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'82 22r spark, fuel, crank, no start, except for the first

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'82 22r spark, fuel, crank, no start, except for the first

Old 01-12-2019, 04:18 PM
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'82 22r spark, fuel, crank, no start, except for the first

1982 22r carbed

Just put in a new distributor, spectra premium, because i discovered the vacuum advance on my old one was shot, so I figured i should just replace all of it, and it seemed pretty straightforward. It was running well before I did the switch, but thought it might idle better with a new vacuum advance....

Now I can't get it to start. I pulled off the valve cover, made sure the #1 rocker arms were loose, removed, rotor facing straight up as i push the new one in. Does not start, even playing with the timing. I'm beginning to think that somehow the distributor got off a tooth, even though I was super careful with it, definitely didn't crank it or move anything in between taking on the old and putting in the new one. I did get it to start onceon the very first crank after putting it in; it started right up and idled better than it has in years; i let it run for a bit so it could warm up and I could adjust the timing, then I shut it off to begin to put stuff away, finally call it a day, and get ready to fine tune the timing; could not get it started again!

Fuel level in the float is good. I'm by myself so I can't check the sparks directly, but by hooking the timing light up to the spark plugs I can confirm I"m getting sparks to the plugs as the light flickers off when I crank it over. Charged the battery. For a second I thought it could be the coil/starter, but it was starting well before i went through all of this.
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Old 01-13-2019, 05:15 PM
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You mentioned making sure the #1 rocker arms were loose, but didn't say anything about the timing mark on your crank pulley being at top dead center. Just a thought.

VERY weird that it started the first time & now will only crank. If it started the first time you didn't get it off a tooth, or it wouldn't start or would start but run bad. Are you sure you tightened down the hold down bolt on the distributor to 12 ft/#? I'm thinking it may have started for you that first time & ran ok, but when you shut it off, the distributor moved & threw off the timing. You can try loosening the bolt, rotating the distributor so that the bolt is in center of the slot, tighten it down & try to start again. I don't think the distributor broke because you are still getting spark to each spark plug (light goes on & off.flashes while cranking). Also means the coil is doing something.
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Old 01-14-2019, 02:20 AM
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Thanks for the thoughts! Tightening the bolt down was something I didn't do; in hindsight (and what I did when I got it running next) was simply set the timing with that start up rather than let it warm up, turn off the truck, set up for ignition timing, and try to re-start the car.

The likely main culprit was one that I had to sleep on, literally. In the cold winters of Colorado I egregiously pump and flutter the gas while starting my truck, and even give it a bit of gas to get going after it's warmed up this time of year. Thus in the mentality of a very cold start, I brought it into a warm shop, and I'm quite certain I was flooding the engine. The warm temperatures in the shop, and perhaps the fact that I was working with brand new distributor, meant that the flutter was not only unnecessary but inhibitive, though I didn't check out the spark plugs to confirm. Started right up the following morning when I thought I'd just give it a go and see what happens, timed it, ran great all day yesterday with no-flutter startups (though it was in the 40s). We'll see how it starts this morning, around +5 out right now.

After setting the ignition timing, the timing still does not advance when I re-plug the vacuum hoses back into the vacuum advance. Frustrating, as that was the whole reason why I replaced the distributor in the first place.
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Old 01-14-2019, 04:02 AM
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Quite all right, it's usually something simple 9 times out of 10. Are you sure the timing isn't advancing? If it ran great all day I'd say it's working, otherwise you would have noticed something in the run/drive quality. It could also be that you have the vac line hooked up wrong. What diaphragm do you have the vac hooked up to? The one closest or furthest away from the distributor body? It makes a difference, as one advanced timing & one retards it. The one further out is the advance diaphragm. Make sure the vac line is hooked up to that one & cap off the other one. Since you've desmogged the truck you don't really need the other one. Other end of vac line should be hooked up to port on the Weber (should only be 1 port on it, passenger side above the flange.)
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Old 01-15-2019, 11:32 AM
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I remember doing some research and thought the vacuum advance only affected the idle and any down-acceleration, but I don't remember where I found that or the rational for it. Shoulda mentioned this early, but the truck isn't desmogged and it's still got an aisin carb. I didn't take the air intake off to follow the lines, but the outer vacuum goes into the top metal tube that runs along the engine. The inner vacuum line splits, with one going to a check valve and then into the lower metal tube that runs along the engine, and the other one that disappears from the picture frame from the yellow connector goes to the HAC. Clearly, removing the air intake and figuring out where they actually go is necessary; i need to retighten the choke soon, so i'll look when i do that.

The timing definitely wasn't advancing when i plugged these hoses back into the vacuum advance after setting the ignition timing.


vac advance hookup
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Old 01-15-2019, 06:15 PM
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Excellent, thanks for the pic. You do need to take the air cleaner off to have a better look at what is going where. At the very least you need to trace the outer vac advance line back to the carb. Just find & follow the metal line. There should be a short length of rubber tubing on the other end, which should be attached to a vacuum port near the base of the carb. BTW that outer vac line coming off the advance looks like it could stand to be replaced. You may have a leak in that line somewhere (rubber or metal), which could account for the lack of advance, or there is a break in the rubber line somewhere, or it's hooked up to the wrong port. There should be 3 vac ports on the passenger side of the carb. The correct port should be the 1 on the lower right as you are looking at it.

My as simple as I can make it explanation of ignition timing & advance. Think of ignition timing like this. From top dead center (or TDC, highest the piston can travel upwards) is zero (0) degrees. Piston goes down on intake stroke (draws in gas/air mix) until it reaches bottom dead center (or BDC, lowest piston can go down). This is 180 degrees of crankshaft rotation. Piston comes back up on compression stroke. At idle speed (* SEE NOTE BELOW ), spark happens at 5 degrees before top dead center (BTDC) (355 degrees of the 360 total for the cycle). The power & exhaust strokes are together another 360 degree cycle.

