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Darn thang won't run!



Anybody have some words of advice for a shadetree mechanic?

My 62 decided to stop running and I am stumped...

So much for Carlise or Bloomington...:cry

History: 62 340 Motor, LT1 heads, 62 Dual point distributor, Holley 3310 Carb. new plugs, wires, points

Motor went crazy (cough, sputter, kaput) and died as I was pulling plug wires one at a time to look for suspected misfiring cylinder. I swore it was a classic bad timing set, but no it looks good.

Symptoms : Barely runs (if at all), acts like timing has jumped, or Carb is not supplying gas.

So far: Pulled Timing Chain Cover, Good steel gears and chain present, marks still aligned

Distributor aligned with TDC on Compression stroke, new points (dual Points) Previous owner had disconnected one set, changing this has no change either way.

Changed Carb with a verified well running Carter AFB. No change

Turning distributor does not help. Advancing it enough makes it start but runs hella rough and dies.

Changed out coil.

I have been wrenchin motors for 20 years and this one has me stumped. What, is there a fuse or something I'm missing?:eyerole

I have gone from diagnosis to part swapping:mad Not my style!

I am willing to spend the money for a real mechanic, but who do I turn to? The 25 year old "certified" mechanics at the dealer make me wanna barf from fear of the lack of experience.:puke
Cleveland is a big town, gotta be a real vette man out there somewhere?


Rick and Donna:beer
my dumb question

It seems listed changing out nearly all of ignition...did you change out condensor?

Is coil polarity correct...neg side to points?
wont run?

community.webtv.net/rd62rdstr/SalsMuscleCars Rick, after wrenching on cars for 20+ years, I'm sure you've thought about it. But in frustration it's hard to think clearly sometimes. I always go back to fuel or electric. Is the carb getting fuel? Is it at a steady pressure? This eliminates blockages or bad fuel pumps. Is there spark at the cap? If not I trace it back to the battery. I had a similar problem with my camaro once. Turned out the positive battery cable at it's attachment point on the engine before the starter had come loose. It would then start, run lousy, makes lots of black smoke, sputter and die. The cable had come to rest against the exhaust manifold, burnt through and was shorting out. We tried everything, practically rebuilding the carb! Another problem I had once with the 62 was the factory battery hold down. The frame of it sits really close to the positive battery terminal and the cable if sitting too low on the post will make contact with it, shorting out and resulting in the same behavior. I hope this helps! Sal
won't start

Hi Rick,
As Sal said check your battery cables for shorting out against something and also check your coil connections and firing order. 18436572. A bad condenser can cause problems too.

Another thing I can think of is the rotor. I think I mentioned it in an eariler post but I'll say it again. I had a dual point in a '56 Chevy that had too much end play in the shaft. It allowed the rotor to hit the cap contacts. While it didn't break the rotor contact clear off it did break an alignment tab on the rotor and the contact turned back at a 45 degree angle. This caused everything to fire late with a too wide gap between rotor and cap. You can imagine what this sounded like at 6000 rpms with the headers open and all of a sudden it was firing with the exhaust valves open. Check to make sure your rotor contact is pointing straight out. If it is pointing back you could turn it advanced far enough to run but the gap would be too wide to jump.

I also had the same thing happen in my Ciera beater and I found that I had a cap from one source and a rotor from another. Not made to the same specs.

Have you checked your fuel pressure? if the pump is pumping and the carb is carbing then it must be electrical.

Keep us posted.

My guess


My son is a circle track racer. Not long ago he was leading a race, looked like the win was in the bag (never count on it). Going down the backstretch with a 5 car lead, suddenly there was a loud explosion and a big yellow ball of fire came out from under the car. It was a spectacular sight (night time) and you could almost hear the crowd gasp. He coasted to a stop and was towed into the pits. When we tried to start the motor again it sounded a lot like what you're describing. In an earlier heat race he got sandwiched by another car and the wall. The car seemed alright but we didn't look close enough. The battery is located inside the car behind the driver's seat. The contact with the wall pinched the long battery lead to the frame and it eventually shorted out. Boom! Race over.

Check all your wiring.
Rick, I don't know what all you have had off of your car latlly, but have you checked for a (large) vacuum leak. I had a 77 and a 78 do this to me. Both times the customer had just removed their intake and did not get it sealed up good............Most every thing else that I could think of has already been mentioned........Good luck..keep us informed..........Steve
Great job Steve! I had forgotten to mention vacuum leaks. I had this happen to me on the camaro recently. I had replaced the intake manifold gaskets and forgot to hookup the small vacuum hose from the power brake booster to the carb. The car ran and did not stallout, although it ran very bad. A good way to check for vacuum leaks is with a can of WD-40 or starter spray. Spray it around the hoses and carb. area, if the car suddenly revs up, you found your leak. Sal
Sal, That is how I find the leak, but the easiest way I have found to see if a leak exist is, with the car running and the air cleaner off, put both hands over the carb and try to choke it. If it dies, there probably ain't no leaks....Steve
Not yet...

Hey ya'll!

Thanks so far for the great advice!

We have tried all of those things but so far, nothing fixes it.

Since the car was running pretty darn well until I starting pulling plug wires looking for the missing cylinder, I am inclined to go back to the timing chain.

It does have a bit of slack and even though it is still lined up on the marks, I am wondering if the slack is enough to make the cam bump around enough to bounce in an out a few degrees.

