Feeling deflated - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 59 Old 09-05-2021, 04:37 PM Thread Starter
JVino
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Feeling deflated

Sorry to be an Eor, but I've been working at my rebuild for the last year and a half and feeling defeated. I'm trying to get it started and I'm having a heck of a time. Here is the story so far;

1978 CJ7
AMC 360 with fresh rebuild.
MSD Ready-to-run distributor
MSD wires and plugs with MSD Blaster 2 coil.
Howell fuel injection.
Cold case radiator with Spal dual elec. fans.
Flowkooler water pump.
185 thermostat

Hooked everything up myself and went to start it. After working out a few bugs it started right up. Engine builder said to run it for 30 min between 2-2500 RPMS to break in the cam. I started it up and with the help of a few friends for keeping it at the RPM's and watching the motor. After about ten=15 minutes, we noticed the temp gauge go further than it should be. We had a temp gun and the block was reading 250 and the radiator reading about 195-200. Fans were on and running as they should. We immediately shut it down. Right when we shut it down, radiator fluid overflowed. After a few minutes, we took off the radiator cap and topped off the radiator. We cranked over the motor to allow the new fluid to go to the motor. It appeared to due to a rush of radiator fluid coming up from the bottom. After a few hours of letting it cool down, I went back out to try and start it and it wouldn't start. I drained the oil to make sure nothing devastating happened. The oil looked as it should with no shavings or milky color. After putting oil back in it, I tried to start it again. No start. We noticed the fuel pump would not turn on when cranking or to the ON position but when the ignition was being turned off. Go figure. Checked relays etc and everything was fine. Went to the ECM and being a noob, I noticed the ECM was hooked up to a constant power instead of ON/CRANK. I switched this and for some weird reason the fuel pump now works as it should. However, it seems to be adding too much fuel now. When the fuel pump is plugged in and doing it's job, the Jeep won't start. Unplugging it, it cranks over a few times, then starts up. Obviously without fuel it dies after a few seconds. Exhaust is still coming out clean with no white smoke. No backfires. I am so stinking confused and not sure where to go from here. The ignition is not timed yet but I do not think that has anything to do with it. I'm going to email Howell as well to see if they have come across this issue before also but any help from the community is appreciated. If anyone feels pics will help, I can provide them.

Thanks,

Jason


Jason
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post #2 of 59 Old 09-05-2021, 04:57 PM
devildog80
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Always pics.
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post #3 of 59 Old 09-05-2021, 05:19 PM
JEEPFELLER
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Others will surely pipe in with your other info.

This may explain the radiator juice coming out.

Add cold coolant into the radiator or a similar closed system.

As the juice gets hotter---It gets bigger

Now your (lets say) 2 gallon system is being asked to hold 2-1/2 gallons

It must go somewhere, normally on the newer CJs, that would be back into the plastic coolant reservoir tank-----to be sucked back in as things cool back down.

For those of us with a '76-'78 (and older rigs) there is no reservoir----on my '77, it pipes down the side of the radiator and dumps on the ground.

Once the "Too Much" was forced out, there's no sucking it back in. Now my (let's say) 2 gallon system is a Pint?? Low.

Pretty much that's where it will comfortably and be just fine, until my weekly oil and coolant check pops up.

From years of experience, the lower level is "correct", and one will get used to that being the correct level.

Lower than that will require topping off-----adding more to the "correct level" will result in the however "Too Much" being forced out as we discussed previously.

------JEEPFELLER
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post #4 of 59 Old 09-05-2021, 05:56 PM Thread Starter
JVino
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Updated with pics

Here are some photos...Hard to see with all the wires of course what goes to what. Sometimes you don't notice how messy it is until you take a step back. Here I thought I was killing it! ha.
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IMG_20210905_164148448.jpg   IMG_20210905_164022292[1].jpg  

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post #5 of 59 Old 09-05-2021, 06:10 PM Thread Starter
JVino
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JEEPFELLER is going to make me go deep here...ok, so I'm good with how the system works, I was more concerned with why, but thank you JEEPFELLER for the detailed description. This is making me think that I should delve a little further into the build. I received the motor back from the engine shop as a long block. I put all the components back on myself. From the valley pan, intake manifold, timing cover, water pump, exhaust manifold, hoses, EFI, and buttoned up the flywheel, transmission, transfer case etc. With JEEPFELLER's description kinda made me think a little deeper as if a water jacket is plugged? I don't think so but I have zero idea how the engine could heat up so fast and so much in such a little amount of time. I filled the radiator completely before starting. Let it sit so gravity can take it where it will go before starting. Before starting, I topped it off. This is of course just the heating problem. The fuel pump is another issue in itself. Oh, and I primed it twice...once with the valve covers off so I could see the oil flow and once before starting. PSI is at 60 during priming and while running. Thanks!

