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Hard starting 1948 Dodge sedan 230 six cylinder.


Guest flathead_jr
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Guest flathead_jr

I'm kind of scratching my head here as I can't figure out why this motor is so hard to start. Will not start on gas! I can ether it and eventually it will kick over and start. Seems to idle find once started, but where is the timing supposed to be set? There's the scale on the balancer, but at what end is top dead center? And if I do adjust the distributor the only thing that changes is the position of the timing marks. The idle does not change am I missing something here?

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Guest flathead_jr

I do need to check the compression, I think the engine has either been changed or rebuilt at sometime because the block has been painted red and I think the originals where painted silver. I'm guessing someones been into it but who knows. I know nothing of the history of the car.

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Guest flathead_jr

I've replaced all the ignition parts including a different distributor because the original was worn out. The only thing I have not changed yet is the coil, and I need to check the spark intensity at the plugs too. I'm unfamiliar with this engine, if it was a flathead V8 it would have been a no brainer. But the ignition on this one is different, well at least the distributor is.

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When I acquired my Plymouth it was hard to start. And it had low compression. After overhauling the engine that problem went away. Heed the prior suggestions to check the compression.

There is a pipe plug on the head over the #6 cylinder. You can remove that and use a stiff rod or wire to determine the top of the stoke (#1 and #6 pistons move on the same throw) so that will allow you to find TDC to check the timing mark on the front pulley.

Pretty standard distributor, seems like if you've done a tune on any car from the 40s, 50s or 60s it should be familiar...

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Guest flathead_jr

All cables are in their factory locations, I don't know about any plugs in the head other than the spark plugs. I'm going to look at the compression, and coil to see if these are where my problems are at. There may be a slight starter drag that my not be helping either, good thing I have spare parts.

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Guest MidTNDawg

The flathead Ford dist. was an animal all its own. If you timed that twin point setup, this is a snap. Determine when #1 comes up on compression and the rest is reasonably easy. The info in this thread is good, especially the cable size. Funny thing though, my DA started really easy when the compression was low. Now rebuilt, the starter is a problem. Hopefully a problem resolved by this time next week.

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Guest flathead_jr

Okay so I think I have figured out the problem, the spark is great, seems to be hot enough. However I think the compression may be the issue here's what I found, cylinders numbered 1-6. 1-55 psi, 2-65 psi, 3-0 psi, 4-50 psi, 5-60 psi, 6-55 psi. I don't know if this is a ring problem, or a valve problem, but I see there's a serious problem with #3. I think the other valve is stuck open or burned, who knows. It's one of those pull the head and see what's going on inside at this point. I can't see the condition of the valve seats, valves, and cylinders other wise.

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Compression should be around 120 psi. It's time to start soaking things to see if the rings are stuck. The 0 hole sounds like it could have a stuck valve. Hopefully the soaking will free things up.

There are various threads around the AACA that suggest what kinds of solutions work best.

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Guest flathead_jr

I soaked it some before, but I should have used my cocktail of atf and diesel fuel to soak it. I've had that work on engines where I didn't think it wouldn't work. Even on engines that I thought where stuck, and I've unstuck some good ones, except the ones that where really bad.

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