79 CJ7 258 engine swap to 1981 model 258 No start - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 133 Old 04-10-2020, 12:33 PM Thread Starter
LHFarm
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79 CJ7 258 engine swap to 1981 model 258 No start

Sorry for the long post and no pictures, but I need help.

The idea was to do a quick swap of a stock 258 engine in a 1979 CJ7. The CJ7 engine was not original to the Jeep. Indiana didnít require emission testing and most of the that equipment had been removed. Have owned the Jeep since the late 1980s and the only major upgrade to the engine was the replacement of the stock carburetor with a Weber single barrel.

Last summer, the engine showed signs of worn bearings. Normal oil pressure at startup that fell to 6-10PSI when warmed. Rather than try to find someone to rebuild the engine, decided to do a quick swap with a rebuilt engine. I found an engine that had been purchased for a build that had not happened. The seller had purchased the engine 3 years earlier from another builder who had run out of money for his project. He sold the rebuilt engine with a set of Hediman headers and a Summit HEI distributor.

This project turned out to be one of learning a whole lot about the 258 and at least for now never ending. I hope that by listing what has been done. someone will see where I may have gone wrong and get me back on the right track. At this point, I can not get the engine to fire.

It wasnít until I installed the new engine that I notice all the differences in the basic I6. And it was then I started swapping out parts. First, the intake manifold (and Iím assuming the entire engine) was the later model with the waterbath design. There was no standard exhaust manifold and the header setup was for duals. Not wanting to make that change, decided to buy a new exhaust manifold to match the factory design. The process of finding the correct parts took several weeks.

When we tired our first test fire, the original carburetor leaked badly. At that point decided to purchase a Weber model to replace it. More issues with finding the correct throttle cable bracket. Have the new carb installed with a Holley fuel pressure regulator. I have fuel pressure (about 4PSI) to the new Weber 2BBL carb and I can see gas squirt in throat.

After a number of false starts, I believe the HEI is working. At least there is a spark at the plug. Iíve had the distributor in and out at least a dozen times. I finally found TDC on the compression stroke using a whistle tool and tiny scope camera. The timing marks appear to be correct. With an in-line spark tester, I get a bright orange light.

Having never replaced a distributor and the engine arriving without a distributor installed. Iíve tried to follow all the directions from Summit and on-line. I have not touched the vacuum advice nor have I installed the hose.

I have removed most of the original factory wiring for the old distributor. Have keyed 12v going to distributor and the electric chock. Have tried to set initial timing by placing the vacuum advice parallel to the block and positioning the rotor under #1 cap position. This is with the #1 piston at TDC 0 degrees.

No matter how long I crank, the engine will not start. If I give a long shot of starting fluid Ė I only tried this as a last resort Ė it seems to want to start. But doesnít. I did see some vapor coming from somewhere (carb).
I should also note that I replaced the starter and had to install a new radiator to accommodate the fan clutch. Iíve added 3 or so gallons of fresh gasoline too.

I'm out of ideas and being an old guy trying to stay away from everyone, including someone who might come to my place to help me. So any ideas or suggestions appreciated. I have to be missing something!


Barry
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post #2 of 133 Old 04-10-2020, 12:53 PM
Matt1981CJ7
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Try turning the distributer a few degrees counterclockwise to advance the timing a little. Make sure your vacuum advance hose is discounted and plugged. Then try to start it.

Let us know.

Matt


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post #3 of 133 Old 04-10-2020, 01:49 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt1981CJ7 View Post
Try turning the distributer a few degrees counterclockwise to advance the timing a little. Make sure your vacuum advance hose is discounted and plugged. Then try to start it.

Let us know.

Matt
The vacuum advance is plugged. My wife will be cranking the engine for me. Should I have her pump the accelerator or hold it at half throttle or just crank. I ask because she ask and I'm not sure.

Thanks
PS I meant to add this is exactly the kind of suggestions/instructions I'm looking for.

Barry
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post #4 of 133 Old 04-10-2020, 04:02 PM
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Starting procedure depends on whether you have a working choke, and if so, what kind.

If its electric, floor the throttle twice, which will close the choke, and spray a few shots of fuel into the intake. Then, try to start the engine with no throttle applied.

Matt


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post #5 of 133 Old 04-11-2020, 09:13 AM Thread Starter
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Tried starting without a shot of fluid and nothing through the entire range. With shot of starter fluid got action within a few degrees of where I started. Tried to use a little gas and same result, like it wanted to start. I am thinking I'm not getting fuel to the cylinders. I don't have a safe way keep dumping fuel down the carb - is there a good method? Spray bottle?

