No start

Tiny
CIGARWILKI
  • MEMBER
  • 1969 FORD MUSTANG
  • 5.8L
  • V8
  • RWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 50,000 MILES
Hello and thanks for reading this.

I have a 1969 Mustang 351w 4 valve. I recently experienced stalling and shutting down at a stop sign. When car cooled it started and ran for another mile (thankfully to my driveway) then stalled and shut down again. I allowed it to cool and visually inspected everything with no faults found. I was able to start it one more time from cold and it ran only long enough to get in the garage. It has not started since.

There is spark from coil to dist, and on the plug wires. After troubleshooting a few things I discovered my old beat up carb was leaking from several places so I swapped it for a new one (will rebuild it later). There is fuel going to the new carb. Jets shoot gas when I manually operate the lever.

I replaced plugs because they were fowled from previously running too rich. The car previously idled higher than it seemed it should. I don't have a tach so I'm not sure where it was. I attempted to adjust the old carb to compensate but it had no effect.

After the no start issue began, I flooded the engine with several attempts to start after changing out some other electrical parts that were very old.

Car now has new plugs, new electronic Accel points eliminator in the distributed, new dist cap, new voltage regulator, new starter solenoid, new coil, new 4 barrel carb. Vacuum actuated secondaries.

After the distributor work I set top dead center. I tested the depth of cylinder #1 with a screwdriver to see if the piston was up in the compression stroke. About an inch deep so I assume it was. I tripple checked the firing order of the plug wires and set the dist so the new rotor faced where #1 had previously been to ensure timing would be good enough to start and replaced the cap.

Car won't start. Am I missing something electrical? Does fuel at the carb not always mean it's getting fuel? After spark, fuel, and generally confident about timing I am lost. Thanks for any help you can give!
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Monday, February 13th, 2017 AT 8:12 PM

10 Replies

Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
Ya when you pulled the dist it's probably in wrong. Is old carb on or new one? There should be an idle adjustment on it which I don't have a pic of so can't tell you how to adjust it. Put #1 which is on the passenger side on that engine and make sure your timing mark is sitting around 0 then check where your rotor is lying in dist. Recheck your electrical hookup for your new electronic ignition and make sure it has a gap if it' s supposed to 351's fire different then rest of ford V8 see pic arrows point out correct way.
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Tuesday, February 14th, 2017 AT 6:06 AM
Tiny
CIGARWILKI
  • MEMBER
Thank you for responding! I did make sure the firing order was correct for the 351. It's what your picture shows for it, not the other ford v8s. So that's good.

The new carb is on. Still with factory settings because I haven't been able to start the engine to see if adjustments are necessary. But I know a factory built Holley is usually good enough right from go with no or very minor adjustment so I don't believe it's causing the no start now.

When I put the dist back in it would not go in the way it came out so I set top dead center and fortunately the new electronic ignition allowed me to put the rotor on any way I want so I set it at the #1 despite the dist shaft being 45 degrees off of where it had been originally. I assumed this was fine based on other posts I read.

I only have one timing mark. A line with no numbers. I set it to match up with the triangular metal flange. Is that top dead center? Or should I ensure the line is actually facing directly up on the highest point. It would be maybe 10 or 20 degrees off of the metal flange.
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Tuesday, February 14th, 2017 AT 9:38 AM
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
There shold be a line on the timing chain cover and one on balancer those should line up pretty close I still think this is out of time if everything else is correct. Put a rag on your finger and pull #1 plug crank engine over til you feel the compression coming up then see where your marks are if lining up that should be tdc. The rotor can only go on one way not a couple ways as there is a notch in dist shaft and plastic on rotor on inside that will only line up with it. Once cap is on see if spark comes from coil then to any plug wire if not the rotor is bad or dist cap. Ford coils used to crack around tower as well as dist caps but try the other stuff first.
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Tuesday, February 14th, 2017 AT 11:59 AM
Tiny
CIGARWILKI
  • MEMBER
Thanks HMAC300. I double checked top dead center. It's good. The new electronic ignition has no notch on the rotor. So I was able to put it on facing #1 regardless of where the dist shaft notch was facing. I assume as long as the rotar faces the right cylinder it doesn't matter where the notch is. Still no start.
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Wednesday, February 15th, 2017 AT 9:38 AM
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
Can your take a picture of the rotor top and bottom as well as dist shaft and send it to me there is something screwed up here also how does the electronic ignition hook up?Wire wise. If I can see this online i'll go over it.
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Wednesday, February 15th, 2017 AT 11:56 AM
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
I found these online so make sure the electrical connections are correct also check to see if spark is coming from coil to dist then to spark plug.
http://www.jegs.com/InstallationInstructions/100/110/110-2020.pdf
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Wednesday, February 15th, 2017 AT 12:16 PM
Tiny
CIGARWILKI
  • MEMBER
Thanks again HMAC300. Turned out the electronic ignition rotor button was rubbing top of dist cap. Caused it to stick and of course timing can't be right with that.

