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The 351w in my 69 mach got rebuilt(bored .030 over). Im talking about new pistons, bearings, plugs, gaskets, valves, rings, etc. etc...Everything except rods and crank, and as far as the heads go, only the valves were changed and the valve seats. The cam is a clevite RV cam with the same specs as the edelbrock performer.(I didnt change the springs b/c I was told i did not need to. the stock springs are 1.47 in. OD and I cant remember the ID right now)....I live in El Salvador, so I had to go to the states for 5 days basically to buy the parts for the rebuild. Now, I´ve waited for a little bit over two years now to drive this car, I´ve never driven it.

So the mechanic finally after 3 months, puts the engine back together and into the car. When it comes time to start it....guess what????....IT WONT START!!!!!!!!!!!!He said the electrical system and ignitioin system were OK and there was gasoline in the carb which should be enough for it to fire up. So he said maybe it was the cam timing, he checked it, and it was OK(it was right on the mark). now he says it may be the new valve seats that are not holding the compression, but hasn´t checked it because he would rather work on other cars. He changed the timing with the distributor and got to a point where it ALMOST started but it didnt. It only cranks over.
I think Im gonna be sick (like get an ulcer or something), it's only problem after problem after problem....and then some more problems after problems after problems...I know it´s not easy to rebuild an engine or restore one of these babies...but i just cant take it anymore. :(
So pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease share your wisdom with me and tell me what could be wrong with the car. WHy do you think it´s not firing up? What things should I check to see if it finally works??? ::
 

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You could check the compression - that would possibly tell you if it is valve problem.

It may be that the carb just isn't delivering fuel in a usable dose. You might want to do a search on tuning, and go over the carbs' settings.

If it almost started once or twice, then you are probably getting spark, and it is either the timing, or carb. (Just my opinion.)

John Harvey
 

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1) Check the compression with a compression gauge. You should have something like 120-150 pounds of pressure, peak, in each cylinder
2) Check for a spark. (Remove a plug and connect it to the wire, hold it against the block with an insulated tool like a screwdriver as someone cranks the engine.)
3) Use a shot of starting fluid into the carburetor to see if it catches - if it catches and runs for a moment, you have a fuel problem
 

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One of the most common problems in situations such as yours, is the distributor being off 180*.

I'd verify that first. Then move on to the other possibilites.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
From what I saw and what he told me, the carb is connected to the fuel pump, but the fuel pump connected to an empty tank of gas. He said he filled the carb bowl with fuel when he cleaned it, but that should be enough fuel to get it to fire. I think he even put some fuel into the carb and still it wouldnt start. Do you think maybe he needs to hook the fuel pump to some source of fuel for it to fire up??? You have no idea how much money my dad has spent on this car and I feel guilty about it not working. I've spent a lot of money too and it´s not a good feeling if it has been spent in vain. Im sure everyone agrees with that.
 

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I think your mechanic is less than a stellar professional. If it wouldn't start, he should have quickly diagnosed some basics before even burdening you with it. I think I would tow the car to a mechanic that gives a $hit.

If it made noises like it wanted to start when he moved the timing around, he probably has it off 180 degrees, or the wrong firing order. It's possible that the RV cam installed has a 289 firing order instead of the 351. Just a couple of "thots". Good Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
He told me he checked the compression but all he got was 50-70 lbs. because the instrument did not fit correctly in the spark plug hole and he could feel air coming out of it when he crancked the engine...he also poured some fuel into the carb and it did not fire, so he says it´s not a carb problem
 

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If there's gas in the carbs fuel bowl, it should start and run for about a minute before it will run out of fuel. Or, you can splash a bit of gas into the carb and it should fire up for about 3 seconds before it dies.

Your engine needs 3 things to run:

1. Fuel
2. Spark
3. Compression

If you car is making no compression, it will not run. I had that problem when I rebuilt my engine and adjusted my rocker arms wrong...but with your stock heads I don't think that's an issue. I'd lean towards an ignition problem...probably a timing issue....maybe the distributor out of position as others have hinted at.

If all else fails, let's send Sanborn down there with his baseball bat to have a "talk" with your mechanic. I'd come with him...as I've never seen the inside of a Central American Jail...but 2004 looks to be all full up for me :D

Phil
 

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Make sure the spark plug firing order are on the distributer COUNTER clockwise. That is what it sounds like to me. It is a real quick check and you can do it by looking yourself if you have the firing order. If you don't have the firing order someone here will have it. Check that first!!!! it is the easiest
 

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JCC,

Start with the timing. Check number 1 cylinder at TDC (top dead center) Make sure you are on the compression stroke (Both valves closed) You can remove cylinder #1 spark plug and cover up the hole with your thumb. Have someone tap the motor over in increments until the compression starts to blow your finger off of the hole. Once you are at that point click the starter until the timing pointer is on TDC on the harmonic balancer. You should now be real close to TDC on cylinder #1. Now remove the distributor cap and make sure the rotor is pointing to the wire that you removed from #1 cylinder. You may have to rotate the distributor or move the wires. Once you have #1 squared away. Install the rest of the wires in the proper firing order rotation. Once all the wires have been checked. Add a small amount of fuel down the carb and try to start it!

Good Luck! ::
 

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If your so called mechanic didn't assemble the compression and oil rings corectly then your not gonna have much compression either.
 

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Everyone here has told you very valid ideas to try, but I cannot believe that no one mentioned cylinder wash down. I have had five cars since I have been doing this kind of work have it. If your mechanic did not oil the rings and cylinder walls liberally with oil on a new rebuild, and now you keep dumping fuel down the carburetor, well that car is just never going to start if this is the case. Your compression is down and you persist in trying to start it, and that just keeps compounding the problem. Pull a spark plug out and see if it is very wet, as I suspect you and your mechanic have dumped more fuel down the carburetor than you realize. After you have checked everything that the previous posters have told you, and it all checks out good. As Hoosier Buddy stated you need Fuel, Spark and Compression. And it sounds as though you do not have compression. If the car is turning over very easy and fast then it could be wash down. Any how its worth a try. I have done it two different ways. One way is to remove each spark plug and squirt a good amount of oil in each cylinder (About as much volume as would fit in a hollowed out golf ball) Put it back together and try it out. The oil your putting in the cylinders should bring your compression way up. If this is your problem, the car will start very quickly. The car will also smoke for a bit but that will clear it self up. The second way is faster but can result in damage to the valves if done incorrectly... come to think of it; I dont think I will tell you the second way, unless you ask me too. Hey, your at your wits end... its worth a try.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
He tried putting some oil throught the spark plugs and it didnt start...I dont know how much oil he put in there though...I`ll ask him today. I`ve checked everything you guys have mentioned and tried everything and still it wont start...I figure it`s probably gonna end up being some small stupid thing...hopefully.
What else do you think might be causing the engine not to fire up??? We`re getting a decent compression tester tha will fit to see how much compression it has..

Thanks for your help guys..I really appreciate it.
 
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