I can't be sure I have the carburetor installed correctly. I do know there is gas coming in. Should I remove any of the vacuum line caps?
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post #6 of 133 Old 04-11-2020, 09:35 AM
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The big port with the black cap, near the top of the carb, is the float bowl vent. It should not be capped. Ideally, it should connect to the vapor canister, but you can let it vent to the atmosphere, if you don't mind the smell of raw fuel. All other un-used vacuum ports near the bottom of the carb should remain capped.

Also, your fuel filter is installed incorrectly. It should be level, with the return port in the 12 o-clock position.

Is the choke closing when you pump the throttle?

Matt


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post #7 of 133 Old 04-11-2020, 11:03 AM Thread Starter
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Pulled the plug off the vent and no change when cranking. The chock was closed OK. I pulled the #1 plug and I don't smell any thing. As I'm sure is clear to you by now, I'm no mechanic. Shouldn't I be flooding the cylinders with all this cranking. Should I remove the carburetor to make sure I've not done something stupid when I did the install - like a gasket out of place?

What steps would you try next?

Barry
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post #8 of 133 Old 04-11-2020, 11:24 AM
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Simply cranking the starter won't flood the engine, unless you are pumping the throttle at the same time, which you shouldn't be.

The first thing I would do is get rid of the fuel pressure regulator. You don't have it installed in the correct place (it should be between the filter and the carb), and it's not needed, anyway, since the 1-in 2-out filter serves as a pressure regulator. Then I'd orient your filter correctly.

Your engine needs fuel, air, and spark to start. So, I'd disconnect the fuel line at the carb, and stick the end of the fuel line in a can or jar, then crank the engine. You should see a steady stream of fuel coming out of the fuel line. If so, your problem isn't fuel related, and we'll look at ignition next.

Matt


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post #9 of 133 Old 04-11-2020, 12:09 PM Thread Starter
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Matt,
Thanks for the help. I'll remove the regulator and relocate the fuel filter. Would you happen to have a picture of what the correct install looks like? I believe I understand, but I'm a areal visual kind of guy.

It may be tomorrow before I get these changes made. Have farm chores I need to get done before more rain.

Barry
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post #10 of 133 Old 04-11-2020, 12:47 PM
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This is the idea, although I'd try to get it more level than shown in this pic.

The second pic is my V8, but the same applies to the 258. Note how the filter sits level horizontally, and it's roughly at the same height as the inlet to the carb.

I'm not suggesting your fuel filter orientation is the cause for your no-start condition, but it's worth doing it correctly.

Matt
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image.jpg   FuelReturn2.jpg  
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post #11 of 133 Old 04-13-2020, 11:59 AM Thread Starter
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Removed the fuel pressure regulator and re-positioned the fuel filter. Did a quick crank and nothing. Two pumps of the throttle and a couple of squirts of gas. Tried cranking a couple of times. Still nothing.

What should I do next?

Thanks
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post #12 of 133 Old 04-13-2020, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt1981CJ7 View Post
Simply cranking the starter won't flood the engine, unless you are pumping the throttle at the same time, which you shouldn't be.

The first thing I would do is get rid of the fuel pressure regulator. You don't have it installed in the correct place (it should be between the filter and the carb), and it's not needed, anyway, since the 1-in 2-out filter serves as a pressure regulator. Then I'd orient your filter correctly.

Your engine needs fuel, air, and spark to start. So, I'd disconnect the fuel line at the carb, and stick the end of the fuel line in a can or jar, then crank the engine. You should see a steady stream of fuel coming out of the fuel line. If so, your problem isn't fuel related, and we'll look at ignition next.

Matt


Last paragraph above.

Matt


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post #13 of 133 Old 04-13-2020, 12:58 PM
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Just so we are clear, if you pour some gas directly into the carb inlet (not much), the engine does not start?

I might go and look back at the ignition. On 1980+ CJs, you not not supposed to connect the HEI directly to the key ignition, since motorcraft systems have a voltage drop. Instead, you are supposed to connect to a relay for full 12volts. For a quick test, you can run a jumper directly from the battery to the HEI to see if this is the issue.

Also, did you double check if it was 180 degrees off? I put mine in 180 off once, but didn't realize. I ended up replacing the carb, fuel pump, and rebuilt the HEI before I realized..... whoops... it was just backwards. The timing can be pretty far off, and it will run. Not great, but will start and run. But not 180 off! lol. I cheated and just rotated the rotor to fix.

Then there could always be something mechanical? I'm guessing you never heard that engine ever run? maybe there is an issue with the timing chain, or something crazy like that? Maybe they used a "soft cam gear", though I think that was only an issue on the AMC v8s.
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post #14 of 133 Old 04-14-2020, 09:45 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hp_lovecraft View Post
Just so we are clear, if you pour some gas directly into the carb inlet (not much), the engine does not start?

I might go and look back at the ignition. On 1980+ CJs, you not not supposed to connect the HEI directly to the key ignition, since motorcraft systems have a voltage drop. Instead, you are supposed to connect to a relay for full 12volts. For a quick test, you can run a jumper directly from the battery to the HEI to see if this is the issue.

