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Engine Won't Start
Posted by: Frog ()
Date: September 09, 2021 08:38AM

For no reason at all after stalling for months--no, for years--I attempted yesterday to start the engine after rebuild. "Squished" fuel to carbs hand pumping the fuel pump, connected positive lead to positive side of coil through the ballast resistor, connected starter button, dribbled some fuel into the carburetor throats, and I even set up my camcorder to witness the whole evolution. I pressed the starter button . . . engine turned over just fine, but not even a sputter.

I thought I'd set up the distributor properly, so I attached a spark tester and no spark. I noticed that the ballast resistor was very hot; not too hot to hold, but pretty nearly that hot. I also noticed that when I attached or removed the spring clips of the resistor wire from the positive terminal on the battery, there'd be sparks.

First of all--can a ballast resistor be installed backwards.
Second--can I retest for spark with a direct connection to the plus side of the coil; that is, bypassing the ballast resistor.

Thank you.

Rob Lane
Clayton, in the Northeast Georgia Mountains.
1964 500 Coupe
Purchased by me in April of 1964.

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Re: Engine Won't Start
Posted by: Lane66m ()
Date: September 09, 2021 08:45AM

During starting only, coil should get full battery voltage. Hopefully 12 volts. When running, then battery voltage goes through resistor to have voltage drop in approximately 1/2.

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Re: Engine Won't Start
Posted by: oldqmguy ()
Date: September 09, 2021 09:01AM

This sounds like the Negative (points) side of the Coil is grounded!

The Points (or other Electronic Switch) is not opening, the Condenser is Shorted, or the wire from the Distributor is somehow shorted to ground.

You only get Spark (High Voltage) when the current thru the Coil is broken!

Points are closed, magnetic field builds in Coil, Points open, magnetic field collapses, generates High Voltage in the secondary winding!

The Resistor Wire being HOT and always seeing a spark when connecting or disconnecting the wire from the Coil indicates constant flow of electrical current!

I hope this helps!

Dale cool smiley

Dale E. Smiley CPBE
Life Member The Society of Broadcast Engineers
RETIRED Broadcast Engineer
CERTIFIED CORVAIR NUT
CORSA/Circle City Corvairs/Corvair Performance Group
Avon, Indiana
WB9SFF
1967 4-Door Monza PG!

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Re: Engine Won't Start
Posted by: Frog ()
Date: September 09, 2021 09:24AM

Thank you for your prompt replies.

Dale, I knew about the magnetic field's collapsing is what causes the high voltage. In fact, I performed spark test some time ago and there was one. Since then, though, I've removed the distributor to prime the oil pump. I must've fouled up the gaps and other things when I replaced the distributor. I'm going to run the gamut of the distributor adjustments including you comments about grounded condenser. You also said the resistor wire is hot and sparking because a current is flowing. Than sound like a good thing, to me.

Just read elsewhere that the ballast resistor gets hot and it cannot be connected backwards.

Rob Lane
Clayton, in the Northeast Georgia Mountains.
1964 500 Coupe
Purchased by me in April of 1964.

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Re: Engine Won't Start
Posted by: aircooledairhead ()
Date: September 09, 2021 10:54AM

Any chance you reinstalled the distributor 180 degrees off? The shaft ends in a flat blade like a screwdriver, so it is fairly easy to install it 180 degrees off.

Pull the distributor cap, take out the plug on #1 cylinder. Get the pulley or harmonic balancer 0 notch at the 0 timing mark. Put your finger over the spark plug hole on #1, and rotate the engine counterclockwise using the bolt on the balancer (or crank pulley). As the 0 notch nears the 0 mark on the tab attached to the block, Feel for compression at #1 cylinder. If your finger is pushed away from the plug hole you are probably at top dead center for cylinder 1. Check the position of the rotor. It should be pointing to the spot on the distributor cap where the wire to the #1 plug is. If the electrode on the rotor is pointing toward #1, you have the distributor installed correctly. If it is pointing 180 degrees from the #1 wire on the distribution cap, you need to remove the distributor, turn the rotor 180 degrees and reinsert it.

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Re: Engine Won't Start
Posted by: Frog ()
Date: September 09, 2021 11:49AM

I may very have done that what with pulling my distributor out and back in a couple of times after priming the oil pump.

I'll be checking that out.

Thank you.

Rob Lane
Clayton, in the Northeast Georgia Mountains.
1964 500 Coupe
Purchased by me in April of 1964.

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Re: Engine Won't Start
Posted by: Frog ()
Date: September 09, 2021 02:40PM

Good call, "airhead."

I simply rotated distributor shaft 180 degrees and fired it up.

A lot of smoke--much of it coming from the surface of the new muffler. Ran it for 10 minutes at 2000 rpm, but had to shut it down because of a major oil leak. Somehow, the gasket on the passenger-side valve cover slipped out at the top of the cover. Will have to remove the muffler to reassemble that.

Do you think shutting it down after 10 minutes instead of the called-for 20 will have any negative affect on the cam lobe?

Thank you.

Rob Lane
Clayton, in the Northeast Georgia Mountains.
1964 500 Coupe
Purchased by me in April of 1964.

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Re: Engine Won't Start
Posted by: MattNall ()
Date: September 09, 2021 03:14PM

10 is fine! Drive it!

MODERATOR
Sea Mountain, between Charleston Harbor and Coos Bay! SW Oregon Coast
Click HERE for My Website...Click HERE for My TechPages!
...............110-PG.................................................Webered-Turbo

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Re: Engine Won't Start
Posted by: Frank DuVal ()
Date: September 09, 2021 06:23PM

I agree!

