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Engine only cranks until it comes up on compression, then stops

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I would be checking the valve clearences if its ohv they should be set at 4 thou, If it is side valve they should be set at 6 thou intake and 8 thou exhaust.

Posted on Aug 04, 2009

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How do I find tdc on 350 v8 small block if the balancer has no marks

Lizzy, with all spark plugs removed so you are able to turn engine over by hand with the assistance of a wrench to fit crank pulley nut.
you or an assistant have to hold thumb/finger over #1 cylinder spark plug hole, rotate engine clockwise till you feel compression trying to blow thumb from hole or leak. Stop rotating engine when pressure is felt ( #1 cylinder compression stroke), now you have to place a probe of sorts(1/4" wooden dowel, 10" long) in same plug hole. Now turn engine till probe is pushed up as far as it can go, stop rotating engine here, before it starts lowering piston again (end of #1 compression stroke) TDC, top dead center. If you had a dial indicator you could get more accurate, but this is basically TDC.
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Apr 01, 2016 | Cars & Trucks

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How to get tdc

there are over 6 ways.
to attain TDC #1 firing,
on all engines, you never stated what engine is in your car.!
nor what state engine is in, nor how you lost it. (heads off?)
on all V6 and V8, #1 is the most forward cylinder, look carefully see that? that is true on all cars.
then, if the engine is all buttoned up, (is it?) you cant watch the valve actions, making it impossible to see them.
so... i pretend that is your case, worst case.
there are 2 ways, in THIS case.
the blow test, or the compression test.
1: some put tissue paper in #1 spark hole
then rotate crank pulley by hand until it blows out. this is the compression strock , the begining then keep moving until the
crank pulley zero degree mark aligns with the pointer.
you are at TDC #1 firing now.
2: same deal but use a compression gauge.
when the gauge begins to rise. bingo, its on the beginning of the compression stroke, moving up. stop at zero.

there are vastly more easy ways with valve #1 clover off.

Jul 13, 2014 | 1998 Chevrolet K1500

1 Answer

Turns but will not start

Check to see if the Check Engine Light comes on when you first turn the key on (without cranking the engine). If not, there may be a power issue (fuse). Make sure that you have spark and fuel injector pulses. There may be a chance that the timing belt jumped or broken. Sometimes you can tell by the sound of the engine; rather than the usual sound, it makes when cranking, you may hear the engine cranking unevenly or faster than normal. Sometimes you can tell if the belt is broken by removing the oil fill cap and looking for valve train movement. Otherwise, an engine compression test will sometimes help to diagnose this. Sometimes the timing belt cover has to be removed to check for this condition.

Aug 02, 2013 | 2001 Hyundai Elantra

1 Answer

Engine turns over but doest start ive checked the spart plug its fine the batterys charged an all the elictrics are working petrol and oil is fine ? any ideas

you should first do a full inspection before you try to get it running. If this is the case, I'd do a compression check first because it's easy to do. First, check the quantity and condition of the engine oil. Hook up or purchase a good battery. Leave out the spark plug and crank the scooter for ~5 seconds. This helps to circulate the oil. Let it set for ~15 seconds and then do it again. It's not a good idea to continuously crank the starter because it can overheat and wear out prematurely. Most scooters need a minimum of 100 psi in compression in order to run start and properly. Compression should be checked when the scooter engine is warm. However, that's hard to do if your scooter is not running. So, just hook up a compression gauge and open up the throttle all the way. Crank the scooter until the needle on the compression gauge stops moving. This should take no more than 5 seconds. Very roughly, 100-125 psi is good, 125-150 psi is very good, and 150+ psi is great. If you don't have this level of compression, then you have bad valves and/or bad piston rings. If you want, you can add a teaspoon or so of oil to the engine through the spark plug hole. Then try the compression test again. If compression is higher, then it's likely you have bad rings. The oil will seal the rings and give you better compression. If compression is the same, then you have bad/misadjusted valves.