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post #6 of 59 Old 09-05-2021, 07:24 PM
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We have a few more considerations

We have oil pressure

No wild unusual noises

Water and oil not mixing/ oil and water not mixing.

A new tight motor might run a little warmer---but not to the overheat range.

Thermostat is not backwards? If you pull it out-----stick in a new one---that $5 or so part could be "New Defective", What's $5 more if you go in anyway.

Are your big radiator hoses sucking flat? Are they armed with anti-collapse springs?

Lastly----this is what I was building to, many times it's overlooked.

How old is the radiator?

Has it been flushed?

I mean PROFESSIONALY Taken apart and vatted!

Auto store flushes usually mildly work----but not good enough.

As a last resort if better options are not available, do them 1st!

I've heard this does work (unknown sources, reliable?)

Remove the radiator, duct tape all of the water connections shut,

Fill the radiator slap full with "CLR" or similar mineral dissolving product (read any cautions/precautions--to metals)

If it's a really thick liquid, you may have to dilute it a little.

Even though I've not done this, I can see it might do better than nothing! I'd also leave the cap off the whole time, it may build pressure.

Maybe let it sit a few days, then snatch off the tape and rinse it well through all of the openings. I'd wear some goggles too!

If you should try this, if you can, make an improvised catch basin-----with a shower curtain/ plastic/ small Kiddee pool, post pics as to what might jump out of there!

------JEEPFELLER
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post #7 of 59 Old 09-05-2021, 07:48 PM Thread Starter
JVino
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Radiator is brand new. I would like to think I put in the thermostat correctly but I did make the mistake of connecting the ECM to constant hot so I will check the thermostat tomorrow. There were no noises. The motor did drop 500 or so RPM's during the cam break in but jumped right back up. This is my first time starting a new engine before so I'm not sure if that's normal? No water and oil mixing. That actually gave me some hope sadly after the original fail. Thanks for responding JEEPFELLER...keep up the suggestions!

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post #8 of 59 Old 09-05-2021, 09:09 PM
JEEPFELLER
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I'm not up on the ECM/ system and how it operates---This is not a OEM carb set up is it? (don't even try to explain NON OEM to me! It would be a waste of time)

If it (ECM) has anything to do with fan "ON" fan "OFF" I'd monitor when they come on and go off with a temp gun, then you might blame it on the power mistake.

If we are still grabbing for stuff, are the fans operating within their specs?

Maybe the thermostat that operates them is the wrong temperature ranges or yes, like any other part, it could just be defective.

I'm running a brass 3 row radiator on my '77 258----it's not really old, and it cools great, maybe too well in the wintertime.

I see you got an aluminum job,

How many rows does it have? What about the last one?

Last stupid question

Are your fans blowing rearward?

------JEEPFELLER
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post #9 of 59 Old 09-05-2021, 11:25 PM Thread Starter
JVino
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The ECM does not control the fans. They are controlled by a thermostatic switch just below the transmission dip stick in picture 6 with the two spade connectors. Where the heater core line connects to the block before it goes back to the water pump.

The radiator is a two row, 1.25" each. I had a brass that came stock but with the winch in front it would always run border line on overheating. I live in Fresno, Ca....HOT....so I wanted something that can keep up with the heat in the summertime. 115 sometimes. The fans are definitely puller fans.

Is it normal for the block to heat up to mid two hundreds in ten-fifteen minutes of constant 2000 RPM's? With a full radiator and two normal operator electric fans.
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post #10 of 59 Old 09-06-2021, 05:10 AM
Shawn Watson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JVino View Post
Is it normal for the block to heat up to mid two hundreds in ten-fifteen minutes of constant 2000 RPM's? With a full radiator and two normal operator electric fans.
It sure can if the timing is pretty late. I don't know if your Howell will let you but if it will, next time you fire it up, have a timing light already hooked up ready to go and when it fires, go straight up to ~2,500 and twist the distributor around until you show at least 45*. You'll probably have to make your own mark to see where 45* on the balancer is but you can get there in 10* increments using the hash mark on the balancer and the timing indicator.

If that gets you through the rest of your break-in without overheating, just set the initial timing to where ever you want it once you're safe to idle. I've seen headers glow red from that sort of thing so at least make sure that's not it.

I'm not able to help you on your electrickery woes.