The chain has not slipped, but since we don't have it all back together anyway, I think we will go ahead and pull the current set and replace it with the new double roller set I have on hand (Donna really wants to do it for the practice anyway, go figure!)

Most everything under the hood is new, however, I am curious about one thing...
Why does the distributor cap and rotor button not crossreference from a 62 to a late 60's early 70's set?

I bought the car with a 74 cap and rotor set on the 62 distributor and it has really run fine (1,000 miles). Is this a big problem other than the Judge points?

Also, is the firing order for this 62 327/340 HP the same as the later 327 and 350's

Thanks Doctors!!

Rick and Donna:beer
'62 stuff


First off all small blocks have the same firing order. 18436572. Since you have the new chain and gears put them on. Might as well eliminate that variable.

As I said before, the '62 dual point distributor is a one year only item only found on the 340 hp engine. First year for tach drive and last year for dual points. '56 to '61 dual points used a small rotor that just pushed on the top end of the dist shaft. The cap was a 4" dia. item that was held on with 2 spring clips. This distributor was used on the dual 4 bbl engines only.

'62 dual points used the bigger round rotor held on with 2 screws. It's the same for all '58 to '74 distributors whether regular or FI engines except the above listed dual 4 bbl engines. The cap used on the '62 340 hp engine is the one used on '58 to '63 high horsepower (solid lifter) FI engines. It was a dual window cap. The cap is 3 11/16" dia. and has the screw clamp retainers on the sides.

The '58 to '74 single point cap you now have and the correct cap differ in that the correct cap is a dual window. The single window cap is good for service replacement and function but would not be correct for judging

I hope this helps.

this may sound STUPIT (but)

I had a similar problem with my 69 elcamino and weny thru all the things you tried. The only way to make it go was to the floor and i mean it was fun but ! My racing buddy looked at it and went rite to the starter! now this was 30 + years ago so bear with me.
There was a small wire broken but the insulation was making it connect sometimes.

Good luck!
NO Way!

Hey Fast Ed, At this point, if you said ask my mother, I would!

Every bit of advice is good and sometimes it is a ridiculous small item that is giving you grief.:eyerole

Thanks for the info Tom. I thought that was the issue with the cap, but again, sometimes it is the small stuff that makes you sweat. I can get the right cap for about 35 bucks, but will wait until I change the gears and chain (changing too many things at once can also give ya trouble!)

'preciate the help!
Rick, now I'm really concerned! In past postings it was Rick and Donna. Now it's just Rick!? See how they are? The corvette stops running and they go and leave on you. lol. I'm just kidding buddy, thought you could use the humor. Hang in there. Sal
No hay problema

No sweat guys!

I was busy writing alone to you guys 'cause Donna was out in the garage pulling the old timing set. Her eyeballs caught what mine did not...

The set had so much slack that the marks could be on or off by a tooth. Enough slop to make the timing jump a bit back and forth potentially. I rewarded her eagle eyes with a little bit of elbow grease!:D

I really hate not having a drilled crankshaft. Putting the Crank gear and new balancer on is gonna be a drag:r

Anyway, let's keep our fingers crossed!

Best regards!

Rick (AND DONNA!!)):beer:love
Sounds like your car has a sharp crew chief for a co-owner.

Better'n me!

She is better than me when it comes to details!

Did I mention my 20+ years of wrenching experience? Guess I forgot to mention my lack of attention to detail!:bash

Okay guys, the mystery is solved. After puttin on the new roller set, it was darn obvious just how much slack the old timing chain had! OUCH!:r

Oh well, you never get to old to relearn the obvious!

So puttin this thang together I am referencing the Haynes manual (cause now I'm skerd I'll do someting wrong) and dang if the manual don't give two different scenarios for puttin the timing set on.

Paragraph says to find #1 TDC compression stroke and put the cam on with the timing mark at 12 o'clock. Then the picture and illustration says to find #1 exhaust stroke and align the cam and crank gear marks (my old way shadetree mechanic way to do it)

Correct me., but ain't these two methods producing the same results?

And does it matter if the #1 piston is on the compression or exhaust stroke as they are the same position until you link the cam to the crank with the timing chain? I mean the crank goes around twice for every cam revs. Right?

Cause now I'm really nervous!!!

Rick and Donna!:beer:love
Beer is not a tool

Hi Rick.

I'm sure you meant that the crank goes around twice for every cam revolution. Both ways of installing the chain end up with the same result. Just be sure it is on tdc on the compression stroke when you install the distributor and that the rotor is pointing at #1 cap terminal.

Sounds like you found the problem. I hope that the rest of the engine is solid. You should be cruising again in no time.


Thanks Tom!

I edited my booboo (midnight postings can get you in trouble!)

Yes, I believe we have the problem fixed. Interesting to note that after we installed the cam, the distributor buttin was pointing a couple of plugs off (remember the harmonic balancer issue from before? The thing wouldn't line up during timing)

Obviously the timing set was goofy for a while and the dealer had tried to compensate by turning the distributor.

Anyhoo, first firing attempt gave us obvious firing out the exhaust. Gotta go back tonight and reset the distrib...


Rick and Donna:beer

Deep in to it!

Thought you would enjoy a pic of Donna gettin serious!

I quote."Damn Sparkplugs!":mad

Bestest to ya!:;)


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