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Engine still not starting, but I'm calmer

976 Views 8 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  HoosierBuddy
Well, I got the oil pump in and working, got the driveshaft in too.
But all I need to do is get the darn car started. I'm not as scared as last week because I at least have lubrication in the cylinders.
here's what I know:
1) I have spark to the plugs, I pulled one and watched it spark as I cranked the engine.
2) I put fuel into the fuel filter canister
3) put some fuel into the carb to get it 'primed'.
4) pretty sure the distributor is set up on the right 'tooth'

What I don't know:
1) unsure about the fuel pump working. Even though i had it rebuilt, I don't see fuel going into the carb. But with the fuel I put in, i would expect to at least get a hint of turnong over.
2) not sure still about the rally pac wiring. I swear I needed to have that hooked up (when the car worked years ago) to start the car. I have the rally pac wiring diagram, but would rather not use the rally pac just yet because the clock is being repaired. (did I need the clock wires plugged in too)

As usual, any ideas are appreciated. I think if I soon don't get it started, I might have to break down and pay someone to take a look at it.
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· Registered
4,464 Posts
I know you said you think the distributer is on the right "tooth", but I'd make sure you don't have it off 180degrees... Seems to be a common mistake that people do. Is it pointing at the #1 wire at top dead center?

See my 69 convertible and the VMF parking lot at:

· Registered
2,155 Posts
Guess I missed an earlier post. Working from this one I'd have to ask first if it fired at all when you tried to crank it? Did it pop and spit and backfire, or just nothing?

Love hard, drive fast, wear your seat belt.

PS, that's my 'bird...... My Mustang is too ugly to take pictures of yet........*G*.

Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You guys have to bear with me. Here's what I did (based on what I was told by a guy I work with... but he is a chevy guy)
I got the number 1 cylinder to the top by turning the crankshaft pulley. he told me to check it but inserting something into the sparkplug hole and seeing if the cylinder was 'touchable", and it was.
Again, I use the hole in the middle of the vacuum advance as my reference here: If you stand in front of the carfacing the engine, that hole is at about 7 o clock (which is where the number 1 cylinder is).
Someone on the newsgroup said I couldn't use the vacuum advance as a guide, but I never removed it from my distributor when it worked. So I am assuming by using that as my guide I am ok.

· Registered
10,537 Posts
Have you checked to make sure the spark is getting to #1 at TDC on the compression stroke?

If you pull the #1 plug (you should leave all the plugs out while checking the initial timing to make it easier on the battery, starter and engine) and bump the engine over with your finger over the hole, when the engine comes up on the compression stroke, the rush of air will make it impossible to hold your finger down...(this also happens at TDC on the exhaust stroke, but because the valve is open, you should be able to hold your finger down) can slowly and carefully crank the engine by hand with your finger or another unbreakable object protruding through the hole to determine approximate TDC by feel....then look at your timing mark on the damper and see if it aligns closely with the timing pointer on the cover...

Once you've determined TDC compression #1 by your finger and the timing mark, pull off the distributor cap and see where the rotor is it pointing at #1 cap post? If so, hook up your light on #1 plug wire and crank the engine and see where the strobe indicates on the damper...should be slightly to the right of TDC...maybe 4-8 degrees.

If that's good, make sure your plug wires are installed correctly....CCW from #1, they should go 5 4 2 6 3 7 8 ...
Then make sure they're going to the correct banks on the engine, the 1-4 bank being on the passenger side of the car (US)...

Let's get this one nailed down first before moving on to fuel....

Post back with confirmation of this step...


Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ah, no I did not check the spark at number 1. I will try to do this as my next step. And do the other things you recommend.
I will try to post back soon.

· Premium Member
18,946 Posts
(1) Location of vacuum port on distributer is meaningless. I rotated by wires 1 spot over when I ran out of room while advancing my dizzy. I rotated the entire dizzy 45*, then moved the wires over one notch. Fired right up. Your vacuum advance hole would move accordingly with the dizzy body. What this means is that where the rotor is facing when #1 cylinder is TDC is where #1 spark plug wire has to be...the rest fall in place.
(2) The ralley pac tach just hooks inbetween the wire from the ignition to the coil. The car will run just fine with the tach out of the circuit. I know, my tach is now being repaired, and the car runs fine without it. Just make sure the appropriate wires are hooked up (male to female). me check your shorts! My multimeter is just a-waiting! Formerly known as Midlife in the old VMF.
King of the Old Farts *struts*

· Super Moderator
8,648 Posts
I got my 1st doffus award (one of many) by hooking up my spark plug wires wrong. As an ex-GM guy, I just went off the firing order shown on the intake and hooked everything up. Major problem is, GM numbers their V8's different than Ford. GM has the cylinders numbered front to back so 1, 3, 5, and 7 are on one side and 2,4,6, and 8 are on the other. Ford's (as any idiot would know) are 1,2,3, and 4 down the passenger side and 5,6,7,8 down the driver's side (I didn't say that backwards, did I?). And bear in mind the distibutor turns counter-clockwise. Just a couple of random thoughts.


'65 Convertible (with many mods.)
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