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Hey guys, I recently rebuilt my 230 engine, and by rebuilt I mean freshly machined block, new pistons, rings, valves, etc... I’ve been trying to start it for the first time and cannot get it to run. It will hit as it’s cranking over and smoke comes out the exhaust, but it just won’t start up. I thought maybe it was a vacuum leak in the carburetor because it would leak fuel between some of the gaskets when the engine cranked, so I just put a new universal carb on it and still no good. Really any help would be appreciated, I live 3 hours away from this truck so I’m trying to work on it while I’m home during the holidays so I’d love to get this figured out quickly. Thank you all.

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One problem that we often encounter is the firing order is correct but can be one terminal off on the distributor cap . The solution is moving each wire one position over . 

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I went through the same thing as you are now with what are strikingly similar sounding problems.  Turns out I was one wire off with the placement of the wires on the distributor cap.  My buddy caught it when we pulled a plug and watched the spark while turning it over.  He has a Keen eye for those things.  His dad and I were certain we had those wires on the cap correctly.  Fired right up after we got it right.

 

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You might also check to make sure you have the correct firing order and that it is set up for the rotor's rotation.  Sometimes one can forget which way the rotor turns according to a friend of mine.

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1 hour ago, lonejacklarry said:

You might also check to make sure you have the correct firing order and that it is set up for the rotor's rotation.  Sometimes one can forget which way the rotor turns according to a friend of mine.

It turns clockwise right?

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10 hours ago, Worden18 said:

I went through the same thing as you are now with what are strikingly similar sounding problems.  Turns out I was one wire off with the placement of the wires on the distributor cap.  My buddy caught it when we pulled a plug and watched the spark while turning it over.  He has a Keen eye for those things.  His dad and I were certain we had those wires on the cap correctly.  Fired right up after we got it right.

 

I tried moving them over 1 space in each direction. Clockwise it makes a flame shoot out the exhaust manifold, and counter clockwise it makes the engine difficult to crank over so I’m back to square one.

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Have you verified the ignition timing? I have used a timing light during cranking to dial in the ignition timing. Often times when you get it close it’ll fire up. Then fine tune it and start the break in process. 

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when at square one.....go to B2B your back to basic static settings and ensure your are not 180  out, verify number one at TDC compression and wire  your distributor accordingly to the firing order and last but no at all the least.....ensure you have the right components for you distributor...parts must be bought per the distributor tag as there are some major differences in components there though they will snap right in place and thus the easy mix-match which does not trigger you questioning it.

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What is a universal carb?

 

I have found that when I do initial startup on a rebuilt engine, the starter needs to crank as fast as possible so ignition can commence...this means hooking a battery charger (preferably with a boost setting) up to a fully charged battery so the starter has plenty of oomph...in a few cases where engines were being ornery, the battery was switched to a high capacity tractor battery or even a 12V battery on a 6V system (with the charging circuit disconnected).  This higher cranking speed also helped build oil pressure so that engine lubrication would be slightly improved during starting.  Though it is frowned upon by some (for good reason), I also have a can of starting fluid to shoot a 1 second burst into the carb throat after 15 seconds of cranking...typically I limit cranking to 60 seconds, then take a 5 minute break to allow components to cool and repeat as necessary. If the engine doesn't fire within 30 minutes, it's time to reassess fuel delivery, ignition timing, etc before continuing further :cool:

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https://www.carburetor-parts.com/Replacement-Carburetor-for-Rochester-B_p_4411.html That’s the carburetor I bought

2 hours ago, JBNeal said:

What is a universal carb?

 

I have found that when I do initial startup on a rebuilt engine, the starter needs to crank as fast as possible so ignition can commence...this means hooking a battery charger (preferably with a boost setting) up to a fully charged battery so the starter has plenty of oomph...in a few cases where engines were being ornery, the battery was switched to a high capacity tractor battery or even a 12V battery on a 6V system (with the charging circuit disconnected).  This higher cranking speed also helped build oil pressure so that engine lubrication would be slightly improved during starting.  Though it is frowned upon by some (for good reason), I also have a can of starting fluid to shoot a 1 second burst into the carb throat after 15 seconds of cranking...typically I limit cranking to 60 seconds, then take a 5 minute break to allow components to cool and repeat as necessary. If the engine doesn't fire within 30 minutes, it's time to reassess fuel delivery, ignition timing, etc before continuing further :cool:

Also I’m cranking with a 12v is that not enough in of itself?

