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waking up a motor from 4 year nap
#1351777 Thu Mar 26 2020 07:44 PM
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 174
B
Shop Shark
Hi all-

Probably a familiar story for some of you. I have a stock 54' 3100 that I parked inside about 4 years ago that I'm attempting to get running again. The brakes went out on it at the same time as we moved, and between moving, having a kid, changing jobs, house projects etc etc, it just got pushed to the back-burner. Anyway, the brakes are done at this point and I'm trying to get it fired up. Keep in mind, this truck "ran when parked" as the saying goes.

Here's what I have done so far:

- The battery was on a maintainer, so it's good to go, cranks nice and hard.
- I drained the gas tank and flushed the lines as best as I could.
- I changed oil and filter.
- I pre-filled the lines with fresh gas, and pre-filled the carb bowl a little thru the brass tube.

I cranked for quite a while and cannot get it to start, so I tried a little starter fluid and would not even get a cough or get it to "try". Normally this would lead me to think that I'm not getting any spark, so I removed the lead into the distributor, and opened the points. I got what seemed to be a 1/2"-3/4" blue spark to the block which I think is strong enough? It just seems odd that if I were getting spark, that it would at least cough a bit when I hit it with starting fluid. No moisture under the distributor cap that I could see. Maybe tonight I will try sanding the spark plugs a bit in case they varnished over.

As you can tell, I'm trying my best to eliminate all alternatives before tearing into the carb. Probably wishful thinking on my part. What else can you guys think of? Thanks in advance.


Bryan
1954 3104 235 "AD" L-6 3-on-the tree...AKA "Rusty [s789.photobucket.com]"
Re: waking up a motor from 4 year nap
Bryan Buser #1351780 Thu Mar 26 2020 07:58 PM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 9,335
Grease Monkey, Moderator General Truck Talk & Greasy Spoon
If it didn’t fire on Starting Fluid it most likely is not the carburetor. Run a compression check.🛠


Martin
'62 Chevy C-10 Stepside Shortbed (Restomod in progress)
'47 Chevy 3100 5 Window (long term project)
‘65 Chevy Biscayne 4dr 230 I-6 one owner (I’m #2)
‘39 Dodge Businessmans Coupe
USAF 1965-69 Weather Observation Tech (got paid to look at the clouds)


"I fought the law and the law won" now I are a retired one!
Support those brave men/women who stand the "Thin Blue Line"! Hug a cop!

Re: waking up a motor from 4 year nap
Bryan Buser #1351783 Thu Mar 26 2020 08:44 PM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,017
F
Shop Shark
First, congrats for owning a 54 3100. I wish I did. 😎. Since you know the trucks history and that it was indeed running when parked gives you an advantage. There’s no reason to think anything happened to it while parked, is there? Have you removed the valve cover and the dist cap and cranked it with the starter and watched the valves going up and down, and the rotor spinning? Just to be sure all that is working as it should. Could be worthwhile...
It’s probably something really simple. Good luck.


Professional Novice
Re: waking up a motor from 4 year nap
Bryan Buser #1351818 Thu Mar 26 2020 10:51 PM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,478
S
Shop Shark
Check to be sure the coil wire is firmly seated in both the coil and the distributor

Make sure the carb bowl has adequate fuel in it.

Be sure to give t full choke on the first crank.

Make sure the key is in the “ON” position!! After 4 years you may have forgotten which direction is on. Don’t ask me how I know that.


Chuck
1950 Chevy 1/2 ton (original)
1951 Chevy 1/2 ton (future streetrod)
1941 Chevy coupe
1938 Chevy coupe streetrod
Re: waking up a motor from 4 year nap
Bryan Buser #1351843 Fri Mar 27 2020 01:35 AM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 21,650
H
Boltergeist
Have you confirmed that the spark is actually getting to the plugs? I've seen distributor rotors short out (or get misplaced) and even if the coil is firing, the spark doesn't make it to the plugs. Pull a wire off one of the spark plugs and use a spare plug or even a 1/4" bolt or something similar to test for spark to ground. I've also seen plugs get rusty and/or fouled during long term storage and leak firing voltage away without jumping the gap.
Jerry


The murder victim was drowned in a bathtub full of Rice Krispies and milk.
The coroner blamed the crime on a cereal killer!

Cringe and wail in fear, Eloi- - - - -we Morlocks are on the hunt!
Re: waking up a motor from 4 year nap
Bryan Buser #1351844 Fri Mar 27 2020 01:42 AM
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 1,869
Shop Shark
Chuck,

I’ve been frustrated a few times when my truck wouldn’t start, especially when I realized key was in off position!

Chris

Re: waking up a motor from 4 year nap
ndkid275 #1351857 Fri Mar 27 2020 02:57 AM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 9,485
5
Master Gabster
Originally Posted by ndkid275
Chuck,

I’ve been frustrated a few times when my truck wouldn’t start, especially when I realized key was in off position!

Chris
Really? Key in the off position?
That only happens to rookies,



and every last one of the rest of us, because we are "so smart." smile

Re: waking up a motor from 4 year nap
Bryan Buser #1351929 Fri Mar 27 2020 02:35 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,520
P
Shop Shark
Squirt a little light oil down the plug holes.

Re: waking up a motor from 4 year nap
Bryan Buser #1351932 Fri Mar 27 2020 03:08 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 21,650
H
Boltergeist
Getting spark from the coil with the key off? I's like somebody to show me how that happens!
Jerry


The murder victim was drowned in a bathtub full of Rice Krispies and milk.
The coroner blamed the crime on a cereal killer!

Cringe and wail in fear, Eloi- - - - -we Morlocks are on the hunt!
Re: waking up a motor from 4 year nap
Bryan Buser #1351945 Fri Mar 27 2020 05:17 PM
Joined: Oct 2015
Posts: 28
N
Wrench Fetcher
Make sure the exhaust system isn't plugged up. Mice and mud wasps can be problems there.


1935 QD 1.5 ton stake bed
1937 SD 1.5 ton stake bed
1944 MS 1.5 ton stake bed
1946 PW 2 ton stake bed
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