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Virtual Wrench
Virtual Wrench, Classic car expert
Category: Classic Car
Satisfied Customers: 14620
Experience:  35 years experience Foreign and Domestic
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Dale, I purchased a 1966 1/2 Olds Cutlass Supreme one month

Customer Question

Hi Dale, I purchased a 1966 1/2 Olds Cutlass Supreme one month ago. After 2 days of ownership and*****around the neighborhood, the car no longer starts.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Classic Car
Expert:  Virtual Wrench replied 2 years ago.
Hello, sorry for the delay.
This sounds like it may have 2 separate issues here. One in the fuel system if you see gas on the floor (maybe the fuel pump) and an issue with the ignition system if it wont stay running with starting when you release the ign key.
how many wires are connected to the positive(+) side of the ignition coil?? There should only be one on the negative(-) side of the coil and it goes to the distributor. Let me know please>>>>>
Also it woult help a lot if you have a volt meter and dwell meter...let me know>>>>
We will start there first
Expert:  Virtual Wrench replied 2 years ago.
Do you still need help getting this running?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Larry,Thanks for the reply. I have a voltmeter but not a dwell meter. I will get one today from the local auto parts store.
Ignition coil: 3 leads from the Positive terminal - 1 to the fuse(?) on the outside of the ignition coil, 1 to the mechanical fuel mix attached to the carburetor, and 1 to the alternator. 2 leads from the Negative terminal - 1 to the Distributor and 1 that routes behind the firewall to the tachometer mounted underneath the dashboard.I'm also planning to get the fuel pump and ignition coil while at Napa today.Thanks for your help!Enrique
Expert:  Virtual Wrench replied 2 years ago.
Once you get the dwell meter, connect the positive lead of the meter to the NEGATIVE side of the coil, and the other lead to a ground. Then take a reading while you are cranking the engine. It should be close to 30 degrees dwell.
note: make sure the dwell meter is set to 8 cylinder or the reading will be wrong.
Let me know.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Larry,Before cranking the car, il the dwell meter showed a reading of 44.9.While cranking, the Dwell Meter started at 0.11 then increased to 5.8 and then 9.3. It never rose above the high mark of 9.3.When I stopped cranking it rose back to 44.9.I do have a new ignition coil on-hand if I need to replace that.Thanks,
Expert:  Virtual Wrench replied 2 years ago.
The points are not adjusted properly. There should be a metal window on the dist cap that you can lift up to access the adjustment for the points.
You will need an allen wrench to fit into the hole on the adjuster and slowly turn the allen wrench both ways to see which way the dwell rises to 30. You have to have a helper crank the engine while you are making this adjustment. Once they are set to 30 degrees it should start. Let me know if it doesnt.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Larry,So sorry for the delay. I'm usually traveling during the week and only home on weekends to work on the car. Tried adjusting the dwell and it seems more like a flip flop or a digital bit no matter how I turn the adjustment screw. What I mean by that while cranking the engine, the Dwell Meter shows a reading of 44.9 or 0.0. I've adjusted the screw all the way in, all the way out, half way in the middle, and a quarter inward or outward from the center position. No matter how I adjust I only see a steady 44.5 pre crank, during and post or I see 44.5 pre frank, 0.0 during crank, and a return to 44.5 post crank.I've checked the connection from the negative terminal on the ignition coil to the distributor and it's firm, clean and no breaks. Checked the spark wire from the ignition coil to the distributor cap, removed and reseated.Already had to charge the new battery I ibstalled a couple weeks ago to make sure we had enough juice to get the car to turn over.Any other ideas? I'm thinking my next step is to call the local garage for a tow and rework.Thanks,
Expert:  Virtual Wrench replied 2 years ago.
Hi, sorry for the delay but i have been very sick.
Very confusing with that meter so i need you to ck a few things.
1. With the key in the start position (cranking the engine) is there battery voltage to the positive side of coil?
2. Are you connecting the positive lead from the meter to the negative side of coil and the negative lead from the meter to ground when you are cranking to ck the dwell? (thats the correct way)
3. What is the brand and part number of your dwell meter.
we WILL get to the bottom of this!

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