5 degrees BTDC is your base engine timing at idle. This means the spark fires at the last 5 degrees of crankshaft rotation before the piston reaches top dead center. This allows the expanding (exploding) gas/air mixture to start pushing the piston down just as it gets past TDC. As the engine goes faster (higher RPM's), the piston is traveling faster, but the combustion speed of the gas/air mix is still the same. This means that for the timing of the start of the expanding (exploding) gas/air mix to push on the piston has to start sooner. It's a matter of coordination between the burning fuels "push" & the correct position of the piston to take full advantage of that push.

So, as the engine gets faster, the ignition timing must advance, that is, fire sooner than 5 degrees BTDC. Depending on engine type & speed (for most street vehicles), this can be as much as 35 degrees in total ignition advance. The faster the engine goes, the more advance the timing needs to keep the explosion & piston position perfectly coordinated.

* NOTE: Perhaps you aren't seeing any advance because there is no advance to see? In general, ignition advance only really starts to work beyond idle speed (800-850 RPM, warm engine, choke fully open), that's why you aren't seeing it, because it isn't happening yet. Try this. Hook your timing light back up to it & start the truck up. If your carb is working right & you have high idle when it's cold, this is well above idle speed (FSM sez 2400 RPM; I've always thought this is a bit too high ). Shine the timing light on the marks on the crank pulley. The pulley mark should be somewhat above the "normal" 5 degree mark. If you don't have high idle when cold, just reach in & grab the level at the back of the carb & speed her up some, then check the marks with the light. You should see the pulley mark past the 5 degree indicator, more towards the "positive" end, like past the "8". Pic below for reference.


Give it a try & let me know what you find.
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Old 01-30-2019, 12:06 PM
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Finally got a look at it again today after traveling for awhile, despite the polar vortex.

All the hoses were hooked up correctly. I'm pulling it into a garage in the spring where I'm going to do a bunch of work on it, so I'll likely just replace all the vacuum lines then. I did spray carb cleaner around the carb and general vacuum area to see if the throttle increased indicating a leak, and didn't get any feedback, but I imagine that's not foolproof.

Thanks for the detailed explanation on ignition timing! That's a better read that I've seen anywhere yet.

The timing is right around 5, and it does advance as I pull on the throttle, so that part's working! The whole reason why I went ahead and replaced the distributor was because apparently you set the ignition timing to 5 with the distributor vacuum hoses plugged, and when you plug them back in, it should advance to 8, no acceleration needed. It wasn't doing that before, and it's still not doing it now, but I'm beginning to think since it runs fine as it is, I shouldn't worry about it.

On another note, I was having a hard time with cold starts recently and noticed my choke wasn't closing, as the linkage wasn't snappy enough to rise and close it up even if I pushed down the pedal for a long time, releasing the mechanism so it could rise. A little wd40 made it nice and snappy again. I also decided to tighten the choke housing, rotating the black housing counterclockwise, thinking that would help the snappiness. Clearly, I didn't know what I was doing, as then it wouldn't start, acting like it was flooded. I reset the black choke housing back to where it was, and it started right up.

For the time being, besides fluid changes and other basic maintenance, I'm going to leave things as they are unless there are egregious signs of engine dismay.

Thanks again for all your help!
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Old 01-31-2019, 04:16 AM
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You are most welcome to my help & input, but never forget you're the one doing the work. Thanks also for the compliment on the timing description.

Good idea on replacing the vac lines. Some notes on vac lines/tubing - The only place I've ever found that has metric vac tubing by the foot is Auto Zone. They don't list it as available on their website for some reason, but walking into my local store & asking to see what they had turned some up. I think the correct I.D. (Inside Diameter) tubing is 3 or 4 MM. Otherwise you have to make do with "Imperial" sizes of tubing, which if I remember correctly was 5/32" I.D. tubing. To be sure I'd take one of the old tubes off to take with me to the store for a match-up. I also cut the end off the old tube because the end has expanded over time & does not "spring back" to the original I.D., so I can see the actual size. It's OK if they will fit a little tight as you definitely don't want any vac leaks. A little soapy water will make the ends slide onto the vac fittings & ports easy. You probably already know this, but when you go to replace the lines, do 'em 1 at a time so everything is hooked up right. Too easy to get confused & get it wrong if you just yank all the old stuff all at once & don't have a vac line diagram to go by.

I'm sure your carb cleaner test was through so I don't suspect you have any vac leaks on any of the hard parts, especially since it seems to run fine.

Good work on checking the timing. Sounds fine to me.

Also good work figuring out what you did wrong with the choke housing. We learn by doing, observing & thinking. You should have an electric choke on that carb & that choke housing adjustment is rarely mentioned in many FSM's. There should be a dot or a line on the black part. If all is normal with the carb, that dot or line should be aligned with the long center line on the metal part of the choke housing. I could not find a decent pic of this online to post here, but if you look at it I think you'll see what I'm talking about.

I apologize for not mentioning a possibly sticky choke mechanism/linkage before. Spraying the carb down with carb cleaner washes off any lubricants that are on the linkages & may cause them to get sticky. WD-40 is OK but I find that it doesn't last very long in auto applications, especially underhood. I usually put a drop of 3-in-1 oil on every pivot & contact surface of the linkages once a year to keep everything working smooth. This includes the linkage pivot hinge on the firewall.

Again, great job getting her running well again. Keep us posted on any progress you make, at least once we get the Polar Vortexes out of the way.

Last edited by 13Swords; 01-31-2019 at 04:17 AM. Reason: spelling
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