Question about 1985 Chevrolet K1500

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Chevy 4.3 v6 edelbrock performer carb and hei distributor with vacuum advance. Which port on the carb do I connect the vacuum advance to? And where do the fuel lines hook up? Got the crank breather/pcv and brake booster and ac actuators hooked up.

Posted by Brys Cheek on

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  • Brys Cheek
    Brys Cheek Jul 12, 2011

    if you're wondering why I'm starting from scratch on all this it's because this engine isn't in a chevy. I've put it in my dodge dakota and converted it to carb to eliminate the computer/wiring harness.

  • Brys Cheek
    Brys Cheek Jul 12, 2011

    if you're wondering why I'm starting from scratch on all this it's because this engine isn't in a chevy. I've put it in my dodge dakota and converted it to carb to eliminate the computer/wiring harness.

  • Brys Cheek
    Brys Cheek Jul 15, 2011

    Alright thank you so much! I really appreciate it

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1 Answer

Richard Scordino

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Not sure which design carb you have but here's a rule that works for all carbs. Attach the vacuum advance hose to any port coming from the carb baseplate (bottom). If you don't have a free one, you can use a "T" in another line or if there's a fitting on the manifold you could use that as well. Just make sure that the line has full vacuum at idle. (check with a vacuum gauge or just put your finger over it and feel for vacuum) Since it's pretty old, it would be good to put your finger under the advance mechanism when you attach the line (running) and make sure the small rod that goes into the distributor moves when you do that. if it does not, then the advance diaphragm is bad and you will need to replace it. Use small rubber plugs to block off any unused ports.
As for the fuel line. You should have a threaded inlet on the fuel bowl. The line attaches there. If you need to make a line, you can get one from any parts house, cut it to length and use rubber fuel hose to join it together with the one already on the fuel pump. When running new line, keep it away from exhaust manifolds, belts and pulleys. Best to put an in-line filter in the hose....that will keep the carb clean. If it's a four barrel (doubtful for that engine) you would need a fuel rail that joins both carb inlets to the single line from the pump.
If you have a problem understanding this, just ask and I'll clarify it for you.

Posted on Jul 12, 2011

  • 5 more comments 
  • Brys Cheek
    Brys Cheek Jul 12, 2011

    Thanks! It is a 4 barrel. I'm using all new parts on the top end. Intake manifold, carburetor, and distributor are all brand new. The only other problem I'm having is that I can't get the distributor to make spark. Its an HEI distributor not computer controlled. All that's needed for this kind to work is the engine to be grounded and a positive lead running from the positive leg of the starter to the terminal on the distributor marked BATT. I've done this but it's not making any spark. I know the parts aren't messed up cause its all brand new.

  • Richard Scordino Jul 13, 2011

    On an 85 you can use the original hot lead from the original distributor or just run a lead from the "ON" side of the ignition switch. There aren't too many things that can go bad in those distributors. Hot lead attaches to the terminal market "Batt" on the cap, the other one is used to hook up a tach. The harness from inside the unit plugs into the cap.Only internal parts are the module (if bad they just don't work at all) and the pickup coil under the plate. The two wires from the coil sometimes break off because the plate moves when the unit is advancing. To "quick check" the distributor you can run a lead right from the battery to the distributor and it should work. To turn it off just disconnect the lead. As far as new being good.... I just put a comp cam in an 85 Monte Carlo...Cam was ground wrong!!!!! New isn't always good it's just new. The distributor I am using in the Monte is pretty much the same one you have but I re- calibrated the advance weights and installed all new Mallory high performance parts. We have new vortdc heads, edelbrock manifold, a holley 750 (tricked out) Comp cam, Comp rockers and springs, ****** headers and a bunch of other stuff from a few of my old racemobiles. Next winter I'll build a 350 short block and stick it under all the junk we just installed!!!
    On yours, don't forget...you cant put into it what you can't get out the other end. (think cam and headers).

  • Brys Cheek
    Brys Cheek Jul 14, 2011

    So I tried just about everything I could on this. I tried different terminals and plug wire and plug and still nothing. I know the whole engine is grounded because I accidentally arced out the positive lead. The only thing I can think of is that rubber disc with the pin on one side and spring on the other. Doesn't look like the tab on the rotor is making contact with that pin because of the plastic on the cap. Maybe this one wasn't cast out right or something. There's the possibility that I put the thing in upside down, but I followed the directions on it that came with the rotor. I'm at a loss because everything is hooked up right and all the parts are brand new. Luckily they all have a lifetiime warranty. Any ideas? Maybe you know which way the rubber disc with spring and pin go? I'm pretty sure the little spring is supposed to contact the base of the coil so the spring is up

  • Richard Scordino Jul 14, 2011

    The small spring goes into the hole in the center of the cap from the coil side. The gasket goes on top of it with the spring end protruding towards the coil, then the coil goes on top. Be sure that you don't over-tighten the coil screws and always make sure that they don't go through the cap and into the area where the rotor is or it will cause a short in the secondary and also give you no spark.

  • Richard Scordino Jul 14, 2011

    One question....what brand cap etc do you have? Mallory rotors have an insert that needs to be removed to fit certain distributors but the caps are all the same except that Accel ones use a different design coil but the button and insulator go in the same way.

  • Brys Cheek
    Brys Cheek Jul 14, 2011

    Thanks again! I've just never done this before. The parts are by a brand called BWD its supposed to be oem replacement parts. I'll probably upgrade to performance parts later but right now I just need my truck cause I'm startin college next month so I'm trying to get it runnin.

  • Richard Scordino Jul 15, 2011

    OK I probably went through most of this before but here it is all in one place. Beginning under the plate where the control unit is, there is a coil that makes pulses to trigger the system, just like the points used to do. There are two wires coming from under the plate that plug into the end of the control. If you check those wires, they should show continuity between the two leads but none between either and the housing. If there is no continuity a wire or the coil itself is bad. The control module is another story. There is no test. Either it is good or bad and every one reads differently using an ohmeter (that's why no test). There is another plug in there that the module plugs into. All internal wiring goes to a "gang" plug that fits into the socket closest to the distributor cap itself. I'm pretty sure you can't put it in backwards. Inside the cap, You insert the carbon contact so it goes through to where the rotor can contact it. The spring part faces up towards the coil. The rubber pad goes on top of the contact with the spring protruding from the center. (I usually stretch the spring slightly to make better contact.
    there should be a metal bar that attaches under the coil and is fitted so that it goes through the center terminal holder in the cap (attaches to the gang plug). one screw that goes into the coil will also pass through that bar. The red wire from the coil goes into the slot marked Batt.
    The yellow sire goes in the other one (for tach). The black wire can be put under any of the screws that hold the coil down, Once assembled make sure none of the screws that hold the coil down have pushed through into the inside of the cap. Put the cap on the distributor after you have in in place in the engine. Attach a 12volt supply to the Batt terminal on the distributor cap and when you crank the engine you should have spark. If not, I'd suspect the module as you already checked the pickup. If you change the module, ALWAYS put heat sink lube on the contact surface underneath it or it will burn out. I use the stuff you use on computer heat sinks but it's expensive.
    Can't give you more than this because there is no more. There is an internal condenser but I have never ever seen one fail.

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