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starting problem

Old 11-21-2008, 11:30 AM
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Default starting problem

So my dad has a 1973 dodge challenger 340 four barrel. he gave it to me for my birthday. lets just add the car has not been started in about 5 yrs. I recently done the following..

+Changed Spark plugs
+Changed Oil & Oil filter
+New Spark plug cables

I just set the timing to where it wants to start. damper is on 0, #1 Piston is on top as up stroke, and distributor is facing to the #1 piston. yesterday i got it to start for 2 sec then it turned off. it does not want to crank. sounds like it wants to it just doesn't.

any suggestions?
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Old 11-21-2008, 12:14 PM
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Default RE: starting problem

If it turns over, try taking the air cleaner off and pouring a small amout of gas in the carb. If it sputters, or starts to fire at least you know its fuel, and not spark. After 5 years the gas is not very good. At least dilute it, or drain and replace.
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Old 11-21-2008, 01:00 PM
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Default RE: starting problem

What Andre says is right. If you're careful, and if you can still find any, you might even try a can of starter fluid (either). That stuff, however, generally only is sold in northern states where it gets cold in the winter. If you use it, be careful not to squirt too much into the carb. It will undoubtedly backfire through the carburetor, and the fireball produced can catch gasoline on fire. Make sure you have someone standing by with a blanket to snuff any fire out quickly with.

Another thing you might check is the fuel filter. It might be crapped up with varnish after sitting that long. Also, if the car still has the original mechanical fuel pump on it, that might need replacing. Personally, I'd go with an electronic fuel pump (although you always have to remember NOT to ever leave the ignition switch on for more than a few seconds without starting it. The electric fuel pumps I've seen for that era start pumping as soon as you hit ignition).

Good luck with your Challenger. Post some pictures of it if you can!
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Old 11-21-2008, 06:29 PM
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Default RE: starting problem

i mean there are a few problems i am aware of.. like i know there is no fuel getting to the carbs that's because the fuel filter is clogged.. i ordered the part off ebay so while i wait i want to get the car started. at least for a min knowing it can run. i have done this before in another car 70 duster, by just getting gas and putting it in the carb. stayed on for about 20 sec. that's all i want. but it just don't want to start.
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Old 11-21-2008, 09:00 PM
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Default RE: starting problem

OK. The next thing: Is the automatic choke closed when you try to start it? Especially if it's cool or cold where you're doing it, it should be. You might need to even put on a pair of leather gloves and cup your hands over the carburetor barrel to create more of a choke effect. (Why leather gloves? Because again, there's the danger of it backfiring through the carburetor and burning your hands.)

Also, how shot is the engine? You said it started briefly once. Was this after repeated attempts? If so, you might want to run a compression check. Assuming that you indeed have spark and the timing isn't too far off, it could be that the rings are worn enough that you're not getting enough compression for the gas to fire.
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Old 11-21-2008, 11:44 PM
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Default RE: starting problem

cool ill check into thanks for all your help guys!!!
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Old 11-22-2008, 05:44 PM
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Default RE: starting problem

If it fires briefly and then quits... you are close. What type of carb does it have? Is it stock electronic ignition? You might need a new box. Also if it does not start using these technics, you might want to squirt some trans fluid into each cylinder to allow it to increase the compression after sitting for so long. There are three things needed for the engine to fire up. Gas to the cylinder, air to the cylinder and fire from the plug. You have already made sure that the timing was correct and that there was fresh fuel going to the cylinders. So I'd look hard at the ignition system. Distributor, cap, coil, and box. Also make sure you have 12 volts going to the coil. Electronic dist needs 12.5 volts to fire efficiently. Look for fire from one of the spark plug wires with a spark plug hooked to it and placed near a ground. Either have a friend (ex-friend after this) hold this with bare hands nearground or use insulated plyers. But you need a healthy spark. My experience with 340s are they love gas. To start mine I would put almost a cup down the carb to get it to start. I would of thought it too much and flood out. But it needed alot of fuel to start. I hope this helps and HAPPY BIRTHDAY
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Old 11-22-2008, 11:54 PM
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Default RE: starting problem

haven't had a chance but tomorrow im heading to work on the car putting all the info found here to use... thanks again guys.. this is why i love forums hahaha
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Old 11-23-2008, 01:06 AM
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Default RE: starting problem

Lear's advice is probably particularly helpful. He's used to 340s. I'm basing my experience on a 318. Also, I totally forgot that 1973 was the first year of full-scale electronic ignition for Dodge.
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Old 11-26-2008, 09:44 AM
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Default RE: starting problem

can a distributor cap prevent a car from starting?
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