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help - starting/HEI

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by ma84K5, Jul 29, 2001.

  1. ma84K5

    ma84K5 Newbie

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    ---this is a post for help---
    truck: 84 K5 silverado, tow package, 700r4 auto, stock

    Starting problems...will turn over (starter is working), but will not engage. No exhaust at all coming from the pipes.
    Have stock GM HEI distributor & swapped out the ICM about 3 months ago when it started dying on the highway.

    Recently butted into a station wagon (don't ask) at 10mph, towed it 30 miles (ruptured a brake line), fixed the brakes & it wouldn't start (as described above). I had my mechanic hook up an ignition bypass & it fired right up.
    Replaced the diode/capacitor [inline before the ICM] and it worked, for 1 day. I went to start it and I got the same starting problems as mentioned above.
    I have since replace the ICM, the capacitor, and the cap/coil. I am having no luck & I have been a vehicle for over a month now.
    Do I buy a whole new HEI distributor? Do I go retro and install a regular '70s distributor w external coil? Do i part out the truck & the new 305 that was installed a couple of months ago?
    This truck is a 95% on-road stocker for the New England winters (and a safe vehicle for the wife and kids), any and all 411 is appreciated before my wife loses her sh*t with me.

    Thanks all,
    Sean
     
  2. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    As it is now do you have 12 volts going into the distributor? Thats where I would start. Turn the key to the run position and check the wire. If you don't have 12 volts there try and trace it back until you find out why. You might have pinched the main power lead to the distributor when you bumped the car. My 81 Jimmy used to have the newer HEI with the ESC...and I had a lot of problems with it. I swapped it out for an earlier version of the HEI and its been great for a couple of years now. I got my older HEI used and just went through it..lubed up the centrifugal wieghts, cleaned it, new module, cap and rotor. I then added an Accel super coil and some 8.5 mm spiral core wires. It was not all that expensive to do...

    Rene

    <font color=green>Dyslexics of the world...UNTIE!</font color=green>
     
  3. Pure Insanity

    Pure Insanity 1/2 ton status

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    OK I think I had a similar problem your having. Mine is an 86 and after the eng rebuild I did away w/ all the computer garbage. I could not get it to fire off for nuttin! Hooked up the "portable ign. and VROOM! Ran like crap but it ran. The box is only for testing and limping in not for any kind of real running.

    Well to make a long story short after several weeks of head scratching I figured out what my prob was. In my case it was the fact that I eliminated the computer, no computer no input for the dist. to fire. Try a new or used dist. see if you can hijack one from a friend. If you have the computer still hooked up get the one for the computer. there should be a rather large Weather pack connector that comes off the dist to a harness and enters the fire wall to the right ( passengers) side of the motor in the recessed area of the firewall. if you dont have this and all you have is the wires that go to the cap you need the other non computerized HEI dist.

    I will be willing to bet on this and if I have confused you Ill try to clear it up.

    Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most!![​IMG]
     
  4. ma84K5

    ma84K5 Newbie

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    So you thinnk I should go with an older HEI setup? The full distributor or the guts under the cap (ICM &amp; capaciator)? When did they change to the "newer" HEI - I have access to a yard with a couple of K5s and a bunch of HEI V8s.

    SC
     
  5. Rockjunkies

    Rockjunkies 1/2 ton status

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    My 81 had that problem. Swithced to an earlier dist. with out the fat. Haven't had any more problems since. With the ignition anyway's!

    Keep it simple!
     
  6. ma84K5

    ma84K5 Newbie

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    Pretty sure I can scrounge up a computer - I just find it odd that the capacitor got it to work 1 day then quit...like it might have overloaded? But then the replacement sould have worked...

    I'll go look tomorrow...thanks,

    SC
     
  7. Pure Insanity

    Pure Insanity 1/2 ton status

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    If you have a computerized ride you cannot do away w/ only 1 part of it. The carb, or tranny, or dist, or whatever (if computerized) will not know what to do if 1 part isnt there to tell the others what to do. Its all or nothing. I had a carb prob on my camaro and had to do away w/ the computerized carb AND dist.

    Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most!![​IMG]
     
  8. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Don't really have that prob on the "earlier" trucks, up to about '86. The computer has no input into the carb, unlike cars, which have the mix controlled by the ECM, as well as TP for the auto tranny lock-up. Trucks use seperate harness for lockup, and the ESC is controlled by its own "box" as well. I'd check into whether or not you can just gut your dist as it is, and install non ESC "guts". I'm thinking there are a couple of changes internally, but perhaps you don't have to junk the whole thing. I know its not possible on the cars, the dist was changed greatly, but not sure with the trucks ESC systems.

    Dorian
    My tech/links page: <a target="_blank" href=http://www.dorianyeager.com/index2.html>http://www.dorianyeager.com/index2.html</a>
    No anti-theft measures on your truck? No pity when its stolen
     

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