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Difficulty timing a 1995 Chevy 454ci

OutofTime
Explorer III
Explorer III
I'm helping my brother clean up a 1995 Gulfstream Sunsport that is built on top of a 1994 Chevy P30 Chassis. It comes with a Chevy 454 big block v8. For the life of me I can't get the thing to fire off. I've verified spark, fuel and air. According to the directions on the air cleaner the timing should be set to 4 degrees BTDC on the number 1 wire. I've tried timing to that and I get nothing. I've read that if you use the timing marks at the 5 o'clock position, use cylinder number 5. Tried that too and nothing.

I made the assumption the harmonic balancer has slipped so I tried timing it the old fashioned way by pointing the dizzy at cylinder number 1 while it's on the compression stroke before reaching TDC. Nothing. I'm pretty sure my wire order on the dizzy is correct and that the spark plugs aren't fouled out.

Anyone have any advice?
1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

OutofTime
Explorer III
Explorer III

Hello all.  It's been awhile but I can finally put to rest why this 454 ran so poorly.  My brother and I are currently doing an engine swap for his RV and we finally had the chance to pull the intake manifold... broken and bent pushrods everywhere.  A lifter was out of it's hole as well.  I'm not sure if a pushrod escaped due to bad lash, or a cam lobe wiped, or a valve got stuck but I think one rod got loose then started banging around damaging others.  I'm pretty impressed it was even starting on command.

The 454 we are putting in has no such issues so I think as long as I put everything back together correctly the engine issue should  finally be put to rest.  I am filming the process of engine removal and installation if anyone would be interested in that.

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129 REPLIES 129

enblethen
Nomad
Nomad
Did you check the sensor on the distributor shaft to make sure it cleared the pick up coil? Make sure it is turning when engine is being cranked.
Have you tested the coil? maybe a bad part!

Bud
USAF Retired
Pace Arrow


2003 Chev Ice Road Tracker

OutofTime
Explorer III
Explorer III
Tyler0215 wrote:
What the heck is a dizzy?


It's what you call a distributor when you don't feel like typing the entire word.

Tyler0215
Explorer
Explorer
What the heck is a dizzy?

OutofTime
Explorer III
Explorer III
nickthehunter wrote:
Did you have the distributor out, or timing chain out, and put them back in correctly?


I did have to replace the dizzy as the the wires on the pickup coil were shot on the old one. However when I stabbed the new one I got it close enough to fire, though it was running pig rich. The really screwy part of all this is that it drove, though rich, fired up fine the next day, then nothing. We could get it to fire but not run.

I did forget to mention that I do have the computer advance connector unplugged, so we are working on base timing only.

For giggles I also jumpered the OBD1 connector and currently there are no codes.

JRscooby
Explorer II
Explorer II
How long has the engine been setting?
I had issue when 427 had been parked for long time. Pulled valve covers, saw little movement in rockers.
Pulled the distributer, used drill to spin pump until had oil pressure on gauge. My best guess was the lifters had drained enough for valve timing.

MitchF150
Explorer III
Explorer III
To check the timing marks on the balancer, you need to check to make sure #1 cylinder is at TDC on it's compression stroke.

There are lots of youtube vids on how to do that but basically, you pull the plug on #1, put your thumb over the hole, crank the engine and you will feel when it's pushing air out on it's compression stroke.

Then you check the timing mark on the balancer to see how close it is.

As soon as you know it's on it's compression stroke, you can put a straw or something to make sure you get the piston at TDC. Usually, using a big breaker bar on the crank nut will let you do that final turn. The starter will most always over bump it and then you'll have to start over..

Good luck!

Mitch
2013 F150 XLT 4x4 SuperCab Max Tow Egoboost 3.73 gears #7700 GVWR #1920 payload. 2019 Rockwood Mini Lite 2511S.

ArchHoagland
Explorer
Explorer
I forgot to put the rotor back in one time when I did a tune up. Didn't help that I killed a six pack in the process.
2004 Monaco La Palma 36DBD
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2000 LEXUS RX300 FWD 22MPG 4020 LBS
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nickthehunter
Nomad II
Nomad II
Did you have the distributor out, or timing chain out, and put them back in correctly?

enblethen
Nomad
Nomad
did you disconnect the timing connector next to the distributor? Memory serves me it is tan or ivory wire.
Distributor should be second in previous post. First one is for Vortec engines.

Bud
USAF Retired
Pace Arrow


2003 Chev Ice Road Tracker

opnspaces
Navigator II
Navigator II
Just looking online it looks like there are two different caps that are wired differently. Rotation is clockwise on both.

.
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