Question about Chevrolet 1500

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I already rotate my distributor 180 degrees but it still backfires and won't start. good spark and good fuel pressure.the timing chain was not disturbed.only the head gasket was replaced and everything double checked. anymore input is really appreciated. thanks

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The distributor is timed wrong or the wires are crossed. Make sure the no 1 piston is up and on the compression stroke.Good Luck!!!

Posted on Nov 15, 2010

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If the dist cap or rotor is bad, the spark will not be on the right plug at the right time. Same goes for a faulty distributor or a problem with the timing chain. And the ignition module.
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need to get back to basics, first check engine compression-you say that it's high mileage, so I'd start there-If you have uniform compression across the board, move on to fuel pressure at the top rail-if that is good, with spark it has to run, but make sure your distributor is properly installed (not out 180 degrees).

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If you are re-installing the distributor, the only limit on where the vacuum advance goes is whether you have room to rotate the distributor to the proper timing position. The really critical part is arranging it so the rotor is on the number 1 cylinder when the number 1 piston is top dead center (TDC) in the firing position. To do this, rotate the crankshaft so the timing mark on the harmonic balancer lines up with the timing mark gauge mounted on the block. Set the rotor to the number one spark plug position and install the distributor. You have a 50% chance this is correct; it could be TDC on the exhaust stroke instead of the ignition stroke. If the engine won't start, carefully remove the distributor so you maintain the rotor position, rotate the rotor shaft 180° and reinstall. Now if the engine runs you can set the timing.

Note: if the screwdriver blade on the end of the distributor shaft doesn't engage the slot on the oil pump (you won't be able to get the distributor to seat properly), then turn the oil pump with a large clean screwdriver so it lines up properly.

If the vacuum advance hits something before you can rotate the distributor body to the correct timing position, you'll have to shift everything around by at least one gear tooth on the cam shaft (remove the distributor, keeping the rotor in the same position inside the distributor, tweak the oil pump slot in the direction you need to rotate the distributor to get your timing space, then re-install one or two gear tooth widths away from whatever was blocking the vacuum advance).

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check the ignition timing with a timing light. If that is good, check the pickup coil in the distributor and the ignition coil. I think the ignition coil can be replaced if it is faulty. But if the pickup coil is bad, the entire distributor may have to be replaced. A remanufactured one won't be that expensive.

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well try removing the distributor and spin it around half way 180 degrees then try. it seems you are off there are two ways to install the distributor because two turns for the crank equal one for the distributor.if still wont start call on me again i will help you .

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1996 gmc jimmy wont start seems like advanced timing issue backfiring out throttlebody, replaced timing pick up, distribitor cap, crank sensor, ICM, when ignition conrol module replace the engine ran fine...


You said the problem happened right after the engine was replaced correct? If so bring number cylinder to top dead center on the compression stroke. Remove the distributor cap and see if the rotor is lined up with the number one spark plug wire. It's possible the distributor was installed 180 degrees out.

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What could cause a 1985 ford crown Victoria to not start after changing the timing chain,distributor and cap,and ignition control module and coil. Car only backfires but will not start despite moving the...


timing issue by the sounds of it double check timing chain and sprocket positions then maker sure you haven't set the timing 180 degrees out, it an easy mistake

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I have a 1992 gmc vandura 5.7 L v8 im having a difficult time finding some free help to determine what the problem might be PLEASE HELP ME IF YOU CAN THANKS JODY


If it is backfiring through the carb (no fuel injection? Has to be) It shows that one or more cylinders are firing when an intake valve is still open. That can happen if the distributor cap has any "tracking" inside that is allowing spark to jump to the wrong wire terminal, the rotor is bad, (same thing) or if an ignition wire is worn cracked etc and is allowing spark to jump to another wire before it reaches the plugs.
That condition can also be caused by a bad timing chain (throwing off the phasing between crank and cam) or a burned intake valve.(no longer sealing) Sensors such as the throttle position sensor and map sensor allow the computer to adjust the timing as you drive if either have failed, it can cause similar problems but usually won't cause a no start condition. A worn camshaft lobe can also cause a backfire at times. Just about everything you listed seems to point to a bad timing chain. Without testing this will all remain a "mystery". For around $20 you can get a haynes or chilton manual for your vehicle and then you can do tests using a digital volt/ohmmeter. A simple test of the timing chain is to remove the cap from the distributor and without removing the wires, hold it out of the way and crank the engine over. If the rotor "stutters" when cranking or does not turn at all, the chain has failed. Also check tdc by turning the crankshaft till it points to 0 on the timing scale. the rotor should point to the #1 post of the cap, or 180 degrees away from it (one more complete turn of the crank should bring it to #1). When a chain is worn and about to fail, it will reduce engine power and also cause low vacuum and stalling.
Your fuel pump should run most of the time when the engine is running. When it reaches the proper pressure the regulator will normally shut it down or at least the sound from the pump should lessen....that maybe another problem entirely unless the plugs are getting soaked with fuel. I would work on finding the cause of the backfiring first as everything else may "normalize" after that is corrected.
good luck

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