Also, did you double check if it was 180 degrees off? I put mine in 180 off once, but didn't realize. I ended up replacing the carb, fuel pump, and rebuilt the HEI before I realized..... whoops... it was just backwards. The timing can be pretty far off, and it will run. Not great, but will start and run. But not 180 off! lol. I cheated and just rotated the rotor to fix.

Then there could always be something mechanical? I'm guessing you never heard that engine ever run? maybe there is an issue with the timing chain, or something crazy like that? Maybe they used a "soft cam gear", though I think that was only an issue on the AMC v8s.
The engine won't fire even with squirts of gas down the carburetor. I haven't tried the fuel supply test suggested above, but will do so today. When I had the fuel pressure regulator in place I had plenty of pressure, but will test again to be sure.

I tried wiring the HEI directly to the battery. No start, I'm attaching a picture of how I wired the distributor. I cut a wire going to the original ignition module on the driver's side. I haven't remove the old connector. I register a full 12V with the key on. I did not use the wire going to the old coil. I would like to confirm that this a good wire to use and to eliminate low voltage as a source of the problem.


At one point, I did have the distributor 180 out. I had tried several different methods to find the compression stroke. Final purchased this whistle. So while I'm confident that I have it correct, I would like some guidence on reinstalling the distributor. Here is what I have been doing.
1. Remove all spark plugs.
2. Rotate engine with a 3/4" socket in a clockwise (pulling toward the driver's side, until the whistle starts to sound.
3. Align the pulley timing mark and the block 0 degree mark.
4. Insert the distributor and align the oil pump slot to allow the the vacuum outlet to point straight forward and position rotor under the #1 cap wire. Looking at the distributor from the front, that is about the 7 o'clock position.
5. Reinstall plugs and wires in the correct order.

If this seems OK, I will perform these steps again before trying another test.

I should note that I made the HEI wires myself. I've tried to test them using a volt/ohm meter and I believe them to be functioning. I will also get flashes from an inductive timing light when cranking the engine. I have also pulled the #1 plug and grounded it while the engine is being cranked. There is a spark, but don't know that it is what you would call it a "strong" spark. My only reference is working on L-134 engines. I've also tired an inline spark tester and it does light, but I'm not sure how bright that light should be. I'm probably getting ahead of myself and will just stop here.

Thanks again for the help/suggestions.
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post #15 of 133 Old 04-14-2020, 10:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LHFarm View Post
The engine won't fire even with squirts of gas down the carburetor. I haven't tried the fuel supply test suggested above, but will do so today. When I had the fuel pressure regulator in place I had plenty of pressure, but will test again to be sure.

I tried wiring the HEI directly to the battery. No start, I'm attaching a picture of how I wired the distributor. I cut a wire going to the original ignition module on the driver's side. I haven't remove the old connector. I register a full 12V with the key on. I did not use the wire going to the old coil. I would like to confirm that this a good wire to use and to eliminate low voltage as a source of the problem.
This should be enough to get you started. I ran mine like that for years.


Quote:
At one point, I did have the distributor 180 out. I had tried several different methods to find the compression stroke. Final purchased this whistle. So while I'm confident that I have it correct, I would like some guidence on reinstalling the distributor. Here is what I have been doing.
1. Remove all spark plugs.
2. Rotate engine with a 3/4" socket in a clockwise (pulling toward the driver's side, until the whistle starts to sound.
3. Align the pulley timing mark and the block 0 degree mark.
4. Insert the distributor and align the oil pump slot to allow the the vacuum outlet to point straight forward and position rotor under the #1 cap wire. Looking at the distributor from the front, that is about the 7 o'clock position.
5. Reinstall plugs and wires in the correct order.

If this seems OK, I will perform these steps again before trying another test.
This sounds good to me.

Quote:
I should note that I made the HEI wires myself. I've tried to test them using a volt/ohm meter and I believe them to be functioning. I will also get flashes from an inductive timing light when cranking the engine. I have also pulled the #1 plug and grounded it while the engine is being cranked. There is a spark, but don't know that it is what you would call it a "strong" spark. My only reference is working on L-134 engines. I've also tired an inline spark tester and it does light, but I'm not sure how bright that light should be. I'm probably getting ahead of myself and will just stop here.

Thanks again for the help/suggestions.

Even if you didn't have any gas going to the carb, if you squirt some gas down the intake, it should at least cough a little.
Ask me how I know....

What plug are you using and what gap are you running on the plugs?

Sounds like you did a compression test what numbers are you getting?

Asking this in general to the guys out there, I never deliberately put a timing chain on wrong just to see what happens but what if some one did? What happens?

Is that Columbus Ohio?


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