish I think. It was running better but not perfect, I lifted the base idle so it wouldn't stall in drive.

    I managed to drive it home (10 mins) but I minimised the load to prevent pinging. starts ok now at home but definitely feels out of time, lets of a bit of backfire now if I give it stick.

    Im composing some scenarios in my head,

    Could the higher octane fuel have cleaned out the carby, now its running richer, needing more timing to run? should I try adjust the mixtures and lean it out then bring timing back to 10-12?

    Did something happen to the carby internally?

    Maybe its my ignition. Maybe a coincidence but it all happened after putting in the higher octane 98.

    Ive read a few threads about older carby motorcycles unable to start after running higher octane.

    Hmmm! if anyone can chime in, maybe someone has used carb cleaner and in the past and had to adjust their settings after jets cleaned out.
     
  11. Bigfella237

    Bigfella237 Well-Known Member

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    There's no way a different octane fuel alone could have "cleaned out" a carb, although I'm not sure about any additives that may have been added? It's more likely that a bad batch of fuel fouled something up, or stirred something up in your tank.

    The only thing you can actually "adjust" on a 350 Holley are the IDLE mixture screws on either side of the metering block and the stop screw on the throttle shaft (idle speed adjustment). Everything else requires changing hard parts like jets, power valve, etc. In fact, if you have the idle speed set high enough, you'll find that adjusting the idle mixture screws does next to nothing because fuel is flowing through the main circuit as well as the idle circuit.

    I would suggest you go back to basics and reset your base tune before doing anything else, it sounds like you've been adjusting everything randomly and have no idea where you're at with anything?

    Check the plug gaps and condition, check the condition and attachment of the plug leads and, this may sound silly but, recheck your firing order.

    If you had points you would set the dwell angle next (aka points gap), then set the base timing at idle RPM, then verify that the mechanical advance is working (timing should advance with RPM while the vacuum advance is disconnected), then verify that vacuum advance adds timing when re-connected.

    Also check the timing is stable, Holden V8's with stretched timing chains tend to have the timing jump around, especially while cranking on the starter.

    Then check your float level (verify it isn't too high with the engine off, otherwise you'll pump fuel everywhere, then re-check while idling). You may have a spec of crap holding the needle & seat open and making the carby flood? Do you have a fuel filter inline? Might be worth checking that too.

    {Insert EDIT: If still flooding you may have to remove the float bowl and check that the float still actually floats, I've seen a couple of Holley floats over the years which leak, fill up with fuel and, well, sink}

    Then set your idle RPM, then adjust the idle mixtures and idle speed together (changing idle mixtures will change idle speed). I usually adjust idle mixtures by ear using a length of plastic hose (I shouldn't have to say this but don't stick it all the way in your ear or you'll suck your brains out). With the air cleaner removed, listen to each barrel and adjust the idle screw for that barrel, you'll hear it 'spluttering' when it's too rich, then the sound should 'clean up' when the mixture is about right. I usually leave them just on the clean side of the transition.

    Once you're back on track with the tune, you need to be able to duplicate the original problem, when it happens again, a timing light while cranking will tell you whether you have spark, so it would be useful to carry one with you.

    No matter how complex, any engine only needs three things to run... fuel, compression and ignition... all delivered at the right time of course. It's a simple process of elimination.

    Andrew
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2019
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  12. 1985VK

    1985VK Well-Known Member

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    If it is back firing it could be there is too much fuel ... like Bigfella suggests it could be a a speck of crap holding the needle & seat open. It might be time to give the carb a service ...
     
  13. anf355

    anf355 New Member

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    Hi Andrew, thanks for the detailed response.

    Well ive checked the rest of the plugs, they are fouled pretty bad, I tried burning the carbon deposits off them then cleaned them with degreaser, car actually didn't do any better after that, think they're still rough.

    Ive read holley pdf, as recommended I wound idle mixtures all the way in then 1 & 1/2 back out for each screw, still ran bad. Whenever I get the distributor near 10 degrees it just backfires and dies.