Frank DuVal

Fredericksburg, VA

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Re: Engine Won't Start
Posted by: Frog ()
Date: September 10, 2021 04:36AM

Thanks, all.

Will proceed.

Rob Lane
Clayton, in the Northeast Georgia Mountains.
1964 500 Coupe
Purchased by me in April of 1964.

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Re: Engine Won't Start
Posted by: joelsplace ()
Date: September 10, 2021 12:40PM

No reason you can't do another 10 or 20 minutes of cam break in. They just want the RPM higher to be sure there is lots of oil splashing around to keep the cam well lubed during the first critical break in time. I would overfill with oil.

Joel
Northlake, TX
5 Ultravans, 123 Corvairs and counting...

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Re: Engine Won't Start
Posted by: Frog ()
Date: September 10, 2021 01:14PM

As a matter of fact, Joel, I'm going to do just that--after "The Five."

In my haste many months back, I completely missed inserting the valve cover hold-down-clamp bolt into the hole in the rubber gasket. So I'm guessing that a little bit of pressure plus vibration caused it to slide out of place and, bingo, oil flow.

Seventy-eight years old'll do that to you.

Thank you.

Rob Lane
Clayton, in the Northeast Georgia Mountains.
1964 500 Coupe
Purchased by me in April of 1964.

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Re: Engine Won't Start
Posted by: wittsend ()
Date: September 10, 2021 01:15PM

I'd think too that there is a form of rotational inertia above idle that to some extent helps save the cam lobe/lifter surface as RPM increases. And at the extreme of valve float (not that one would go there) horizontal inertia applies to the lifters also. What pressure differences that are applied between idle and valve float are likely a topic of great discussion.

In fact, how much does lifter inertia affect float? I've often heard descriptions of how cam profile (ramp speed), valve stem size, retainer material and spring pressure affect float but other then lifters pumping up they never seem to enter the discussion. It seems there are lighter materials that the lifter body could be made from..., but I guess the faster, easier, cheaper solution is to just have more spring pressure. Did I just end my own discussion? confused smiley

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Re: Engine Won't Start
Posted by: joelsplace ()
Date: September 10, 2021 02:00PM

I've read that for some reason the lifter, rocker and pushrod weight have little to do with valve float compared to the valve retainer and spring. I can't remember why or if the author even knew why. I think it was Smokey Yunick so he probably just tested it and didn't worry about the why.

Joel
Northlake, TX
5 Ultravans, 123 Corvairs and counting...

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Re: Engine Won't Start
Posted by: Frog ()
Date: September 11, 2021 08:57AM

Engine ran well during the next 10 minutes after tightening the valve-cover hold-down brackets; very little smoke, this time. Still, though, oil seeps out from the valve covers.

I think I should've used the cork gaskets instead of the rubber ones. I'm getting ready to order them from Clark's. Any comments about the gaskets?

Thank you.

Rob Lane
Clayton, in the Northeast Georgia Mountains.
1964 500 Coupe
Purchased by me in April of 1964.

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Re: Engine Won't Start
Posted by: idiyaught ()
Date: September 11, 2021 10:04AM

Try fitting the covers without gaskets to check the fit. I have had warped heads and bent covers.

John Oostdyk
Thornhill, Ont
63 Rampy
65 Greenbrier
64 Convertible

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Re: Engine Won't Start
Posted by: 66vairman ()
Date: September 11, 2021 12:51PM

joelsplace Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I've read that for some reason the lifter, rocker and pushrod weight have little to do with valve float compared to the valve retainer and spring. I can't remember why or if the author even knew why. I think it was Smokey Yunick so he probably just tested it and didn't worry about the why.

In the ball park --- since the rocker has a 1.5 to one ratio the valve moves faster and farther vs. the lifter and pushrod. To close the valve, the valve spring has to move the valve farther with respect to the lifter and pushrod, plus the 1.5 ratio means the inertia to move the lifter and pushrod is less.

The lifter is often blamed for "pump up" but it is just trying to take up the slack caused when the valve spring can't close the valve fast enough. So yes stiffer valve springs fix the issue, BUT then lifter and cam lobe can be an issue.

Stiffer springs are fine for racing, but for a daily driver I stayed with the softer stock springs and just don't exceed 5,000 RPM.

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Re: Engine Won't Start
Posted by: VairKing ()
Date: September 12, 2021 04:59PM

Back to the original cause of no start, it was discovered that the car had no spark and the distributor was found to be installed 180 degrees off. With the distributor 180 off, wouldn’t the motor still have spark, just at the wrong timing?

_________________________________________
Ryan Counterman (Moderator)
1965 Corsa Kelmark V8 400 HP ///1965 Monza Sedan 110/PG /// Ultimate Corvair Hauler/// Don Eichstaedt's 1965 Corsa Racecar
West Michigan Corvair Club /// 1966 Corsa GTP Convertible Mid Engine 3.8L Supercharged

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Re: Engine Won't Start
Posted by: Wagon Master ()
Date: September 12, 2021 05:14PM

Bingo!

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Re: Engine Won't Start
Posted by: JimBrandberg ()
Date: September 12, 2021 06:00PM

I find a fair number of heads that are warped along the lower valve cover surface. I hold a straight edge along there and look for a gap between the bolt holes. It's one of the things my local Machine shop guy mills if he has them on the table.
I generally use cork and rubber gaskets with a little Syl Glyde grease if the surface is flat and black rubber gaskets with black silicone if it is not.

Jim Brandberg
Isanti, MN
CorvairRepair.com



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