hope this helps


Aug 12, 2011 | Peugeot Sports Vision R3 Motorcycles

1 Answer


350, 305, 400. Crank shaft gear mark is straight up to the camshaft gear and the camshft gear is straight down to the crank shaft gear. If your looking for the rotor button / distributor. The button should be pointing to the number one cylinder (drivers side front) On the compression stroke. To find the compression stroke pull the number one plug , put you finger over the hole, crank the engine untill the pressure pushes your finger off, then put a stiff wire in the hole and turn the engine by hand (wrench) untill the wire comes up and just starts to drop. Move it back and forth to get top dead center. On the distributor Number one and number eight should be horizontal with the radiator.

Jul 02, 2011 | GMC Sierra 2500 Cars & Trucks

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Timing chain broke on my 96 cavalier 2.2 ohv. Replaced the chain and tensioner but now the car runs rough necause of a miss n the car. The motor had to be hoisted up in order to change the timing chain im...

If the chain broke while the engine was running, and I presume it did, it is possible that you may have damaged the valves. When the chain breaks the cam shaft stops moving and the valves stay in their last position. The pistons continue to move until the engine comes to a stop. An open valve can be hit by a piston, sometimes breaking the valve or just bending the shaft. Also you have to be sure the new chain has the cam shaft and crank shaft properly timed. As I understand that that engine does not have timing marks on the chain sprockets. To test for damaged valves, remove the spark plugs and test the compression in each cylinder by cranking the engine while holding the compression gage in the spark plug hole. All the cylinder should have the same pressure within about 15 psi. A cylinder with damaged valves will not have any compression pressure. If you are unsure about the valve timing check into how that engine is timed. I don't have that information but if is out of time it has a very major effect on the engine performance and idle. I hope this gives you a place to start looking for the cause of the mis. Good luck.

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Jun 22, 2011 | 1996 Chevrolet Cavalier

1 Answer

Timing is off after having the distributor out, how do reset timing?

you need to remove #1 spark plug and crank engine over with your finger blocking spark plug hole , get someone to crank engine, slow as possible. when you feel the air pressure pass your finger ,. stop cranking engine. you are now close to top dead center. turn harmonic balancer by hand until 0 mark on balancer lines up with mark on engine. you are now at TDC on compression stroke and ready to install distributor. the rotor on distrubtor should be facing #1 spark plug when distributor fully seated.HOPE THIS HELPS. GOOD LUCK.

Jan 03, 2011 | 2002 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

1 Answer

I need the diagram and information how to fix the top dead center for a jaguar 1997 xj6 please can some one help me .

top dead center on each cylinder is the position of the piston on the compression stroke at it's highest point.You will need to remove spark plug and disable the ignition system then install a compression tester and crank it a little at a time until there is compression then stop asap .Then remove tester and install a skinny stick like a barbecue stick and turn the engine by using a ratchet socket on the crank pulley bolt either clockwise or counterclockwise until the stick is in the highest position

Nov 23, 2010 | 1995 Jaguar XJ6

1 Answer

Quit running

In short your engine will require 3 things to fire, spark/timing of, fuel, and compression. Check the easiest 1st, pull a plug wire and check for spark, if there is spark crank the engine over a few times more then remove a spark plug, if there is fuel on plugs you have gas flow and injector pulse, now check compression if there is good compression you should have good timing. Please check the above and let me know waht you do / do not have, from there we can narrow it down and get you an answer. Could very well be a crank sensor or such, until you narrow it down, the possibilities are endless.

Please let me know and I'll try to help,

Apr 16, 2010 | 2000 Mitsubishi Galant

1 Answer

Was mowing with riding mower was running fine started missing and black smoke coming out of exhaust stopped mower immediatetly oil in carb now and when try cranking it just cranks and cranks not firing

Pull plug and check compression. When cranking see if bottom pulley turns from engine. If compression is below 90 psi it won't start and you have an internal problem. Stopped mower immediately sounds like motor blew. Also check side of motor for cracked block, Good luck.

Mar 21, 2010 | Briggs & Stratton Garden

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