    So tomorrow was planning on confirming Number one on TDC with 1 lead, replace plugs and fuel filter to be sure. The leads, plugs,coil and distributor are only 50-70kms old.

    Can I adjust my timing with just the car cranking by starter to get it back on 10 degrees? will need an assistant. I am considering syphoning the tank in case of bad fuel, dislodged debris or condensations.

    yes, during the incident I made some random adjustments to get the car home. Until a month or so ago it was running really rich but I had made some adjustments to the timing, idle mixture, after that I didnt need choke on cold start, warm start didnt need accelerator, car was emitting less fumes and I had more power and it always started first kick.

    I just cant believe it ran so good then after a 10 minutes drive from getting fresh fuel it just refused to start and now these issues, its been so reliable.

    hey thanks again everyone, its been helpful.
     
  14. 1985VK

    1985VK Well-Known Member

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    The 2 barrel varajet has a very fine mesh conical filter at the base of the fuel inlet. Does the Holley 350 have one and if it does has it been checked for debris?
     
  15. anf355

    anf355 New Member

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    Didn't know about this, ill check it out. thanks. Ill be moving to the carb next.

    Cheers!
     
  16. Bigfella237

    Bigfella237 Well-Known Member

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    Holley carbs do have a strainer of sorts under the big nut where the fuel line goes into the float bowl, but a lot of them get removed when fitting a decent quality in-line fuel filter.

    [​IMG]

    However if that was blocked you'd be starving for fuel, not flooding.

    Andrew
     
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  17. anf355

    anf355 New Member

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    If I used an aerosol starter or fuel directly down the throat of the carby and it didn't start the car, would that remove the carby from the equation?

    Ive replaced the Dizzy with a brand new cheap ebay model which was given to me with the car and new plugs but still no luck. Im gonna try get my hands on a coil and coil lead just to rule that out.

    If someone could clear this up for me, if the timing chain did stretch on start up, would this have retarded the cam cycle and only allow the car to start up with the ignition advanced so high? (mind you, when it does run that high it sounds awful. Is that my clue?

    If it is a stretched chain, id need to replace and dial in the cam with the crank again?

    Sorry for the noob questions, I never delved this deep into the mechanical side of things with my last motor.

    Cheers for all the input.
     
  18. Bigfella237

    Bigfella237 Well-Known Member

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    Timing chains generally stretch over time, not all of a sudden. With slack in the timing chain the cam tends to 'whip' forward and backward, as the lifters go over a lobe it will tend to advance until the slack in the chain takes up, then it stops momentarily until the crankshaft takes up the slack on the other side of the chain and the whole cycle begins again.

    As I said earlier, the slower the engine is turning over the worse this is, so it's most prevalent while cranking on the starter motor. I've seen this on high-mileage engines that ran fine but were getting increasingly difficult to start over the space of months. If I watched the marks on the harmonic balancer with a timing light while cranking, I'd see the ignition timing bouncing around all over the place because, of course, the distributor is driven off the cam so anything that changes cam timing also changes ignition timing.

    A timing light is an invaluable diagnostic tool in situations like this, if you pickup from the coil lead you'll get 4 flashes per engine revolution. If you pickup from each plug lead it will only flash once every second engine revolution. On a Holden V8, cylinders 1 & 4 will fire at Top Dead Centre (TDC) or 0° (plus however much advance you've set), cylinders 2 & 5 will fire around 90°, cylinders 6 & 7 will fire around 180°, and cylinders 3 & 8 around 270° (of course you need a harmonic balancer with degree marks all the way around to see this).

    And obviously if the timing light doesn't flash at all it's a good sign that you have no spark whatsoever!

    Andrew
     
  19. anf355

    anf355 New Member

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    Andrew thanks for your detailed responses, very informative, also to everyone else. I haven't had much time to touch the car due to work demands and will be away on holidays soon for some a while. In time I hope to solve the issue, once I have I will update my results to the thread.

    Thanks again.
     
  20. 1985VK

    1985VK Well-Known Member

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    Yes, but if the strainer was missing then debris could get into the carb and may have a spec of crap holding the needle & seat open and making the carby flood as per your post above. It is worth checking out.
     

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