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Discussion Starter #1
i removed my temp sender to replace it and coolant shot out all over the middle and driver side in engine bay. i dried up the best i could but now it wont start. are there any places i should take extra drying care of? i tried to start and it wont catch and it smells like something burning.. not a gas burning smell. more like maybe electrical or rubber.
 

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You shouldn't be smelling anything electrical burning. Unless you were cranking the starter for excessive periods of time... If there was coolant (anti-freeze) in the system you need to wipe all of it off. It won't simply evaporate as plain water does. If there's motor oil in the wet mess it will not disappear by itself. As stated above remove the distributor cap and rotor to make sure it's dry. Unplug the spark plug wires at the cap and make sure they are completely dry and clean. Pull the wires off any spark plugs that might have gotten wet and dry the entire wire.
 

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Coolant has a sweet smell to it. It should not smell like burning electrical.

There is about a 99% chance you got the plug wires or coil wet. Pull the plug wires off the cap and coil and make sure the terminals on the wires and the terminals on the cap and coil are dry.. Pull the cap and make sure its dry inside. It's hard to get antifreeze to evaporate completely so spray it out of there with a little brake clean. Hopefully you did not flood the engine with gas while trying to start it or you might need to pull the spark plugs out too.

One of the tricks I used for not draining the coolant when replacing temperature sending units was to loosen the radiator cap. Then squeeze the upper radiator hose as flat as you can and without releasing the squished hose tighten the radiator cap. The hose should stay in that flattened position because the cap Will not let any air in. As its trying to reinflate to its normal position, with the cap on, it creates a vacuum in the coolant system. For just a second as you remove the coolant sensor the coolant is under that vacuum, preventing it from running out. If your fast and lucky you can get the new sensor in before the vacuum wears off and the coolant starts pouring out.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
i took the plugs out and dried them. doesnt look like anything got into the distributor but i tried to wipe it anyway. it looks like a lot got on the carb with the air cleaner off. there were some puddles all around that area and a lot leaked down the side all over the oil filter and fuel pump area
 

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Back to Engine Basics 101. Are you getting a spark while trying to start it? Connect a timing light, pull the coil wire out of the distributor cap and hold it near a ground, put an inline spark checker between the distributor cap and the coil wire- whichever you have the equipment to do. There's no use cranking on the starter continuously if you have no spark.
 

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Thinking the wet issue is not the issue. If you smell something burning you need to track it down.
Check connections on the ignition switch, the coil, the solenoid, the distributor, and the starter.
 

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You need to pull the wires off the cap and dry their ends, not just dry the inside and outside of the cap. If that doesn't work its time to check for spark at the coil wire and then the plug wires. If it has a nice blue spark it should start unless your looking at a coincidence and something else just happened to fail. It has happened to many-many time over the years at work and it messes with your head. Sometimes it turns out to be nothing you touched. Just the universe screwing with you.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
checked all connections, i have spark, cleaned and replaced plugs and wires and cap, coil. what else?
 

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OK, you have spark. What about fuel? With the air cleaner removed can you move the throttle lever on the side of the carb and see fuel squirting down toward the throttle plates?
 

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Ditto on awhtx… Have you tried shooting starting fluid into the carb? If water got into the system you'll need some extra punch to get it out. You might see some white smoke when it starts, but that's just the water on it's way out of the pipes.
 

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Ditto on awhtx… Have you tried shooting starting fluid into the carb? If water got into the system you'll need some extra punch to get it out. You might see some white smoke when it starts, but that's just the water on it's way out of the pipes.
i don't have any starter fluid. never had to use it. i'll pick some up tomorrow and try it.
 

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Don't overdo the starting fluid as you can easily "lock up" the engine. Have somebody (or use a remote starter switch with the key in the Run position) crank the engine while you shoot very short bursts of the ether into the carb. If you spray too much in there you will hear the starter having trouble turning the crankshaft.
 

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You have spark , you have a carb squirting fuel, the plugs are dry so it should start or try to start?

That only leaves compression or the plugs are firing at the wrong time.

Never underestimate the ability of a coincidence to mess with your head when diagnosis stuff. This might not have anything to do with the coolant. Just for fun put a timing light on it and see what the timing is while cranking the engine? It should be close to the base timing at idle.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
i tried starting fluid. nothing happened. i tried everything. my only guess is timing. but i didnt mess with anything else. could that just get knocked out of whack on its own? my balancer doesn't seem to have any markings on it. i think somebody painted it at some point. and its tough to see unless i get under the car. i tried to stick my finger in the first hole and start it until i feel pressure and looked at the rotor but it points at different directions each time i try it. its tough to get it right. i really dont want to tow it to a shop
 

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... it smells like something burning.. not a gas burning smell. more like maybe electrical or rubber.
I still think this is your issue. It may be coincidence that this burning smell happened at the same time you removed the sender, or maybe the coolant landed on one of the many electrical components under the hood and shorted something out.
Your timing would not have been affected unless, by some freakishness your distributor bolt was loose.
If it were wet wires, sure, it wouldn't start because the spark would be arcing across the plug wires, but you wouldn't smell rubber burning.
Something in there is fried. You need to track it down. Ignition switch - starter relay - coil - alt - dist - VR... I'm probably missing something but, start tracking.
 
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