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Mike S.
Mike S., Chevy Mechanic
Category: Chevy
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Experience:  ASE Certified Master Technician
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350 chevy installed new cam,lined dots up on gears,timing

Resolved Question:

350 chevy installed new cam,lined dots up on gears,timing is correct,wires correct.Number 1 cyl is up on compression stroke balancer and timing tab line up on 0.Still pops ,will not start.What is meant by lined up gears on 6tdc or 1tdc. need help.give me all you got.much thanks
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Chevy
Expert:  Mike S. replied 6 years ago.

That #1 cylinder at TDC and #6 cylinder at TDC is only for 1980-82 engines. For the instructions, click here. Check to see if you have number 5 and number 7 spark plug wires switched, alot of times they get put on wrong. Do a cylinder balance test and see if everything is firing.


First of all you will need a 12-volt test light and about 8-12 inches of neoprene vacuum hose. The vacuum hose will conduct electricity cause it is carbon based, use an ohmmeter if you aren't sure and see if the vacuum hose you have will conduct.

Now, cut off the same # XXXXX cylinders you have in small equal lengths of the vacuum hose. 2-3 inches will do fine. The small diameter kind like to carburetors, etc will work as long as they fit over the distributor cap tower connection.

Now, mark all your spark plug wires at the cap or coil pack and remove them all. Put those short pieces of vacuum hose on the distributor cap or coil pack connections and shove the other end of the vacuum hose into the spark plug wire boot until it makes a good connection.

Now connect your 12 volt test ground clip to a ground and start the vehicle. With the engine running touch the 12 volt test light to each of the vacuum hose 1 at a time and listen for the cylinder to short out and die and drop in r.p.m. They should all be about equal. If 1 or a few don't drop or do anything than you have your dead cylinder there.

Plus if it pops back through intake and carb that usually means its too lean or the timing is off. Fire and a blown head gasket. Pops out the tailpipe and too rich. Place your hand over the carb air horn while idling and shut off some air, if it runs better than it was running too lean. Now try to shutt off the engine by completely shutting off all the air by covering the entire air horn, if it dont stall and continues to run you have a vacuum leak.

How did you adjust the valves and are the hydraulic and if so how far did you go down from zero lash?

Is the vacuum advance working. Do you have an egr?

Expert:  Mike S. replied 6 years ago.
Last but not least you may have the distributor a tooth off. You have to align the rotor to #1 on the cap and at the same time the reluctor point on the shaft has to be pointing at the pickup coil as if it were ready to fire, then align with the oil pump by cranking and letting it drop into the oil pump.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
we cant get the motor to fire at all,hyd cam i have the valves all set at zero lash wires are right
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Expert:  Mike S. replied 6 years ago.

No spark at all or spark in the wrong spots?

You can make a test plug with a new spark plug and some wire, a mini hose clamp and an alligator clip. First open the spark plug gap to around 0.075” and strip both ends of a 16 gauge wire about 4 foot in length. Attach the mini hose clamp around the threads of the spark plug cause that is a ground and secure it with the mini hose clamp with the bare wire end in between to make a good connection. Next, take the other end of wire and secure to an alligator clip.
Now, you have a test plug. Remove any spark plug boot you want and insert your test plug onto the spark plug wire end you just pulled off and ground the alligator clip. Lay the spark plug in some shade somewhere under that hood and then crank the engine and look for spark. It should crackle with sound and should be blue but red is ok, orange is a little weak. If it can jump that 0.075” gap you should have no problem igniting an engine.
You can also use that to check coils on some vehicles.

If you get spark, then bring up your timing mark to zero tdc on #1, pop the cap and make sure the rotor is facing #1 and also and most importantly look down at the reluctor wheel and the pickup, they should be aligned ready to fire, if not you are a tooth off and firing between cap towers and not reaching the cap tower or its firing to the one next to it.
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Expert:  Mike S. replied 6 years ago.

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