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I recently replaced battery cables on my neighbors 40yr old red tractor, and that brought the thing back to life as the starter really spun at startup better than it had in decades...this repair was completed after the tractor ate 2 new 12V batteries in 6 months...so a strong 12V battery should work if the starter cables are in good enough shape...I do not have an rpm value to give for you to compare as I judge a starter's speed by ear, after years of fiddling with engines I can tell if a starter motor is cranking well or is laboring...

 

Many times I have used starting fluid as described when I can tell the engine wants to start, especially if I'm getting smoke outta the tailpipe...I generally don't like to rely on starting fluid but when used sparingly to get over the hump, it works well and reduces wear on engine components from prolonged cranking...

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21 minutes ago, JBNeal said:

I recently replaced battery cables on my neighbors 40yr old red tractor, and that brought the thing back to life as the starter really spun at startup better than it had in decades...this repair was completed after the tractor ate 2 new 12V batteries in 6 months...so a strong 12V battery should work if the starter cables are in good enough shape...I do not have an rpm value to give for you to compare as I judge a starter's speed by ear, after years of fiddling with engines I can tell if a starter motor is cranking well or is laboring...

 

Many times I have used starting fluid as described when I can tell the engine wants to start, especially if I'm getting smoke outta the tailpipe...I generally don't like to rely on starting fluid but when used sparingly to get over the hump, it works well and reduces wear on engine components from prolonged cranking...

Ive used so starter fluid and it didn’t seem to help much, I’m thinking it might be a timing issue, but it’s hard for me to check all that by myself since I have to be in the cab to crank it over. Hopefully I can get a buddy of mine to swing by and help me out.

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well shucks ya haven't mastered the art of starting a flathead from inside the engine compartment yet...safety first, so take your time, make sure your brake is set and the transmission is in neutral, key on...I made a temporary linkage to the spare hole in the carb throttle bellcrank out of some rod, though a stiff wire like a coat hanger can work...from the driver side, I can grab the starter arm to engage the starter motor, shoot some ether in the carb, and pump the throttle as required...it's kinda requires some athleticism and good hand-eye coordination but I've done this plenty of times, on a few occasions to win a friendly wager for a free lunch from doubting whippersnappers :cool:

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1 hour ago, JBNeal said:

well shucks ya haven't mastered the art of starting a flathead from inside the engine compartment yet...safety first, so take your time, make sure your brake is set and the transmission is in neutral, key on...I made a temporary linkage to the spare hole in the carb throttle bellcrank out of some rod, though a stiff wire like a coat hanger can work...from the driver side, I can grab the starter arm to engage the starter motor, shoot some ether in the carb, and pump the throttle as required...it's kinda requires some athleticism and good hand-eye coordination but I've done this plenty of times, on a few occasions to win a friendly wager for a free lunch from doubting whippersnappers :cool:

Haha I’ll have to try that, it’ll save me the headache of trying to find someone else to help me.

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1 hour ago, TylerB46 said:

My friend came over and we got it running, turns out the distributor needed turned a bit more and it fired right up.

Great news !!

 

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On 11/28/2019 at 9:38 PM, TylerB46 said:

Hey guys, I recently rebuilt my 230 engine, and by rebuilt I mean freshly machined block, new pistons, rings, valves, etc... I’ve been trying to start it for the first time and cannot get it to run. It will hit as it’s cranking over and smoke comes out the exhaust, but it just won’t start up. I thought maybe it was a vacuum leak in the carburetor because it would leak fuel between some of the gaskets when the engine cranked, so I just put a new universal carb on it and still no good. Really any help would be appreciated, I live 3 hours away from this truck so I’m trying to work on it while I’m home during the holidays so I’d love to get this figured out quickly. Thank you all.

Glad you got it running

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Thanks for posting your success!!  People reading this always want to know how it turned out.  My opinion.....

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