So now the new problem, or maybe the same old one. I was so frustrated I bought a new OE distributor. Back to points and condenser. Took forever to install in a way I could set the timing right because it wanted to go in any way the vacuum assembly wouldn't allow any adjustment. Got it only one notch off where the origonal was and once in I set top dead center again on harmonic balancer and then went 6 degrees before TDC. My chiltons manual shows the timing should be "6B". I assume this is 6 degrees before TDC. Then I turned the dist so the rotor button faced #1. Again I verified I was on the compression stroke so I wouldn't be 180 degrees out. I understand compression stroke to be piston at top of cylinder. Am I completely wrong?

I rechecked for spark on each cylinder. Every wire has good spark. I added about a tea spoon of oil to each cylinder before I reinstalled plugs to ensure good compression and avoid rings scraping walls due to washing them previously with fuel. I did an oil change as well because there was fuel in the oil. I allowed the car to sit for several hours for oil in cylinders to reduce. I cycled the engin 8 times with coil disconnected to re lubricator cylinders.

Now with good spark verified and timing double checked I re verified firing order. It's correct for the 351. I also replaced the starter cable as it was old and starting to decay.

Then I attempted to start without touching the accelerator pedal. Nothing. I gave the pedal one quick push. This resulted in a backfire at the carb that seemed mostly to be fuel blowing out. I began retarding timing by turning the dist counterclockwise because that backfire at carb can be a symptom of advanced timing. Tried again same result. Tried twice more same result. Then I advanced the timing by turning the dist clockwise past the origonal setting. Tried again. Exact same result.

So now I have pushed on the gas pedal five times in six or seven attempts to start always with exactly the same result. Backfire at carb that consisted of some smoke and what looked mostly like atomized fuel puffing straight up. Sounded like an old steam engin chugging.

I then pulled the #1 plug and its fuel washed. I dipped the screwdriver in the cylinder and touched the piston with it. It came back with about a 50/50 mix of fuel and oil. Is it that easy to cometely flood an engine like this? What am I missing? I feel screwed. Probably have to change the oil every day while I troubleshoot this if a few start attempts can ruin it.
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Thursday, February 16th, 2017 AT 5:53 PM
Tiny
HMAC300
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Backfires are out of time on these. Try resetting again if dist won't go inright take a 5/16" socket and turn oil pump drive and change oil as well. Crank motor over with plugs out if you have that much fuel.I still think the timing is off causing your no start. Hope you changed dist cap after rotor hitting it as well. Everything you are saying seems you are doing correct though
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Friday, February 17th, 2017 AT 5:57 AM
Tiny
CIGARWILKI
  • MEMBER
HMAC300. Thanks again. I had to focus on other things for quite a while. I fixed the problem and it's running great. I misunderstood TDC compression stroke. Dumb mistake that taught me a lot about everything else. It was worth it. Lol.
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Wednesday, April 19th, 2017 AT 9:13 AM
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
Ya know I don't know why anyone in their right mind would go back to points but that is what they came with. Make sure to set at 30 degrees dwell and check breaker plate as they will wear out on those and do not forget to grease cam in dist so points will last longer. Also I haven't done points in years except with my old Harley I had and fiber rubbing blocks on points get best wear not nylon.
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Wednesday, April 19th, 2017 AT 9:48 AM

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