Shawn

Live in a way that those who know you but don't know God will come to know God because they know you.
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post #11 of 59 Old 09-06-2021, 08:37 AM
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I use super unleaded 93 octane gasoline for street engines during the first start-up and cam break-in. When I first started my little stroker inline six in my CJ-7 recently, it had super unleaded 93 octane in the gas tank, even though the engine was built to run on 87 octane.

I like to remove the thermostat for the first start up, and cam break-in period. With the thermostat removed it is easier to fill the engine with water (coolant), and you should have a full jug or two available for topping the radiator, as the engine warms up. Don’t put the radiator cap on until the engine has run long enough to see the water flowing inside the radiator, and you know it is full. Once I am sure the system is full I put the cap on the radiator. I have a water hose on stand by, should the engine run hot, water can be sprayed on and through the radiator for additional cooling

I like to use distilled water for my coolant on the first startup, and initial drivIng, until I know I don’t have any leaks, and the bugs are worked out. Once I think the engine is GTG, I drain the distilled water out and add coolant. I think I put about a gallon and a half 100% green antifreeze in my CJ-7 after I got my new engine running recently, the rest is distilled water.

The ignition timing can influence engine operating temperature. You should leave the distributor loose enough to make timing adjustments, and have your timing light out and connected, ready to set timing, or you could just set it by ear for the cam break-in period.

That’s a nice looking engine you have there. I’m sure it will provide miles of smiles after you get the bugs worked out of your new motor.
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post #12 of 59 Old 09-06-2021, 10:35 AM Thread Starter
JVino
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That is all really good information. I'm going to take out the thermostat today and try and get it running. *The water hose will be on standby.* I will have the timing light ready and try and get that done as soon as I can upon start up. The radiator has a 50/50 premix. We don't see too much cold weather here. MAYBE upper 20's. Makes me feel a bit better about the over heating if the timing is that far off. The engine builder set the motor to TDC before giving it back to me. I set the balancer on TDC upon installation of that. Then when I put the distributor on, I set the rotor to the number one piston. The distributor has been turned a little here and there just checking for tightness so I'm not sure if that affects timing upon start up.

Thank you for the compliment AxHammer. The Jeep was bought brand new in '78 from my uncle. A couple years ago I was lucky enough to bring her home when he was ready to let her go. I'd like to give this to one of my kids when I'm ready to let her go so I wanted to do everything right.

I'm now wondering if the timing could be affecting an ECM sensor somewhere and causing it to run so rich. I have the vacuum advance line from the TBI unhooked for preparation of adjusting the total timing. If left unplugged while it is running and not in the process of timing, would that cause any of this stuff to happen with the fuel pump putting too much fuel in the TBI?

Thanks everyone!

Jason
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post #13 of 59 Old 09-06-2021, 12:01 PM
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Axhammer covered it Really well. You have done a whole lot of things all at once. As to the overheating problem it sounds like a combination of New tight engine/not in time, and air in the coolant system! The system must be brought up to temp, with the front of the jeep higher up to allow the air to burp up and out. The Howell System should have a return line back to the tank to relieve excess fuel, and it does require proper timing to run properly. Is the check engine light flashing? The over heat might have triggered a code. The ECM gets a lot of info from the MAP sensor, and the O2 sensor in the exhaust. Unless you have the off road kit......?
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post #14 of 59 Old 09-06-2021, 12:26 PM
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The fuel pump should run for a couple seconds when you turn the key to Run, and then it stops running because it is up to pressure with no demand. With the engine running it will run non stop. You should be able to get all the info you need from Howell.com. And if you still have questions call them, they will help you out. It sounds like something simple is not wired right.

Did you put in an oil additive for the camshaft break-in? That is a must, and the 2000-2500 RPM upon first start-up, is VERY important. At this RPM the load is the lightest on the valve train, and the lifters will spin allowing them to break-in properly. It’s OK to vary the RPM as you do this, just make sure it spends a lot of time around 2200 RPM for the first 30 minutes, and limit slow idling.

I put a quart of Lucas Oil high ZDDP content for the break-in, when I fired up my little inline six recently.
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post #15 of 59 Old 09-06-2021, 12:30 PM
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I have brain lesions, so don't laugh, but could your water pump be going backwards? Everything I have sucks fluid out of the bottom when it starts, but pushes some out as it warms up. I would verify correct rotation, and the correct pump. There's such as thing as water pumps that will bolt up and turn backwards.

Air pockets in your engine could make the block heat up, as you don't have water where you have air, and would greatly exaggerate the thermal expansion. Air expands a lot more than water. Others have pointed out that a new rebuild seems to start hot, that's been my experience.

Good luck.

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