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Cranks but wont start.


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I put an l24 into my 260z to use temporarily and so far I haven’t been able to get it started. 
I don’t know the history on this engine, I got it for free and was told it ran, I didn’t want to ask too many questions incase he decided it wasn’t going to be free anymore. 
 

Aside from the long block and fuel pump, everything on the engine is what came off of the original engine which I did drive the car with. 
since the engine has compression (albeit not great compression) and has the ignition and carbs (round tops) that I used previously, I don’t know why it wont start. Sometimes when cranking it’ll fire and sound like it’s going to start, but doesn’t. 
 

I’ve already tested for spark, sprayed starting fluid in the carbs and filled the bowls with gas. The only thing that I can think of it being is timing related, so I’ll include pictures of where everything lines up when at what I think should be TDC. Maybe someone will spot something out of place. 

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Show the distributor cap with #1 plug terminal identified, and confirm that the firing order is correct.

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My finger is on the #1 plug wire, going counter clockwise followed by numbers 5 3 6 2 4. I considered that being the issue but I don’t think I’ve moved the wires since they ran in that configuration on the original engine. If it’s wrong, please let me know though. 

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Still can't tell if the rotor electrode is pointing at the terminal your finger is on.  It might also be that you need to turn the distributor.  Get the cap in your hands and see if you think that the spark will jump to the #1 terminal when the timing mark is at 10 degrees.  

Or have a friend turn the distributor back and forth slowly while you crank the engine.

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The rotor doesn’t seem to point directly at #1 when at tdc, it’s just a little past it (or before it)

Im gonna try messing with the car a bit more. Maybe I’ll figure something out 

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Sounds like your ignition timing is off.  Turn the distributor body.  That will change the trigger point and get the rotor pointed closer to #1.  

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What he said. You can undo all the distributor fasteners and turn it past it's ordinary adjustment range temporarily to see if you can get it to fire. Then note how far off the rotor is from number one position when you get the crank back to TDC. A bit hard to tell from your pics but the distributor shaft looks off to me. I would say it may need to be rotated clockwise.

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I’d believe it if the distributor shaft wasn’t in the right place, it feels like a timing issue. I hadn’t tried moving the distributor passed it’s normal adjustment range, I’ll give that a shot next time I’m able... if I didn’t kill the starter trying get it started that is. 
 

How do you adjust the distributor shaft? Is it as easy as grabbing and twisting something? 

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There's a nut you can loosen and the distributor will twist.  Should be a plate on it showing approx TDC and you can adjust it as described.

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Are you describing the bolt that you loosen to adjust timing, or is there a nut on the distributor that you use to adjust the distributor itself? I’m not with the car at the moment, so I’m trying to build my list of what to check 

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2 hours ago, Cooper260z said:

How do you adjust the distributor shaft? Is it as easy as grabbing and twisting something? 

You have to drop the oil pump, adjust the shaft and push the oil pump back up. There are a BUNCH of threads about the process and various methods people use to get it positioned correctly. Sometimes easier with a helper and long needle nose pliers but doable by yourself. Patience is the key to joy.

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i was worried that dropping the oil pump would be the way to do that. 
Theoretically though, if the shaft is indexed a little off, if I just take the bolt out that limits the distributors adjustment, that should compensate and allow the timing to be “correct” enough for it to run, right? that’s what @cgsheen1 suggested if I’m understanding correctly. 
 

And then you just rig the distributor mounting to stay in that position and I never have to drop the oil pump... But I’d never do that...
 

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To close out this thread, it was just that, the distributor shaft isn’t oriented correctly. I moved the distributor passed the plates restrictions to get it started. 
 

@w3wilkes thank you for sharing that. I may message them, because like a lot of people I’m sure, I don’t really want to drop the oil pump. 

 

 

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