1981 Corvette will not start unless ECM is un plugged from distributer.
My 1981 corvette occasionally will not start. If you unplug the computer, it will start and run. Replaced several ECM's, distributer terminal board, HEI module. Problem has been on going for over 1 year.
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1981 Corvette has an electical tachometer that is driven by impulses from the distributor. First, check for blown fuses, next make sure the tach wire is plugged into the distributor. Next bypass silver tach filter or capacitor located by manifold to see if the tach moves at all. If these steps do not reveal a change in tach operation, then the most obvious next step is to remove the tachometer and get a new board for the tachometer. Unscrew and remove cluster lens and then unscrew tach bezel, and gently pull out the tach noting position of insulators. I believe these boards are available still at local autoparts locations. Replace board, note position of insulators and reinstall tach, bezel and lens. Old corvette are cool and are pretty easy to work on! Should be fixed, enjoy!
Ignition switch,bad fusible links, coil,ignition module. I have replaced several switches for this problem. At the coil, when you turn the switch on, there should be power. There also should be power when trying to start the engine. If there is no power while cranking, replace the switch. The reason it hits a cylinder or two is that the power goes to the coil, just not enough to get the engine running..
You got a check engine light viewing. If so get the shop manual make youself a jumper wire and jump the terminals it tells you to jump and count the flashes for the codes. The ECU/ Brain terminal is under the ash tray. If there are no codes or a check engine light welcome to the wondeful world of being a Corvette owner I 've owned the same car since 1981.
Basically, check the idle,you may want to replace wires, Distributor cap and rotor. Thats worked for me in the past. Once the PCV valve was stuck. Pull it out and shake it if it rattles its fine. You can blow thre it to has to accept air one way but not the other. The shop manual will tell you to do the same.I believe they may go a step further and recommend an oil change and minor cleaning of the carb. I use mine for shows and because I don't run it regularily I get the same problem. I usually let it run for a few hours (ideling of course) lol... and it works itself out . Keep me posted
you will have to remove the master cyl no need to dissconnect the lines and dissconnect the vacuume line and from inside the car under the dash dissconnect the brake pedal from the shaft running to the booster. and remove the 4 mounting bolts that hold the booster to the firewall and pull foward in the engine compartment. as long as you dont dissconect the brake lines you wont need to bleed the brakes. good luck paul