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Strange Distributor Situation

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Old September 13th, 2018, 8:20 PM
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Default Strange Distributor Situation

I have a 68 Camaro Convertible that I've had since 1974. Yes, I know how to work on it, obviously, after 44 years. But now I have a nut I can't crack. It's the 327/210hp with powergilde. I'm trying to re-install the distributor (points type), and the engine was disturbed. So, I took off the valve cover to find TDC on the power stroke. put my timing mark at zero, and install the distributor with the rotor at #1 firing position. But the dadgum thing will not start. It's crazy. when I turn the distributor body timing counterclockwise as far as I can before the vacuum module hits on the side of the coil, the engine will ALMOST start. In fact it does start, but quickly peters out.The points are set at .019 gap correctly. How in the heck can this be happening? Thank you.
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Old September 13th, 2018, 8:58 PM
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So rotor pointing at #1cylinder and #1 wire is there also?what if the balancer spun,that is a two piece?
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Old September 13th, 2018, 9:26 PM
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Yes, rotor and wiring all all good. The balancer is the only kind i know, with a center hub and the weight pressed on with a rubber a hard flat rubberish strip between. No known to spin. However, sometime back somebody looked at the car to buy it while i wasn't present. He called back and said trhe engine was frozen. Im sure it was tight because it had sat for a number of months. Anyway, I wonder what he could have tried to turn. The car sat too low to try to turn the flywheel. And certainley he did mot try to turn the fan or power steering pump, or try to grab the belts to turn it. I wonder if he tried to turn it by the balancer, although I don't see how, other than bare-handed.
Which brings up a question--it there a cheap tool that would screw into the spark plug socket with perhaps a spring loaded rod sticking out that I could gage TDC of the piston?
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Old September 13th, 2018, 9:51 PM
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For a quick test,move the wires,one location, counterclockwise,see if it runs ok,nit perfect repair,but get you running
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Old September 13th, 2018, 9:58 PM
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Intead of that, wouldn't I just pull up the distributor and advance the rotor in the direction of its natural travel and crank it till the oild pump engages? (Not that I haven't tried that). I wonder if there is a pushrod on some cylinder that just starts to rise (or fall) at TDC?
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Old September 13th, 2018, 10:02 PM
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That too,bu b popping 8 wires,one spot over is faster,and are you positive you have it on #1 or #6,180 out?
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Old September 13th, 2018, 10:15 PM
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Both #1 valves closed, crank another 30 degrees or so, on the mark. Before I stupidly took out the distributor without noting its position, the engine was running very badly with a lot of backfiring. I attibuted it to old gas. The reason I took out the distributor was that I noticed some mud-building critters had made little ***** under the breaker plate.We're talking about an engine that before parking it a couple years ago, had just been rebuilt and running better than all the 40-some years I owned it. I had cranked and run it a few minutes every several months, but I have little doubt the gas is old. But I don't think that's my main problem here. It ran roughly on Friday, and had a backfire like a 12gauge shotgun. So that's when I pulled the distributer to clean it out. I've already taken the top off the Rochester 2GV to see if there was anything obvious, which there wasn't.
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Old September 13th, 2018, 10:22 PM
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The method I use is finger in #1 plug hole,spin it,feel for the bigger of the two pops,180 out you get a small one,that's exhaust exiting,so it takes a turn or two to be 100% confident
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Old September 13th, 2018, 10:37 PM
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I kinda like the Service Manual method. Besides, 44 years ownership, you know. But in the back of my mind, I wonder if that guy spun my vibration damper weight on its hub trying to turn over the engine. I'd hate to have to take off the head just to find perfect TDC. This is so frustrating. Hours and hours and hours I've worked, and it stubbornly won't run. It's perfect, but it just won't start and run. Logically impossible. Yes, there's spark. I can pull the coil wire and it pops on the vent screw perfect.
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Old September 13th, 2018, 10:39 PM
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Take the balancer bolt out,keyway will be straight up,use a mirror
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