No Start After Replacing Head Gasket

  • 5.2L
  • V8
  • 2WD
  • 109,000 MILES

I had a head gasket blow on my 1986 Chrysler Fifth Avenue 318 and I replaced it got everything back together got great fuel pressure and great spark. Checked timing and it is all in time at 10 degrees ATDC. Car still won't start. I have checked and double checked all my wiring and vacuum lines to make sure that they are all hooked up and in the right places. It has the Lean Burn System on the breather thinking it my be the problem. Is there any way to test the Lean Burn System or could there be something else. The car ran before I done all this work to it. Had no problems until I noticed after checking my oil that the head or intake gasket had blown when I saw water in my oil.

Do you
have the same problem?
Thursday, December 26th, 2013 AT 8:48 AM

2 Replies


In order to set the ignition timing on degrees BTDC the engine has to be running.

To correctly install the distributor follow this process:

1. Disable the ignition system (unplug the connector at the distributor). Then remove the distributor cap.
2. Remove the #1 cylinder spark plug.
3. Have an assistant to hold his finger over the spark plug hole (completely sealing it off).
4. While he is doing this (be sure that he stays away from moving parts), you use the ignition switch to quickly engage the starter for about half-second or less (this is called "bumping" the starter). Note the direction of engine rotation while doing this.
5. This action rotates the engine just a little at a time and when the piston comes up on the compression stroke the engine's compression will move his finger off of the hole (this will not hurt). Continue "bumping" the starter until the compression is felt.
6. Do not turn the key after the compression is felt.
7. Check the timing mark on the harmonic balancer. You want it to align with the "0" or "TDC" mark on the timing scale/pointer. If the marks do not align, turn the engine by hand in the direction in which the starter rotates the engine (using a breaker bar and socket on the crankshaft center bolt) until these marks align.
8. Check to see if the rotor is pointing in the direction of the location of the #1 cylinder on the distributor cap. If the distributor rotor is already pointing in that direction, then the distributor is aligned correctly and the no-start problem is something other than an improperly installed distributor.
9. If the rotor is not pointing in the correct position. Remove the distributor from the engine.
10. Now re-install the distributor so that when it is fully seated, the rotor is pointing in the direction of the location of the #1 cylinder on the distributor cap.
11. Install the distributor hold-down bolt/device, but leave it loose enough so that you can turn the distributor by hand, however it should be tight enough to prevent it from moving once the engine starts.
12. Advance the timing about 6 degrees BTDC by turning the distributor in the opposite direction of the rotor rotation by just under 1/4".
13. Install distributor cap, reconnect distributor connector.
14. Install #1 spark plug and wire
15. Start engine
16. Use a timing light to set base ignition timing according to specifications.

Please let me know if this helps.

Was this
Thursday, December 26th, 2013 AT 10:16 AM

The base timing should be 10* BTDC should it not? You have it set to 10* ATDC? It is 20* retarded setup like that.

Was this
Thursday, April 10th, 2014 AT 9:58 PM

Please login or register to post a reply.

Recommended Guides