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1999 vortec 350 wont run after new distributor...

This is a discussion on 1999 vortec 350 wont run after new distributor... within the Technical / Maintenance forums, part of the General Discussion category; Okay, I have a 1999 chevy suburban, vortec 350. It overheated,cracked one head. I replaced head and distributor( tried to ...

  1. #1
    Registered User longracing25's Avatar
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    1999 vortec 350 wont run after new distributor...


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    Okay, I have a 1999 chevy suburban, vortec 350. It overheated,cracked one head. I replaced head and distributor( tried to replace cap...but oreilly auto cap screws have blue threadlock, and it cracked my distributor housing tabs...got a FREE distributor from Oreilly auto)....so, I have ONE line on balancer, put that on the timing tab on the front cover and thought piston was at TDC.... felt it with a small bent screwdriver(carefully)..dropped in distributor with the rotor pointing to the little number "8" in the housing...just like everyone says, and yes, plug wires correct....no start.
    After messing with this for a week now, I pulled #1 plug out to see if it was firing, spark plug not only firing while out....the engine STARTED..running rough of course. Put back in, nothing. I then realized....wait a minute, maybe my valves are not set correct, I followed instructions (I thought)...when putting my old rockers on this new head....so I loosened some of them up a half turn or so, and bingo....it started but runs rough. I got it running with all 8 plugs in, loosened each of that heads rockers until clicked...then turned half to quiet, BINGO.
    It is running rough still though, way less than 1000rpm. I don't have a scanner either.
    My question, I had someone tell me...more than likely I need to check the timing now again. Will it run at all, like this, with the vortec distributor 180 around?.....I did have someone tell me to undo battery and tap brake peddle to reset computer also....(?)....

  2. #2
    Australian Chevy
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    Re: 1999 vortec 350 wont run after new distributor...

    Yeah..I think it'll run...but badly.
    You'll still need to get the CMP retard set correctly via a scanner. The slightest bit out can make a huge difference without throwing a code.
    Howard

    YOU ONLY NEED TWO TOOLS IN LIFE - WD-40 AND DUCT TAPE. IF IT DOESN'T
    MOVE AND SHOULD, USE THE WD-40. IF IT SHOULDN'T MOVE AND DOES, USE THE
    DUCT TAPE.

    98 K1500 Suburban, 4L80E, Whipple SC, Marine Intake, Hydroboost, LS1 0411 PCM.

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    Re: 1999 vortec 350 wont run after new distributor...

    Yeah your truck will run but I would check timing,then if it is 180 out then i would reposition the distributor so that it is dead on,or you can do what (Da Burb) said and get the cpm reset.either way good luck and hope it works for you.

  4. #4
    Australian Chevy
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    Re: 1999 vortec 350 wont run after new distributor...

    You MUST get the CMP retard set with a scanner....there's no other way. You can get it 'close' without the scanner...but a hairs movement can put it 20deg out.
    Howard

    YOU ONLY NEED TWO TOOLS IN LIFE - WD-40 AND DUCT TAPE. IF IT DOESN'T
    MOVE AND SHOULD, USE THE WD-40. IF IT SHOULDN'T MOVE AND DOES, USE THE
    DUCT TAPE.

    98 K1500 Suburban, 4L80E, Whipple SC, Marine Intake, Hydroboost, LS1 0411 PCM.

  5. #5
    Registered User longracing25's Avatar
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    Re: 1999 vortec 350 wont run after new distributor...

    are you talking about the code scanners you can buy...or do I have to take it somewhere? Not to sound cheap, but I'm actually unemployed at the moment....which is why I did this head replacement myself....the garage wanted upwards of $2000 to change out head gasket and/OR replace head and a few other things. I spent $199 on a reconditioned head,$70 on a gasket set...and the distributor was given to me by Oreilly auto parts AFTER a new cap/rotor screw cracked my distributor housing tab because they put blue threadlocker on them (dumb)..and it makes the diameter just big enough to grab and crack the tabs, common problem from what the manager said....FYI. Anyway, I'll undo the battery to reset the computer, check the timing and see if it is out 180....see if that makes a differance...and the scanner thing, is that something I need to break down and take it to a shop for?....THANKS BY THE WAY!

  6. #6
    Australian Chevy
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    Re: 1999 vortec 350 wont run after new distributor...

    Yeah...unfortunately you have to take it to either a dealership...or someone with a TECH2 or other software such as EFILive to set the CMPRETARD to +/- 2 deg. Can't guess it. It'll run OK without it being done...as long as it's close. It just won't be ideal. I have a feeling misfire detection doesn't work if it's not within spec.
    As for the dizzy....yep...I hear ya. I bought one of the ebay billet units and tapped the hold down tabs to 4mm. I use allen key bolts to screw the cap down. MANY people have had the exact same issue you described.
    Howard

    YOU ONLY NEED TWO TOOLS IN LIFE - WD-40 AND DUCT TAPE. IF IT DOESN'T
    MOVE AND SHOULD, USE THE WD-40. IF IT SHOULDN'T MOVE AND DOES, USE THE
    DUCT TAPE.

    98 K1500 Suburban, 4L80E, Whipple SC, Marine Intake, Hydroboost, LS1 0411 PCM.

  7. #7
    Registered User longracing25's Avatar
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    Re: 1999 vortec 350 wont run after new distributor...

    bit of a update....Like I had indicated, my truck overheated, cracked a head....and the distributor was replaced. I knew some water had gotton into the oil, of course, I HAD NOT CHANGED that oil yet, I was trying to get it to run first (with no luck, idling rough and barely right....) I will take it to a shop and have them set the timing.....ALSO....today I changed the oil, instead of about 5quarts....I had my 7 quart pan about full, and it was a light brown VERY THICK, malt like liquid....I mean it was the worst I had ever seen. I changed the ouil and filter( and I'll change it again after this oil has ran thru for a week or so probably).
    I tried to start it......WOW!, It started up, ran great at idle, great thru the RPM's, and idled just under 1000 rpm now. I still will take it to the shop to get timed (and looked over to be certain)..........but WOW!, I guess the extra few quarts of "sludge" was really bogging down the engine, plus the crap trying to be pumped up thru it......Thanks guys!

 

 

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