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  • Ignition: Rebuilt 289 won't start

    Finished installing a completely rebuilt 289 engine in my '55 Speedster. The engine underwent a mild performance build, R1 cam. over-bore etc. The ignition includes a brand new electronic distributor and a required external HEI coil. The plug wires are new as are the plugs. I am getting a good spark at No. 1 plug. The carburetors are rebuilt AFBs, and fuel is getting to the carbs, 3+ lbs of pressure. Even tried starter fluid. Distributor installed as per shop manual, rotor pointing at No. 1 wire, pointer on block aligned with Ign. groove on vibration damper. But no start, not even a pop or backfire.
    Toby Knoll Garage

    www.tobyknollgarage.com
    ______

    '51 Muntz Jet
    '53 Woodill Wildfire/Dodge
    '54 Hudson Hornet Grand National Tribute car
    '55 Studebaker Speedster/Cadillac
    '56 Corvette SR replica


  • #2
    I'd guess your dizzy is installed 180 degrees out. Yes, it is pointing to number 1 when the timing marks are up, but number 1 might be at the end of its exhaust stroke instead of the top of the compression stroke. Lay a penny over the sparkplug hole and slowly bump the engine with the starter till the penny FLIES off. Continue to bring the engine to the timing mark and then set your dizzy.
    Last edited by Ross; 12-03-2022, 05:48 AM.

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    • #3
      The rotor is pointed at the Home cylinder or at the Home cylinder wire on the cap? Could be 180 out but, I would expect a pop back through the carb or some type of reaction with starting fluid sprayed down the carb. Are your plugs wet, after you try to start it?

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      • #4
        Remove the cover, look yours valves. The N°1 must not be on balance
        GT Hawk 62 V8
        Lark 62 hardtop skytop 6 cyl
        Silver Hawk 57 Hardtop 6 cyl
        Transtar 57 V8
        Starliner 54 V8

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        • #5
          Did you degree in your cam?
          Or did you get a cam with no cam card to go with it?

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          • #6
            Three Lbs. sounds a bit low for Fueling TWO 4 barrels, but Volume will be the bigger factor at full Throttle, are you running a Avanti Style, Carter Super Pump with cool fuel return line?

            However, I get that this will not cause a No Start.

            THIS one DOES sound like SN60's Car, is it Black ?
            If Superchargers have been removed from a Sealed Carbs. setup, they need to be Unsealed.
            Last edited by StudeRich; 12-03-2022, 03:32 PM.
            StudeRich
            Second Generation Stude Driver,
            Proud '54 Starliner Owner
            SDC Member Since 1967

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            • #7
              Do you have the carbs in the correct placement? The one with the idle adjustment screws goes on the REAR of the manifold. The front carb does not have a choke or idle provisions.
              Bez Auto Alchemy
              573-318-8948
              http://bezautoalchemy.com


              "Don't believe every internet quote" Abe Lincoln

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              • #8
                Try attaching an extra ground directly on to your starter. I had a similar problem where the ground was not sufficient, and the extra ground did the trick.

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                • #9
                  You have 2 AFB's on a relatively small displacement engine. That is not ideal for the development of vacuum at cranking rpm's. You may not have the air flow to make the venturis work. I know Studebaker built a couple dual quad 304's but with 2 superchargers, but I'd think they'd have to be sequential. What are cfm ratings of the carbs?

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                  • Warren Webb
                    Warren Webb commented
                    Editing a comment
                    R-4's had 2 4 bbl carbs but were not supercharged, at least not stock ones.

                • #10
                  If it won’t even try to start with starting fluid then the distributor is likely 180 degrees out. Not at all unusual to make that mistake. Another possibility and I am guilty of this is not adjusting the valves before trying to start the engine. I made this mistake when I left on a two week vacation during a rebuild and engine install. I was certain I had adjusted the valves before I left home so I tried about everything to remedy the problem. I rechecked the valve lash and found all of the valves either way too loose or way too tight. I adjusted them, hit the key and the engine came alive. Boy did I feel stupid.

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                  • #11
                    I have the proper two 4 bbls on my GT Hawk R4 Clone and they are 625 cfm each. Due to radical custom camshaft (Racer!Brown Avanti 288)
                    the valve lash is 012 and 014. It has been a long time but IIRC the initial timing is 24 degrees
                    Bill

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                    • altair
                      altair commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Could you further explain the "24 degrees" Is that initial advance? I just assembled a 259 and the factory advance is 4 degrees.

                  • #12
                    Douglas,
                    Don't forget how Granatelli got 304.5 CID to accept 1250 CFM of carburetion: Compression, Compression, Compression- 12.5 to 1 !!
                    I am always amazed at how responsive my clone is. And talk about fuel appetite!
                    Bill

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                    • #13
                      Yes, David, IIRC, 24 degrees is the initial advance which a high performance carburetor/distributor shop in Burnaby stated that a motor couldn't run with those specs.
                      I'll see if I can dig up the factory R4 specs.
                      Bill

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                      • #14
                        If you "rebuilt it" to R specs and used an R dampener, you must also use the R engine timing cover for the "pointer" to read correctly. The stock timing cover with an R pointer added will be 11 -2 degrees off. Check your top dead center with the actual timing marks.
                        Bez Auto Alchemy
                        573-318-8948
                        http://bezautoalchemy.com


                        "Don't believe every internet quote" Abe Lincoln

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                        • #15
                          Originally posted by bezhawk View Post
                          If you "rebuilt it" to R specs and used an R dampener, you must also use the R engine timing cover for the "pointer" to read correctly. The stock timing cover with an R pointer added will be 11 -2 degrees off. Check your top dead center with the actual timing marks.
                          Engine (1960 289) was rebuilt as non-original "R", stock timing gears, damper, pointer. Has been bored .080, reground R-cam, '64 "571" heads, dual 500 cfm (Dodge) AFBs, custom headers.
                          Toby Knoll Garage

                          www.tobyknollgarage.com
                          ______

                          '51 Muntz Jet
                          '53 Woodill Wildfire/Dodge
                          '54 Hudson Hornet Grand National Tribute car
                          '55 Studebaker Speedster/Cadillac
                          '56 Corvette SR replica

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